There is overwhelming evidence that sanskrit, greek, latin etc. are cognate languages and that they had all descended from a common ancestral language called proto-indo-european or PIE. It is quite possible that PIE originated in India (something western linguists reject). Hardly any scholar (even Indian ones) would claim that sanskrit is PIE. An important word like "surya" is the result of sound-changes from an earlier word in PIE - perhaps "swelyos" (to account for greek helios, latin solis and so forth.)

If Vedas are apaurusheya and eternal - how can it be justified that they are in sanskrit (and even the sanskrit of hindu scriptures can be seen to be changing between earlier and later books of rig veda and between vedas, upanishads, epics and puranas) and not a more pristine language?

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    PIE is a mythical language. There's not a single piece of evidence of it.
    – user6990
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 2:31
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    Part of the traditional proof of the Apaurusheyatva of the Vedas in the Purva Mimamsa Sutras involves establishing that Sanskrit is an eternal language. Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 16:38
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    First of all, the author of the blog post is mistaken - it is not the Sphotavada theory, but the Varnavada theory, that is used in proving the Apaurusheyatva of the Vedas. (Sphotavada and Varnavada are competing theories.) And second of all, Ambedkar completely mischaracterizes the argument. Statements 1 and 2 are not parts of proving then Apaurusheyatva of the Vedas, but rather they are part of refuting rival philosophical schools which believed that God was the author of the Vedas. Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 9:46
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    And in any case he's misconstruing statement 2 - the claim is that the Vedas, if true, speak about things imperceptible to the senses, and so if they were composed by an author who relied on his senses then they could not be true. Now regarding statement 3, it is true that part of proving the Apaurusheyatva of the Vedas involves proving that there is an eternal connection between Sanskrit words and their meaning, but that's not a premise, but rather the conclusion of a detailed argument - and that argument is not "Because sound is eternal, words which are made up of sounds are also eternal." Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 9:52
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    And the argument definitely does not rely on the statement "Because words are eternal therefore the Vedas are eternal" - that's not even a true statement. There are lots of non-eternal works that are composed of Sanskrit words. Now what is true is that the eternality of Sanskrit words is a necessary prerequisite for the Vedas being eternal, because a work written in a non-eternal language cannot be eternal. But that doesn't mean that all works written in an eternal language are eternal. Proving the eternality of the Vedas requires more than that. Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 9:58

1 Answer 1


This answer is based on my own experience with Vedic Sanskrit, Avestan and Persian. So, I can't provide any sources.

If Vedas are apaurusheya and eternal - how can it be justified that they are in Sanskrit?

No, Vedas are not in Sanskrit. Vedas are in Vedic Sanskrit, which has no script at all, unlike other common European languages. Though present day Sanskrit and Sanskrit used in the Vedas look similar, they are actually not. Because, Vedas have its own Swaras and Chandas, which are absent in Sanskrit and other European languages, even in so called Avesta. You can find what are those Vedic Swaras in this answer.

Why I am using this for my argument that Vedic Sanskrit have no script but Swaras so only it can be the first language? Because, learning script in a language is last portion in the overall learning of any language(Listening, speaking, reading, writing). So, as Vedic language doesn't have any script, it should be the first language among all. Moreover, our belief is Vedas are revealed. The proof for revelation are those swaras.

  • What do you think of avesta? Is avesta sister language of vedic? How can an eternal motherless language have a sister?
    – Anisha
    Commented Aug 11, 2018 at 9:35
  • @Anisha . Sanskrit is the parent. All PIE languages are its progeny.
    – ram
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 0:35
  • Vedic Sanskrit is not the only language with pitch or tone. mandarin is a rich tonal language, Present day Panjabi has tones. Scripts exist for tonal languages, including Vedic Sanskrit @tattvamasi
    – S K
    Commented Aug 19, 2023 at 10:56

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