1

What is the language in which Vedas are written? Currently, they are written in Sanskrit language but what was their first language. Devnagri is developed by humans and Vedas are the language of gods so what is their initial writing language? Were they in any other language? Specifically, what was their lipi or script i.e. written form called?

  • "Vedas are the language of gods" - what do you mean by this? Gods don't speak anything that's not part of Vedas?! – sv. Apr 24 at 18:45
  • It means that Vedas was first spoken by Gods and it was passed as such to humans. Also, it is seen that Lord Brahma has Vedas in his hands so it must be in some physical form(written). – codeczar Apr 24 at 20:26
  • @sv I want to know that is Sanskrit the eternal language which has not been extinct and used to pass the knowledge of vedas? or any other language is used and it has transformed with time to sanskrit – codeczar Apr 24 at 21:38
  • 1
    "by language of gods i mean that it was offered to humans via gods so what was the language spoken by them" - why do gods need a language/script? They can communicate by thoughts (telepathy)! "language of the gods" is not meant to be taken literally. You are trying to mix history and mythology. Sanskrit is a normal language like any other. It was refined over and over by grammarians like Pāṇini. Because of its popularity it was given 'divine' status. – sv. Apr 24 at 22:28
  • 1
    sanskrit is not a normal language. it is the language of devas because they understand vedic mantras and are bound to act according to it. it was not refined over time. it was perfect and will remain so forever. skeptics like to denigrate it because of its popularity. – ram May 1 at 3:08
3

संस्कृतम् (Sanskritam)

Any language can have 2 components - sound and sight - the words we hear and the script we write.

The sounds of Vedas are eternal (literally exist infinite time before and infinite time after). They are not made by man, rather they just exist in nature as the breath of Brahmam, and are perceived by rishis during deep state of tapas. The language that the sounds of Vedas exist in is called Sanskrit and were formalized in grammar sutras by Panini, and then by Patanjali.

Until ~5000 years ago, when Kali Yuga started in 3102 B.C, Vedas and other Sanskrit literature were mostly recited and memorized by generation-to-generation. Rishis foresaw that human intellect would decrease as Kali progressed, hence they wrote down the sounds of Vedas in a representative script. This script, of course, is man-made, hence why it keeps changing over time.

The history of script changes is detailed/complex. Most Indian languages fall under Brahmic script. Devanagari is currently the script used to represent Sanskrit (and Hindi) sounds.

1

All Vedas are written in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is believed to be the language of the Devas. Hence it's script is called Devanagari(of the city of gods).

Initially they were remembered in the mind only, but with the passage of time, human memory became weakened so they had to be put in writing. Even this was considered sacrilege

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedas

  • 1
    No, not written in what we know as Sanskrit.These are written in the Vedic Language.Panini made 'samskara' of the language and so it was named 'Samskrita' which is translated as Sanskrit. The scripts varied from brahmi to devanagari.Also, memory weakening was not the matter.Writing instruments became gradually available. – user17294 Apr 22 at 3:37
  • @commonman add a detailed answer based on your comment with little references your comment seems more legitimate than the answers posted – codeczar Apr 22 at 7:22
  • @commonman, 'writing instruments' - leaves & chisels were not available before Kali Yuga ? of course they were, they just did not want to write it down because the guru-shishya relationship would be lost by people simply reading and misinterpreting from books rather than learn directly from guru. but in kali, they realized the benefits outweighed the risks. – ram Apr 22 at 14:15
  • @ram lord brahma is seen to hold vedas in his hands how can he hold a thing which is not in any physical form – codeczar Apr 24 at 20:30
  • 1
    @codeczar, i just answered that above in my answer. yes, the sounds of vedas are eternal. the 'language' they're in is called sanskrit. – ram Apr 24 at 21:42
1

Short answer

Vedas started with just भाषा(language). लिपि(script) came long after that. The trend of writing in देवनागरी(devanaagari) script is very recent.

Long answer

First - about the Veda: Vedas are known as Shrutis(something that was heard). It was preserved for generations as an oral tradition (कण्ठस्थ).

Second - the language: The language of the Vedas was known by many names such as ब्राह्मी(braahmi) भारती(bhaarati) भाषा(bhasha) सरस्वती(saraswati) etc. Given the antiquity the Vedas संस्कृत(Sanskrit) is a very modern nomenclature. The great Panini in his अष्टाध्यायी, considered to be the seminal treatise on Sanskrit grammar, has not used the word Sanskrit.

Third - the script: Vedas were preserved as an oral tradition hence there was no script associated with it. Since the time they learned how to write, it has been written in many scripts. ब्राह्मी(braahmi), नागरी(naagari), नन्दिनागरी(nandinaagari), देवनागरी(devanaagari). More recently (last couple century or so)every region wrote it in its own script. So you will find Vedas and other Sanskrit literature written in Odia, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Assamese and many more. In fact this diversity of scripts is the prime reason of popularity of देवनागरी in recent times. देवनागरी has become the primary script now.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .