ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sanskrit: a Language Without Script

Updated on November 18, 2011
Sanskrit in Uchen script (Tibet)
Sanskrit in Uchen script (Tibet)

Sanskrit language was never a language of masses. It was an artificial language created to safeguard the interests of Vedics. They banned others not only from learning it, but even from listening the language. If Sanskrit words were listened by a Shudra, he was punished by pouring boiling lead in his ears.

If we look at the history of Sanskrit, one thing we clearly notice that Sanskritists avoided to use it in written form, and for centuries, it was just an oral language. The method of transforming the literature was to memorize, recite and handover orally to next generation. So they did not require any script as they did not require the language in written form.

But non-Vedic Indians used their languages in written forms also. This tradition of non-vedics goes back to Indus valley Civilization.

In Jain mythology, Rishabh, the fist ford maker of Jainism taught his daughter Bambhi to write. As Rikhabh was a pre-Vedic personality, this story indicates that pre-vedic Indians knew to write.

The oldest rock inscriptions in India are in Desi (i.e. Prakrit) languages, and not in Sanskrit language.

Vedics learned to write from non-vedics. Obviously, they used the scripts which were used for indigenous languages by indigenous people of India. That is why Sanskritists use different scripts in different regions of India for Sanskrit language. They also used different scripts for Sankrit language in different period.

The oldest written line in Sanskrit is a rock inscription at Junagarh in Gujarat, which belongs to 3rd century of Common Era. It is written in Bambhi (Brahmi) script. This script originally belongs to Prakrit languages, because all the oldest inscriptions in Prakrit languages are in this script, and all the oldest inscriptions in this script are in Prakrit languages.

A remarkable thing is that the oldest known Sanskrit inscription I have mentioned above was written at least five centuries after the oldest inscription in Prakrit inscriptions.

Later, Kharoshti and Gupt scripts were used for writing in Sanskrit language. Both the scripts were evolved from Bramhi script. Sharada, a script evolved from Gupt script was also used for Sanskrit for some period. In Eastern parts of India, Bengali and Udia scripts were used for Sanskrit, and in Southern India the Sanskritist used Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam scripts.

The use of Nagari script for Sanskrit language started after 11th Century C.E. But this script was being used for Desi languages long before 11th century. The oldest inscription of Marathi language is in Nagari script, which was written in 981 C.E.

In 18th century, European scholars started to use Nagari script for Sanskirt language in large scale. Simultaneously, they started to use Roman script also. Today also, scholars use Roman script for Sanskrit.

All this proves that Sanskrit language does not have it's own script. If any languages does not have it's own script, nothing is wrong in it. But Sanskrit lovers are doing one wrong thing by saying that Nagari script originally belongs to Sanskrit language. In fact, Sanskrit has been always written in scripts borrowed from other languages.

-Mahavir Sanglikar

Sanskrit in Roman Script
Sanskrit in Roman Script


Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    Jainismus does a great job to reveal the buried TRUTH, keep up your good work.

    Ancient Prakrit and Ancient Tamil shares Brahmi scripts whereas Sanskrit uses Devanagari scripts which was created much later around 3rd/4th century AD. Ancient Tamil language is comparable with Prakrit language and ancient Tamil Religion is comparable with Buddhism/Jainism.

    Unfortunately, Sanskrit has taken undue credit of Prakrit and Buddhism/Jainism due to medieval period rulers from 3rd century AD. The spread of Sanskrit and Vedic Religion has destroyed Prakrit and Buddhism out of India. Sanskrit is given with undue credit at the cost of Prakrit and Buddhism. The destruction of Prakrit by Sanskrit has created many language divides in India.

    Above reference will give insight about Ancient history, Tamil Brami scripts and Prakrit language in conjunction.

    In India, whenever there was a change in Religion and Language evidenced, it was always linked with an Invade ex: Islam or Christianity came with Urdu and English. The mix of Urdu has created a new language called Hindi at their central ruling region.

    In our Textbook History, The cause for the destruction of Prakrit and Buddhism is unstated or manipulated by stating that Prakrit is an impure form of Sanskrit which gives undue credit for Sanskrit and Vedic Hinduism. Sanskrit doesn't have its own grammar but borrowed from Prakrit and created by Panini around 3rd/4th century AD. Later, Sanskrit has grown at the cost of Prakrit. This can be evidenced from the carved script inscriptions into stone as written proof from Sanskrit could not be found prior to 3rd century AD.

    It is widely accepted and acknowledged that Buddhism/Jainism was practiced by common public and Prakrit/Tamil was spoken by the common public in the Ancient India.

    One could see that most of the Sanskrit Literary is translated one from Prakrit and it has taken/given undue credit from Prakrit. The fact is Prakrit is pre-dated Sanskrit but the later one got classical language status in India, which shows influence from the people at central ruling India in the modern day India

    Going by the historical evidences, destruction of a Language & Religion always happen through Invader / Political power changes. In India, destruction of Prakrit & Buddhism happens through Vedic Hinduism gaining Political power post 3rd AD


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)