Unravel wealth hidden in Buddha's Pali Language !!

Stressing on the importance of saving the great repository of information that has been recorded in Pali language, Professor C. Upendra Rao of the Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University said that Pali is an oft neglected language.

“In academics field, there are only a few people taking it up, and fewer still recognising the scientific wealth that has been recorded in the language.” “Three languages have recorded India's past - Sanskrit (Hindu tradition), Prakrit (Jain) and Pali, the language of Buddha. After the decline of Buddhism in India, the language died too. Surprisingly, edicts of the language are still preserved in Sri Lanka, which has many scholars, as well as the great repository of translated works in Tibet, China and beyond, where Indian masters taught the religion,” said Prof. Rao.

Nagarjuna's edicts

Andhra Pradesh has given birth to great Buddhist scholars such as Nagarjuna who was a scholar of Pali. Nagarjuna taught at Nalanda and was still exalted in China for taking the message of the Buddha to its people. Nagarjuna was known for teaching the law of relativity, and conceptualising several ideas. Nagarjuna mastered ayurvedic medicine.

However, today’s India lacks interest in studying these languages while foreign scholars are often in awe of the scientific and religious texts written in Pali, said Prof. Rao. “Pali literature gives better insights into exploring corporal and ethereal concepts than other classical languages,” he said.

Shared words with Telugu

Modern Telugu has several words of Pali in existence. Nagali, for a plough, chettha, for dust, vankara for curve and referring to a person’s demise as attaining ‘kaalam’ (becoming one with time) are a few examples of Pali words in use today. “The language of the Buddha needs a revival in terms of research in academics. I hope we do not turn partial to the language, riding on Sanskrit's assumed superiority,” said Prof. Rao.
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