Difference Between Sanskrit and Prakrit
Sanskrit VS Prakrit
Have you heard someone speak of the oldest language in the world? Maybe you’ve heard it on television documentaries before. But in case you haven’t, the oldest language in the world is that of the Indo-Aryan language. Indo-Aryan has two ancient languages that reflect its richness in culture and tradition: the Sanskrit and the Prakrit. To even say that it reflects the richness of the culture and tradition of its people is an understatement because many people, both dead and alive, believed that this language is the language of the gods. These two languages are not used in a contemporary setting anymore, however. Though there are some classes in educational establishments that study these languages and others even try to revive it. These languages have the same fate with that of the Latin and Greek language.
Sanskrit is an historical Indo-Aryan language that has a meaning of ‘refined speech.’ It is also used for religious purposes. The Hindu and Buddhist religion use this as their main liturgical language. In contemporary times, Sanskrit is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. Sanskrit is also the main language of Uttarakhad. In India, the standard registered Sanskrit used its classical Sanskrit. This language has been laid out in the Panini grammar dating back to the 4th century BCE. The position it has on greater India can be compared to Latin and Greek in Europe. This language has greatly influenced the other modern languages in the Indian subcontinent, especially in Pakistan and Nepal. Another form of Sanskrit is the Vedic Sanskrit. The Rig-Veda language is the oldest language that dates back to 1500 BCE, making Rigvedic Sanskrit the oldest one of the Indo-Iranian language. This is also one of the youngest in the Indo-European languages. This language family includes English and European languages. Sanskrit is very rich in tradition and culture. This language is full of poetry and other literature. It is also filled with scientific, philosophical, technical, and religious Hindu texts. Up until now, it is still used in forms of hymns and mantras. Some educational establishments still use this language however ancient it is.
Another kind of ancient language is the Prakrit. It is named after a group of Middle Indic. Middle Indic is a group of languages from the Indo-Aryan; it was based on the old Indic dialects. The word ‘Prakrit’ is from the root word ‘Prakrit,’ which means ‘original, natural, ordinary, or usual.’ This language was used in literary aspects when kings of the Khatriya caste also used this language. However, this language was branded illegitimate by the Brahminorthodoxy. One of the former Emperors of India, Asoka, was one of the first who used this language. This language is usually related to a different patron dynasty. This language is practiced with much culture and tradition across the entire Indian Subcontinent.
‘Sanskrit’ means ‘refined speech,’ while ‘Prakrit’ means ‘original, natural, ordinary.’
Sanskrit is richer in tradition, culture, and literature compared to Prakrit.
Sanskrit has great influence in the languages used in the Indian subcontinent, especially Nepal and Pakistan. Prakrit is not that influential.
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