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Difference Between Sanskrit and Pali

Sanskrit vs. Pali

Sanskrit is a classical language which flourished in India thousands of years ago but has lost its glory in modern times. Pali is also an ancient language that has been widely used in the Buddhist scriptures. The Sanskrit language is much older than Pali.

Sanskrit had been a language that was in vogue from the Vedic period. Sanskrit had a great influence on religion and literature. Sanskrit was part of the cultural tradition. Sanskrit, which is considered an Indo-Aryan language, was the liturgical language of Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.

Pali is considered a Prakrit language or a middle Indo-Aryan language. Though the Pali and Sanskrit language are known to be closely related, Pali is not considered to be a descendant of the Sanskrit language.

The Pali language is considered to be a composite language having several dialects and most likely is based on the language that Buddha taught in which is generally considered to be a Magadhi dialect. However, the scholars are divided on the origin of the language.

When comparing the two languages, Pali is considered to be simple. Both the Sanskrit and Pali languages have basically the same vocabulary. The grammar is also considered to be similar, but Pali has a simplified grammar.

In the case of vowels and diphthongs, the Sanskrit “ava” and “aya” is reduced in Pali to “o” and “e.” For example Sanskrit “dhārayati” is written as “dhāreti” in Pali and Sanskrit “avatāra” is written as “otāra.”

The Sanskrit “avi” is reduced to “e” in the Pali language. For example, “sthavira” in Sanskrit is written as “thera” in the Pali language.

Summary:

1. The Sanskrit language is much older than Pali.
2. Sanskrit is a classical language which flourished in India thousands of years ago but has lost its glory in modern times.
3. Pali is also an ancient language that has been widely used in the Buddhist scriptures.
4. When comparing the two languages, Pali is considered to be simple.
5. Sanskrit, which is considered an Indo-Aryan language, was the liturgical language of Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
6. Pali is considered a Prakrit language or a Middle Indo-Aryan language.
7. Both the Sanskrit and Pali languages have basically the same vocabulary. The grammar is also considered to be similar, but Pali has a simplified grammar.
8. Sanskrit had been a language that was in vogue from the Vedic period. It had a great influence on religion and literature and also was part of the cultural tradition.
Rating: 9 May publish. (Verified technical terms except for the foreign words.)


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6 Comments

  1. This is totally wrong, if you have common sense Pali must be the oldest language. Reason is, it is very clear all written languages come after a dialectical language. The reason you can’t find the age of ‘Pali’ language is just because it was not written in any old books. If you compare the two languages, you can clearly see all ‘Pali’ words are in ‘Sanskrit’ language. ‘Sanskrit’ was developed from ‘Pali’ for the rich people to enjoy the literature. It’s very clearly in Buddha’s teaching when some monks ask to write down Buddha’s teaching in ‘Sanskrit’ he told them not to do, because it will destroy the content, simply because ‘Sanskrit’ is an extracted language and doesn’t have the basic qualities of a proper understandable language. The words in Pali have a very special quality that is the sound it self explain the quality of what it refer. This is exactly same as the normal English and the English of people like ‘William Shakespeare’, they just shapes the language by destroying the simple but valuable qualities.

    • Very very true.Sanskrit brahmins language.

    • @wsdesa…✅
      Yes you are correct and that is the home truth. It is visible in both languages that the Sanskrit words have no original sense at all. Sanskrit has formed from pali by stupidly defacing original pali words. Sanskrit is totally unusable language roughly fabricated from pali. You can see every pali word has its original pure meaning and smooth pronunciation which can sound even without tooth. Pali is the eternal language use in heavens and brahmas in higher planes of gods… Languages of all Buddhas speaking is Pali. ☝️

  2. Very very true.Sanskrit is brahmins language.

  3. It is true that Pali language is much older than Sanskrit. There are genuine evidences in favour of Pali where as there are no such evidence in favour of Sanskrit.
    Scriptures on ancient monuments, Stambhlekh, Silalekh, Bhittilekh, Guhalekh etc. where all the oldest texts are written in Pali language only. Sanskrit is forcefully added at some places at a very later stage under Pali text, that too after 185 BC after tratorship of Pushyamitra Shunt with his noble king who had full faith on such a sick person,
    Even not a single monument was created by the people using Sanskrit language.
    Everybody knows that languages are developed in a long time and in early stages these are in Very primitive stage and at later stages grammar and vocabulary rich sofisticated language is developed. Sanskrit is developed from Pali language and as such Pali is older than Sanskrit. Lot of coins(Karsapan) were found in various excavations are also strong evidence in favour of Pali language bring the older language.
    I think foregoing evidences are much more sufficient to prove that Pali language is much older than Sanskrit. Merely saying or fraudulently righting in any book that Sanskrit is crore years old can not be believed by anybody else as now almost every literate person know when papers and ink are invented.

  4. It is true that Pali language is much older than Sanskrit. There are genuine evidences in favour of Pali where as there are no such evidence in favour of Sanskrit.
    Scriptures on ancient monuments, Stambhlekh, Silalekh, Bhittilekh, Guhalekh etc. where all the oldest texts are written in Pali language only. Sanskrit is forcefully added at some places at a very later stage under Pali text, that too after 185 BC after tratorship of Pushyamitra Shung with his noble king who had full faith on such a sick person,
    Even not a single monument was created by the people using Sanskrit language.
    Everybody knows that languages are developed in a long time and in early stages these are in Very primitive stage and at later stages grammar and vocabulary rich sofisticated language is developed. Sanskrit is developed from Pali language and as such Pali is older than Sanskrit. Lot of coins(Karsapan) were found in various excavations are also strong evidence in favour of Pali language bring the older language.
    I think foregoing evidences are much more sufficient to prove that Pali language is much older than Sanskrit. Merely saying or fraudulently righting in any book that Sanskrit is crore years old can not be believed by anybody else as now almost every literate person know when papers and ink are invented.

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