Monday, December 8, 2014

Sanskrit and Lithuanian are closely related

Sanskrit and Lithuanian are closely related 
Since the 19th century, when the similarity between Lithuanian and Sanskrit was discovered, Lithuanians have taken a particular pride in their mother tongue as the oldest living Indo-European language. To this day, to some Lithuanians their understanding of their nationality is based on their linguistic identity. It is no surprise then that they proudly quote the French linguist Antoine Meillet, who said, that anyone who wanted to hear old Indo-European should go and listen to a Lithuanian farmer. The 19th century maxim - the older the language the better - is still alive in Lithuania.
Professor Shashiprabha Kumar, and her amazing team of specialists at the Centre for Sanskrit Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, is convinced that there is a very strong connection between Old Sanskrit and Lithuanian
It is a common belief that there is a close similarity between the Lithuanian and Sanskrit languages; Lithuanian being the European language grammatically closest to Sanskrit. It is not difficult to imagine the surprise of the scholarly world when they learned that even in their time somewhere on the Nemunas River lived a people who spoke a language as archaic in many of its forms as Sanskrit itself. Although it was not exactly true that a professor of Sanskrit could talk to Lithuanian farmers in their language, coincidences between these two languages are truly amazing, for example:
SON:      Sanskrit sunus - Lithuanian sunus 
SHEEP:   Sanskrit avis - Lithuanian avis
SOLE:     Sanskrit padas - Lithuanian padas
MAN:     Sanskrit viras - Lithuanian vyras
SMOKE: Sanskrit dhumas - Lithuanian dumas
These Lihuanian words have not changed their forms for the last five thousand years.
The relationship between Sanskrit and Lithuanian goes even deeper. Take, for example, the Lithuanian word 'daina' that usually is translated as 'song'. The word actually comes from an Indo-European root, meaning ‘to think, to remember, to ponder over’. This root is found in Sanskrit as dhi and dhya. The word also occurs in the Rigveda (ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns) in the sense of ‘speech reflecting the inner thoughts of man’.
Apart from its Indo-European background as word and term, the ‘daina’ incorporates the idea of the Sun-Goddess who was married to the Moon-God, reminiscent of goddess Surya in the Rigveda.