Prakrit's evolution/relation with Vedic Sanskrit and Classical Sanskrit

Sep 2015
375
Sri Lanka
#51
Aatreya, kindly read what I have written carefully, do not be in a hurry to put me to blame. That Sanskrit was a code/secret language was sid by Niroshan. In my message that you have qwuoted, I am saying exactly what you have said, that Sanskrit was not a code/secret language. (You too should have quoted Niroshn's post and not mine, as I did. You make it seem like I made such a statement).
SEMANTIC MISUNDERSTANDING OF "CODE/SECRET" LANGUAGE
What i Really meant was Vedic -Sanskrit during Buddha's time[ 2500 years ago ]was said to be a "Sacred language" confined only to Priesthood /Elites and used during the Vedic Rituals only . It was preserved and shared only among the Brahmins not with others in the society and it was not committed to writing at that time ! It could be a wrong information--But I have no idea what so ever! However Sorry for any semantic misunderstanding of my parlance!
 
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Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
4,361
New Delhi, India
#52
Yeah, it was considered the SACRED language because the Vedas were in Sanskrit, but people other than brahmins could also study it, even Shudras, otherwise VedaVyasa would not have known it and Vidura must not have been considered a scholar. Vidura was perhaps studied it in the same school, hermitage of Sage Sandipani in Ujjain, where Krishna also studied, and they were friends, just like Sudama. Of course, what common people spoke was not pure Sanskrit. They spoke in their way and added words from their own languages. These spoken (and written, when we developed scripts) dialects were known as the various Prakrits.
 

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
3,797
India
#53
"Like many other ancient Indian rulers, Harsha (590–647 CE)was eclectic in his religious views and practices. His seals describe his ancestors as sun-worshippers, his elder brother as a Buddhist, and himself as a Shaivite.
There is no proof that Vedic Sanskrit was ever spoken in Central Asia.
 
Oct 2015
583
India
#57
SEMANTIC MISUNDERSTANDING OF "CODE/SECRET" LANGUAGE
What i Really meant was Vedic -Sanskrit during Buddha's time[ 2500 years ago ]was said to be a "Sacred language" confined only to Priesthood /Elites and used during the Vedic Rituals only . It was preserved and shared only among the Brahmins not with others in the society and it was not committed to writing at that time ! It could be a wrong information--But I have no idea what so ever! However Sorry for any semantic misunderstanding of my parlance!
Hi Niroshan,

We need to accept that Sanskrit has a wider usage than: "and used during Vedic Rituals only" during Buddha's time (c. 500 BCE).

Reason is that till at least c. 400 CE (i.e. till 900 yeas after Buddha) dramas were composed in Sanskrit. We know dramas are enacted where audience listens to them - may be the king, his court, and other guests. There would be no point in enacting a drama if people did not understand it. Texts of such dramas composed in Sanskrit are available even today. They followed conventions that different people will converse in different languages. For example, the king and courtiers in Sanskrit, others in Maharashtri etc.

This shows that Sanskrit was used in courts as a spoken language to some degree while other languages were also spoken.

Typical example from today would be a large multinational corporation in India, let us say Chennai. Most of the office work gets done in English but staff members speak various languages like Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi etc.

Regards

Rajeev
 
Sep 2015
375
Sri Lanka
#58
Hi Niroshan,

We need to accept that Sanskrit has a wider usage than: "and used during Vedic Rituals only" during Buddha's time (c. 500 BCE).

Reason is that till at least c. 400 CE (i.e. till 900 yeas after Buddha) dramas were composed in Sanskrit. We know dramas are enacted where audience listens to them - may be the king, his court, and other guests. There would be no point in enacting a drama if people did not understand it. Texts of such dramas composed in Sanskrit are available even today. They followed conventions that different people will converse in different languages. For example, the king and courtiers in Sanskrit, others in Maharashtri etc.

This shows that Sanskrit was used in courts as a spoken language to some degree while other languages were also spoken.

Typical example from today would be a large multinational corporation in India, let us say Chennai. Most of the office work gets done in English but staff members speak various languages like Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi etc.

Regards

Rajeev
Rajeev!
As i have expressed earlier -I have no knowledge about any of the Indo--Arayan languages--So better Leave about "the origin of Prakrit dialects from vedic Sanskrit" to the Expert Linguists in this forum and the time periods[ which i can easily find out if search on the Internet ]----Then We are left with only discussing about the development stages / Transitional stages/ evolutionary stages from Prakrit Dialects to Apabhraṃśa languages[ Middle Indo-Aryan] to Modern Indo--Aryan Langues by 12th -13th century!
It is my understanding as a lay person---The "Dramatic Prakrit dialects" --- Mainly three major Dialects covering East ,West and central areas of North India [ Out of Several other Prakrit dialects] were the ones used in the Plays/Dramas [I don't know Period--? From 1st century until 4th to 5th century and ? the Geographical area] along with Classical Sanskrit in order to accelerate the transitional processes of different Prakrit dialects into Sanskritic Language by the Spectators speaking different Prakrit Dialects !

Don't Laugh at my hypothesis but this what i have really got it in my head at present--I am quite happy to change my view if you or someone else convince me with a better Hypothesis !
Kind Regards
 
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Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
4,361
New Delhi, India
#59
Yeah, you are right. The priests spoke it, the elite spoke it, the books were written in it, the scholars discussed things in Sanskrit. It must have spurred the Prakrit speaking people to learn Sanskrit. Just like what happened to English in India.
 
Sep 2015
375
Sri Lanka
#60
PREAMBLE
It isn’t generally disputed that most modern Indo-Aryan languages—namely, those spoken in Northern, Western and Eastern India—trace their origins back to Sanskrit. Sanskrit is indeed the Parent of virtually all these languages. But what is frequently omitted is that the road from Sanskrit to these Languages meandered through two other destinations: the little-known Prakrit and the even lesser-known Apabhramsa !.
Even after flourishing for more than 1,000 years (from fourth or fifth century BC to eighth century AD) as an independent language of sorts, being the Court Language of at least one important Ancient Indian Dynasty and possessing a considerable body of literature, Prakrit is largely discussed in relation to Sanskrit and rarely commands an Identity of its own. Occasionally, it finds mention as that amorphous tongue that occupied the centuries that lie between Sanskrit and the modern Indo-Aryan languages of the subcontinent. But while Indo-Aryan tongues are mostly eager to trace their Origin to Sanskrit, but the Prakrit connection rarely receives any attention!.
PRAKITS [Excerpts]
What is clear though is that Prakrit is a term for a collection of tongues widely used in different parts of Aryavarta from fourth or fifth century BC to eighth century AD, when these tongues evolved into Apabhramsa, before finally settling down as early forms of the various modern Indo-Aryan languages spoken today. Linguists therefore do not speak of “Prakrit” as a Monolith, preferring the term “Prakrits” instead.
Several Prakrits have been identified. Pali, the language in which the Buddha preached and Ardhamagadhi, which was Mahavira’s tongue, are both Prakrits. Using these tongues for religious discourse and eschewing Sanskrit was, for both the seers a deliberate choice, in line with their larger philosophy of reaching out to the Masses. Indeed, much of the Buddhist and Jain religious corpus are in these tongues.King Ashoka had his edicts inscribed in Prakrit, again deliberately, to ensure that people understood his message. These Prakrits are among the oldest that are known. .
Roughly between 100 BC and 100 AD, Prakrit evolved in interesting ways. From a crude tongue, it appears to have transformed into a literary language. Shauraseni, Maharashtri and Magadhi came to be regarded as "Dramatic Prakrits" owing to their extensive use in plays written in this period along with Sanskrit. Kalidasa (fourth or fifth century AD), too, has used Prakrits in his Sanskrit plays !
APABHRAMSA DIALECTS [ Excerpts]
Post the Eighth century, in their Final Stage, the many Prakrits broke up into various Apabhramsa Dialects, from which the Modern languages were derived in and around 800-1,200 AD. Maharashtri Prakrit and the Apabhramsa tongues it spawned eventually evolved into Marathi and Konkani. Similarly, the Apabhramsa Dialects that emerged from Shauraseni Prakrit gave birth to Gujarati, Rajasthani, Punjabi and, Later, to what the poet Amir Khusrau called “Hindavi”, to which modern Hindi and Urdu trace their origins. Magadhi gave birth to the Indo-Aryan tongues of Eastern India: Bengali, Assamese, Odia, Maithili and so on.
Thanks for reading my Posts if not my "Lectures" about the Development of Indo-Aryan languages spoken in the North India ;)
 
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