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Sanskrit is an ancient South Asian language and is considered to be the oldest language of the world. It is a sacred language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, as well as the origin of most of the Indian languages. Today, about 14,000 people in India use it as their daily language.[1] It is one of the 22 official languages of India,[2] and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand.[3]

Sanskrit is a standardized dialect of Old Indo-Aryan. Its linguistic ancestry can be traced back to Proto-Indo-European. The Indo-Aryan migration theory proposes that the Indo-Aryans migrated from the Central Asian steppes into South Asia during the early part of the 2nd millennium BC, bringing with them the Indo-Aryan languages.[4] The main script used to write Sanskrit is Devanāgarī, though it can be written in various scripts of Indian languages.

William Jones, who was working as a judge in India at the time, was studying Sanskrit when he realized how similar Sanskrit was to Latin and Greek. It was then when he would discover the relationship among the Indo-European languages.

Sanskrit literature includes poetry and drama. There is also scientific, technical, philosophical and religious texts.[5][6] Sanskrit continues to be widely used as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals and Buddhist practice in the form of hymns and chants.


  1. Cite error: Template:Broken ref/langTemplate:Broken ref/cat
  2. "Indian Constitution Art.344(1) & Art.345" (PDF). 4 October 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2007. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
  3. "Sanskrit is second official language in Uttarakhand – The Hindustan Times". 19 January 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
  4. Witzel, Michael 2005. Indocentrism. In Bryant, Edwin & Patton, Laurie L. The Indo-Aryan controversy: evidence and inference in Indian history. London: Routledge.
  5. "Sanskrit as a language of science".
  6. Katju, Markandey (5 December 2011). "Markandey Katju: What is India?". The Times of India.