Rishi is the knower, Devata is the knowing and Chandas is the known.
- Many languages have become extinct. So, we miss lot of original scriptures.
- Meanings of words change over time. So, it will be difficult to understand what author wants to say. Vedic sanskirit had no script, only spoken language.
- Ancient tribes include Gandharvas, Devas, Yakshas, Kinnaras, Kimpurushas, Rakshasas, Nagas, Suparnas, Vanaras, Vidyadharas, Valakilyas, Pisachas, Rudras, Adityas, Danavas, Maruts, Nivatakavachas, Daityas, Kalakeyas and Vasus. Sanskirit, called deva basha may be the language of deva tribes.
- Panini codified classical sanskirit. Grantha, Sharda and Siddhaṃ scripts were used. Only from 19th century, devanagari became a popular script.
- Everything recited in sanskirit is sloka or about God. But bulk around 99%, are not at all connected with religion. During ritual, they will tell some thing in sanskirit and ask you to wash your hands. That sloka means "wash your hands" in sanskirit. When TV/radio started sanskirit broadcast, the people started showing dhupam to TV thinking it is religious ritual.
- All religious texts are not originally written in Sanskirit. There are many languages like Pali; Prakrit; Devanagarika; Tamil; Kannada; Telugu; Sauraseni; Magadhi; Maharashtri; Kucheo; Brajbhasa, Bundeli; Awadhi; Marwari; Maithili; Bhojpuri; and Magahi. There are many ancient scripts and originals are in different scripts such as: Brahmiscript; The Kharoṣṭhior Gandhariscript; Siddhaṃ script; Gupta script; Bhujimol script; Kalinga script. Kashmiri had an appropriate and precise script of its own in Sharda used by sankara.
The problem with scriptures, is they were orally transmitted initially. The meaning of words in any language change over time. Scriptures have been written using different scripts, compared to what is in use now. So, we are not understanding these verses correctly. Without the knowledge of usage of scriptures in those times and understanding of related sciences/geography/history, it will be difficult to understand the meanings of those verses. Initially all these would have started with some basic facts, astronomical/geological/historical events. Then writers/poets, with poetic imaginations and fantasies, would have brought it to current form. So, it will be diificult to extract the real meaningful content from these.
Earlier no one thought of the meanings of their chants. So, people are kept in the dark. It helped rulers and ruling class, to manage affairs, with out any discussion. This helped, Spiritual business men who can make money, by creating costly rituals, pariharas and so on. In many instances, it will be best if One can have faith in whichever deity or deities they worship, hoping to go through the ups and downs of life.
The Vedic language itself was called meter or Chandas. Though the word chandas also means vedas themselves, the meaning here refers to the meter of vedic poetry. Rig and Sama vedas are fully in the form of verses, whereas, Yajur Veda has prose and poetry. It is believed that the oldest source of Chandas is ‘Chandasurta’ by some unknown author named Pingalacharya. Chandas are not only for Vedas but used in many other scriptures too.
Ancient Sanskrit we mean the oldest known form of Sanskrit. The simple name 'Sanskrit' generally refers to Classical Sanskrit, which is a later, fixed form that follows rules laid down by a grammarian around 400 BC.
Old Tamil literature refers Chandas as Chandham; Prakrit is Bagatham; and Sanskrit is Sankatham.
The seven main ones are:
Gayatri: 3 padas of 8 syllables containing 24 syllables in each stanza.
Ushnuk : 4 padas of 7 syllables containing 28 syllables in each stanza.
Anustubh: 4 padas of 8 syllables containing 32 syllables in each stanza. This is the typical shloka
Brihati : 4 padas (8 + 8 + 12 + 8) containing 36 syllables in each stanza
Pankti : 4 padas (sometimes 5 padas) containing 40 syllables in each stanza.
Tristubh: 4 padas of 11 syllables containing 44 syllabes in each stanza
Jagati: 4 padas of 12 syllables containing 48 syllables in each stanza
Of the six Vedangas or ways of viewing the Vedas, four relate to language with
pronunciation (Siksha) and
The ancient Indian scripts known as the Brahmi and Kharosthi alphabets have been employed to record Sanskrit. Both Brahmi and Kharosthi are thought to be of Semitic origin. The Devanagari characters, which are descended from Brahmi, also were, and still are, used for writing Sanskrit.
Indian linguist Bhartrihari. His other works, niti-satakam and sringara-satakam are hundred verses on worldly wisdom and love, respectively.
Panini grammarian who lived in Gandhara and is most famous for his grammar of Sanskrit, particularly for his formulation of the 3,959 rules of Sanskrit morphology in the text Ashtadhyayi. Panini's grammar of Sanskrit is highly systematised and technical. His rules have a reputation for perfection. It was Panini who first enunciated that grammatically, Sanskrit has eight cases for the noun (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative, instrumental, vocative, and locative), three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter), three numbers for verbs, nouns, pronouns, and adjectives (singular, dual, and plural), and three voices for the verb (active, middle, and passive).
Sage Valmiki saw a hunter who killed one of the birds of a pair which were in love. The sage got enraged and cursed the hunter, O, Hunter, may you not fare well anytime as you killed one of pair of the Krouncha birds which were happily engaged in love”.
mA niShAda pratiShThA.n tvamagamaH shAshvatI.n samAH |
yatkrauJNchamithunAdekamavadhIH kAmamohitam.h || (bAlakANDa 2.14)
The above sloka also meant “O Lord of Lakshmi, it will bring you eternal glory for having killed a male of a happy couple who lost his head completely in lust..” This male is Ravana who lost his head in lust despite being happily married with his wife Mandodari.
Valmiki Ramayana set in Anushtub Chandas which is an octet.