Part-5 Buddha Teaching And Sanskrit

West Point of View: Brahmin monks wanted to put Buddha’s teaching into sanskrit, but the Buddha rebuked this attempt and asked that his words remain in his own dialect and not Sanskrit.Pollock sees this purported Buddhist rejection of Sanskrit as a rejection of the Vedas. He wants us to believe that these were in an ideological war with each other.[1]


Response:Buddha’s position on whether or not to use Sanskrit was entirely pragmatic and not ideological. He wanted to use whatever language would help bring out the meaning of his teachings. Aklujkar asserts:


‘The religion-linguistic universes of the Brahmins, Buddhists and Jains  were more in harmony than has been assumed, and the use of Pali and Ardha-magadhi as languages of religious communication by the Buddhists and Jains was modeled after the use of Sanskrit by the Brahmins.’


Following this logic, it may be said that Jains and Buddhists knew Sanskrit well Therefore, they could model their religious communication in Ardha-magadhi and Pali just as the Hindus were doing religious communication in Sanskrit.[2]


  1. Rajiv Malhotra, ‘The Battle For Sanskrit’ p.382 Harper Collins ISBN:978-93-5177-538-6
  2. Rajiv Malhotra, ‘The Battle For Sanskrit’ p.383-384 Harper Collins ISBN:978-93-5177-538-6

Image Courtesy:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *