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Paper on
Contribution of Sanskrit as Research Tool
(Scientific Literature/Sanskrit Sciences/Veda-Agama-Tantra)

Dr. S. Ramakrishna Sharma M.A., PhD (English), PhD (Sanskrit)

Hon.Director, Foundation for Indian Scientific Heritage®,Suratkal.

Key concepts and terms: Sanskrit Sciences, Indian traditional research methodolo
gy, Accelerated Thought, Experiential learning, Performance research; Tapah, Upa

Every language as a dialect serves the purpose of live or electronic oral commun
ication. As a script it also serves as a record/document. In other words, a lang
uage serves as a tool of communication and record of knowledge. A language grows
through the literature it gives birth to and to a certain extend the growth of
literature also indicates growth of a language. Apart from this can a language h
ave any other role and function? Is there such a language which seems to serve a
different purpose altogether?
Besides the twin purpose mentioned above, Sanskrit does have an important and un
ique role and function of being a research tool in the modern scientific sense.
International Conferences on Sanskrit do declare that Sanskrit has regained its
global status of being the cultural heritage property of humanity. Leave alone t
he patent caskets and numbers of perverted neo-world-trade-colonialism!
However, the topic under discussion would certainly attract the curiosity and at
tention of Science persons without any exception. Who will ever reject a scienti
fic tool which can never get outdated and a tool which is as light (!) as consci
ousness? This paper explores the possibilities of scientific applications of San
skrit as a research tool based on
experiential learning of Sanskrit Sciences. Experiential learning is the other s
ide of the discipline called performance research in the Vedic and Tantra sense.
These two constitute the Indian traditional research methodology. This author h
as been exploring over forty years the deep inside of this fascinating domain of
the spiritual heritage of India that is Bharatam.
Indian Traditional Research Methodology.
The foundation of ancient Indian education system consists of two broad categori
es of knowledge namely Para Vidya and Apara Vidya. These are the basis of all Sa
nskrit Sciences. Para Vidya is the experiential knowledge of the Infinite Consci
ousness and the means thereof. Each branch of Sanskrit Science like Ayurveda has
its source in the Infinite Consciousness which is the source of all knowledge.
The ancient education system of India emphasized cultural literacy, refinement a
nd spiritual empowerment. All branches of Sanskrit Sciences are complimentary to
Para Vidya and facilitate spiritual comprehension of the content therein. Thus
specialization in any of the branches of Apara Vidya is not at all at the cost o
f Para Vidya, the highest possible education.
Among the six Vedic auxiliaries four major disciplines are directly related to S
anskrit which are considered must and unavoidable to master both Para and Apara
Vidyas. They are 1) Shiksha2) Vyakaranam3) Niruktam and 4) Chandah. They are als
o very much necessary to understand Kalpam and Jyotisham (the remaining two amon
g the six). The four mentioned here are not mere linguistic disciplines. They pl
ay a very vital role in refining and sensitizing the instruments of life viz. or
gans of perception and action along with the machinery of thought, feeling and m
emory. Each of these four demands performance based experiential learning. Furth
er, the fact that Kalpam (know-how of Yajna performance, sacraments and other ri
tuals) and Jyotisham (Astronomy and Spiritual Calendar) are incorporated here sh
ows the holistic approach to life activities. It also points out the intimate un
derstanding of the fundamental interconnectivity which governs the cosmos.
Along with these there are four Vedic disciplines which are subsidiaries viz. Up
a-Vedas meant for creating and maintaining the most conducive atmosphere within,
without and in between the individual, society and the Nature to facilitate tea
ching-learning, research and development in all branches of Sanskrit Sciences. T
he Upa-Vedas are 1) Ayurveda (includes Biology and Health Sciences), 2) Sthapaty
a Veda (includes Architecture and Engineering), 3) Gandharva Veda (includes the
Science and Art of Music, Dance, Drama and Entertainment) and 4) Dhanurveda (inc
ludes Military and Defence machinery, security devices to protect the centres of
learning and research, Yajna Shala (Altar of Fire for offering Vedic oblations)
and places of prayer and worship.
All possible impediments of research are classified under three comprehensive he
ads. These are adhibhutham, adhyatmam and adhidaivam which mean physically tangi
ble and intangible, living body and its spiritual interior (including the subtle
sense organs of perception and action supported by mind-intellect-ego-memory co
mplex), and the spiritual expanse as far as the cosmic mind reaches. A tradition
al verse in Sanskrit throws further light on the eye opener towards the directio
n of Indian research methodology.
praanaayaamairdahet doshaan
dhaaranaabhischa kilbishaan |
pratyaahaarena samsargaan
dhyaanena aneeshwaraan gunaan ||
Four types of knowledge impediments are classified in this verse. These are rela
ted to: i) physical body conditions which are caused by impurities (doshaah) ii)
psycho-somatic causes (kilbishaah) iii) errors and defaults of reception and re
sponse mechanism (samsargaah) iv) attributive adjuncts which impede non-mediate
cognition (aneeshwaragunaah). Four disciplines which remedy these knowledge obst
ructions and eliminate barriers are praanaayaama, pratyaahaara, dhaaranaa and dh
yaanam respectively. These are not blind religious practices. They are meant to
activate and heighten the brain potentials and capabilities so that learning and
research result in knowledge and empowerment. In spite of the fact that Indian
archeological findings beneath the earth, under the sea waters and above the ear
th are substantial enough to prove highly evolved scientific technology which ha
d made rust free iron pillar possible, extraction of mercury a reality, no full-
fledged laboratories or workshops are found. The possible reason for this could
be that the Vedic Sciences and technology were put to optimum use for the welfar
e, well being and progress of the entire society without any commercial or ulter
ior motives.
The Vedic vision of research may be stated as aatmano mokshaartham jagaddhitaaya
cha and the mission as lokaah samastaah sukhino bhavantu , which means that “fo
r the sake of one’s release from the bondages of ignorance and for the good of t
he world” and “may all be happy” respectively. This vision and mission determine
d and regulated the values and value based research.
Rishi is a Vedic term used by convention as a suffix to the name of a person who
has seen and realized certain Laws of the Nature and who has command over the E
lements of the Nature which regulate the mind and thoughts. A Rishi is more mode
rn than most of the modern scientists for the reason that the Vedic world view i
s more holistic than any of the modern models of it.
In the Vedic Rishikulam, that is, residential centre of learning and research, t
he Rishi guides the disciple to undertake performance research in the chosen are
a through proper and adequate enquiry in the right direction. The instruction gi
ven is “tapasaa”. It means accelerated thought. Greater the acceleration deeper
is the insight and vision. Verification and falsification of the data are done w
ithout much ado by the Rishi who initiates and guides the disciples. Oral honest
y backed by intellectual honesty and the irresistible brilliance of truth born c
onfidence on the face and the luster of realization of the reality in the eyes p
rove the irrefutable authenticity and infallible authority of the Rishi. So is t
he case with the disciples.
The peace invocation Vedic chanting “sa ha naavavatu” is an all time model for t
eachers and learners, guides and researchers. It unfolds the value of knowledge.
Any knowledge is not only wealth and power but also sacred for the Rshis. Hence
, above all it is spiritual empowerment that is given is given highest value. In
the case of modern sciences, a top physicist for example, need not necessarily
be a good human being whereas a Rishi of a given branch of Sanskrit Science is r
ecognized to be not only a good human being – in the morally acceptable sense –
but also a spiritually sensitive, refined and enlightened person whose cultural
literacy is of a very high order. This ensures learning and research in any fiel
d more life-oriented, eco-friendly and uncompromisingly value based.
Experiential Learning and Performance Research: A Vedic Model
Other than in vitro and in vivo facilities, modern sciences and technology have
nothing to offer as direct means to enter the platform of human experience. It i
s in this context Sanskrit comes in as a research tool which has stood the test
of time perennially. As a language which identifies and applies all physiologica
l and psychological potentials for articulating thought and communicating knowle
dge, Sanskrit has a unique place and it is unparallel. Learning and using it dem
and high live-tech performance and it is a precision experience.
Sanskrit is the only language which is potent enough to bring to manifestation t
he cosmic primordial sound OM (or AUM). It is not an arbitrary symbol of some ab
stract philosophical concept speculated for intellectual entertainment. The foun
dational source book of Sanskrit Grammar Aphorisms, for which humanity owes to P
aanini Maharshi, is known as Maaheshwara Sutram. They are nine and five in numbe
r and contain the sound seeds of the great five elements. The alphabets are stri
nged in a peculiar way to serve the purpose of quick and easy recollection of fu
rther applications.
A meditative study of these sutras reveals that Sanskrit is a Ladder Language to
spiritually intuit the vertical dimensions of one’s own spiritual interior spac
e called adhyatmam. And this is exhaustively elaborated in the Tantra Shastra wh
ich is a mainstream Vedic tradition of experiential learning. It deals with the
practice of Upaasanaa. This term yields different meanings in the context of Par
aa Vidyaa and Aparaa Vidyaa.
In the former case upasana is a mental activity related to Pure Consciousness in
association with thought and thinking processes. In the latter case it pertains
to the manifestations of Pure Consciousness which include mind and matter at va
rious levels of existence and fields of experiences. The domains of adhibhutham
and adhidaivam fall within the scope of Apara Vidya. Both the Vidyas are accessi
ble to a Sanskrit empowered researcher. A Sanskrit empowered mind can become the
most powerful and live research tool endowed with a wide spectrum of capabiliti
es covering the entire range of microcosmic and macrocosmic fields of the Nature
and the beyond, if any.
A traditional verse of adoration, dedicated to Patanjali Maharshi, indicates the
integral and integrated approach to knowledge and life facilitated by Sanskrit.
yogena chittasya padena vaachaam
yalam shareerasya cha vaidyakena|
yopaakarot tam pravaram muneenam
Patanjalim praanjaliraanatosmi||
All the three disciplines mentioned in this verse are Sanskrit Sciences. Tantra
Shastra incorporates all these into a composite discipline of Sadhana, that is p
erformance research and experiential learning. A diagram developed by this autho
r/researcher provides a comprehensive model of interconnectivity of the Vedas an
d Tantra Shastra. All Sanskrit Sciences are interrelated and they facilitate arr
iving at the common and cosmic centre of every branch of knowledge which is Para
A Set of Three Analogies
Japah and Paaraayanam are the two core practices prescribed for activating the r
esearcher’s instruments of life (sense organs, mind, intellect and memory system
). Following the specific directions with total devotion and dedication is calle
d anushthaanam. Assimilating the ensuing experiences is called anusandhaanam. Th
ese are the components of traditional research methodology by which progressivel
y subtle levels of accelerated thought are realized and owned up.
A set of three analogies subtly depict how the Vedic researcher’s mind responds
at various stages of insights. A rock, a cotton ball and an ice ball immersed in
water form the first set. Let the water be considered the object of enquiry whi
ch may be tangible, intangible or unmanifest/conceptual. Another set of three an
alogies unfold how the researcher’s mind functions under three different environ
ments. Leather mind, wooden mind and an oil drop mind these need brief annotatio
n. A needle pierced into a smooth leather sheet cannot even locate the point onc
e it is withdrawn. A nail driven into a dry block of wood relocates only the hol
e of its own measure and size. A drop of pure sesame oil dropped on the surface
of water spreads across the entire surface. The guiding Rishi helps the disciple
to achieve the third level of efficiency to master the chosen branches of Sansk
rit Sciences.
There are two directions in which the attention of the Vedic researcher is guide
d to move. i) From outward to inward and from the grossest to the subtlest. ii)
From the known to the unknown and from the object to the subject. The former mov
ement pertains to Apara Vidya and the latter to Para Vidya. Apara Vidya does not
deal with the latter movement directly whereas Para Vidya begins with the forme
r and proceeds further to the latter. Just as an individual wave has in it all t
hat is in the oceanic water, a researcher has – as a micro unit of the cosmos –
everything that is present in any other unit of the cosmos. Hence, it is possibl
e to know the structure and content of any object of enquiry by accelerating tho
ught and gaining access into the structure and content of a given object.
Two Unique Research Episodes
Sri C.S.R Prabhu, senior Technical Director & State Informatics Officer, Govt. o
f India, Ministry of Information Technology reports his successful experiments w
ith what he gathered from the Sanskrit verses given out in trance by Late. Pandi
t Subbaraya Shastri of Anekal (1855-1940). The verses contain notable formula wh
ich describes Tamogarbha Loha, a metal lead alloy which is capable of light abso
rption thereby generating “darkness”. This alloy was first produced in the moder
n laboratory of National Informatics Centre, Hyderabad, India. The tests conduct
ed and recorded speak out the startling facts about the said metal. For the deta
ils go to
A group of scientists funded by the NASA seem to have independently arrived at d
eveloping some material which will render people and other objects invisible. Th
e details are available at . This information was
provided by Mr. David S. Devor, Executive Director .
He firmly believes and propounds that the only means to free the human spirit is
: “To render science holistic through a higher, more potent form of creativity c
alled Accelerated Thought.” The universal correlative of this concept of AT, as
it were, is already given as tapas in this paper.
Another episode is that of Brahmarshi Daivarata Sharma ( website info yet to be
made available). The traditional research methodology was applied by his master
Sri Vasishtha Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni to bring to manifestation hitherto unkn
own series of Veda mantras on Goddess Saraswati. In the unpublished PhD thesis (
Sanskrit) the author of this paper has provided the details of this episode. The
se are instances of research using Sanskrit as a tool in a unique way.
The traditional grading of an Ayurvedic physician (vaidya) is based on levels of
upasana empowerment. A, B, C and D grades are accordingly considered. i) A grad
e vaidya is capable of diagnosis at the mere sight of the patient. ii) B grade v
aidya seeks the help of touch/pulse also. iii) C grade vaidya goes further to de
pend upon conversation with the patient to collect experiential data. iv) D grad
e vaidya takes the help of various tests such as urine and blood test. This grad
ation is based on the ability of the physician to use Sanskrit as a research too
l in keeping with Tantra Shastra. This is the case with any branch of Sanskrit S
cience. These sciences which are available in the Sutra texts require decoding t
hrough upasana.
In conclusion this author would like to share an insight here. How does the huma
n body system respond to Sanskrit commands? What is the impact of Sanskrit alpha
bets on an ailing body? Research in this direction would lead to the emergence
of Future Biology as a consciousness centered Science. And this obviously necess
itates applications of upasana empowered Sanskrit research methodology.
Yes. Future Biology will be consciousness centered; technology will be upasana e
mpowered. This would be the contribution of Sanskrit as research tool.

Notes and References: To follow.