NIAS-CSP SRB Online Lecture - Dr. Madhav M. Deshpande will speak on "Scope of Sanskrit Usage in India"


Svāsthya-rasa-bodhinī Public Lecture Series

Organised by NIAS Consciousness Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science campus, Bengaluru 560012

 Topic: "Scope of Sanskrit Usage in India"

 Speaker: Dr. Madhav M. Deshpande 

 Introduction & About NIAS SRB Public Lectures: Niharika Sharma

Chairperson: Dr Shankar Rajaraman

 Date: 28 October 2020

 Time: 10:30 am – 11:30 am 

Venue: Zoom online meeting - RSVP to to receive the Zoom link and attend the lecture 

About the Speaker: Dr Madhav M. Deshpande, a well-known Sanskrit scholar, is Professor Emeritus, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  He holds a PhD in Oriental Studies from The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.  He has several publications to his credit including books, research papers, edited volumes and original works in Sanskrit and Marathi. He specialises in Sanskrit grammar, linguistics, Pali, & Indian Philosophy.

Abstract: Sheldon Pollock’s stimulating book “Language of The Gods In The World Of Men” has offered numerous new ideas on the nature and place of Sanskrit in ancient India. While I agree with many of his views, I want to offer a different view on the antiquity of non-ritual Sanskrit usage, and in doing so I will offer a critique of some of Pollock’s ideas. To state it briefly, Pollock advocates a view that Sanskrit usage in Vedic times was largely restricted to the domain of rituals. He says that only in later or post-Vedic times, and under patronage by certain dynasties, did the usage of Sanskrit extend to non-ritual domains eventually becoming a language of the cosmopolis. However, I argue that the available literature blinds us to a most likely reality of early language use that probably extended widely beyond the domain of ritual. I shall offer some methodological solutions in support of this view over the course of the talk.

If you have a question or a suggestion for a speaker, email the Coordinators of NIAS CSP SRB Public Lecture - Niharika Sharma and Ashwini G.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020