9

Some questions on the main site seem to be about Sanskrit and not directly related to Hinduism. For example:

  1. Representation of number 0-9 in Sanskrit shloka
  2. Correct gender version of Sanskrit name तेजस्वी or tejasvī

But while reviewing close votes, I saw a question (How can an elder address a teenager in a respectful way?) regarding Sanskrit language & grammar which is marked and closed as off-topic. As we know the proposal for Sanskrit SE is still underway and a long way to go before reaching beta.

  • Should we wait till the Sanskrit SE proposal gets into the next stage?
  • Is it correct to mark the questions regarding Sanskrit language off-topic?

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7

We should mark questions related to Sanskrit language as OFF-topic, BUT I would Not mark questions which ask to explain the meaning (not talking about translation, but literal meaning &/or thought behind the sloka) of a verse/mantra which are written in Sanskrit language.

For example, this is purely a Sanskrit question which I would mark as off-topic -
Correct gender version of Sanskrit name तेजस्वी or tejasvī
as opposed to this -
Representation of number 0-9 in Sanskrit shloka
which asks for Shlokas.

Reason why I prefer keeping Sloka / Mantra related questions as ON topic is because most of our scriptures are written in Sanskrit and am sure, many of the users do not know Sanskrit. If the post is asking to translate a verse, it's OFF-topic, but if a person is trying to understand the reason, meaning behind that verse, should be considered ON-topic.

Lets see community has to say about this.

Note: Please do not get confused between "meaning" and "translation". "Meaning" - is what that verse trying to explain. While "translation" - is converting a sentence to English.

2

From this page:

The Vedangas are the last treatises of the Vedic Literature. Paniniya Shiksha (41-42) narrates two verses on the importance of the Vedangas which describe Veda as a Purusha having six limbs as six Vedangas: Chandas are His two feet, Kalpa are His two arms, Jyotisha are His eyes, Nirukta is His ears, Shiksha is His nose and Vyakarana is His mouth. The oldest record of their names occurs in the Mundaka Upanishad (1.1.5) where they are named as:

Shiksha or phonetics or pronunciation

Kalpa or ritual

> Vyakarana or grammar

Nirukta or etymology

Chandas or meter

Jyotisha or astronomy


And the grammar part in brief is explained thus:

  1. Vyakarana

The third Vedanga is Vyakarana or grammar, which is necessary for the understanding of the Veda. It is called the mouth of the Veda Purusha. The old Vedanga-texts on Vyakarana are entirely lost today. In the Aranyakas, we find some technical terms of grammar. The only representative of this Vedanga is the Ashtadhyayi of Panini, which belongs to a later period. It is indeed the most celebrated text-book of grammar. It is not associated with any Vedic school. Due to its great merits, this may be assumed that Panini superseded all his predecessors, whose works have consequently perished.

Formation of the word is the main subject of grammar. It discusses root (Prakriti) and suffix (Pratyaya) of a word to study its meaning. Panini's Vyakarana is in the form of sutras or aphorisms. The fourteen Sutras are referred to here, as Maheswara Sutras. They were originated from Nataraja's damuru sound. They are considered the foundation of grammar. Vararuci has written an elaborate commentary or Vartika. Sage Patanjali wrote commentary or Bhashya on it.


So without any doubt whatsoever, Sanskrit grammar related questions are on-topic. As it is part of a Hindu scripture and since Hinduism is basically derived from Hindu scriptures, hence it belongs to Hinduism.SE.

Without having knowledge of Sanskrit grammar and how the words are derived from the roots ( which is Nirukta or etymology- another Vedanga) it is not possible at all to understand Hindu Scriptures like Veda etc.

So, by the same logic, all etymological questions are surely on-topic.

Also, whether Sanskrit.SE is there or not has nothing to do with whether Sanskrit grammar related questions will be considered on-topic here or not.

For example, although we have a Mythology.SE, it does not make mythological questions off-topic here.


................................

Apart from the fact, that grammar, etymology are parts of important Hindu scriptures, they are fundamentally important too in understanding the scriptures to start with. And, the subject itself is awesome, fascinating and full of knowledge.

The different interpretation of scriptures come from the grammar-related issues and the different Niruktis of the words being used.

For example, for the word "Purusha", we can have so many different meanings.

He who goes ahead- Purati agre gacchati.
That which fills with its strength- piprati purayati balam yah.
The dawn in the city; He which is filled with light (pur+usha).
One filled with wisdom and eternal happiness (puru-sha).

So, instead coming in way of the knowledge-seekers we should encourage more such questions being asked. Otherwise Hinduism.SE will just be a collection mythological kind of stories which find their places mostly in TV serials and comic books.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – The Destroyer Jan 10 '18 at 3:36
  • Good answer. Yes Purusha is a term which has so many meanings as many other sanskrit terms and so these topics are very relevant. – user17294 Apr 2 at 8:47

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