After India successfully took Yoga to the world on International Yoga Day on June 21, Sanskrit lobby has started feeling left out. To propagate Sanskrit on the same scale, scholars are now pitching the idea of having a Sanskrit language teacher in all Indian embassies. The ministry of human resource development that has to train teachers for the project has cited paucity of funds and is passing the buck to the ministry of external affairs.
The Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, deemed Sanskrit University, has written to the ministry expressing its willingness to train one hundred teachers with post graduate diploma in Sanskrit who could then be posted at Indian embassies.
The university is also of the view that yoga which is being promoted worldwide cannot be taught in isolation and that it is to be linked to Sanskrit learning. “To perform yoga asanas, knowledge of Pranayama is sufficient, but one cannot master the art of meditation, which is the highest form of yoga, without the knowledge of Sanskrit,” said Professor PN Shastry, vice chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan.
The university has expressed its desire to train instructors who will be able to promote both yoga and Sanskrit internationally.
Scholars also feel that teaching yoga without Sanskrit can be a dangerous practice in the long run. “In the Indian philosophy of yogic science, the eight aspects of yoga are interlinked and complement each other,” said Professor Ramesh Bhardwaj, head of Sanskrit department, Delhi University. The professor is of the view that currently only two forms of yoga are being promoted, which is incomplete practice. “Real yoga cannot be practised without reading Sanskrit texts. Practicing yoga without understanding its link with Sanskrit will not benefit the world,” explains Bhardwaj.
The HRD ministry is, however, not keen on facilitating the project and has passed the buck to MEA.
Confirming that a proposal has been received, an officer in HRD ministry said, “The ministry is not in a position to fund the training of these instructors. Also any demand of this nature has to come from the MEA. We also do not know if MEA will bear the cost of training the instructors and will approve of their stay in foreign countries,” said an official of the ministry.
To withdraw itself, the HRD ministry wants the scholars to get first-hand clarity from MEA before approaching it.