Sanskrit is dead? Not by a long shot

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Picture a crowd of up to 20,000 people in vast stadia and marquees, sitting entranced for seven days by stories of the deity Krishna. And the source of such captivation? Sanskrit. These oral performances, called Bhāgavata-saptāha, are a burgeoning form of religious expression in India today.  The narratives, dating back to at least the tenth century CE, are sung in the original Sanskrit and translated into the local vernacular by skilled professional performers. Far from being a 'dead' language, Sanskrit verses vivify the performance. As one attendee put it, ‘They touch our hearts’. 

Dr McComas Taylor

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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team