Listening – The Sanskrit Tradition

Look at this template. Can you fill in the blanks?

Presenter: Hello I am ….

Our topic today is …

My guest today is …

Welcome ….

Now Read and Listen:

Guest: I am very glad to be here.

Presenter:It is a pleasure to be with you. You know I think many people who speak English do not realize that our own language as well as most western languages have their origins in what is sometimes called the proto-Indo-european language, which is really the same language from which Sanskrit and the Hindu traditions are derived.

Guest:Yes, English, Russian, Icelandic, French, Greek are all dialects of a mother tongue that is spoken very widely in India and many parts of the world.

Presenter:We think of our language as being western and we think of India and its culture as being eastern but actually they have not only a common linguistic origin but a common cultural basis as well.

Guest:Yes common thought. If we divide east and west I would put the boundary between India and China perhaps. India is western, by my way of thinking.

Presenter:Well, Buddhism which was born in India and then moved to China bridges that gap as well.

Guest: Buddhism is the west and went to the east.

Presenter: There we have an example of how we are much more intimately related to eastern culture than we realize. And many many words in the English language have Sanskrit origins or origins that are traceable to the Sanskrit tradition and the earlier proto-Indo-european language.

Guest: Yes, most of the words in English go back to the Teutonic northern European Icelandic root to the Indo-european root to the Sanskrit or the Vedic …

Listening for Gist

The two speakers speak slowly.You can listen to the conversation and understand most of it if you know the vocabulary. If you do not know vocabulary, it does not matter. You can still note patterns and phrases that are familiar and develop listening skill. Listen for phrases you understand:

we think of ..

the language in which ..

the great equation

is an artificial language

spoken in the wisdom traditions

spoken in the street

a synthetic language

not the street language

a formal language

used by the priests and the philosophers

what is actually spoken in the bazaar

concepts like …

the terms are so precise

they are used

the English equivalents do not exist

states of consciousness

precision for thought and consciousness

you have translated the Upanishads

you have described to me

and then they realized

if they are written down

an oral tradition

to give you an idea

the beginning of the

the sound of the universe

everything has come out

in the world

should be enveloped

only for performing good deeds

only thus and in no other way

it actually is in some ways reminiscent ..

there is something a little deeper

the word “sutra” is interesting

means a string

a string of pearls

nuggets of wisdom

if you pause

the word “human”

a Sanskrit word

the eternal sound

everything that is alive

humanity will ..

the Vedic tradition

eternal cycles

better times are coming

a career in theoretical physics

how the universe came about

there is a sense

the depth of insight

Did you find this helpful? Tell us how you feel about listening in the comments section. Then listen and read with the links below:

More Conversations with Audio and Transcript

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4. The Same Thing

5. Chanting the Vedas

6. The Same Thing – Again

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