A visit to St James School, the place where Sanskrit was taught to me since aged 4, and the teacher is still there, the awe inspiring Warwick Jessup, who alongside Elena Jessup, lives and breathes Sanskrit and the children are lapping it up, for a lot it is their favourite subject. This is right in the heart of London, the heart beat of Sanskrit sounds! They spoke of it as world heritage and just as it would be important to save a species from becoming extinct, so we need to support Sanskrit. But at the same time, I was told on youtube, that Sanskrit doesn’t need my help, it’s survived thousands of years without me, why would it need me now?! I am inclined to see the truth in this, for there is an innate feeling that whatever happens Sanskrit will continue.
Meeting academics at my old University it was remembered by me that the world of academia is far from my natural habitat. And yet at the same time there was a connection, an empathy felt towards these academics, who have devoted their whole lives to study of a particular section of Sanskrit or Buddhism, and it struck me as that is living Bhakti even though it is in the guise of academia. We heard from a Professor who has delved into the study of Tāntrika practices and spent many months living with families in Nepal.
At one point, we found ourselves walking through the beautiful grounds of Worcester College with Professor Diwakar Acharya who said “according to the discourse in the jaimini brahmana even the meter itself it has this cleansing value purificatory …all the gayatris they have the purificatory effect”. It was a kind of heaven!
And then later that day we visited Balliol for the Sanskrit lunch and enjoyed a Sanskrit play at Queen’s… so much Sanskrit, all here in England, all on one Monday in the very early spring of 2022. So many people devoted to, enthralled by, passionate about Sanskrit.