Wednesday, 23 January 2013

OF STRINGS & SUTRAS - THE SANSKRIT CONNECT

The word 'string' meaning 'thread or cord', is said to have originated from Proto Indo European word 'strenk' which means 'tight, narrow, or twist'. However, it is more likely that the word 'string' is derived from Sanskrit 'sutra' (सूत्र) and 'tantu' (तन्तु),  both meaning 'thread'. The Sanskrit combination word 'SutraTantu' (सूत्रतन्तु) also means String. 

Some other Sanskrit words which mean 'string' include 'tantri' (तन्त्री) and 'syu' ( स्यू). In fact, the word 'sutra' itself derives from the Sanskrit root 'siv' (सिव्) which means to 'sew'. It is from the Sanskrit 'siv' (सिव्), that English words 'sew' and 'suture' are derived.

In Sanskrit, apart from 'string', Sutra (सूत्र) has other meanings including 'line', 'formula', and 'short sentence'. In this sense, the word sutra' is directly absorbed into the English language and means 'rule'.

Of course, western scholars site Proto Indo European (PIE) as the source of these words, but PIE never existed. 


PIE as a theory, was propounded by Sir William Jones who had this to say about Sanskrit. "The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a strong affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident.  So strong indeed (is the affinity), that no philologer* could examine the three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists; ...."
* One who studies the history of linguistics 


Sir William Jones could not bring himself to give credit to Sanskrit as the mother of all languages. Instead he propounded the theory that a 'western' language must have existed, because he believed only a western language could have been the mother of Sanskrit.


There is not an iota of evidence that PIE ever existed. There are no PIE scriptures, texts, manuscripts, epics, poems, treatises, plays, hymns, Strotrams, Sutras.... 
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