Varna Shiksha and Sanskrit Gender

Varna Shiksha and Sanskrit Gender

A very old text on Sanskrit grammar was found by accident, unlabelled and mis-catalogued in a university library in Mysore. Named the Varna Shiksha, it describes a number of qualities of the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet previously lost. This includes gender, guna, deva, colour, and associated special ability.

The text does not name the author or title and there is no closing statement. It was thus thought to be incomplete. But it does complete the entire alphabet so seems intact.

The significance of the text is in the mechanics of name and form and the process of creation itself. Sanskrit is a language where the sound qualities correspond with the vibrational qualities of the form the name represents. What this means is they are encoded experiences, if listened to from a fine level of being where the gunas first interplay. The following quote takes this further, noting it encodes the entire dynamics of experience with the form.

In this stage of consciousness knowing itself, some of the impulses take on the role of the seer, the witness, the knower, and other of the impulses take on the role of the seen, and the known, while some take up the position of the neutral point between the two sides, which accentuates the division into two. Yet all of these are impulses.

The seer of Varna Siksha calls these three groups Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter.” — Dr. Peter Freund

By describing the gender (polarity) and guna, they are describing the letters role in the mechanics of creation itself, even including its effects. Pretty interesting if you’ve studied Sanskrit. It also further elucidates the power of speech.

Dr. Peter Freund authored an exploration of the text but has not yet put this paper on-line; just the devanagari* version of the text. They continue to gather rare texts into a common on-line library in devanagari script. A massive task.

*It’s worth noting that devanagari means city of light beings. It is also the script, with a few changes, used to write modern Hindi. (see the alphabet here)

Last Updated on April 27, 2018 by

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