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Bhagavad Geeta ..why Classical Sanskrit and not Vedic Sanskrit?


Well-known member
A thought came to me as why the Geeta is written in Paninian Classical Sanskrit and not Vedic Sanskrit.

The Geeta was supposed to be revealed to Arjuna in Dwapara Yuga much much ahead of the era where Panini existed.

Going by that even Valmiki Ramayan is in Classical Sanskrit all following Panini's rule of grammar when these texts were written much before Panini standardized Sanskrit grammar.

So the questions are:

1)Was Sanskrit the original language in which the Geeta was given and was Sanskrit the original language in which the Ramayan was written?

2)If we want to adhere that it was indeed a text given by Krishna to Arjuna In Dwapara Yuga and Valmiki wrote the Ramayan in Treta Yuga then we also have to wonder how and why the text is Paninian Classical Sanskrit and NOT Vedic Sanskrit.

3)Or the texts were in a different language but translated into Classical Sanskrit after the Panini's era.

I hope members can shed some light here.


Active member
3) Or the texts were in a different language but translated into Classical Sanskrit after the Panini's era.

Is the most convenient explanation.

The "itihas" are not really history they are stories written in relatively modern times.

In its extant form, Valmiki's Ramayana is an epic poem of some 24,000 verses. The text survives in several thousand partial and complete manuscripts, the oldest of which is a palm-leaf manuscript found in Nepal and dated to the 11th century CE. A Times of India report dated 18 December 2015 informs about the discovery of a 6th-century manuscript of the Ramayana at the Asiatic Society library, Kolkata. The Ramayana text has several regional renderings, recensions and sub recensions.

Scholar Romesh Chunder Dutt writes that "the Ramayana, like the Mahabharata, is a growth of centuries, but the main story is more distinctly the creation of one mind."

There has been discussion as to whether the first and the last volumes (bala kandam and uttara kandam) of Valmiki's Ramayana were composed by the original author. Most Hindus still believe they are integral parts of the book, in spite of some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two volumes and the rest of the book.The names of the characters (Rama, Sita, Dasharatha, Janaka, Vashista, Vishwamitra) are all known in late Vedic literature. However, nowhere in the surviving Vedic poetry is there a story similar to the Ramayana of Valmiki.

According to the modern academic view, Vishnu, who, according to bala kanda, was incarnated as Rama, first came into prominence with the epics themselves and further, during the puranic period of the later 1st millennium CE. Also, in the epic Mahabharata, there is a version of Ramayana known as Ramopakhyana. This version is depicted as a narration to Yudhishthira.

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Well-known member
3) Or the texts were in a different language but translated into Classical Sanskrit after the Panini's era.

Is the most convenient explanation.

The "itihas" are not really history they are stories written in relatively modern times.

Awadhi language was the local lingo of Ayodha region.

May be Ramayan was originally in Awadhi for all we know.
Hanuman chalisa of Tulsidas is Awadhi.

Coming to Geeta..Kurukshetra is present day Jaat land Haryana..so possible Geeta was in Haryanvi?


Active member
Panini's grammar just happens to be the oldest one presently available. He mentions many Sanskrit grammarians preceding him, and their grammatical texts. Panini's date cannot be determined now.

According to tradition, the author of the Geeta of 700 verses was Rishi Vyasa. The Rishis who were powerful beyond imagination, cannot be delimited by time(yugas). Rishis like Parasurama are said to have lived in multiple yugas. Rishi Vishwamitra is said to have had the power of creating alternate universes.

The Vedas contain mantras that could pass off as "classical" slokas. Here I am not talking about a few popular Vedic mantras that were repeated in the Puranas etc, but other not-so-common mantras.

The Mahabharata contain several passages that are in archaic style, resembling what we presently call "Vedic Sanskrit".

I have read that the mahabharata and the Gita contain many verses that do not follow Panini's rules.

my inputs on the OP questions

1. Yes Sanskrit is the original source since it has all the components of the story. Right from the author Valmiki life and his meeting with King Rama to the stories of Dasaratha to sita's kidnapping to the extraordinary war to end of the war, sita's tribulations and her departure to Mother Earth, legends of the sons Lava and Kusha etc.. No other source has the complete version, most are at best few manuscripts with partial recantations, not even a full or substantial text of one Kandam can be found anywhere else.

2. Agree w KRN, panini grammar could have existed prior to his writing this down.

3. No. Let me explain why? All Sanskrit literature transmitted via oral recantations and via manuscripts were retrieved mostly from South Brahmin homes in Grantham scripts via extensive efforts of the great Swaminathan during British raj. Raja Bhoja,s manuscripts were also found only in keralam in Sanskrit. And except for local folk songs and literature on karna and the different aspects of the war, there are no complete versions in any other language.

Given that such detailed Sanskrit texts exists, if there were a original source in any other language, Valmiki and vyasa would have mentioned it, or would have been mentioned in the huge body of Puranas texts, etc..
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