Children, Sanskrit is our mother. It is the language of our culture. We can never separate Sanskrit from India’s culture. Without knowing Sanskrit, one cannot properly understand the Vedas, the Upanishads or the Bhagavad-Gita. In order to understand the precise meaning of mantras they have to be studied in Sanskrit. We can taste the sweetness of honey only when it is consumed as honey.
However, you should be careful about something. Do not learn Sanskrit to show off your scholarship. It should only be studied be to grow in our culture—to better understand our scriptures. It is enough to see Sanskrit as an instrument for that.
A man goes to the railway station. After checking the timetable, figuring out when his train arrives and how much the ticket costs, shouldn’t he then purchase a ticket and board the train? Many people who consider themselves scholars are like those people just trying to memorise the entire timetable. They have forgotten the actual goal of life.
The four Vedas and the six Vedangas came from the inner visions of the rishis. Everything became clear in their meditations. If a non meditator takes 10 days to learn something, a meditator can do it in one day. Therefore, meditation is most important. Learn Sanskrit and study the scriptures. At the same time, have a firm awareness of the correct way to use the knowledge you gain. Know the goal of human life and the exact way to reach it. Once we understand the goal and the path, we must try to move along that path. We must live by those principles. We will not reach anywhere just by knowledge.
It is obvious that most scholars today only have knowledge. They do not have any experience. What happens as a result? Even after studying for 90 years, the scholar has still yet to know a day without sorrow. He spends his days sitting around his house, repeating what he has learned, doing nothing. We must learn what is necessary. But along with that, we must also meditate. Then alone will our knowledge benefit us and the world. Hence, we must do tapas. Only a meditative mind can experience peace. With the strength we attain through tapas, should arise the desire to serve the world with that power. We must try to uplift the suffering. In this way we can benefit so many people. Complete selflessness must be our attitude. Only then, will we become complete and perfect. Compassion is the beginning and culmination of spiritual life. Children, never forget this.
Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi