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Sanskrit

Sanskrit is an Indo-Aryan language of the ancient Indian subcontinent with a 3,500-year history. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions. Sanskrit is an Old Indo-Aryan language; as one of the oldest documented members of the Indo-European family of languages, Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies. It is related to Greek and Latin, as well as Hittite, Old Avestan and many other living and extinct languages with historical significance to Europe, West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia, it traces its linguistic ancestry to the Proto-Indo-Aryan language, Proto-Indo-Iranian and the Proto-Indo-European languages.

Sanskrit is traceable to the 2nd millennium BCE in a form known as Vedic Sanskrit, with the Rigveda as the earliest-known composition. A more refined and standardized grammatical form called Classical Sanskrit emerged in the mid-1st millennium BCE with the Aṣṭādhyāyī treatise of Pāṇini. Sanskrit, though not Classical Sanskrit, is the root language of many Prakrit languages. Examples include numerous, North Indian, subcontinental daughter languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Garhwali, Dogri, Konkani, Assamese and Nepali; the body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of philosophical and religious texts, as well as poetry, drama, scientific and other texts. In the ancient era, Sanskrit compositions were orally transmitted by methods of memorisation of exceptional complexity and fidelity; the earliest known inscriptions in Sanskrit are from the 1st century BCE, such as the few discovered in Ayodhya and Ghosundi-Hathibada. Sanskrit texts dated to the 1st millennium CE were written in the Brahmi script, the Nāgarī script, the historic South Indian scripts and their derivative scripts.

Sanskrit is one of the 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It continues to be used as a ceremonial and ritual language in Hinduism and some Buddhist practices such as hymns and chants. In Sanskrit verbal adjective sáṃskṛta- is a compound word consisting of sam and krta-, it connotes a work, "well prepared and perfect, sacred". According to Biderman, the perfection contextually being referred to in the etymological origins of the word is its tonal—rather than semantic—qualities. Sound and oral transmission were valued qualities in ancient India, its sages refined the alphabet, the structure of words and its exacting grammar into a "collection of sounds, a kind of sublime musical mold", states Biderman, as an integral language they called Sanskrit. From the late Vedic period onwards, state Annette Wilke and Oliver Moebus, resonating sound and its musical foundations attracted an "exceptionally large amount of linguistic and religious literature" in India. Sound was visualized as "pervading all creation", another representation of the world itself.

The search for perfection in thought and the goal of liberation were among the dimensions of sacred sound, the common thread that weaved all ideas and inspirations became the quest for what the ancient Indians believed to be a perfect language, the "phonocentric episteme" of Sanskrit. Sanskrit as a language competed with numerous, less exact vernacular Indian languages called Prakritic languages; the term prakrta means "original, normal, artless", states Franklin Southworth. The relationship between Prakrit and Sanskrit is found in Indian texts dated to the 1st millennium CE. Patañjali acknowledged that Prakrit is the first language, one instinctively adopted by every child with all its imperfections and leads to the problems of interpretation and misunderstanding; the purifying structure of the Sanskrit language removes these imperfections. The early Sanskrit grammarian Daṇḍin states, for example, that much in the Prakrit languages is etymologically rooted in Sanskrit, but involve "loss of sounds" and corruptions that result from a "disregard of the grammar".

Daṇḍin acknowledged that there are words and confusing structures in Prakrit that thrive independent of Sanskrit. This view is found in the writing of the author of the ancient Nāṭyaśāstra text; the early Jain scholar Namisādhu acknowledged the difference, but disagreed that the Prakrit language was a corruption of Sanskrit. Namisādhu stated that the Prakrit language was the pūrvam and that it came to children, while Sanskrit was a refinement of Prakrit through "purification by grammar". Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-European family of languages, it is one of three ancient documented languages that arose from a common root language now referred to as Proto-Indo-European language: Vedic Sanskrit. Mycenaean Greek and Ancient Greek. Mycenaean Greek is the oldest recorded form of Greek, but the limited material that has survived has a ambiguous writing system. More important to Indo-European studies is Ancient Greek, documented extensively beginning with the two Homeric poems. Hittite; this is the earliest-recorded of

Where You Stand (song)

"Where You Stand" is a song by alternative rock band Travis, written by Dougie Payne, Holly Partridge and Fran Healy. It was released on 30 April 2013 as the lead single from the band's seventh studio album, Where You Stand. A music video for the song was released onto YouTube on 30 April 2013; the video was directed by Blair Young and Travis' lead singer Fran Healy, cinematographed by David Liddell. TravisFran Healy – lead vocals, guitar Dougie Payne – bass guitar Andy Dunlop – guitar Neil Primrosedrums

Quran oath controversy of the 110th United States Congress

In mid-November 2006 it was reported that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress, would take his oath of office with his hand on the Qur'an. In reaction to the news, conservative media pundit Dennis Prager criticized the decision in his November 28, 2006, column titled "America, not Keith Ellison, decides what book a Congressman takes his oath on."The column attracted national attention from supporters of both Ellison and Prager. Presented with the fact that all members of the House swear in en masse without the use of any religious text, that such works are only used in ceremonial reenactments afterwards, Prager stated "that's the whole point: it's because it's ceremonial that it matters."The controversy became more heated when Rep. Virgil Goode issued a letter to his constituents stating his view that Ellison's decision to use the Qur'an is a threat to "the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America... if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran."

Goode's foray into the controversy caused many other members of Congress to weigh in. Ellison went on to use the English translation of the Qur'an owned by Thomas Jefferson for the swearing-in ceremony; the United States Constitution states "no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States" and at least four Presidents have not been sworn in on a Bible. In his December 5, 2006 article on the subject Prager denied that he was promoting a de facto religious test, despite his position that Ellison should not be allowed to take his oath on the Qur'an. Law Professor Eugene Volokh noted that the Constitution states officials "'shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; the option of giving an affirmation rather than oath... the Constitution thus expressly authorizes people not to swear at all, but to affirm, without reference to God or to a sacred work. Atheists and agnostics are thus protected, as well as members of certain Christian groups.

Why would Muslims and others not be protected from having to perform a religious ritual that expressly invokes a religion in which they do not believe?" Mazie Hirono, a Buddhist, announced that she would use the affirmation option and without the use of any religious text in the swearing-in ceremony. Although Prager claimed that swearing in with a Bible is a "tradition, unbroken since George Washington.", this is not true. For example, John Quincy Adams took the presidential oath on a law volume containing a copy of the Constitution in 1825, in 1853 Franklin Pierce affirmed the oath rather than swearing it. Theodore Roosevelt used no Bible in taking his first oath of office in 1901, but did in 1905. Other sources have noted that after John F. Kennedy was assassinated a Catholic missal was used as no Bible could be found when Lyndon B. Johnson had to assume the Presidency; the Library of Congress notes that "As the first Catholic elected president, Kennedy was the first to use a Catholic version of the Bible for his oath."

Although Prager wrote that Ellison should not be allowed to use the Qur'an for his swearing-in ceremony and that he should not serve in Congress if he was "incapable of taking an oath on that book," he subsequently stated in a telephone interview with the Associated Press that he did not think Ellison should be banned from serving. "I don't think anything legal should be done about this." In an interview with USA Today's Andrea Stone, Prager indicated that he would continue to write and speak about his opinion that Ellison and others should not use the Qur'an for swearing-in ceremonies while acknowledging that preventing Ellison from using the Qur'an could be unconstitutional. Prager said "I'm not arguing legality. I'm arguing what you should do." Because of his part in the controversy, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for Prager to be removed from the council overseeing the U. S. Holocaust Memorial. CAIR's executive director said "No one who holds such bigoted and divisive views should be in a policymaking position at a taxpayer-funded institution that seeks to educate Americans about the destructive impact hatred has had, continues to have, on every society".

Some members of the Memorial Council like Ed Koch were vocal in advocating his removal. In the end the executive committee of the council issued a resolution that the Council "disassociates itself from Mr. Prager's statements as being antithetical to the mission of the Museum as an institution promoting tolerance and respect for all peoples regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity". A new level of gravity came to the controversy when responding to "a flood of e-mails from constituents" about Ellison's oath, fifth term Representative Virgil H. Goode, Jr. issued a letter on the matter. Goode wrote "When I raise my hand to take the oath on Swearing In Day, I will have the Bible in my other hand. I do not subscribe to using the Koran in any way; the Muslim Representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran...

I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessa