Om Sri Savitra Surya Narayanaaya Namah
Sanskrit, the language used long ago by religious scribes and wise men, nowadays conveying ancient messages to us from holy texts, is presently only a liturgical language like Latin. The Indian Vedas were written in Sanskrit. In addition to liturgical purposes, this language is spoken at some places even today, particularly in some institutions where people feel the need to reinvigorate it. In the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, there are villages where ordinary people speak Sanskrit. Sanskrit is used also in Mattur, a village in the Indian state of Karnataka.
Similarities between Sanskrit and other languages
Throughout their long but preserved existence, Hindu gods have taken other form than the one they had originally had in the Vedas. At early historical times, Surya was more important than Vishnu. Shiva, too, does not have His name (Shiva) in the Vedas. Scholars believe that a much older name represents Shiva instead - Rudra, which sounds like the word used for the most ancient Slavic god - Rod (primordial god) - creator of the universe.
You see Sanskrit letters on the picture on the left.
The origin of the word "red" (English), or "rot" (German) probably comes from the primordial adoration of the god of fire, most likely a deity like Slavic Rod, Hindu Agni, or Rudra. You will find many words with similar sounding (and spelling) both in European languages and Sanskrit - for example, the Sanskrit word "rakta" - English "red" ("rudy" in Czech, "rouge" in French, "rojo" in Spanish, etc.). The origin of the word "red" most probably dwells in fire, which was adored and personified by all ancient and tribal cultures.
Every religion, although surely partially based on real events, somehow deforms or changes over time. Slavic people have the following legend about the creation of the world:
In the beginning, there was only the great darkness and endless chaos. Its waves whirled in the empty space and flowed around the golden egg, which was in the middle. Rod - the originator of everything - was in the egg. When Rod uttered his first word, his son Svarog was born.
The Slavic creation legends slightly vary in dependence on the region they come from (Serbia, Slovenia, Russia, Poland, etc.). Swarog or Svarog is the Slavic sun and fire god. In the Slavic religion, Svarga is heaven. In Sanskrit, Svarga is heaven too.
You see Sanskrit numerals on the picture on the left.
Some Hindu gods have remarkable similarity with Slavic deities - both in pronunciation and in significance. Sanskrit and Slavic words may not be always entirely similar (in pronunciation and connotation), but may carry remarkable elements of similarities like in the case of the Slavic god Veles (god of shepherds and a great serpent), who bears a resemblance to Vedic Vala, a Hindu Naga (serpent) and Asura (mostly sinful and power-seeking deities) mentioned in Rig Veda over twenty times.
Lord Shiva's attributes are materialized in the Slavic female deity called Siwa, Ziva, or Zivena - goddess of fertility and love. A similarity with Sanskrit appears in the fact that the word "ZIVA" means (in Sanskrit) "the one who is kind". Unlike war or scorpion goddesses, goddesses of love are kind for most of the time.
There is yet another similarity between Shiva and Ziva - goddess Kali and Morena, the sister of Ziva. Both Kali (Hindu goddess) and Morena (Slavic goddess) are goddesses of death. In Hinduism, Kali is tightly associated with Shiva, as She is a form of Durga, the Shiva's consort. There is not a big difference between these two, as Shiva's association to Kali is as strong as Ziva's connection to Morena. If we look at similarity in pronunciation, Slavic Morena has its equivalent in the Sanskrit word maraNaanta (coming to death).
Vedic god Surya has his Slavic equivalent in goddess of beauty - Zora, Zarya, or Zori. There is also the word Zorya - it identifies less important goddesses - Slavic guardians of the dawn. The connection to the sun is indisputable.
Brief summary of Slavic gods
Rod (Creator) > Svarog (sun god and helper creator) > and his three sons > Svarozic, Dazhdbog, and Perun. Perun is most probably derived from Vedic deity Parjanya (the rain god).
Triglav is a Slavic word for someone (god) "with three heads" - the Divinity almost identical to the concept of Hindu Trinity (Trimurti). The oldest meaning of the word Triglav had most probably denoted the following three deities - Svarog, Perun, and Dazhdbog; however, Veles or Svantovit later replaced Dazhdbog. Triglav has its Hindu equivalent in Dattatreya - Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva (all as one God). Hindus believe that this form of God (Dattatreya) had once appeared here on Earth.
Hindus use svastika as a symbol of good luck. Boreyko coat of arms is the Slavic symbol of svastika pointing to the left; it had been used in Poland. Svastika can also be found in symbolism of Svarog (picture on the left).
Christians destroyed almost all cultural heritage of the Slavs, so our knowledge about Slavic deities is not so comprehensive as in Hinduism, which has continued almost entirely preserved from the ancient times until today.
A few Sanskrit and Russian words: a comparison
Slavic languages are similar, so the comparison shown below is made of words that sound equally and mean the same thing in Russian, Czech and Slovak. If you want to find out more about Sanskrit words, visit this website.
The first words on the left are in Russian, then follow words in Sanskrit, and finally their meaning in English:
vsegda sadaA always
putnik pathika pilgrim (or traveler)
zit jiivati live (pronounced similarly in Russian and in Sanskrit)
kogda kada when
nebo naaka heaven
snežnij sahima snowy
mama maatR mom
brat bhraatR brother
We can also look at similarities in grammar. Slovaks and Russians use vocative, which is a term hardly explainable in English in one word, as English (and many other European languages) does not use it (Sanskrit does). Vocative is scarcely present in Slovak, but it still occurs. The Wordnet dictionary of synonyms describes the term "vocative" as the case (in some inflected languages) used when the referent of the noun is being addressed. In addition, English and possibly many other European languages, except for Russian and other Slavic languages, do not have, for example, other cases like the locative case.
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. Exodus, 3:2The Hebrew word for fire is Esh - the English word "ash" is derived from it. The English word "ashes" is "aasa" in Sanskrit.