Sanskrit language, (from Sanskrit saṃskṛta, “adorned, cultivated, purified”), an Old Indo-Aryan language in which the most ancient documents are the Vedas, composed in what is called Vedic Sanskrit. Although Vedic documents represent the dialects then found in the northern midlands of the Indian subcontinent and areas immediately east thereof, the very earliest texts—including the Rigveda (“The Veda Composed in Verses”), which scholars generally ascribe to approximately 1500 BCE—stem from the northwestern part of the subcontinent, the area of the ancient seven rivers (sapta sindhavaḥ).

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