In India and in Southeast Asia, Sanskrit enjoys a status similar to that of Latin and Greek in the Western world. According to the 2001 census reported in Ethnologue, it is used as a first language by 14,100 in India and by 15,770 worldwide, as well as by 194,000 as a second language in India. Even though it is not a spoken language, its significance is such that it is one of the 22 official languages of India. As an integral part of Hindu tradition and philosophy, Sanskrit is mostly used today as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals. is a required subject in many schools.
Sanskrit exerted a great deal of influence on all languages and cultures of the Indian subcontinent and beyond it. Sanskrit mantras are recited by millions of Hindus and most temple functions are conducted entirely in Sanskrit, often Vedic in form. The vocabularies of prestige varieties of Indian languages, such as Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, and Marathi, are heavily Sanskritized.