The tools at our disposal
Text in Bold points to additonal information.
Over the last two posts we have seen the revival of Hebrew and attempts for revival of Latin and Sanskrit. I hope have created sufficient interest in the readers so that they may undertake the study of Sanskrit themselves and discover the vast treasure trove of knowledge it contains.
If you don’t know which direction to turn to, fret not, help is at hand. You can choose from the traditional/conventional methods or modern/unconventional methods. There are a number of universities which offer both regular and correspondence courses. I’ve listed down a few of them here.
- Rashtriya Sanskrit Sangathan which is a deemed university offers correspondence courses for learners. A good place to begin is their introductory courses which are divided into lower and higher courses.
- Sanskrit Bhasha Sanstha, a registered organisation based in Mumbai conducts both basic and advanced courses for those interested in learning the language.
- Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati offers both in-campus and distance education courses in Sanskrit.
- Samskrita Bharati conducts a 10 day spoken Sanskrit class which will familiarise you with the usage of Sanskrit in everyday conversation. You can then take up a detailed study through their other Sanskrit courses.
- Chinmaya Mission conducts an online easy Sanskrit course which may be beneficial to beginners.
Most Universities have a department of Sanskrit. This list is by no means exhaustive and I’m pretty sure Google will throw up plenty of other options too.
The internet is our ‘go to’ place these days for almost everything. Those who are interested in learning Sanskrit by themselves can take the help of several online blogs, social media and You Tube videos.
Social media is a great platform for beginners to learn Sanskrit in a fun and interactive manner. Sanskrit is a language of economy and a lot can be conveyed in 140 characters. Here are a few Twitter handles you should follow.
@RohiniBakshi – This is my first brush with Sanskrit so to speak. The #SanskritAppreciationHour conducted by Ms. Rohini Bakshi is what got me interested in learning the language. Beginners can learn a lot by interacting with fellow Tweeples. Help is always at hand in case you don’t understand something.
@SamTutorial – This handle uses pictures, stories etc to get the message across. It also provides English and Hindi translations for easy understanding.
@DDNewsSanskrit – One usually picks up any language by reading newspapers. They don’t teach you Sanskrit per se but you can gain a lot of knowledge from their news feeds.
We have all been and continue to be influenced by films. I would definitely recommend the Facebook page Sanskrit Parihasika which makes learning interesting through Sanskrit memes of famous Hindi movie dialogs.
For those who like detailed explanations I’m jotting down a few blogs you can go through.
I’m currently learning Sanskrit through Advaita Academy’s You Tube channel. The lessons conducted by Prof. Narasing Rao are not only interesting but also simple and easy to follow. They start from scratch and hence even those who are not familiar with the Devnagari script can benefit. The books used by them also show the application through proverbs, stories, conversations etc. So you learn both theory as well as its application. The aim is to make individuals competent enough to carry out conversations in Sanskrit.
In addition to all this I would recommend learners to follow Door Darshan (DD)’s Sanskrit weekly news ‘Vartavali’ and AIR’s daily Sanskrit news bulletin broadcast at 6.55 AM and 6.10 PM. Samskrita Bharati’s ‘Sambhashana Sandesha’ monthly magazine is another good way to boost your language skills. The magazine contains everything from stories to puzzles to articles which are helpful in understanding Sanskrit.
Language is inextricably connected with culture and it is the duty of every Indian to preserve our rich culture and tradition. We do not have to struggle like Yehuda did because there are several tools at our disposal. Internet has made attaining knowledge a lot easier. What we need though is collective and individual effort. We must learn and encourage others to learn so that the number of Sanskrit speakers continues to grow. Over time our efforts will surely bear fruits and a day will come when Sanskrit will become the lingua franca of our country. That will be our greatest tribute to our ancient Gurus in general and Guru Panini in particular.
Sir Mirza Ismail said “If Samskrit would be divorced from the everyday life of the masses of this country, a light would be gone from the life of the people and the distinctive features of Hindu culture which have won for it an honoured place in world-thought would soon be affected to be great disadvantage and loss both of India and of the world”.
Is it not then our responsibility to ‘preserve the light’ for our future generations?