Sanskrit is a beautiful language that has been artistically and thoughtfully used for millenia. As Chinese is the major source language for East Asian cultures, as Greek, Latin and Hebrew are major source languages for Western cultures, so Sanskrit, and to some extent Tamil, is the major source language for South and Southeast Asian cultures. Learning to read Sanskrit will open up a world of thought-provoking philosophy, breath-taking poetry, and fascinating texts on every conceivable topic, from mathematics and divination to veterinary texts on the care of elephants and horses.
After a year of elementary Sanskrit study the diligent student is prepared to read many of the most popular Sanskrit texts, for example, the Bhagavadgītā, the Mahābhārata, the Rāmāyaṇa, the Upaniṣads, the Kathāsaritsāgara and Purāṇas. Selections from those texts constitute a three-year rotation of courses at the "second-year" level. After at least one year at that level the diligent student is ready to tackle more difficult texts, for example, philosophy, poetry and plays, Vedic texts, and the indigenous grammatical tradition based on the work of Pāṇini.
Once one learns to swim in the ocean of Sanskrit, rip tides carry one almost effortlessly out into seas of deep philosophical thought, profound beauty and challenging concepts in every area of human thought and activity. Don't be afraid to come join the fun, sound the conch shells and smell the lotuses.