Why Study Sanskrit?

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.

या भाषा चतुःसहस्रवर्षाणि कलया मनस्वितया च प्रयुज्यते सा संस्कृतभाषा। यथा प्रागेशियसंस्कृतिषु चीनीभाषा पश्चिमसंस्कृतिषु ग्रीकलैटिनहीब्रूभाषास्तथा दक्षिणदक्षिणप्रागेशियसंस्कृतिषु संस्कृतभाषा, द्रविडभाषया सह, महागङ्गोतरी भवति। संस्कृतभाषायां बहूनि ग्रन्थान्यलिख्यन्ताधुना च लिख्यन्ति यथा चिन्तापराणि दर्शनशास्त्राणि रसपराणि काव्यानि रुचिपराणि ज्योतिःशास्त्राणि गजाश्वपालनाय च पशुचिकित्सायां ग्रन्थानि।
संस्कृतभाषापाठैकवर्षानन्तरं साधुः शिष्यो भगवद्गीतां रामायणमुपनिषदः कथासरित्सागरं चेत्यादीनि ग्रन्थानि पठितुं समर्थो भवति। संस्कृतपाठद्वितीयवर्षे विद्यार्थिनस्तानि ग्रन्थानि पठन्ति। तदनन्तरं व्याकरणकाव्यनाट्यवैदिकग्रन्थानि पठितुं समर्था भवन्ति।
यदा संस्कृतसागरे तरितुं शक्नोति तदा तत्सागरसरितः साधुं विद्यार्थिनं मनुष्यस्य मनस्वितायाः कार्यस्य च सर्वेषु विशयेषु गहरदार्शिनकचिन्तायामतिसुन्दरतायां खेलया वाहयन्ति। अस्माभिः सहाभयेन खेलन्तु शङ्खान्नादयन्तु पद्मानि च जिघ्नन्तु।