The mansion of Sanskrit is very large, and it has a chamber for every conceivable thing – from touching poetry and complex philosophy to arcane taxonomies of horses, clouds or perfumes. The chambers of this house keep moving and growing: they sometimes run into one another, and sometimes they fall apart. The Department of Sanskrit Studies at Ashoka invites students to explore the many rooms of the house of Sanskrit.
We offer three kinds of courses – language courses, reading courses and exploratory courses. The language courses introduce the student to the grammar of Sanskrit. In a set of three graded courses, they will get acquainted with the grammatical basement of the mansion. At the same time, they will read simple text selections that will help in expanding their active vocabulary. Students who have covered the grammar can sample from the second group of courses – these draw upon a wide range of genres and entail close, guided readings and translation. The content of the reading courses will vary every year, to expose our students to as many rooms of the mansion as possible.
The department also offers courses that explore Sanskrit materials in translation. We believe that it is important to develop a sympathetic understanding of the social and intellectual worlds of the texts and traditions, and also to engage with the ideas therein.
Students can choose from a range of courses spanning Indian philosophy, linguistics, Sanskrit literature and theatre. The Department of Sanskrit Studies earnestly aspires to develop into a gateway for the study of material in other classical languages –the Prakrits and the classical languages of South India, for example.
Students can take a Concentration in Sanskrit by crediting four courses (at least two of them being language courses). They could also take a Minor in Sanskrit by crediting six courses (three of them language courses).