Study the ancient language of Sanskrit so you can read Ayurvedic texts such as the “Ashtanga Hridayam”! This course focuses on listening, reading, and writing Sanskrit, as well as an introduction to spoken Sanskrit. We start with the fundamentals, beginning with the basic sounds and the alphabet of the Devanagari script. Students progress further by learning to read and write their own names, transliterate simple words, and then build up towards reading Ayurvedic words and sentences. At the end of the program, students are capable of reading the Ayurvedic sutras on their own and have the foundation to pursue further study in spoken Sanskrit.
Who should take this program
This course is open to all students, be it your first time studying Ayurveda or if you have already commenced your studies.
- Write your name in Devanagari
- Literate simple English sentences in Sanskrit
- Read & write over 100 common Ayurvedic words
- Read simple sentences from Ayurvedic texts
- Set the necessary foundation for further studies in spoken Sanskrit
Module I – The Sounds and Alphabet of Sanskrit
We set the foundation for the course by sounding out the alphabet and end this first Module by writing our names in Sanskrit.
- Introduction to the alphabet: vowels & consonants, grouping based on the human vocal system, and importance of pronunciation: duration (short and long vowels), aspiration (or not) of consonants – 2 classes
- Literation: the Devanaagarii alphabet – 2 classes
- Write your name in Devanaagarii – at the end of the module
- Quick intro to available transliteration mechanisms and key (e.g Google) – final class in module
Module II – From Sounds to Words
In Module II, we begin to literate simple sentences to help you internalize the alphabet. We do this so you don’t have to think about Sanskrit sentences, but only use the script.
- Consonant modifications and conjunct consonants – 1 class
- Literating English sentences using Devanaagarii script (written, not typed) – 1 class
- Intro to available transliteration mechanisms and key (e.g. Google) – 1 class
Module III – Ayurvedic Vocabulary
Now that you understand the alphabet and devanaagarii script, we study about 50 common Ayurvedic words to prepare you for the Ayurvedic texts. Here onward, homework assignments will require both writing and typesetting using a transliteration mechanism.
- Read and write some common words: introduction to common Ayurvedic words, and internalize proper pronunciation – 1 class
- Usage of transliteration convention and mechanism: write words using English script – 1 class
- Introduction to grammatical rules for conjoined words – 1 class
- How to dissect conjoined words into their constituent words, and how to combine words into larger words – 1 class
Module IV – Introduction to Ayurvedic Texts
Combining your knowledge of the Sanskrit alphabet and Ayurvedic vocabulary from Modules I-III, we start reading simple sentences from Ayurvedic texts.
- Expand Ayurvedic vocabulary beyond Module III – 1.5 classes
- Read and write sentences from the texts – 1.5 classes
Module V – Towards Experiental Sanskrit
Going beyond the alphabet, script and word meaning, we dive deeper into understanding the full meaning of more complex sentences.
- Introduction to basic sentence structure – 1 class
- Identifying nouns and verbs in sentences, introduction to number and tense – 1 class
- The beginnings of Spoken Sanskrit – 3 classes
- Review, discussion, feedback – final class in module