spoken Sanskrit class this summer

Jaob Schmidt-Madsen jacob at FABULARASA.DK
Sun May 15 09:44:56 UTC 2011

Dear Andrey,

The Samskrita Bharati website you are referring to is no longer updated.
You should instead check out the following sites:

US: http://www.samskritabharatiusa.org/
India: http://samskritabharati.in/

Caveat: While the US branch seems very well organized, prior experience
tells me that this is not the case with the Indian branch. They can be
very hard to get in contact with and obtain useful information from if you
are not physically present (in which case everything is smooth and easy).

To get a more critical view of the organization's philosophy of teaching -
and the religio-nationalistic zeal that seems to inform it at some levels
- try to pick up Merwan Hasting's dissertation "Past Perfect, Future
Perfect: Sanskrit Revival and the Hindu Nation in Contemporary India"
(University of Chicago, 2004).


Jacob Schmidt-Madsen
Department of Indology
University of Copenhagen

> Dear Jacob,
> thank you very much for your post, and for me it comes just in time!
> I would highly appreciate it, if you could tell me smth. about the
> procedure to enroll in these Samskrita Bharati courses you've mentioned,
> esp. the residential one in Delhi. I've heard about this organization for
> several times but failed so far to locate them (the internet page
> http://www.samskritabharati.org/ ) announces courses exclusively in
> America (I'm a resident of Hamburg at the moment). I would be very
> grateful to you if you could provide me with some additional practical
> infos about SB-courses.
> Thanks a lot in advance
> Andrey Klebanov
> On 15.05.2011, at 02:08, Jaob Schmidt-Madsen wrote:
>> Dear Al,
>> A couple of years ago I took spoken Sanskrit classes with the Samskrita
>> Bharati organization in Delhi and Varanasi. They also teach in the
>> medium
>> of the language being taught, and discourage students from speaking in
>> any
>> other language in class. In the boarding-school-like Samvadashala in
>> Delhi
>> where students stay for anything from two weeks to several months, even
>> speaking in any other language outside class is strictly prohibited (and
>> enforced as such).
>> Apart from the rather severe discipline upheld by Samskrita Bharati, I
>> was
>> quite taken by their method of instruction which enabled students with
>> little or no prior experience with Sanskrit to quickly get a basic grasp
>> of the language. The grammar, of course, was watered down with
>> periphrastic forms and a predilection for a-stem nouns and thematic
>> verbs,
>> but still students were able to make simple conversation in Sanskrit
>> after
>> just a few classes. Myself included, rather to my surprise.
>> So by all means, tell your son to go ahead and join the course (which, I
>> am sure, will be less rigid in its discipline than Samskrita Bharati's).
>> It is quite an eye-opener learning Sanskrit through conversation alone.
>> You quickly learn to set up a grammatical "no nonsense" filter in the
>> Paninian center of your brain :)
>> Best wishes,
>> Jacob
>> Jacob Schmidt-Madsen
>> Department of Indology
>> University of Copenhagen
>>> My son is contemplating this class in Heidelberg. He has the Sanskrit
>>> background for it but is hesitant because it is conducted (like all
>>> language
>>> immersion programs) in the language being taught. I would be interested
>>> to
>>> hear from anyone who has taken this course in the past, hopefully
>>> telling
>>> Nick that it is not too threatening.
>>> Al Collins, Ph.D.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list