Sanskrit

Academic Programs in Sanskrit Studies

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Sanskrit (Samskrutam, Deva-vani) is the ancient and historical, classical and, spiritual and ritual source language of Hinduism. Without an acquaintance with this language, any studies of the cultural heritage, history and philosophy of Hinduism remains incomplete. Sanskrit is needed for understanding the meaning and significance of the rituals of Hinduism of the present or past, the household or the temple, yoga, Ayur-veda, vedanta or tantra related.

Sanskrit is recognized as the most well structured human language with a near perfect grammar for true processing of human communications. Great Grammarian, Pāṇini, is well-known for his highest intellectual endeavors to have formulated the firm foundational grammar for this language to make it unique, systematic and the finest in character.

The Sanskrit language is the integrating and binding thread which runs across various facets of Indian culture, philosophy and literary heritage. The observation of Dr. Earl Douglas Mitchell, Rice University aptly summarizes the significance of Sanskrit studies “On the scale of a yardstick, Latin is about an inch long; Ancient Greek is about two feet long; Modern English is about twenty feet long, while Sanskrit – not measurable on any ruler – circumnavigates the globe time after time after time.”

This Master’s Degree or Advanced Diploma Program is designed to help students in learning the essentials of the Sanskrit language to a level needed for independent studies with the help of the tools like grammar, dictionary and the traditional commentaries on source works.

The study program covers the following areas

  1. a) Historical background of language; b) basic skills of language for reading and writing of Devanāgari Sanskrit script; and c) conventions of grammar, dictionary and

Various courses in this program help the student in acquiring skills and reading source works in devanāgari script in a culturally and linguistically appropriate way; b) using the linguistic tools of dictionary, grammar rule books and commentary with a traditional methodology (like anvaya krama) and respective historical teaching traditions and practices; c) prepare for advancing to the technical disciplines; and d) taking up research and translations in specific areas of interest where the source materials are in Sanskrit language.

The program provides exposure to the vast selection of source material – general and technical in Sanskrit language, to get acquainted with the diversity and richness of the Hindu traditions.

Master’s Degree or Advanced Diploma Program requirements

Minimum 30 credits

The Master’s program focuses on the Sanskrit language and literature related studies, and various courses go beyond to the areas of Comparative linguistics, Language technology and Technical Sanskrit studies.

2 University Core Courses
HUC 5001 Principles of Hinduism – 3 credits
HUC 5003 Basic Sanskrit – 3 credits

4 Courses in Sanskrit Studies
SAN 5001 Pāṇinian Sanskrit – 3 credits
SAN 5002 Epic Sanskrit – 3 credits
SAN 5003 Creative Sanskrit Composition – 3 credits
SAN 5004 Classical Text Study –  3 credits

4 Elective courses OR Two courses and Thesis for 6 credits
SAN 5005 Cultural History of Sanskrit literature & criticism  –   3 credits
SAN 5006 Technical Sanskrit  –   3 credits
SAN 5007 Comparative linguistics and Language Technology  –   3 credits
SAN 5008 Sanskrit based Brāhmi languages (Prakrits/ Tamils)  –   3 credits
SAN 6999 Master’s Thesis   –   6 credits

HUA Diploma in Sanskrit (Twenty-one (21) credits in seven (7) courses)

This Diploma Program focuses on the Sanskrit language and literature related studies.

Diploma Program requirements (21 credits in seven courses)
2 University Core Courses
HUC 5001 Principles of Hinduism – 3 credits
HUC 5003 Basic Sanskrit – 3 credits

4 Program Courses
SAN 5001 Pāṇinian Sanskrit – 3 credits
SAN 5002 Epic Sanskrit –  3 credits
SAN 5003 Creative Sanskrit Composition – 3 credits
SAN 5004 Classical Text study –  3 credits

1 Elective course
SAN 5005 Cultural History of Sanskrit literature & criticism  –  3 credits
SAN 5006 Technical Sanskrit – 3 credits

 Description of the Core Courses in Sanskrit Program

 SAN 5001   Pāṇinian Sanskrit              3 credits

This course provides an introduction to the technicalities of the Pāṇinian Sanskrit grammar and the teaching traditions of dictionaries. The course deliberates on the processing technicalities of the words in the Sanskrit language as per the rules of Pāṇinian grammar for refinement of communication. (Pre-requisite HUC 5003).

SAN 5002   Epic Sanskrit             3 credits

This course builds on SAN 5001 and provides an acquaintance with the Sanskrit language as seen in the epics of Rāmayaṇa and Mahābhārata. Texts in similar structure by language and prosody are introduced for study. The tools of language dictionary, grammar, traditional methodology (anvaya karma) are used to understand the source. (Prerequisite SAN 5001)

SAN 5003 Creative Sanskrit Composition        3 credits

This course builds on SAN 5002 and provides an acquaintance with the classical Sanskrit literature as seen in the works of Kālidāsa, Bhāsa, Bāṇa and works of Pañchatantra, Subhāṣhitas. Texts of similar structure by language and prosody, used in prayers are introduced for study. The tools of language dictionary, grammar, traditional methodology (anvaya krama) are used to advance the understanding of the source. (Prerequisite SAN 5002)

SAN 5004 Classical Text study                                                  3 credits

This course builds on SAN 5002 and SAN 5003. It provides an acquaintance with the Sanskrit language as seen in the advanced classical literary works of Sanskrit. Select readings from drama, prose and poetry will be introduced. The tools of language dictionary, grammar, traditional methodology (anvaya karma) are used to understand the source along with the literary analysis of the composition. (Prerequisite SAN 5003)

Elective Courses in Sanskrit

 SAN 5005 Cultural History of Sanskrit literature and criticism           3 credits

This course provides a perspective and acquaintance with the history of Sanskrit language, literature and concepts of literary criticism in the period of 700 BCE to 1800 CE. This brings out the important role played by Sanskrit language in molding the Hindu traditions in a historic way.

(Prerequisite SAN 5002)

SAN 5006 Technical Sanskrit                                                    3 credits

This course deals with the technical application (paribhāṣhā) of Sanskrit in specific disciplines of Ayurveda, yoga, Sāmkhya, tantra, nyaya, Vaiśheṣhika, Mīmāṃsa and Vedic studies. The importance of recognizing the difference between the classical language model of study and the technical discipline model of study in understanding the source documents and providing guidance for using the right model methodology in a specific way for future research is the goal of this course. (Prerequisite SAN 5004)

SAN 5007 Comparative Linguistics and Language Technology       3 credits

This course provides a comparative study of Sanskrit as a member of the world languages. The interaction of historic nature amongst the languages of India and Asia with Sanskrit are studied in a comparative linguistic perspective. The study of Sanskrit from the modern perspective of language studies using statistical models   and   computational   technologies   are   deliberated.   The   language technology part of the course deliberates on how Sanskrit language and literature are being presented in the digital scenario and the web sources from the point of non-roman script model and voice traditions. (Prerequisite SAN 5001. The computer operational and programming related skills are needed and will be assessed independently by the instructor before admission to this course.)

SAN 5008 Sanskrit based Bramhi languages (Prakrits / Tamils)      3  credits

This is an inter and intra language study of Sanskrit, Sanskrit sourced and Sanskrit influenced languages within the land of Hinduism traditions. The recognition of Sanskrit as a referential language in identifying the drift of the practical languages in the historic and societal usage – in various domains of application is the objective of the course.   (Prerequisite SAN 5005)

SAN 6999 Master’s Thesis                                                         6 credits

Research work of sufficient merits and originality in a Sanskrit Program related topic leading to Master’s Thesis.

 Summary of Requirements for Sanskrit Programs and Coursework and Thesis Option

 

SANSKRIT PROGRAMS HU Master’s Degree (or Advanced Diploma)

Program (30 credits)

HU Diploma (21 credits)
HU Core courses HUC 5001 HUC 5001
HUC 5003 HUC 5003
Program Core Courses SAN 5001 SAN 5001
SAN 5002 SAN 5002
SAN 5003 SAN 5003
SAN 5004 SAN 5004
Electives Options Course-Work option Selection of 4 elective courses (12 credits) Selection of 1 elective course (3 credits)
Thesis option 2 elective courses (6 credits)

+ Thesis (6 credits)