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Intensive Course in Sanskrit

Intensive Course in Sanskrit
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Item Code: NAK186
Author: O.N. Koul
Publisher: Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore
Language: Sanskrit Text With English Translation
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 817342102
Pages: 580
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9.0 inch x 7.0 inch
weight of the book: 1.0 kg

Sanskrit Language is an ancient language of India. India's rich Heritage, Culture, Religion, Philosophy and Grammar are in this language. The works of the founders of the different schools of philosophy like Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva are in Sanskrit. Literature pertaining to Logic, Medicine, Astrology, Music, Drama are also in Sanskrit. In brief, Sanskrit Language is the spirit behind the Indian culture and the spiritual heritage. Pandit Jawaharalal Nehru the first Prime Minister of free India expresses the heritage as, "If I was asked what is the great treasure which India possesses and what is her finest heritage, I would answer unhesitatingly it is the Sanskrit language and literature, and all that it contains. This is a magnificent inheritance, and so long as it endures and influences the life of our people, so long the basic genius of India will continue," (Report of the Sanskrit commission, Chapter IV).

Ex-president of India Honourable, Sri Gyani Zail Singh has remarked on Sanskrit like this "Sanskrit is not just a religious language. Sanskrit is an invaluable treasure of this land and it is our responsiblilty to keep alive this ancient language, which is a storehouse of Indian traditions and culture. Since time immemorial this language has been instrumental for the unity of the country."

In addition to the rich heritage that Sanskrit contains, it is also a very influential language and has made impact on Indian languages whether Indo-Aryan or Dravidian in their vocabulary. K.M. Panikkar in his paper 'Our Inheritance-Sanskrit' edited by K.M. Munshi and R.R.Diwakar in their book 'Indian Inheritance' (literature, philosophy and Religion) says as follows: - "Sanskrit is the one common national inheritance of India. The South and the North; the West and the East have equally entributed to it. No part of India can claim it as its exclusive possession, when we talk of our national genius being unity in diversity of the fundamental oneness of Indian mind, etc, what we really mean is the dominance of Sanskrit, which overrides the regional differences and Linguistic pecularities and achieves a true national character in our thought and emotions and even gives form and shape to the languages. So far as I know, there has never been an instance in world history when a language which was but the speech of an invading few was able to establish its unchallenged authority over a whole sub-continent and be its permanent unifying factor for over two thousand years."

Sanskrit learning becomes very important in order to understand this ancient heritage of India particularly in the modem context for the Scientists, Engineers and Doctors as it contains valuable literature on these subjects. Vedas which are the soul of Indian culture reveal lot of information on different aspects of human life. Seeing the importance of Sanskrit, Government of India has given a. special status to it by recognizing it as a classical Language. Hence teaching of Sanskrit becomes necessary. It is in this context that the Central Institute of Indian Languages, has prepared the Intensive course in Sanskrit. This is result of the three workshops conducted by the Institute in which many Sa Scholars both traditional and modem had participated.

This Intensive course in Sanskrit is designed for a three months course using the structural method. Different structures of Sanskrit are graded on the basis of their complexity from simple to complex. The structures of Sanskrit have to be memorized through the drills and exercises given at the end of each lesson. Lessons are given mostly in the conversational form. This makes learners easy to learn Sanskrit. Teaching of Sanskrit involves the principles of Second language teaching, structures may be taught either through the Direct method or Grammar translation method. Drills and Exercises contained in the lessons are the essential components of teaching. It is hoped that with this methodology, it may not be difficult to learn the Sanskrit language.

This Intensive Course in Sanskrit is prepared on an experimental basis, and can be revised on the basis of the experience of the classroom teaching and also the comments and suggestions made by the scholars in the field in course of time.



The Central Institute of Indian Languages with an agenda for the development of modem Indian Languages, both major and minor, has also worked on the classical language i.e. Sanskrit. The interest of the institute in Sanskrit is from three points of view. Sanskrit is a source for the development of technical vocabulary in most of the contemporary Indian languages in their process of modernization. To modernize by drawing from classical sources is an instance of continuity of tradition. Study of Sanskrit from the point of view of modern language development is thus a necessity. The second point of view is that of modernising the teaching of Sanskrit to meet the current needs. The third is to understand by a long tradition of scholarship in different parts of India in order to contribute to modern Indian Linguistics.

The Intensive Course in Sanskrit belongs to the Second category. The Institute has prepared Intensive Courses in 13 major Indian languages to which is added this book. An Intensive Course is meant to learn the basics of a language in a short period of time. This Intensive Course designed for a three months course follows the structural method, which introduces to the learner selected structures in a graded fashion. The emphasis is on the structures themselves rather than the rules of the grammar that generate the structures. The grammatical explanation of the structures takes a secondary place. The acquisition of structures is through repetitive drills for their reproduction, generation and transformation. This method is used primarily for teaching and learning a second language. The methodologies of the second language teaching have changed periodically, but the structural method is still prevalent in India.

The traditional way of learning Sanskrit is different from the above method. It is basically teaching of the grammar through memorization of the grammatical rules given in the grammatical treatises. It of course includes drilling of inflectional paradigms but this is not extended to syntax. The traditional teaching of Sanskrit also demands full time commitment from the learner which many of the modern learners of Sanskrit cannot afford. Further, the traditional of learning Sanskrit is to become a scholar in it and make a profession of it and not to use it as tool for something else, which the modern learners may like to do.

This course is for learning Sanskrit for its instrumental use. It may be for enriching resource materials for higher studies and research in modern sciences and humanities. It may be for drawing from its resources for lexical development of the modern Indian Languages. It may be for using it as an additional language in daily life for ritual as well as material purposes as the spoken Sanskrit movement tries to do. To learn Sanskrit for these kinds of uses, this course which teaches Sanskrit as a second language, will be useful.

If anyone is seriously interested in reviving Sanskrit to make it functional for some of the modem needs, the kind of approach for teaching it as given in this book is inevitable. It is with this belief that the Intensive Course in Sanskrit is published as an experiment. If it succeeds, it will open up learning of Sanskrit to people of different social and disciplinary backgrounds.



Intensive Course in Sanskrit has been prepared keeping in view the modem methods and techniques of second language teaching. Hence, the aim of this course is to teach Sanskrit as a second language. Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore has already prepared such second language teaching text books on major Indian Languages.

The preparation of intensive course in Sanskrit goes back to the efforts of (Late) Dr. H.L.N. Bharati of this Institute who initiated several programmes of Sanskrit, this being one of them.

This intensive course in Sanskrit has been prepared in three workshops conducted in Kollur, Udupi and Kateelu in Karnataka. Dr. K.P. Acharya, Dr. M.R. Ranganatha and (Late) Dr. H.L.N. Bharati and (Late) Dr. R.S. Shivaganesha Murthy, the then Professor and Head of the Department of Sanskrit, Mysore University were Resource persons and many Sanskrit scholars participated in these workshops.

An attempt was made to formalize the patterns of Sanskrit for teaching purpose. In total 15 patterns were identified and they were graded on the basis of their complexity. Each pattern in turn consisted of more than one structure. Lessons were prepared on the basis of each structure. Participants of the workshop were divided into different groups to write . lessons for different structures under the guidance of the Resource persons. Lessons were written mostly in the conversational form.

The fifteen patterns consisting of different structures of Sanskrit are as follows:

Pattern One:-

1) Verbless sentences, Basic pronouns: asmat, yusmat, tat, eta! and kim,
2) Nouns: Nominative, Genitive and Locative cases, singular and plural numbers.
3) Interrogative and Negative sentences with gender distinction.
The above noted three structures under pattern number one are covered in seven lessons.
Pattern Two:-

1) Use of Adjectives, predicative use of Adjectives.
2) Numerals: cardinala.ordinals and numeral predicates.
3) Gender distinction.with reference to the nouns.
There are two lessons on the above noted structures under pattern two.
Pattern Three:-

1) Degrees of comparison with suitable ablative forms. There are two lessons on the above noted structure.
Pattern Four:-

1) Most common verbs; Imperative (Lot, Vidhilin), singular and plural. Parasmaipada and Atmanepada.
2) Accusative, Instrumental, Dative and Ablative cases. There are seven lessons on the above noted structures.
Pattern Five.-

1) Verbal nouns, all cases and genders.
2) Infinitive of purpose. There are four lessons on the above noted structures.
Pattern Sixi-

1) Causative. There is one lesson on the above noted structure.
I Pattern Seven:-

1) Verbs =past tense (Lan). Lun and Lit
2) Lan = past Lun= Immediate past or present perfect.
3) Lit = Remote past or past perfect.
There are five lessons on the above noted structures.
Pattern Eight: -

1) Verbal participles in ktv and LYm2 or <:f both positive and negative. There are three lessons on the above noted structure ..
Pattern Nine: -

1) Verb, Future tense, simple and periphrastic, Benedictive (Asirlin)
a) Future -tense: - simple future both positive and negative.
b) Future with periphrastic use -both positive and negative.
c) Benedictive use of verbs.
There are four lessons on the above noted structure.
Pattern Ten: -

1) Passive Voice -present, imperative (Lot, Lin) past future.
a) Passive in contrast with active in present tense - both positive and negative.

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