When it comes to learning Sanskrit by English speaking people, the main objective the learners have in mind is to comprehend the Hindu Culture and to be able to read and understand the Hindu scriptures, yoga philosophies, ayurvedic literature the astrological, adhyatmic and classical writings
and so on, that normally exist as Sanskrit Shlokas.
The present text is arranged to deliver full benefit in return for the efforts and time spent by the learners to learn Sanskrit using this book.
Given in this book are helpful charts, dictionaries, examples and the exercises.
Without these, the self learners would have been left in the dark, annoyed and helpless, wondering each time if they got the answer right.
While this book is a Teach Yourself manual, it is also a good tool for teachers of Sanskrit language. It starts with 'How to Read' the Sanskrit alphabet, and explains how to pronounce each character. It is unique but interesting in this book that for teaching 'How to write' Sanskrit, the characters are grouped according to their shapes, and not the alphabetical order. With this unique method it is easy to recognize, relate, differentiate, learn and remember them without confusion.
Step-by-step and page-by-page usage of this easy, complete, systematic, practical and useful book will help the readers achieve success in mastering Sanskrit.
Ratnakar Narale M. Sc. (Pune), Ph. D. (IIT, Kharagpur) comes from Nagpur in central India. From childhood he has had a passion for Indian history and Sanskrit. He has Ph. D. in Sanskrit from the Kalidas Sanskrit University, Nagpur.
From last few years Dr. Ratnakar has retired from his business of computers to write books on subjects that interest him. His current publications are Gita Darshan, Gita ka Shabdakosh, Savistar Hindi Gita, Sanskrit Teacher for English Speaking People and Hindi Teacher for English Speaking People. His upcoming books in English, include Adhyatmagita, Savistar Satyanarayana Katha and History of the Hindu People.
He can speak Marathi, Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu and Sanskrit languages. He taught Advanced Hindi to the International MBA class, at the York University, Toronto. Currently he teaches Hindi for the Toronto School Board. He chairs the Sanskrit Vidya Parishad and teaches Sanskrit and Gita at the Hindu Institute of Learning, Toronto, of which he is the Principal. He is a director of the International Foundation for Vedic Science and the Vedic Heritage Study Center, Toronto.
In the course of teaching Sanskrit in our Institute in Canada, it has been interesting to observe over the years, that even in English speaking countries there is an extraordinary interest to learn Sanskrit. It has been surprising that more people of non-Indian origin, such as those from West Indies, Guyana, Surinam, Fiji, Europe and North America, are learning Sanskrit than the people who actually come from India. And, among these non-Indians, it is mostly the adults who are learning Sanskrit. Thus, accordingly, these facts reflect on the content and makeup of the this book.
Sanskrit Shlokas. it is rarely their main objective to do serious writing and speaking in Sanskrit, for they don't have much opportunity to write to or to speak with someone in that language. Consequently, special attention has been given in this work to prepare the reader to be able to comprehend the Sanskrit Shlokas.
It is the glorious literature written by the immortal poets that attracts English speaking learners to the Sanskrit language. It is the profound but poetic sweetness and the melodic nature of the Anustubha metre of the Sanskrit language that makes its learning so very interesting. It is its unique chemical, mathematical and digital nature, its well-developed system of grammar, intricate compounding style and highly flexible character of composition that makes the Sanskrit writings so original to study and enjoy. It is the richest word-power of Sanskrit that makes its writings so very ornate and splendid. Sanskrit is by far the most poetic and florid language in the world. It has survived for thousands of years and on the way has given birth to numerous other great languages. Naturally, therefore, explaining Sanskrit grammar with numerous examples, along with copious use of the appropriate Shlokas, has spontaneously become an important aspect of this book.
Sanskrit has been found by various research scholars to be very closely related to several European languages, quite possibly a parent to them. It is also noteworthy that though the rich Tamil language did not originate from Sanskrit, a very strong influence by latter on the former is unmistakable. In our Sanskrit classes, the students who speak Tamil and the European languages find it educational to associate the words or grammatical aspects of their respective languages with Sanskrit and to discover or trace their correlation. In this book specific Shlokas and examples have been subtly selected that contain such Sanskrit words which possess a relation with these languages.
It can not be over emphasized that in order to learn the Sanskrit language with above mentioned objectives, a proper understanding of the Devanagari script, as well as of the important grammatical aspects, is absolutely essential, be fore trying to learn to speak it. Otherwise, the learners have to memorize the model sentences, without truly understanding the basics. The present text is arranged to deliver full benefit in return for the efforts and time spent by the learners using this book.
It is important to appreciate why a particular word is used, at any particular place, in a given shloka, when several other words could have been equally suitable. One must take a close look at the structure of the anustubha meter. A short explanation is given on the next page to serve this substantial purpose. In order to facilitate the same objective, simplifications and meanings of all verses appearing in this book are given in appendix. Readers are requested to study this section and review their understanding of the grammar against each word patiently. Given in this book are helpful charts, dictionaries, examples and the exercises. Please refer to them as often as possible.
Given in the last appendix are the "Answers to the Questions" asked in various Exercises. Without these, the self learners would have been left in the dark, annoyed and helpless, wondering each time if they got the answer right.
While this book is a Teach Yourself manual, it is also a good tool for teachers of Sanskrit language. It starts with 'How to Read' the Sanskrit Alphabet, and explains how to pronounce each character. It is unique but interesting in this book that grouped according to their shapes, and not the alphabetical order (see the main index at the beginning). With this unique method it is easy to recognize, relate, differentiate, learn and remember them without confusion.
I hope that you will follow this material step-by-step and page by-page. I urge you to proceed to next page when previous page is understood properly. Try to pick up the words given in various dictionaries given in this book. Follow the book with this technique and your success in learning Sanskrit will be assured.
I would like to thank Mr. J. C. Sharda, Mr. Jim Walsh, Mr. Sunil Narale, Mrs. Sunita Narale and all others who have encouraged and helped me during the progress of this book. Thanks are also due to the Vidya Bharati and Sanskrit Bharati of India for being my inspiration. Dr. Pankaja Ghai of Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi has rendered valuable suggestions in finalizing this book.
I have tried to make this book as easy, complete, systematic, practical and useful as possible. Nevertheless, not being a Sanskrit-Pundit myself, I beg the readers to forgive me for any errors, omissions or imperfections they may find. The new learners, as well as the learned ones, will find this book interesting and useful.
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