Sanskrit Essays For Beginners - Essay for you

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Sanskrit Essays For Beginners

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Sanskrit essays for beginners

Sanskrit - Introduction

Sanskrit is an extremely interesting language. It is amazingly logical. There are lots of rules but, once you have learnt them, there are none of the tiresome exceptions found in most languages. Also, once you have learned how to pronounce a letter, it is always pronounced in that way. Unfortunately, simply learning the letters is not sufficient to enable you to look up words in the dictionary. Letter combinations can look quite different from the same letters on their own. Also words found in the scriptures usually consist of combinations of many separate words and, when words join, they often change. An example that you will probably have seen is sachchidAnanda. If you did not know this word, you would have to know the rules of these combinations in order to be able to work out that the separate words of which this consists - sat. chit and Ananda - in order to be able to look them up. You can see that, when a word ending in t combines with one beginning with ch, the t also changes to a ch. And the t at the end of chit becomes a d. Accordingly, you will not find this word in the dictionary under 'sach' but just after 'sat'. This particular word is present in its complete form because it is in such common usage but infrequent combinations will not themselves be listed and you have to break them down into the individual words to find out the meaning. (This is known as euphony or 'sandhi'.)

Sanskrit uses an alphabet quite unlike ours. For a start, it contains nearly twice as many letters (more than three times the number of vowels) and these letters can look quite different depending upon where they appear in a word and which other letters are adjacent. The language is also written in 'Devanagari' script, which is quite unreadable without a lot of study and practice. Here is an example:

It is one of the mahavakyas, the four aphorisms from the Vedas. This one is tat tvam asi - perhaps the most famous - and means 'thou art that', i.e. you are the one unchanging reality, the Self, Brahman or God.

It is interesting to note in passing that there is a close parallel between the structure of the language and the Advaita-related myth of the creation. Indeed, some schools of thought, notably in the North of India and Kashmir, believe that the universe was 'spoken' into existence. Though this 'primordial' language is beyond ordinary sound, Sanskrit is its earthly manifestation as it were and embodies many of the 'universal principles'. The language itself is believed to embody the truth of the unity of the Self. Since pure Advaita claims that there is effectively no such thing as creation, the value of discussing these ideas is ultimately academic. Such studies can help prepare the mind to acknowledge those truths that remain forever beyond its grasp but they can also prove a hindrance. They have more appeal to those whose nature is inclined towards bhakti yoga rather than j

nAna. The entire language evolves in an almost mathematical way from a fundamental sound. The laws governing the way that words are constructed, and the grammar used to join them, are strict. It is amazing that the language, though the most ancient known and no longer in general use, remains true to its original form and someone learning it now would be able to communicate perfectly well with someone speaking the language thousands of years ago.

I wrote this book for people who were in the position I had been several years earlier of wanting to be able to 'read' the Devanagari script in Upanishads and the Gita and look up some of the words in a dictionary. It also seemed useful (it was an inevitable part of satisfying the first requirement anyway!) to be able to pronounce and write them correctly.

It provides a two-level introduction to the Sanskrit language. Level one introduces the transliterated (Anglicised) alphabets used by books and the Internet for reproducing Sanskrit. Level two teaches the Devanagari script used for the true language and describes the main rules for combining letters and words. Correct pronunciation and writing are explained. The shivasUtrANi are explained in passing and some of the rules from the laghu-siddhAnta-kaumudI but this should not put anyone off since the whole exposition is intended for a complete beginner. A number of examples from the Upanishads, Gita and Astavakra Gita are used to illustrate simple translation. There is a comprehensive glossary of the Sanskrit terms used and a second one containing commonly encountered spiritual words. Extracts from the book can be seen here .

N.B. In order to be able to view the Devanagari script on the other pages of this section, you will need to have the appropriate Sanskrit font installed on your computer.

Look at this table:

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Beginners 101: Sanskrit through English ( Course Code: B101E)

Beginners 101: Sanskrit through English ( Course Code: B101E)

Beginners course is for you if you would like to learn basic Sanskrit through a methodically designed course.

We provide the practice material specially designed for beginners, for the self study purpose. To top with that there will be a online weekly Skype class of 45 minutes.

Details of the Course:

Part 1: Total number of online classes. 6 (Duration of each class 45 minutes)

1. Introduction to Sanskrit letters. (Reference: )
This lesson introduces the Devanagari scripts. Introduces Swara, Vyanjana, Alpaprana and Mahaprana etc. By the end of this lesson you will learn to read the words in Sanskrit. At least two weeks before the course starts, students will receive the material related to this lesson. This lesson requires a lot of self study from students' side. Students will be given few exercises during the the telephonic lesson. If student already knows how to write and read in Sanskrit, this lesson is will be covered quickly with exercises.

Part 2: Total number of online classes. 12 (Duration of each class 45 minutes)

2. Namapada ( Reference: )
Introduction to Nouns in Sanskrit. Few examples of nouns. By the end of this lesson looking at the non forms you will be able to recognize masculine, feminine and neuter nouns. You will also be introduced to Numbers in Sanskrit. Course material should help students to self study numbers in Sanskrit after the lesson.

3. Vibhakti and Vachanani (Namapada continued)
Few more examples of simple nouns that can be used in day-to-day conversations. Introduction to Vibhakti, Ekavachana, Dvivachana and Bahuvachana. Selected examples that would enable student to understand the concepts easily.

4. Kriyapada (Reference: ))
Introduction to Sanskrit verbs. Examples of simple day-to-day usable verbs. Introduction to tenses and few examples of tenses to give the big picture.

5. Tenses ( Kriyapada continued)
Object is to understand different tenses and changing forms for verbs. Selected few verbs and the examples of variation of the verb forms in different persons and singular-plural forms.

6. Sandhee
Introduction to Sandhee. Many examples of making a complex words by using simple words. Introduction to different kinds of Sandhee. Few examples and rules governing each Sandhee.

7. Samasa (Reference: )
Importance of Samasa. How is it different from Sandhee. Concepts of different Samasa and rules governing each Samasa. Few selected words from Veda/Upanishat as examples.

8. Simple Sentences
Construction of simple sentences.Things to remember while constructing a sentence in Sanskrit.

9. Simple Conversation
Encourage student to make simple conversations, and prove student's ability to make simple sentences. Conversations can be ad hoc and in the first instances and it is really important to make things wrong and know why it is wrong. The theme of this class is to give confidence to student to make simple conversations.

10. Exercises
Exercises based on what student has learned so far. The exercises will be graded(A, B and C) and student is free to opt out this! At the end of the class few words will be introduced to increase student's vocabulary in Sanskrit.

Beginners 101: Sanskrit through English ( Course Code: B 101E )
Course Code: B 101E
Prerequisites. none
Language of Instruction. English
To Enroll for this taught course: contact us here with Course Code in Subject line .

App Shopper: Sanskrit for Beginners (Education)

Sanskrit for Beginners

This app teaches the Sanskrit Alphabet for beginners.
You can learn to read, write and chant all the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet in the Devanagari script.
There is a page with the alphabet in full that can be emailed to yourself for reference.
As the words are usually joined in Sanskrit, there is also information on how to join letters.
There is a quiz that you can choose to have in alphabetical or random order.
Chanting Sanskrit sounds can benefit your overall health as the sounds are directly related to the different chakras.
There is information on which letters/sounds affect which chakras.
There are also 2 prayers which you can listen to and chant.
Finally there is a link to Ananda Ashram where you can learn more about Dr Mishra, who taught me Sanskrit.

What's New

This has been updated to run on iPhones and iPads with iOS 5.1 up to 9.3.