A Gateway to Sanskrit, Indian Culture and Philosophy

The Sanskrit Retreat Immersion being held at Amrita University, will be a chance to dive deep into the study of the Sanskrit language, Indian culture and philosophy, with a variety of teaching methods and activities.

On the academic side, there will be four daily classes, including Spoken Sanskrit, Sanskrit Grammar, and Indian Scripture & Literature.

The Spoken Sanskrit class will focus on teaching the basic elements of the language through daily usage, conversation, and role-playing. This method presents the language in a simple form for use in conversation, so that the students can internalize the feel of the language. It is said ‘bhashyate iti bhasha’ – a language is that which is spoken. Therefore, this class puts emphasis on encouraging students to actually speak the language of Sanskrit in a comfortable way, through role-playing, drills, and stories.

The Sanskrit Grammar class will give practical explanation and instruction on forming sentences in Sanskrit. Students will be aided in reading and writing skills. The fundamental blocks of Sanskrit syntax will be explained in a simple and easy to understand method. Applied knowledge of forms, cases, and tenses will be taught in a gradual manner. Guidance on pronunciation and breaking up of Sanskrit verses will also be given.

In the Indian Philosophy & Literature class, we will discuss a wide range of the ancient Sanskrit literature, including the Bhagavad Gita. There will also be lessons in the philosophy of Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine.

There will be a Yoga class each morning during the week. Beginners will get an introduction to the basic yogic postures, and more advanced students will be able to go deeper into their practice. The students will gain insight into how to live a fit and healthy life. A short Sanskrit Chanting session will follow the morning Yoga class, where we will learn pronunciation of some ancient Sanskrit hymns.

Students will also have an opportunity to go on field trips together. They will be able to see firsthand the natural beauty that South India has to offer, as well as the richness of its heritage and its people.

It is not possible to master a language such as Sanskrit in the short span of a month. The intent is for students to gain a foundation for their future study, an appreciation for the uniqueness of the language and its literature, and a deeper understanding of Indian culture. Those that successfully complete the course will receive a document of completion by the University.