A special feature at Brahmananda Ashram is the in-depth study of the Sanskrit language and its original texts.
“Sanskrit is the language of unity, of one humanity. It is not a worldly language, nor the language of politics, but it is the language of universal vibration. It is the language of meditation.” Shri Brahmananda SarasvatiThe vast body of literature in classical Sanskrit encompasses all branches of knowledge and culture, and the Rig-Veda (in Vedic Sanskrit) is widely acknowledged as the oldest written record of mankind. This is a legacy felt to belong to the entire human race. The love of Sanskrit here at the Ashram was inspired by founder Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati himself, a recognized master of the language. In his teaching he prominently used the medium of Sanskrit, emphasizing the chanting and study of mantras, hymns and scriptural texts as well as the study of the language itself as “science of vibration.”
ClassesWe offer the following classes on an on-going basis:
Drop in classes are $18 per class or you can purchase a 7 class pass for $108. New students must take Introduction to Sanskrit first.
- Introduction to Sanskrit – Presents the alphabet, Devanagari script and basic principles of pronunciation
- Beginner Sanskrit I – Introduction to grammar, noun declensions, verb conjugations and simple sentences
- Beginner Sanskrit II – Deeper exploration of grammar, noun declensions, verb conjugations and simple sentences
- Intermediate-Advanced Sanskrit – Continued study of grammar with translation, discussion and chanting of selected Sanskrit mantras and hymns
Monday: 10:30am – Intermediate-Advanced Sanskrit 12:00pm – Beginner Sanskrit I 1:30pm – Beginner Sanskrit II
ChantingSanskrit is the language of mantra. Mantras are powerful, succinct, harmonious words, phrases, verses or other portions of scripture for meditation, prayer and spiritual study. With their inherent rhythm and music, they contain vibrational messages which enhance students’ experiences of reading and translation. The purpose of chanting is to stimulate the brain, to energize the whole body, and to help us feel more deeply connected to community and the essence of Vedic wisdom.
Vedic ScripturesOur scriptural studies focus on the texts which form the foundation of the Science of Yoga and the Non-Dualistic Vedanta Yoga Philosophy. Included are the major Upanishads, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita, works by Shankaracharya and various other classical and Vedic sources. They include messages applicable to all times, places, cultures, and societies, and are deeply connected to meditation and Self-analysis.
“Once you study Sanskrit you will realize, as Patanjali says, that in all other systems you have to run here and there to see God, but with Sanskrit, you don’t have to run after God. God runs after you.” Shri Brahmananda SarasvatiInstructor: Kiranavali Devi began studying yoga in 1969. In 1972 she met her guru Sri Brahmananda Saraswati and began studying Sanskrit with him. She taught Hatha yoga and meditation in New York, Florida, and the West Indies before moving to the Brahmananda Ashram in 1977. In 1993 she began teaching Sanskrit. She holds a BA from New College in San Francisco, a JD from the University of San Francisco Law School, and today she continues her Sanskrit studies with Prof. Sharma. Prof. Ram Karan Sharma is an eminent scholar and educator, Sanskrit poet, translator, editor, author of a number of books, and long-time President of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies (IASS). With his background of traditional Vedic education combined with modern university training, he taught as Professor of Sanskrit, Linguistics and Philosophy in India and the U.S. and was Vice Chancellor of two prominent Sanskrit Universities in India. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the President’s Award (India). Prof. Sharma’s interest is in the unifying aspects of Sanskrit and other classical traditions of the world. He is based in Delhi.
“Language is like the current of a river, such as the river Ganges. The Ganges originates from the Himalaya Mountains. It embraces all rivers coming into it, but continues to move on and on, with fresh currents in every moment, and finally its journey is perfected by merging in the ocean. The Sanskrit language is like the Ganga. It is the Mother of the world’s languages, and its ultimate perfection is in freedom and enlightenment.” Shri Brahmananda SarasvatiTo read more of Shri Brahmananda’s writings “On the Topic of Sanskrit” click here.