what to expect

  • moderate class size with intimate, casual setting
  • academic presentation of the Sanskrit language
  • Study and recitation of Sanskrit as found in Vedic texts such as the Bhagavad Gita
  • friendly facilitator.  Questions welcome
  • personal study and homework is recommended to enhance learning

Vasudeva das has been studying classical languages since the tender age of twelve in his hometown near Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In 1998 he became a committed practitioner of bhakti-yoga, marking the beginning of 16 years of monastic life, dedicated to the study of Sanskrit texts and the teachings they imparted. In 2001-2002, he had the privilege of being under the tutelage of the late Gopiparanadhana dasa, a well-respected Sanskrit scholar in Vrindavan, India. Today, Vasudeva serves as the head pujari (priest) at The Bhakti Center, overseeing the temple worship, and regularly conducts classes on the Bhagavata-purana and the Bhagavad-gita.

INTRODUCTION TO SANSKRIT (PART 1)

a 3-part course with Vasudeva das

date – three consecutive saturdays of october 21, 28, november 4

time:  2:00 – 4:00pm

location – the bhakti center / studio 2e

admission – suggested donation between $50 – $80 (see donation policy below)

Students must register and donate online.

Register and donate here.


This course is an introduction to the language of Sanskrit.  Students will  learn:

  • the importance of Sanskrit as a phonetic language
  • to pronounce the Sanskrit alphabet
  • to read and write the Devanagari script
  • the etymology of important Sanskrit words
  • to recite verses of the Bhagavad-gita in proper rhyme and meter.

Sanskrit, the classical language of the Indian subcontinent, literally means “refined” or “cultured.” Modern scholars hypothesize its origins stem from an Indo-European proto-language circa 3000 BC, but traditionalists revere Sanskrit as a divinely-revealed language, with roots that are timeless. It is therefore also known as deva-vani, “the language of the gods.”

Until just a few hundred years ago, all important Indian theologians, scholars, philosophers, writers, and poets predominantly wrote in Sanskrit, contributing to a vast body of literature. The most important Sanskrit works are the four Vedas, the Upanishads, the Ramayan, the Mahabharata and the Puranas.

This introductory course, divided into three parts, aims to familiarize students with some basic concepts of Sanskrit, which will help them in their study of sacred bhakti texts like the Bhagavad-gita and the Bhagavata-purana. Additionally, the course will help students properly recite sacred verses (or mantras), an ancient practice that seeks to awaken our original spiritual nature through divine sound.

No prior knowledge of Sanskrit is required to take the course, but some familiarity with the Bhagavad-gita (original Sanskrit and Engish translation) will be helpful.

Study Materials:  All materials will be handed out during the course.

For more information, please contact Vasudeva dasa:

vasudeva@bhakticenter.org


The Bhakti Centers Donation Policy

The principle of bhakti is to do for others without motive. In yoga’s spiritual culture a teacher shares the wisdom of the sacred texts as an act of devotion rather than for profit. This is especially important in the Bhakti tradition where teaching and learning are essential ways bhakti is exchanged in daily life. It also keeps affordable for all this most important activity, sharing knowledge for upliftment.

At The Bhakti Center we honor these important principles of education: that teaching is done purely out of love, and that it is kept affordable. Therefore, for all of our classes on the sacred texts we don’t charge a set price.

So how do teachers survive? The answer is that pure teachers depend on God and good students honor that by sharing a donation from the heart and according to their means. Gratitude and generosity from student to teacher is also part of the yoga tradition.

For the class “Introduction to Sanskrit (Part 1)” we suggest a donation between $50 – $80, although all donations will be welcomed.

All students must be registered online for this class.