How to learn the Sanskrit Language at home?
Sanskrit is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had diffused there from the northwest in the late Bronze Age. Sanskrit is the sacred language of Hinduism, the language of classical Hindu philosophy, and of historical texts of Buddhism and Jainism. It was a link language in ancient and medieval South Asia, and upon transmission of Hindu and Buddhist culture to Southeast Asia, East Asia and Central Asia in the early medieval era, it became a language of religion and high culture, and of the political elites in some of these regions. As a result, Sanskrit had a lasting impact on the languages of South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, especially in their formal and learned vocabularies.
Let's now delve into details
You will need to develop some basics first-
You need to be able to read DevNagari Script.
And that’s it.
As an English student, you wouldn’t have an idea of the Hindi/Sanskrit language hence, you need to plan yourself really well, First, you need to learn Kaarak (कारक), which simply means what ways a word (except a verb) can be used in relation with the verb in the sentence.
you can start learning Sanskrit from the basic books. You can use the NCERT books of class 6 to have a boost your Sanskrit learning periods. Once you are familiar with the words, then you need to understand the verbs, nouns, adjectives etc. Well, for this purpose you need to learn the dhatu, Shabd roop. You can get any Sanskrit books for it. You can use grammar books like Saraswati Manika. However, I learnt Sanskrit by learning it from my textbooks and workbooks at schools so for you I can highly recommend those NCERT books. Next, start reading Slokas. You may not get the ideas and the meaning of the slokas so I recommend you to have this book “Stotra Ranjani”. This book contains the common Slokas you come across, mostly the prayers. Hence you will find a way to understand the meaning easily. After that, try to get some Shubhashitani, they are meaningful slokas where you will not only learn Sanskrit but also get a broad idea of success in life and learn as much as you can. Learning Sanskrit is not a complete process, It’s a cycle where the learner gets acquainted with the language with incidents that describe your life. Respect and interest are the two most important factors in the learning process. You are in an era when you don’t have to go in search of anything. Sit at home and just a click on your keyboard will provide the required material/ knowledge.
- Get Sanskrit textbooks of any board, or from NCERT (Download NCERT Text Books and CBSE Books – look at Sanskrit books at Class 6 onwards)
- You’ll get many books from many publishers. Get one book and series and stick to that. Too many book sets from different publications will only lead to wasted time. There are minor good or bad points with each set, but these are irrelevant for a serious learner of Sanskrit. Again, the key is to stick to one series. The NCERT resource mentioned above is a good starting point.
- There are many (believe me – so many!) Sanskrit books were available with Anvay (phrase decomposition) and Shabdarth (word to word meaning). Select a few (again the keyword is FEW and not many) books that have both Sanskrit Text, Anvay and Shabdarth. Depending on your interest you can select Gita, Mahabharat (yes, these are good starting points to learn ancient Indian history and the text in Sanskrit, English and Hindi is easily available on the Internet). Get an appropriate edition from Digital Library of Free Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine. Search with Sanskrit keywords and discover our ocean of Sanskrit literature. Select a few and start reading Sanskrit text, its decomposition and meaning. Select books of your interest – no suggestions required here. There are few YouTube videos available that will help you correctly understand alphabet sounds. Important for pronunciation. Watch a few and then speak when you read the above books. Speak when you read.
let all the aforementioned suggestions go in parallel. But I’ll reiterate at the end – select a few resources (the more you explore at above links, the more gems you’ll find) – but too many resources will take you nowhere!
Sanskrit is not a language, it’s a way of enjoying life. Although there is no substitute for a good teacher who may understand the particular strengths and limitations of their students, there are other ways especially in the modern era of online learning where a student may begin their learning journey at home through youtube, provided the quality of the content and knowledge in the videos is good.
There’s an amazing new way to learn Sanskrit! Want to see what everyone’s talking about!