Sanskrit at Bard

Sanskrit at Bard

Sanskrit is the venerable literary language of India. Its earliest works date back to the ancient Vedas, composed in 1000 BCE, and it continues to be used in some circles in contemporary South Asia. For many centuries it served as the primary medium through which the literate civilization of India expressed itself. Sanskrit is the religious language of the Hindu scriptures, and of many Buddhist and Jain works as well.  In classical and medieval India it was the language of poetry, philosophy, politics, history, science, and innumerable technical fields. It is a “perfected language” whose grammar was first codified by Panini in the fourth century BCE.

Sanskrit/ Religion Program 

Sanskrit is the venerable literary language of India. Its earliest works date back to the ancient Vedas, composed in 1000 BCE, and it continues to be used in some circles in contemporary South Asia. For many centuries it served as the primary medium through which the literate civilization of India expressed itself. Sanskrit is the religious language of the Hindu scriptures, and of many Buddhist and Jain works as well. In classical and medieval India it was the language of poetry, philosophy, politics, history, science, and innumerable technical fields such as cooking and elephant-training. It is a “perfected language” whose grammar was first codified by Panini in the fourth century BCE.

At Bard instruction in Introductory Sanskrit (Rel 140-141) is offered every other year. Intermediate and Advanced courses are conducted on a tutorial basis.

Faculty contact and profile information may be found here.
Sample courses may be found here.

Additional Studies

Religion Program

Religion Program Website

Religious ideas and practices have been crucial in shaping distinctive human societies throughout history, and they continue to exercise critical influence in the world of the 21st century. We study the various phenomena we call "religion" for many reasons: for their intrinsic interest; to understand how particular religious expressions may reinforce or challenge their own social and historical settings; and to consider how they may also challenge and broaden our own understandings of the world.

At Bard, religion offerings are organized within three primary approaches to the study of religious phenomena: interpretive, historical, and theoretical. Entry-level as well as more advanced courses exemplifying each approach are regularly offered.