SPANDANA—Feeling the Pulsation of a Divine Language: Biannual Sanskrit Workshop

From 20-May-2019 to 25-May-2019Location: Society House, Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry

स्पन्दनम्—Feeling the Pulsation of a Divine Language: Biannual Sanskrit Workshop is the advanced (second) level of an intensive Sanskrit course offered by SAFIC to those who are interested in learning this language in depth, both in its spoken and written form. This year, the course commenced on the May 20, 2019, and ended on May 25. The course was facilitated by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, Director, SAFIC. Participants from diverse backgrounds and age groups attended the workshop with great zeal.

The course comprises of several sessions on spoken Sanskrit, which help learners experience the beauty and charm of Sanskrit through songs, humorous anecdotes and stories, dialogues, games and many other entertaining modes.

Day 1 began with the introductions, where Dr. Sampadananda Mishra explained about the features of Sanskrit and the concept of word creation in the language. The introductory session was followed by lessons on the basic rules of Sandhi. The post-lunch sessions of the Day 1 included activities which involved active engagement of the participants in solving various linguistic exercises. The day concluded with the practice of spoken Sanskrit.

The morning sessions on all the days, from Day 2 to Day 6, started with an hour of Mantra Yoga where selected verses from the Vedas and Upanishads were studied along with their meanings and chanted in unison under the guidance of the mentor. The Mantra Yoga session was followed by the introduction to the major elements (pillars) of the Sanskrit language and literature such as Panini (Day 2), Chandas or meters (Day 3), classical poets (Day 4), Subhashitas (Day 5) and Gita (Day 6).

A few essential lessons on the ‘Basic Sanskrit Grammar’ were taught on each day of the workshop, which included Sandhi(joining), Samasa (compounds), Avyaya (indeclinables), Karaka(cases), etc. The post-lunch sessions were made enjoyable by various group activities such as playing games, story reading (and solving related exercises), singing Sanskrit songs, etc., where all the participants showed their wholehearted involvement. The last couple of hours were entirely devoted to the learning of spoken Sanskrit. Each session was made interesting and unique in its own way through the efforts put into the planning and execution by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra.

On Day 5, Dr. Beloo Mehra, Senior Associate, SAFIC gave a presentation on ‘An Introduction to SAFIC’, familiarizing the participants with the foundation, elements, working and activities of SAFIC, encouraging them to associate themselves with SAFIC by participating, volunteering and spreading the word.

The enthusiastic participation of everyone showed their interest towards learning Sanskrit and the treasure of ancient Indian scriptures. Each session of the workshop was crafted in a way that was made uniquely stimulating for the students. This was evident from their responses, critical queries, enthusiastic efforts and feedbacks. The participants went back deeply satisfied with the time spent at the workshop and made resolutions to continue this pace of reading, studying and learning Sanskrit as they return home.