Sanskrit is the perfectly refined language of Yoga and Ayurveda, and is the mother language of India. It is thought to be divinely given; in fact, ancient seers believed that Sanskrit is a sacred language that speaks directly to the soul. Therefore, even if the mind does not understand the meaning of Sanskrit, the essence is transferred through the vibrations of the words themselves.
Those who take the time to learn Sanskrit are sure to feel its vibrational effect on the subtle body, whether through chanting mantras or Vedic texts. However, the first step is to learn how to pronounce the sounds of Sanskrit correctly, for it is only through correct pronunciation that we are able to really gain access to its teachings. This is because mispronouncing a Sanskrit word can drastically change its meaning.
For those who are ready to dive into the study of Sanskrit, I offer small group classes as well as private study. The focus of study is to become proficient at reading and writing the Devanagari script as well as understanding rules of grammar. My intention is to give students the skills and confidence to read and translate classic Sanskrit prayers and texts in their original form so that they can be experienced in their fullest capacity.
I also offer a Bhagavad Gita study group on the fourth Tuesday of each month, which is open to everyone. We devote each class to one chapter, and begin by chanting the chapter and then discussing it. Everything will be given in both transliteration (so that even a beginner can chant along) as well as Devanagari (for students who have studied Sanskrit and wish to practice reading). This gives everyone the opportunity to experience the power of sacred chant and enjoy insights into Vedic philosophy.
Occasionally I offer Sanskrit Level I and II weekend immersions through the American Sanskrit Institute. Contact me for details on the next immersion.