The Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency (CPSP) is a 16-quarter, 24 Credit-hour leisurely paced, exploration of the Sanskrit language. It prepares beginning students, i.e., with no prior fluency or knowledge of Sanskrit, to achieve a level of proficiency with the Sanskrit language. At Hindu University of America, Sanskrit is approached as a living language, that informs and enlivens a civilization and culture, its wisdom and worldview, its philosophy and spirituality. And taking Sanskrit up as a living language, the Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency focuses on several dimensions of the Sanskrit language including reading, writing, speaking, listening, understanding, grammar, and even chanting and singing. Accessing Sanskrit, (more accurately, Samskritam) will enable students to access the vast corpus of Sanskrit Texts directly, without translations or intermediation, as well as conversational Sanskrit, i.e., the ability to speak fluently and comprehend easily. The Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency (CPSP) is a foundation for students of all ages ranging from High School onwards.
There is a great joy associated with mastering a new language, regardless of what that language is. Every new word acquired gives rise to a new sense of accomplishment, and as students successfully memorize vocabularies, acquire the rules of grammar, and start to form full sentences, each is a milestone achievement akin to levelling up in a game. Every quiz and test completed successfully, can stimulate a self-perpetuating virtuous cycle, leading the student on to further accomplishment. When that language being acquired is Sanskrit, the joy of learning is multi-fold, because it provides direct access to the master-key of the living Hindu Civilization, to the texts and narratives of its rich traditions of dharma, yoga, jnana, art, music, dance, song, and the various cultural and spiritual traditions.
The Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency is targeted at beginning students with a passion to learn a new language, and those who are keen to engage with the texts and literature of the Hindu and Indic world and its numerous derivative knowledge systems. No prior knowledge of Sanskrit is assumed, and the medium of teaching is mostly English. As the students advance in their proficiency, the language of instruction will shift gradually to Sanskrit, at a pace that is comfortable and easy.
The 16-quarter Program of Study is structured in three successive phases as follows:
- Beginner Phase – 4 Quarters, 1.5-Credit hours each. This will add up to 60 hours of instruction and 120 hours of self-study.
- Intermediate Phase – 4 Quarters, 1.5-Credit hours each. This will add up to 60 hours of instruction and 120 hours of self-study.
- Advanced Phase – 8 Quarters, 1.5-Credit hours each. This will add up to 120 hours of instruction and 240 hours of self-study.
Students are encouraged to commit to a complete phase of study, at any time, and stay the course for the full phase. Taking these courses, a la carte, without a commitment to a whole phase of study, will not be very valuable and therefore will be discouraged.
What are the Learning Objectives?
At the completion of the program of study, students will be able to achieve proficiency in the Sanskrit language across the following six dimensions:
(a) Reading (i.e., alphabets, words, and sentences); paThanam
(b) Writing (Forming comprehensible sentences and paragraphs); lekhanam
(c) Listening (Comprehending Sanskrit speech when someone else is speaking); shravaNam
(d) Conversing (Being able to speak grammatically accurate Sanskrit in a way that others can comprehend the meaning); sambhAShaNam
(e) Grammar (The structure and technology of the language); vyAkaraNam, and
(f) Comprehension (Being able to engage with complex sentences, both spoken and written, and discover their meanings without assistance. avagamanam
At the completion of these 3 phases, students will have the option to take up further advanced studies in Sanskrit through:
(a) the Master’s Certificate Programs, or
(b) the Master’s Degree in Sanskrit
In any case, students will be participating in a “Higher Education” ecosystem that supports and enables advanced learning in Hindu studies as well as Sanskrit literary studies. Structured innovatively using the base curriculum and textbooks designed and published by Samskrita Bharati, the Program will be based on the material contained in the 12 books titled as follows:
Beginner Phase (6 credits):
ARUNAH UDAYAH AYANAM
SAARINEE PRAPADYAA SUPADAA
Intermediate Phase (6 credits):
Advanced Phase (12 credits):