Arsha Vidya Pitham, Saylorsburg, PA

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Long Term Samskrta Grammar Certificate Course

June 27, 2024 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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Arsha Vidya Gurukulam is pleased to announce a long term Saṁskṛta grammar course.  The course is designed to develop conceptual understanding of Saṁskṛta grammar that can be directly applied to Vedanta teaching and its texts.

Instructor – Jagadeesha Acharya

Duration – About 18 months

Registration Form:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSel1BNQz76eLu8vlpTxsuCNMrdFa35sbcrF9Qf_HrPxNDHSmQ/viewform

Course Outline

a. Pronunciation and Sandhi

  • Māheśvara-sūtras
  • Phonetics (Śikṣā)
  • Introduction to Pāṇinian Grammar concepts
  • Sandhi 
b. Structure of Saṁskṛta language
  • Building blocks of the language
  • Factors of Action (Kārakas)
  • Concepts of Nouns (Subanta)
  • Case-endings (Vibhaktis)
  • Declensions of Nouns and Pronouns
  • Concept of Verbs (Tiṅanata)
  • Tenses and Moods (Lakāras)

c. Derivatives (Pañca-vṛttis)

  • Five types of Derivatives
  • Indicatory (it) letters in affixes (pratyayas)
  • Changes in base (aṅga)
  • Derived roots (Sanādyantas)
  • Derived primary noun bases (Kṛdantas)
  • Derived secondary noun bases (Taddhitāntas)
  • Compound nouns (Samāsas)
  • Ekaśeṣa
Course Fee: Suggested donation for course payable to Arsha Vidya Pitham is $100 per student.
All our scriptures were originally written in Samskrta. Hence, knowledge of
Samskrta grammar is necessary whether one is just reciting Visnu-sahasra-
nama, chanting Bhagavad-Gita, or doing in-depth study of Upanisads with
Sankara-bhasya. Though the relevance and need for learning Samskrta
grammar for the students of Vedanta is mainly for understanding of the texts
and traditional teachers, an overview of the structure and linguistics, knowledge
of some of the technical terms will only enhance the depth of that
understanding.
We will follow the book ‘Enjoyable Sanskrit Grammar’, Vol. 1, 2, and 3, by
Brahmacharini Medha Michika. As the author mentions in the preface, the book
is intended for those studying Samskrta to understand its usage by the
traditional teachers in unfolding the vision of Vedanta. The text, in its three
volumes, covers all aspects of the language in necessary and sufficient detail
needed for understanding Vedanta teachings. During the course we will learn
more about phonetics – pronunciation and sandhis; nouns – karakas, vibhaktis
and subantas: verbs – tinanatas and lakaras; and the derivatives – sanadyantas,
krdantas, taddhitantas, samâsas and Ekasesa; along with the relevant affixes
(pratvavas) and their functionality. Steps for parsing the verses/sentences
(anvaya-racanà) will be practiced. Introduction to Paninian system of grammar
will be provided as and when necessary and also to help kindle interest in
further study of grammar.
Instructor – Jagadeesha Acharya is a student of Samskrta and Vedanta. He taught the course to AVG students and Samskrta Bharati.
Starting from October 31, 2023.
Duration – About 18 months
Time (tentative): Tuesdays and Thursdays,
6-7 pm (Eastern).
Medium of Instruction – English.

Venue

Arsha Vidya Gurukulam
651 Route 115
Saylorsburg, PA 18353 United States
+ Google Map
Phone
570-992-2339
View Venue Website

Lord Daksinamurti

In the vision of the Veda, this creation is a manifestation of the Lord. Being the cause, he is all knowledge, especially spiritual knowledge. We have a name for that Lord Daksinamurti.

The Lord presented in this form as Dakṣiṇāmūrti is the one who has eight aspects. The first five aspects are thefive elements. In the Veda the world is presented in the form of five elements—ākāśa, space,which includes time; vāyu, air; agni, fire; āpa, water; and pṛthivī, earth.

In this Vedic model of the universe, the five elements are non-separate from the Lord. In fact, these five elements constitute the Lord’s form, which is this universe.

The next two aspects are represented by the sun and the moon.

When, as an individual, I look at this world, what stands out in the sky are the sun and moon.

The moon represents all planets other than earth, and the sun represents allluminous bodies.

The eighth aspect is me, the jīva—the one who is looking at the world.

These eight aspects are to be understood as one whole. This is the Lord.

When we look at the form of Dakṣiṇāmūrti, we can see representations of the five elements. Space, ākāśa, is represented by a ḍamaru, a drum, in his right hand. In order to show space in a sculpture, it needs to be enclosed.

Empty space is enclosed in the ḍamaru, enabling it to issue sound, or śabda.

Next, vāyu, air, is represented by Dakṣiṇāmūrti’s hair with the bandana, the band, holding his hair in place against the wind. Bandana is a Sanskrit word which comes from the root band, to bind.

In his left hand, you will see a torch, which represents agni, fire.

Āpa, water, is shown by the Gaṅga, in the form of a Goddess, which you can see on Dakṣiṇāmūrti’s head.

Pṛthivī, the earth, is represented by the whole idol.

Then there are people, the jīvas, Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanātana and Sanatsujāta, who are the disciples of Dakṣiṇāmūrti, sitting at the base of sculpture.

The sun and moon are also shown in this form of the Lord.

On the left side of Dakṣiṇāmūrti you will find a crescent moon, and on his right side there is a circle, representing the sun—a whole circle.

So we see five elements, two planets and the jīva constituting the aṣṭa-mūrti-bhṛt, the Lord of these eight factors that are the whole.

You can worship Dakṣiṇāmūrti as the Lord, the one who is aṣṭa-mūrti-bhṛt, or you can invoke him as a teacher, because he also is in the form of a teacher.

His very sitting posture, āsana, is the teacher’s āsana. What does he teach? Look at his hand gesture. That shows wha the teaches. His index finger, the one we use to point at others, represents the ahaṅkāra, the ego.

The other three fingers represent your body, deha, mind, antaḥkaraņa and sense organs, prāņa.

They also may be seen as the three bodies, śarīras, the gross, subtle, and causal. This is what the jīva mistakes himself to be. The aṅguṣṭha, the thumb, represents the Lord, the puruṣa. It is away from the rest of the fingers of the hand, yet at the same time, the fingers have no strength without it.

In this gesture, mūdra, in Dakṣiṇāmūrti’s right hand, the thumb joins the other fingers to form a circle, teaching that the jīva, who takes himself to be the body, mind and senses, is the whole. The circular hand gesture visually states the entire upadeśa, teaching: tat tvam asi, “You are That.” Just as a circle has no beginning or end, you are the whole. That is the final word about you. Nobody can improve upon that vision; no culture can improve upon it.

Even in heaven, it cannot be improved upon, for the whole includes heaven. Therefore, you have the final word here, because you are everything. It is better that you know it. That teaching is contained in the Veda, represented by the palm leaves in the left hand of Dakṣiṇāmūrti. And to understand this, you require a mind that has assimilated certain values and attitudes and has developed a capacity to think in a proper and sustained way.

This can be acquired by various spiritual disciplines represented here by a japa-māla, The fact that the Lord himself is a teacher, a guru, means that any teacher is looked upon as a source of knowledge. And the teacher himself should look upon Īśvara, the Lord, as the source of knowledge. Since the Lord himself is a teacher, the first guru, there is a tradition of teaching, so there is no individual ego involved in teaching.

Dakṣiṇāmūrti is seated upon a bull, which stands for tamas, the quality of māyā that accounts for ignorance. This is the entire creative power of the world and Dakṣiṇāmūrti controls this māyā; Then, there are bound to be obstacles in your pursuit of this knowledge. Dakṣiṇāmūrti controls all possible obstacles.

Underneath his foot, under his control, is a fellow called Apasmara—the one who throws obstacles in your life. This tells us that although there will be obstacles, with the grace of the Lord, you can keep them under check and not allow them to overpower you. There is no obstacle-free life, but obstacles need not really throw you off course; you keep them under control.

Thus, the whole form of Dakṣiṇāmūrti invokes the Lord who is the source of all knowledge, the source of everything, the one who is the whole, and who teaches you that you are the whole. He is Dakṣiṇāmūrti, the one who is in the form of a teacher, guru-mūrti.

We invoke his blessing so that all of you discover that source in yourself. If this self-discovery is your pursuit, your whole life becomes worthwhile. This project of self-discovery should be the project of everyone. That is the Vedic vision of human destiny

Arsha Vidya Gurukulam was founded in 1986 by Pujya Sri Swami Dayananda Saraswati. In Swamiji’s own words,

“When I accepted the request of many people I know to start a gurukulam, I had a vision of how it should be. I visualized the gurukulam as a place where spiritual seekers can reside and learn through Vedanta courses. . . And I wanted the gurukulam to offer educational programs for children in values, attitudes, and forms of prayer and worship. When I look back now, I see all these aspects of my vision taking shape or already accomplished. With the facility now fully functional, . . . I envision its further unfoldment to serve more and more people.”

Ārṣa (arsha) means belonging to the ṛṣis or seers; vidyā means knowledge. Guru means teacher and kulam is a family.  In traditional Indian studies, even today, a student resides in the home of this teacher for the period of study. Thus, gurukulam has come to mean a place of learning. Arsha Vidya Gurukulam is a place of learning the knowledge of the ṛṣis.

The traditional study of Vedanta and auxiliary disciplines are offered at the Gurukulam. Vedanta mean end (anta) of the Veda, the sourcebook for spiritual knowledge.  Though preserved in the Veda, this wisdom is relevant to people in all cultures, at all times. The vision that Vedanta unfolds is that the reality of the self, the world, and God is one non-dual consciousness that both transcends and is the essence of everything. Knowing this, one is free from all struggle based on a sense of inadequacy.

The vision and method of its unfoldment has been carefully preserved through the ages, so that what is taught today at the Gurukulam is identical to what was revealed by the ṛṣis in the Vedas.