DU course profile: Strengthen your intellectual, moral fibre with Sanskrit
Delhi University offers Sanskrit at many levels — as an Hons course, as an optional language subject in BA Programme and as a Generic Elective (GE) course for BA and BSc Hons students from other departments.Campus Calling Updated: Jun 11, 2017 17:38 IST
Sanskrit is India’s link with its glorious past from the days when it was the language of a very profound and creative intellectual discourse across several disciplines. This period, spread over more than two millennia, saw the emergence of India as the engine of intellectual growth and cultural enrichment not only in South Asia but in South East Asia, Central Asia, Middle East and even Europe. Sanskrit texts from India travelled far and wide with her traders and scholars. With its close association with all Indo-European languages, Sanskrit can also serve as a strong binding force between India and the west.
Delhi University offers Sanskrit at many levels — as an Hons course, as an optional language subject in BA Programme and as a Generic Elective (GE) course for BA and BSc Hons students from other departments. In BA Programme, Sanskrit appears as a language subject and as a discipline subject offering a less rigorous but wide ranging exposure to various aspects of Sanskrit learning. As a GE subject, Sanskrit offers a variety of choices — from basic Sanskrit to advance discussions on society, polity, literature, philosophy, Ayurveda, computational linguistics etc. This is a very good option for those who wish to learn about Indian intellectual tradition but are not enrolled for the Honours programme.
The Sanskrit Hons programme is both interesting and challenging. Through 14 compulsory papers and four discipline specific electives, it allows students to familiarise themselves with the entire range of Sanskrit literature — from Vedic literature to classics from great masters like Kalidasa, Bhasa, Bana and Dandin and a very wide range of modern Sanskrit literature. It also covers several traditional disciplines like Vyakarana, Kavya Shastra and Darshana. A person who pursues the Sanskrit Hons course seriously, equips himself with linguistic and analytical tools for delving deep into the ocean of knowledge that can enrich the contemporary discourse in many fields of learning.
The syllabus is wholesome and seeks to strengthen the learner’s intellectual, social, emotional and moral fibre. The CBCS syllabus also seeks to highlight the progressive values of the Indian thought system. Many of our present social concerns about caste, gender and faith can be addressed by Sanskritists by re-reading the texts and highlighting their strong rebuttal of social biases.
Several colleges offer this course. One can apply through the University portal to all colleges. St.Stephen’s admits students on the basis of aggregate marks in best four subjects along with an aptitude test and interview.
The course is demanding and a person with a good understanding in the basics of the Sanskrit language can benefit more, though the university has not prescribed any preconditions.
A degree in Sanskrit opens up several fields in higher academics — law, philosophy, linguistics, literature, religious and cultural studies in India and abroad.
Students also go in for teaching, civil services in various cadres, journalism, media, theatre etc. A smart and articulate person can become a motivational speaker, a professional speaker on Indian philosophy and culture, an emcee, advertisement guy or join any other creative profession.
Head of the Department of Sanskrit, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.