Introduction to Sanskrit for Ayurveda

Live Streamed with Srinivas Kadaba

20 Weeks - March 12-July 30, 2018 on Monday evenings from 6-7:30pm Pacific

Approved PACE program by NAMA: 28 credits



The Sanskrit program is intended to introduce Sanskrit at the beginner's level to Ayurvedic students so they can easily read Ayurvedic texts such as the "Ashtanga Hridayam."


The course focuses on listening, reading, and writing, and introduces speaking. No familiarity with the language is assumed - we start with the fundamentals, beginning with the basic sounds and the alphabet of the Devanagari script. Students progress further by learning to read and write their own names, transliterate simple words, and then build up towards reading Ayurvedic words and sentences. At the end of the program, students will be capable of reading the Ayurvedic sutras on their own and have the foundation to pursue further study in spoken Sanskrit.


Learning Outcomes

At the end of this program, you will be able to:

  • Write your name in Devanagari
  • Literate simple English sentences in Sanskrit
  • Read & write over 100 common Ayurvedic words
  • Read simple sentences from Ayurvedic texts
  • Set the necessary foundation for further studies in spoken Sanskrit


Detailed Program Overview


Module I - The Sounds and Alphabet of Sanskrit

4 Classes: March 12, 19, 26, April 2

We set the foundation for the course by sounding out the alphabet and end this first Module by writing our names in Sanskrit.

  • Introduction to the alphabet: vowels & consonants, grouping based on the human vocal system, and importance of pronunciation: duration (short and long vowels), aspiration (or not) of consonants  - 2 classes
  • Literation: the Devanaagarii alphabet - 2 classes
  • Write your name in Devanaagarii - at the end of the module
  • Quick intro to available transliteration mechanisms and key (e.g Google) - final class in module


Module II - From Sounds to Words

3 Classes: April 9, 16, 23

In Module II, we begin to literate simple sentences to help you internalize the alphabet. We do this so you don't have to think about Sanskrit sentences, but only use the script.

  • Consonant modifications and conjunct consonants - 1 class
  • Literating English sentences using Devanaagarii script (written, not typed) - 1 class
  • Intro to available transliteration mechanisms and key (e.g. Google) - 1 class


Module III - Ayurvedic Vocabulary

4 Classes: April 30, May 7, 14 & 21

Now that you understand the alphabet and devanaagarii script, we study about 50 common Ayurvedic words to prepare you for the Ayurvedic texts. Here onward, homework assignments will require both writing and typesetting using a transliteration mechanism.

  • Read and write some common words: introduction to common Ayurvedic words, and internalize proper pronunciation - 1 class
  • Usage of transliteration convention and mechanism: write words using English script - 1 class
  • Introduction to grammatical rules for conjoined words - 1 class
  • How to dissect conjoined words into their constituent words, and how to combine words into larger words - 1 class


Module IV - Introduction to Ayurvedic Texts

3 Classes: June 4, 11, 18

Combining your knowledge of the Sanskrit alphabet and Ayurvedic vocabulary from Modules I-III, we start reading simple sentences from Ayurvedic texts.

  • Expand Ayurvedic vocabulary beyond Module III - 1.5 classes
  • Read and write sentences from the texts - 1.5 classes


Module V - Towards Experiental Sanskrit

6 Classes: June 25, July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Going beyond the alphabet, script and word meaning, we dive deeper into understanding the full meaning of more complex sentences.

  • Introduction to basic sentence structure - 1 class
  • Identifying nouns and verbs in sentences, introduction to number and tense - 1 class
  • The beginnings of Spoken Sanskrit - 3 classes
  • Review, discussion, feedback - final class in module




Registration is closed for this course.


$275 KAA Students & Alumni

$325 General Public



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About the Instructor

Srinivas Kadaba lives and works in the Bay Area, California. He first began studying Sanskrit by chanting its Slokas in childhood, then learned grammar forms during high school. A love of classical Indian knowledge systems such as music, Ayurveda, Yoga, and philosophy motivated him to learn spoken Sanskrit when he came across Samskritabharati in the Bay Area, and he has been a student since the summer of 2012. Discovering the profound ability to speak even simple Sanskrit, which has greatly enriched his Vedic experiences, led him to teach the first level spoken Sanskrit class for adults in Fremont. He greatly appreciates the opportunity to share his experience and help the students of Kerala Ayurveda Academy familiarize themselves with Sanskrit for enriching their Ayurvedic studies.