The Aruna Sanskrit Language Series provides a variety of levels of assistance for a wide audience of people in introducing the Sanskrit language, deepening their understanding, and developing a practical knowledge of one of the greatest spiritual text in this language.
The second title in The Aruna Sanskrit Language Series is The Aruna Sanskrit Grammar Coursebook: 64 Lessons Based on the Bhagavad Gita Chapter Two. The exercise in the first lesson of the Aruna Coursebook directs the student to the Script Reading Exercise, given in its appendix. This section provides the complete Bhagavad Gita second chapter in large print Sanskrit with transliteration using the English alphabet under each line, followed with the entire chapter again with only the large-print Sanskrit to test your progress. The text and transliteration are broken down in two separate ways to show the separate syllables and then the individual words, thus progressively showing the student the proper methodology for correctly pronouncing the original Sanskrit text. This section should provide all the necessary practice material for the student to learn the Sanskrit script—essential for proceeding through the rest of this work and any other Sanskrit work. For students who need help in pronunciation of Sanskrit words, I highly advise finding a teacher, a friend or someone in your community who will surprise you with their readiness to assist you—knowledge of Sanskrit and its literature seems to nurture this helpful attitude. These people need not know the meaning of all the Sanskrit words, but they can read the Sanskrit script.
An alternative help for this Script Reading Exercise is the specially developed Sanskrit Reading Tutor: Read It, Click It, Hear It!, a uniquely formatted PDF file that has the alphabet sections from the Grammar Reference plus the Script Reading Exercise of the Grammar Coursebook. The special feature of the PDF is that one can click on any of the characters in the alphabet section to hear its pronunciation, and on any of the individual lines, quarter verses, or their syllables of Script Reading Exercise to hear their pronunciation. In this way one can have each of these script elements individually re-read to you over and over while you are seeing the script on your screen—a unique and invaluable tool for learning the script and its pronunciation.
The rest of the lessons in the Aruna Coursebook give a relatively quick overview of the entire Grammar Reference—its layout, its methodology and how its grammar rules are to be understood. Enough explanation with little redundancy is provided to explain the outlined and charted grammar presented in the Grammar Reference so that you can learn on your own with little or no assistance from a teacher, assuming you can apply a post-high school aptitude towards this work.
The examples and exercises in the Aruna Coursebook are drawn from the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, which is taught completely in prose format, then finally in verse format. In the Aruna Coursebook, vocabulary is presented by giving the English meaning of the individual words, their grammar and also their contextual use within expressions from the Gita. This should make it very easy to learn the vocabulary. By teaching the vocabulary of the verses in a consistent Sanskrit prose order, which is syntactically based, the student gains a quicker grasp of Sanskrit syntax. All exercise expressions and sentences are taken directly from the Gita—no extraneous material is presented. These words, expressions and sentences are repeated throughout the Aruna Coursebook in the lessons and exercises to assist your memory; nothing is taken for granted as you progress through the Aruna Coursebook. All the examples and lessons are cross referenced to their specific verses in the Gita, so the context and the English translation given therein will provide an answer key and guide for the student’s work. The examples for the grammar rules in each lesson are taken from the second chapter vocabulary and expressions. For more, please refer to our website, www.UpasanaYoga.org in the Sanskrit section, where more examples will be provided from the rest of the Gita and elsewhere as needed.
After knowing the prose order of all the verses of the second chapter, the student is then introduced to the analysis of verses so that he or she can quickly and confidently see the meaning of the Bhagavad Gita verses directly. Concepts presented in the Gita are expounded, so that non-Indian and Indian students alike can appreciate the depth of discussion within the Gita.
The Aruna Coursebook forms a four to twelve month full-time course in itself, depending on the effort put forth and any previous exposure to this language or familiarity with other languages that may have affinity to the Sanskrit language. At the completion of The Aruna Coursebook you will be familiar with the entire range of Sanskrit grammar for reading proficiency and be able to sight read with understanding all the verses of the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, which briefly presents the entire teaching of the Gita.
The Aruna Sanskrit Coursebook combined with the Grammar Reference provide a gateway to furthering a student’s knowledge in Sanskrit, and for beginners in Sanskrit who have some coaching assistance available.
These two texts together are meant for adults, rather than children. The material is presented for logically understanding Sanskrit, not for simply memorizing.
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