SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Sanskrit Reading Course 1

Duration: 3 terms, 10 weeks per term, 20 hours blended learning. Each term classes are subject to quorum requirements.

  • Overview
  • Structure


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Mode of Attendance: Part-time

Fees: Course fees quoted are per term of 10 weeks.

This course is intended to be an introduction to Sanskrit literature, presupposing an ability to understand basic Sanskrit grammar and to read the devanāgarī script, and are not suitable for those who are new to the study of Sanskrit. For those who have not studied Sanskrit up to and including the Pre-Intermediate level at SOAS Language Centre, it is necessary to email the admin team at at least two weeks before the start of the course in order to request an assessment for entry to this course.

Sanskrit Reading 1 aims to develop confidence in the ability to analyse and to critically appreciate selected texts from various phases and genres of Sanskrit. These are studied within their historical and literary contexts.

Students will be asked to undertake translation of extracts from original Sanskrit texts and to discuss their literary merits in class. Students will also be expected to give presentations on the issues arising from the texts studied in class.


The course will be delivered through 20 hours of blended learning: this is composed of 15 hours of online structured lessons with the teacher. This is supplemented by a minimum of 5 hours of guided independent learning supported by complementary material and regular feedback from the tutor. The course objective will be achieved within the 10-week course.

Online Course Requirements

Please ensure you have checked the Learner Support page for the Collaborate Session Preparation and Checklist, Required Equipment & Software.


The chosen texts may vary from year to year. An in-house produced booklet of materials with all the texts and exercises needed for this course (all terms) will be provided for students for a small extra charge. Students will be advised of this once the class is confirmed.

Entry Requirements

For applicants who are not currently students of Sanskrit through the Language Centre, entry to the course is by assessment only. Applicants must email the admin team at to arrange for an assessment at least two weeks before the start of the course.

Related Information

Back to the Language Centre Homepage

For the full list of short evening courses in Sanskrit and for the information on Sanskrit teaching and learning at SOAS Language Centre please visit the Sanskrit Language Homepage.


Overview of Course Contents

1. Madana-Dahana - the death by conflagration of the god of love (TERM 1, Oct - Dec)

2. Rati-Vilaap - the piteous lamentation of Rati, the wife of the god of love (TERM 2, Jan - Mar)

3. The Austerities of Parvati, and the concomitant yielding of ShivS (TERM 3, Apr - July)