Introduction to Sanskrit Day School: London 28 October 2017

Sanskrit day school


Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Gabriella Burnel


28 October 2017




The Rembrandt Hotel,
11 Thurloe Place
London SW7 2RS

This day school is intended to give students a taste of Sanskrit – “the language of the Gods”.

We will look at Sanskrit’s role in Indian history, science, religion, and culture. We will take an introductory look at its grammar and we will explore the reasons for its enduring allure.

We then move on to the value of Sanskrit and the concepts it defines to students of Hinduism with a survey of the alphabet. We will practice some sounds and Vedic chants.

In stock


Session one – The Language of the Gods: A brief cultural history of Sanskrit

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Sanskrit has left an indelible mark on the culture of India. For many Hindu traditions it is the only liturgical language, and the primary vehicle for religious teachings. But it has also been the language of literature and drama, of science and medicine, and the language of political power. This sessions will provide a brief overview of the place of Sanskrit in India’s rich history, both religious and secular, and explore the reasons for its enduring allure.

Session two – “Made Perfect”: An introduction to Sanskrit grammar

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Sanskrit literally means ‘made perfect’ or ‘refined’ (saṃskṛta). The language has been called by this name because it is refined by a grammar, in contrast with the vernacular Prakrit (prākṛta meaning ‘natural’, ‘common’) languages, such as Pali, which had no fixed grammar. This session will introduce some of the fundamentals of the language, and explore how it has resisted change over the several millennia of its existence due to its complex grammar.

Session three – Why Sanskrit?

Gabriella Burnel
In this session we discuss the value of Sanskrit to students of Hinduism. We will examine the names of devas and important concepts such as brahman, atman, samskara, antahkarana and explain how an understanding of Sanskrit can help understand these on a deeper level. We will do a broad survey of the beauty and systems of the alphabet with an introduction to the sounds.

Session four – Sounds of Sanskrit

Gabriella Burnel
We will take three vedic chants, examine their meaning and learn how to sound them. We will also practice some spoken Sanskrit through the names of one god and one goddess.

Our tutors

Dr Rembert Lutjeharms

Rembert holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Oriental Studies (Indology) from the University of Ghent, Belgium, 2003. He completed his D.Phil. in Theology at Oxford in 2010, focusing on the theology of the sixteenth-century Caitanya Vaishnava poet and literary critic Kavikarnapura. Rembert is the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies Librarian and is researching Sanskrit poetry and poetics, early Caitanya Vaisnava history, and Sanskrit hermeneutics.

Gabriella Burnel

Gabriella began studying Sanskrit at age five and philosophy at eight. She continued her Sanskrit studies at Oxford and has continued her studies in India and the UK ever since and has been working privately as a Sanskrit tutor for many years in London. Gabriella also writes musical theatre and teaches the Alexander Technique. She aims to complete a PhD on Voice and the study of speech in Sanskrit.

When and where

Saturday 28 October

The Rembrandt Hotel
11 Thurloe Pl
London, SW7 2RS

Registration: 9.45am
Session one: 10–11.20am
Teas and coffees: 11.20–11.40am
Session two: 11.40am–1pm
Lunch break 1–2.30pm
Session 3: 2.30–3.50pm
Teas and coffees: 3.50–4.10pm
Session 4: 4.10–5.30pm