The study of the Sanskrit language, the most important classical language of the Indian subcontinent, is the gateway for exploring the various intellectual, literary and artistic traditions - associated especially with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism - that have shaped South Asian civilisation, and which have played a profound role in forming Asia as a whole. The Sanskrit minor is designed to foster a sophisticated grasp of developments in religion, literature and philosophy throughout South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan), Central Asia, South East Asia and Tibet, as well as an understanding of the broader social and historical contexts in which these developments took place.
On completion of the minor, you will find yourself well placed to adopt a critical yet self-aware and balanced ‘big-picture’ perspective upon South Asian society and culture (and more broadly, Asian society and culture). Your background in seeing South Asian civilisation as a whole by way of your exposure to formative Sanskrit texts such as the Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa and Bhagavad Gītā, will enable you to see beyond stereotypes and media hype in forming sophisticated and insightful responses to critical issues in both ancient and contemporary South Asia, such as, caste, inter-religious tension, dowry and arranged marriages.
Students are encouraged to further deepen their understanding of Indian religion, philosophy, history, literature, art and culture through taking units with Indian and Buddhist content offered in the Asian Studies program.
The Sanskrit minor requirements are listed in the Sanskrit unit of study table. Students currently undertake third year units by cross-institutional study via ANU flexible delivery (please contact the Department for further details).
More information and current contact details for academic coordinators can be found on the Asian Studies website.