High demand for Sanskrit studies in Germany

High demand for Sanskrit studies in Germany pardesi news 1460706380

Sanskrit fever has gripped Germany with 14 universities teaching India’s ancient language, one wondering will Germans be the eventual custodians of Sanskrit.

The study of Sanskrit grammar and philology remains important both in the field of Indology and of Indo-European studies. Presently, Germany has already been a storehouse of Sanskrit scholars to the world. Even, the majority of Sanskrit scholars, including those at Harvard, California Berkeley and the UK, are Germans and if the demand for Sanskrit and Indology courses in Germany is any indication, that’s what the future looks like.

 Sanskrit fever grips Germany, around 14 German universities, and around In Germany, there are several schools of Sanskrit, teaching India's ancient language and are still struggling to meet demand as students clamour for the subject.  "When we started it 15 years ago, we were almost ready to shut it after a couple of years. Instead, we had to increase strength and take the course to other European countries… In Germany, 14 of the top universities teach Sanskrit, classical and modern Indology compared to just four in the UK", said Professor Dr. Axel Michaels, head of classical Indology at the university.  

According to Francesca Lunari, a medical student who has been studying Sanskrit at Heidelberg University, "I am interested in psychoanalysis and must know how human thoughts originated through texts, cultures and societies. I will learn Bangla also to decipher the seminal works of Girindra Sekhar Bose, a pioneer of oriental psychiatry who has hardly been studied - even in India. Learning Sanskrit is the first step".

Sanskrit has been a regular matter of study and research with the Western scholars since the late 18th century. In the 19th century, the study of Sanskrit played a crucial role in the development of the field of comparative linguistics of the Indo-European languages. During the British rule period, the Western scholars had also edited several Sanskrit texts which had survived in manuscript form. But the important question remains – now, with so much high demand for Sanskrit studies in Germany, and Indians certainly lacking behind - are Germans the eventual custodians of Sanskrit, its rich heritage and culture?

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Patrick Callahan

Pardesi News Reporter

Pardesi News Reporter

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