[Advaita-l] Learning sanskrit and structured learning of Hinduism

Shyam shyam_md at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 22 08:00:02 CDT 2009

Pranams Shri Magesh-ji
Welcome to the group. 

For Sanskrit learning for beginners, Arsha vidya gurukulam has an excellent introductory course as well as a live weekend online series. 

With regards to texts that may be of use to a beginner - I believe any study should start with the Gita - it has a complete script that includes an elaborate analysis of both karmayoga and jnana, [and an emphasis on bhakti that is the underpinning for both] - both of which are necessary and successive in nature. In the process, one also gains an understanding of Vedanta and the prakriyas used to arrive at an understanding of the mahavakyas.
Next, or simultaneously, I would recommend the tattvabodha - just so one has a very firm idea of the fundamentals - even after years of study, you will find disagreements even on the fundamentals - so one appreciates the importance of this prior to a more indepth study. After this may begin the upanishadic study. Finding a live master with whom one can readily communicate, converse, or at least exchange letters, etc is indispensible. 
I dont know where you are located but most cities would have a center or two which can act as a good resource.

I would highly recommend Swami Paramarthananda from Chennai - whose lecture series in English are highly systematic, lucid and focussed, and more importantly, steeped in tradition. The website http://www.vedantavidyarthisangha.org/ has a whole series of lectures (16 in all) on "Introduction to Vedanta" which actually are complete in themselves if only one can completely imbibe all that is taught.

WIth regards to passing on Hindu samskaras to the the next generation Swami Dayananda-ji has put together an excellent series of books that are age appropriate - the Vedic Heritage Program.

This link has information about this course and also Swamiji's Bhagawad Gita home study course as well as the Sanskrit selfstudy courses.

Best wishes,
Hari OM
Shri Gurubhyoh namah
--- On Thu, 10/22/09, Magesh N <maggem123 at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Magesh N <maggem123 at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Advaita-l] Learning sanskrit and structured learning of Hinduism
> To: advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> Date: Thursday, October 22, 2009, 7:36 AM
> Hello Everyone,
> I have joined this group very recently... Excellent to see
> the
> discussions by many learned people.
> I am doing my PhD in UK. I consider myself 0 in
> sprituality. have only
> patch knowledge here and there.
> Thanks to Ananya Parek - I wanted to raise the same
> question "Readings
> for Beginners" and others for answering to the thread.
> I have two doubts
> - Is there any book for self-study material for learning
> Sanskrit? My
> long held wish.
> - Forgive my ignorance.
> I think...... Hinduism is not taught in a structed way to
> kids in the
> right age. Have we failed in that aspect?
> Considering the way other religions show so much respect
> for their
> teachings, worship and rituals, Do we have proper means of
> imparting
> knowledge to a growing kid?
> I dont want to blame my father for this. I don't remember
> doing a
> systematic study. Owing to the environment I grew, I have
> listened to
> mantras and chanting from young age. I have good retention
> (memory)
> and It is easy for me to pickup.  But no structured
> learning...
> There is also saying knowledge without guru is kind of
> meaningless and
> would be patchy....
> Your thoughts on this for future generation.
> Thanks & best wishes
> Magesh N
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