University of Toronto launching Sanskrit studies

by Rajan Zed

University of Toronto (U of T), “one of the world’s top research-intensive universities”, is launching three-level Sanskrit language learning courses from September next.

Under the university’s Department for the Study of Religion, these will be undertaken at Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced levels; with each level spread over one year. Classes are offered on the campus as well as online, with each level divided into two semesters.

No prior knowledge of Sanskrit is required for the first semester of Introductory course and both written and spoken language will be taught. Courses are open both to U of T students and others. Aim is to “read Sanskrit literature with the aid of a dictionary” after the first semester of Introductory Sanskrit course. First and second semesters will work for building knowledge of Sanskrit grammar and vocabulary and each will include 11 tests and a final exam.

Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended the U of T for providing Sanskrit learning opportunities and urged all Canadian universities, public as well as private, to launch Sanskrit programs.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that that Sanskrit, which was known as “the language of the gods”, provided the theoretical foundation of ancient sciences and had a close relationship with other classical languages like Latin, Greek, French, German, etc. According to tradition, self-born God created Sanskrit, which was everlasting and divine, Zed added.

Instructor for the U of T Sanskrit courses is Assistant Professor Libbie (Elizabeth) Mills, a Sanskritist whose areas of interest include “Early Shaiva Tantra”. James DiCenso is the Acting Chair of the Department.

Over 500,000 graduates of U of T, founded in 1827 and “driven to invent and innovate”, are spread across 140 countries. Meric Gertler is the President, while Michael H. Wilson is the Chancellor.

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