SKT 203 | Intermediate Sanskrit III: Sanskrit Narratives

Jan 6 - Mar 7, 2025


Course Description

Once upon a time, the story goes, the god Śiva told his wife PārvatÄ« a long and fascinating tale, which was overheard by one of his attendants. This act of eavesdropping, combined with several acts of divine punishment, mean the story is made known on earth – yet an act of human pride and stupidity leads to six sevenths of the story being burned. Of the remainder of this mythical Bṛhatkathā (or ‘Long Story’), five purported retellings survive, three of which are in Sanskrit. In this course, we will be reading excerpts from two of these retellings, the Bṛhatkathāślokasaṃgraha or ‘Verse Summary of the Bṛhatkathā’ and the (slightly more poetically named!) Kathāsaritsāgara or ‘Ocean of Streams of Stories’.

Both of these feature a narrative frame within which numerous individual stories are told, some long, some short, some funny, some thought-provoking, some bawdy, some philosophical. We will begin by reading a longer story from the Bṛhatkathāślokasaṃgraha in which Sānudāsa, an overly earnest young man, comes to enjoy life’s pleasures with the help of his friends and the mysterious Blue Lotus Nectar. We will then read excerpts from the Kathāsaritsāgara, the masterly work of Somadeva, a court poet from 11th-century Kashmir. His Sanskrit is deceptively simple, but carefully crafted and supremely elegant. The multi-cultural, multi-religious society he lives in shines through in many of his stories.

For all our readings, we will be using the instructor’s Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit reader, which provides copious grammar and vocab notes on every passage. We will read passages not covered in last year’s SKT 203 last year, so that anyone who wishes to rejoin will be most welcome!


Three 9-Week Terms

  • SKT 201 | Intermediate Sanskrit I (May 6 - July 5, 2024)
  • SKT 202 | Intermediate Sanskrit II (Sep 9 - Nov 8, 2024)
  • SKT 203 | Intermediate Sanskrit III (Jan 6 - Mar 7, 2025)

Course Structure

  • 18 Live Class Sessions (90 min each)
    • Mondays @ 12-1:30pm Pacific (California)
    • Wednesdays @ 10-11:30am Pacific (California)
  • All live sessions will take place via Zoom and will be recorded for later viewing. 

Students Will Receive: 

  • 18 live class sessions (90 min each)
  • 5 ACP Credits
  • 27 Hours of CE credit with YA
  • Yogic Studies Certificate (PDF)
  • Access to the private Community Forum

Dr. Antonia M. Ruppel

Lecturer in Sanskrit, Institute of Indology and Tibetology, LMU, Munich, Germany

Antonia Ruppel is a Classicist by training who came to Sanskrit through a series of fortunate accidents. She learnt the language as an autodidact, and one of her reasons for writing her textbook, The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit (2017), was to make the experience of studying Sanskrit easier and more pleasant for others. She has recently published the followup volume, An Introductory Sanskrit Reader: Improving Reading Fluency (2021), designed to help students gain reading fluency in an enjoyable and straightforward way.

Language pedagogy is at the heart of her life. She has been teaching Sanskrit for 15 years at universities such as Cornell, Oxford and now the LMU in Munich, Germany, as well as offering courses in variety of formats online.

Listen to our interview with Dr. Ruppel on the Yogic Studies Podcast.

Enrollment is currently closed.

Regular Tuition


One-Time Payment

  • Lifetime access to SKT 203

Regular Tuition

$100 x 3

Three Monthly Payments

  • Lifetime access to SKT 203

Frequently Asked Questions

This course is eligible for 27 hours of Continued Education (CE) credits with Yoga Alliance

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