SKT 204 | Spoken Sanskrit I

6-Week Online Course

with Dr. Varun Khanna


Our next Spoken Sanskrit Series begins in 2025. 

Cutting-edge online Sanskrit curriculum 

Join Dr. Varun Khanna, and a global cohort of students, for this unique opportunity to study and receive world-class training in Spoken Sanskritfrom the comfort of your own home. 

Sanskrit as a Living Language

Did you know that Sanskrit is not only a language designed for sacred scripture, but also for daily communication, with words for computers, A/C, trains, planes, and more? Did you know that there are communities in India and around the world today that communicate amongst themselves almost exclusively in Sanskrit? Did you know that you can speak Sanskrit? Join Dr. Varun Khanna for an immersive dive into the world of spoken Sanskrit, learning to communicate in this ancient language from scratch.

Spoken Sanskrit is an extremely helpful tool for learning to interpret Sanskrit – even in its written form – in an organic and natural way, particularly when it comes to understanding declensions of nominals, conjugations of verbs, and syntax. By learning spoken Sanskrit, we become not only consumers of the language but producers as well, opening our minds to the expansive variety and potential that Sanskrit holds. When we learn to produce Sanskrit ourselves, then the language finds a living home in an embodied context. True to its history, the oral production of the Sanskrit language is what keeps it alive.


This series of courses takes a natural approach to learning Sanskrit. As a baby learns language for the first time by being immersed in it without the scaffolding of grammar, students too will learn by hearing and repeating words and sentences directly in their contexts, followed by independent generation of their own sentences. As the course series progresses, students’ ability to create complex sentences will develop and become more robust. Students will produce skits, jokes, and more throughout the course, learning to communicate with each other in Sanskrit as they go.

Prerequisite is any introductory Sanskrit course.

Note: Students who have not taken our SKT 100-level courses are welcome to join, so long as you have sufficient background in the language. 

Two 6-week terms

  • SKT 204 | Spoken Sanskrit I (6 weeks) 
  • SKT 205 | Spoken Sanskrit II (6 weeks) 

All students enrolled will receive: 

  • 12 Zoom live class sessions + recordings (90 min each)
  • Up to 18 Hours of CE credit with YA
  • Yogic Studies Certificate upon completion (PDF)
  • Access to the private Yogic Studies Online Community Forum

Your Instructor

Dr. Varun Khanna

As a pre-med undergrad student, Varun Khanna accidentally stumbled into Sanskrit when he tried to learn Ayurveda during a study abroad program in India. After learning to speak and becoming fluent in the language, he changed direction and became a full-time student of Sanskrit and Indian philosophy. He then traveled through various jungles and cities in India to learn from different Sanskrit gurus, specializing in Pāṇinian Sanskrit grammar. Varun later earned both his master’s degree in Sanskrit and his PhD in Hinduism (studying consciousness in the Upaniṣads) at the University of Cambridge. He has been teaching spoken Sanskrit, Pāṇinian Sanskrit grammar, and topics in Indian philosophy since 2008, and is now a Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics teaching Sanskrit at Swarthmore College.

Varun’s research interests lie in the intersection of Sanskrit grammar, Vedānta philosophy, and social justice. His latest work centers on the perspectives that ancient Sanskrit literature offers for thinking about equality, freedom, and justice. He is also working on a new Sanskrit primer that incorporates Pāṇinian grammar in order to help students learn the exact boundaries of the rules of Sanskrit.

Listen or watch our interview with Dr. Khanna on the Yogic Studies Podcast. 

Enrollment will open in 2025.

Students can join the course with one of the following tuition options:

Regular Tuition



• Lifetime access to SKT 204


Regular Tuition

$100 X 2


• Lifetime access to SKT 204


Bundle Tuition



• Lifetime access to SKT 204

• Lifetime access to SKT 205

• Save $90 by enrolling in both terms up front! 


Frequently Asked Questions

To get the most out of this course, students should have at least one introductory course in Sanskrit (SKT 100a, 100b, 101, 102, 103) so that you have a basic understanding of the alphabet and the principles of the language. Don't worry too much about your knowledge of the grammar, as this course will be taking a different approach! 

Not to worry! All live sessions with Dr. Khanna will be recorded and posted to the course website within 24 hours. Students will have lifetime access to them. 

So while live attendance is strongly encouraged to get the most out of the course, you can still participate by watching the recordings. 

You are also encouraged to participate in the online Community forum, and have the opportunity to send questions in ahead of time, especially if you cannot attend live. 

No, not at all. You are welcome to only register for a single course/term, as it suits your interests and level of study. 

No textbook will be required or used. This will be a very hands on, or "mouths on" class. 

Unfortunately, SKT 100-level and 200-level courses are the only courses that are NOT included in the YS Membership Program. The reason behind this is we need to open/close enrollment at set dates and create unique Sanskrit cohorts to better serve the learning environment for both instructor and students. 

However, both SKT 100a | The Devanāgarī Seminar and SKT 100b | Sanskrit for Yogis are available to students in the YS Membership Program. 

Yes! Upon completion of each SKT course in the series, you will be eligible for an official Yogic Studies certificate of completion. 

If you have any further questions about this course or our Sanskrit curriculum, please email us at [email protected] 


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