MIT Samskritam

एम् ऐ टी संस्कृतम्

Who are we?

We are a group of MIT students interested in speaking, learning, and engaging deeply with Samskrtam (संस्कृतम्) and its associated culture. Samskrtam is a rich ancient language with a living spoken tradition, a treasure of literature and culture, a multitude of fundamental mathematical and scientific contributions, a rich culture and artistic tradition, and deep connections with several other languages.

Why Samskrtam?

Linguistics: Panini's Ashtādhyāyi (अष्टाध्यायी), the formal grammar of Samskrtam, written over 2500 years ago is celebrated to this day as being a most ancient and comprehensive descriptive grammar of any spoken language.

Mathematics: many fundmamental and foundational contributions to mathematics such as: the discovery of zero and the decimal number system (i.e. the "Hindu numerals"), the recursive formulation of the fibonacci numbers, and the pythagorus theorem were made by scholars of the Samskrtam tradition.

Yoga: the foundational text of yoga, Patanjali's yoga-sutras (योगसूत्राणि), is a Samskrtam text from 2000 years ago. This compact summary of the Hindu teachings on enriching one's life through spiritual growth has taken the world by storm in the past century.

Literature: The timeless works of Kavikulaguru "the guru of the poets" Kalidāsa including Kumārasambhavam, Meghadūtam, Abhijnānasākuntalam, and Mālavikāgnimitram, and the works of so many other Indian writers such Bhāsa, Bāna, and Jayadeva are Samskrtam classics.

Foundational Hindu texts: the four Vedas, regarded as the most ancient texts of the world, the Rāmāyana, Mahābhārata and Bhagavad Gīta, and many more texts of great cultural and spiritual significance are works of the Samskrtam heritage.

A maharshi (seeker & teacher) sits in the traditional ardha-padma āsana (half-lotus posture).