Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 10/6/13
05
June
2013

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 10/6/13

Why Sanskrit?

Congratulations to all involved in the Sanskrit Recitation Competition.  The children were excellent as confirmed by the judges.

I am occasionally asked why we teach Sanskrit. It is one of the key features of the school along with Singing and Shakespeare.  These three were recommended to us by Leon MacLaren, the founder of the School of Philosophy, as the basic subjects which would be nourishing and beneficial to Australian school children.  Particularly in relation to powerful, beautiful and effective speech.  Hence our continuous commitment to them.

But Sanskrit has special benefits.  Any classical language, effectively taught, gives one a firm basis in linguistics, grammar, and orderly thinking.  In addition, a subject which is hard and challenging deepens the children’s emotional vocabulary in areas such as perseverance, patience, seeing things through to the end, as well as logic and reasoning.  Learning a foreign language also expands cultural horizons.

But this week one of the chief benefits of Sanskrit was on open display.  Simply put, it is beautiful.  The harmonies and cadences of its sounds are uplifting and nourishing.  Part of our vision for the school is to surround and immerse the children in beautiful, uplifting and inspiring works of human excellence.

Like beautiful music Sanskrit is mysterious and hard to explain, but you know it when you hear it.  More, it is a mistake to try to over-explain and over analyse a thing of beauty like Sanskrit; best to accept it as a special gift from the Universe and enjoy it.


Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet