Diploma in Buddhist Sanskrit: Language and Literature

(This programme will be conducted in online mode.)

Programme details for Academic year 2024-25:

Commencement Date: 19th July 2024
Days: Mondays
Timing: 6 pm to 8 pm 
Days: Fridays
Timing: 4 pm to 6 pm


From around the 2nd century onwards, most Indian Buddhist schools began to compose their literature in Sanskrit; this collection is largely preserved in Chinese and Tibetan translations but there are several texts that are still extant in the original Sanskrit, among the notable ones being the Saddharmapundarika Sutra and the Prajnaparamita Sutra. Sanskrit texts represent an important dimension of the cultural and linguistic heritage of Buddhism, comprising philosophical, doctrinal, religious treatises as well as narrative texts that profoundly influenced the dissemination of Buddhism in Asian regions such as China, Japan, Korea, Tibet and Nepal. Knowledge of Sanskrit is key to resolve questions about meaning and interpretation in the translated versions.

Sanskrit is therefore essential not just for those interested Indian Buddhism but also in Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism; students of Southeast Asian Buddhism who wish to undertake comparative studies also need to master Sanskrit.

This Diploma addresses the learning needs of students of Buddhism by drawing upon Buddhist literature and context from the very beginning. The objective is to equip students with materials and skills to read Buddhist Sanskrit texts as early as possible.

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Key Information


  • HSC or equivalent examination (e.g. 10+2)


Teaching-learning occurs primarily in lecture format. Workshops in Brahmi and Prakrit grammar will enrich the learning experience.


Semester I Semester II
Grammar and Comprehension Translation and Critical Appreciation
Workshop 1 Workshop 2


The Centre for Buddhist Studies has led the field in innovative curriculum design that addresses the learning needs of students who can engage full time, as well as those who pursue their passion part-time, at their own pace.

The Diploma in Buddhist Sanskrit Language and Literature is a unique programme, offered specifically to address the learning needs of students of Buddhism. Regardless of the area of interest, a foundational knowledge of Sanskrit is essential for the pursuit of higher studies in this field.

The K J Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies has a library with over 30,000 books, which is an important resource.

In addition to the workshops that are an integral part of this programme, students can attend seminars, workshops and field trips that are offered by the institution across the various disciplines. This creates opportunities of learning beyond the classroom and permits interaction with students pursuing different interests: this is a key feature of the learning experience on our campus.

Programme Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the programme, a student will:

  • Have an overview of the wealth of Buddhist literature in Sanskrit.
  • Be able to read simple passages, with comparative analysis.
  • Be able to appreciate the distinctive features of Buddhist Hybrid grammar and also understand elementary principles of translation.

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