Calendar of Events

World Sanskrit Day Celebration at Ananda Ashram *

Thu, Aug 11 to Sun, Aug 14

Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon
Special Workshops offered In-Person (in Blue Sky Center) and Online

Note: Once you register for the program, you will be sent a link to register for your overnight stay. You may also call the office for more information.

Tuition for Online Attendance only: By Open Donation

Day Participant Fee: Friday or Saturday $65, Sunday $30
– Includes Workshops, Ashram morning & evening programs and meals.
Register for individual days:

Note that for in-person attendance, proof of vaccination is required.

This three-day weekend is scheduled around World Sanskrit Day, celebrated on the full moon of the month of Shrāvaṇa, which falls on August 12 this year. The event is organized in honor of the ancient language of Sanskrit by Shanta Bulkin, co-founder of the East-West Sanskrit Institute based in California and head of the Program Development Committee of the Yoga Society of New York, with support by the School of Sanskrit at Ananda Ashram (part of ISEWU / International Schools of East-West Unity).
Deven M. Patel, associate professor of Sanskrit language and the literatures of South Asia at the University of Pennsylvania, will be the Master of Ceremonies on Friday and Saturday.

This is also to honor the extraordinary teaching legacy of Ashram Founder Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati (Shri Ramamurti) as well as of Professor Ram Karan Sharma, world-renowned Sanskrit scholar and poet. The majority of this weekend’s presenters have studied with at least one of these luminaries.

-- Streamed via Ananda Ashram Live on Facebook:

Thu, Aug 11, 8:00 PM
Sāṁkhya Darshana – M.A. Jayashree (via prerecorded video)
Distinguished Sanskrit scholar and teacher Dr. M.A Jayashree speaks on the ancient system of qualifying and quantifying the whole of creation, along with the sequence of its origins and growth, in terms of the sensory world and creation beyond the senses.
Followed by chanting from "Kirateshvara" Sanskrit hymn.

Fri, Aug 12, 10:30 AM - Noon
Sanskrit Culture from the Perspective of Its Literature – Deven M. Patel
A short lecture highlighting important aspects of Sanskrit culture culled from its literary works, as they might complement, or differ from, Sanskrit linguistics, philosophy and shāstra.

Fri, Aug 12, 2:00-3:00 PM
Paninian Linguistics – Indira Bulkin
A practical, hands-on introduction to a different view of the “nuts & bolts” of the Sanskrit language. Panini's sūtras are written in a code that takes your mind into a different universe, an intersection of mathematics and language.

Fri, Aug 12, 3:30-4:30 PM
Meditation & Non-Attachment in the Bhagavad Gītā – Manorama
Manorama will guide meditation and chanting of selected verses from the Bhagavad Gītā. She will share teachings on meditation and non-attachment and how to bring these teachings into your yoga practice and life.

Fri, Aug 12, 8:00 PM
Video of Prof. Ram Karan Sharma on Sanskrit
Followed by Kirtan with Krishnā Devi.

Sat, Aug 13, 10:30 AM - Noon
Simple Spoken Sanskrit – Naresh Cuntoor
In this class, Naresh from the Saṁskrita Bharati organization will guide participants through simple spoken Sanskrit.

Sat, Aug 13, 2:00-3:00 PM
A Quantum KO’HAM Conundrum – Naren Budhakar
Exploring cryptic wisdom in Sanskrit verses which may point to a higher truth, the possibility of the existence of which is hinted at by Quantum physics and biological processes.

Sat, Aug 13, 3:30-4:30 PM
Engaging Artistically with the Yogasūtra – Melissa Townsend
An artistic engagement with the Yogasūtra of Patanjali – or other text – opens a gateway to a profound creative connection to the text and its teachings, while adding depth to the study of Sanskrit and philosophy.

Sat, Aug 13, 8:00 PM
Cultural Performance TBA

Sun, Aug 14, 10:30 AM - Noon
Panel Discussion
Covering various aspects related to the Sanskrit language:
How to Think about Sanskrit Culture in the Modern World – Deven M. Patel
Sanskrit & the Yoga of Sound – Bob Gilbo
The Art of Vedic Chanting – Manasvini Leslie Freyburg

Leslie will discuss the definition of Vedic Chanting and how it differs from chanting classical Sanskrit. She will chant the Gāyatrī mantra using a mnemonic known as the ghana.
Pluralism of Jains – Naren Budhakar
Jainism proposes that truth is always many-sided and multi-faceted. This wisdom is uncannily consistent with Quantum physics and evolutionary biology.
Sanskrit: A Tool for Meditation – Shanta Bulkin
Shanta will lead the group in the echoing of the sacred sounds of this amazing and inspirational language – the Language of the Gods.

-- The ISEWU admits students of any race, color and national or ethnic origin. --

Traditional Ashram Daily Programs
In addition to the programs listed above, the weekend package includes the following:
7:00-8:00 AM Yoga Class; 9:00-10:15 AM Meditation Program with fire ceremony and mantras; 7:00-8:00 PM Meditation Program with fire ceremony and a reading


Dr. M.A. Jayashree is a retired Professor of Sanskrit and is currently the director of Anantha Research Foundation, Mysore, an institution engaged in research work in the field of ancient sciences of India and also in the field of Sanskrit and Indian culture.

Deven M. Patel is a professor of Sanskrit and South Asian Culture in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches courses in literature, philosophy, mythology, literary theory, and translation studies. Deven writes on the history and interpretation of literature and translates from Sanskrit to English. His published works include Text to Tradition: The Naiṣadhīyacarita and Literary Community in South Asia and Kavirājamārgam: The Way of the King of Poets (co-authored with R.V.S. Sundaram).

Indira Bulkin met Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati in 1971 at Ananda Ashram in Monroe, NY. She immediately started studying and then teaching the Sanskrit language. In the early 1980s Guruji named her head of the Sanskrit Department at the Yoga Society of San Francisco, a position she held until 2010. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1993 with a BA in the Sanskrit Language, before earning her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy. She co-founded the East-West Sanskrit Institute in 2010 with her husband Shanta Bulkin.

Manorama studied the Sanskrit language, meditation and Yoga philosophy with Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati and also studied with renowned Sanskrit scholar Dr. Ram Karan Sharma. Based in New York City, Manorama is the founder and director of the “Sanskrit Studies” and “Luminous Soul” Methods.

Naren Budhakar was born in Pune city, a celebrated epicenter of Sanskrit in India, into a Brahmin family who valued knowledge above all endeavors. Naren’s grandfather was his very first Sanskrit teacher. Life has taken Naren in many directions, but clearly the sanskāras prevail: a science graduate by education and a musician by profession, he remains a student of Sanskrit with passion. Naren is co-director of the East-West School of Music at Ananda Ashram.

Melissa Townsend is an artist, writer, Sanskrit teacher, and internationally known psychic and astrologer. A Yoga practitioner since 1984, she teaches Yoga Philosophy and has translated, painted and authored The Yoga Sūtras of Patanjali: A Visual Meditation. Book One, Samādhi Pādaḥ and Book Two, Sādhana Pādaḥ.

Bob Gilbo studied Hindu philosophy with Ravi Ravindra under Satya Nārāyaṇa Dāsa of the Jīva Institute in Vrindavan, India, as well as with Edwin Bryant at Rutgers University. Bob edited Dr. Bryant's landmark translation and commentary on the Yoga Sūtra of Patanjali (North Point Press, 2009). He has been studying Sanskrit since 2004.

Leslie Dillingham Freyberg, known at Ananda Ashram as Manasvinī (the name bestowed upon her by Dr. Ram Karan Sharma), was drawn to the Sanskrit language while completing her certification as a teacher of Iyengar Yoga. She began her Sanskrit studies with Vyaas Houston of the American Sanskrit Institute and has taught Sanskrit in that method for fifteen years.

Shanta Bulkin met Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati at Ananda Ashram in the summer of 1972. Some 50 years later, it has become his passion to help promote the Sanskrit language as a Tool for Meditation and to support the concept of paramparā, to help continue this “Science of Vibration” for the next generation.

Further details to be announced.