I first posted the following article in 1994:
SANSKRIT AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
An interview with Vyaas Houston
By Deborah Willoughby
Yog International
SANSKRIT IS AN EXTRAORDINARY medium of expression. Its body of literature is vast, encompassing more titles than any other language, including English.
Its eloquence is unsurpassed it is the vehicle for some of the world's most haunting poetry; its greatest scriptures; and its most closely reasoned philosophical treatises.
Besides being an exquisite vehicle for both poetic expression and abstract thought, Sanskrit is so precise and rigorous that the Artificial Intelligence field is beginning to use it in computer processing projects, something that has not been possible with other natural languages.
Sanskrit is also the language of Yog(a). Although many students are drawn to it at some stage of their practice, it is not particularly accessible to Westerners.
Teachers are few and far between, and even when one is available, the popular notion that it takes years of intense study to get even a glimmer of meaning fom the language keeps all but the most determined away. As a Westerner who has become proficient in Sanskrit, Vyaas Houston is a rarity.
His 1971 meeting with his spiritual teacher, Shri
Brahmananda Saraswati, was the beginning of an odyssey into Sanskrit that is still continuing.
In the course of learning the language himself, he discovered an easy, natural way of teaching it to others.

Although he earned an M.A. in Sanskrit from Columbia University, he credits his ability both to learn and teach the language to his pursuit of it as a form of Yog(a).
The following conversation took place this winter (1992) at the American Sanskrit Institute in Warwick, New York.

YOG INTERNATIONAL: How did you become interested in Sanskrit?
VYAAS HOUSTON: My original interest was in Yog(a). I'd been practicing seriously for about three years when I had the good fortune to meet my Guru. I soon discovered that he taught through Sanskrit, and the only way I could study with him was to study Sanskrit. At that time, the only thing I knew about Sanskrit was that it was
connected to the science of Yog(a).
YOG INTERNATIONAL: How did he teach through Sanskrit?

VYAAS HOUSTON: Through chanting. It went on eight to ten hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It was as though his spiritual power was transmitted through chanting Sanskrit. It didn't seem to matter whether he was chanting the alphabet, or the noun case endings, or the Yog(a) Sutr(as), or verses from the Bhagvat Geeta. When he chanted, it was as though every molecule of his body was vibrating. It felt as though the entire universe dissolved into a state of vibration, as though it had liquified.
He would chant a line and we would uplicate him. Because he was absolutely one with what he was chanting nothing held back, his whole heart and being resonating through the room duplicating him would induce a natural state of meditation in us. His chanting was so pure and one-pointed that by listening and duplicating him, I learned how to expand and open up my own resonance in a way that I never could have accomplished alone.

The other thing was that along with chanting Sanskrit, he was teaching the philosophy of Yog(a). And I found that the teachings of Yog(a), which I had been reading for years, came through with much more power when I
approached them through the original Sanskrit.
YOG INTERNATIONAL: What gives Sanskrit this unique power?
VYAAS HOUSTON: It has to do with how the basic sounds of the language are structured and the way you learn them. The Sanskrit alphabet is a coherent selection of the most pure, distinct, and focused sounds that can be made by the human vocal instrument. You learn every letter of the Sanskrit alphabet as a resonating power. That requires learning exactly where each sound is locate within the structure of the mouth and becoming attuned to the precise amount of energy and breath required to pronounce it. It's like learning to play a musical instrument like the guitar, for instance where you develop a sensitivity to each of the strings and learn how to make contact with them in a way that produces music.
It's the same with Sanskrit you tune into five basic positions in the mouth and the variety of sounds that can occur at each position: you learn their similarities and their differences. That way, when you're chanting, you're always aware of the position of your tongue, how each sound is resonating, and how the energy is moving. This awarenes, in turn, increases the resonating power of the sounds, which then build an expand through the entire body.
The original sounds of the alphabet are combined with one another in such a way that there is always harmony among them. The design of Sanskrit is to keep the current of energy flowing so that you can enter into it, and keep flowing with it. Every combination of sound in Sanskrit follows strict laws of harmonics, which essentially make possible an uninterrupted flow of the most euphonic blending of letters into words and verse. Essentially, Sanskrit is designed to bring you into a state of optimal resonance. The engy patterns it sets in motion are so pure and universal that they naturally give access to states of consciousness not available through the
ordinary experience of the senses. Sanskrit puts you into a state of harmonic resonance with the universe.
YOG INTERNATIONAL: People are under the impression that Sanskrit is extraordinarily difficult to learn,
especially for Wesyerners. But you've been teaching Sanskrit in the United States for 20 years, and you say that youve never encountere anyone who can't learn it. SO why do people believe that learning this language is so difficult?
VYAAS HOUSTON: Sanskrit is designed so that the speaker vibrates or resonates with the truths being described by the language. If you approach Sanskrit in that way, you gain access to it. In other words, if you start out learning the sounds of the language and how to resonate with them, you create a foundation you can build on. But if you approach it from a traditional, academic perspective trying to learn the language by
accumulating and memorizing information Sanskrit will frustrate you, as it has countless brilliant students. Even people who haven't been particularly successful in school will have no difficulty learning Sanskrit if they know how the sounds naturally combine in the mouth and come to enjoy their resonance.
The other way is to memorize rules that describe how those sounds are put together, and trying to do that will drive you crazy. But if you approach it through feeling, it inspires you. Although in theory Sanskrit sounds formidable, in practice it is extremely basic. Anyone who is given the opportunity to discover and make the basic sounds of Sanskrit will love the experience. It's like becoming a child again.
YOG INTERNATIONAL: You keep referring to resonance. What do you mean by it, and why is it important?
VYAAS HOUSTON: All language creates vibration and resonance, but Sanskrit allows you to vibrate to the maximum, to vibrate as much as it is possible to vibrate using a language.
End of forwarded message
Jai Maharaj
http://www.mantra.com/jai
Om Shanti
Panchaang for 10 Phalgun 5104, Monday, March 1, 2004:

Shubhanu Nama Samvatsare Uttarayane Moksh Ritau
Kumbh Mase Shukl Pakshe Indu Vasara Yuktayam
Ardr-Punarvasu Nakshatr Ayushman Yog
Gar-Vanij Karan Dashami-Ekadashi Yam Tithau
Hindu Holocaust Museum
http://www.mantra.com/holocaust
Hindu life, principles, spirituality and philosophy http://www.hindu.org
http://www.hindunet.org
The truth about Islam and Muslims
http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate
o Not for commercial use. Solely to be fairly used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion. The contents of this post may not have been authored by, and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the poster. The contents are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works. o If you send private e-mail to me, it will likely not be read, considered or answered if it does not contain your full legal name, current e-mail and postal addresses, and live-voice telephone number. o Posted for information and discussion. Views expressed by others are not necessarily those of the poster.
The name of the magazine is YOGA International. Dont edit and modify the contents of news items and articles.
I first posted the following article in 1994:
SANSKRIT AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
An interview with Vyaas Houston
By Deborah Willoughby
Yog International
SANSKRIT IS AN EXTRAORDINARY medium of expression. Its body of literature is vast, encompassing more titles than any other language, including English.
Its eloquence is unsurpassed it is the vehicle for some of the world's most haunting poetry; its greatest scriptures; and its most closely reasoned philosophical treatises.
Besides being an exquisite vehicle for both poetic expression and abstract thought, Sanskrit is so precise and rigorous that the Artificial Intelligence field is beginning to use it in computer processing projects, something that has not been possible with other natural languages.
Sanskrit is also the language of Yog(a). Although many students are drawn to it at some stage of their practice, it is not particularly accessible to Westerners.
Teachers are few and far between, and even when one is available, the popular notion that it takes years of intense study to get even a glimmer of meaning fom the language keeps all but the most determined away. As a Westerner who has become proficient in Sanskrit, Vyaas Houston is a rarity.
His 1971 meeting with his spiritual teacher, Shri
Brahmananda Saraswati, was the beginning of an odyssey into Sanskrit that is still continuing.
In the course of learning the language himself, he discovered an easy, natural way of teaching it to others.

Although he earned an M.A. in Sanskrit from Columbia University, he credits his ability both to learn and teach the language to his pursuit of it as a form of Yog(a).
The following conversation took place this winter (1992) at the American Sanskrit Institute in Warwick, New York.

YOG INTERNATIONAL: How did you become interested in Sanskrit?
VYAAS HOUSTON: My original interest was in Yog(a). I'd been practicing seriously for about three years when I had the good fortune to meet my Guru. I soon discovered that he taught through Sanskrit, and the only way I could study with him was to study Sanskrit. At that time, the only thing I knew about Sanskrit was that it was
connected to the science of Yog(a).
YOG INTERNATIONAL: How did he teach through Sanskrit?

VYAAS HOUSTON: Through chanting. It went on eight to ten hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It was as though his spiritual power was transmitted through chanting Sanskrit. It didn't seem to matter whether he was chanting the alphabet, or the noun case endings, or the Yog(a) Sutr(as), or verses from the Bhagvat Geeta. When he chanted, it was as though every molecule of his body was vibrating. It felt as though the entire universe dissolved into a state of vibration, as though it had liquified.
He would chant a line and we would uplicate him. Because he was absolutely one with what he was chanting nothing held back, his whole heart and being resonating through the room duplicating him would induce a natural state of meditation in us. His chanting was so pure and one-pointed that by listening and duplicating him, I learned how to expand and open up my own resonance in a way that I never could have accomplished alone.

The other thing was that along with chanting Sanskrit, he was teaching the philosophy of Yog(a). And I found that the teachings of Yog(a), which I had been reading for years, came through with much more power when I
approached them through the original Sanskrit.
YOG INTERNATIONAL: What gives Sanskrit this unique power?
VYAAS HOUSTON: It has to do with how the basic sounds of the language are structured and the way you learn them. The Sanskrit alphabet is a coherent selection of the most pure, distinct, and focused sounds that can be made by the human vocal instrument. You learn every letter of the Sanskrit alphabet as a resonating power. That requires learning exactly where each sound is locate within the structure of the mouth and becoming attuned to the precise amount of energy and breath required to pronounce it. It's like learning to play a musical instrument like the guitar, for instance where you develop a sensitivity to each of the strings and learn how to make contact with them in a way that produces music.
It's the same with Sanskrit you tune into five basic positions in the mouth and the variety of sounds that can occur at each position: you learn their similarities and their differences. That way, when you're chanting, you're always aware of the position of your tongue, how each sound is resonating, and how the energy is moving. This awarenes, in turn, increases the resonating power of the sounds, which then build an expand through the entire body.
The original sounds of the alphabet are combined with one another in such a way that there is always harmony among them. The design of Sanskrit is to keep the current of energy flowing so that you can enter into it, and keep flowing with it. Every combination of sound in Sanskrit follows strict laws of harmonics, which essentially make possible an uninterrupted flow of the most euphonic blending of letters into words and verse. Essentially, Sanskrit is designed to bring you into a state of optimal resonance. The engy patterns it sets in motion are so pure and universal that they naturally give access to states of consciousness not available through the
ordinary experience of the senses. Sanskrit puts you into a state of harmonic resonance with the universe.
YOG INTERNATIONAL: People are under the impression that Sanskrit is extraordinarily difficult to learn,
especially for Wesyerners. But you've been teaching Sanskrit in the United States for 20 years, and you say that youve never encountere anyone who can't learn it. SO why do people believe that learning this language is so difficult?
VYAAS HOUSTON: Sanskrit is designed so that the speaker vibrates or resonates with the truths being described by the language. If you approach Sanskrit in that way, you gain access to it. In other words, if you start out learning the sounds of the language and how to resonate with them, you create a foundation you can build on. But if you approach it from a traditional, academic perspective trying to learn the language by
accumulating and memorizing information Sanskrit will frustrate you, as it has countless brilliant students. Even people who haven't been particularly successful in school will have no difficulty learning Sanskrit if they know how the sounds naturally combine in the mouth and come to enjoy their resonance.
The other way is to memorize rules that describe how those sounds are put together, and trying to do that will drive you crazy. But if you approach it through feeling, it inspires you. Although in theory Sanskrit sounds formidable, in practice it is extremely basic. Anyone who is given the opportunity to discover and make the basic sounds of Sanskrit will love the experience. It's like becoming a child again.
YOG INTERNATIONAL: You keep referring to resonance. What do you mean by it, and why is it important?
VYAAS HOUSTON: All language creates vibration and resonance, but Sanskrit allows you to vibrate to the maximum, to vibrate as much as it is possible to vibrate using a language.
End of forwarded message
Jai Maharaj
http://www.mantra.com/jai
Om Shanti
Panchaang for 10 Phalgun 5104, Monday, March 1, 2004:

Shubhanu Nama Samvatsare Uttarayane Moksh Ritau
Kumbh Mase Shukl Pakshe Indu Vasara Yuktayam
Ardr-Punarvasu Nakshatr Ayushman Yog
Gar-Vanij Karan Dashami-Ekadashi Yam Tithau
Hindu Holocaust Museum
http://www.mantra.com/holocaust
Hindu life, principles, spirituality and philosophy http://www.hindu.org
http://www.hindunet.org
The truth about Islam and Muslims
http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate
o Not for commercial use. Solely to be fairly used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion. The contents of this post may not have been authored by, and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the poster. The contents are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works. o If you send private e-mail to me, it will likely not be read, considered or answered if it does not contain your full legal name, current e-mail and postal addresses, and live-voice telephone number. o Posted for information and discussion. Views expressed by others are not necessarily those of the poster.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I first posted the following article in 1994: SANSKRIT AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE An interview with Vyaas Houston

Faithful weader just frew up.
Izzy
I first posted the following article in 1994: SANSKRIT AS SPIRITUAL PRACTICE An interview with Vyaas Houston

Faithful weader just frew up. Izzy

Perhaps you put the vibrator where it resonated too hard against the uvula?