बोधन-कुतूहलम् – Online Teaching Contest in Samskrit

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About बोधन-कुतूहलम्

To foster a community of young Samskrit scholars who can teach in Samskrit medium and to help boost the number of academically rigorous śāstra courses online, MIT School of Vedic Sciences announces a contest for teaching śāstras in Saṁskṛta (at college level) in collaboration with Indic Academy, Hyderabad.

We urge scholars to focus on how to make the content and method of teaching śāstras more interesting and relevant to learners from mainstream education background.

Who can Participate

No formal degree or educational qualification is required for this contest. Any person above 18 years of age interested and confident in teaching the notified śāstras/topics in Saṁskṛta medium is eligible to participate.

Expected Outcome

  • This is an opportunity for scholars to showcase/hone their capability to teach śāstras in Saṁskṛta medium intuitively to modern-educated learners.
  • Participants will get a Proficiency Certificate rating their teaching and/or material preparation skills by peer scholars as well as by prospective learners. This may be used by educational institutes as a criterion for selection in the future.
  • Achieving a victorious position may add to your qualifications while applying for job positions etc.
  • High-scoring participants might attract teaching and/or facilitation opportunities for University-level courses in Sanskrit.
  • A network of capable and interested teachers will be formed for various disciplines of Samskrit through Samskrit medium. They will be invited to participate in further deliberations, policy-making, projects, workshops and application in their domain.

Target Learner Profile

The lecture should be targeted for students with the following profile:

  • Understands conversational Samskritam as well as shaastriya Samskritam as spoken and written.
  • Expected to independently search for meaning of unknown words by themselves.
  • Not expected to have any background in the particular subject matter taught.
  • The audience might have diverse professional and educational backgrounds and will be aged 18 years or older.


Saṁskṛta teaching-learning has been one of the most underrated and underutilized spheres of higher education in our times. While some Saṁskṛta Universities cater to teaching and learning śāstras in Saṁskṛta medium, the ‘mainstream’ higher education is greatly blind to the potentials of Saṁskṛta as a medium of knowledge.

The apathy of teaching a ‘language’ through a ‘different language medium’ is unique to Saṁskṛta! And this is widely prevalent in the modern universities all over our nation. That the products of this kind of learning form the upcoming Saṁskṛta teaching community is a concern that can no longer withstand indifference.

Again, the contemporary relevance of Indic śāstras is an area which deserves its due attention. Indic knowledge embedded in the śāstras need to be studied and taught in the light of contemporary utility. Indic tradition has always maintained śāstras in an ever-evolving mode, even until recently, and that tradition needs to be revived. It can only be done by resorting to mainstream study of śāstras in their native medium of Saṁskṛta.

Participant Guidelines

  • Choose a module in the list of topics as your teaching content.
  • The entry fee for participation is Rs. 255 per topic chosen.
  • Record a video of a teaching session of yours of length 20-60 minutes, upload it on YouTube and send us the link. You can use a white/black board, PowerPoint slides, charts or diagrams in your presentation.
  • You may include the following along with your lecture video:
    • Lecture notes (prepared by you),
    • Written exam questions (20 marks),
    • Assignment / project (5 questions)
    • References to material used (if any),
    • Suggested additional reading materials
    • Powerpoint slides, charts, diagrams used.

Evaluation Criteria

Your lecture will be evaluated both by subject-matter experts as well as prospective learners along the following criteria:

  • Command over content
  • Teaching skill
    • Student engagement
    • Summarization and Simplification
  • Material Preparation
  • Assessment

To conduct the contest in a category, we need a minimum of 3 participants.

Evaluators’ judgement is final.

Important Dates

  • Registration Starts: March 7, 2019
  • Registration Ends: April 30, 2019
  • Submission of Lecture Video and supplementary Material: June 17, 2019
  • Announcement of Winners: July 16, 2019 (Guru Purnima)

Steps to Participate

  • Click the button below to pay the entry fee of Rs. 255 online and register for one topic:

Enter बोधन-स्पर्धा

  • The entry fee is valid for one topic. You can register for more than one topic.
  • Record your video using either a computer / laptop with a web camera or a smart phone. Upload it to YouTube.
  • When done, send the following materials to info.mitsvs@gmail.com with subject “Bodhana spardhaa 2019” on or before June 17, 2019:
    • Link to the uploaded YouTube video your lecture session,
    • Your Name,
    • Email you used to register,
    • Phone Number,
    • Attachments containing your PowerPoint slides, charts, or diagrams used in the session.

For any further questions or clarifications, please send email to info.mitsvs@gmail.com.

Prizes awaiting the winners of the contest

Prize Category 1 Category 2 Category 3
First Rs. 5000 Rs. 10000 Rs. 15000
Second Rs. 3000 Rs. 6000 Rs. 9000
Third Rs. 2000 Rs. 4000 Rs. 6000

*Third prize will be declared only in case there are a minimum of 5 entries in the category. If there are less than 3 entries in any particular category, then the contest will not be conducted in the category’

Teaching Topics

The following categories of topics are available for selection to teach.

Topics in Category 1:

  • Kāvya-śāstra – Rasa-niṣpatti according to Nāṭyaśāstra of Bharata
  • Kāvya – 4th Act of Abhijñāna-śākuntala of Kālidāsa up to verse 1
  • Vyākaraṇa – Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini (Sūtra 1.1.9)
  • Vedānta – Īśāvāsya-upaniṣad mantra 1 (with commentaries of Śankarācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya)
  • Jyotiṣa – Chapter 1 of Bṛhajjātakam of Varāhamihira (Verses 1 – 5)
  • Nyāya – Nyāya-sūtra of Gotama 1.1.1
  • Pūrva-mīmāṁsā – Dharmalakṣaṇa and dharma-pratipādakatva of Vedas from Arthasaṅgraha of Laugākṣi Bhāskara

Topics in Category 2:

  • Sāṅkhya-yoga – Sāṅkhya-kārikā of Īśvarakṛṣṇa (verses 1 – 3) / Yogasūtra of Patañjali (sutra 1)
  • Artha-śāstra – Vṛddha-saṁyoga and Indriyajaya from Artha-śāstra of Kauṭilya
  • Āyurveda – 6th Chapter of Sūtra-sthāna of Caraka-saṁhitā (verses 1 – 15)
  • Dharma-śāstra – Manusmṛti – 4th adhyāya (verses 1 – 20)
  • Veda-bhāṣya – Sāyaṇa-bhāṣya for Puruṣasūkta (ṛk 1 – 5)
  • Āgama – Pauṣkara-saṁhitā – 2nd adhyāya (verses 1 – 15)

Topics in Category 3:

  • Indic pedagogy – Teaching methods in Indic tradition
  • Indic research methodology – Topic for research – Adhikaraṇa-vicāra
  • Indic philosophy of life – Varṇa system in Indic worldview
  • Relevance of Vedic practices – Yajña – Role and relevance
  • Tradition of Indic knowledge/thought – The tradition of vāda and the evolution of Indic knowledge systems
  • Śāstras relevant to trivarga – Choice of contestant

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