From the Preface:
The purpose of this Manual is not to give an exhaustive treatment of Sanskrit grammar. It is meant as a practical method of teaching and learning Sanskrit through the medium of English. Its composition is based on the two following principles :
The effort of memory which the study of languages demands becomes a mere drudgery when its rational usefulness is not clearly shown and immediately given practical scope. An instrument, however beautiful, remains cumbersome as long as it cannot be utilized.
The drudgery of memory work is amply repaid by the capacity which the student acquires of expressing himself in the language which he learns. That is why greater stress has been laid on translation from English into Sanskrit than on translation from Sanskrit into English.
This First Part covers the matter of the first three years (Standards IV to VI or Classes VI to VIII. The beginnings should be extremely slow. The vocabulary should be learnt by small doses (five to eight words a day) and frequent repetitions should be given.
The first ten lessons could conveniently form the syllabus of the first year. Their treatment is very analytical. Lessons 11 to 26 are more compact and will require more time to be assimilated. They should be distributed over the second and third year.
In this sixth edition, besides correcting the few printing mistakes which had escaped our scrutiny, we have incorporated the valuable suggestion of colleagues and well-wishers.
About The Author:
Fr. Robert Antoine, SJ, was born on August 11, 1914, in Dolhain, Belgium, joined the Society of Jesus in 1932, came to India in 1939 and became and Indian citizen in 1950. In 1951 he joined St. Xavier’s Collegiate School as a full-time Sanskrit teacher. In 1956, he joined the newly started department of Comparative Literature of Jadavpur University and remained connected with this Department (of which he became a reader) till his death on October 17, 1981.
Inspired by the De Nobili-Britto-Beschi example, and also by the example of Abbe Godin and the French Worker-priests, Fr. Antoine founded Shanti Bhavan, the apostolic centre of spiritual and cultural life and dialogue in 1951 in Hindu locality of South Calcutta. There, he lived in full Bengali fashion and devoted himself to the competent pursuit of his chief interests: Sanskrit, Indian classical and religious music, vernacular Christian liturgy and inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue.
His scholarly achievements were considerable to say the least. Besides several articles and monographs, he had published a number of books. During the 42 years he spent in India, most of the time in Calcutta, he contributed a lot to the development of Bengali culture, to the enrichment of the Bengali and Sanskrit languages, and to the growth of the Church in West Bengal. His untimely death, caused by cancer of the liver, shocked and deeply grieved the countless friends he had in West Bengal. Antoine was an eminent priest, a scholar, an accomplished teacher, a gifted musician, singer and a dear friend.