The American Sanskrit Institute was created in 1989 by Vyaas Houston with a vision of Sanskrit as a direct means to access a personal experience of profound truths described in ancient sacred texts – independent of any intermediary.
At ASI our goal is to inspire you; to initiate a love for learning rooted in the immediate moment’s discovery of a captivating detail of an ancient knowledge system. We’ve found such a love of learning to embody the essence of Yoga. Sanskrit provides us with a language that is one with the vast body of knowledge codified in Sanskrit by an unbroken lineage of rishis sages who fathomed the depths of life, uncovered its meaning, and described with precision and clarity the passage through.
We provide the full support our students need to have a clarity of articulation and grasp of grammar that reveals the pure harmony of sound and meaning; our goal is to capture through sacred language the essence of ancient times when there was no separation between the word and its meaning; between the language and the body of knowledge it conveyed; between rishis’ individual lives and the whole of existence perfectly mirrored in the language they refined and made one with the subtle truth they desired to pass on.
In our experience, the love of Sanskrit goes hand in hand with a love of the recognition of meaning revealed. Love becomes awe as one sees that all the moments of insight begin to fit together into a perfect whole. It’s perfectly natural to think “this is enough to inspire many lifetimes”, but as one becomes more proficient in Sanskrit there’s an acceleration of insight that makes time irrelevant. Basking in a light that beams down through hundreds of generations over many milennia, the lover of Sanskrit selectively extracts and refocuses the truth uncovered in monumental literary works like the Vedas, Upanishads, the great epics of Yoga – the Ramayana and Mahabharata, Gita, Puranas, Sutra literature like the Yoga Sutras, sciences like Grammar and Ayurveda, works of great Kavis like Kalidasa and sages like Shankaracharya. This truth transforms one’s life and secures the certainty of freedom.