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IN CLASSICAL INDIAN RELIGIONS is two-year course attempts to introduce students to classical Indian religion in a way which bases understanding on original sources and equips them to continue in the same vein. e course is in two parts. e rst, of ve months, is an intensive study of the rudiments of Sanskrit and leads to a written examination at the end of March of students ability to translate prepared texts and their knowledge of grammar. Students are not allowed to proceed to the second part of the course unless they pass this examination. In the second part of the course there are regular classes in reading and interpreting prescribed selections from Sanskrit religious texts in two traditions that each student may choose from the following four: Brahmanical, aiva, Vaisnava, and .. Buddhist. Concurrently they receive regular tutorials on all the main religious traditions, for which they prepare essays that they read out and discuss with their tutors. From time to time there are other relevant lectures and seminars. In the nal examination there are three obligatory three-hour written papers. One consists of translation from Sanskrit. It is divided into two parts, which carry equal weight: translation from the prepared set texts, and unprepared translation. In the latter two passages are set: one in verse from the Epics, Purnas or Smrtis and one in . . prose from a commentary on a religious text. In the other two written papers questions are set on the history of classical Indian religion. In each paper approximately fteen questions are oered, of which students must answer four. e subject matter is divided more or less chronologically, with the emphasis in the second being on the early medieval traditions. Besides the three written examinations already mentioned, students have either to oer a fourth written three-hour paper, on approaches to the study of Indian religion, or to write a thesis of up to , words. In practice most students have chosen the latter option. It is usual to write the thesis mostly during the vacations; two copies of the thesis must be submitted to Exam Schools no later than noon on the Friday of the second week of Trinity term in the nal year of the course. Tutors discuss with students the choice of topic and supply bibliography, and may criticise a rst draft, but the nal version of the thesis is entirely the students own work. If the student is subsequently admitted for a research degree, a successful M.Phil. thesis may form the basis of the doctoral dissertation. Set Texts A nal list of set texts will be published in this course handbook, not later than Friday

of th week, Michaelmas term, for the nal examination. Trinity term