Three 12-week terms
PALI 101 | Elementary Pali I (May 23 - Aug 12, 2022)
PALI 102 | Elementary Pali II (Sep 19 - Dec 9, 2022)
PALI 103 | Elementary Pali III (Jan 9 - March 31, 2023)
This is the first of three terms in Elementary Pali. This first course will introduce you to Pali, the language of the earliest canonical collection of Buddhist scriptures as preserved in the Theravada tradition. Our focus will be quickly developing your ability to read Buddhist sutta literature in the original language.
Learning Pali is a perfect way to introduce oneself to or deepen your study of Buddhism. Pali is the language of the only complete collection of Buddhist teachings preserved in an ancient Indian language. By learning Pali, we plunge into the ocean of the teachings of the Buddha in their original (or almost original) language. We enter the colorful literary landscape of ancient India. Whether one is a Buddhist practitioner or not, any serious student of Buddhism will inevitably encounter references to the Early Teachings, mostly preserved in Pali.
Even at a foundation level, learning Pali opens a gateway to a deeper understanding of this ancient body of wisdom. It will also be a rewarding experience for anyone interested in Asian art and culture in general, and more specifically in Indian art, culture, and history.
The course will provide students with all necessary materials, although we may also recommend additional materials for students to purchase if they desire.
May 23 - August 12, 2022 (12 Weeks)
- One prerecorded lecture per week that will go over the week's key topics. Students can watch at their convenience.
- Two 90-minute live lessons will be held per week on Zoom.
- These live sessions will address all student questions, go over exercises and readings together, as well as personalize the learning experience with your Pali teacher.
- There will be weekly written homework, optional quizzes to test yourself, as well as a mid-term and a final.
- The grading will be such that anyone who puts a regular solid effort into the weekly homework will pass; those aiming for a B or an A will also need to perform accordingly on the two exams.
Live Zoom Sessions Twice Per Week (90 min each)*
Mondays 10-11:30 am Pacific (California time)
Wednesdays 12-1:30 pm Pacific (California time)
*ALL LIVE SESSIONS WILL TAKE PLACE VIA ZOOM, AND WILL BE RECORDED FOR LATER VIEWING.
Each PALI course offers students:
12 Lectures, released weekly
24 Zoom live class sessions + recordings (90 min)
5 BSO Credits
Access to the private Buddhist Studies Online Community Forum
Dr. Aleix Ruiz-Falqués
Head of the Department of Pali and Languages at the Shan State Buddhist University, Khyentse Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Buddhist Studies, and Lecturer of Pali at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Aleix Ruiz-Falqués teaches graduate courses in Pali language and literature in Taunggyi, Myanmar. Aleix completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2016, under the supervision of Prof. Eivind Kahrs. His research focuses on traditional grammar and scholasticism in Pali, particularly in Myanmar. More broadly, he is interested in ancient Indian literature (kāvya) and philosophy or knowledge systems (śāstra).
After completing his PhD in 2015, Aleix worked for two years on Pali manuscripts in Thailand, and he spent one year doing independent research in India. In 2018, he moved to the Shan State in Myanmar, where his long-term project is to teach and learn the Pali and Burmese languages and literature in a traditional monastic setting. One of his long-term goals is to reveal and demystify the treasures of the Pali medieval tradition that explain how we still possess the ancient words of the Buddha today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any prerequisites to enroll?
What if I can't attend the Live Sessions? Are they recorded?
Do I have to take all three Pali courses?
Is there a required textbook?
What does online Pali learning look like?
Will I have to learn a new script to study Pali?
Are these Pali courses included in the BSO Membership Program?
Is there a certificate I can receive for the course?
Have further questions?
Sign up for the Buddhist Studies Online mailing list to find out first about online courses, podcast episodes, promotions, events, and the latest Buddhist research delivered straight to your inbox.