Rutger Kortenhorst is a teacher of Sanskrit in John Scottus Senior School in Dublin, Ireland. John Scottus School is a private school which has been teaching Sanskrit as a compulsory subject since its inception in 1986.[1] In 2022, the Government of India honored him with the Padma Shri award for his dedicated work to propagate the Sanskrit language in Ireland.[2]

Life and work

Rutger Kortenhorst, who had his education at St Benildus College, a catholic only boys' secondary school in Dublin, Ireland and at Trinity College Dublin, became interested in the Advaita Vedanta philosophy when he was 21 years old and was studying at Trinity College Dublin. He was initiated to the world of Advaita Vedanta by reading The Ten Principal Upanishads, an English translation of the ten principal Upanishads by the Irish poet W. B. Yeats published in 1938.[3] About a year later, he began to read Vedic Mathematics a book written by the Indian monk Bharati Krishna Tirtha first published in 1965. All these kindled an interest in the Sanskrit language in Rutger Kortenhorst and he visited India several times to learn the Sanskrit language. He stayed as a guest of Dr Ramachandra Bhat in Veda Vijnana Gurukulam, Bangalore in the months of June and July in the years 2006 and 2007. Subsequently, he spent the period from June 2008 to August 2009 in the Gurukulam to develop a new method of teaching Sanskrit to children in the Western world. During this period, he also attended Sanskrit conversation camps at several places in India and spent a few fortnights with Dr Narendra in Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.[3][1] Dr Narendra is in charge of the Sanskrit Karyalaya, a unit of the Aurobindo Ashram established to promote and popularize a simple form of Sanskrit.[4]

Since 2016, Rutger Kortenhorst is running a Junior Certificate Course on Wellbeing targeted at 12-15 years old children. The course is based on the principles of Ayurveda, an alternative medicine system developed in the Indian subcontinent, and of Yoga.[1]

Recognition: Padma Shri

Other prizes and recognitions

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Press Release- PM Modi's tribute to Rutger Kortenhorst on Mann Ki Baat (29.08.2021)" (PDF). Embassy of India, Dublin, Ireland. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Padma Awards 2022". Padma Awards. Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India. Archived from the original on 2022-01-29. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b Rutger Kortenhorst, Dublin (28 May 2021). "Journey with Sanskrit". Insight. School of Philosophy and Political Science. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  4. ^ "SANSKRIT KARYALAYA". Sabda. SABDA, a unit of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Padma Awards 2022" (PDF). Padma Awards. Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-01-25. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  6. ^ Rutger Kortenhorst (28 May 2021). "Journey with Sanskrit". School Insight. School of Philosophy and Economic Science. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  7. ^ Ethna Dorman. "World Sanskrit Award". School of Philosophy and Economic Science. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  8. ^ "PM's address in the 80th Episode of 'Mann Ki Baat'". PMINDIA. Retrieved 14 March 2022.

Additional reading