Tutors Profile

The Revd. Dr Stephen Peter Thompson M.Phil. Ph.D. Dip Min. FRAS.

Stephen first experienced the power and beauty of the Sanskrita language through studying Advaita Philosophy at the School of Economic Science in London over thirty years ago. This enabled him to study Greek and Hebrew with fresh insights.

Discerning profound interconnections between all three languages confirmed his view that Sanskrit, the ‘perfectly formed’ language, has a key place in the family of human languages.

It became clear to him that this language, having the most refined system of phonetics and the most scientific descriptive grammar in the world, had the potential to facilitate a new renaissance, especially as its study gives direct access to the Vedic wisdom of the Upanishads.

After obtaining degrees in Sociology and Theology, Stephen completed a four year degree in Sanskrit at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, followed by an MPhil and PhD at the Centre for Advanced Sanskrit Studies at the University of Poona.

He has translated a major portion of the Mahabhashya of Patanjali into English for the first time, under the guidance of the famous Pandit Bhagavat Shastri. He has taught Sanskrit both in Europe and India, especially at the Vidya Bhavan.

In recent years he has also been teaching Sanskrit at Middlesex University to students of the BA in Ayurveda.

It is through learning and teaching Sanskrit over many years that he has experienced its profound depth and beauty, bringing one to the rasa, the sweet taste and goodness in and through all things.

Dr Nanda Kumara


Academic Director Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan 1984 – 1994.

Has been teaching Sanskrit at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London since 1977. Taught weekly Sanskrit classes at Cambridge University  for 3 years. Regularly lectures on Indian Art and Culture and philosophy at various schools including Eton College. Has held classes for the students of Extra Mural Studies, London University.

Is Chairman of the UK Sanskrit Association.  Has taught Kannada language at the Bhavan. Taught Sanskrit at Bangalore, 1975 to 1977.  Has lectured on the Ramayana.  The Mahabharata, the Gita and other related topics to students from schools and colleges in the UK. and at the Bhavan.

Has conducted Sanskrit Seminars, courses and conversational Sanskrit courses in the UK. Has been running a class on Gita & Shankara’s compositions since 1990. Teacher of Sanskrit regular classes at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

As the Bhavan’s Academic Director, has overseen workshops, lecture demonstrations, covering all aspects of Indian art and culture as well as as Music and Dance, concerts by top artistes, seminars on religious topics, lectures by visiting scholars, etc.

Has represented the Bhavan abroad and has visited South Africa twice to deliver the key-note address at major conferences. Has instituted and overseen a B.Mus Degree course at the Bhavan, run in association with Trinity College Music and validated by City University, London.

Has overseen the development and fund-raising for three major projects concerning the Bhavan’s building.  These were achieved with the help of the Bhavan’s own fund-raising together with the help of the Millennium Commission, The Arts Council’s Capital Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

As a result of the above projects, Dr Nandakumara has overseen the development of a new art gallery at the Bhavan as well as the complete renovation of the main 295-seat auditorium – inaugurated by the Prince of Wales in 2005.

Has been responsible for the continuing success of the Bhavan’s Open and Diploma courses over the years since his appointment as Executive/Academic Director. There are 23 such courses attended by some 800 students every year.

Is the Editor of the Bhavan’s monthly newsletter and has supervised design and lay-out of all publicity materials such as brochures, folders, pamphlets.  Has contributed reviews for performances, seminars and also contributed to outside publications.  Has composed poems in Sanskrit and Kannada.

Has worked at the India Office Library cataloguing Indian books and helped to decipher old manuscripts.

Has taken part in light classical music programmes as a singer and has trained students to sing folk and devotional songs and group songs.

Belongs to a family of Vedic scholars.  Has had training in Vedic chanting.  Can traditionally officiate in performing Vedic rituals and festivals.

Sanskrit, Kannada, English, Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati (conversation to a certain extent).

Kannada Rajyotsava Award 2011 for services to Indian art and culture in a foreign land.

Award of distinction in the field of Art and Culture in 2006-instituted by the India  International Foundation  and  presented by Baroness Usha Prashar.

Awarded Samskriti Seva Samman by HINDI SAMITI UK for his contribution to Art and Culture.