Vasantika Swapnam – Sanskrit translation of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream by R Krishnamacharya

Midsummer Night’s Dream is, perhaps, the first drama of Shakespeare that  was translated into Sanskrit. Several decades after  Krishnamacharya translated Midsummer Night’s Dream into Sanskrit, Sanskrit scholars turned their attention to translating other dramas of Shakespeare. Some of them are listed  below:

1. Venisa sarthavahah (Merchant of Venice) – Ananta Tripathi Śarma  1969
2. Yatha Te Rocate (As you like it) – Ananta Tripathi Sarma 1969
3. Dinarkarajakumarahemalekham (Hamlet) – Sukhamay Mukhopadhyay  1971
4. Uthika (Romeo & Juliet) – Revaprasad Dvivedi 1978
5. Candrasenah Durgadesasya Yuvarajah (Hamlet) – SD  Joshi & Pt. Vighnahari Deo 1980

Excerpts from the author’s preface in the first edition of “Vasantika  Swapnam”

It has been my long-cherished wish, to render into Sanskrit some of  the plays of Shakespeare. But a translation in the form of a Sanskrit  drama, is attended with difficulties. A Sanskrit drama, even if it should  be a translation, has to conform to a string of hard and fast rules. Failing in this respect, the work, no matter however good, is sure to  offend the taste of Sanskrit Pandits, and a work like mine written in the  first instance to give our Pandits a taste of Western poetry will have no  reason for its existence.

It is for this reason that Prof. H. H. Wilson has adopted the form of the  English drama in translating Sanskrit Natakas. Following the same  plan a translation of Shakespeare should have the garb of a Sanskrit  drama, though it may not be possible in every case to observe the rules laid down for Sanskrit Natakas.

This work is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Midsummer-night’s  Dream. The rendering is free in some places, and literal in other  places, without being detrimental to the general tenor of the passages  in the original. The ideas are enlarged in some places, but the  enlargement is generally in keeping with the dominant feelings. There are deviations in details with view to keep up the characteristics of the  Sanskrit drama. Some few passages pregnant with such ideas as  could be brought home to our Pandits have been omitted, as also  some passages which relate purely to Western habits and customs. I  dare say men of greater capacity and learning than myself may  produce a much happier and better translation of the same play.

I have selected Midsummer-night’s Dream at the outset, since it is not long and most of the ideas in it are not unfamiliar to the best of our  Pandits. This play of Shakespeare has, of all his plays, the most  Oriental cast about it, and I have accordingly given Sanskrit names for all the characters in the play.

I sincerely hope that this essay of mine may induce abler scholars to  take up the task, and, with far better success, introduce to the literatii  of the East some of the most chaste and beautiful thoughts of the  West.

R Krishnamacharya,
24th February 1892

Siddhanta Kaumudi English Translation by Srisa Chandra Vasu

Siddhanta Kaumudi is a celebrated Sanskrit commentary by Bhattoji Dikshita (early 17th century) on the Ashtadhydyi and is believed to be more popular than Panini’s work. It re-arranges the sutras of Panini under appropriate heads and offers exposition that is orderly and easy to follow.

The sutras are arranged in two parts – the first part deals with the rules of interpretation, sandhis, declensions, formation of feminines, case endings, compounds, secondary derivations and the second part with conjugation, primary suffixes, Vedic grammar and accents.

English translation of Siddhanta Kaumudi by Srisa Chandra Vasu is highly useful to students of Sanskrit grammar who are not capable of studying the Ashtadhyayi or Siddhanta Kaumudi with the help of Sanskrit commentaries.


Sanskrit Biographies of Indian Saints and Heroes

It is surprising and at the same time good news that Digital Library of India has a very good collection of Sanskrit biographies of Indian Saints and Heroes like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Samartha Ramadas, Guru Gobind Singh, Sivaji, Gandhiji, Rana Pratap, Prithviraj Chauhan, etal. Though it is said that Sanskrit lags in the genre of biography, I could find plenty of books in this genre at the DLI. This post is an attempt to present before you a collection of biographies written in Sanskrit prose.


01. Sanskrit Biography of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
Vedamurti Sriramakrishna – Swami Apoorvananda Skt Biography
02. Sanskrit Biography of Sri Vallabhacharya
Shrimad Vallabhacharyacharitam – Shripad Shastri Hasurkar 1940
03. Sanskrit Biography of Samartha Ramadas
Ramadasaswamicharitam – SS Hasurkar
04. Sanskrit Biography of Sikh Gurus
Shree Sheekha Guru Charitamritam – Shripad Shastri Hasurkar 1933
05. Sanskrit Biography of Guru Gobind Singh
Sri Gurugovind Singh Bhagvat Padah Jeevnetivratham – SK Sharma 1966  (ALTERNATE LINK)
06. Sanskrit Biography of Gandhiji
Gandhicharitam – Charudev Sastri 1930
07. Sanskrit Biography of Banda Bairagi
Viravairagicaritam – Sudarshan Kumar Sharma (ALTERNATE LINK)
08. Sanskrit Biographies of Sivaji
Sivarajavijaya – Sanskrit – Ambikadatta(ALTERNATE LINK)
Shriishivajimaharajacharitam – Shripad Shastri Hasurkar
09. Sanskrit Biogrpahies of Rana Pratap
Veerpratapa Natakam – MP Dikshit   (ALTERNATE LINK)
Mivara Pratapam – Sanskrit Drama – HS Bhattacharya 1947
Pratapavijayam – Sanskrit Play – Mulshanker Maneklal Yajnik 1931
Maha Rana Pratapa Charitam – SS Hasurkar
10. Sanskrit Biography of Lokmanya Tilak
Shrilokmanyacharitam Sanskrit – SN Sastri
11. Sanskrit Biography of Prithviraj Chauhan
Shri Pruthviraj Chavhana Charitam – Shripad Shastri Hasurkar

Complete Collection of Kavyamala Series of Books of Nirnaya Sagar Press

Kavyamala Series of Books of Nirnaya Sagar Press, Mumbai published during late 19th and early 20th centuries. Kavyamala is a collection of ancient, very rare and previously unpublished Sanskrit works. There were two separate series – 14 volumes of Kavyamala anthologies of ancient Sanskrit works and 95 volumes of single books.



Volume 01. Mahaganapatistotra of Raghavachaitanya, etc 1929
Volume 02. Vishnupadadikesantavarnana, etc 1932
Volume 03. Sivasatakam of Gokulanatha, etc 1899
Volume 04. Chandi Satakam-Bhava Satakam-etc 1937
Volume 05. Mukapanchasati-Kalividambanam-etc 1937
Volume 06. Sivapadadi Kesanta Varnana Stotram-etc. 1930
Volume 07. Bhaktamara Stotram, etc 1890
Volume 08. Sudarsanasatakam of Kuranarayana, etc 1891
Volume 09. Devisatakam of Anandavardhana, etc 1897
Volume 10. Lalitastavaratnam of Durvasa, etc 1915
Volume 11. Tripuramahima Stotram of Durvasa, etc 1895
Volume 12. Ramachapastava of Ramabhadra Dikshita, etc 1897
Volume 13. Varnamala Stotram-Pavanaduta Kavyam-etc 1916
Volume 14. Ardhanariswara Stotram of Kalhana, etc 1938



Kavyamala Vol_ 01 – Aryasapatshati – Govardhana 1934
Kavyamala Vol_ 02 – Kavyalankara of Rudrata 1886
Kavyamala Vol_ 03 – Srikantha Charita of Mankhaka 1887
Kavyamala Vol_ 04 – Karpuramanjari of Rajasekhara 1887
Kavyamala Vol_ 05 – Anargha Raghava 1929.pdf
Kavyamala Vol_ 06 – Kamsavadha of Seshakrishna 1935
Kavyamala Vol_ 07 – Karnasundari of Bilhana 1932
Kavyamala Vol_ 08 – Dharmasarmabhyudayam of Harichandra 1933
Kavyamala Vol_ 09 – Subhadraharanam of Madhava Bhatta 1888
Kavyamala Vol_ 10 – Samaya Matrika – Kshemendra 1925
Kavyamala Vol_ 11 – Kadambarikathasara of Abhinanda 1925
Kavyamala Vol_ 12 – Rasagangadhara of Jagannatha 1888
Kavyamala Vol_ 13 – Sambapanchasika of Samba 1910
Kavyamala Vol_ 14 – Parijataharanachampu of Sesha Srikrishna 1926
Kavyamala Vol_ 15 – Kavyalankara Sutras of Vamana 1926
Kavyamala Vol_ 16 – Mukaundananda Bhana of Kashipati 1889
Kavyamala Vol_ 17 – Unmattaraghava of Bhaskara 1899
Kavyamala Vol_ 18 – Amarushatakam of Amarukari 1916
Kavyamala Vol_ 19 – Suryasataka of Tribhuvanapala (NEW)
Kavyamala Vol_ 20 – Latakamelakaprahasanam of Sankhadhara 1923
Kavyamala Vol_ 21 – Gatha Saptasati of Satavahana 1911
Kavyamala Vol_ 22 – Haravijaya of Rajanaka Ratnakara 1890
Kavyamala Vol_ 23 – Stutikusumanjali – Jagadwar Bhatta
Kavyamala Vol_ 24 – Kavyapradipa of Govinda 1933

Kavyamala Vol_ 25 – Dhvanyaloka of Anandavardhana 1928
Kavyamala Vol_ 26 – Dasavataracharitam of Kshemendra 1891
Kavyamala Vol_ 27 – Jivanandana of Anandaraya Makhi 1891
Kavyamala Vol_ 28 – Dutangadanatakam of Subhatakavi 1900
Kavyamala Vol_ 29 – Bhartriharinirvedanatakam of Hariharopadhyaya (NEW)
Kavyamala Vol_ 30 – Chandraprabhacharita of Viranandi 1892
Kavyamala Vol_ 31 – Vishnubhktikalpalata of Purushothama 1917
Kavyamala Vol_ 32 – Sahridayananda of Krishnananda 1930
Kavyamala Vol_ 33 – Srinivasavilasa Champu of Venkatadhwari 1886
Kavyamala Vol_ 34 – Prachina Lekhamala Part-1, 1892
Kavyamala Vol_ 35 – Alankarasarvasva of Rajanaka Ruyyaka 1893
Kavyamala Vol_ 36 – Vrittivartika of Appayya Dikshita 1892
Kavyamala Vol_ 37 – Rasasadana Bhana of Yuvaraja 1893
Kavyamala Vol_ 38 – Chitramimasa of Appayya Dikshita 1941
Kavyamala Vol_ 39 – Vidyaparinayana of Anandarya Makhi 1893
Kavyamala Vol_ 40 – Rukminiparinayanatakam of Ramavarman 1927 (added in Nov 2012)
Kavyamala Vol_ 41 – Prakrita Pingalasutrani of Lakshmanabhatta 1894
Kavyamala Vol_ 42 – Natya Sastra of Bharata Muni 1894
Kavyamala Vol_ 43 – Kavyanusasanam of Vagbhata 1915
Kavyamala Vol_ 44 – Sringaratilaka Bhana of Ramachandra 1894
Kavyamala Vol_ 45 – Balabharata of Amarachandra Suri 1894
Kavyamala Vol_ 46 – Vrishabhanuja Natika Of Mathuradasa 1895
Kavyamala Vol_ 47 – Setubandha [Ravanavaha] of Pravarasena 1895
Kavyamala Vol_ 48 – Vagbhatalankara (NEW)
Kavyamala Vol_ 49 – Dvisandhana of Dhananjaya 1895 (Added in Nov 2012)
Kavyamala Vol_ 50 – Alankara Shekhara of Kesava Misra 1895
Kavyamala Vol_ 51 – The Patanjali-Charita – Pt Sivadatta 1895
Kavyamala Vol_ 52 – Mandaramarandchampu of Krishna Kavi 1895
Kavyamala Vol_ 53 – Vanibhushana of Damodara Misra (1925)
Kavyamala Vol_ 54 – Dhananjayavijaya of Kanchanacharya 1911
Kavyamala Vol_ 55 – Adbhutadarpana of Mahadeva (added in Nov 2012)
Kavyamala Vol_ 56 – Neminirvana of Vagbhata 1936
Kavyamala Vol_ 57 – Raghavanaishadhiya of Haradatta Suri 1926
Kavyamala Vol_ 58 – Shrangarbhushanam of Vamana Bhatta Bana 1896
Kavyamala Vol_ 59 – Amritodaya of Gokulanatha 1897
Kavyamala Vol_ 60 – Yudhishthiravijaya of Vasudeva 1930.pdf
Kavyamala Vol_ 61 – Haracaritacintamani, by Rajanaka Jayadratha 1897
Kavyamala Vol_ 62 – Raghavapandaviya of Kaviraja 1897
Kavyamala Vol_ 63 – Sahityakaumudi of Vidyabhushana 1897
Kavyamala Vol_ 64 – Prachina Lekhamala Part-2, 1898
Kavyamala Vol_ 65 – Bharatamanjari of Kshemendra 1898
Kavyamala Vol_ 66 – Alankara Kaustubha of Visweswara 1898
Kavyamala Vol_ 67 – Hira Saubhagya of Devavimala Gani 1900
Kavyamala Vol_ 68 – Ravanarjuniya – Bhatta Bhima 1900
Kavyamala Vol_ 69 – Brihatkathamanjari of Kshemendra 1901
Kavyamala Vol_ 70 – Yasastilakam of Somadeva Suri Part 1, 1916
Kavyamala Vol_ 70 – Yasastilakam of Somadeva Suri Part 2, 1903
Kavyamala Vol_ 71 – Kavyanusasana of Hemachandra 1901
Kavyamala Vol_ 72 – Kathakautukam of Srivara 1901
Kavyamala Vol_ 73 – Surathotsavam of Someswaradeva 1902
Kavyamala Vol_ 74 – Saugandhikaharana of Vishwanatha 1902
Kavyamala Vol_ 75 – Jayantavijaya of Abhayadeva. 1902
Kavyamala Vol_ 76 – Gangavataranam of Nilakantha Dikshita 1916
Kavyamala Vol_ 77 – Dela Rama Kathasara of Rajanaka Bhatta Ahladaka 1902
Kavyamala Vol_ 78 – Sringara Sarvasva Bhana of Nalla Dikshita 1911
Kavyamala Vol_ 79 – Karna Bhushana – Gangananda 1926
Kavyamala Vol_ 80 – Prachina Lekhamala Part-3, 1903
Kavyamala Vol_ 81 – Vidagdhamadhava of Rupa Goswami 1937
Kavyamala Vol_ 82 – Subhashitaratnasandoha of Amitagati 1903
Kavyamala Vol_ 83 – Ramayanamanjari of Kshemendra 1903
Kavyamala Vol_ 84 – Stavamala of Rupadeva 1903
Kavyamala Vol_ 85 – Tilakamanjari of Dhanapala 1938
Kavyamala Vol_ 86Hariharasubhashitam of Sri Harihara 1910 (NEW)
Kavyamala Vol_ 87 – Chaitanya Chandrodayam – Pansikar 1917
Kavyamala Vol_ 88 – Anyokti muktavali of Hamsavijaya Gani 1907
Kavyamala Vol_ 89 – Padyaracana of Lakshmanabhatta Ankolkar (Added in Nov 2017)
Kavyamala Vol_ 90 – Yatra Prabandha of Samarapungava Dikshita 1936
Kavyamala Vol_ 91 – Chandas Sastra of Pingala 1938
Kavyamala Vol_ 92 – Padukasahasram of Venkatanatha 1911 (not found)
Kavyamala Vol_ 93 – Pandavacharitam Mahakavyam of Muralidaharadev 1911
Kavyamala Vol_ 94 – Saraswatikanthabharana of Bhoja 1934
Kavyamala Vol_ 95 – Ujjvala Nilamani of Rupa Goswami 1932


Complete Works of Kalidasa

KALIDASA, (kaalidaasa), India’s greatest Sanskrit poet and dramatist. In spite of the celebrity of his name, the time when he flourished always has been an unsettled question, although most scholars nowadays favor the middle of the 4th and early 5th centuries A.D., during the reigns of Chandragupta II Vikramaaditya and his successor Kumaaragupta. Undetermined also is the place of Kaalidaasa’s principal literary activity, as the frequent and minute geographic allusions in his works suggest that he traveled extensively.

Numerous works have been attributed to his authorship. Most of them, however, are either by lesser poets bearing the same name or by others of some intrinsic worth, whose works simply chanced to be associated with Kaalidaasa’s name their own names having long before ceased to be remembered. Only seven are generally considered genuine.

Kalidasa’s Life Time: There are eight hypothesis about his lifetime. The main logics, ecidences are as follows:

1. 6th century AD, Yashodharman defeated Mihirkul of HooN clan. Dr. Harnely says this Yashodharman is kalidas’s Vikramaaditya. Flaw: Y. never tok the title of Vikramaaditya

2. Fargusen says that 6th century AD, there was a king Vikramaaditya in Ujjayini (present day Ujjain). he defeated Shakas, started `Vikram-samvat’ calendar, starting it 600 years back 57BC. Prof. Max Muller basing on this said that Kalidasa was in the court of this Vikram. Flaw: There was no king by name VIkramaaditya in 600 AD in India. `Vikram-samvat’ calendar was in vogue since 1st century BC as `maalav-samvat’. This is clear from `mandasor’ `shilaalekha’ (stone writings) of VatsabhaTTi.

3. Kalidasa was familiar with Greek astronomy, using words like `jaamitra’. Greek astronomy/geometry was popularised by AryabhaTTa who was in 5th century AD. SO, Kalidasa was in 6th AD onwards. Dr McDonald refutes this saying `Romaka-siddhaanta’ was prevalant before AryabhaTTa, so he didn’t popularise Greek astronomy.

4. Mallinaath (the most famous commentrator on Kalidasa) gives two meanings to Meghadoot’s 14th verse. He says that `dinnaaga’ and `nichula’ words refer to Buddhist philosophers `dinnaaga’. Based on this some scholars put kalidasa in 6th century AD `coz kalidasa’s contemporary `dinnaaga’ was disciple of Vasubandhu who was in 6th century AD. Flaw: Vasubandhu was apparently in 400 AD `coz his books were translated in Chinese around 475-525 AD.

Finally this is what can be said about his lifetime: Kalidasa in his drama `Malvikaa-agni-mitra’ makes Agni-mitra his hero, who was the son of Pushamitra Shunga who was in 2nd century BC. This is his upper bound. Banabhatta in the preface of his Kadambari mentions Kalidasa. Banabhatta was in early 7th century AD. This is Kalidasa’s lower bound.

Kalidasa’s Life: Many tell tales are there for his life. Some call him native of Kashmir, some of Vidarbh, some of Bengal and others of Ujjain. It is said that he was a dumb fool to start with. The king’s daughter was a very learned lady and said that she will marry him who will defeat her in `shaastraartha’ (debate on the scriptures). Anyone who gets defeated will be black faced, head shaven and kicked out of country on a donkey. (The punishment part might be later aditions!) SO, the pundits took Kalidasa (whom they apparently saw cutting the tree branch on which he was sitting) for debate. They said that he (Kalidasa) only does mute debates. The princess showed him one finger saying `shakti is one’. He thot she will poke his one eye, so he showed her two fingers. She accepted it as valid answer, since `shakti’ is manifest in duality (shiv-shakti, nar-naaree etc etc). She showed her the palm with fingers extended like in a slap. He showed her the fist. She accepted it as answer to her question. She said `five elements’ and he said `make the body’ (earth, water, fire, air, and void). [ The debate explanations are also apparently later additions] So they get married and she finds he is a dumbo. So she kicks him out of the house. He straightaway went to Kali’s temple and cut his tongue at her feet. Kali was appeased with him and granted him profound wisdom. When he returned to his house, his wife (the learned) asked, “asti kashchit vaag-visheshaH” (asti = is; kashchit = when, as in questioning; vaag = speech, visheshaH = expert; i.e. “are you now an expert in speaking”).

And the great Kalidasa wrote three books starting with the 3 words:
with asti = asti-uttarasyaam dishi = Kumara-sambhavam (epic)
with kashchit = kashchit-kaantaa = Meghdoot (poetry)
with vaag = vaagarthaaviva = Raghuvansha (epic)

Another story says that he was the friend of Kumardas of Ceylon. He was killed by a courtesan once when he visited his friend in Ceylon.

(Courtesy: Shashikanth Joshi)

Works of Kalidasa:
Plays – There are three plays, the earliest of which is probably the Malavikaagnimitra ( Malavikaa and Agnimitra), a work concerned with palace intrigue. It is of special interest because the hero is a historical figure, King Agnimitra, whose father, Pushhpamitra, wrested the kingship of northern India from the Mauryan king Brihadratha about 185 B.C. and established the Sunga dvnasty, which held power for more than a century. The Vikramorvashiiya ( Urvashii Won Through Valor) is based on the old legend of the love of the mortal Pururavaas for the heavenly damsel Urvashii. The legend occurs in embryonic form in a hymn of the Rig Veda and in a much amplified version in the ShatapathabraahmaNa.

The third play, AbhiGYaanashaakuntala ( Shakuntalaa Recognized by the Token Ring), is the work by which Kaalidaasa is best known not only in India but throughout the world. It was the first work of Kaalidaasa to be translated into English from which was made a German translation in 1791 that evoked the often quoted admiration by Goethe. The raw material for this play, which usually is called in English simply Shaakuntala after the name of the heroine, is contained in the Mahaabhaarata and in similar form also in the PadmapuraaNa, but these versions seem crude and primitive when compared with Kaalidaasa’s polished and refined treatment of the story. In bare outline the story of the play is as follows: King Dushhyanta, while on a hunting expedition, meets the hermit-girl Shakuntalaa, whom he marries in the hermitage by a ceremony of mutual consent. Obliged by affairs of state to return to his palace, he gives Shakuntalaa his signet ring, promising to send for her later. But when Shakuntalaa comes to the court for their reunion, pregnant with his child, Dushhyanta fails to acknowledge her as his wife because of a curse. The spell is subsequently broken by the discovery of the ring, which Shakuntalaa had lost on her way to the court. The couple are later reunited, and all ends happily.

The influence of the AbhiGYaanashaakuntala outside India is evident not only in the abundance of translations in many languages, but also in its adaptation to the operatic stage by Paderewski, Weinggartner, and Alfano.

Poems – In addition to these three plays Kalidaaa wrote two long epic poems, the Kumarasambhava ( Birth of Kumara) and the Raghuvamsha ( Dynasty of Raghu). The former is concerned with the events that lead to the marriage of the god Shiva and Paarvatii, daughter of the Himalayas. This union was desired by the gods for the production of a son, Kumara, god of war, who would help them defeat the demon Taraka. The gods induce Kama, god of love, to discharge an amatory arrow at Siva who is engrossed in meditation. Angered by this interruption of his austerities, he burns Kama to ashes with a glance of his third eye. But love for Paarvatii has been aroused, and it culminates in their marriage.

The Raghuvamsha treats of the family to which the great hero Rama belonged, commencing with its earliest antecedents and encapsulating the principal events told in the Raamaayana of Valmiki. But like the Kumarasambhava, the last nine cantos of which are clearly the addition of another poet, the Raghuvamsha ends rather abruptly, suggesting either that it was left unfinished by the poet or that its final portion was lost early.

Finally there are two lyric poems, the Meghaduta ( Cloud Messenger) and the Ritusamhara ( Description of the Seasons). The latter, if at all a genuine work of Kalidasa, must surely be regarded as a youthful composition, as it is distinguished by rather exaggerated and overly exuberant depictions of nature, such as are not elsewhere typical of the poet. It is of tangential interest, however, that the Ritusamhara, published in Bengal in 1792, was the first book to be printed in Sanskrit.

On the other hand, the Meghaduta, until the 1960’s hardly known outside India, is in many ways the finest and most perfect of all Kalidasa’s works and certainly one of the masterpiece of world literature. A short poem of 111 stanzas, it is founded at once upon the barest and yet most original of plots. For some unexplained dereliction of duty, a Yaksha, or attendant of Kubera, god of wealth, has been sent by his lord into yearlong exile in the mountains of central India, far away from his beloved wife on Mount Kaildasa in the Himalayas. At the opening of the poem, particularly distraught and hapless at the onset of the rains when the sky is dark and gloomy with clouds, the yaksa opens his heart to a cloud hugging close the mountain top. He requests it mere aggregation of smoke, lightning, water, and wind that it is, to convey a message of consolation to his beloved while on its northward course. The Yaksha then describes the many captivating sights that are in store for the cloud on its way to the fabulous city of Alakaa, where his wife languishes amid her memories of him. Throughout the Meghaduta, as perhaps nowhere else So plentifully in Kalidasa’s works, are an unvarying freshness of inspiration and charm, delight imagery and fancy, profound insight into the emotions, and a oneness with the phenomena of nature. Moreover, the fluidity and beauty of the language are probably unmatched in Sanskrit literature, a feature all the more remarkable for its inevitable loss in translation.

(Courtesy: Walter Harding Maurer University of Hawaii at Manoe)


1. Abhijnana Sakuntalam
Abhijnana Sakuntalam Of Kalidasa – M. R.Kale
Abhijnana Sakuntalam English Translation by CSR Sastri
Sakuntala – Sanskrit Text with English Translation by Monier Williams
Sakuntala – English Translation by JG Jennings
Kalidasa’s Sakuntala – English Translation by Richard Pischel

2. Malavikagnimitram
Malavikagnimitram of Kalidasa – Skt Commentary – KP Parab
Malavikagnimitram English Translation by CH Tawney

3. Vikramorvasiyam
Vikramorvasiyam Sanksirt Text with English Notes by SP Pandit

Vikramorvasiyam English Translation by EB Cowell

4. Kumarasambhavam
Kumarasambhava Cantos I-VII – Sanskrit Commentary, English Translation & Notes – MR Kale
Kumarasambhavam – Eng Translation by RTH Griffith
Kumarasambhavam with Mallinatha’s Sanskrit Commentary

5. Raghuvamsam
Raghuvamsa with Mallinatha’s commentary Hindi translation by Pt. Lakshmi Prapanna Acharya(DJVU)
Raghuvamsa with Mallinatha’s commentary Shankar Pandit Part 3
Raghuvamsa English Translation by De Lacy Johnston
Cantos 1 to 10 with Mallinatha’s commentary and Eng Translation by MR Kale
Raghuvamsa with Hindi Tika by Jvalaprasa Mishra
Raghuvamsa with Commentary of Mallinatha & English Translation by GR Nandargikar

6. Meghasandesam (Meghadutam)
Meghasandesa with Dakshinavartanatha’s Tika – TG Sastri
Meghaduta with Sanjivani Vyakhya 1894
Kalidasa’s Meghaduta with Skt Commentary & English Translation – KB Pathak, 1916
Meghaduta English Translation by HH Wilson, 1814
Meghaduta English Translation by Col. HA Ouvry, 1868

7. Works of Kalidasa
Works of Kalidasa English Translation – William Jones 1901

Panchatantra – Sanskrit commentary, Hindi and English translations

In this post there are links to 3 books on the Panchatantram by Vishnu Sarma.

1. Sanskrit commentary on Pancahtantra
2. Sanskrit text of Panchatantra with Hindi translation by JP Mishra
3. English translation of Panchatantra by AW Ryder

According to Indian tradition, the Panchatantra was written around 200 BCE by Pandit Vishnu Sarma, a sage. However, based as it is on older oral traditions, its antecedents among storytellers probably hark back to the origins of language. One of the most influential Sanskrit contributions to world literature, it is “certainly the most frequently translated literary product of India” and there are over 200 versions in more than 50 languages.

In the Indian tradition, the Panchatantra is a nitisastra, a treatise on political science and human conduct, or niti. It is said that Vishnu Sarma’s objective was to instruct three dull and ignorant princes in the principles of polity, by means of stories. Panchatantra consists of five books, which are called:

1. Mitra Bhedha (The Loss of Friends)
2. Mitra Laabha also called Mitra Samprapti (Gaining Friends)
3. Kakolukiyam (Crows and Owls)
4. Labdhapranasam (Loss Of Gains)
5. Aparikshitakaraka (Ill-Considered Action / Rash deeds)


1. Panchatantra Sanskrit text with Hindi translation – JP Mishra

2. Panchatantra Sanskrit Commentary

3. Panchatantra English translation by AW Ryder

Siddhanta Kaumudi Sanskrit & English Commentaries

Siddhanta Kaumudi is a celebrated Sanskrit commentary by Bhattoji Dikshita (early 17th century) on the Ashtadhydyi and is believed to be more popular than Panini’s work. It re-arranges the sutras of Panini under appropriate heads and offers exposition that is orderly and easy to follow.

The sutras are arranged in two parts – the first part deals with the rules of interpretation, sandhis, declensions, formation of feminines, case endings, compounds, secondary derivations and the second part with conjugation, primary suffixes, Vedic grammar and accents.

English commentary of Siddhanta Kaumudi by Saradaranjan Ray & Kumudranjan Ray is highly useful to  students of Sanskrit grammar who are not capable of studying the Ashtadhyayi or Siddhanta Kaumudi with the help of Sanskrit commentaries.


Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves – Sanskrit – GK Modak

In presenting this rendering of the popular oriental tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Chora Chatvarimsi Katha) into the Sanskrit language, to the student-world, and to the reading public, Mr. Modak has given evidence of his mastery over the classical language of India and has vindicated the claim of Sanskrit as an instrument of expressing in an incisive manner the most modern as well as the most ancient ideas. In true oriental style, he has supplied the usual framework of the story- the fiction of a master inculcating a moral lesson upon his disciples by means of a story.

Another excellent feature – entirely an innovation of the author – is the introduction in proper places of epigrams and pithy sayings in verse form which give to the translation the appearance of an original work modelled on the pattern of the Hitopadesa or the Pancatantra. The Sanskrit language is unequalled in its power of concise metrical argument, and in its precision and adequacy as an instrument of expression. A lover of Sanskrit, therefore, will be delighted to read these pages which will not fail to give him the impression that he is not reading a translation at all, but an original tale in Sanskrit.

In the hands of Mr. Modak, the language becomes a wonderfully facile and fluid instrument of expressing the thought in the simplest and most natural way. The language is simple, flowing and chaste; and I make no doubt that the book will serve as an excellent Sanskrit text not only in the class but outside it. Even a student who has learnt just the bare elements of the language will be able to follow the story unaided – for if in places he will not understand the meaning of a word or an expression, yet the story interest will ensure that he journeys to the end.

(From the forward to the book by Shri N.G. Suru)



A Smaller Sanskrit Grammar – MR Kale

A Smaller Sanskrit Grammar is specially intended for the Matriculation and the ordinary College students. Its plan of arrangement is the same as that of the ‘Higher Sanskrt Grammar.’ In it the more intricate rules and matter which was thought quite unnecessary for the students for whom it is intended have been omitted. The chapter on the Conjugation of Verbs has been almost the same as in the ‘Higher Sanskrit Grammar’, Frequentative verbs only being omitted. The last chapter contains but the commonest rules of Sanskrt Syntax.

“Those who desire a more thorough knowledge of Sanskrit Grammar may use ‘Higher Sanskrit Grammar.’ The wording of many rules has been the same in both, so that the two grammars may be used side by side.”

(From the author’s preface to the first edition of this book)