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)


Students Guide To Sanskrit Composition (English & Hindi) – VS Apte

Vaman Sivaram Apte (1858-1892) is an author well known to Sanskrit students. In spite of the short span of his life, i. e. 34 years, Apte’s scholarly output was remarkable. His Guide to Sanskrit Composition (1881) and his Sanskrit Dictionaries for use in schools and colleges hold the foremost place among books of their kind, even after the lapse of close upon 125 years and claim the respect of every student of Sanskrit, by their monumental wealth of learning.

His works: –

1. The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary (1890).
2. The Students’ English-Sanskrit Dictionary (1884).
3. The Students’ Sanskrit-English Dictionary.
4. The Students’ Guide to Sanskrit Composition (1881).
5. The Students’ Hand-Book of Progressive Exercises, Part I and, II.
6. Kusuma-mala (1891).

The ‘Guide To Sanskrit Composition’ had become very popular and Apte himself revised the third edition of the book in 1890. Since then many more editions have been out. A short biographical sketch of VS Apte is available here.


Students Guide To Sanskrit Composition (English)

Samskrit Nibandh Path Pradarsak (Hindi)

Samskrita Sabdartha Kaustubha – Sanskrit Hindi Dictionary – DP Chaturvedi 1928

Samskrita Sabdartha Kaustubha by Dwarikaprasad Chaturvedi is perhaps the most comprehensive and largest Sanskrit-Hindi Dictionary ever to be published.

A good dictionary is an indispensable companion of a Sanskrit student (and of scholars). There are many popular Sanskrit-English dictionaries like those of Monier Williams, VS Apte, AA Mac Donell. But they could be of use only to those who know English. The great work known as Vachaspatya is a standard work and is very useful for scholars. But until a well edited edition of this work comes out, it could not be of much help to even an average Sanskrit student.

When the author of Samskrita Sabdartha Kaustubha compiled it, there were only three Sanskrit Hindi dictionaries available for the Hindi speaking students. They were all too small for much practical use, so the author compiled the present work with the hope of answering the needs of Hindi speaking Sanskrit students who are studying Sandkrit in a college or schoof or privately. Samskrita Sabdartha Kaustubha is designed to be an adequate guide to a knowledge of Sanskrit words. It contains as many explanations and details as are permitted by the limited space at the disposal of the compiler.


Samskrita Sabdartha Kaustubha – Sanskrit Hindi Dictionary
Chaturvedi Sanskrit Hindi Kosh (smaller in content)

Sanskrit Teacher by Kamalashankar Trivedi Parts 1 and 2

This 2 volume set is an introductory text to Sanskrit grammar & literature. The author has included the cream of Sanskrit literature in every lesson so as to elevate the mind of the students to a high plane of morality and devotion and inspire it with a spirit of respect and reverence for all that is great and good, respect for learning and wisdom, respect for power and authority, and reverence for God.

Special features of the book:

(a) The book winds up with a large selection of prose and poetic passages. The prose passages are taken from the Panchatantra, the Dasakumaracharita, the Kadambari, and the works of Sankaracharya. They thus supply the student with different specimens of style. The poetic passages are Selected from the works of Chanakya, Bhartrihari, Kalidasa, Bhavabhuti, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and various other works.

(b)  A language is best learnt by the study of its poetic literature which contains wise thoughts clothed in felicitous expression. The committing to memory such gems of literature ensures a command over the language and deepens a taste for it. The object of meeting this requirement is specially kept in view in the selection of verses in lessons and also at the end of the book, which has so many as about 200 of them.

(c)  The student is introduced to a knowledge of Sanskrit metres and figures of speech. The characteristics of the ganas are explained and the student supplied with definitions of a few leading metres such as Malini, Vasanta-tilaka, Hariri, and Sikharini. The leading features of a few figures such as the Upama, the Rupaka, the Arthantaranyasa, and the Anyokti are elucidated in lessons and notes at the end.

(d) The student is directly taken to literature, grammar being made subordinate as it ought to be. This object is attained in the following way. Every lesson opens with a few sentences which are translated into English and in which new grammatical forms are printed black to draw the attention of students. Then follows a paradigm of forms ready made and lastly come the rules which are deduced from them. The method followed is thus analytic. It will be educative and interesting both to the school student and to the person of advanced years who has a mind to acquire a knowledge of it. The former should first learn to recognise the forms and then study them. For the latter it will do if he only learns to recognise them.

Thus, the book comprehends in a small compass all the salient points of Sanskrit grammar, the knowledge of which is essential for the study of Sanskrit literature.


Sanskrit Teacher Part 1

Sanskrit Teacher Part 2

Meghadutam of Kalidasa with Sanskrit Commentary and English Translation

Meghaduta (literally meaning “cloud messenger”) is a lyric poem written by Kalidasa, considered to be one of the greatest Sanskrit poets in India. A short poem of only 111 stanzas, it is one of Kalidasa`s most illustrious works.

Meghaduta is separated into two parts – Purvamegha (Previous cloud) and Uttaramegha (Consequent cloud). According to the story, Kubera, treasurer to the Gods, possesses a band of celestial attendees working for him, named the Yakshas. One of these Yakshas was so besotted and preoccupied with his wife that he absolutely disregarded his duties. As a consequence, he was cursed and banished into the thickness of earthly woods. Wholly demoralised, he kept thinking about his wife and felt her absence terribly. His wife also kept reminiscing about him all day and all night.

Then one day, monsoons started to splash upon earth. The Yaksha saw a rain cloud pass by and requested it to carry a message to his wife, then languishing on Mount Kailash in the Himalayas. The Yaksha then commences to describe the route the cloud should be taking in the northward direction. The description is so enamouring and so pictorial, that one can actually experience the scenes are flashing in front of the eyes in a vision. The Yaksha makes the route seem as bewitching as possible, so that the cloud takes his message to his wife, in the city of Alaka (according to Hindu mythology, Alaka sometimes also referred to as Alakapuri, is a mythical city in the Himalayas.).

The emotions portrayed by Kalidasa in his lyric poem Meghaduta are extremely exquisite, giving rise to the poem first being translated into English by Horace Hayman Wilson in 1813.


Meghasandesa with Dakshinavartanatha’s Tika – TG Sastri, 1919
Meghaduta with Sanjivani Vyakhya Skt 1894
Kalidasa’s Meghaduta with Skt Commentary & English Translation – KB Pathak, 1916
Meghasandesha with Vallabhadeva’s Commentary, 1911
The Meghaduta or Cloud messenger – English Translation by HH Wilson, 1814
The Meghaduta or Cloud messenger – English Translation by Col. HA Ouvry, 1868

Download Free Sanskrit Books from Digital Library of India

The Digital Library of India initiative has scanned and placed online, over 5,30,000 books on various subjects. They are available free of cost from the website of Digital Library of India and its mirror sites –, and where these books can be viewed as scanned images. Digital Library of India has recently launched a new site where books can be directly downloaded in PDF format.

More than 50,000 books touch upon Indology, Sanskrit literature and Hindu religious texts, including the Vedas and other scriptures. A lot of them are rare and not available elsewhere and come from University libraries like the TTD/RSVP Sanskrit university at Tirupati, Sringeri Math etc. You can directly get neatly formatted Adobe PDF books using the software, DLI Downloader hosted at

3rd Dec 2017: It seems DLI has shut down its old website and transferred all books to

All books are now available as PDF files. Those who prefer to have DJVU, TIFF, etc have that option too.

Kumara-Sambhavam of Kalidasa – Sanskrit & English

Kumarasambhava is a legendary Sanskrit poem written by Mahakavi Kalidasa. It is one of the most foremost and substantial examples of `Kavya` poetry. Kumarasambhava literally stands for “Birth of the War-god”, i.e. Kartikeya, Shiva`s first son.

Kumarasambhava essentially talks about the courtship of Lord Shiva and Parvati. The bulk of chapters have enormous details about the love and romance between Shiva and Parvati. It is stated that a powerful demon named Tarakasura was blessed with the boon that only the child of Lord Shiva could vanquish him and no other. Likewise, Shiva had cut short the desire for love through passionate meditation. Due to Parvati`s brilliant efforts and after much penance, she won the love of Lord Shiva.

After sometime, Shiva and Parvati were blessed with a son whom they named Kartikeya. He grew up and slew the demon Tarakasur and re-established peace and glory of Lord Indra and the divine world.

It is said that Kalidasa had left home to attain worldly knowledge and turn the ‘enlightened one’. On his return, his wife asked, “Asti Kashchit Vagvisheshah”, standing for, “Have you attained any palpable knowledge that should make me give you a special welcome?” Kalidasa gave her a fitting reply and spanning a period of few years, he wrote three great epics based on three letters spoken by his wife. From “Asti” he produced “Kumarasambhava”; from “Kaschit” he penned “Meghaduta” and from “Vagvisheshah” he wrote “Raghuvansha”.


Kumarasambhava Cantos I-VII – Sanskrit Commentary, English Translation & Notes – MR Kale

Kumarasambhavam – Eng Translation by RTH Griffith

Kumarasambhavam with Mallinatha’s Sanskrit Commentary

Sriramodantam Sanskrit Text with English Translation

The term Sriramodantam is composed of two words ‘Srirama’ and ‘udantam’ meaning ‘the story of Srirama’. Sriramodantam is a ‘laghukavyam’ (minor poetical composition) that has been in use as the first text in old Sanskrit Curriculum of Kerala for last five centuries. As per this curriculum the students were taught this text along with Amarakosa and Siddharoopam immediately after they had learnt the Sanskrit alphabets (Varnamala). This Kavya, which is a highly abridged version of “Valmiki Ramayana”, was used as a tool to teach effectively Vibhakti, Sandhi, Samasa, etc to young pupils.

There will hardly be a Sanskrit knowing person from Kerala who does not know by-heart at least a few verses of this work, which begins with the verse “श्रीपतिं प्रणिपत्याहं श्रीवत्साङ्कितवक्षसं श्रीरामोदन्तमाख्यास्ये श्रीवात्मीकिप्रकीर्त्तितम्”. Though the traditional style of teaching Sanskrit exists no more in Kerala, the ‘balakanda’ of  Sriramodantam found a place in the Sanskrit text books prepared by the State board till a few decades back. This shows how significant a role this work had played in imparting basic lessons of Sanskrit to the young minds.

It is a great pity that the author of Sriramodantam is unknown. The author, in his inimitable and simple style, has narrated, in just 200 verses, the seven kandas of Ramayana that was expounded by sage Valmiki in 24000 verses.

Any suggestion for improving this translation is welcome.