Abhanakajagannatha – Proverbs in modern Sanskrit

Proverbs are coherent and lively documents of human experiences in succinct manner. These give vigor to language. Some proverbs are for shock treatment to the stupid ones. Some are drumbeats to the slumbering lethargic! Proverbs are strong pulses of folklore. Citing proverbs in daily conversation is age-old practice of people. Collection and study of these wonderful aphorisms is made several times in hundreds of languages of the world. We do not know original creators of these by name. But we do know modern authors by name who have produced proverbs afresh inspired by the old ones.

Abhanakajagannatha, a compilation of new proverbs in Sanskrit is authored by S. Jagannatha, a free thinker. This work is permeated with new maxims, imaginations, teeny-weeny sketches of author’s own experience and imitation of old adages.The number of proverbs is one thousand, three hundred and twenty two(1322). All proverbs are classified and arranged alphabetically in every classified group. Meanings of difficult words in footnotes and introduction of proverbs are in Sanskrit itself. Contents of the subjects are provided at the beginning.Alphabetical lists of all the proverbs, subjects and the words shown in the footnotes are given at the end for quick reference.


Katha Saritsagara of Somadeva Bhatta – Sanskrit and English Translation

Kathasaritsagara (Ocean of rivers of stories) is a famous 11th-century collection of Indian legends, fairy tales and folk tales as retold by a Saivite Brahmin named Somadeva. Nothing is known about the author other than that his father’s name was Ramadevabatta. The work was compiled for the entertainment of the queen Suryamati, wife of king Anantadeva of Kashmir (CE 1063-81).

It consists of 18 books of 124 chapters and more than 21,000 verses in addition to prose sections. The principal tale is the narrative of the adventures of Naravahanadatta, son of the legendary king Udayana. A large number of tales are built around this central story, making it the largest existing collection of Indian tales. It notably also contains the Vetalapanchavimsati, or Baital Pachisi, in its twelfth book.

The Katha-sarit-sagara is generally believed to derive from Gunadhya’s Brhat-katha, written in Paisachi dialect from the south of India. But the Kashmirian Brhat-katha from which Somadeva took inspiration may be quite different from the Paisachi one as there were two versions of the Brhat-katha extant in Kashmir, as well as the related Brhatkatha-sloka-samgraha of Buddhasvamin from Nepal. Like the Panchatantra, tales from this (or its main source book the Brhat-katha) travelled to many parts of the world.

The only complete translation into English is by C. H. Tawney (1837–1922), published in two volumes (1300 pages in all) in 1880. This was greatly expanded, with additional notes and remarks comparing stories from different cultures, by N. M. Penzer, and published in ten volumes (“privately printed for subscribers only”) in 1924.


Sanskrit Text only

English Translation by C. H. Tawney in 2 volumes:

Volume 1Volume 2

English Translation by N. M. Penzer in 10 volumes

Volume 01,
Volume 02,
Volume 03,
Volume 04,
Volume 05
Volume 06,
Volume 07,
Volume 08,
Volume 09,
Volume 10

Bhoja Prabandha of Ballala Deva – Sanskrit Text with Hindi & English Translation

Bhojaprabandha (narrative of Bhoja), written by Ballala Deva, is the story of Bhoja, King of Malwa during the 11th Century A.D. This book contains many interesting legends about great poets like Kalidasa, Bhavabhuti and Bana.

King Bhoja was so deeply dedicated to the cause of literature that writing of poetry had become a mass movement during his tenure as a king. Only those who had poetic skills were permitted to reside inthe city “Dhara” during Bhoja’s tenure as the king. This was his order, “विप्रोऽपि यो भवेन्मूर्खः स पुराद्बहिरस्तु मे। कुम्भकारोऽपि यो विद्वान् स तिष्ठतु पुरे मम॥” “Let not a stupid person stay in my city even if he is brahmin; Let a learned person stay in my city, even if one is a potter.”

Ballala Deva, it seems, was interested not so much in history as in heroics. In his attempt to magnify Bhoja as a patron of art and letters, Ballala has ignored historical facts. The poets, Kalidasa, Bhavabhuti and Bana, who, he said adorned Bhoja-s court, belonged to centuries much before Bhoja.

Bala-Bhojaprabandha in Hindi by Pt Sunderlal Sharma Dvivedi

This is an adapted version of Ballaladeva’s Bhoja Prabandha in Hindi. The author has retained all the interesting anecdots from the original Bhojaprabandha.

Bhojaprabandha – Sanskrit text with Hindi translation by Jagadishlal Shastri
Bhojaprabandha – Sanskrit text with Hindi translation by SS Tripathi
Bhojaprabandha with English Translation by Saradaprosad Vidyabhushan
Bhojprabandha Sanskrit text – Pansikar – NSP 1932
Bal Bhojaprabandh – Hindi – Pt Sunderlal Sharma Dvivedi

Vyavaharikam Samskritam in 3 parts (Sanskrit Tutorial)

Vyavaharikam Samskritam in 3 parts by Pramodvardhana Kaundinyayana Mimamsacharya of Nepal is intented to teach Sanskrit to the beginners in Sanskrit language. This series covers Sanskrit alphabets, declensions, subhashitas, stories, coversations, poems, sandhi, verb forms, samasas, pratyayas, etc.

I am grateful to Ujjwol Lamichhane for kindly sending the pdf files of these books to me and for encouraging me to post them on this blog.


Vyavaharikam Samskritam Part 1 to 3

Swapnavasavadatta of Bhasa – Skt text with English translation & notes

Sanskrit Text with English translation and notes of Swapnavasavadatta (The dream of Vasavadatta) of Bhasa (3rd Century BCE) by A.B. Gajendragadkar.

The plot of Svapnavasavadatta is drawn from the romantic narratives about the Vatsa king Udayana and Vasavadatta, the daughter of Pradyota, the ruler of Avanti, which were current in the poet’s time and which seem to have captivated popular imagination. The main theme of the drama is the sorrow of Udayana for his queen Vasavadatta, believed by him to have perished in a conflagration, which was actually a rumour spread by Yaugandharayana, a minister of Udayana to compel his king to marry Padmavati, the daughater of the king of Magadha. It forms, in context, a continuation of his another drama, Pratijnayaugandharayana.

Svapnavasavadatta is based on the brihatakatha of gunadhya and is referred to in the mahabharata. Bhasa stands preeminent for the boldness of his conception, insight into character and for his homely sparking style. He has written about thirteen plays of which the svapna-vasavadatta is reckoned as a masterpiece both in ancient indian and modern criticism.


Vikramorvasiyam of Kalidasa Sanskrit Text & English Translation

Vikramorvasiya (Urvasi Won Through Valor) is based on the old legend of the love of the mortal Pururavaas for the heavenly damsel Urvasi. The legend occurs in embryonic form in a hymn of the Rig Veda and in a much amplified version in the Shatapathabrahmana. It tells the story of mortal King Pururavas and celestial nymph Urvashi who fall in love. As an immortal, she has to return to the heavens, where an unfortunate accident causes her to be sent back to the earth as a mortal with the curse that she will die (and thus return to heaven) the moment her lover lays his eyes on the child which she will bear him. After a series of mishaps, including Urvashi’s temporary transformation into a vine, the curse is lifted, and the lovers are allowed to remain together on the earth.

Vikramorvasiyam is the second of the three dramas attributed to Kalidasa, the other two being Abhijnanasakuntalam and Malavikagnimitram. The language employed in Vikramorvasiyam displays all the elegance and the beauties of Kalidasa’s style.

The Vikramorvasiyam, a drama in 5 acts (Sanskrit Text with English Notes by SP Pandit)

Vikramorvasi: an Indian drama (English Translation by EB Cowell

Chanakya Sutrani – Skt Text with Hindi Translation & Commentary

Next to the heros of the Puranas, no name is more familiar to Indians than that of Chanakya (4th century BCE) or as he is otherwise known, Kautilya or Visnugupta. Throughout the whole of India, nitis or wise sayings attributed to him, are even now taught to students. The very fact that this universal adoration is paid to his memory, shows that Kautilya was in his own days regarded as a master, whose worldly wisdom and foresight gained for him the veneration of his comtemporaries.

This book is a Hindi Translation and commentary on aphorisms of Chanakya by Sri Ramavatar Vidyabhaskar. There are 571 aphorisms in six chapters. Chanakya, through his aphorisms,

Chanakya begins the text with a prayer to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Usually Sanskrit texts begin with “Mangalacharanam” – a prayer to Guru, Ganesa or ones Ishta Devata for the auspicious completion of the book. We can see that Chanakya does not conform to this tradition. The first sutra, is perhaps, an explanation why he directed his prayer to Lakshmi. It says, “Wealth is the root cause of Dharma (Righteousness). The last sutra says, “Control of senses is the cause for success in all matters”. Thus, through his aphorisms, Chanakya teaches that a country can progress only imbibing values such as righteousness and self-control and by acquisition of wealth through good governance.

DOWNLOAD Chanakya Sutrani with Hindi Commentary by Ramavatar Vidyabhaskar
DOWNLOAD Chanakya Sutram with Sanskrit Commentary by Iswar Chandra Sharma Shastri

Laghu Paniniyam of A. R. Rajaraja Varma

“Laghu Paniniyam”  is a brief introduction to classical Sanskrit grammar, on the lines of Panini. In this text the more important sutras of Ashtadhyayi are so arranged as to bring together the relevant sutras bearing on a particular topic. The author exaplainsin his preface, what motivated him to write this book – “it has always struck me, if it were possible to prepare an elementary grammar, in Sanskrit itself, on the basis of Panini’s unmatched aphorisms, simplifying his principles and interpreting them in accordance with modern tendencies so as to form an introduction to Panini, and to the ordinary classical literature generally, the attempt would be worth-making.”

The author, A R Rajaraja Varma (1863 -1918), is well known as Kerala Panini (the Panini of Kerala). He was given this title considering his contributions for systematising the grammar of Malayalam language.


Sanskrit Sanskrit Dictionaries – Sabdakalpadruma & Vachaspatyam

Sanskrit Dictionaries – General Introduction

The history of Sanskrit dictionary is, perhaps, older than that of the Sanskrit Grammar. It got started with Vedic Concordance named ‘Nighantu’. In reality, instead of being a dictionary, Nighantu is more or less a word. During later period, various dictionaries were compiled but, unfortunately, we have lost their original scripts.

Amara Simha’s ‘Amarakosa’ has been considered to be the oldest and most popular compilation. It is also known as Namalinganusasana. in later period, Halayudha-kosa, Vaijayanti-kosa, Mankha-kosa, Nama-mala and Anekartha-samgraha etc. names are worth mentioning.

Two voluminous dictionaries compiled in the 19th century are – Vacaspatyam and Sabdakalpadruma, which stand apart their modern style and technique, Both the volumes are replete with the quotes from the contemporary literature to explain the words convincingly. These, thus may be called a bridge between the dictionary and the encyclopedia.

In the modern times, Sanskrit English Dictionary of H.H. Wilsonm, W. Monier and Sanskrit Worterbuch of Oto Bohtlingk’s and Sanskrit English Dictionary by Vamana Sivarama Apte are the excellent works in this tradition.

Sabda Kalpadruma: A Comprehensive Sanskrit Dictionary in 5 volumes

Sabda Kalpadruma is a well known Sanskrit lexicon compiled by a few Bengali scholars at the instance of Raja Radhakanta Deb of Bengal. In this book, the words have been analyzed into their base-forms and suffixes, their genders determined and their Sanskrit synonyms noted.

Download Sabda Kalpadrumam

Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3 Volume 4 Volume 5

Vacaspatyam: A Comprehensive Sanskrit Dictionaryin 6 volumes

Vacaspatyam is a Sanskrit Lexicon, of 5442 pages, by Pandit Taranatha Tarkavacaspati, Calcutta. It is very full up to the end of the letter Pa (page 4550), whilst the rest of the alphabet is squeezed into 900 pages! It is said that the Bengal Govt, which largely subsidized the undertaking, ordered it to be curtailed. If that is so, it did a very unwise thing! (Col. GA Jacob in “A Handful Of Popular Maxims Current In Sanskrit Literature”)

Download Vachaspatyam
Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3 Volume 4 Volume 5 Volume 6

Vritta Ratnakara of Kedara Bhatta with Sanskrit & Hindi Commentaries – Nrisimhadeva Sastri

Vritta Ratnakara of Kedara Bhatta (14th Century CE) is one of the most popular texts on Sanskrit prosody. Though there are many books on Sanskrit prosody by eminent authors like Kalidasa, Kshemendra, etc, Vritta Ratankara continues to be an essential text for Sanskrit students.

A speciality of this work is that the definition and illustration of a meter is given in one and the same verse. The verse defining a particular metre is composed in that particular meter itself. This is very helpful for a student of Sanskrit prosody.

Another speciality of this work is that it is very brief – there are merely 136 verses. The author has covered all the prominent metres of Sanskrit literature in these verses.