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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)


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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)

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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)

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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

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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


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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 –, http://www.new1.dli.ernet.in/ and http://www.new.dli.gov.in/ 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 https://code.google.com/p/dli-downloader/.

3rd Dec 2017: It seems DLI has shut down its old website and transferred all books to https://archive.org/details/digitallibraryindia

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

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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

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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 श्रीवाल्मीकिप्रकीर्तितम्”. 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.


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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.


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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

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