beta.learnsanskrit.org now available and growing quickly! We hope to have it live by the end of the year.
All resources on this page are free and available online. If you feel that I've omitted any good resources, please feel free to contact me.
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Although I hope to make this website a universal resource that all sorts of Sanskrit learners can use, that goal will probably forever remain out of reach. For this reason, the resources below might suit you better. Books are marked with the term [book], and most of these books are freely available computer files.
Learn Sanskrit through self-study — For years, this has been the most popular and well-loved Sanskrit resource on the Internet.
Samskrita Bharati — By teaching Sanskrit in a conversational setting. Samskrita Bharati hopes to illustrate that Sanskrit is a viable conversational language that can bring
national integration,presumably to the Indian community. The organization is best known for its classes and workshops.
UBC Sanskrit — Most of the site is incomplete, but what it does offer is gracefully taught. It's refreshing to see the cleanliness and care with which the examples are constructed. Sound included.
- [book] A Sanskrit Grammar for Students — A. A. MacDonnell
Michael Coulson recommended this grammar in Teach Yourself Sanskrit, and it's probably the most readable and user-friendly version I've found. There are some truly awful reference works out there, but this is one of the best I've seen.
- [book] A Higher Sanskrit Grammar — M. R. Kale
This is the only Sanskrit grammar in English that introduces Panini's system, and for that reason, I recommend it. If you don't care for the web interface here, you can also download a PDF of the entire book, available here.
Sanskrit Grammar — W. D. Whitney
I think Michael Coulson describes W. D. Whitney best, as a
great but startingly arrogantSanskrit scholar. He has odd notions about artificiality and
depravationin the later language, and he states many things that are
obviouslytrue even though they are far from it. His explanations are long-winded and frustrating.
But if you're looking for a complete account of Sanskrit grammar in English, this is probably the best resource available to you. I am working hard to make this site an alternative, but I can probably never meet the comprehensive nature of his work, at least with the organization I have now.
I've linked to a scanned copy of the book above, but there is also a web copy in normal text, without any PDFs involved. That copy is hosted on Wikisource, and you can read it here. I have not examined much of the Wikisource copy, but it seems to match the actual book exactly.
- [book] The Ashtadhayi of Panini. It consists of eight parts:
- Technical terms and rules of interpretation
- Nouns, compounds, and cases
- Attaching suffixes to verb roots
- Attaching suffixes to noun stems (1)
- Attaching suffixes to noun stems (2)
- Accent and phonetic changes (1)
- Accent and phonetic changes (2)
This is the foundation of Sanskrit grammar. I recommend the translation by Srisa Chandra Vasu; it has all of the rules in Sanskrit, a Sanskrit commentary, his English translation, and his English commentary.
To access the files, you should right-click on the link and select "Save Link As" or whatever similar option your web browser shows you. If you click directly on the link, the file may not appear, and your browser might freeze.
You should not use the Ashtadhyayi as a textbook! The rules use highly specialized terms and will overwhelm you; it is best to use them for reference.
- Monier Williams Online Dictionary [Sanskrit to English]
If you continue in your Sanskrit studies, this dictionary — and perhaps this online version of it — will become your dearest and most indispensable resource. A reader has also recommended the version here, which offers spelling corrections if you make a mistake.
- Monier Williams Online Dictionary [English to Sanskrit]
- Apte's Sanskrit-English Dictionary [Sanskrit to English]
- Apte's English-Sanskrit Dictionary [English to Sanskrit, saved in several PDFs]
Sanskrit Documents is home to hundreds of different Sanskrit texts. Texts are available as PDF files, but by using this site's Sanscript tool, you can convert the ITX versions into any script you like.
GRETIL (Göttingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages) contains a large number of Sanskrit texts. These texts are in IAST, but you can convert them to Devanagari or another script by using this site's SANSCRIPT tool.
The Free Indological Connection contains more than fifty rarer and more unusual Sanskrit texts, including a few copies of the Bhagavad Gita, a list of Sanskrit verb roots, and a translation of the New Testament into Sanskrit. Some texts are more interesting than others.
Texts hosted on this website
This site has copies of the Bhagavad Gita (raw), Meghaduta (frist half translated), and the Ashtadhyayi (chapter 1 translated). For more information, click here.
Tools & Software
See the Tools page.
Works on Other Indo-European Languages
- Latin for Beginners — Benjamin D'Ooge, from Textkit.com
- First Greek Book — John White, from Textkit.com
All code is in the public domain.
transliterate.php — transliterate from Harvard-Kyoto to IAST and Devanagari. Easy to add support for other output scripts. Input scripts can be in any romanized scheme; read through the files for details on how to do this.