Probably the main site for all Sanskrit-related information. Many documents may be downloaded in a variety of formats: PDF, PS, ITX, GIF, TXT, Sanskrit98, Sanskrit99, XDVNG. There are links to dictionaries and grammar-related tools and many exercises relating to conversational Sanskrit. Fonts etc. are available for download and links are provided to ITRANS and postscript tools. Finally, there are links to many other academic and personal Sanskrit-related projects around the world. There are even news broadcasts in Sanskrit, in Real Audio format.
A regularly updated page of useful information and links is also maintained as Sanskrit Studies
Links and Information.
There is a similar site here. Unfortunately, this is not always accessible. Again there is a wide selection of tools, documents etc. and the site itself is professionally presented. (The 'Documents' section is a mirror of the previous site.) There is a new 'Forum' section.
Steinhauser has produced another large site
Texts and Stotras. Here is his own introduction
to the site: "Study Sanskrit, read Sanskrit texts,
listen to Vedic pundits chant, or read Sanksrit
humor. This site contains a wide variety of Sanskrit
texts and stotras in the pdf format, which you
can view or print for your personal use. Most
of the texts are in Devanagari script, some with
English translation. The Bhagavad-Gita, Devi
Mahatmyam, all of the sahasranama stotras, and
several other texts are also encoded in transliteration
(by popular demand). A lot of attention has been
put into formatting the texts for maximum aesthetic
appeal and ease of use."
Samskrita Bharati offers numerous publications to help in the learning of Sanskrit as well as some on-line audio. It has news about related events and details of how to help.
If you want to learn Sanskrit, this site produced by Gabriel Pradiipaka & Andrés Muni in Argentina is simply excellent. It takes you from the basics of learning to write and pronounce the letters up to a very comprehensive set of instructions and examples for combining letters (vowel, visarga and consonant sandhi). Scriptures are translated and there are audio files of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras that may be listened to alongside the other material. A tremendous amount of effort is still going into this project and it shows. It is well presented and easy to read.
Sudhir Kaicker has provided a freely downloadable tutor (nearly 38MB when I downloaded it) at Sanskrita Pradipika. This is aimed at providing adults learning on their own with a 'leisurely introduction'. It runs under Java run-time environment (so should be computer independent) in a small window that displays a small page of information at a time. It seems to do exactly what it claims. It is interactive to the extent that words may be constructed by typing at the keyboard. There is a very comprehensive set of declension tables for nouns and pronouns, with all of the various options displayed with just three clicks of the mouse. It can also sound out the letters but this facility is not included in the downloaded software to keep the size to a minimum. A CD can be mailed at the cost of the recipient. Later chapters explain saMdhi, declension and conjugation and sentence construction. Sudhir also now provides an 18 month course using Skype in addition to other tools.
A very comprehensive set of on-line lessons is produced by the Systems Development Laboratory at Chennai, India. Some of them may be downloaded for study off-line. There is also a free multilingual editor, for use in generating web pages containing Devanagari (and other) scripts. This is needed in order to be able to make full use of the lessons.
This Reader introduces India’s Sanskrit literature. The selection of more than 1600 verses covers subjects essential for the understanding of ancient Indian culture and modern Hinduism.
It consists of 300 pages A4, and is available for 25 Euro plus postage. You can order from: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can order from: email@example.com. Alternatively, the best price (£12.24) is from the publisher.
You can view the first 18 pages here.
Even more amazing, however, is that you can download an 800 page Sanskrit Reader Course for free. This utilizes verses from the scriptures to illustrate the introduction of the alphabet and grammar, declensions and conjugations. There is also a list of dhatu-s and all of the words in the Bhagavad Gita, together with an indication of their derivation.
Heiko Kretschmer from Germany is to be congratulated on what has clearly been a labor of love in providing this wonderful resource. Download here (nearly 4MB).
International Foundation (CIF), the Center for
Sanskrit Research and Indology, has introduced
Sanskrit Online Study Course. This course
covers the salient aspects of Sanskrit Grammar
and learning without unduly burdening the students
with many details. The course lasts around 15 months
at 3 hours per week, is accessible for all and
costs $150 outside India.
For the most
serious students, a free downloadable, interactive
version of pANini's aShTAdyAyI is available (for
Windows 98/2000/XP) from Ganakastadhyayi.
This clasic work of around 4000 sutras explains
the entire Sanskrit grammar in a very scientific
manner and this computerized version by Dr Shivamurthy
Swamiji provides a wealth of detail.
The Sanskrit Heritage Site is maintained by Gerard Huet. Though the dictionary tools are aimed primarily at French speakers, most of the information is also in English. There is also an on-line tool whereby you can specify the stem of a noun (prAtipadika form), together with its gender and it will provide you with a tabular listing of all of the cases. There is also a 'sandhi analysis' utility that will attempt to break a sentence into words. There is an extensive page of categorised links.
Chitrapur Math is in the process of providing graded lessons in Sanskrit. At the time of writing, this is up to month 17. Having had a quick look, they appear comprehensive and approachable. The later lessons have the student translating quite complex English sentences!
Wikipedia now has a good page of history, general information and links.
ITRANS is the transliteration scheme, developed by Avinash Chopde for communicating Sanskrit on the Internet. Full details of the scheme are given here. Itrans itself is used with another tool called LaTeX. Since this is not at all straightforward, beginners or casual users are advised to use the web-interface (since its .ps and .pdf files are transportable for all platforms) or the special tool below.
For easy ITRANS representation of Sanskrit, I recommend the use of the excellent software package 'Itranslator', developed by the Sannyasis of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, Rishikesh, India. This program, compatible with the latest versions of Windows, is downloadable free of charge. Words can be typed in ITRANS and converted into Devanagari and Roman diacritical forms. These can then be copied and pasted into any Windows package. There is also a Unicode version, which will only run on systems supporting this (e.g. Windows XP).
If you only occasionally want to
see the Devanagari representation, you can immediately
translate an ITRANS word at the giitaayan
site (which has a lyrics archive
of Hindi songs on its homepage). There is also
a table showing the ITRANS-Devanagari translations.
The ITRANS transliteration and Devanagari script for the alphabet may be viewed, and the correct pronunciation of each letter heard at the Sarasvati site.
Charles Wikner's excellent Sanskrit tutorial may be downloaded in its entirety or viewed chapter by chapter.
A downloadable pdf docment and an mp3 file teach you basic pronunciation at the Devasthanam site. This is the website of the Sanskrit Religions Institute. There is also a short list of Sanskrit terms and an essay on Sanskrit and the Hindu religion. Note that ITRANS is not used at this site.
umd_samskritam is a group established in 2005 in the US to promote the speaking of Sanskrit. The site aims to provide resources, act as a link for Sanskrit-related activities around the world and promote Sanskrit forums and blogs. Free weekend workshops are organized in the Washington-Maryland area.
A list of recommended books, divided up into 'Introductory Grammar and Readers', 'Reference Grammars', 'Dictionaries Sanskrit-English' and 'Dictionaries English-Sanskrit', is provided by the Columbia University 'Inventory of Language Materials'.
The dictionary that is essential if you are seriously interested in pursuing the language is that by Monier-Williams. It can be purchased in the West but is exorbitantly expensive (£120 or up to $300). If you are prepared to wait for it you can obtain it much more cheaply from India.
of Cologne has done an incredible job of
digitising much of the Monier-Williams Sanskrit
to English dictionary. This may be used on-line
and you can also enter a search word in English
to find all of the Sanskrit words that may
translate to this. Note that, as of summer
2008, there is a new
and improved version which
allows entry of the search term in ITRANS format.
Scanned images of each
page in PDF format may be viewed also.
The dictionary may also be downloaded in its
entirety (19Mb compressed to 7Mb) together
with a superb utility for accessing the content.
This facility has been provided by Louis
Bontes at his site.
There is another simple on-line dictionary at SpokenSanskrit.de. This enables translation in either direction with no strict transliteration. Words are prompted as you write.
A CD version of the dictionary can be purchased for $2.95 from Krishna.com (the dictionary itself is freeware and occupies 421MB). It consists of TIF images of all of the pages together with a simple search tool to locate the relevant page.
PDF versions of the Monier-Williams dictionary may be downloaded from the Advaitin website (thanks to Shri Prabhu) but note that the complete work is in excess of 400MB. Click here for the complete document, here for Volume 1 and here for Volume 2.
Sanskrit-English Dictionary may be searched on-line at the Middle Eastern
Studies in Japan.
83 books on Sanskrit at the time of writing