[Advaita-l] Fwd: List of Sanskrit Grammar Books

SVS svsubrahmanian at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 7 07:42:36 CST 2006

Dear all,

This mail is not about advaita or sAdhana per se.  But it is an ancillary Vedic
topic namely the Sanskrit language using the Paninian system.  My teacher has
compiled a list of good Sanskrit grammar books that one should possess in order
to be serious student of Sanskrit.  I am sure you understand that this list
cannot be unique.  It is one teacher's opinion of what a simple/good collection

I am forwarding this for the benefit any Sanskrit aspirants in this list as
members of such lists typically have overlapping interests.  

This is for your information.  Please follow the list policies and do not enter
into elaborate discussion on its contents.

With love,

> Om Sri Gurubhyo Namah:
> Hello All:
> Some students have asked for a list of good Sanskrit reference books.  I
> thought it would be a good idea to send it to all class students.
> Here it is:
> 1. The "Kasika" is the standard Sanskrit commentary (more than a thousand
> years old) on the Panini's Astadhyayi.  There are many editions available but
> I like the following one because it is completely error-free to the best of
> my knowledge:
> "Kasika" edited by Vijayapala Vidyavaridhih, published by Ramlal Kapoor
> Trust.
> The above edition has only the original Sanskrit text with no translation or
> commentary.  The following two have translations:
> 2. "Kasika" (in 10 volumes) edited by Jayasankaralal Tripathi and Sudhakar
> Malaviya published by Tara Printing Works, Varanasi.  This has two of the
> best Sanskrit commentaries on Kasika along with a good Hindi translation.
> 3. "The Astadhyayi of Panini" by Srisa Chandra Vasu, published by Motilal
> Banarasidass.  This is a good English translation of Kasika.
> There are also small books which have only the Astadhyayi sutras - Sutra
> Patha (with no commentary), but with anuvrittis of the sutras and an
> alphabetical index of sutras at the back.  Here is one that I have a few
> copies of:
> "Astadhyayi of Panini" edited by Prof. Gopal Dutt Pandey, published by
> Chowkhamba Surabharati Prakashan, Varanasi
> The following is a really superb English explanation of pretty much all
> Sanskrit grammatical terms.  It also gives the numbers of the sutras where
> the term occurs.  It is a must have:
> 1. "A Dictionary of Sanskrit Grammar" by Kashinath Vasudev Abhyankar and J.
> M. Shukla published in Gaekwad's Oriental Series #134.
> For those who want to make a gradual entry into the Panian system here is a
> good book:
> "The Tested Easiest Method of Learning and Teaching Sanskrit" - First Book. 
> By Pandit Brahmadattaji Jihnasu.  Published by Ramlal Kapoor Trust.
> This book is also available in Hindi.  There is a part two also (but only in
> Hindi.) by Yudhishthira Mimamsaka, same publisher.
> The Siddhanta Kaumudi is the re-ordering of Panini's Astadhyayi by topic,
> done by the great grammarian Bhattoji Diksita about 400 years ago.  There are
> many editions and commentaries, but here are some good ones:
> 1. "Siddhanta Kaumudi" with Tattvabodhini commentary edited by Vasudev
> Lakshman Shastri Panashikar, published by Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan,
> Delhi.  This is a re-print of the famed old Nirnaya Sagar edition   It has a
> good set of appendices (including Dhatu Patha, Sutra Patha etc.) at the back.
> 2. "Vaiyakarana Siddhanta Kaumdi" in 4 volumes, edited by Giridhar Sarma
> Chaturvedi and Parameswarananda Sarma Vidyabhaskar - published by Motilal
> Banarasidass.  This edition has two Sanskrit commentaries - particularly the
> Balamanorama which is the easiest to read and hence the most popular, even
> though it has some errors.
> For those who prefer English:
> 3. "The Siddhanta Kaumudi" by Srisa Chandra Vasu published by Motilal
> Banarasidass.
> The most popular Sanskrit grammar text studied today is the Laghu Siddhanta
> Kaumudi, which as the name implies, is a condensed Siddhanta Kaumudi
> containing about 1300 of the most important sutras organized by topic.  Here
> again there are many editions available but the following Hindi translation
> is absolutely outstanding.    This is the first place I go to when I have a
> question.  It is a must have even if your Hindi is weak!
> "Laghu Siddhanta Kaumudi" with Bhaimi Vyakhya (6 volumes) - published by
> Bhaimi Prakashan, 537, Lajpat Rai Market, Delhi - 110006.
> One should have at least one edition of the Kaasika and one of the Siddhanta
> Kaumudi.
> Since the Sanskrit language is almost entirely based on the verbal roots,
> there are many commentaries on the Dhatu Patha which explain not only the
> meaning of the Dhatu but also derive the forms which come from it.  Here are
> some which I find useful:
> 1. "KrdantaRupaMala" in 5 volumes published by The Sanskrit Education
> Society, Madras.  This is a superb collection of all the Dhatus along with
> it's major forms - not only of the original verbal root but also its
> causative and desiderative variations.  More importantly it gives all the
> necessary sutras and references from literature.  An extremely useful
> reference, but unfortunately out of print.  I am planning to make some more
> photocopies shortly.
> 2. "Madhaviya DhatuVritti" edited by Vijayapala Vidyavaridhih, published by
> Ramlal Kapoor Trust.  This is a very respected Sanskrit commentary on the
> Dhatu Patha by the great Vedic commentator Sayanacarya.
> 3. "KshiraTarangini" commentary on the Dhatu Patha by Kshiraswami - edited by
> Yudhishthira Mimamsaka, published by Ramlal Kapoor Trust.  A very old
> standard commentary.  A well edited work with good footnotes.
> The most well-known and original thesaurus of Sanskrit is undoubtedly the
> AmaraKosa.  No collection of Sanskrit books is complete without this one.  Of
> the various editions available I like the following:
> 1. "Namalinganusasana alias Amarakosa" of Amarsimha with Sanskrit commentary,
> edited by Pandit Sivadatta Dadhimatha and revised by Vasudev Laksmana
> Panasikara, published by Chaukhamba Sanskrti Pratishthan (reprint of old
> Nirnaya Sagar edition).  This edition is particularly useful because the
> commentary gives all the sutras necessary for the etymology of each word.
> 2. "Amarakosa" in 3 volumes with South Indian Sanskrit commentaries edited by
> Prof. A. A. Ramanathan, published by The Adyar Library and Research Centre. 
> Gives good explanations but without sutras.
> The following is a special dictionary contaning all the indeclinable words in
> the language in alphabetical order.  Very useful and full of good information
> including sutras.
> 1. "AvyayaKosa - A Dictionary of Indeclinables" published by The Sanskrit
> Education Society, Madras.  Out of print, but will make some photocopies.
> Volume I of "Laghu Siddhanta Kaumudi" with Bhaimi Vyakhya (mentioned above)
> also has a very good list of indeclinables.
> Unadi Kosa - Since not all Sanskrit words can be derived using the
> Astadhyayi, the Unadi sutras are like an appendix to the Astadhyayi which
> explain the etymology of words not covered by Panini.  Some of these are very
> common words - like manas.  Panini refers to the Unadi sutras - see sutra
> 3.3.1 - but doesn't go into details.  Unadi sutras are also part of the
> Siddhanta Kaumudi. There are called Unadi because the first affix given is
> 'uN'
> The following is a well-edited handy book of Unadi sutras along with good
> appendices:
> "Unadi Kosa" edited by Yudhishthira Mimamsaka, published by Ramlal Kapoor
> Trust.    I have some copies.
> In addition to the DhatuPatha, which gives the list of verbal roots, there is
> also another important appendix to Panini's Astadhyayi called the "GanaPatha"
>  This gives the lists of nouns refered to by Panini in various sutras.  Here
> is a good edition with a Sanskrit commentary:
> "GanaRatnavali" edited by Pandit Chandradatta Sarma published by Ramlal
> Kapoor Trust.
> The best Sanskrit-English dictionary is Apte's Practical Sanskrit-English
> dictionary - Revised and Enlarged edition.  There are many different
> variations of Apte's dictionary but this particular one is the most
> comprehensive of them all.  The original publication is from Japan, but that
> is expensive (>$100).  There is an Indian reprint of the Japanese original,
> by Motilal Banarasidass which is affordable (about $15).
> A very good all-encompassing reference book in English is Kale's "A Higher
> Sanskrit Grammar" published by Motilal Banarasidass.  It also contains some
> Panini sutras as footnotes.  I have a couple of extra copies.
> There is also the "Student's Guide to Sanskrit Composition" by V. S. Apte,
> re-published by Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi.  Another great
> work by Apte.
> For a quick guide (without sutras) to nominal declensions and verbal
> conjugations there is the "SabdaManjari" and "DhatuRupaManjari" published by
> R. S. Vadhyar & Sons, Palghat.  These have a few errors but still handy
> references.  It have some copies.
> The best BhagawadGeeta book for Sanskrit commentaries is "SrimadBhagawadGita"
> edited by Wasudev Laxman Sastri Pansikar published by Munshiram Manoharlal
> (re-print of the old famed Nirnaya Sagar edition).  It is well edited with
> seven commentaries and is really worth having.
> For chanting purposes, a very good large type error-free Geeta book is the
> "Sri PancaRatnaGeeta" by Geeta Press (book # 21).  This has
> VishnuSahasraNaamaStotram also.
> For those who want to practice reading Sanskrit with the help of a good
> English (or Hindi) translation, I would recommend the following Geeta Press
> books (I have some copies of the English versions):
> "Srimad Valmiki Ramayana" in 2 volumes with English translation - Geeta Press
> book numbers 452, 453.  The Hindi version is book numbers 75, 76.
> "Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana" in 2 volumes with English translation - Geeta
> Press book numbers 564, 565.  The Hindi version is book numbers 26, 27
> Like all Geeta Press books, these are of a high quality and also inexpensive.
>  Read the Ramayana first.  It is much easier.
> Finally there is the Bhatti Kavyam.  Bhatti was a very great grammarian who
> wrote his version of the Ramayana with the intention of teaching Panini
> sutras.  No course on Panini's Astadhyayi can be complete without Bhatti. 
> It's not for beginners.  A must read for serious students of Panini.  Many
> editions are available.  Some of the best are out of print, but I have a
> copy.
> I started making a small list but it kept getting bigger.  I've tried to keep
> it as short and useful as possible!
> A lot the books mentioned here are not available in the US.  
> Thank you,
> NarayanaSmaranam,

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