संस्कृत Documents

Frequently Asked Questions for Sanskrit Documents site

Welcome! Thank you for visiting the FAQ section of the Sanskrit Documents site. We have tried to include answers to various questions asked in the guestbook . These are compiled to provide quick help for visitors like you in order to reduce correspondence on the sanskrit@cheerful.com email service.

We hope that you will participate and volunteer in this effort with long term involvement, and will keep your interest in Sanskrit alive, as a tool, to enhance your literary, philosophical, and spiritual undertakings.

Topics for Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for Sanskrit Documents site

Q: I had studied Sanskrit in school a long time ago and wish to brush up on it. Do you have any suggestions?
I want to study Sanskrit, but do not know where to start. Can you help?
I do not know any language from India but feel an affinity with philosophy and spiritual teachings originated in India.

We have attempted to compile documents in Sanskrit at https://sanskritdocuments.org/ and its mirror sites, along with links to various organizations affiliated with the Indian "thought." Due to different individual interests, it is difficult to point out where one should start. There are links to dictionaries, tutorials, processing tools, translations, and audio files which will aid in the learning process.

The Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, National Sanskrit Establishment, Department of Education, Government of India's subsite http://www.education.nic.in/htmlweb/sanskrit_audio_index.htm has excellent Sanskrit audio lessons provided in MP3 format.

From the links in audio files you may want to choose one document to study as a beginning project rather than browsing through all documents at this site. Browsing the documents at this site gives a broad overview, but does not lead to a greater understanding of Indian languages. Keep working on it!

Q: Do you have any free fonts to generate Sanskrit text?

There are quite a few places one can get fonts. Some of them are:

Please let us know if you find additional sites with fonts for Indian scripts.

Q: Where may I find a history of the Sanskrit language?
Where is Sanskrit located in the world?

Sanskrit is certainly used mainly in India. It is considered the originator (mother) of most of the languages in India. As a high level Indo-European language, one time, it had widespread influence on the people in Asia and Northern regions (including part of Russia.) Unfortunately, over long time period, due to conquests and expansionist attitudes of certain beliefs and societies, it stayed concentrated mainly in India/Nepal region. For example, there is an original word "sthaana" in Sanskrit meaning place, which is now changed to stan (Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkministan, Afganistan, et cetera) indicating that the language was circulated in these regions. (India is called Hindusthan, as beliefs in the region are termed as Hindu, of people living beyond Sindhu river, which is now called Indus.) There are quite a few examples found by modern linguists confirming such understanding.

Sanskrit is not used in daily conversation (except in certain families) although sizable number of words in vernacular languages have originated from Sanskrit. Sanskrit has a very finely structured set of vowels and consonants based on pronunciation (see links below for alphabets). Many ancient texts, concerned with our personal life, surpassing the concept of organized religion, are written in Sanskrit and are still applicable to our lives.

Please see a set of articles on History of Sanskrit language. A brief presentation is available at wikipedia, The origin and evolution of Sanskrit on hinduwebsite.com, a collection of quotes and historical perspective at A Tribute to Hinduism site, Why study Sanskrit? on acharya site and What is Sanskrit? on Columbia University web page of Professor Gary A. Tubb.

An article on Sanskrit by NASA scientist Rick Briggs in Artificial Intelligence magazine (Spring 1985) may interest you.

You may want to search the archives of discussion groups of Indology: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucgadkw/indology.html and the Sanskrit digest (subscription information is in https://sanskritdocuments.org/projects_digest.html. Additional information is available in the usergroups file. Yahoo groups that promote Sanskrit learning is given in sanskritlinks.blogspot.com, see the entry for Sunday, July 16, 2006 entry.

Also see the following URLs.

Q: Where can I find the Sanskrit alphabets and their sounds?
I would like to teach the sounds to my five year old son. I heard that Sanskrit alphabets are scientifically grouped by the great sage Panini. Is there any software available for learning Sanskrit?

Here is a simple beginning: See the alphabet, and hear the associated sounds at
https://sanskritdocuments.org/marathi/alphabet.html or

Penn language center of University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, has alphabets in real video format.

There are quite a few sites providing alphabets and sounds of Devanagari characters using Flash. Please see them at
http://members.tripod.com/sarasvati/devanagari/alphabets.html by Hemanth Kumar,
and well studied http://acharya.iitm.ac.in site.
Some of these even show how the letters are written with a pen and a slate for you to practice.

Vyas Houston, director of the American Sanskrit Institute has published books and manuals depicting Sanskrit sound generation and physical locations of different sounds. For example, please see for alphabets and their position in the mouth.

Syracuse University's Hindi division has developed scripts to show strokes on how Devanagari alphabets are written along with their audio sounds.

Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, National Sanskrit Establishment, Department of Education, Government of India maintains a collection of Sanskrit audio files with variety of information including proper pronunciation shuddhochaaraNa MP3 audio. They are also linked from audio links.

Some of the translated documents, tutorials, correspondence courses, and books linked from the FAQ will help you learn Sanskrit; however, there is no substitute to learning from knowledgeable individuals.

Although it is a little diversion to the answer, one should browse around Languages and Scripts of India site developed by Yashwant Malaiya. Another site built by Professor Kalyana Krishnan at IIT, Madras with same title Languages and Scripts of India as a part of the multilingual software. This is a unique software which delas with major languages of India. A rare collection of alphabets for Devanagari, languages from India, Tibetan, Brahmi, Persian, and other South east languages is built by Eden Golshani. A modi script site is developed by Rajiv Mhasawade. A few have asked us to show the "original" script instead of commonly used Devanagari. As we know, Devanagari is supposed to have originated from Brahmi script. Please see http://www.ancientscripts.com/sitemap.html and compare Brahmi and Devanagari. Also see the reference in http://www.vidyavrikshah.org/sanskrit.html

Q: I wish to have all the Vedas, Upanishads, Mahabharata and Ramayana in print in Sanskrit and translated in English. Do you know where can I get them? Are they all available in audio format?

Yes, all are available in print. Please refer to publications by Motilal Banarasidas, Ramakrishna Mission, Chinmaya Mission, Gita Press, and other publishers in India. Please see links for books at https://sanskritdocuments.org/. A list of bookstores is available here.

Audio cassettes of chanting of all the Vedas are available from http://www.ahista.com/dvt/vedchant.html. The cassettes come with printed books with English translations.

Please refer to Ramayana, Mahabharat, Rigveda files for texts and some translations. The English meaning of Valmiki Ramayana in audio cassettes form is available at http://www.RamayanAudio.com/

There are some audio clips and excellent presentation of Sanskrit documents on Dale Steinhauser's Sanskrit document's site.

Q: I need to translate some Sanskrit verses into English. Is there any software available which will translate them for me?
Can you translate English text into Sanskrit?

There is some attempt of a software for direct translation of Hindi/Sanskrit at pocket translator. There is professional help available at web-translator 1 or 2, and freelang.net. There is no easy software as avilable for Oriental and European languages.

Referring to the online Sanskrit dictionaries or installing Louis Bontes' dictionary utility for Monier William's digitized dictionary at Cologne available at http://members.ams.chello.nl/l.bontes/ will help. Klaus Glashoff's http://spokensanskrit.de is a new online hypertext dictionary.

A scholarly translational seervice is available as a part of http://www.samskrita-bharati.org/translation.html.

It is also a  good idea to subscribe to the following mailing lists with genuine interest. Subscribing just to get translations may not invoke a reply from those who visit frequently.sanskrit-digest, indology (see groups.yahoo.com for rejuvenated group), advaita-L, ambaa-L, dvaita, alt.hindu (newsgroup not active any more),  where many scholars and devotees interact.

Visit Kiran Paranjape's http://freetranslationblog.blogspot.com/ for free translation of words and sentences.

Q: I want to encode Natyashastra of Bharatamuni and put it on the Sanskrit Documents site so that many can read it in the original. How can I do that?
I would like to volunteer for the minor list of the wish list. How do I go about volunteering?
I downloaded Itranslator99 and got familiar with encoding scheme. Can I encode Lalita Sahasranama?

You are welcome to enter any text which has not been already encoded. we normally maintain a wishlist or a list of pending items to guide volunteers decide the text. (We like to avoid duplication of efforts so please check with us  when you decide about a text. For example, Lalita Sahasranama is already encoded so there is no need to re-encode it unless one is doing it to develop devotion.)

If you have a PC, please download and install Itranslator99/2003 available at http://www.omkarananda-ashram.org/Sanskrit/Itranslt.html. There is an Itrans encoding scheme table in the help menu. Please print it and use it to get familiar with the software. If the auto-convert option is on, you will be able to see the Devanagari display immediately as you type. Alternately, the scheme is given in a separate file.

For Mac and Unix/Linux users, there is web-interface available as mentioned elsewhere in this document.

Refer to the web-interface common errors and tips, which points to additional links.

It is best to develop a methodology for typing up the text so that it is not physically and mentally taxing. We also emphasize encoding the text for your own studies and enjoyment, providing it to other users as a side activity, after you become more comfortable with the encoding scheme.

Q: I have a Macintosh. Most of the fonts available are for PCs or Windows. Where can I get fonts for the Macintosh?

There is a list of Devanagari fonts available for all the platforms from Yashwant Malaiya's site. There are also various web interfaces mentioned in this document that are platform-independent.

Also see Sparshabhumi site for Devanagari & other language scripts from India, compiled by Christian Coseru.

Since the introduction of Mac System 8.5, there has been built-in support for Mac's worldscript and languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati, Nepali, Punjabi, Marathi, etc. One has to install the appropriate support from the installation CD. It continues through to OS X as well. It is supposed to be very easy to use. The keyboard can be configured for Inscript or QWERTY for native English speakers. Since it works at the system level all programs that are worldscript aware support it. It can be used in Microsoft Word. Contact Rothrock for additional information.

The Macintosh became a Unix-based system as of version 10.1 of Mac OS X. (Apple claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of Unix-based computers, a distinction previously enjoyed by Sun Microsystems, HP, DEC, etc.) This means that a large amount of open-source Unix software that runs on Linux, FreeBSD, etc., is also available for Mac OS X. The best-known open-source distro is Fink (http://fink.sourceforge.net), and can be used to install teTeX (the most common distribution of LaTeX and associated tools). It needs XCode Tools 1.1/1.5 (which comes with Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther") to be installed. (Mac OS X 10.2 "Jaguar" users need to install the December 2002 version of the Apple Developer Tools.)

Installing ITRANS can be done after installing teTeX (through Fink or otherwise) is completed. It should not be too difficult for someone familiar with Unix to accomplish this, but as the Itrans deeveloper Avinash Chopde cautions, it can be a daunting task for one new to it. Please visit http://www.dvaita.info/shrao/itrans/ for additional information.

Q: What does "raso vai saH, rasaM hy evAyaM labdhvAnandI bhavati" mean in Sanskrit?
How can I generate "symbols" for words such as Namaste, OM?
I want to know the meaning of Gayatri mantra.
Where can I find meaning of names in Surya Namaskar?
How does one write OM maNi padme huM in Sanskrit?
Can you translate "God Bless You" in Sanskrit?
Can you translate following words in Sanskrit?
Can you translate some blessings "live life to the full" and "follow your heart?"

"raso vai saH, rasaM hy evAyaM labdhvAnandI bhavati" translates as "He is the essence, by obtaining That all this also

Perhaps, the pronouns need to be explained. The "saH" refers to the "brahma". He (or it) is indeed (vai) the essence. Only (eva) having obtained (labdhvaa) it (rasaM) he (ayaM - probably a jiiva in this context) becomes (bhavati) happy (aanandii).

For meanings of Namaste, OM, Gayatri mantra please see general documents list. You can find suitable mantra for yourself based on the birth particulars.

For Surya Namaskar, Sun salutations, suryanamaskar, please refer to the sites 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. as a few examples.

Kiran Paranjape has newly started a service to translate names/texts at http://freetranslationblog.blogspot.com/.

Here are simple meanings of common English words.

Air	     	vaayuH (more as a wind as this word indicates motion)
Awakening       jaagaraNa, prabodhana(spiritual level)
Balance 	sa.ntulana
Calm    	shaanta, prashaanta
Cleansing       shodhana, paavanam (purification), marjanam
Death           mR^ityu
Elements        bhUtAni, dhaatavaH
Enthusiasm      utsaaha
Fate            bhAgya, daivagati, karma
Freedom         svaatantrya, svatantrataa
Global 		saarva-bhauma
Happiness       aana.nda
Harmony 	sa.nj~naati, sa.nj~naana
Health  	aarogya
Heart   	hR^idaya
Innovation 	nuutana
Life            jiivanaM, jIvitaM, praaNadhaaraNaM
Love            prema, anuraaga
Ocean           saagaraH, samudraH
Pain            duHkha
Peace   	shaamya, shaanti
Power   	shakti
Pure    	shuddha
Quality 	uttamatvam
Solutions 	kShipti
Respect		aadara
Sea             saagaraH, samudraH
Serenity        prasannataa
Smart 		medhaa, paTu
Spirit  	aatmaa
Star            nakShatraM, taara
Strength        bala
Tranquility     shaantataa
Trust		vishvaasa
Truth   	satya
Vitality        viirya
There are of course different shades to each word so we request you to see Sanskrit dictionaries and links available on this site.

Louis Bontes' dictionary utility for Monier William's digitized dictionary at Cologne is available at http://members.ams.chello.nl/l.bontes/.

Instead of directly translating the phrase "God Bless You" word by word, this is how it is conveyed.
shubhaM bhuuyaat.h | ma~NgalaM bhuuyaat.h | svasti |
bhuuyaat is let there be, shubhaM or ma.ngalaM is for auspiciousness or wellbeing. Basically the message projected is that "let good things come to you."

"Live Strong" phrase indicating mental strength can be paraphrased as "dhairyeNa jijiiviShet.h |" To translate, "have a desire to live with courage." jijIviSha is transalted (MW) as desire to live. dhairya as firmness, constancy, calmness, patience, gravity , fortitude, courage.

"Mother, you are forever missed and never to be forgotten!"
utkaNThitaH anantakaalam he maataH
na kadaapi vismaraNiiyaa tvam cha || for "you are forever missed (actually, I miss you forever), Mother, and never to be forgotten!" As an alternative:
virahavyaakulo maatar vismR^itirna kadaapi te ||
virahavyaakulaa maatar vismR^itirna kadaapi te ||
The first is for a man, second for a woman.

Here are translations of two blessings:
paripuurNatayaa jiivet.h . ##live life to the full##
hR^idyam anugachchhet.h .
hR^idaya~Ngama anugachchhet.h . ##follow your heart##

Here is another phrase:
naahaM nidhanabhayavyaakulaH |
naahaM vyathaaghaatavichchhedyaH |
jiivitametanmama prekShaNiiyam ||
"Death cannot shake me, pain will not break me,
this life is mine to behold."

With sandhi-vigraha it is
na aham nidhana\-bhaya\-vyaakulaH |
na aham vyathaa\-aaghaata\-vichchhedyaH |
jiivitam etad mama prekShaNiiyam ||

Another translation for the same phrase is
mR^ityurna shaknoti kShobhayituM maaM
na cha vyathaa maaM vibhagnaM karoti .
samiikShituM jiivamidaM cha lokaM
arhamyahaM na tu vR^ithaa matirme ..

Use webinterface to see the Sanskrit portion (of phrases above or below) in Devanagari script. Itranslator99 or newer Itranslator2003 will be even better. Also consult Sanskrit dictionary at Cologne linked from https://sanskritdocuments.org/dict/ for word meaning details.

Look at another one:

mama dehaH khalu ma.ndiraM |

mama ##= mine;## dehaH ##= body##
khalu ##= truly, certainly, surely##
ma.ndiraM ##= temple##

deho me ma.ndiraM saaxaat.h hR^inme devashcha tatsthitaH |

##Body is verily a temple. In its heart the God resides.##

saaxaat.h ##= personified, verily;## hR^idaya ##= heart
hR^inme # = in the heart;## devaH ##= God##
cha ##= also (for emphasis);## tat.h ##= that ##
sthitaH ## = resides##

Another one:
na ki~nchidapi ashakyam.h | ##= nothing is impossible##
ashakyam tan na ki~nchit.h | ##= impossible is nothing.##

Another one from the Beatles' song "Within you, without you" by George Harrison. :
##When you have seen beyond yourself,##
yadaa pashyasi svaatmaanaM vihaaya |
##then you may find peace of mind is waiting there...##
tadaa saMpratiikShyasi manaHprasaadaH ||
##And the time will come when you see we are all one##
drakShyasyekabhaavena sarvaan.h kaalenaatmani |
##and life flows on within you and without you."##
saMkSharati jiivitvam antarbaahyashcha svaatmani ||

Another question was translation of
"Live your life with no regrets" or "Life, no regrets" or "No regrets".
jiivaH maa shuchaH |
Or the famous lines in the Gita: na anushochitum arhasi | or maa shuchaH |

The OM maNi padme huM is a famous Buddhist mantra commmonly found written in Tibetan script. A simple search on internet will return many sites with meaning, sound clip, and interpretation. For example, see Dharma Heaven site.

We are also faced with difficulty with some requests where a reverse translation is sought. The request for translation is easy to make but one has to understand the context and the origin of thoughts. For example, a translation of words related to Buddha's eightfold path was requested to which a quick response based on just the words alone would be,
Vision ## dR^iShTii
## Emotion ## bhaavanaa
## Speech ## vaachaa
## Action ## karman
## Awareness ## avadhaana
## Effort ## prayatna
## Livelihood ## upajiivana
## Concentration ## ekaagrataa
The reverse translation is not unique, given the richness of the language. It will turn out to be inadequate when Buddha's teaching is studied. In comparison, refer to the article in Wikipedia on Buddhism. See also reference in a dictionary.

Someone wanted the etymological root of the name of the mountain "Kailas" (kailAsha in Hindi).

From Amarakosha commentary
1. kelaasa=sphaTika (crystal) - derivation: ke = jale laasaH = lasanaM asya -> kelaasaH (one that shines in water = crystal) made of/formed with kelaasa is kailaasa
2. keliinaaM samuuhaH = kailaM tena aasyate atra aasa upaveshane - a place where you play around (could be a great name for an amusement park !!!)
The place is reported as belonging to kubera, even though Shiva lives there.

One questioner asked to translate "Software Engineer" in Sanskrit. The words praNaalii\-praj~na may be suitable. This is in view of the fact that praNaalii is sometimes used as a synonym for a program - sequence of instructions. One possible objection is that the word might refer more to a software expert rather than an engineer, but an engineer better be an expert, shouldn't (s)he? If preferred, you may replace the praj~na by abhiyantaa - the official word for engineer, making a praNaalyabhiyantaa, but it does not sound so good (:-))

Also, for a "simulation," pratibhaasana as an equivalent to simulation. It is proposed that the root prati+bhaas be used for simulate. The word pratibhaasana does have a meaning of look, appearance, illusion. It might be appropriate to attach this additional meaning to it. Along the same lines, anu+bhaas can be used for modeling, if needed. Alternatively, chhadma = simulation. In some contexts vyapadesha may apply.

There are large books published by Government of India on the glossary of terms in Sanskrit translated from the newer English words. The Government of India has set-up a "Commission of Scientific and Technical Terminology" that publishes IT terminologies and technical and scientific terminologies in Hindi. Visit http://cstt.nic.in. Some of the files are not available but interested individual can purchase the books.

Many people ask us for suitable baby names. We do not have a database of names. We suggest you search the internet for such collection. Here are some sites with names and their meanings. We wish you good luck in selecting appropriate meanigful name.

India Parenting
Asian names. Check one page higher too.
India A2Z. Look for baby names tab on the right top.
Analysis of your name, what is in a name?, interesting information, try it out. Additional places are thinkbabynames.com, BabynamesGarden, babynamesworld.com, indiaexpress.com, and babyzone.com.

Here are a couple of Hindi translation services: BharatVani Translation Service at http://www.intelindia.com/hinditeacher/translation.html. Others are http://www.worldlingo.com/languages/hindi_translation.html, http://hindifast.websitelogic.com/wwwboard/messages/39.html, and http://www.hindifast.com/dictionary.html.

One individual asked if there are terminology available for words like breakfast, tea, snacks et cetera for use in the daily practice. Use Breakfast = prAtarAshaH . snacks = upAhAraH. There are conversational help files in learning_tools section on this site.

"""For New-Sanskrit, there are two books available
- N.D. Krishnamurthy et al., Conversational Sanskrit, Bangalore 1984
- S.S. Janaki, Spoken Sanskrit, Madras 1990, ISBN 81-85170-04-5

The book by Janaki is of higher quality than the one by Krishnamurthy. In the book of Janaki, you will find a lot of Sanskrit dialogues on modern topics such as movies, newpapers, office, politics etc. and you will even find a dialog about the tennis matches of J.Connors, B.Borg, J.McEnroe etc. etc. The interesting (and scholary) aspect of this book by Janaki is the fact that new vocabulary is divided into "derived" (from ancient texts) and "coined" (as Neo-Sanskrit), so that you can see what is attestable and what is an invention.

The most modern Neo-Sanskrit words are found in the comparatively new German-Sanskrit dictionary by Mylius, first published in 1988. Here you will find Sanskrit words for many things never used by the ancient people in India, e.g. Sanskrit words for "telephone" etc.""" Ulrich

Such questions and answers are very educational to volunteers who address replies on regular basis. However, it adds to the volume of messages-forwards-replies-clarification. Therefore we suggest that you first try to address them in different on-line and email forums: sanskrit-digest, subhaashhita egroup, indology (see groups.yahoo.com for rejuvenated group), advaita-L, mailgate, humanities.language.sanskrit, ambaa-L, dvaita, and alt.hindu (newsgroup not active any more).

Q: I would like to send a monetary contribution to assist your efforts. Where can I send donations?

Thank you for considering us worthy of monetary help. There is a subhaashhita in Sanskrit

shateshhu jaayate shuuraH sahasreshhu cha pa.nDitaH |
vaktaa dashasahasreshhu daataa bhavati vaa na vaa ||

Among the hundred people only one is brave, 'shuura',
Among the thousand only one is a learned, Pandit
Among the ten thousand only one is a good orator, 'vaktaa'
The people who "give" ('daataa' - One who donates) may (rarely) or may not exist.

You are certainly one of very few individuals interested in promoting Sanskrit related activities! :-)

There is a cost associated with any activity; the cost be it money, time, or physical-mental efforts, and it depends on what one values. It is not enough just to wish to promote such activities, or talk about India's glorious past, but must be followed by involvement at many levels.

For lack of time, some prefer to promote activities by contributing money. If you consider this option, please write to sanskrit@cheerful.com for details about sending money with the amount you have in mind. In addition to recovering the maintenance cost, we also have identified projects where your "gift" will be valuable. We would like to support the institutions in India and abroad to promote Sanskrit teaching/learning and associated publications. It is a large undertaking, so if funds permit, we will like to explore the possibility.

As far as covering expenses for maintaining the documents' site is concerned, we are looking for volunteers who can fund this on monthly or yearly or one-time basis. There is a misconception that we get paid by "number of hits" on the site like the sites with advertisements do. It is far from it.

Your contributions are welcome. Here is an option using Paypal account.

If you prefer to contribute differently, please send a note on sanskrit@cheerful.com so that we can provide additional information. At present, we are planning to list the monetary contributors separately. Advertisement of organization or some sort of promotion is not encouraged. By your contribution, however, we will be able to relieve volunteers of their payment of additional several months as you will become one of the volunteers. We do recognize volunteers in contribution list who have helped us one way or other.

Monetary help apart, we value your time and efforts in browsing the site, and in encoding, proofreading, translating the documents, and help us maintain the site. We do get a steady stream of requests to volunteer, but for some reason, most do not pursue it further, more than an initial contact. We consider it to be a drawback in our communication system or web site. We would like your feedback on it.

To be practical (as many wish to contribute but back-off reasoning the necessity of sending money), we suggest that you spend some quiet time with yourself, enjoying the nature and peace around you. Sanskrit language is just a tool, and we hope that you will use it to improve "quality of your life." You could continue your studies in Sanskrit literature by reading document of your choice, or follow your own interests in the literature.

You are welcome to pass on the information about the site, and the texts, processing and learning tools, to your friends.

Q: Can we get Gurugita printed in Gujarati script?

Yes. There are a few avenues depending on the size of the text, output format, and your level of computer familiarity.

  1. web-interface allows text in different scripts of only one page display.
  2. You can install complete Itrans with tex LaTeX/MikTeX packages and stay independent in processing the documents in different scripts from the same input.

Q: What does "siva" mean and how do you transcribe it in picture words into English?

This is a very "loaded" question. It was addressed elaborately using Monier William's dictionary explanation. Due to the length of the message it is kept in a separate file and is linked here.
Again, such questions sometimes require considerable searching, so we recommend that they be addressed to forums: sanskrit-digest, indology (see groups.yahoo.com for rejuvenated group), advaita-L, ambaa-L, dvaita, and alt.hindu (newsgroup not active any more).
hindumythology has an excellent explanation of such questions. It will be educational for you to spend time reading the question-answers at Why do we?

Q: Do you know what the status is regarding OCR software for Devanagari script?

A novel version of Sanskrit OCR is available at http://www.sanskritreader.de/Inhalt/software.htm, both German and English version. The software "Reads Nagari texts in Sanskrit and Ardhamagadhi. Trainable. Spellchecking during and after recognition. Text can be exported to the clipboard and inserted in extern writing programs. HTML-help." The Indian-Language Technologies has a major project for the Devanagari OCR (Optical Character Recognition) development. It is part of the Center of Excellence in Document Analysis and Recognition (CEDAR), at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The project is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF), US and the Indian Statistical Institute, Calcutta, India. A sample truthing tool is available for download with different samples of OCR. The output is generated in Itrans based text file. The effort is led by Dr. Venugopal Govindaraju.

The Center for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), India has also developed, among many excellent commercial products, an OCR called Chitrankan. The software is applicable currently to Devanagari with embedded English text and has potential for extension to other languages.

Some work is also in progress at IIIT, Hyderabad. Currently these OCRs can handle texts available in computer-fonts only. So it can be useful for the old Sanskrit texts.

Obviously there seem to be considerable difficulties.

Many, like you, are eagerly waiting for the release of such technology. A reference. to Hindi OCR development
http://www.mumbai-central.com/nukkad/archive1997/msg00277.html Prof. Srihari & colleagues have done a lot of research in this area.
http://www.cedar.buffalo.edu/~taohong/WWW/PAPERS/ICCIMA97.pdf You may want to contact him for details.
An attempt was made to develop Tibetan OCR at Bell laboratories. Please see Professor Kurt Keutzer's notes: Some Thoughts on Optical Character Recognition of Tibetan

Consider finding more information in Language Technology Laboratory at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur site. There was a presentation on the topic of Devanagari OCR in Proceedings of Symposium on Translation Support Systems STRANS-2002.

Q: Why don't you use Unicode for display of Sanskrit documents?

The Unicode support is available with Itrans 5.3 onwards. Please see http://www.aczoom.com/ or write to Avinash Chopde for the latest information. He has allowed Unicode character input in the web interface.

Since the Sanskrit documents are already presented in Devanagari script, there is no immediate need to convert the encoding in Unicode.

The true test of Unicode as a standard universal character set will be when it is fully implemented on Linux platform. There are far more TrueType Devanagari fonts available today compared with those for Unicode. Also, too many people still use Microsoft Office 97, or older program which cannot display Unicode.

The surprising fact is that almost no-one seems to be worried that Unicode together with UTF-8 will make the transmission of language texts from India three times costlier than that of English text!

In any case, Unicode characters supporting Devanagari are available at
http://czyborra.com/unicode/characters.html and a note at this site. A "FAQ of Indic Scripts and Languages" is available at http://www.unicode.org/faq/indic.html.
A new mailing list has been formed on this subject. You can subscribe to it by writing to uniglyph-subscribe@egroups.com, and see their archive at http://www.egroups.com/group/uniglyph/.
Also please contact Jost Gippert of Titus project and Dominik Wuzastyk of indology mailing list (see groups.yahoo.com for rejuvenated group) for more information.

One useful link is http://www.tamil.net/people/sivaraj/unicode.html and the general newsgroups at mailgate, unicode.

For Roman with diacritic marks, there is a table that shows how to map every CS/CSX+ character to Unicode (sometimes requires multiple Unicode characters). ftp://bombay.oriental.cam.ac.uk/pub/john/software/programs/ is the folder containing some utilities, ``csxp2ur.c'' is a C program that contains the table mapping. CSX+ itself is defined here: ftp://bombay.oriental.cam.ac.uk/pub/john/software/fonts/csx+/ in the CSX+.def file.

The current emphasis is only to display the documents in Devanagari, as far as possible, and not be concerned with the Unicode.

The Unicode Standard 4.0 (2003) does not support accented Vedic texts. Only two Vedic accents were defined by the Unicode consortium, whereas approximate 50 Vedic accents/characters/svaras would be required for encoding the various Vedic texts. See Vedic Code Set (vedic.pdf) in http://tdil.mit.gov.in/pchangeuni.htm and 29 Samaveda accents listed in http://www.sanskritweb.de/sans99sv.pdf.

The Unicode Standard 4.0, published in August 2003, page 219, stipulates: "The Unicode Standard remains a super-set of the ISCII-1991 repertoire except for a number of new Vedic extension characters defined in IS 13194:1991 Annex G.Extended Character Set for Vedic. Modern, non-Vedic texts encoded with ISCII-1991 may be automatically converted to Unicode code points."

In October 2002, TDIL, India, submitted a draft concerning Vedic accents to the Unicode Consortion. This draft is documented in the file Vedic.pdf downloadable from the site http://tdil.mit.gov.in/pchangeuni.htm

Yet the Unicode Consortium rejected completely this draft made by TDIL in 2003 for the new Unicode Standard 4.0 published in 2003. What is more: The Unicode Standard 4.0 expressly excludes Vedic characters as stated in above quotation.

Question: If there are more than one Unicode fonts in your fonts system, is there any way to select one of your choice?

Web browsers have a setting that says which font to use for which encoding. Firefox has ability to have different font for each language, in each encoding. Go to Tools -> Options -> Content, click on Advanced, and in there, for example, you can choose the encoding (Unicode in this case), and then the language ("Devanagari"), and select the correct Unicode font you want.

In Internet Explorer, you can use Tools -> Internet Options, General tab, click on Font, and then select Language Script and font as needed.

These techniques apply only when no font is defined in the web page - if the web page specifies "Arial Unicode MS", then that setting will always (most of the time!) be used...

Q: I would like to get a list of links of everything related to India?

Emotions apart, this is a too general request and the best way is to use the many search-engines available on the Internet. http://education.vsnl.com/ has a fascinating index of links to organizations from India.

Q: I would like to attend camps to learn Sanskrit--where may I find information on these camps?

Sanskrit Bharati organizes such camps, correspondence courses, intensive conversational courses and publishes related documents. Please write to the coordinators at http://www.samskrita-bharati.org/newsite/distancelearning.php.

Q: I have a blind friend interested in learning Sanskrit. Is there any material available in Braille?

Visit http://www.yojna.org/ and http://www.visuallychallenged.com/ for some specific information.

Additionally, these are listed as "Braille" producers in India.

Blind Relief Assoc.
Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg (near Hotel Oboroi)
110003 New Delhi
+91 11-436 1376 v

M-A/43,1ST FLOOR, 
TEL. No. :91-657-3130388,91-657-3110814,91-712-3115508.    
Email:  sss_bp2002@rediffmail.com 

Rashtriya Drishtibaditarth Sansthan Bharat
116 Rajpur Rd
248 001 Dehradun
+91 135-24491 v
+95 135-29944 f

Blind Men's Association
Dr Vikram Sarabhai Rd. Vastrapur
380 015 Ahmedebad Gujarat
+91 79-440082 v
+91 79-448106 f

National Assoc for the Blind
11 Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Rd Worli Seaface
400 025 Bombay
+91 22-493 5370 v
+91 22-493 2539 f

Society for the Visually Handicapped
Apt 1B,12 Dover Rd.
700 019 Calcutta W. Bengal
+91 33-475 9581 v
+91 33-243 0787 f

B.K. Rath; Braille Press Project
City Hospital Road
760001 Berhampier Orissa

Q: I would like to purchase the very best in Hindu Devotional, Meditation, Chants, etc. Would you please direct me to other sources where I may purchase these?
I am looking for places where I can find English translation and meanings for the wonderful Rudram Mantram.

We do not have a list of such sites as it is easier to do a search on the internet. Meanwhile you can browse some audios at:
on-line Sanskrit audio links
http://www.saigan.com/ under Heritage.
On the lighter, lokasa.ngraha side, the greetings sending feature at http://www.123greetings.com/, dgreetings.com, hindunet.org, ganeshchatrurthi.net, happydurgapuja.com, rakshabandhan.net, rakhi-greetings.com, ganeshchaturthi.net/, 101holidays.com, and dharmachintan (by Shri Stephen Knapp) may interest you in addition to the audio. Some of these greetings are sorted by religion, festivals, and deities.

A set of interesting screensavers and wallpapers are available at 1, 3, 4.

Q: Would it be possible to identify 2001 Sanskrit/Vedic words which can be popularized and inserted into English vocabulary?

Although one can easily come up with such a list, we have to find a purpose for doing it. It is easy to get carried away in the talk of "glorious vedic past" than implement the ideas in present conditions. There is a danger in "promoting" superficial understanding of our ancestors, how they lived, and the thoughts they carried out through verbal and written exchanges. Words convey ideas so if the ideas, which are written in Sanskrit, are conveyed, the words would come automatically, or need not be followed. If it promotes healthy transformation then it is acceptable and nurturing to individuals, but most of the time the zeal degenerates into mere outwardly "conversion" process.

The vocabulary has its own dynamism and has to follow its own course of assimilation into languages. So if the 2001 words are followed or portrayed with 2001 ideas with extended meanings, it will be a revolutionary undertaking. It will then be easier to circulate for others to judge.

As a reference, let us begin with a list with existing English words which can be identified to originate from Sanskrit. We will polish the list later with your input:

karma; guruu; pundita; yoga; raajaa; aarya; svastika; raaj (from raajya but raaj in hindi); dharma; jungle (from ja.ngala); buddha (although many mistakenly pronounce it as buDDhaa which in Hindi is a very old person!); nirvaaNa; juggernaut (jagganath).

Refer to two 1, 2) articles titled "Guru in ENglish" by Saurin Desai on the influence of Sanskrit on English. He elaborates on the Sanskrit words which are commonly used in English: Mandala, Svastika, Guru, Yoga, Dharma, Arya, Ashram, Pundit, Kamasutra, Nirvana, Avatar, Mantra, Chakras, Singapore, Mandarin, Musk, Juggernaut, Cheetah, Bandana, Chintz, Loot et cetera.

The words mentioned above are what are called "loaned" words. Some others are "obliquely" related and we will need help from etymologists: mind to mana, man to manu, father to pitR^i, mother to maatR^i, brother to bhraatR^i, riti to ritual, ambrosia to amR^ita, three to tri, sept in september to sapta, oct to octa or ashhTa, dec in december deca to dasha (some scholars relate the months starting from March as original first month related to Vernal Equinox or Jyotish calendar with first month chaitra being in March. With this start, the 7th month is September, eighth is October, tenth is December et cetera. The current popular calendar, termed as Christian, changed the sequence, however), sugar to sharkaraa, medium ro madhyam, and so on.

Please see English Words You Speak from Sanskrit, a site page by Richard Stoney. Also available here.

As Latin is closely related to Sanskrit, English words originated from Latin may find a "cousin" in Sanskrit.

The following sites are useful:

Please send your input/words to sanskrit@cheerful.com.

Q: Do you have any info on the development of a parser for Sanskrit?

Dr. Vineet Chaitanya [ vc@iiit.net ] is leading a group of developers. Some of his work is reflected at URL:
http://anu.tdil.gov.in/introduction.sureKa/anu_flyer.txt.html The most recently updated web material on anusaaraka at
http://tdil.mit.gov.in/download/desika/desika.htm and
http://tdil.mit.gov.in/download/shabdhabodha/shabdhabodha.html and to his earlier book on NLP for languages in India which he co-authored with Akshar Bharati and Rajeev Sangal (i.e. Natural Language Processing: A Paninian Perspective, Prentice-Hall of India, 1995) The tdil.gov.in site may be slow or down as it may not support 24 hours access.

Q: Is there a program on Unix to obtain Devanagari output in WYSIWIG manner?

Emacs supports the Devanagari script and other languages from India. See www.gnu.org for the details. Otherwise the Itrans processor with LaTeX is portable to Unix/Linux and one can generate displays in postscript/PDF formats.

Q: Why don't you provide English translations of the Sanskrit Documents?

Some of the documents carry translations in English. Most of these are provided by volunteers. We have also provided links to different sites where such translations are available, keeping us away from copyright issues. We do not encourage encoding "copyrighted" translations from printed books published by various religious organizations and publishing houses. They have done commendable work and our intention is only to provide the texts in Devanagari format with provision to do word searches from the encoded material.

For your information, there is an excellent discussion available on the Indology site about "myths of copyright".

Please see the following sites for translations of some of the documents. Investindia.com appears to be discontinued.

Mantras are not to be translated but should be "earned" from a qualified teacher, and by sincerity and practice. If you are interested in any, please search and find that suits you. For example, see http://www.shivashakti.com/, http://www.vatikashaktipeeth.com/, Mantras and meanings, Syllables and their mystical meanings, http://www.sanatansociety.org/ Mantras and Mystery of Initiation and so on.

Q: When I opened a file everything is coming in different script, though i have many Devanagari fonts on my computer.
How can I install a True Type font for viewing language scripts from India?

Every font has a different keyboard mapping so it does not matter what fonts you have. If you viewed or copied/pasted the XDVNG display output in Word, you need the XDVNG font, which is available in https://sanskritdocuments.org/processing_tools/. Download the xdvng.ttf font file and save it in your c:\windows\fonts\ or such folder and restart the browser. The instructions are elaborated below.

Different formats of the files and their viewers are listed in https://sanskritdocuments.org/doc_9_formats.html, ,for example, the .pdf file needs Acrobat reader, .ps file needs Ghostview/Ghostscript combination.

You may like Itranslator which has nicecr fonts and better control for your Word output. You will need to use the encoded portion of ITX/TXT file and treat it as in input in Itranslator. Try it out. The software is available at http://www.omkarananda-ashram.org/Sanskrit/Itranslt.html.

There are installation instructions for the XDVNG fonts in the procecssing_tools folder.

In general, to install a true type font on Windows95/98

Q: Where can I find complete Mahabharata text/verse?

A critical edition of Mahabharata, originally published by Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) was encoded by Professor Tokunaga of Japan. It was further edited and processed by Prof. John Smith of UK and Shree Devi Kumar. BORI holds copyright on the text. The older version of Devanagari display is available at

You will have to install XDVNG font (.ttf for a PC windows). XDVNG was built from Frans Velthuis' DVNG fonts and are avaialble for different platforms. See the main JTRANS site at http://www.sibal.com/sandeep/jtrans/

Q: How can I write my name in Sanskrit?
I want to tattoo my daughter's name on my arm, can you write her name in Sanskrit?
I want to use Sanskrit letters in an art form. I need large size Sanskrit letters.

You can use following interfaces to generate Devanagari script of your name: sanscript or install an excellent PC-Windows freeware available at Omkarananda Ashram sites at http://www.omkarananda-ashram.org/Sanskrit/Itranslt.html, http://www.geocities.com/omkarananda/ . Itranslator99 or newer Itranslator2003 is perhaps best to draw Devanagari letters as it allows control over the letter size and has well devloped publishing quality fonts. It is also very easy to install. Many fine and tattoo artists have used it, although it sounds odd for a Sanskrit student to find such use.
There are other writing tools such as iLEAP available from CDAC, India, Dr. Kalyanakrishnan's IIT Madras utility, and others (http://www.indianlanguages.com/) which are available for a cost.
There are commercial sites performing tattoo design for a fee. One of them is Scott Jones' Tattoo by design in UK which considers many languages and art forms.
There are various opinions about tattooing. See the sites for example: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, et cetera. We consider it as a personal choice. Here are some of the pro-cons points we gathered from individual responses over emails we received. Main thing is that one should be aware of what is involved. It is useful to be knowledgeable about it and not get carried over by fanciful ideas.

  1. Tattoo is permanent. Mind's decision to be engaged in some other words in few months is a possibility and then it can not be erased.
  2. We do not know whether it is a health hazard of any kind. It may be hurting the nerves and hence the personality.
  3. Doing tattoo to express love is artifical. "I love you" does not mean much in that sense. Also there is no need to tattoo someone's name. If one likes other person, or even children, parents the name is already "carved in their heart." People change, time changes, focus changes, tattoo is hard to erase. See a site.
  4. One should go beyond letters of Devanagari, should pay more attention to philosophy and mind training. Tattoo is meant as a reminder to be well but will it really achieve that?
  5. One should write/display the words for tattoo on a piece of paper and paste it on the wall in front of computer or as a screen saver to see its effect. If it stays effective, say for a month, then its purpose is achieved. Then one can mark it on the skin or any where it does not matter.
  6. Is tattooing done to show off to others or for the need to initiate or sustain a conversation?
  7. For art's sake or mind's sake, just go ahead to tattoo.
  8. The Sanskrit word meanings are not unique and it depends on the context, e.g. love, peace may mean different to different people. The translator may have his flaws in providing the translation. World peace is also a fiction or a belief.
  9. Understanding the real purpose of tattoo will help, or for that matter for any undertaking.
These are not really convincing statements but may lead someone to think again before acting.
Please let us know links, information, and details of additional tools you have come across by writing tosanskrit@cheerful.com.

Q: I am looking for somewhere within a reasonable distance from my hometown that offers an introductory course in Sanskrit. Do you have any suggestions?
Can you send a list of organizations that offer correspondence courses?

For serious studies, please consult Gudrun Bhnemann's Sanskrit studies list for Worldwide Universities and institutions offering Sanskrit courses and another at Sanskrit and Indological research institutes in India.

The Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, National Sanskrit Establishment, Department of Education, Government of India's site has many links to the organizations and individuals who are instrumental in promoting Sanskrit in India.

In addition, the following information will be useful:

Download/or-read-online Charles Wikner's tutorial available at
https://sanskritdocuments.org/learning_tutorial_wikner/index.html This brings you upto the level of being able to read Monier Williams' dictionary.

Master Sanskrit Easily written and presented by Dr. Narayan Kansara of Ahmedabad. This is an extensive 301 page tutorial and is well formatted for two sided booklet printing. The entire text is in Roman with Diacritics. Its details are summarized in the Preface text file. Get the PDF files as Title, Parts 1, 2, and 3.

aravindAshrame sa.nskR^itam at http://sanskrit.sriaurobindoashram.org.in/ is a site for various online display and audio of Sanskrit tutorials, magazine from Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry. The publications can be ordered from SABDA, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry - 605 002, India. For Ordering Information http://www.sabda.in.

Other tutorials are at

You may also want to take a Sanskrit text and study it word by word.

Many useful self-study tutorials are linked from learning tools of this site.

Following links cover distance learning / correspondence courses

It is important for you to commit for the life long studies than just taking a course or reading tutorials, here and there.

Q: When I see an html format file with XDVNG fonts I see garbled text although I do have XDVNG installed on my Windows system. Why is that?

Q: Why do I see the xdvng html page with spaces between the text?

In your web browser, check if the [User Defined] category in [Menu]/[View]/[Encoding] on Internet Explorer browser, and [Menu]/[View]/[Character Set] on Netscape browser, is selected. If it is not, select it. You may have to check it each time that the characters get displayed wrongly!

Some of the .html files are coded with .pfr portion which does not require such menu selection, but we have found that on some computers it does not work. The menu selection is hence reliable method.

Many ask us about the keyboard map of the XDVNG font. We do not have keyboard layout for XDVNG since the text is not directly entered using the fonts. More information is available on the JTRANS developers site at http://www.sibal.com/sandeep/jtrans/ Search the elemental typefaces which resembles the character map of the font. Character map is Windows feature and is often executed with [Start]/[Run] and type charmap. If this does not activate it, you will need to install it from Windows installation CD.

For those keen on using Internet explorer, may find that the html/XDVNG text displays improperly. The displayed texts show blank spaces arbitrarily and gets harder to read. Ulrich Stiehl has modified the original Xdvng.ttf font to take care of font display bugs of Microsoft's faulty Internet Explorer 5.5, 6.0 inserting "random spaces" into html files. The modified fonts are available in ht processing_tools_fonts section. The changes are not uniformly applied to all the files and reader is requested to download and edit the html file with XDVNG letters changed to XDVNGmod and redisplay. The new Xdvng font versions are not needed for other browsers, as the "random spaces" bug is specific to Internet Explorer, but it does not harm to use the new Xdvng fonts with other browsers.

Q: Why don't you include Kannada documents on your site in the other languages category?

With the abundant availability of Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, documents on-line, we are a little hesitant to expand our efforts in that direction! We rely wholly on volunteers, and if someone offers to submit transliterated/proof-read texts, your suggestion may become practical.

Do not get disappinted though. A great tool is available at http://www.bhomiyo.com/ that allows to read Unicode code texts in your favorite language script.

For example, enter https://sanskritdocuments.org/all_sa/ in the Site on the top, Select a Language, Click Go and look at X-Literation tab. (There are only a few texts displayed in Unicode on this page. Rest are in the https://sanskritdocuments.org/ documents; subcategory.)

This site transliterates from one Indian Unicode Script to another and English. One can transliterate Sanskrit documents to English, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada etc. If a Stotra is typed into one of the Unicode Language it can be easily converted into another as above.

Here are the instructions that will allow clear display of Sanskrit documents in your favorite language.
Go to http://www.bhomiyo.com/xliteratepage.aspx In the "Site" field copy/paste https://sanskritdocuments.org/all_sa/ Click on "Go" (do not hit enter as it will clean the line) on the right side to see a list of stotras. Scroll down and find lalitaasahasranaamaavalii, for example, and click on it. It will be in Devanagari and in the "Site" field you should have https://sanskritdocuments.org/all_sa/lalitaa1000_sa.html Now select the language of your choice and click on the "Go" on the right side. See if you see it in the selected language. Change another language and click on "Go" again. You can copy paste the text in word and change the size. This works fine if you have Windows XP with Unicode fonts. If you know if works or does not work on your operating system, please let us know.

In addition, you may want to explore the following links:
http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~kulki/kannada/kanindex.html There is an excellent package to generate Kannada and Devanagari texts at http://www.baraha.com/ For Tamil, use Tamil1, Tamil2.

For Telugu, use Telugu1. Telugu stotras are available at http://www.stotralahari.com.

Also, visit the Digital Library of India sites linked from https://sanskritdocuments.org/scannedbooks with hundreds of scanned books.

Q: The site seems to be directed to those who already know something about Sanskrit and are pursuing the serious study of it. However, I find no introduction to the language, no history, no discussion of the grammar and syntax nor any discussion of its relation to other Indo-European (or other) languages.

To remove the misconception, please see the following tutorial by Charles Wikner and links to other tutorials given above which are useful entries for a beginner.

Charles Wikner's tutorial

Other Sanskrit tutorials are listed above.

There are some excellent articles available at American Sanskrit Institute along with study guides and audio/graphic courses.

Please see a short List of Words Common to Indo European languages. A collection of articles related to Antecedents of Sanskrit Language is available at Hinduwebsite.com. It includes relation of Greek, English, Latin and other European languages with Sanskrit. There is also a www.Hindu-Forum.org that can give additional links.

We have not been able to get enough information about the language history, grammar et cetera. We have made a list of projects at https://sanskritdocuments.org/ but have only had occasional response from the contributors. Some of the information might be covered on other sites. Thanks for your note so as we can think of how we can add or link the material you have mentioned.

It may also be useful to look at the short dictionary at most visited page https://sanskritdocuments.org/dict/.

Q: Can you pursue a separate project on "Sanskrit & computer science"?

We have very limited information on this topic. We would certainly like to have the details as a subgroup on the topic of Sanskrit and computer science. Dr. Vinoy is going to provide some additional information.

Dr. Vineet Chaitanya is active in Hyderabad, IIIT (information technology). Prof. R. Kalyanakrishnan is at (rkk@acharya.iitm.ac.in) IITMadras who has developed multilingual software at
http://acharya.iitm.ac.in/ They have a page on Linguistics and Computation

We found couple of useful articles at Bharat Bhasha homepage related to Computer and languages from India. Another mentionable work in computational linguistics is of Dr. Girish Nath Jha and his students at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India.

Here is an addition from Dr. Vineet Chaitanya of IIIT, Hyderabad: As far as our group is concerned, we have been emphasizing role of Sanskrrit Shastras and not of the Sanskrit language as such. We have presented some information in a book "Natural Language Processing: A Paninian Perspective," Akshar Bharati, Vineet Chaitanya, Rajeev Sangal, Prentice-Hall of India, 1995.

Dr. Rajeev Sangal is coordinating the project. He is the Director of Language Technologies Research Center (L.T.R.C) at I.I.I.T Hyderabad. His E-mail address is sangal@iiit.net

There has not been any M.Tech project on much desired `sandhi viccheda'. Mrs. Amba Kulkarni has done her M.Tech project on building a bridge on Navya-Nyaaya and FirstOorder Predicate calculus under Prof. Sangal's supervision at I.I.T. Kanpur.

No significant work has been done on `samaasa vigraha' either, in our group except some observations and notes by Prof. K.V. Ramkrishnamachayulu.

At I.I.T. Kanpur Dr. D.K.Jha was the only one Sanskrit scholar in the project staff. There was a joint project with Central University of Hyderabad and I.I.T. Kanpur on anusaaraka (an approach for a kind of Machine Translation among languages from India, the inspiration for which was derived from Paninian insight).

Now at L.T.R.C./I.I.I.T. we do have a number of Sanskrit post graduates working with us as a part of two year training program in which we try to identify the concepts from Sanskrit Shastras which may be relevant for current research and developement work in Natural Language Processing. Rashtriya Sanskrita Vidyapeetha, Tirupati has deputed Prof. K.V. Ramkrishnamachayulu for this activity. Dr. G. Umamaheshvar Rao of Central University Hyderabad is also participating in this work.

From Vineet Chaitanya.

IIT Kanpur organizes Symposium on Translation Support Systems (STRANS 2002) which may add to this information Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur India Feb 24-26, 2002 http://www.cse.iitk.ac.in/strans.html

Some of the broad level topics
of interest to the symposium are listed below:

* Translation Strategies
- Rule based/Knowledge based
- Example/Corpus based
- Hybrid
- English to Indian-languages
- Indian-Languages to English
- Pre and Post-editing needs and techniques
* Word-net
* Lexical Data-base Creation and Management
* Morphological Analyzers
* Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval
* NLP Grammar
* Correction of Ill-formed Sentences
* Corpus Analysis, Tagging
* Parallel Corpus Analysis, Statistical Dictionary
* Front-end Systems
- Speech
- Coding schemes (ISCII, Unicode)
- Other Interfaces

* Back-end Systems
- Speech
- Display, Printing, Formatting
- Fonts

* Web Based Applications
* Aids for Document Creation
- Spell checkers
- Thesaurus, Terminology aids
- Grammatical aids
- Editing software

* Transliteration Among Indian-Scripts
- Indian-Scripts to English
- English to Indian-Scripts

* Societal Aspects
* Ergonomic Aspects

General Chairs

S.G. Dhande,Director IIT Kanpur
Om Vikas, MIT, Delhi

Program Committee  Chair
R.M.K.Sinha, IIT Kanpur (E-mail: rmk@iitk.ac.in)

Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering
IIT Kanpur-208016 (INDIA)
Fax: (+91-512)-590725
Phone: (+91-512)- 597174 / 597642

Q: I would like to undertake a Sanskrit related project. Could you provide a list?

Please see a comprehensive list of projects. We also have made a list of pending items to help volunteers choose from our immediate needs. Please email us at sanskrit@cheerful.com to ask for the status of these projects if you are willing to pursue one. We have been successful in finding only handful of volunteers who have committed to a project on long term basis. We hope that you will have time and interest to look into this list carefully and will consider participating. If you are serious about volunteering, we recommend that you copy the form and send us the information over email. Additional help is available here.

Q: Why are there so many types of display formats?
What do the ITX, PS, PDF acronyms mean?
How should I view the Sanskrit documents?

The purpose of various formats is to allow viewers from different computer platforms and browsers to see Devanagari text. A list of formats, their explanation, and links to viewers is give here. To have complete capability to view documents in any format, we suggest that you install

Q: What is the Itrans scheme and how is it different than Itrans or Itranslator software?
How do you get files in different formats once the text is encoded in Itrans scheme?

Itrans or ITRANS is a freeware program developed by Avinash Chopde, initially to fulfill wishes of Hindi songs enthusiasts to exchange Hindi songs over email (ASCII) and have them processed to display in Devanagari script on any browser. It subsequently encompassed other language scripts as suitable fonts were freely available. It is mainly a processor which takes help of TeX/LaTeX capabilities to generate postscript files as display.

The scheme used to enter the Devanagari or other scripts is known as Itrans scheme. A sample table is given here. Please see a concise table showing ITRANS encoding for all supported languages and fonts or documents with detailed transliteration map for each language separately from Avinash Chopde's ITRANS site.

Avinash has also built a PC based commercial software in collaboration with Shreekrishna Patil. Mr. Patil, a wirey-firey 80+  aged youth, has prepared fonts for almost all language scripts from India.

Recently, two devoted Swami-s (monks) of Omkarananda Ashram of Rishikesh, India, developed a PC based freeware to generate WYSIWYG text in Devanagari using the same input scheme. The software is known as Itranslator99 or newer Itranslator2003 and is available at Omkarananda Ashram sites http://www.omkarananda-ashram.org/Sanskrit/Itranslt.html, http://www.geocities.com/omkarananda/ or http://www.omkarananda-ashram.org/Sanskrit/Itranslt.html and is an excellent addition if you have a PC with Windows.

Coming to the question of preparing documents from ASCII text, A file with extension .txt, having the encoded text, is prepared with first two lines for English and Devanagari titles, and ## to complete Devanagari mode. The text is subsequently passed through the following process.

.txt -----> .itx -----> .tex -----> .dvi -----> .ps -----> .gif
      |            ^           ^           ^        |----> .pdf
.inf -+            |           |           |        PSTOGIF
.hdr -+            |           |           |        PSTOPDF
                   |           |           |
                ITRANS       LATEX       DVIPS
Volunteers who enter the text in .txt file either using any editor or Itranslator editor are requested to proofread the document using postscript file.

Although the above process generates displayable documents for on-line purpose, the output is not useful for Windows/MS Word based programs. The output from Itranslator however can be cut and pasted in MSWord or so to reformat the display.

There are other options available at Sparshabhumi site under the category Devanagari & other languages scripts.

Q. Where can I purchase a CD or audio cassettes for learning Sanskrit?

Following are some of the resources regarding audio-visual presentation for Sanskrit learning. This is given only as a reference and does not indicate endorsement of any sort. However, we like to promote them by presenting here as it makes the learning experience modern and possibly easier based on previous background. There is no subsitute for hard work when learning and understanding Sanskrit is concerned.

1) Samskrita Bharati has released a set of two CDs useful for the continued learning of Sanskrit by both beginner and advanced students. Please see http://www.samskrita-bharati.org/. To buy this multimedia learning tool, send a check for $40 along with your name, address, phone number and email ID to

      Learn Samskritam CDs
      Samskrita Bharati
      4204 Latimer Avenue
      San Jose, CA 95130 
Contact Govinda Rao for additional information.

2) Another CD is available from Manikarnika Srinivasan at a nominal cost about $20. The CD comes with a Sanskrit font called "MUDRIKA" and has about 5000 sound clips for the words and alphabet pronounciation. It has alphabet animation , topics on grammar - Sandhi, Samaasa. Shabhas, Verb, a small dictionary etc. His contact information is

      16 WestWood Ave
      Stony Brook, NY 11790.
      Tel - 631-233-6760

3) A substantial amount of information about learning Sanskrit including audio cassettes and manuals are available from Vyas Houston, director of American Sanskrit Institute.

If you have additional information about such sources please let us know so that we can distribute to interested individuals.

Q. Do you have Sanskrit learning support for those who speak Spanish, French, Latvian, German, or Russian?

Please see The Sanskrit Website-El Sitio Snscrito en la Web Spanish-Sanskrit learning site maintained and regularly updated by pradIpaka (Gabriel X).

For French, please see Gerard Huet's dictionary, on-line grammar, and links and Andre Signoret's interactive dictionary and grammar sites. Yann Leglise, Yann.Leglise@wanadoo.fr has translated Charles Wikner's Sanskrit introductory into French. It is available in postscript and pdf formats.
See Tantrisme et cultes de Ganesh dans l'hindouisme for Diverses invocations on http://ganapati.club.fr/.

For German, see Sanskrit Deklinationstrainer and Ulrich Stiehl's site in reference to the excellent book Sanskrit-Kompendium and sample pages.

The translation of yogasutras of Patanjali, its commentaries, and links are available in various languages such as Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Sanskrit, Slovakian, Spanish, and Swedish.at the YSP site

The translation of Bhagvadgita in French, Dutch, English, and Sanskrit may help to learn Sanskrit. The original English translation is given by Ramanand Prasad of Gita Society.

There is one interesting comparison made between Sanskrit and Latvian at http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi94.htm along with other ancient langauges such as Akkadian, Sumerian et cetera. A comment on Lithuanian and Sanskrit is available here. Only God knows how our humanity has moved and survived! There are two articles providing link of Finnish Romanian with Sanskrit at http://www.oph.fi/english/pageLast.asp?path=447;490;15850;15996;15999 and http://www.oph.fi/english/page.asp?path=447;490;15850;15856.

The connection between Serbian and Sanskrit is presented by Vanja ( cheguevanja at hotmail.com) in an article.

The Deutsche Welle presents an audio news program in Sanskrit which is updated every fortnight.

For Russian-Sanskrit studies, please visit

For Portugese, use http://www.geocities.com./baja/6463/inframe.html site built by Tarcisio da Frota. The Bhagvadgita translation is available in Portugese at http://www.bhagavadgita.hpg.ig.com.br/index.htm . See the search engine for Bhagvadgita, and continue search for Sanskrit and yoga links.

A Norwegian translation of the Isha Upanishad is available at http://vindheim.net/poesi/isha.html.

For Dutch, visit http://www.arsfloreat.nl/. It has downloadable files of Dutch translation of Srimad Bhagavatam, Maharamayana - Yoga Vasishtha, Isha Upanishad, and Kena Upanishad. A book on Vedanta by Swami Prabhavananda is among the Dutch translations of Bible and Koran.

Q. Where can I find online studied articles regarding glory, usefulness and shortcomings of Sanskrit?

The following articles are a very good reading regarding Sanskrit. These are linked mainly for information and do not indicate our recommendation of views. Some links also relate to organization involved in promotion of Sanskrit. We plan to add articles and songs written in Sanskrit. If you have such information please let us know.

For an objective understanding of the Sanskrit, as a tool and as a language-carrier of commentaries of universal truth, one must study what critics have to say about it. We need "eye-openers" to get better perspective. As works of scholars, it also shades a light on the question whether there is anything called "absolute" perfection.

The files on Sanskrit Documents site are prepared by volunteers over many years and are meant to be used for personal study and research. They are not to be copied or reposted for promotion of any website or individuals or for commercial purpose without permission.

Please help to maintain respect for the volunteer spirit.

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