A Personal Library of Hindu Sanskrit Texts Translations
It has always been an ambition for me to have my own, personal library of Hindu Sanskrit texts and translations. I bought a few printed publications, but soon realized that it would cost me a fortune and lot of space, besides the hassle of consulting them, physically turning over the pages.
The Internet came to my help in realising my ambition in an easy, compact and efficient manner. Over the last month or more, I was busy--I still am--on a treasure hunt of Hindu Sanskrit texts over the Net: just by scratching the surface, I was overwhelmed with precious packs of treasures of wisdom!
Besides the treasure packs themselves, I was happy to discover something else, perhaps equally precious: as against the expectation that trying to read--even glance at--a Sanskrit work is bound to be a daunting task, I found out that with just the knowledge of the Sanskrit alphabets and a small vocabulary of just a few Sanskrit words such as I have, it could be an interesting and definitely rewarding experience.
We can have a plan to hone our Sanskrit-reading skills:
• We can start with small texts such as the shlokas and stotras, specially those supported by audio files and meaning texts; in a short time, we would be able to read and understand most of them, even without the meanings and audio.
• We should use any transliterated texts only to search--perhaps consult occasionally--and not read from them, as this could easily trick us into wrong pronunciation of Sanskrit phrases. We should read only from the originals.
• Once we are comfortable reading texts of less than 2 or 3 pages fluently with farily good understanding of their meaning, we can move on to the next step: read larger and scripturally important works such as the 'bhagavad gItA', the 'upanishads' and the 'patanjali yoga darshanam', choosing text versions that are supported with direct meanings of the verses.
• Sanskrit originals are great assets in checking a quote: the very effort of searching a text for a quote could go a long way in understanding the structure of the work.
• It's not our aim to become a Sanskrit pandit; only adequately Sanskrit-literate, which IMHO, is a must for serious sAdhana and svAdhyAya.
Besides the prodominately Sanskrit texts, I have also collected related translations, commentaries and essays about them, whereever I can find any. Additionally, our Library would also have translated texts and essays that introduce other Indian religions: Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.
I have included a section called saMsAra lekhyaM--secular writings, in Sanskrit with translations and essays where possible: such as a few works of the great kALidAsa, other sAhitya-kartAs--authors, subhAShita and nItishAstra. This section has English books on guru charitam--life accounts, shiShya anubhavam--devotees' experiences, satsangham--teachings of sages, and shikShaNam--education from their essays.
Last but not the least is a section for children: junior, senior and the youth.
Most of the texts are in pdf format, while some are in djvu, itx or other schemes of transliteration or plain text. The audio files are invariably mp3 files that we would only use for personal listening (since some of them might have copyright restrictions); some texts are to be read online.
I am developing a HTML interface to access the books stored in your personal computer--at a mouse-click. Since the collection is growing day by day, more and more lines are added to the interface, so it could be a couple of weeks or more before I could post it. Once I post the HTML interface page, I would request Satay to host it in HDF as with the earlier case.
Meantime, I shall give the text tiles and links in convenient instalments, so you can start downloading them. Please keep your downloads in a folder named HinduSanskritTexts for the time being. You might be required to become a member of some Websites such as the scribd.com to download from their Websites.
Eventually, I shall post a batch file that would automatically create the required folders in your system, under a parent folder, and then you might move your downloads to the related folders and make the HTML interface work for you. Be sure to have harddisk space of 10 to 15 GB for the entire collection!
I have given ids to the sections and individual texts for easy reference, for any later additions to them. The prefix 's' in a text id indicates that it is a Sanskrit original, 't' a translation/meaning text/commentary/compilation with or without the Sanskrit text and 'e' an English work.