Template:History of literature by era Sanskrit literature[lower-alpha 1] broadly comprises texts composed in the earliest attested descendant of the Proto-Indo-Aryan language known as Vedic Sanskrit and later on in the language formally defined by Pāṇini usually called Classical Sanskrit.
Literature in the older language begins with the composition of the Ṛg·veda[lower-alpha 2] between about 1500 and 1000 BCE, followed by other works right up to the time of Pāṇini around 5th or 4th century BCE.
Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the extensive liturgical works of the Vedic religion,[lower-alpha 3] while Classical Sanskrit is the language of many of the prominent texts associated with the major Indian religions, especially Hinduism, but also Buddhism, and Jainism. While the bulk of these were composed in ancient India, others were composed in central, East or Southeast Asia.
Sanskrit literature also includes substantial works covering secular sciences and the arts. Early works of Sanskrit literature were transmitted through an oral tradition[lower-alpha 4] for centuries before they were written down in manuscript form.
Literature in the Vedic and the Classical language fundamentally differ from each other in matter, spirit and form. The Vedic literature that survives is entirely religious, dealing essentially in liturgical matters with prayers and hymns to the gods in the sacrifices.
Classical Sanskrit literature however exists in every field including epics, lyric, drama, romance, fairytale, fables, grammar, civil and religious law, the science of politics and practical life, the science of love and sex, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, astrology and mathematics, and is largely secular in subject-matter.
Some fundamental differences between Vedic and Classical Sanskrit literature, reflecting the underlying society:
|Optimistic in spirit.||Pessimistic in spirit.|
|Portrays man as strong and powerful capable of fulfilment both here and in the afterworld.||Portrays humans as a slave to fate, and worldly pleasures are deemed to cause misery, from which one must aspire to run away.|
|Portrays man as exhorting and extolling the gods who are kind enough to answer the prayers.||Mortal and immortal figures all get muddled up in unrealistic exaggeration.|
|There is a great amount of prose.||Prose is only confined to commentary especially in the areas of philosophy and grammar.|
|The metres are less rigid and more uniform, the style is simple and spontaneous.||It becomes more artificial and contrived.|
These fundamental differences in psychology are attributed to the absence of the doctrines of Karma and reincarnation in the Vedic period, notions which are very prevalent in later times.
The first three are commonly grouped together, as the Saṃhitās[upper-alpha 1] comprising the four Vedas:[upper-alpha 2] ṛk, atharvan, yajus, sāman, which together constitute the oldest texts in Sanskrit and the canonical foundation both of the Vedic religion, and the later religion known as Hinduism.
The Ṛg·veda, the first and oldest of the four Vedas, is the foundation for the others. The Ṛg·veda is made of 1028 hymns named sūktas, composed of verses in strictly regulated meters. There are about 10,000 of these verses that make up the Ṛg·veda.
The Ṛg·vedic hymns are subdivided into 10 maṇḍalas, most of which are attributed to members of certain families. Composition of the Ṛg·vedic hymns was entirely oral, and for much of its history, the Ṛg·veda has been transmitted only orally, written down likely no sooner than in the second half of the first millennium of the Common Era.
The later Vedas
The Sāma·veda is not an original composition: it's almost entirely[lower-alpha 6] made of stanzas taken from the Ṛg·veda and rearranged with reference to their place in the Soma sacrifice. This book is meant to be sung to certain fixed melodies, and may thus be called the book of chants, sāman.
The Yajur·veda like the Sāman is also largely made of verses taken from the Ṛg·veda, but also contains several prose formulas. It is called the book of sacrificial prayers yajus.
The last of the four, the Atharva·veda, both by the internal structure of the language used and by comparison with the Ṛg·veda, is a much later work. However, the Atharva·veda represents a much earlier stage of thought of the Vedic people, being composed mainly of spells and incantations appealing to demons, and is rife with notions of witchcraft, derived from a much earlier period.[lower-alpha 7]
The Brāhmaṇas concern themselves with the correct application of ritual,[lower-alpha 8] the word being derived from bráhman meaning 'prayer'. They were composed at a period in time by which the Vedic hymns had achieved the status of being ancient and sacred revelations and the language had changed sufficiently so that the priests did not fully understand the Vedic texts.
The Brāhmaṇas are composed in prose, unlike the previous works, forming some of the earliest examples of prose in any Indo-European language. The Brāhmaṇas intend to explain the relation between the sacred text and ritual ceremony.[lower-alpha 9]
The later part of the Brāhmaṇas contain material of a specially theosophic character, which are meant to be imparted or studied in the peace and calm of the forest, hence their name the Āraṇyakas.[upper-alpha 3] The last part of these are books of philosophy that came to be called Upaniṣads.[upper-alpha 4] The doctrines in the Upaniṣads were later developed into the Vedānta[upper-alpha 5] system.
The Sūtras are treatises concerned either with Vedic ritual or customary law. There arrived a stage during the later period of the Brāhmaṇas that a vast mass of ritual and custom detail had been accumulated and widely scattered. To address this, the Sūtras are intended to provide a concise survey of the sum of these scattered detail.
The Sūtras forego the need to interpret the ceremony or custom, but simply provide a plain, methodical account with the utmost brevity.[lower-alpha 10] The word sūtra, derived from the root siv-, 'to sew', [lower-alpha 11] thus meaning 'sewn' or 'stitched together' eventually became a byword for any work of aphorisms of similar concision.[lower-alpha 12] The sutras in many cases are so terse they cannot be understood without the help of detailed commentaries.
By the time of the Sūtra period, the language had evolved sufficiently to make increasing parts of the older literature hard to understand, and to recite correctly. This led to the emergence of several classes of works intended to resolve this matter. These works were styled like the religious Sūtras, however they were not a religious but rather a largely scientific approach to the study of language.[lower-alpha 13]
One of the most important classes of this is the Prātiśākhya Sūtras which deal with accentuation, pronunciation, prosody and related matters in order to study the phonetic changes that have taken place in Vedic words.
This tradition reaches its high point in the Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini, a book of succinct Sūtras that meticulously define the language and lay the foundations of what is hereafter the correct, official way of speaking this language: saṃskṛtá-: 'refined, polished, perfected'.
The first traces of epic poetry are seen in the Vedic literature, besides some of the dialog hymns in the Ṛg·veda, the Ākhyānas, Itihāsas and Purāṇas of the Brāhmaṇas. Originally songs of praise, these over time developed into epic poems of increasing length, heroic songs centered around a single hero or a single great event. Of these developments, whilst there may have been many of them, only two have survived, the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa.
The Mahābhārata is in a sense not just an 'epic' or a 'poem', not just a single production, but can be seen as a whole body of literature in its own right. Already in the Ṛg·veda, the Bharatas find mention as a warlike tribe, and in the Brāhmaṇas is found Bharata, the son of Duṣyanta and Śakuntalā.
The kernel of the Mahābhārata is a family feud in the royal house of the Kauravas, i.e., the descendants of Bharata, leading to a bloody battle. However, on top of this historical original, an enormous mass of poetry, myths and legends, secondary tales, moral stories and much more get appended over the centuries, such that the final form as we have it has 100,000 ślokas [lower-alpha 14] across 18+1 books.
In contrast to the Mahābhārata, the Rāmāyaṇa consists of only 24,000 ślokas divided into seven books, and in form is more purely regular, ornate epic poetry, a form of style which is the basis of the later Kāvya tradition.
There are two parts to the story of the Rāmāyaṇa, which are narrated in the five genuine books. The first revolves around the events at the court of King Daśaratha at Ayodhya with one of his wives vying for the succession of the throne to her own son Bharata in place of the one chosen by the king, Rāma. This is seen to have a historical basis, while the second part is full of myth and marvel, with the banished Rāma combating giants in the forest, slaying thousands of demons and so on. The second part also deals with the abduction of Rāmā's wife, Sītā by king Rāvaṇa of Lankā, leading Rāma to carry out to expedition to the island to defeat the king in battle and recover his wife.
Kāvya is the literary style used by court poets in a movement that flourished between c. 200 BCE and 1100 CE.[lower-alpha 15] While the Rāmāyaṇa forms the chief source and basis of the Kāvyas, and while in the former, form is subordinated to matter, form takes on centrestage in Kāvya. Kāvya works are thus full of alliteration, similes, metaphors and other figures of speech.
The Buddhist poet and philosopher Aśvaghoṣa's Buddhacarita[upper-alpha 6] is among the oldest surviving examples of Kāvya literature, and the work calls itself a mahākāvya and is composed no later than 400 CE.
Kālidāsa, called by many the Shakespeare of India, [lower-alpha 17] is said to have been the finest master of the Sanskrit poetic style, possessing qualities, as ascribed to his favorite style, the Vidarbha, by Danḍin, such as, in Arthur Macdonell's words, "firmness and evenness of sound, avoiding harsh transitions and preferring gentle harmonies; the use of words in their ordinary sense and clearness of meaning; the power to convey sentiment; beauty, elevation, and the employment of metaphorical expressions".
The narrative moves at a rapid pace, is packed with apt and striking similes and has much genuine poetry, while the style is simpler than what is typical of a Kāvya. The Raghuvaṃśa is seen to meet all the criteria of a mahākāvya, such as that the central figure should be noble and clever, and triumphant, that the work should abound in rasa and bhāva, and so on. There are more than 20 commentaries of this work that are known.
The Kumāra·sambhava[upper-alpha 8] narrates the story of the courtship and wedding of the god Śiva and of Pārvatī, Himālaya's daughter, and the birth of their son, Kumāra. The poem finishes with the slaying of the demon Tāraka, the very purpose of the birth of the warrior-god.
The Kumāra·sambhava showcases the poet's rich and original imaginative powers making for abundant poetic imagery and wealth of illustration. Again, more than 20 commentaries on the Kumāra·sambhava have survived.
The composition of the Vedas led to the rise of different schools dedicated to preserving and promoting the traditions of one or more Vedas. Over time, these branched out and proliferated to cater to the needs of treating other topics and matters. Thus arise the different śāstras, or sciences in various disciplines: grammar, lexicography, geometry, astronomy, medicine, sex, philosophy, etc.
Learning in these schools took place by way of the master expounding the subject orally, using short aphorisms, the sūtras, which on account of their terseness would be meaningful only to those who knew how to interpret them, and to anyone else necessarily esoteric. The bhāṣyas, the commentaries that followed the sūtras were structured in the style of student-teacher dialogue wherein a question is posed, a partial solut ion, the pūrva·pakṣa, proposed, which is then handled, corrected and the final opinion established, the siddhānta. In time, the bhāṣyas evolved to become more like a lecture.
The sūtras were regarded as definite and inalterable, which was later circumvented, in the field of grammar, by the creation of vārttikas, to correct or amend sūtras. Another form often employed was the śloka, which was a relatively simple metre, easy to write and remember. Sometimes a mix of prose and verse was used. Some of the later work, such as in law and poetics, developed a much clearer, scientific style thus avoiding a propensity towards obscurity that verse was prone to.
The Vedic practice of sūtras pertaining to the correct performance of ritual was extended to other matters such as the performance of duties of all kinds, and in social, moral and legal spheres. These came to be known as dharma·sūtra in contradistinction to the older gṛhya·sūtras and śrauta·sūtras although no distinction was felt initially. Like other sūtras, this was terse prose peppered with a few ślokas or verses in triṣtubh metre to emphasize a doctrine here and there. More broadly, works in the field of civil and religious law come under the banner of dharma·śāstra.
Examples of such works are:
- Gautamīya dharma·śāstra
- Hāritā dharma·śāstra
- Vasiṣṭha dharma·śāstra
- Baudhāyana dharma·śāstra
- Āpastambīya dharma·sūtra
- Vaiṣṇava dharma·śāstra
- Vaikhānasa dharma·śāstra
The most important of all dharma literature however is the manu·smṛti, or the mānava·dharma·śāstra. Composed in verse form, and intended to apply to all human beings of all castes, to secure acceptance of the work, divine provenance was claimed. Thus the reference to Manu[lower-alpha 19] the primordial man, the sage who escaped the deluge[lower-alpha 20] known to be the dispenser of justice.
The Manu·smṛti deals with a wide variety of topics including marriage, daily duties, funeral rites, occupation and general rules of life, lawful and forbidden food, impurity and purification, laws on women, duties of husband and wife, inheritance and partition, and much more.
There are chapters devoted to the castes, the conduct of different castes, their occupations, the matter of caste admixture, enumerating in full detail the system of social stratification. The Manu·smṛti has been dated to the couple of centuries around the turn of the Common Era. According to recent genetic research, it has been determined that it was around the first century CE that population mixture among different groups in India, prevalent on a large scale from around 2200 BCE, ground to a halt with endogamy setting in.
Hindu Sanskrit texts are manuscripts and historical literature that can be subdivided into two classes.
The diverse traditions of Śruti[upper-alpha 9] are believed to be 'revealed', examples being the Vedas and the early Upaniṣads. Many scholars include the Bhagavad·Gītā and Āgamas as Hindu scriptures, while Dominic Goodall includes Bhagavata Purāṇa and Yājñavalkya Smṛti.
The Smṛti Sanskrit texts are a specific body of Hindu texts attributed to an author, as a derivative work they are considered less authoritative than Śruti in Hinduism. The Smrti literature is a vast corpus of diverse texts, and includes but is not limited to Vedāngas, the Hindu epics, the Sūtras and Śāstras, the texts of Hindu philosophies, and the Purāṇas, while some traditions also include the Kāvya or poetical literature, the Bhāṣyas,[upper-alpha 10] and numerous Nibandhas[upper-alpha 11] covering politics, ethics, culture, arts and society.
Most ancient and medieval Hindu texts were composed in Sanskrit. In modern times, most ancient texts have been translated into other Indian languages and some in Western languages. Prior to the start of the common era, the Hindu texts were composed orally, then memorized and transmitted orally, from one generation to next, for more than a millennium before they were written down into manuscripts. This verbal tradition[lower-alpha 21] of preserving and transmitting Hindu texts, from one generation to next, continued into the modern era.
Tattvartha Sutra is a Jain text written in the Sanskrit language. It is regarded as one of the earliest, most authoritative books on Jainism, and the only text authoritative in both the Digambara and Śvētāmbara sects. Shant Sudharas Bhavana is a famous book in Jainism written by Jain monk Vinay Vijay also called as Yashovijay.
Dramas, poems and stories were written in Sanskrit language in ancient India. Some of the popular ones are: Pañcatantra, Hitopadeśa, Rajatarangini, Daśakumāracarita, Mṛcchakaṭika, Mudrārākṣasa, Ratnavali, Nagananda, Priyadarsika, Mattavilasa Prahasana, Vetala Pañcaviṃśati, Siṃhāsana Dvātriṃśikā.
Bhasa's Svapnavāsavadattam,[upper-alpha 12] Pancarātra, and Pratijna Yaugandharayaanam,[upper-alpha 13] Pratimanātaka, Abhishekanātaka, Bālacharita, Dūtavākya, Karnabhāram, Dūtaghaṭotkaca, Chārudatta, Madhyamavyayoga and Urubhanga.
Mattavilāsa·prahasanaTemplate:Efn-lr[upper-alpha 19] is a short one-act Sanskrit play. It is one of the two great one act plays written by Pallava King Mahendravarman I (571– 630CE) in the beginning of the seventh century in Tamil Nadu.
Madhurā·vijayamTemplate:Efn-lr[upper-alpha 20] is a 14th-century C.E Sanskrit poem written by the poet Gangadevi. It is also named Vira Kamparaya Caritham by the poet. It chronicles the life of Kumara Kampanna Udayar or Kumara Kampanna II, a prince of the Vijayanagara Empire and the second son of Bukka Raya I. The poem describes in detail, the invasion and conquest of the Madurai Sultanate by the Vijayanagara empire.
Texts of extinct Indic traditions
Modern Sanskrit literature
Literature in Sanskrit continues to be produced. These works, however, have a very small readership. In the introduction to Ṣoḍaśī: An Anthology of Contemporary Sanskrit Poets (1992), Radhavallabh Tripathi writes:
Sanskrit is known for its classical literature, even though the creative activity in this language has continued without pause from the medieval age till today. [...] Consequently, contemporary Sanskrit writing suffers from a prevailing negligence.
Most current Sanskrit poets are employed as teachers, either pandits in pāṭhaśālas or university professors. However, Tripathi also points out the abundance of contemporary Sanskrit literature:
On the other hand, the number of authors who appear to be very enthusiastic about writing in Sanskrit during these days is not negligible. [...] Dr. Ramji Upadhyaya in his treatise on modern Sanskrit drama has discussed more than 400 Sanskrit plays written and published during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In a thesis dealing with Sanskrit mahākāvyas written in a single decade, 1961–1970, the researcher has noted 52 Sanskrit mahākāvyas (epic poems) produced in that very decade.
Similarly, Prajapati (2005), in Post-Independence Sanskrit Literature: A Critical Survey, estimates that more than 3000 Sanskrit works were composed in the period after Indian Independence (i.e., since 1947) alone. Further, much of this work is judged as being of high quality, both in comparison to classical Sanskrit literature, and to modern literature in other Indian languages.
Since 1967, the Sahitya Akademi, India's national academy of letters, has had an award for the best creative work written that year in Sanskrit. In 2009, Satyavrat Shastri became the first Sanskrit author to win the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary award. Vidyadhar Shastri wrote two epic poems (Mahakavya), seven shorter poems, three plays and three songs of praise (stavana kavya, he received the Vidyavachaspati award in 1962. Some other modern Sanskrit composers include Abhiraj Rajendra Mishra (known as Triveṇī Kavi, composer of short stories and several other genres of Sanskrit literature), Jagadguru Rambhadracharya (known as Kavikularatna, composer of two epics, several minor works and commentaries on Prasthānatrayī).
Another great Sanskrit epic that remained largely unrecognised till lately is "Dhruv Charitra" written by Pandit Surya Dev Mishra in 1946. He won laurels of appreciation by renowned Hindi and Sanskrit critics like Hazari Prasad Dwiedi, Ayodhya Singh Upadhyay "Hariaudh", Suryakant tripathi "Nirala", Laldhar Tripathi "Pravasi".
- Sanskrit drama
- Hindu scripture
- Buddhist texts
- Early Medieval literature
- Indian literature
- List of Sanskrit poets
- List of ancient Indian writers
- Legendary creatures in Sanskrit mythology
- Revival and significance
- "Since the Renaissance there has been no event of such worldwide significance in the history of culture as the discovery of Sanskrit literature in the latter part of the eighteenth century" - Macdonell
- "The Ṛg·veda is a monumental text with signal significance for both world religion and world literature" - Jamison & Brereton 
- 'The style of the [Vedic] works is more simple and spontaneous while that of the later works abounds in puns, conceits and long compounds. Rhetorical ornaments are more and more copious and complex and the rules of Poetic and Grammar more and more rigidly observed as time advances.' - Iyengar,
- The preeminent Sanskritist Sir William Jones is said to be the first who ever printed an edition of a Sanskrit text - the Ṛtusaṃhāra of Kālidāsa.
- "The literature of the Veda is one of the most original and interesting productions of human endeavor." - Jan Gonda
- except 75
- Originally only the first 3 Vedas were taken as canonical, being termed the trayī·vidyā, 'three-fold knowledge'
- as duties of the priest called hotṛ, 'pourer, worshiper, reciter'
- The Brāhmaṇas produced "a ritual system far surpassing in complexity of detail anything the world has elsewhere known" - Macdonell
- "According to [a characteristic aphorism that's been preserved] the composers of grammatical Sūtras delight as much in the saving of a short vowel as in the birth of a son"! - Macdonell
- compare Latin sutura (suture)
- An example is the Anukramaṇīs, indexes, designed to preserve the text of the Vedas from loss or change, each of which quotes "the first word of each hymn, its author, the deity celebrated in it, the number of verses it contains, and the metre in which it is composed. One of them states the total number of hymns, verses, words, and even syllables, contained in the Ṛg·veda, alongside other minute details" - Macdonell
- "In various branches of scientific literature, in phonetics, grammar, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and law, the ancient Indians also achieved notable results. In some of these subjects their attainments are, indeed, far in advance of what was accomplished by the Greeks.", Macdonell
- the account based on the actual historical 18-day battle itself takes up 20,000 ślokas
- While it has been demonstrated that there was a vigorous court-epic tradition during this entire period, almost none of it from the first few centuries has survived.
- "both distinguished by independence of treatment as well as considerable poetic beauty" - Macdonell
- Monier Williams said to be the first to do so.
- in 19 cantos
- cognate with the English word man
- narrated in the śatapatha brāhmaṇa
- "The Vedas are still learnt by heart as they were long before the invasion of Alexander, and could even now be restored from he lips of religious teachers if every manuscript or printed copy of them were destroyed.", Macdonell, 1900 
- 'compiled', 'put together'
- from vid-, 'to know', cognate with Eng. 'wit'
- of the forest
- upa: 'by, beside', ni: 'down', sad: 'sit', thus: 'sit-down-beside'
- anta: 'end', thus: 'end of the Vedas'
- a life of Buddha
- the genealogy of Raghu
- 'the birth of the warrior-god', Kumāra, Skanda, Kārtikeya
- hearing, heard
- Vasavadatta's dream
- The vows of Yaugandharayana
- Vikrama and Urvaśī
- Mālavika and Agnimitra
- The Recognition of Śakuntalā
- Medley of Seasons
- The Cloud Messenger
- A Farce of Drunken Sport
- The Conquest of Madurai
- Macdonell, p. 1.
- Fortson, §10.23.
- Jamison & Brereton p. 1.
- Burrow, §2.1.
- Iyengar, p. 2.
- Macdonell, p. 3.
- Keith, §1.
- Macdonnell, §1.
- Burrow, §2.9.
- Iyengar, p. 4.
- Iyengar, p. 5.
- Iyengar, pp. 5-6.
- Gonda, p. 1
- Witzel, 1989, p. 1.
- Burrow, p. 43.
- MWW, p. 1123.
- MWW, p.963.
- J&B, pp. 1-2.
- J&B, pp. 2-3.
- Macdonell, p. 30.
- Macdonell, pp. 30-31.
- Macdonell, p. 31-32.
- Macdonell, p. 34.
- Macdonell, pp. 35-36.
- Macdonell, p. 10.
- Macdonell, pp. 38-39.
- Winternitz, 1972, p. 311.
- Winternitz 1972, p. 314. harv error: no target: CITEREFWinternitz1972 (help)
- Winternitz 1972, pp. 317-321. harv error: no target: CITEREFWinternitz1972 (help)
- Macdonell, p. 282.
- Macdonell, p. 303,310.
- Winternitz 1972, p. 467. harv error: no target: CITEREFWinternitz1972 (help)
- Keith, p. 43.
- Macdonell, pp. 311-314.
- Keith, ch. 2
- Macdonell, pp. 325-326.
- Keith, p. 42.
- Macdonell, p. 319.
- Keith, ch. 3.
- Macdonell, p. 326.
- Kale, p. xxvi.
- Keith, p. 101
- Macdonell, pp. 326-327.
- Keith, §4.7.
- Macdonell, p. 328.
- Keith, §4.6.
- Keith, pp. 403-405.
- Keith, pp. 406-407.
- Keith, pp. 409-411.
- Keith, p. 437.
- Keith, pp. 439-440.
- Keith, pp. 442-444.
- Deshpande, p. 85.
- Moorjani, Kumarasamy, Reich... (5 September 2013). "Genetic Evidence for Recent Population Mixture in India" (PDF). The American Journal of Human Genetics. 93 (3): 422–438. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.07.006. PMC 3769933. PMID 23932107. Retrieved 10 April 2021.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Dominic Goodall (1996), Hindu Scriptures, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-20778-3, page ix-xliii
- Klaus Klostermaier (2007), A Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-7082-4, pages 46–52, 76–77
- RC Zaehner (1992), Hindu Scriptures, Penguin Random House, ISBN 978-0-679-41078-2, pages 1–11 and Preface
- Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty (1988), Textual Sources for the Study of Hinduism, Manchester University Press, ISBN 0-7190-1867-6, pages 2–3
- James Lochtefeld (2002), "Smrti", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 2: N–Z, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8, page 656–657
- Purushottama Bilimoria (2011), The idea of Hindu law, Journal of Oriental Society of Australia, Vol. 43, pages 103–130
- Roy Perrett (1998), Hindu Ethics: A Philosophical Study, University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 978-0-8248-2085-5, pages 16–18
- Michael Witzel, "Vedas and Upaniṣads", in: Flood, Gavin, ed. (2003), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., ISBN 1-4051-3251-5, pages 68–71
- William Graham (1993), Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-44820-8, pages 67–77
- Macdonell, p. 8.
- Vijay K. Jain 2011, p. vi.
- Paul Dundas (2006). Patrick Olivelle (ed.). Between the Empires : Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE. Oxford University Press. pp. 395–396. ISBN 978-0-19-977507-1.
- Jaini 1998, p. 82.
- K. V. Mardia (1990). The Scientific Foundations of Jainism. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 103. ISBN 978-81-208-0658-0.
Quote: Thus, there is a vast literature available but it seems that Tattvartha Sutra of Umasvati can be regarded as the main philosophical text of the religion and is recognized as authoritative by all Jains."
- Mahendravikramavarma Pallava (600AD). Lockwood, Michael; Bhat, Vishnu (eds.). Mattavilasa Prahasana The Farce of Drunken Sport. Christian Literature Society. Check date values in:
- Ernst, Carl W. (1992). Eternal garden: mysticism, history, and politics at a South Asian Sufi center (Illustrated ed.). SUNY Press. p. 297. ISBN 978-0-7914-0884-1.
- Jackson, William Joseph (2005). Vijayanagara voices: exploring South Indian history and Hindu literature (Illustrated ed.). Ashgate Publishing. pp. 61–70. ISBN 978-0-7546-3950-3.
- Chattopadhyaya, Brajadulal (2006). Studying Early India: Archaeology, Texts and Historical Issues. Anthem Press. pp. 141–143. ISBN 978-1-84331-132-4.
- Radhavallabh Tripathi, ed. (1992), Ṣoḍaśī: An Anthology of Contemporary Sanskrit Poets, Sahitya Akademi, ISBN 81-7201-200-4
- S. Ranganath (2009), Modern Sanskrit Writings in Karnataka, ISBN 978-81-86111-21-5, p. 7:
Contrary to popular belief, there is an astonishing Sanskrit writing is qualitatively of such high order that it can easily be treated on par with the best of Classical Sanskrit literature, It can also easily compete with the writings in other Indian languages.
- Adhunika Sanskrit Sahitya Pustakalaya, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan:
The latter half of the nineteenth century marks the beginning of a new era in Sanskrit literature. Many of the modern Sanskrit writings are qualitatively of such high order that they can easily be treated at par with the best of classical Sanskrit works, and they can also be judged in contrast to the contemporary literature in other languages.
- "Sanskrit's first Jnanpith winner is a 'poet by instinct'". The Indian Express. Jan 14, 2009.
- Mishra, Mayank. Karma ka Pujari. Chandigarh : Unistar Publications, 2010. Print
- Macdonell, Arthur Anthony, A History of Sanskrit Literature, New York 1900
- Keith, A. Berriedale (1956). A History of Sanskrit Literature. Great Britain: Oxford University Press.
- Winternitz, M. A History of Indian Literature. Oriental books, New Delhi, 1927 (1907)
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- Jaini, Padmanabh S. (1998) , The Jaina Path of Purification, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1578-5
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- GRETIL: Göttingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages a cumulative register of the numerous download sites for electronic texts in Indian languages.
- TITUS Indica
- Vedabase.net: Vaishnava literatures with word for word translations from Sanskrit to English.
- Official page of the Clay Sanskrit Library, publisher of classical Indian literature with facing-page texts and translations. Also offers numerous downloadable materials.
- Sanskrit Documents Collection: Documents in ITX format of Upanishads, Stotras etc., and a metasite with links to translations, dictionaries, tutorials, tools and other Sanskrit resources.
- MAHE Mahabharata Digital Concordance by Department of Philosophy - Manipal
- Sanskrit Literature at the Encyclopedia of Fantasy