An Introductory Sanskrit Reader

Improving Reading Fluency

This Reader aims to help students start reading original Sanskrit literature.
When we study ancient languages, there often is quite a gap between introductory, grammar-based classes and independent reading of original texts. This Reader bridges that gap by offering complete grammar and vocabulary notes for 40 entertaining, thought-provoking or simply beautiful passages from Sanskrit narrative and epic, as well as over 130 subhāṣitas (epigrams).
These readings are complemented by review sections on syntax, word formation and compounding, a 900-word study vocabulary, complete transliterations and literal translations of all readings, as well as supplementary online resources.
The Reader can be used for self-study and in a classroom, both to accompany introductory Sanskrit courses and to succeed them.

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Since receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, Antonia M. Ruppel has taught Sanskrit at Cornell, Oxford and the LMU Munich. The recipient of several awards for her teaching, she is the author of the 2017 Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit.
Read Me! A Brief Introduction You Won’t Want to Miss
How to Do More With Words: Building Up Your Sanskrit Vocabulary
Beginning to Read Sanskrit: Some Practical Tips for English Speakers
Annotations and Abbreviations

The Readings

1 Hitopadeśa, or Supportive Advice
 a The Dog, the Donkey and the Thief (2.2)
 b The Lion, Mouse and Cat (2.3)
 c The Clever Woman and the Bell (2.4)
 d The Clever Woman with Two Lovers (2.6)
 e The Lion and the Old Hare (2.8)
 f The Elephant, the Hares and the Moon (3.3)
 g The Blue Jackal (3.7)
 h The Sage and the Mouse (4.5)
 i The Old Crane and the Crab (4.6)
 j The Brahmin and the Pots (4.7)
 k The Two Demons (4.8)
 l The Brahmin and the Three Crooks (4.9)

2 Vikramacarita, or Vikrama’s Deeds
 a I Volunteer as Tribute (Story 8)
 b Eight Jewels from Eight Goddesses (Story 21)
 c King Vikrama in His Element (Story 22)
 d Don’t Believe Everything You See (Story 30)

3 Rāmāyaṇa, or Rāma’s Journey
 a The Beauty of the Night (1. 33.14–18)
 b A Perfect Leader (2.1.15–28)
 c A Land Without Leadership (2.61.8–23)
 d Jābāli the Materialist on the Meaning of Life (2.100.1–17)
 e Sītā Cautions Rāma on the Handling of Weapons (3.8.1–12, 20–29)
 f Rāma Asks Nature If It Has Seen Sītā (3.58.1–22, 31–34)
 g The Ascetic Śabarī (3.70.4–27)
 h The Hermitage of the Seven Sages (4.13.12–27)
 i Tārā Counsels Her Husband Vālin (4.15.7–23)
 j Tārā Laments Her Husband Vālin (4. 20.12–17)
 k The Rainy Season (4.27.2–46)
 l Svayaṃprabhā’s Cave (4.49.12–52.13)
 m Hanumān Learns about His Immaculate Conception (4.65.8–28)
 n How Should I Address Sītā? (5.28.3–44)

4 Kathāsaritsāgara, or Ocean of Rivers of Stories
 a Śiva Explains the Significance of Skulls (1.2.10–15)
 b Brahmadatta and the Golden Swans (1.3.27–34)
 c Pāṇini (1.4.20–25)
 d Hand with Five Fingers, Hand with Two Fingers (1.5.8–12)
 e Why the Fish Laughed (1.5.14–25)
 f King Śibi Sacrifices Himself (1.7.88–97)
 g How the Bṛhatkathā Came to Earth (1.8.1–38)
 h Ahalyā: Bilingual and Clever (3.3.137–147)
 i Buddhist Merchant, Hindu Son (6.1.11–54)
 j The Brahmin and the Outcaste (6.1.123–133)
 k The Seven Princesses: King Kaliṅgadatta Is Told a Story within a Story within a Story (6.2.9–45)
 l Tapodatta Tries to Replace Study with Penance (7.6.13–24)
 m Should You Turn a Mouse into a Girl? (10.6.125–135)
 n Once You’ve Tasted the Good Stuff … (10.6.178–185)
 o Guard the Door! (10.6.209–211)

5 Bṛhatkathāślokasaṃgraha, or Verse Summary of the Great Story

6 Subhāṣitas, or Epigrams

Appendix 1: Roman Transliteration of All Texts
Appendix 2: Literal Translations of All Texts
Appendix 3: Study Vocabulary
Anyone in the process of learning Sanskrit, whether on their own or as part of a class. Sanskrit is relevant for students of Indology/South Asian Studies, Buddhism, Hinduism and Yoga.
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