Learn Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali - Resource Recommendations?

Can anyone recommend valuable/high-quality resources to use to learn:

  1. Sanskrit?
  2. Prakrit?
  3. Pali?
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Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies

After searching a couple of years ago, this was the best resource I could find to learn Pali without entering a formal educational program. They offer several levels of online Pali courses, and they sometimes offer a short advanced Pali course at Oxford.


Thank you for the recommendation!

Are the resources provided through this website offered free of cost?

For Sanskrit, I have personally used for learning and teaching:

  1. M. Coulson’s Sanskrit: A complete course for beginners.
  2. R. Goldman’s Devavāṇīpraveśikā: An Introduction to the Sanskrit Language
  3. T. Egenes’ Introduction to Sanskrit.

Once you have mastered the basics of Classical Sanskrit, you might like to begin reading some texts, e.g.:

  1. C. R. Lanman’s Sanskrit Reader, which is a classic.
  2. P. Scharf’s Rāmopākhyāna helpfully parses each word and each verse is accompanied by a simple Sanskrit commentary.

For Pali I personally only used Warder’s Introduction to Pali.

For Prakrit you might take a look at

  1. Woolner’s Introduction to Prakrit (Introduction to Prakrit : Woolner, Alfred C. (Alfred Cooper), 1878-1936 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive)
  2. Ananthanarayana’s Prakrit Reader (A Prakrit Reader [A Linguistic Introduction — Based on Selections from Hāla's Sattasaī] : H. S. Anathanarayana : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive).
  3. In Sanskrit dramas, lower status characters speak a variety of Prakrits. Editions of well-known dramas often include Sanskrit translations/glosses/comments to Prakrit dialogues, which are helpful for the student.




The Prakrit list in particular was one that I was having quite a bit of trouble locating resources for!

Thank you so so much for your wonderful recommendations, @Leon! :pray:t3:

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My pleasure. I think there are some free resources and some low cost resources too.



Here are a few more Prakrit suggestions - perhaps they’ll be useful to you:

  1. Jain, B. Das: Ardha-Magadhi Reader.
  2. Pischel, R.: Comparative grammar of the Prakrit languages.
  3. Mehendale, M. A.: Historical grammar of inscriptional Prakrits

Editions of Prakrit texts:

  1. The Ayâranga sutta of the Svetâmbara Jains. Ed. by Hermann Jacobi. Part 1, Text.
  2. The Kalpasûtra of Bhadrabâhu; edited with an introduction, notes and a Prâkrit-Sanskrit glossary by Hermann Jacobi.
  3. The Mahapurana or Tisatthimahapurisagunalamkara of Puspadanta. Ed. by P.L.Vaidya
  4. Two Prakrit versions of the Manipaticarita. Ed. by R.Williams
  5. Hindu tales : an English translation of Jacobi’s Ausgewählte Erzählungen in Maharashtri. By John Jacob Meyer.


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And also Madhav M. Deshpande’s “Sanskrit Primer”. It is a really user friendly edition :slight_smile:

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