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॥संस्कृतसोपानम् ॥

(A beginner’s guide to Sanskrit)


G S S Murthy



सरस्वत्याः प्रसादेन तस्याः संप्रीतये ह्रिया ।


कृतं सोपानमारुह्य वाग्देवीदर्शनोत्सुकाः ।

मन्दिरं सुरभारत्याः प्रविशन्त्वर्थसिद्धये ॥


This series of E-lessons

As a Sanskrit Primer

Is being presented

As an humble tribute

To the self-less and untiring service being rendered

By Dr. Saroja Ramanujam M A Ph D Sanskrit Shiromani

For the spread of Sanskrit and philosophy of Sanatana Dharma.


  Only the first lesson is presented on the web. Translation of the text is also provided. If you are interested in joining this Sanskrit Course through E-mail, which is of course free, please study the first lesson and attempt to answer the Exercises(except C1.6) at the end of the lesson and E-mail your answers to me at You will receive the second lesson by Email along with corrections if any to your answers for exercises on lesson 1. You will receive the next lesson only after you have submitted answers to the exercises in the latest lesson you have received. Please read the Introduction before you proceed to the first lesson. 



A.Salient features of this Sanskrit Primer:

1.    Student acquires knowledge in vocabulary and grammar parallelly.

2.    Text of any lesson is constrained by grammar and vocabulary already acquired in earlier lessons and being introduced in the current lesson.

3.    Keeping sentence construction as the central theme, syntactical aspect of grammar is developed in a logical manner. Derivational aspect of grammar is avoided.

4.    Despite the constraints of grammar and vocabulary imposed, lesson integrity is steadily improved. [Discrete sentences give way to coherent paragraphs and later to coherent lessons.]

5.    Simultaneously different chapters of grammar are developed so that at the end of the course, the student has a general grounding in syntactical grammar and has acquired a broad and basic vocabulary.

6.    The course encourages learners to commit to memory declension of paradigm nouns and conjugation of paradigm verbs. At the end of the course of 30 lessons a diligent student would have acquired the basics of grammar and a basic vocabulary, which could enable him to converse in Sanskrit at a basic level and launch on to studying literary classics or religious texts. The primer adequately covers numbers(संख्या). It also provides a glimpse of prosody(छन्दस्) and poetics(अलङ्कारशास्त्रः).  

7.    It is expected that the student already knows reading and writing devanagari script and knows how to pronounce Sanskrit words.

8.    Structure of a lesson: i) A sanskrit passage for study followed by ii) Grammar notes [section A], iii) Vocabulary which is alphabetically arranged as per Sanskrit [section B] and iv) Exercises, [section C].

9.    Recommended way of using the Primer: The PC being used has to be Unicode enabled with Devanagari Fonts. It would be preferable to have Baraha Software[Version 7 or 8] downloaded. As it is a continuous MS-Word document, it is advised that the student use the “split window” feature, wherein the document appears in two -top and bottom- windows. [ Go to “Window” on the bar at the top and click. A drop-down menu appears. Click on the “split” option.] One window, say the bottom one, could be used for keeping the text and the top one for navigating through the document for referring to any previous lesson. For navigating, click anywhere on the top window and go to “Edit”. Click and on the drop-down that appears choose “find”. On the dialog box that appears, you can type the chapter number ,say “-23-“ and you can go to Lesson 23. You can also type “A 23” and you can go to grammar portion of Lesson 23. All the time, the bottom window will show the Lesson you are studying.

10.                       At the end a consolidated Vocabulary [about 1600 words] is provided.    

B. Reference books: Any serious student of Sanskrit should provide himself/herself with a good Sanskrit-English dictionary[ Ex:The student’s Sanskrit-English Dictionary by V S Apte published by Motilal Banarsidass] and preferably an English-Sanskrit dictionary too[Ex: The student’s English -Sanskrit Dictionary by V S Apte published by Motilal Banarsidass] and a text book containing शब्दs and धातुरूपs[Ex: अनुवाद-चन्द्रिका by डा. ब्रह्मानन्द तिवारी published by Chowkhabha Surabharati Prakashan, Benares].

Lesson 1                                                             Home

© G S S Murthy