REf Dictionaries Atlas Language Guides Writing Guides Learn more

Samskrta-Subodhini: A Sanskrit Primer (Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia)
See larger image and other views

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering
Sell Us Your Item
For a $6.44 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Samskrta-Subodhini: A Sanskrit Primer (Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia) [Paperback]

Madhav Deshpande
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

List Price: $27.00
Price: $23.47 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
You Save: $3.53 (13%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback $23.47  
Hero Quick Promo
Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Book Description

August 1, 1999 089148079X 978-0891480792 Reprint
Samskrta-Subodhini: A Sanskrit Primer marks the culmination of Professor Deshpande's experience of teaching Sanskrit at the University of Michigan for over twenty-five years. Tested in classes at Michigan and elsewhere and successively improved for over twenty years, the teaching materials in the book now offer an effective tool to learn and teach Sanskrit. It aims at teaching Sanskrit as a language, rather than as a religious or mystical entity. It also simplifies the process of learning Sanskrit by dissociating this language-learning process from the heavy burdens imposed both by the tradition of Indo-European linguistics and the tradition of indigenous Sanskrit grammarians in India. By treating Sanskrit as a productive language, rather than as a dead language merely to be deciphered, the book represents a significant advance over the traditional Western approach to the study of Sanskrit.
Work on this book began in 1976, and now almost two generations of Professor Deshpande's students have used successively improved versions. The book's examples include many modified versions of classical Sanskrit passages from epic texts such as The Mahabharata and The Ramayana. The book also contains examples from Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions, as well as samples of Sanskrit poetry and satire.
Madhav M. Deshpande is Professor of Sanskrit and Linguistics in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan, where he has been on the faculty since 1972. His research relates to the fields of Paninian linguistics, historical linguistics, and sociolinguistics, as well as the cultural and linguistic history of India. Besides his research publications, Professor Deshpande has participated in Sastric and literary debates in Sanskrit and has also published Sanskrit poems and plays.

Frequently Bought Together

Samskrta-Subodhini: A Sanskrit Primer (Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia) + A Higher Sanskrit Grammar: For the Use of School and College Students + Sanskrit: An Appreciation Without Apprehension
Price for all three: $58.02

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia (Book 47)
  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Center for South Asian Studies, The Univ; Reprint edition (August 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089148079X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891480792
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, BUT... March 13, 2005
By Cathy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author states in the introduction that this book is not meant for self-study and that it is expected that a knowledgeable teacher is available to answer any questions -- and, presumably, to check the answers to the exercises. This book is beautifully laid-out, clearly written, and is a joy to study -- right up until you complete an exercise and want to check your answers and find that the only way to do it is just go over and exercise repeatedly until you are sure your answers are correct. There is no other way to know. It is still a useful and productive book for self-study, definitely 5-star material, but I'm knocking off a star because of the lack of an answer key.
Was this review helpful to you?
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book July 3, 2000
By A Customer
Given that the book is a part of the "Michigan Papers on South and South-East Asia", I was a bit apprehensive about it being too scholarly and unsuitable for a beginner like me, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it otherwise. The author has the rare combination of an authentic grooming in the traditional Sanskrit learning and a long experience of teaching the language in the West to western students, and this shows in the book to the reader's advantage. Nevertheless, it is a book that demands diligence and effort from the reader. I liked the way the book provides a set of relevant words in every chapter which are used immediately afterwards in the exercises, for this allowed me to quickly refer to them for their meanings. The exercises are also very well thought out, though I wish the author had provided answers to them so that a student could bolster his confidence by verifying his answers immediately, but all in all, the book is well worth the money I spent on it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Methodical, patient, clear March 25, 2003
By A Customer
This is a very well thought-out text. The author states that it is not intended for self-study, but if you have a facility for languages, have studied an inflection-driven language such as Latin and have had a year of a modern language that uses the Devanagri writing system, you should be ok. The format is similar to that of Moreland and Fleischer's Latin text, with brief lessons covering single-serving chunks of morphology, followed by vocabulary and exercises in translation and composition.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A steep learning curve December 27, 1999
By Andrej
This is definitely a comprehensive book. The author delves directly into the grammar and vocabulary, all without ever using transliterations. I had already learnt basic Hindi before picking this up, so I knew most of the script, but I could see that being a real problem. It's definitely competent. The learning curve is very steep, though, and it seems almost as if it would be better used as accompaniment to classes.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, a serviceable textbook of sanskrit April 15, 2000
I admit that I was more than a little apprehensive when I first ordered Deshpande's Samskrtasubodhini, since my first textbook by Lanman dated from the 19th century and featured a microscopic devanagari typeface, the compound letters illegible even with my trusty magnifying glass. Deshpande's elegant and readable devanagari font seems rather like eating a box of chocolates after becoming used to far more spartan fare. Deshpande's extremely competent text makes me suspicious that he is not making his users scrabble hard enough to grip the language, but what the heck. Sanskrit is difficult enough to get hold of, as it is, so a thorough and competent text will probably work out, in the long run. Even with Deshpande's throughness, Panini's grammar is still quite a way off, but Deshpande's graspable and intelligently arranged text--perfect as a preparation for the Whitney grammar--makes the entryway into to this great language less arduous, and probably Panini's Astadhyayi less difficult once one comes to take it up. I just wish that my first text had been Samskrtasubodhini.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for beginners! November 19, 2010
By C
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a beginning learner of Sanskrit, a student can progress easily by using this book.
- Grammar is explained thoroughly, yet is not tedious nor overly technical.
- Lessons are the right size, which means the learner is not overwhelmed with material.
- Exercises allow the learner to practice the lesson.
- There is no answer key to the exercises, that I have been able to find. Hence the four stars.
- The most helpful of all are the FREE AUDIO FILES at the University of Michigan, Center for South Asian Studies website:

Other books that will greatly help the beginning learner are:

- "Introduction to Sanskrit", parts I & II by Thomas Egenes
- Part I: ISBN 81-208-1140-2 and part II ISBN 81-208-1693-5
- These books HAVE an ANSWER KEY at the back of each book.

- "Devavanipravesika: An Introduction to the Sanskrit Language" by Robert P. Goldman & Sally J. Sutherland Goldman
- ISBN 0-944613-40-3
- There is no answer key, that I have been able to find.
- There is a SOUND RECORDING that can be ordered from the University of California Berkeley Language Laboratory
- Go to "Language learning Media" heading, then "Search Catalog" and select "Sanskrit" from the list of languages
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars might be the best introductory text March 10, 2009
Sanskrit learners are blessed with several outstanding introductory texts (I also highly recommend Goldman and Maurer). This work certainly belongs in that class. An extensive history of the language comes at the beginning of the book, and its early chapters are probably the simplest grammatical treatment that is available. Other pluses include thoughtfully chosen vocabulary, well and quickly incorporated into the abundant exercises, an elegant and easy-to-read typeface,(there charts of the many conjunct consonants are especially clear) and a very logical overall organization. His treatment of nominal compounding is excellent and easy to follow, which should be heartening to anyone who has find this a discouragingly difficult area in other courses. I do disagree with the author's approach to sandhi- it is a very leisurely introduction that is spread out over several chapters- better to face it head-on and get used to it in the beginning. Also, I agree with the other reviewers who have commented on a lack of an answer key for the exercises. It would have added considerably to the length of the book, but perhaps an answer key could be compiled and sold separately. It is certainly clear that many learners would want it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very good book to learn Sanskrit.
Published 3 months ago by kris
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfied
Great book about the understanding process of the Sanskrit, recomended for begginers of the Sanskrit and the ancient east culture.
Published 23 months ago by Santiago Aguilar López
5.0 out of 5 stars Samsdrta-Subodhini
This book is an excellent teaching aid or a useful self-study guide. The explanations are clear and understandable. The charts are very clear and well presented. Read more
Published on November 25, 2012 by E. Sanskrit
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fantastic!
This is an excellent book.

Dr. Deshpande uses a simple and elegant language. He introduces topics in a series of parallel streams where every chapter contains a little... Read more
Published on October 5, 2009 by Pankaj Gupta
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent manual
This is one of the best sanskrit manuals i have come accross. It has very clear explanations (even more clear than Maurer's excellent gammar), a lot of exercices, and the type of... Read more
Published on February 7, 2009 by alinacee
5.0 out of 5 stars great
This book is way better than Perry's Sanskrit Primer; There are way more exercises for each chapter, many more illustrative examples, and by the way, he also addresses syntax. Read more
Published on May 25, 2007 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written book
This book is very well written with good set of exercises. The explanations are simple and clear. The author does a good job of keeping the reader progressing through the major... Read more
Published on May 15, 2007 by Ramsamy Subramani
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely!
This is a very good introduction to the Sanskrit language. The big picture (scope of what can be done after reading the book) is missing, but it explains many verb forms, tenses,... Read more
Published on November 14, 2006 by A. Kumar
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but fast.
This is the book that my Sanskrit class uses, and I find it to be extremely useful, though, yes, there is a very steep learning curve and it is daunting at times. Read more
Published on November 2, 2006 by R. Harper
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
Contrary to the author's suggestions I am using the book to study Sanskrit myself. It is excellent for that too although granted I speak two language of the Indo Aryan family -... Read more
Published on December 25, 2004 by Borun D. Chowdhury
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category