Sanskrit resources

Sanskrit resource page
version 1.03 updated 6-Mar-2021

We provide various resources here for those interested in Sanskrit.

As new resources are provided we will either publish them or link to them from this page.

Links - checked for validity every 6 months or so

Comprehensive pronunciation guide

We follow the IAST standard for representation of the Sanskrit terms in Āyurveda using diacritics.

Most of the sounds are similar to those found in languages of European origin. Many consonants in Sanskrit have both aspirate (with breath) forms and unaspirated (without breath) forms. The “without breath” forms may take a bit of practice to produce. Vowels are almost all simple vowels. For example, e is pronounced somewhat like the ay in say, except that the mouth position does not change during pronunciation. Similarly, o is always pronounced like the o in go. In English, both say and go and pronounced more like diphthongs, as is the aw sound in law, the ee sound in cheek, and the oo sound in stoop. Along with e and o, ā, ī and ū are similarly all simple vowels in Sanskrit; the mouth shape and position does not change while uttering them.

Sanskrit does not use stress accents; instead there is a flow of short and long syllables, where long syllables are exactly twice as long as short syllables.

The following list gives a close approximation.

IAST symbol English approximation
a u in nut
ā a in father
i i in pin
ī ee in seek
u u in push
ū oo in stoop
ri in rich
rea in reap
e ay in say
ai i in nice
o ow in know
au ou in pout
ng in sing
produces a slight echo of the preceding vowel; e.g. punaḥ is pronounced something like “punaha”
n in dunk
c ch in church (without breath)
ch ch in church (as one might say it normally in English, with breath)
ñ n in punch; with j (as in jñāna, “knowledge”), pronounced like gya
t t in top, with the tongue against the tip of the teeth, without breath
d d in duck, with the tongue against the tip of the teeth, without breath
n n in no with the tongue against the tip of the teeth
t in top, with the tongue against the alveolar ridge, without breath
d in duck, tongue against the alveolar ridge, without breath
n in no with the tongue against the alveolar ridge
ś like sh in shine (but halfway to s in say)
like sh in push

Copy and paste

Unicode diacritics organized in English alphabetical order:
Lowercase: ā ḍ ḥ ī ḷ ṁ ṇ ṅ ñ ṛ ṝ ś ṣ ṭ ū
Uppercase: Ā Ḍ Ḥ Ī Ḷ Ṁ Ṇ Ṅ Ñ Ṛ Ṝ Ś Ṣ Ṭ Ū

Unicode diacritics in varņa-krama order:
ā Ā ī Ī ū Ū ṛ Ṛ ṝ Ṝ ṁ Ṁ ḥ Ḥ
ṅ Ṅ
ñ Ñ
ṭ Ṭ ḍ Ḍ ṇ Ṇ
ś Ś ṣ Ṣ

Supported fonts

Different systems have certain fonts that support the entire range of diacritics. When a font is used that doesn't support a glyph, the system will fall back to an installed font that has everything. This can be somewhat disconcerting, as it causes the height of characters to differ; for example, in aāAĀsśSŚ tṭTṬrṛRṚ nñṅṇNÑṄṆ all of the a's, s's, t's, r's and n's should have the same height with or without diacritics and should be aligned to the same baseline. Here is a list of fonts that should have everything, by operating system (list is under development):
All systems, best Devanagari font is Sanskrit 2003, available here
Windows 7: Arial Unicode MS, Calibri
Mac OSX:

E-Publishing with diacritics

Publishing books in electronic format with diacritics can be done in MOBI format using the free Calibre software.

Since MOBI doesn't support font embedding, it's necessary to use Unicode characters. One conversion tool was formerly found at but now appears defunct. Another (for Harvard-Kyoto or Balaram to Unicode) taken from the original Gaudiya Grantha Mandir code, is below.

Nowadays nearly all computers and all e-book readers use a default font supporting a large number of characters from the various Unicode groups.

    Some of the Unicode groups useful for diacritics are:
  • Latin, containing Ññ
  • Latin Extended-A, containing ĀāĪīŚśŪū
  • Latin Extended Additional, containing ḌḍḤḥḶḷḸḹṀṁṆṇṄṅṚṛṜṝṢṣṬṭ
    Some noteworthy quirks:
  • When reading converted mobi files on the iPhone (using the Kindle app) the characters with diacritics appear in a different font. Annoying but still legible. No such problem exists on the Kindle.
  • Using text-to-speech on the Kindle will fail rather spectacularly. It doesn't know about Unicode with diacritics and falls back to finding the closest words it knows about.

Conversion tool

Paste text you want converted here (can be an entire book):

Write to browser window (requires allowing popups)
Download as HTML file
Input uses Balaram encoding
Input uses Harvard-Kyoto A, I, U, R, RR, G, Y, z, etc; AA, II, UU, RRR, Z for uppercase; use backslash to prevent conversion, e.g. \A zloka from ZrI IIzopaniSad

Output as html source:

Output as html: