This website is dedicated to the Bhagavad Gita ('Divine Song of God') - the Sanskrit text from the Bhishma Parma of the Mahabharata epic. The text, composed of 700 verses and organised into 18 chapters, consists of the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna on the eve of a battle. This online resource contains a host of resources on the work. These include: a summary of the Bhagavad Gita itself and articles on each of the 18 chapters; email newsletter; the Gita in pictures; famous reflections on the Bhagavad Gita; and discussion forums. The site also provides a search engine and information about how viewers could purchase books and audio CDs on the text. This is an attractive and well-presented resource for those studying Hinduism.
This is part of a site which gives access to a wide range of resources related to the Hare Krishna religion. The page gives links to a number of sections of the site which deal with the Bhagavad-Gita - either through commentary on the religious significance of the text to adherents of Hare Krishna, or through textual criticism of the Gita itself. Much of this is not of great use to scholars of South Asian religion. What is most interesting here, however, is the 'audiobook' of the whole text of the Bhagavad-Gita which is offered in its entirety for free either as a download or via an embedded link. The text is presented with some rather irritating background music, but this is nonetheless a unique resource which will prove useful to a number of scholars of the ancient texts of the Hindu religion.
Published here online by the American Gita Society, this text is a translation of the Bhagavad Gita by Dr. Ramanand Prasad, first published in print in 1988. It is a single page with no additional information given, just the translated text along with chapter and verse numbers. This represents a missed opportunity - there are no links to other sites discussing the Gita, no pages placing the text in context, no discussion of the merits of the translation or of the meanings of the text presented. Still, it is a useful presentation of a full translation, which can be used in conjunction with other sites to provide this context.
The US-based Bhagavad-Gita website offers free access to a number of translations of this sacred Hindu text. The work itself is available in 17 different languages, though most of the accompanying material is available only in English. Each verse of the text is presented on a separate page, accompanied by the original Sanskrit text, a transliteration, and excerpts from various commentaries (although users should note that these are devotional rather than scholarly in nature). Audio recordings (in MP3 format) of both the Sanskrit and the translated versions are also available. As the text is presented a verse at a time, this site is better suited to close study than to reading through the text as a whole. Compiled and maintained by the Bhagavad-Gita Trust, a Krishna organisation, the website also offers a range of additional material, including essays on themes from the text (although once again, these are not primarily aimed at the academic reader), brief reflections on the Bhagavad-Gita by Einstein, Jung, Rudolph Steiner and many others, and short videos. The site is well-presented and easy to navigate.
The website 'black peacock' offers users a large number of Indian devotional images and scenes from religious and mythological tales. The site is organised into sections dealing with different texts in Hindu mythology, from which depictions are presented in galleries of thumbnails which can be expanded to reveal a larger image along with some explanatory text and sometimes relevant extracts from the original text. Other sections deal provide access to images of deities, avatars and demigods. The pictures are of a high quality and taken from originals which vary greatly in age, which makes for an interesting mix. It's an attractive website, although getting the drop down menus to stay in place while you move your cursor down them is a challenge.
The British Library's Sacred Texts website provides information about the library's collection of religious books and writings. In total, 78 texts are listed, dating from the 1st century to the year 1900: the majority of these are from the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions, but there are also some Buddhist, Hindu, and Zoroastrian works. Highlights include: a Gutenberg Bible; Codex Sinaiticus (the earliest surviving manuscript of the New Testament); the Lindesfarne Gospels; the Golden Haggadah (a lavishly illustrated Jewish prayer book); Sultan Baybar's Qu'ran; and the Gandharan Scrolls (possibly the oldest surviving Buddhist texts). A description giving historical and religious context is provided for each text, along with a high-quality zoomable image. More comprehensive versions of eight key texts are available via the British Library's 'Turn the Pages' feature, which uses Shockwave to simulate the experience of reading the physical book. The Curator's Choice section offers audio recordings (with transcripts) of experts talking about a number of the works. A visually attractive and valuable site.
The Digital Shikshapatri website provides digital images of the Shikshapatri manuscript held within the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Bodleian Arch.O.f.3). Oxford's Shikshapatri is venerated as a sacred text by Swaminarayan Hindus. The images of the manuscript are accompanied by supplementary material including: further information about the project; a collection of articles and biographies; a glossary; and a video recording of a reading of the Shikshapatri (requires RealPlayer).
The handwritten Sanskrit Shikshapatri, which contains a code of conduct, was presented to Sir John Malcolm, Governor of the Bombay Presidency, by the Gujarati saint, Sahajananda Swami (Lord Swaminarayan) in 1830. It was subsequently bequeathed to the Bodleian Library. The Project receives funding from the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) and commenced in January 2002. It is part of the NOF World Cultures consortium. The Digital Shikshapatri project is a collaboration between the Bodleian's Indian Institute Library, the Oxford Centre for Vaishnava and Hindu Studies and Oxford University's Refugee Studies Centre.
Dvaita Home Page is an online resource dedicated to the Sri Madhyacharya doctrine. Propounded by Ananda Tirtha (1238-1317), it teaches that the difference between the individual soul and the Creator is eternal and real. This website, which caters both for those with no prior exposure to the doctrine and those with in-depth knowledge, provides useful information about its founder and his teachings; as well as the biography and works of major scholars that follow in his footsteps. It also contains resources like: downloadable texts; hymns (Stotra) which are listed in alphabetical order and by deity name; a Dvaita FAQ; a calendar of festivals; essays; a bibliography; images; and a list of contributors. The site is user-friendly and would be of interest to those studying South Asian religions.
Gaudiya grantha mandira is an online repository for important Sanskrit and Bengali texts that belong to the Caitanya Vaisnava tradition. At the time of this review (June 2008), the 'library' section of the website provided a list of links to over five hundred texts, grouped together by genre. The texts themselves are available as downloads from subsequent pages, which also carry an evaluation of the text, some context and notes about transliteration and other technical issues. A separate page of resources provides the user with a number of tools to ease the reading of the texts on a computer such as fonts and transliteration software. The site is well presented and easy to use, although a problem with the registration page means that no access can be gained to the discussion forum.
A really useful collection of classical Indian religious texts, this website gives a selection of word for word transliterations or translations of some of the most important Sanskrit texts, some of which are not available elsewhere - the bharata savitri, for example, is not easy to find elsewhere on the internet. The website also has pages giving information about displays and fonts, including a downloadable file of fonts used on the site, copyright restrictions and a series of pages investigating Nataraja symbolism. Some of the translations are available with detailed notes and criticisms, others are simply translations or transliterations offered with no commentary at all. This is an authoritative site containing some definitive works.
This online resource is part of the Indian Institute of Technology's (IIT) larger project to develop a repository of Indian Philosophical texts on the internet. The Gita Supersite concentrates on the Bhagavad Gita ('Song of the Lord') - a Sanskrit text from the Mahabharata epic which is revered as sacred by the adherents of Hinduism. It is composed of 700 verses (shlokas) and arranged into 18 chapters. This website makes available the text and commentaries in Sanskrit, as well as translations and commentaries (classical and contemporary) in English and Hindi. It also enables visitors to view the verses and the Sanskrit commentaries in the following language scripts: Assamese; Bengali; Devanagari; Gujarati; Kannada; Malayalam; Onya; Punjabi; Roman; Tamil and Telegu. A useful and interesting resource for anyone studying Hinduism.
The Sacred Scriptures of Hinduism Web page provides English texts of the Hindu holy writings, including: the Rig Veda; the Ramayana; the Mahabharata; the Bhagvad-Gita; and the Laws of Manu. Also available is an electronic version of Surendranath Dasgupta's 1922 work 'A History of Indian Philosophy'. The site is a part of the much larger Hindu Website, which offers a variety of resources on Hinduism and other eastern religions, including separate sections providing more detailed information on the Bhagavad-Gita, the Vedas, and the Upanishads. While this is not primarily intended as an academically focused site (and some users may find the adverts distracting), it does offer one of the more comprehensive online collections of the Hindu scriptures, and so provides a useful resource for students of the religion.
This website provides an online version of an extract from the book Reading about the world, Volume 1 (Paul Brians et al. (eds), Washington, ISBN: 0-15-567425-0). This excerpt is a translation of the text of hymns taken from the Rig Veda. The hymns are presented grouped under the name of the deity to which they were directed, and are accompanied by a short explanation of that god and their role in classical Indian mythology. There are also brief footnotes explaining terms used in the text of the translations. This is not a very complex or detailed site, but will be useful to students beginning their study of Sanskrit texts.
The international journal of Hindu studies is published by Springer, Netherlands. This website gives access to the journal in its entirety with .pdf versions of the articles accessible via clickable links from the contents page of each issue. Unusually for a website offering free access to a journal which has a paper version, the articles are made available on the site before they are released in print. This is a high quality academic publication, peer reviewed and with a good reputation which is now offered for free. Without a doubt this site will be useful for all scholars of the Hindu religion in particular, and of Indian and world religions in general.
J.B. Hare established the Internet Sacred Text Archive to make public domain religious and mythological texts available to the interested reader. It brings together material collected by the archive itself with a variety of links from other primary resource sites on the Internet to form one of the largest and far reaching electronic text resources available anywhere. With a somewhat eclectic selection in content, the site includes everything from English translations of the sacred texts of African, Australian, and North American indigenous cultures to Eastern, Neo-Pagan and Occult traditions. Judeo-Christian and Islamic resources are also well represented. The archive is still growing, with new texts added on a regular basis. The need to avoid material which is still in copyright means that many of the translations date from over a hundred years ago, but the variety of resources in translation makes the site invaluable to those lacking extensive foreign language skills who wish to rapidly familiarise themselves with a specific tradition. This site is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to locate an electronic English-language version of a significant religious text from almost any religious tradition.
The IntraText Digital Library is building an online library of texts across a range of subject areas. The Library has particular strengths in theology and religion, with a fairly substantial number of works relating to the history of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Within Christian theology there are further collections relating to: Biblical studies; patristics; the Orthodox church; monastic life; the reformation; Vatican documents; and Thomas Aquinas. The texts are in a wide range of languages, although major European tongues feature most prominently. Each electronic text includes a catalogue record; table of contents with links to the full text (in HTML); word lists ordered by alphabet, frequency, and length; and further statistics about the text. Within the text itself, one can click on key words to see a concordance-style list of all instances of that word in context, making the site a valuable resource for those involved in close study of the texts appearing here.
This website gives an introduction to, and text of the Katha Upanishad, an ancient Indian religious text. The site has an introductory essay which explains the context of the text as well as its historical importance. The analysis then goes on to examine the sections of the text in which the inner nature of human beings is discussed by Hindu deities. Much of this section is compared with the writings of other ancient religions, with many links to external pages in which these religions are discussed. Finally the website gives a full translation of the Katha Upanishad along with some suggestions for further reading and references. A useful site, if somewhat simplistic in its textual analysis.
The Mahabharata (i.e. the great [story of the] Bharatas or the the great story of India) is reputedly the longest epic in world literature. The work is concerned with an 18 day war among 18 armies, and is divided into 18 books. This website contains a synopsis of the great epic. Prepared by Larry A. Brown, the resource firstly provides some background information about the Mahabharata and a pronounciation guide of the main characters. The discussion is then divided into three parts. Part One (The Game of Dice) tackles the following themes: Ancestors of the Pandavas and Kauravas; Growing Rivalry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas; Arjuna Wins the Hand of Draupadi; and the Dice Game and the Humiliation of Draupadi. Part Two (Exile) deals with the Importance of Dharma; Preparations for War; and the Thirteenth Year. Part Three (The War) concludes by discussing the following themes: the Bhagavad Gita ('The Lord's Song); The Battle Begins; Drona Takes Command; the Death of Karna; The Death of Duryodhana; and the Aftermath.
This website gives a long list of resources for those studying the Mahabharata. The list starts with links to sites of bibliographies about the text, and to online versions. There are also a number of retellings of the story of the Mahabharata and articles related to it. Some of the resources are annotated briefly by the site's compiler. Most of the links provided take the user to external sites, while others give a direct download of the resource in question. All sites and documents linked to the site are quite authoritative and of academic merit. This site is a very useful list of resources which will be of use to religious and Sanskrit scholars.
This resource is available via the the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) website, and can be downloaded as a zipped file in plain text and PDF format. It is necessary to complete an order from from the AHDS before accessing this resource. The complete Mahabharata-Tatparya-Nirnaya (5003 verses) and the smaller Yamaka-Bharata (80 verses) by the same author on the same topic are included. Using ITRANS, a freeware program running with LaTeX, the raw text files (mbtn.itx) are converted to PostScript, which is then converted to PDF.
This website provides the scholar with a detailed introduction to the Purusha Sukta, one of the Rig Vedas, as well as with a translation and transliteration of the text itself. The introduction gives a detailed analysis of the origins of the Purusha Sukta according to Hindu tradition, and the place of the text in the broader context of Hindu and Vedic mythology. The text itself is offered in transliterated form and in translation verse by verse, with each section being examined and explained before moving on to the next. This creates a very detailed and comprehensive investigation of the work, although some of its narrative coherence is lost as a result.
This interesting website contains the English translation of the Ramayana, one of the most significant literary and oral texts of South Asia. It offers both a brief synopsis and a long version of the text. These are supplemented by commentaries as well as educational materials like moral dilemmas for classroom discussion; images and maps; a brief outline of Hinduism; and a glossary of terms. Also presented is a Bengali scroll which was collected in Calcutta in 1980 which depicted Sita's abduction by Ravana. The site is maintained by the South Asia Center at Syracuse University. It is a useful resource for students and teachers of Indian culture and religion.
This website presents the translation of a selection of verses from the Rig Veda, one of the earliest Sanskrit texts, along with a brief introduction. As there are only thirty verses available here, this is not a great resource for scholars in terms of the original texts available. What is of use, however, is the list of resources at the bottom of the home page. Here are links to sites which contain the full text, others examining other Vedic literature and some which look at the cultural and religious history of India which informs their creation. This site itself is rather weak in its presentation and content, but it is nonetheless useful as a portal to connect to other, more helpful websites.
The website 'Sacred texts: Hinduism' is a resource for scholars of Indian religion, mythology and language. The site, which is a part of a larger collection on religious texts from around the world. This section gives a large number of sacred Hindu texts, both in translation and in some cases in Sanskrit using Devangari script. The works provided on the site include the Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, a selection of epics, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Bhagavad Gita and Vedanta as well as a collection of later texts and modern books. The works are all well annotated and referenced. In the listing of the texts on the site there is also a commentary on the place of the original work in the broader context of the Hindu religion as well as notes about authorship and the period during which the document originated.
The Sanskrit web is a German language site with an English version - the English home page does not work, but the rest of the site does. The website has a collection of texts at its core. These are linked to from the main page (the page after users have selected their language) and are mostly offered in Devangari script. The main page also has links to sections of the site with notes on transliteration schema and fonts to enable the user to read the Devangari script, along with technical manuals about their use. The main texts on the site are the Rigveda, the Yajurveda and the Samaveda, although a further section takes you to a page giving access to a number of shorter documents.
This is an extensive online resource supporting those studying the classic Sanskrit texts. The website offers a large collection of Sanskrit texts, transliterated, as well as a sample of the same texts as audio files. There are also sections containing information about publications analysing the corpus of classic Sanskrit literature, some of which are also offered for purchase as audio books, with free samples available from the site, .pdf versions of articles about the texts and links to sites which offer further background information, alternative translations and supporting literature. The site would benefit from some design input, but is nevertheless a useful portal for Sanskrit scholars, the audio pages being of particular interest.
Tantric literature is associated with the Indian sub-continent. It is a broad collection of works within the Hindu spiritual tradition, dating back to the tenth century. The Hindu Tantrik home page makes available many of the less well-known texts in English translation together with a gateway to other related resources. The following types of texts are available: Tantrik ritual; nathas and yoga; Tantrik devis and devas; kalikula and shrikula; and Sanskrit texts (delivered as Adobe PDF files). The site also provides a lengthy glossary of terms and an annotated bibliography.
The website 'somadevah' is a repository for a large college of Sanskrit texts. The home page of the site carries almost no information at all, and certainly nothing about the collection of texts that the website contains. Clicking on the heading 'etexts' takes the user to a list of available works - all of which are provided in transliterated Sanskrit form without any commentary, and with only the most occasional footnote. A separate page gives a list of useful software with links to download pages, while a third section 'research', links directly to the site author's blog, which contains a number of musings on Sanskrit texts and has links to many other Sanskritist websites. A useful site, but one exclusively for the specialist - beginners and casual observers will find almost all of this website inaccessible.
The website 'stories of Krishna' allows users to explore a selection of the paintings featured in the exhibition 'Painted visions from India and Pakistan, past and present' in the 'past exhibitions' section of the website of the Seattle art museum. The exhibition comprises copies of nine paintings alongside which are presented an audio commentary of the story of Krishna and a transcript of the text of this story. Users can navigate to points in the exhibition by clicking on thumbnails of the images at the top of each page. On each page there are icons over the images which link to a pop-up description of the roles of the characters depicted. The music on the home page, as well as some of the audio features on subsequent pages, are a bit superfluous to the story, but this is an excellent representation of a museum exhibition which has quite rightly been recognised with awards. Well worth a visit.
The TITUS (Thesaurus Indogermanischer Text- und Sprachmaterialien) project Web page is a multilingual online text retrieval system for Indo-European languages. The project started in 1987 with the creation of a digital collection in ancient Indo-European languages. The site contains texts in the following language families: Vedic; Sanskrit; Middle and Modern Indic; Old, middle, and modern Iranian; Anatolian; Tocharian; Armenian; Baltic; Slavic; Germanic; Greek; Italic; Celtic; Caucasian; Uralic; Proto-Cretan; Semitic; and Dravidic. Some material needs special software which is freely available from the site. The site also makes available: teaching material, such as detailed language maps and audio materials; news related to the area of study; the FAQ section; information about jobs in this area of research; an events diary; links to external related projects and institutions; Indo-European courses, mainly in Germany and in Austria; and a bibliography. Technical information, such as Unicode documentation and relevant software, is also available from the site. A number of the texts may be of interest to scholars of religion, including a selection of Buddhist and Hindu works, Avestan (Zoroastrian) texts, and multiple Bible versions, including the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament.) The user should note that the site uses split frames, which can sometimes complicate its navigation.
This site, part of the Internet Sacred Text Archive, is a copy of the text of twelve Upanishads translated by Max Muller. The texts are presented in two parts. The first part puts the texts in their historical and religious context, with comments on broader Vedic literature. There are also notes on transliteration. There then follow translations of five Upanishads. The second part of the translation, after a brief introduction, gives another seven translated texts. All of the texts translated are given with extensive footnotes and commentary. The site is very straightforward and easy to use and gives an important translation of one of the key Hindu religious texts.
The Virtual e-Text Archive of Indic Texts was created by Dominik Wujastyk (University College of London) in response to the absence of a comprehensive gateway for primary resources in Sanskrit and other classical languages from the Indian sub-continent. Part of the Indology website, the resource consists of a lightly annotated list of links to texts, including both versions in the original languages and translations, plus the site's own archive of Indological texts, offered as zip files for download. While users should explore the site for themselves in order to appreciate the breadth of available resources, a few of the highlights include copies of the Bhagavadgita, Rig Veda, and the Pali Canon. In addition to those from India, there are links to a limited selection of off-site Tamil and Tibetan texts.