How to Look Up a Sanskrit WordThanks to the labor of Thomas Malten and Jim Funderburk of the University of Cologne, and others, The Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary is online at http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/mwquery/.
Be sure to NOT bother them for technical support. This resource is for students and scholars.
What you will see is something like this:
Examine the settings carefully. You will have to select the ones you want, each time. You can input either a Sanskrit word (in various transliteration schemes), and see the dictionary entry, or do a reverse search by inputting an English word and seeing every Sanskrit word that has it in its definition somewhere.
When entering English words, use the British spelling - for example, colour, instead of color. Took me awhile to figure that out!
You can select the output number, from 5 to 1000. I usually go with 200.
Searching the Sanskrit Dictionary from an iPhone or iPad or other digital device
When I search from my iphone, I set it for 5 or 20. You can tell it to output in Devanagari Unicode or Roman. Be sure to not use capitols when you enter a search term. I have the auto-spelling thing set to automatic, so each time, I have to undo the capital.
I find this most useful as a reverse search. That is, enter an English term and look at all the Sanskrit words that have it as part of their definitions. I am always interested in why, in the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, a specific word was selected to describe something when there are many synonyms. Often, that specific word has little jokes in it, sexual innuendo, puns, or resonance that goes with the verse.
Here is a search for “senses.”
Here is a search for “rasa.”
If you want to type in a Sanskrit word and see what is listed, you can experiment with the Monier-Williams New DIsplay.
Another useful dictionary is the Spoken Sanskrit Dictionary here:
Searching for Usage with Google BooksA wonderful tool for seeing how a Sanskrit word is used in classic Sanskrit literature, and scholarly, academic, Tantric literature, and also popular books, is Google Books, http://books.google.com/. You can type in any of several transliteration schemes - for example Shakti or sakti, and get different results. (unfortunately, in my glossary of the VBT here, both types of spelling are used, my apologies for the confusion.)
Shakti: multidisciplinary perspectives on women's empowerment in India
|books.google.comRanjana Harish, V. Bharathi Harishankar - 2003 - 327 pages - Snippet view|
Shakti Mantras: Tapping Into the Great Goddess Energy Within
|books.google.comThomas Ashley-Farrand - 2003 - 272 pages - Google eBook - Preview|
|books.google.comSir John George Woodroffe - 1951 - 734 pages - Full view|
Sakti: the power in Tantra : a scholarly approach
|books.google.comRajmani Tigunait - 1998 - 220 pages - Preview|
|books.google.comRaj Arumugam - 2006 - Preview|
|books.google.comJohn Hughes, Lakshman - 2007 - 176 pages - Preview|
The doctrine of vibration: an analysis of the doctrines and ... - Page 110
|books.google.comMark S. G. Dyczkowski - 1989 - 297 pages - Preview|
If you click on the above links, you are taken to the current page of that book as it exists online. Google books offers Snippet view, which is just a paragraph, and sometimes a full Preview of the book. If you like the book, you can often but it for $15 to $20 as a Google e-book you can read in a browser. Google gives you a certain amount of viewing for free, but if you read a book online over and over, it will eventually say, “you have reached your viewing limit,” and gently suggest you purchase it.
I find that it is worth it to purchase the book, because that lets me see the whole text. In this way, I’ve bought many books that I have as physical objects, right over there on my shelf. In general, Google Books works flawlessly, and when I but a book, it immediately is available on my computers, on my iPhone, and iPad.
The Kindle Store at amazon.com has some of the classic Sanskrit literature available for free:
The whole Vijnana Bhairava Tantra is less than 2000 words, (although some are long compounds such as śaktisaṃgamasaṃkṣubdhaśaktyāveśāvasānikam or jagdhipānakṛtollāsarasānandavijṛmbhaṇāt.
On this page, I have posted the entire text in two transliterations, one with diacriticals and one without. If you have this page open, and hit Command-F on a Mac, or whatever “search” is in Windows, you can see the occurrence of that word in the text.