Vertical stack of volumes showing details of the book spines Closeup of an interior spread from The History of Akbar, Volume 1 Horizontal stack of volumes showing details of the book spines Closeup of an interior spread from Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women Detail of the series logo, an elephant, on the clothbound book cover Closeup of an interior spread from The Story of Manu

“The shaping of India’s future depends on understanding its past, and the Murty Classical Library of India deserves acclaim for making great works from the past widely available.”
—Amartya Sen

“The Murty Classical Library is uncovering India’s dazzling literary history… It illuminates lost things, brings back to recognition texts that were once crucial.”
—Neel Mukherjee, New Statesman

“We can only welcome an undertaking like the Murty Classical Library of India, which intends to inject fresh blood directly into the circulatory system of the English language… [It] offers a surprising array of texts…capable of broadening the all-too-restricted horizons of the average Western reader.”
—Roberto Calasso, New York Review of Books

Our Mission

To present the greatest literary works of India from the past two millennia to the largest readership in the world is the mission of the Murty Classical Library of India. The series aims to reintroduce these works, a part of world literature’s treasured heritage, to a new generation.

Translated into English by world-class scholars, reflecting the highest standards of contemporary book design, and featuring elegant, newly commissioned typefaces, these volumes are a modern invitation to diverse pre-modern literary worlds in languages such as Bangla, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Pali, Panjabi, Persian, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. The series will provide English translations of classical works alongside the Indic originals in the appropriate regional script. New books will be added to the series annually.

This series is supported by a generous gift from Rohan Narayana Murty, computer scientist and true friend of the Indian classics.

Key Features of Murty Classical Library Books

Photograph of an open page spread from Bulhe Shah’s Sufi Lyrics

The Murty Classical Library is a facing-page translation series. The original Indic text, in the appropriate script, is accompanied by a modern English translation on the opposite page. Marginal numbers indicating line, paragraph, or verse appear on both pages, helping the reader to compare the translation with the original. Readers familiar with the Indic original will appreciate the authoritative annotated text; for those who cannot read the original, the modern English translation is intended to provide as faithful a version as possible. Our translators are world-class scholars who have devoted many years to the study of the Indic originals and are experts in the fields represented by these texts. Their translations are based on their intimate knowledge of the Indic languages, manuscripts, and traditions—literary, political, and religious—in which these texts are embedded.

The series is thus designed to help all readers enhance their appreciation of the original texts and pursue further reading. Additional aids include introductions providing information about the writer and the context and character of the work; annotations elucidating problematic passages both in the original text and the translation; bibliographies offering directions for further exploration; and glossaries listing important epithets and literary conventions.