After this past month of reading about the South Asian tradition(s), I have come down to this rough list of 36 South Asian Canonical Texts. At this stage, this list is not fully-refined, need to confirm the actual texts, check for balance etc. (I have deliberately excluded Panini, literary theory texts etc. as I intend this to fit into the longer worldwide list eventually). For author's names, specific work / collections of works would need to be made.
Religion / Classics (sruti, sutras) (7): Rg Veda, Samyutta Nikaya, Early Upanisads (need to pick a version / commentarial version, possibly Madhva's), Lotus Sutra, (Umasvati's) Tattvarthasutra, Bhagavata Purana, Adi Granth
History (3): Mahavamsa, Akbarnama, Tarikh-i Firishta
Philosophy (sastra, karika, darsana) (12): Arthasastra, Manava Dharmasastra, Yogasutra, Mulamadhyamakakarika, Asanga, Visuddhimagga, (Sankara's)Brahmasutrabhasya, Udayana, Abhinavagupta, Ramanuja, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi, Shah Wali Allah
Literature (kavya, epics, hymns / songs) (14): Mahabharata, Ramayana, Buddhacarita, Ettuttigai, Kalidasa, (Hala's) Saptasataka, Tamil bhakti hymns (needs to pick one selection), Bana, (Somadeva's) Kathasaritsagara,(Hemacandra's) Trisasthisalakapurusacaritra, (Kaviraja's) Raghavapandaviya, Amir Khusrow, Tukaram, Ghalib
I am hoping this list to have balance sub-genre-wise, by languages / geographic regions, by religions / sub-religious trends, etc.
Some other notes:
- Didn't include Pancatantra - assuming I wouldn't also include Aesop in the western canon - general point is fables as children / teenage literature I deliberately try to exclude - might be a bias here
- On Basham's list (1984, per chronological table), I use Umasvati to represent Mahavira, added a Mahayana sutra, added 3 histories, added 2 specific names for Sufi / Islamic scholars, added Udayana to represent Nyaya / navya-nyaya, added Kaviraja (for a slesa poem with 12 commentaries, clearly should be included), and reduced others kavya authors and other vedantins after Ramanuja.
- I also didn't include folks like Tulsidas whose chief work is a paraphrase of a good old work ... since from a "representativeness" perspectives it would be unbalanced.