Let us become nobler

Sanskrit word 'Arya' or 'Aryam' stands for nobility. Let us implore everyone to become noble, the Arya or Aryam. Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Jews, communists or capitalists, rich or poor, clever or dumb, weak, meek or bully. Uncomfortable perhaps are they with other, threatening peace. Ray of hope for the world is ‘include-all’ ideas of ancient Indian wisdom popularly known as Hinduism. Only they knew how to celebrate individuality of each person. Aryas respect ideas of others, respect way of worship of others, help others and become a noble citizen of this wide and varied world. Idea behind this blog is to bring out those ideas and help each of us become better than what we are. 'N' in the 'Aryan', by the way, was a mistake made by colonial 'experts' who wanted to underplay and undermine the culture and religion of those who they clandestinely enslaved.





Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"VARNA-MALA" Sequencing of Alphabets in Sanskrit and rest of the South Asian Languages. A logical sequence


European Alphabets, traditionally follow sequence from A to Z. Similarly, in Indian languages, it is from to ज्ञ. However the main difference being presence of logical sequencing of order. Indian अक्षर sequenced in a logical, speech-pattern order. This manner of arrangement of Indian ‘Akshar’ (अक्षर) is known as ‘Varna-Mala’ (वर्णमाला).

Sanskrit ‘varna-maala’ is shown below. The first line represents vowels and rest of the lines, consonants.

Indian alphabets are not sequenced arbitrarily but are grouped together based on the science of speech. Consonants are grouped in according to the usage and position of the tongue during their pronunciation. Those ‘Akshars’ that need touching the tongue to teeth are all grouped together and so also those where tongue touches palate and so on, again these are divided on the basis of how much air is required for speaking. In sequence, these categories are: velar, palatal, retroflex, dental, labial, sonorant and fricative. Among the first five groups, the ordering starts with the unaspirated voiceless, then goes on through aspirated voiceless, unaspirated voiced, and aspirated voiced, ending with the Nasal.

(Following 2 tables reproduced from Wikipedia)

Voiced
Aspirated
Unaspirated
Aspirated
ka
kha
kʰə
ga
ɡə
gha
ɡʱə
ṅa
ŋə
cha
tʃə
chha
tʃʰə
ja
dʒə
jha
dʒʱə
ña
ɲə
ya
śha
ʃə
ṭa
ʈə
ṭha
ʈʰə
ḍa
ɖə
ḍha
ɖʱə
ṇa
ɳə
ra
ɾə
ṣa
ta
t̪ə
tha
t̪ʰə
da
d̪ə
dha
d̪ʱə
na
la
sa
pa
pha
pʰə
ba
bha
bʱə
ma
va
ʋə

 

ha
ɦə
Retroflex
ḷa
ɭə
ક્ષ
kṣa
kʃə
જ્ઞ
jña
ɡnə

 

Another unique aspect of mother-language, Sanskrit is that, its every ‘akshar’ and every joined or ‘combo’ ‘akshar’ has a meaning and can be assembled together to make new words. As an example ‘akshar’ ’ means ‘Birth’ and ‘’ means ‘Donate’. (You will see parallel between जन्म (janma) and ‘genesis’, जनन्  (Janan) and ‘genatics’, दानम् (danam) to ‘donation’)

Above table translated into Gujarati:

સ્પર્શ
અનુનાસિક
અંત:સ્થ
ઉષ્માન્
અઘોષ
ઘોષ
અલ્પપ્રાણ
મહાપ્રાણ
અલ્પપ્રાણ
મહાપ્રાણ
કંઠ્ય
khə
ɡə
ɡɦə
ŋə
તાલવ્ય
tʃə
hə
dʒə
ɦə
ɲə
ʃə
મૂર્ધન્ય
ʈə
ʈhə
ɖə
ɖɦə
ɳə
ɾə
દંત્ય
t̪ə
hə
d̪ə
ɦə
ઓષ્ઠ્ય
phə
bɦə
ʋə

 

કંઠસ્થાનીય
ha
ɦə
મૂર્ધન્ય
ɭə
ક્ષ
kʃə
જ્ઞ
jña
ɡnə

Sanskrit and other Indian languages have another unique characteristic. They have several synonym words for the same entity but rarely interchangeable by other as each word conveys specific context or attribute.

Moon, चंद्र, शशांक, ईन्दु, etc.

Water, जल, पानी, निर, etc.

Sun, आदित्य, भास्कर, रवि, सुर्य, etc.

Sanskrit is an ancient language. World’s first known literary records (Rig-Veda) were written in that language. Over period of several millennia, a lot of rich literature is produced in Sanskrit language. Literature includes epics such as Mahabharata and Ramayana, Vedas and Upanishads, Raghuvansh, Harivansh, Shakuntal, Meghdoot, and thousands of other volumes were created by legendary authors such as Vyas, Valmiki, Kalidas, Harsh Vardhan, etc.

Do not be surprised when you look up Merriam Webster Dictionary, at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanskrit?show=0&t=1394686779  and it shows, etymology of the word ‘Sanskrit’ as “saṁskṛta, literally, perfected, from sam together + karoti he makes”. (you will see parallel between ‘sam’ and English words ‘sum’ and  ‘krita’ with ‘create’). Sams and Krita words together means ‘Created Perfectly’.  And, truly so, this language leaves us wondering at its extent of perfection. 
What does 'Asanskrit' mean? It is an adjective and literally, it means 'devoid of Sanskrit' but is applied in Sanskrit and Indian languages, to actually mean, 'uncivilized', 'uncultured', 'raw or underdeveloped human'