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decoration before pause
Don't stop in the middle.
"Do not break" lines.
about the letter
badly split lines
"moonfaced" means beautiful
some vedic chanting videos
Hints to learn to pronounce the puff.
There are two sorts of
Sometimes zlokas are chanted as two verses of sixteen syllables each, with no pause in the middle.
Let's listen to two examples.
First, we will listen to the
It is in this video, from 0:03 to 0:15 --
Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu - Vedic Chants - Guru Mantra - Pudukkotai Mahalinga Sastri
Now we'll listen to the first zloka of the
Here it is in the voice of Ishaan Pai --
Vishnu Sahasranamam | Vande Guru Paramparaam | Ishaan Pai
A zloka line has sixteen vowels and a pause at the end, and the vowel before the pause gets a decoration before pause . This "decoration" thing means that the syllables
Next: eight-vowel style .
When chanting verses or sutras, the last letters before a pause are seldom chanted in the same way they are written. Instead, the grammatically correct form of the last vowel is replaced by a "decorated" version, that is always longer.
When chanting, before a pause, --
1. A short vowel is always lengthened.
2. Long vowels too are lengthened.
7. Many people like to lengthen the final
8. Other people will read everything spelled as
These changes are not taught by grammarians. Your chanting teacher teaches you to chant this way.
As different teachers have different opinions, not everybody follows points 1 to 8 above. Those points are a general guide that will come in handy if you listen at chanters in, say, Youtube videos. But when you chant yourself you have to follow the instructions of your teacher, not those eight points.
Example. Listen to this kid chanting
Vishnu Sahasranamam | Vande Guru Paramparaam | Ishaan Pai
The last words of these two verses must be chanted as
Yet, they are invariably written as
Why? Because according to
How do I know that? Because otherwise, we would have a
Nowadays, most zlokas are chanted as four groups of eight vowels each, with a full pause after each group. The last vowel of each group gets a decoration before pause .
Let's listen to the same
In a female voice --
Guru Shloka | Authentic Chant | Lakshya Yoga
in a male voice --
Guru Shloka, meaning with Hindi & English || Karthik athreya
(The second has
IMPORTANT WARNING. Even though the eight-vowel style is the most common way of chanting nowadays, all zlokas are always spelled as common grammar would want us to say them when speaking, and as if we were not going to make a pause in the middle. This causes no end of problems to many people that try to chant while reading aloud from a piece of paper, because they don't knwow how to do the split in the middle.
Example. You will find this in writing --
Reading this aloud as it written, with a visarga at the end, is perfectly grammatical if you don't pause at the middle. You will say it like this --
But if we are chanting in the sixteen-vowel style, then it should be chanted like this, with
And with a pause at the middle, it should be this --
because the last word before the pause is
But, of course, in these days of
For some reason, zlokas are always written as if they were chanted in the sixteen-vowel style , but, in this century, they are nearly always chanted in the eight-vowel style .
These two customs together make a mess for beginners that try to read aloud from a paper.
An example to see why.
(1) The words
according to grammar.
(2) And when chanting, that's actually
(3) But when you don't make a pause in between, they must sound like
Which means that your correctly written zloka line has --
and, if you are a freshman, there is no way that you can know that when you chant that in the eight-vowel style this must sound like --
Splitting the line is very easy for someone that knows enough Sanskrit to understand the words. But for beginners it is nearly impossible. Learning to split reliably will take more than a year.
The solution to the problem is NOT studying grammar for a year. Because, if you are studying Sanskrit, not chanting at all for a year is a bad bad bad idea.
You should NEVER try to chant by read aloud from a paper. That's a real badidea, Indan students never do that.
The traditional, and best way to learn to chant, is getting someone to teach you to chant in chunks of eight. That person will do the splits for you. They chant a pAda, you repeat it twice, teacher fixes your worst mistake, repeat until flawless.
The second best solution is finding a teacher that does thesame, but more than one student repeat in chorus. That does not work so well, but is cheapr.
If you can't afford or can't find such a teacher, the third best solution is listening to a lot of videos of chanting. You can find many in internet. But be careful. You have to listen to CHANTING, not to singing.
obsolete, see Do not break lines.
obsolete, see Do not break lines.
Most [zloka]s can be chanted either in eight-vowel style or in sixteen-vowel style . Yet, some of them can be chanted only in sixteen-vowel style. As an example, line 15a from this page --
Whoever made this line was expecting it to be chanted in sixteen-vowel style only. The first pAda has nine vowels,
So, if we try to chant this in eight-vowel style , we will either break the metre or break the grammar. Possible workarounds --
(A) Chant this line without the pause in the middle. This sometimes works well for the rythm and sometimes does not -- depending on the chanting melody we are using, doing that can be very challenging. It can be done easily if you are using the
(B) To hell with the metre, and keep the grammar. Make the pause right after
This invariably sounds bad, but, as the saying goes,
(C) To hell with the grammar and keep the rythm. Put the pause in the middle of a word --
Pausing at the middle of a compound is considered bad taste. So in cases like --
it can be argued that solution (A) is best.
A zloka, also called
Each verse, or " zloka line", has a caesura between the eight vowel and the ninth. In other words, each verse of 16 vowels is made of two parts with eight vowels each.
Each of these parts is called a pAda "quarter, fourth part".
Example: this is a zloka --
This is a verse --
And these two are pAdas --
Because of an old custom, we must write a stick after the second pAda and two sticks after the fourth.
Please do not use the word "shloka" in English to mean "any sort of Sanskrit stanza". That it not what the word means. I only use the word to mean a specific sort of stanza.
zlokas can be chanted in two styles --
This gadget will allow you to test if anything with sixteen vowels in it is a zloka line or not --
If you see any letter
Earlier, we said that the same verse can be chanted either in sixteen-vowel style as --
or in eight-vowel style as --
Here you have a recording of that verse in eight-vowel style . The last word of the first pAda is pronounced
And this is a recording of the same verse in sixteen-vowel style , with no pause in the middle. Therefore the last word is pronounced
And here is a recording of another style that you will find often in the internet: random style. In this verse, there is a pause between the two halves, but, unlike in the eight-vowel style above, there is no
Doing this is extremely common in internet. Do not do this. If you don't know how to split, don't do your splitting yourself; instead, trust someone that knows.
However, many people, like me, make no distinction at all between the two sounds, and always pronounce
The following spectrogram shows the word
In that image, you can see that the puff of the
This lack of difference explains why in the manuscripts some people spelled
Summarizing: I think you should always pronounce both
aN'' -- the vowels
According to the views of Westermn grammarians, Sanskrit evolved from an older language called PIE, about which you can read about in [WIKIProto-Indo-European_language].
Be that true or not, when I say that some Sanskrit word, like
All I know about PIE I got from etymonline dot com, fantastic website.
Rule svAGgAcco mentions
By analogy, a limb can also be a part of anything nonliving that bears with it that same sort of relationship. Like the branch of a tree or the peak of a mountain.
In English, when we say someone is moonfaced, we mean that their face is round like the full moon, therefore ugly.
In Sanskrit, when we say that someone's face is like the moon (
How to Pronounce jJA in Sanskrit - 'gya' or 'gnya' or 'dnya' or 'jna'
According to the grammar,
kR + loT → kR + mip → kR + tAsmi →
while there is another
kR + tRc m + su →
(2) The object of a doer verb gets second by karmaNidvi, so we say with the verb --
but the object of a tRc-ender gets sixth --
but verbs don't change with gender, so no matter your sex you will say --
In spite of all this, sometimes you will find spellings like
Learning to pronounce the puff is tricky if your native language is Spanish, French, Japanese or any other language that does not use any puff. Yet if it is English or any other language that uses the puff sort of randomly, learning it becomes extremely tricky.
First we need some theory. The consonants that have puff are the SANKRIT consonants
Second, go get a candle, or a cheap lighter (a Zippo won't do).
Third step. Watch this video carefully, that explains how the puff works for native speakers of English --
Speech is really SBEECH! Dr Geoff Lindsey
And now comes the fourth and hardest step. You have to learn to say "pin", at will, with a very strong aspiration, and to say "pin" with a very weak aspiration, or with no aspiration. This is where the candle light helps. A strong aspiration cames out of the mouth and will extinguish a candle flame that is a handspan away, right in front of your mouth, or in front and a little below. A weak aspiration will just make the candle flicker. No aspiration won't have any effect on the flame.
After some practice with the flame, you will become able to say "pin" with more or less air pressure at will. Then you will start to be able to hear how much pressure are other people using, and match it.
Listening to this zloka here is good for practice --
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6 - Verse 31 | Following Sri Sri
this chanter uses high pressure in
You will hear other pros that use more pressure on the
The Nic affix may be added after all roots except the sanAdyanta roots. For instance, if we add it after
There are two sorts of Nic --
(A) The roots made with ( causative Nic) means making others do the action of the original root.
For instance, pac and sthA mean "cook", "stay", and pAci
(B) The ( Nichclass Nic) does not change the meaning. Rule satyApa says that some roots must always get Nic. Inria flags these with .
In the epics, sometimes any root of the other nine classes will take Nic without change of meaning. This sux, but you will find it, so be careful.
The words that contain these two sorts of Nic sound exactly the same, the only difference is in the meaning. That is why you cannot trust inria -- sometimes it will screw up and mark a  with ca or a ca with .
If you look at the first four tenses of the root han in inria conjugation, it appears to be quite messy.
The logic is this. The root han --
and turns into
and therefore only stays as
In the laG, s''' and t''' were lost by halGyA (not by saMyogAnta).
The sanAdyanta roots (such as
However, they cannot get a second sanAdyanta affix.
The only exception to this rule is that a root that ends in Ni can get san added. For instance,
as in --
I don't think I have ever seen one of these Nic + san roots in the wild.
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