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To the uninitiated Englishman the chief difficulty lies in the short 'a,' the primary inherent vowel of the Sanskrit, pronounced as in the word 'America.' The English alphabet has no distinct letter for this sound, but uses every one of its vowels in turn, and some even of its double vowels to represent it; so it is the 'a' and 'e' in 'servant,' the 'i' in 'bird,' the 'o' in 'word,' the 'u' in 'curd,' the 'y' in 'myrtle,' and the 'ea' in 'heard.' The Sanskrit short 'a' has this sound invariably, and unaffected by any combination of consonants; so Sanskrit' barn' must be pronounced not as the English 'barn' but as 'burn.' The pronunciation of the other vowels is sufficiently obvious. The vowel 'ri' is represented in italics to distinguish it from the consonants 'r' and 'i.'

Of the consonants, the cerebral letters 't,' 'th,' 'd,' 'dh,' and '?i,'the palatal sibilant 'i,'and the visarga 'h,' are represented in italics. Practically these are the only distinctions necessary. The guttural nasal is used only in combination with a guttural letter ('nk' or 'ng'); the palatal nasal is used only with palatals (' rich ' and 'nj '), and no other nasal can be combined with these letters. The anuswara, and the anuswara only, is used before the sibilants and 'h,' so in ' ns,'' nsh,''ns,' and 'nh,' the nasal is the anuswara. The letter m before a semi-vowel may be represented either by m or anuswara. In all these instances the combinations distinctly indicate the proper nasal, and no discriminative sign is necessary.

Of the pronunciation of the nasals, it is only necessary to notice the anuswara. This, with a sibilant, is a simple n, but before h it is like ng or the French n in Ion; so the Sanskrit Sinha, in the modern derivative tongues, is written and pronounced Singh.

The aspirates are simple aspirations of their respective consonants, and make no other change of their sounds; so 'th' is to be pronounced as in the words 'at home,' and 'ph' as in 'uphill,' never as in 'thine'and in 'physic.' The letter 'g' is always hard as in 'gift.' The palatals are the simple English TRANSLITERATION AND PRONUNCIATION, xix

sounds of ' ch' and 'j ' as in 'church' and 'just' The cerebrals and the dentals are similar letters, but the former are drawn from the roof of the mouth and the latter from the tips of the teeth. In 'train' and 'drain' we have cerebrals; in 'tin' and 'due' we have dentals, or an approach to them. The ordinary English 't' and 'd' are more cerebral than dental, and the natives of India in transcribing English names use the cerebrals for our't' and 'd.' The palatal sibilant 's' has a sound intermediate between's' and 'sh,' resembling the double 'ss' in 'session' The visarga, the final 'h,' has no distinct enunciation, but it is nevertheless a real letter, and changes in certain positions into 's' and 'r.' Thus the namo SunaAsephas is sometimes written Sunassephas.

[In French the palatal ' ch' is represented by 'tell ' and the 'j ' by 'dj.' In German the 'ch' is expressed by 'tech'and the 'j' by 'dsch.' These very awkward combinations have induced Max Miiller and others to use an italic 'k' and 'g' instead of them.]

Some words will be found with varying terminations, as 'Hanumat' and 'Hanuman,' 'Sikhan<ftn' and 'Sikha?«/L' The explanation of this is that Sanskrit nouns have what is called a crude form or stem independent of case termination, and the nominative case very frequently differs from it . So 'Hanumat' and 'Sikhaniiin' are crude forms; 'Hanuman' and ' Sikhan<fi' are their nominative cases. There are other such variations which need not be noticed.

The letters b and v are often interchanged, so words not found under the one letter should be sought for under the other.


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ABHASWARAS. A class of deities, sixty-four in number, of whose nature little is known.

ABHIDHANA A dictionary or vocabulary. There are many such works. One of the oldest of them is the Abhidhana ratna-mala of Halayudha Bhafta (circa 7th cent.), and one of the best is the Abhidhana Chinta-mani of Hema-chandra, a Jaina writer of celebrity (13th cent.). The former has been edited by Aufrecht; the latter by Colebrooke and by Bbhtlingk and Rieu.

ABHIMANL Agni, the eldest son of Brahma. By his wife Swaha he had three sons, Pavaka, Pavamana, and iSuchi . "They had forty-five sons, who, with the original son of Brahma and his three descendants, constitute the forty-nine fires." See Agni .

ABHIMANYU. Son of Arjuna by his wife Su-bhadra, and known by the metronymic Saubhadra. He killed Lakshmana, the son of Dur-yodhana, on the second day of the great battle of the Mahabharata, but on the thirteenth day he himself fell fighting heroically against fearful odds. He was very handsome. His wife was Uttara, daughter of the Raja of Virata. His son, Parlkshit, succeeded to the throne of Hastinapura.

ABHIRA, ABHlRA A cowherd; according to Manu the offspring of a Brahman by a woman of the Ambash/ha or medical tribe . A people located in the north of India along the Indus. There has been a good deal of misapprehension respecting this people. Hindu writers have described them as living in the north and in the west, the quarter varying according to the locality of the writer, and translators have mixed

A. *

2 Abhirama-mant—adhyatima Ramayana.

them up with a neighbouring people, the Sudras, sometimes called Suras, with whom they are generally associated, and have called them Surabhiras. Their modern representatives are the Ahirs, and perhaps there is something more than identity of locality in their association with the .Sudras. It has been suggested that the country or city of the Abhiras is the Ophir of the Bible.

ABHIRAMA-MAAT A drama in seven acts on the history of Rama, written by Sundara Misra in 1599 A.D. "The composition possesses little dramatic interest, although it has some literary merit."—Wilson.

ACHARA 'Rule, custom, usage.' The rules of practice of castes, orders, or religion. There are many books of rules which have this word for the first member of their titles, as Adi&rachandfikd, 'moonlight of customs,' on the customs of the Sudras; AcIidrddarstL, 'looking-glass of customs;' Achdra-dlpa, 'lamp of customs,' &c., &c.

ACHARYA A spiritual teacher or guide. A title of Drona, the teacher of the Panrfavas.

ACHYUTA 'Unfallen ;' a name of Vishnu or Krishna. It has been variously interpreted as signifying "he who does not perish with created things," in the Mahabharata as "he who is not distinct from final emancipation," and in the Skanda Purana as "he who never declines (or varies) from his proper nature."

ADBHUTA-BRAHMAtfA. 'The Brahmana of miracles.' A Brahmana of the Sama-veda which treats of auguries and marvels. It has been published by Weber.

ADHARMA Unrighteousness, vice; personified as a son of Brahma, and called "the destroyer of all beings."

ADHIRATHA A charioteer. The foster-father of Karna, according to some he was king of Anga, and according to others the charioteer of King DhritarasWra; perhaps he was both.

ADHWARYU. A priest whose business it is to recite the prayers of the Yajur-veda.

ADHYATMAX The supreme spirit, the soul of the universe.

ADHYATMA RAMAYAffA A very popular work, which is considered to be a part of the Brahmanrfa Purana. It has been printed in India. See Ramayana.

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