Pronunciation and Phonetics

Learning proper pronunciation can be done without much knowledge of phonetics, actually. A basic knowledge, however, helps to make pronunciation clearer and thus facilitates the process of learning how to speak a foreign language properly.

eAmbalam introduces a phonetic chart which is based on Dhevanagari script. The sounds of vowels and consonants and other speech sounds in Sanskrit and the languages which have completely or mostly borrowed from it can be covered with the help of the chart. A few other sounds common to some languages in this group and outside are also put in. Unique sounds of some languages are specified too.

Diacritical marks are used to aid perfect pronunciation. World over, these marks have been created and propagated by scholars to make understanding of the differences in speech sounds in different languages better. Team eAmbalam also has created a phonetic chart which helps even first timers to pronounce words accurately.

Our Phonetic chart is unique, comprehensive, learner friendly and is divided into four columns wherein:
  • In the first column, the letter is written with the associated diacritical mark.
  • In the second column, an example is given in Dhevanagari language containing the letter.
  • In the third column, an example is given in English, which contains the sound closes to the letter or instructions in few cases, to facilitate better understanding.
  • In the fourth column, an audio button is placed with the help of which you can hear the actual pronunciation of the letter.
An open minded approach with the above introduction and guidelines will definitely enable the user to understand the speech sounds of any language and pronounce it like a native, which is eAmbalam’s aim in this exercise.

Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
A or a Aḍavu Arise
Ā or ā Ānanda Vast
I or i Indhira Sing
Ī or ī Īśha Meal
U or u U ṣhā Good
Ū or ū Ū rdhhva Boost
R or r Riṣh i Try
Ṛ or ṛ Ni ṛ uti Grr!
Lr or lr   Pronounce L and R together.
E or e Eka Ate
AI or ai Aikya Sight
O or o Ojas Robe
AU or au Audh ā rya Now
A M or am Śhiva m Drum
A HA or aha R ā ma ha Aha!
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English

Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
KA or ka Kavi Car
KHA or kha Khalu Mark -Him
GA or ga Gamana Gut
GHA or gha Ghata Ugh!
Ṅ A or ṅa Tura ṅ ga Ring
CHA or ca Chakra Chart
CHHA or cha Chhandas Branch
JA or ja Jagath Jug
JHA or jha Jhallari Fudge
NYA or nya Gnyana Knew
Ṭ A or ṭ Ṭ anka Top
ṬHA or ṭha Pāṭha Pothole
ḌA or da Ḍ amaruka Dog
Ḍ HA or ḍ ha Mūḍ ha Madhouse
Ṇ A or ṇ a Ga ṇ a Wander
THA or tha Thanu Health
THHA or thha Athha Theater
DHA or dha Dha śha This
DHHA or dhha Dhhana m Dha with an additional H sound
NA or na Namask ā raha Nut
PA or pa   Path ā ka Past
PHA or pha Phala m P with a H sound
BA or ba Bandhhu Ball
BHA or bha Bhadra Abhor
MA or ma Manas Money
YA or ya Yama Yummy
RA or ra Rajas Rub
LA or la Lath ā Lust
VA or WA, va /wa A śh va or A śhwa Water/Valour
ŚHA or śha Śhakthi Shutter
ṢHA or ṣ ha Ṣh a ṇ mukha Shunt
SA or sa Sarasvatī Sun
HA or ha Hari Hum
Ḷ A or ḷ a Ar āḷ a Bold
KṢHA or k ṣ ha Ak ṣh i Try to pronounce Ka, Sa & Ha – all at one time.
Extra Vowels in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada & Malayalam Scripts    
É or é Éṇi Angel
Ō or ō Ō m Ō M
ZHA Exclusive to Tamil & Malayalam Fold the tip of your tongue backwards and try to pronounce it with the aid of the audio button.
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English

Suthra 3

Sūthra 3: Thadha Dhraṣṭuh Svarūpe Avasthānan  

1. The 3rd Sūthra is called the ‘Phala Sūthra’ or the benefit Sūthra. Per ‘Yoga Rahasya’ by Nādhamuni there are four-fold benefits :
  • ‘Chittha sthairya’ or stability of the mind.
  • ‘Vimukthi’ or liberation
  • ‘Dhīrga āyuṣh’ or long life
  • ‘Bhakthi bhāvanā’ meaning attitude of Bhakthi
2. Per the book ‘Yogavalli’, there are 3 benefits
  • ‘Na rogam’ or being disease free
  • ‘Na agnyāna’ meaning to be free of ignorance
  • ‘Na bhayam’ or having no fear
3. Key benefit of yoga is the vision of the ‘self’ or the understanding of the ‘self’. The 3rd Sūthra implies that with yoga, a vision of the self is revealed in all its glory. Avasthānam means that which is present in all its glory.  

4. When one commences the practice of yoga, the mind realizes that its perception of the object world is colored as illustrated below: Gradually, the mind realizes that certain goals are not worth pursuing or that they are not good for the self. It sheds certain interests and the colours in perceiving the object world begin to disappear. The Dhruṣhṭa then decides the direction of one’s activities rather than being led by the senses. Decisions come from within rather than from the social scene. The senses come under the direction of the Dhruṣhṭa rather than the object world.  

The changed situation is illustrated below:
5.Further into yoga practice, the colored glass through which one perceived the object world turns into plain glass allowing one to perceive the object world without color or distortion. Eventually, the plain glass turns into a mirror that reflects the Dhruṣhṭa. It also acts as a plain glass when the self has to interact with the object world. The ultimate state of course is when the mind sees only the Dhruṣhṭa. That is when one can say Thada Dhraṣṭuh Svarūpe Avasthānam. The situation is illustrated below:  

6. Yoga helps the mind to understand what one is trying to do and eventually see one’s inner core or the ‘svarūpam’. (Sva means self and rūpam is form). When not in a state of nirodhha, what one perceives is the Sārūpam i.e. the form as reckoned by the senses. There are as many Sārūpams as there are people but there is only one Svarūpam.  

The intention of Yoga is to turn Sārūpam into Svarūpam!


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