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Season 6 - Episode 12

Rounded Bottom & Tails

20 min - Tutorial


Anuradha continues to explore combining consonants: na, cha, ta, tha, da, dha. Together we sound the consonants and write words in the devanagari script and transliteration.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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Feb 19, 2016
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Namaste, hope you've been really enjoying combining consonants with other consonants and seeing what they look like. This series is one that I find quite funny and it's quite unique in the way it comes along with its neighbor. It's not ready to give up anything of its own and it's quite happy to accommodate its neighbor with it completely. So this group I like to call it is the one with a rounded bottom. As you can see each of them has a nice rounded bottom.

They all have one point touch but they've not been included in the first section because of this peculiarity. Now one other thing I must tell you is that it can be a fun exercise to combine these different letters with each other to practice writing. But there are many combinations that one would hardly ever find in the phonetics of the language as it is normally presented. So you can practice doing them but what is important is when you see them in print anywhere you should be able to recognize the letters independently as well. So here we go.

When any of these letters combines with another one, like I mentioned, they don't like to sacrifice anything of themselves and they're very happy to accommodate the other letter along with them. The maximum they do is they're happy to shrink in size. Alright so you'll understand what I'm saying. We'll take the letter n. So this is the guttural nasal sound which is the n.

This is the palatal ch. These four of them in fact belong to the cerebral group because of the dot below them. So we have the t, t, d, d, and when we combine the n with a sound like the g, Patanjali again comes to our rescue. He has the word ashtanga yoga, so ashtanga, you have half the n and then the g. So this is what they would do.

They keep their full shape, they're ready to shrink a bit in size and they accommodate the other letter below them. So let's write the word ashtanga yoga. Take your pen and pencil and write along with me if you can. So we have a, sh, t, we have the half sh that combines with the t make that into an a, ashtanga. So we put in the n and we add the g below it, ashtanga.

And then the word yoga that you would be an expert by now in writing is like that, ashtanga yoga. Make sure that the head of the antenna touches the point beside it. All right, ashtanga yoga. And now let's see what the transliteration looks like. So we have the n, just the half nasal plus the g which would give us the n, g.

And when it comes in the word, it becomes the ashtanga yoga. This one thing that I really would appreciate if you could do is that as you are writing the sound, make sure that you are also pronouncing the sound. So ashtanga yoga or any word as you write it ashtanga yoga. Our brain is a very strange place. But one thing they know for sure is that the more information you give it for one or rather the more connections that you make for any piece of information that it receives, the stronger it sticks in our system.

So when you see it, you say it and you know what it feels like, you can be sure that that particular combination or that word will stick forever in your mind. All right, so see if you can remember this ashtanga yoga. And that is how most of these letters would accommodate their neighbor below them. Then in this particular letter, which is the the, it has a one point touch. It has a rounded bottom, but an added characteristic is that it has a tail.

This is the only letter in the entire series that has a tail along with it like that. This is the dental the and now let us see how this combines with the others. It's a funny thing what it does. Like the ones of the rounded bottom, it keeps its own shape. It accommodates its neighbor and allows its tail to act like the stick of the neighbors.

You'll understand what I'm saying. Let's write it out. So let's take a word like Buddha, the realized one Buddha, putting it together. We have the the and then we have the aspirated of that same letter the plus the and what happens is the keeps its full form. And like you see, it has a stick here.

It allows that particular letter to use that stick that tail as a stick. So that's Buddha to indicate the line on top. So that's just the not yet at the Buddha, that's just the and when we write out the word Buddha Buddha Buddha Buddha Buddha. All right. Now this is a word that one often hears it pronounced in many ways and one of them is Buddha.

Now the beauty of knowing how to write it is that you start seeing how the correctness of pronunciation should be. So this particular sound is not Buddha because that would be written completely differently. This word is Buddha with the dental does Buddha say that close your eyes. Imagine the word as it is and then just pronounce it as you write it mentally in your mind. Buddha you'd almost be realized by now.

Practice it and you will see I might have a point. Let's write out the transliteration of this as well. So we have the half the plus the the aspirated sound which gives us the double and then we move on to the enlightened one bull have the and Buddha fantastic yes okay. The next word that we will also look at which has a similar combination and very important in yoga is the realization a synonym for Buddha is also the word actually means one who has been well cooked one who's ready. So it is one who is realized one who's prepared many connotations.

So do you want to follow me as we write it take your paper and pen and write it along with me we'll write it in transliteration first. So you know the exact sounds that are there and then we convert it to Devanagari here it is see we have the double sound it should be which is a realization. Now let us put this so we have this a short e comes before it see and then we have this combination of the and her. So sometimes you might see it specially written with the round thing there and they do add this line there otherwise there is another letter the girl which can be confused if you have a look at the letter girl which is a simple letter which doesn't have a gap in the middle it doesn't have this gap it's a letter which run the line runs all the way through so if you didn't put that small line there it might be confused for the girl okay so you need to make sure that little line is there Siddhi and I should have prepared for it so you have to put that line in there Siddhi when you write it yourself you can space it out a little more so each letter looks more clear Siddhi the interesting thing about Siddhi is in the yoga sutra as they mentioned that one should not allow oneself to get distracted by them they come as part of the process but don't get distracted what is more important is to be a Buddha rather than a Siddha so we look at another combination of the the but this time we'll combine it with the like we have in the word Bhagavad Gita and we'll see what it looks like so we have the the and then we have the sound girl and this like you can imagine the does complete the girl borrows the tail as its stick and then the word Bhagavad Gita so write along if you can G that's the good then you have to add the long vowel e gee Gita Gita got that we'll write it out in transliteration so we have the the plus girl which gives us the girl Sanskrit has all these important very interesting sound combination girl alright so the girl and then in the word it becomes Bhagavad Gita there we are the Bhagavad Gita say it and write it Bhagavad Gita fantastic we've almost completed the section but we can't be fully done without the exception so here comes the exception to this particular letter alright we have the sound dear so when the the combines with a year for some reason it decides to undergo quite a change not fully but significantly so here it is we have the the plus the year and this would give us it's complicated enough that I can't even differentiate it with two different letters to show you how they've you know how they've combined so I'll just write the whole letter differently so it takes a little stick and then it does that do you think you can recognize either the the or the year maybe this part is like the the and the year is something quite different yeah alright but there is a very important word again that uses this combination which is Vidya knowledge all of our knowledge is based on this combination so I guess I guess that's also the very crux of maybe why this letter undergoes this change because when somebody gets true knowledge then one can't really remain the same it is not about accommodating another it is about becoming another keeping some part of ourselves and yet transforming our own being maybe so here we go V and then we have the dear and ah Vidya and if we have to write it in transliteration we get the plus the year which gives us the the with the ah you would notice what is interesting is that when you're writing it out in Roman script each letter retains its individuality but when it comes to Sanskrit when you're representing it Sanskrit there is a certain connection like we mentioned earlier between the sound and the experience of that sound what that sound sounds like can also be captured in the picture that represents that sound and that's where we see a transformation taking place there alright so we have Vidya there aren't too many words but you would find we would find it in some combination or the other so practice practice the rounded bottoms and the one with the tail enjoy


Kate M
3 people like this.
The stories you create as memory aids are so helpful! (A little memory aid came to me yesterday - for the devanagari "g" - it is like Ganesh's tusks! One is broken, the other is full - just like the shape of the letter!)
Anuradha Choudry
Thank you Kate, for sharing this tip. Will try to incorporate this into my teaching of g next time 😊

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