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Handbook for

The Online Audio Course



Part One: Learning to Read Sanskrit



By

Carol Whitfield, Ph.D
1
Table of Contents



The Sanskrit Alphabet 2

Guide to Pronunciation 3

Vowel and Consonant Recognition 4

Vowel and Consonant Recognition with Transliteration 5

Vowels Following Consonants 6

Examples of Vowels Following Consonants 7

Consonant-Vowel Recognition 8

Exercise 1 Vowels Following Consonants

Exercise 2 Consonant Vowel Recognition

Words without ConjunctsReading Practice 9

Conjunct Consonants 10-11

Vedanta Vocabulary List 1Reading Practice 12

Vedanta Vocabulary List 1 with Transliteration 13-14


2
The Sanskrit Alphabet


Simple Vowels
H Hl 7 7 + +
a i u
Dipthongs
9 9 Hl Hl H H-
e ai o au a a


Mutes
1
-V-A*
2
-V+A
3
+V-A
4
+V+A

Nasals
Semi-
Vowels

Sibilants

Gutterals
T
ka
G
kha

ga

gha
=


(
ha

Palatals

ca
7
cha
=
ja
H
jha

a
4
ya
H
a

Linguals

a

ha
7
a
7
ha
T
a

ra
9
a

Dentals
6
ta

tha
(
da

dha
+
na

la
B
sa

Labials
9
pa
T
pha
4
ba

bha
P
ma
4
va


* -V = unvoiced or hard consonant +V = voiced or soft consonant
-A = unaspirated +A = aspirated

3
Guide to Pronunciation



H H H H a o in son
Hl Hl Hl Hl a in ma
i i in if
e in me
7 7 7 7 u u in suit
7 7 7 7 oo in boot
+ ++ + ri in rig
+ + + + extend ri in rig

9 9 9 9 e a in gay
9 9 9 9 ai y in my
Hl Hl Hl Hl o o in okay
Hl Hl Hl Hl au ow in now
T TT T ka c in come
G G G G kha ckh in blockhead
ga g in give
gha gh in loghut
= = = = a n in song
ca ch in chum
7 7 7 7 cha ch in chuck
= = = = ja j in jim
H H H H jha j in job
a n in bunch


a t in start
ha th in ant-hill
7 7 7 7 a d in day
7 7 7 7 ha dh in god-head
T T T T a n in under
6 66 6 ta t in time
tha t in tank
( ( ( ( da d in did
dha dh in dharma
+ + + + na n in never
9 9 9 9 pa p in pine
T T T T pha ph in loop-hole
4 4 4 4 ba b in big
bha b in boat
P P P P ma m in much
4 44 4 ya y in young
ra r in drum
la l in luck
4 4 4 4 va v in vice
H H H H a sh in shine
9 9 9 9 a sh in bushel
B B B B sa s in save
( (( ( ha h in hum


4
Vowel and Consonant Recognition

Please practice these vowel and consonant symbols with and without the audio
support until you are able to easily read them.


Vowels
9 Hl Hl + H 7 Hl
7 + 9 H Hl 9
Hl 9 7 Hl + 7
Hl + 7 Hl 9 Hl
H 9 Hl 7 Hl 7

Consonants
= 7 ( T (
6 B 9 G P
H 4 4 9 7 T H
= T 7 7 T G 7
( P 9 6 = (
4 = T 4
+ 4 4 T 9 +
H 7 H = B
+ 9 B

5
Vowel and Consonant Recognition with Transliteration

Please practice these vowel and consonant symbols with and without the audio
support until you are able to easily read them.


Vowels
9 e Hl o Hl i + H a 7 Hl au
7 u + 9 ai H a i Hl o 9 e
Hl 9 ai 7 u Hl au + 7
Hl o i + 7 Hl 9 ai Hl au i
H a 9 e Hl au 7 u Hl 7


Consonants
ga bha = ja ha 7 cha ( da T pha ( ha
6 ta gha B sa ra 9 a G kha P ma
H a 4 ba dha 4 va 9 pa 7 ha T ka H jha
la = a T pha 7 a 7 cha T a G kha 7 ha
( da P ma ha 9 a tha 6 ta = ja H ha
4 ba = ja bha T a ca a dha 4 va
+ na 4 va la tha 4 va T ka 9 pa + na
H jha 7 a H a = ja ra B sa a ca
a + na 9 pa ga B sa la ra gha



6
Vowels Following Consonants


When a word begins with a vowel and does not follow a consonant in a sentence
or compound, the vowel keeps its primary form:
Simple vowels: H Hl 7 7 + +
Diphthongs: 9 9 Hl Hl

But, if the vowel directly follows a consonant, it changes to a secondary form.
The table below shows the primary vowel form followed by its secondary form
and in parenthesis an example of the secondary form added to the consonant T

H * (T) Hl l (Tl) | (|T) l (Tl)



7 (T) 7 (T) + (T)
+ (T ) **

9 (T)
9 (T) Hl l (Tl) Hl l (Tl)




* If a consonant is not followed by any other vowel, the vowel H is assumed
unless the consonant has a virma, a diagonal line ( ), below the consonant.
For example T
+
H
=
T .

** The vowel is rarely used, and is shown here attached to the letter T as the
font I am using does not have this vowel form available in its unattached
secondary form.


7
Examples of Vowels Following Consonants


H T G = 7 = H 7 7 T 6 ( + 9 T 4 P 4 4 H 9 B (
Hl l Tl Gl l l =l l 7l =l Hl l l l 7l 7l Tl 6l l (l l +l 9l Tl 4l l Pl 4l l
l 4l Hl 9l Bl (l
| |T |G | | |= | |7 |= |H | | | |7 |7 |T |6 | |( | |+ |9 |T |4 | |P |4 | |
|4 |H |9 |B |(
l Tl Gl l l =l l 7l =l Hl l l l 7l 7l Tl 6l l (l l +l 9l Tl Pl 4l l l 4l
Hl 9l Bl (l
7 T G = 7 = H 7 7 T 6 + 9 T 4 P 4 6* 4 H 9 B
*Notice the placement of the 7 in 6
7 T G = 7 = H 7 7 T 6 + 9 T 4 P 4 -* 4 H 9 B [
*Notice the placement of the 7 in -
+ T G = 7 = H 7 7 T 6 * T 9 T 4 P 4 4 H 9 B
*Notice that ( when followed by + takes a modified form:
+ T G = 7 = H 7 7 T 6 ( + 9 T 4 P 4 4 H 9 B (

9 T G = 7 = H 7 7 T 6 ( + 9 T 4 P 4 4 H 9 B (

9 T G = 7 = H 7 7 T 6 ( + 9 T 4 P 4 4 H 9 B (

Hl l Tl Gl l l =l l 7l =l Hl l l l 7l 7l Tl 6l l (l l +l 9l Tl 4l l Pl 4l l
l 4l Hl 9l Bl (l
Hl l Tl Gl l l =l l 7l =l Hl l l l 7l 7l Tl 6l l (l l +l 9l Tl 4l l Pl 4l l
l 4l Hl 9l Bl (l



8
Consonant-Vowel Recognition


Exercise 1 Vowels Following Consonants
T Tl |T Tl T T T T T T Tl Tl
l | l l l
l | l l l
6 6l |6 6l 6 6 6 6 6 6 6l l
9 9l |9 9l 9 9 9 9 9 9 9l 9l


Exercise 2 Consonant Vowel Recognition
(l l H Tl 6l + B l
H P Hl 7l l 9l 6l
Tl |( P l (l =l (
G +l T Bl l =l Hl
|B (l 7l Tl =l 7l
l =l 4 9l l +l Hl
l Pl ( l (l | H
l 7 = H l |H |4 B
=l |= T 6l l 9 9l
l 7 l [ |4 (
Tl = 7 |+ 4 l B
9
Reading Practice

Simple Words without Conjunct Consonants
+P-
salutations

and
|(
indeed
+
not
Bl
she
6
they
4l
or
6
but
H|9
also
|TP
what
966
this
66
that
4l
just as
6l
similarly
4
like
6
if
P9l
falsely
94
indeed
6l+
them
66-
therefore
6+
by that
4+
by which
9+
again
4
many
44P
we
9P
other
T
how
HB-
breath
4l(-
talking
6
gone
|T
what
Hl(
said
=l
old age
-
pot
+
wealth
((-
body
=l4-
soul
BG
pleasure
HlT-
sorrow
Pl(-
delusion
l-
brave
lPl+
wise
HB6
nonexistence
B6
existence
Hl6
cool
7(TP
water
=6
world
Pl4l
maya
4(
Veda
l4-
being
Hl4-
nonexistence
HlP
dispostion
9lT-
ancient
HlTlH-
space
|4Tl-
modification
|4l-
oppositon
4l+
Bhagavan
TlT
cause
4+l|+
speech
|494-
object
HP6P
immortal
H94-
diminution
794-
increase
|49l(P
dejection
|44T-
viveka
79l|-
conditioning
adjunct
|+-9T
ascertaining
H444-
limb
|4+lH-
destruction
6l|+
beings
HlP
body
(++P
killing


Note: The primary purpose of the exercise is to become familiar with the script,
not to learn vocabulary. I have given the basic definitions of these words so that
you dont have to repeat meaningless sounds.
10
Conjunct Consonants

When two consonants come together without an intervening vowel they are
called conjunct consonants. These are formed in different ways, depending on
the structure of the consonant. Often, the vertical line of the first consonant can
be removed and the remaining part of the consonant conjoined to the latter, so
they become adjacent to each other. In some instances, there is not an easily
removable vertical and the consonants will stack on top of each other. In almost
all cases, if you know the full form of the individual consonants well, you will be
able to recognize them in their conjoined form. The exceptions are listed below
as unusual forms and simply need to be memorized.

Adjacent T G = H H T 6 + B 9 4 P 4
1P = T P
14 = T 4
4 = G 4
=
4 = 4
=

7 = 7
= = = =
'T = T T
t9 = 6 9
tP = 6 P
tF4 = 6 B 4

-6 = + 6
\4 = 4
\P = P
-4 = 9 4
4 = 4
- = 4
- = 4
-4 = 4 4
FT = B T
F6 = B 6


Stacking ( = 7 7 7 (
= = T
q = =
& = (
= (

= ( 4
=
7 =9
7 = 9
U = 9
7 = 9 4





11
Unusual Forms
P = P
4 = 4
6 = 6
4 = T
=
9 = 9
= 6
U = B
7 =9

F9 = B 9
t9 = 6 9
= 4
= 4
7 = 7 4
= T T
= T 6
= 6 6
-4 = 6 4

= ( (
= ( 4
& = (
= (
T = ( P
H = ( 4
= ( 4 4
D = ( 4
==

= H
+ = H +
7P = H P
~ = H
= ( T
@ = ( +
O = ( P
G = ( 4
= T 9


Examples of Unusual Forms
TP T6l lP 6 4 |
ll Pl P| l+P 6x4 4|&
9T |4Hl ~&l 9+ O+ (|
12
Vedanta Vocabulary List 1

These words are commonly used in Vedantic texts. This exercise is meant to
familarize you with the these terms in Sanskrit. The list below it includes the
transliteration.

O+ HltPl =l4- =6 H- Pl4l
B6 |6 Hl+-(- Bt4P l+P H+-6P
4(l-6- 79|+9( 9PlTP 9TTP Pl- 4-+P
|4Hl H|4Hl l+P Hl+P l|++ BBl|+
9Pl 9t4 9l H9l 4|- 4|&-
F BP TlTP HlP ((- 79l|-
TP+ HTP+ TP4l- B-4lB- B-4l|B+ PP-
H|Tl|+ |44T- 4l4P HPl|(9TP PPt4P P+B
HP- (P- 79|6- |6|6l BPll+P ~&l
BBl|+ H|Tl|+ |44|T+ PP- l|++ B-4l|B+
H\4lB- H\4ll9- H94l(- Hll9- 4F6 H4F6
T6t4P lt4P B|Gt4P -|Gt4P =- B9-
Pl4l 9T|6- Bx4 =B 6PB T-
6l|+ 9|4l Hl9- H|P- 4l4- HlTlH-
H-(- F9H- -9P B- -- 6-4P
~l- t4T - |=l lTP |-4l|T
4lT 9l|T- 9l(- 9l4- 79Fl- F4-9-
13

Vedanta Vocabulary List 1 with Transliteration

O+
brahman
HltPl
tm
=l4-
jva
=6
jagat
H-
vara
Pl4l
my
B6
sat
|6
cit
Hl+-(-
nanda
Bt4P
satyam
l+P
jnam
H+-6P
anantam
4(l-6-
vednta
79|+9(
upaniad
9PlTP
pramam
9TTP
prakaraam
Pl-
moka
4-+P
bandhana
|4Hl
vidy
H|4Hl
avidy
l+P
jnam
Hl+P
ajnam
l|++
jnin
BBl|+
sasrin
9Pl
pram
9t4
pratyaka
9l
paroka
H9l
aparoka
4| -
vtti
4|&-
buddhi
F
sthla
BP
skma
TlTP
kraam
HlP
arram
((-
deha
79l|-
updhi
TP+
karman
HTP+
akarman
TP4l-
karmayoga
B-4lB-
sannysa
B-4l|B+
sannysin
PP-
mumuku
H|Tl|+
adhikrin
|44T-
viveka
4l4P
vairgyam
HPl|(9TP
amdiakam
PPt4P
mumukutvam
P+B
manas
HP-
ama
(P-
dama
79|6-
uparati
|6|6l
titik
BPll+P
samdhnam
~&l
raddh
BBl|+
sasrin
H|Tl|+
adhikrin
|44|T+
vivekin
PP-
mumuku
l|++
j nin
B-4l|B+
sannysin
H\4lB-
adhysa
H\4ll9-
adhyropa
H94l(-
apavda
Hll9-
ropa
4F6
vastu
H4F6
avastu

14

T6t4P
karttvam
lt4P
bhokttvam
B|Gt4P
sukhitvam
-|Gt4P
dukhitvam
=-
rajju
B9-
sarpa
Pl4l
my
9T|6-
prakti
Bx4
sattva
=B
rajas
6PB
tamas
T-
gua
6l|+
bhtni
9|4l
pthiv
Hl9-
pa
H|P-
agni
4l4-
vyu
HlTlH-
ka
H-(-
abda
F9H-
spara
-9P
rpam
B-
rasa
--
gandha
6-4P
caitanyam
~l-
rotra
t4T
tvak
-
caku
|=l
jihv
lTP
ghram
|-4l|+
indriyni
4lT
vk
9l|T-
pi
9l(-
pda
9l4-
pyu
79Fl-
upasth
F4-9-
svarpa