Dina Anukampana Das has specialized in teaching perfect Sanskrit Pronunciation using phonetics and what he calls 'Simplified

Romanized Sanskrit'. This document here illustrates the key point in how to pronounce Sanskrit accurately and is especially helpful for English speaking people who love Sanskrit Dina On Sanskrit Pronunciation: ======================= I refer to my Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide which is online at www.srs-tips.on.to I believe that for most people, like myself, it is simply fascinating when we first find out that Sanskrit is so *well designed' by our creator to fit with our heads!! that each sound is precisely defined by the position of our tongue!!! (Sanskrit = sam + krt = samyak + krti = perfectly done/designed) In every aspect, Sanskrit is perfect - for instance, just read this fascinating article http://on.to/sanskrit-nasa-report to see how it is more perfect than any man-made computer language can ever hope to be.... yet man-made computer languages CANNOT BE SPOKEN AND UNDERSTOOD BY MAN!!!!! Yet sanskrit can be spoken and understood by men. It is surely of divine origin! The 25 basic consonants of sanskrt are actually called SPARSHAS. Sparsha means our sense of touch. So instead of tying to hear the sounds (a beginner of any new language CANNOT HEAR what is correct or not - we are deaf to those sounds which lie outside the spectrum of our mother tongue - as proven by Dr Tomatis whose work is being continued at the Language Laboratory in Auroville, near Pondicherry, India. So instead of trying to hear what we cannot hear, simply feel where your tongue makes contact and then try to consciously control that movement. The experience of learning sanskrt pronunciation in the unorthodox way that I teach it is exactly like learning how to drive a car with manual transmission even though we already know how to drive an auto transmission car. (Generally, we all can speak, but the process of how our tongues move, how our ears hear etc is all done unconsciously, involuntarily but learning Sanskrit the kinaesthetic way helps us take control of it very easily and quickly through the simple exercises and special charts that I have developed with the help of an expert in Accelerated Learning and Neuro Linguistic Programming, Peter Ho (Padma Sambhava Das). Sanskrt is REALLY EASY TO PRONOUNCE, especially when we use the simple I.A.S.T. (see wikipedia) Romanized Sanskrit - with just 33 alphabets we can cover the full spectrum of Sanskrit sounds and bypass the need to learn 480+ devanagari characters! The IAST system is ingenious and it is absolutely loss-less and helps beginners **see**the**patterns** in the alphabets very easily. For example, regarding the 3 biggest pronunciation mistakes made by beginners: a) Mixing up short and long letters - we can **SEE** that all the long letters have a line on top of them (except for 'e' and 'o' which are always long - back in 1912 when this system was invented in Athens, it was expensive to make a new font, so since there was no short version, they did not make a new font with a line above it - the Library of Calcutta however has improved on IAST and added lines above long e and long o - this is because most other Indian languages do have short and long versions of e and o, therefore for computer software to process multilingually, the lines have to be added in. I have introduced a system

I call Simplified Romanized Sanskrit, where we teach students to not only put a line above the long vowels but a slash after it too to keep it separate from , because that will make sure that they stress upon that vowel without 'touching' the next consonant - see www.srstips.on.to for my explanation of this concept of BREAKS after every long vowel - it explains VISUALLY what is the difference in sound between Sin and Seen, Bin and Been, Din and Dean, Bend and Band, Fit and Feet etc etc. If one masters this skill, to first visually distinguish all long and short vowels, then understand the difference, then consciously lengthen the long vowels and shorten the short ones, then he quickly comes to 70% accuracy in his Sanskrit pronunciation, and if he keeps practsing this daily for 3 weeks, his hearing will then develop, and he will actually be able to hear the difference between short and long vowels as a native speaker can. In my Gita Slokas Book it is REALLY EASY because i have pre-marked ALL long vowels with a red slash - see a sample that anyone can singalong to at www.gitasingalong.on.to and download the entire book *for free* at www.dinasgitabook.on.to b) Not distinuishing 'soft' (dental) consonants from 'hard' (cerebral) ones - it makes our Sanskrt sound crude - just like if I say 'tank you' (water tank 'tank') instead of 'thank you' it sounds somewhat unrefined to put it mildly, similary with sanskrt. With Romanized Sanskrit beginners can be told to simply look out for the dots! The word DOT is cerebral - so whenever we **SEE** a Dot, we just have to remember to touch the ridge (hard part of our palate) with the tip of our tongue. This rule cannot be used if reading from Devanagari there is no similiarity at all or distnguishing feature between the dental and cerebral alphabets visually - so one has to tax his memory to recognize which alphabets are which! and c) Not bothering to actually aspirate (make air come out by pushing the diaphragm upwards) the Aspirated Consonants. With Rom Sansk we can easily **SEE** all the Aspirated Consonants have an H in them - H=hot air! So a beginner quickly can connect seeing the H with moving his diaphragm. However in Devanagari, again, there is no visual distinguishing factor to identify the members of this group (namely kha, gha, cha, jha, t.ha, d.ha, tha, dha, pha and bha) (We also teach the students to keep one hand in front of the mouth to FEEL the hot air, and the other on the solarplexus to FEEL the movement of the diaphragm - this helps immensely - the traditional way of expecting the newbie to hear the aspirated sound fails miserably.) The fourth common error wd be mixing up or not differentiating the sibilants ('s' sounds) again, Romanized Sansk to the rescue - there are 3 sibilants - pure s is just plan and simple s, like in sun. but the other two have a 'shhhhh' sound - one has a mark (accent) above it ś and one with a dot below it - ṣ We just have to remember that when the mark is above, push our tongue upwards as much as possible (make the hole as small as possible) and when the mark is below, then bring the tongue down as low as possible (make the hole as big as possible) So these are some of the things which I teach in my Sanskrit Pronunciation Course. Here is a tv interview on the same subject - www.dina-gj.on.to and here are some reviews by scholars of the seva (service) I am trying to do for the pleasure of sri-sri guru-gauranga: From Australan National Unversity's Dr McComas Taylor www.cert-anu.on.to From Sitaram Vidyalaya's Prof S Mohan www.cert-mohan.on.to

From Tirupati Rashtriya Sanskrt Vidyalaya's Prof R S Tripathi www.cert-tripathi.on.to From Divine Life Society Malaysia's President, HH Swami Guhabhaktananda Maharaj www.cert-swamiguha.on.to and feedback from recent course participants in Australia www.coursefeedback.on.to

Dina-Anukampana Das Sanskrit Pronunciation Specialist ======================== If you are interested in discussing this matter, please write me - dinaanu 'at' gmail 'dot' com or visit my website www.gitajayanti.org Happy Singing and Happy Chanting! Hare Krishna!