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Thread: the brilliance of saṃskṛtā

  1. #1
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    the brilliance of saṃskṛtā

    hari om̐
    ~~~~~~

    namast

    I thought I would offer some ideas on matṛikācakra and mālinīcakra from the view of kaśmir śaivism.
    We will see what the interest is by other HDF members and that will determine the depth and breath of the offer.

    My references will be from the works of svāmī lakṣman-jū , abhinavagupta-ji, utpalācāra, pāṇini-ji, and other beacons of truth
    that have offered their wisdom on this matter. In every case I see myself as the śiṣya (student) offering what I know for one's kind consideration.
    Any blemishes or mis-takes can only be attributed to me.

    Overview
    The study of mātrikācakra or the study/theory of akṣarāṇām within the saṃskṛtā ~alphabet~ is part of the richness of this knowledge.
    Mātrikā means little mother. Mālini or śrī devī, means She who wears a garland (mālā), in this case 50 akṣarā of the saṃskṛt alphabet.
    Through various posts we can address some of the insights this great language has to offer from the view point of śiva & śrī devī's influence.


    Now then
    That said , we can say atha अथ , or 'now then' let's begin. We will see in an upcoming post the relevance of this word as both śiva & śrī devī
    reside in atha.

    The study of mātrikācakra has much to do with the highest śakti of sound-word or parāvāk. When we talk akṣara or the sound syllables (phonemes) of saṃskṛtā , they all reside between a to kṣa. In mātrikācakra there are 50 akṣara as we will count visarga (ḥ) and anusvāra that make up the 16 vowels ( svara).

    The difference between mātrikācakra and mālini is the arrangement letters . With mātrikā the arrangement is ordered with vowels first ( 16 of them) followed by consonants ( 34 of them) . With Mālini vowels & consonants are interspersed.

    This notion of saṃskṛtā residing between a to kṣa is a beautiful thing in itself. If we look at a + kṣa we have akṣa. This akṣa is a seed of which rosaries are made i.e. a garland, a mālā, and we are back to mālini or śrī devī , the one with the garland of seed sounds , akṣara, around Her neck. Yet if we go a little further we can have akṣa + ra and have akṣara.
    This akṣara means syllable, but it also is defined as imperishable ( brahman), unalterable, śiva. It is śrī devī that wears the imperishable, the infinite in sounds as a garland. This can only be done by one that is Supreme, unsurpassable, anuttara.
    This infers beyond doubt that
    She and śiva are one and the same - they are a+kṣa+ya or akṣaya , exempt from decay. But why then do we talk of 2 ? The pair are 1 ( rudrayāmala ; yāmala = 'paried', twin ) . Many tantra's are in the form of question-and-answer. When truth is to be revealed then śiva looks to Himself for the questions to reveal the truth and there we have śiva and śakti in a conversation, yet it is just Himself. It would be like separating wet from water, light from flame to suggest they are different.
    This highest level of of teaching is called para-sambandha in which the questioner and the answerer are one and the same.

    The a,b,c's
    When we talk of alphabet in saṃskṛtā it is not the English version to think of - a,b,c, d, e,f,g, etc. Saṃskṛtā is all about sound form. So 'a' अ or short a in saṃskṛtā is of the sound of 'ah' like in the word but, or in the word America. It is not the sound in English when one says 'a' or 'aye'. We will see in the the next few posts these sounds and not letters ( even though we use letters to form them) will provoke some new thoughts on this matter.

    Please be mindful that the posts are not to teach saṃskṛtā's alphabet called devanāgarī some call nāgarī but to look at the brillance that is contained therein, the world of varṇādhva (varṇa+ādhva the way of letters, sounds, syllables).

    praṇām

    words & references
    • Books as references
      • pāṇini grammar by Kapil Kapoor
      • Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
      • Kaśmir Śaivism - The Secret Supreme
      • Parā-trīśikā nivaraṇa
      • Pratyabhijāhdaya
      • The Yoga of Mālinīvijayottara Tantra
    • mālini - garlanded , crowned , encircled or surrounded ; the wife of a garland-maker
    • akṣara - sound, vowel, syallable; akṣara also means imperishable ; a name for śiva or viṣṇu ; some write kṣarā and is therefore femine gender
    • visarga - emission; sending forth , letting go . That is why is is associated with śiva , as he 'sends forth' creation from Himself, śiva.
    • This visarga is written as : in saṃskṛtam. Offically it is not part of the saṃskṛta alphabet but is part of the ~rules~ of saṃdhi
    • saṃdhi , some write sandhi - In general, containing a conjunction or transition from one to the other . More specifically according to the Monier-Williams Saṃskṛt Dictionary, saṃdhi is a euphonic junction of final and initial letters in grammar .
    • The diacritic ं is how anusvāra is depicted . Some times you will see it like this or like this . It is used both to indicate the nasalization of the vowel and represent the letter m or n. It will look like this in saṃskṛtā. पं
    • The diacritic ः is visarga and looks like this in saṃskṛtā पः We sometimes call it the 'after sound' or a distinct audible aspiration.
    • Lets add one more to our discussion The diacritic ँ called chandrabindu, and is usually not included in saṃskṛtā charts . It is used interchangeably with the anusvāra to indicate nasalization of the vowel, primarily in vedic notation and looks like this पँ
    • svara - a vowel which can be dīrgha or long, hrasva or short, and pluta meaning prolated or elongated
    • anuttara - see this HDF post for more in-depth conversation : http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=6548
    Last edited by yajvan; 17 November 2010 at 09:18 PM. Reason: spelling correction
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  2. #2
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    Re: the brillance of saṃskṛtā

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Like any language saṃskṛtā is composed of vowels (svara) and consonants (vyañjana). Within the mātrikācakra system there are 14+2 = 16 svara
    and 34 vyañjana ( some say 35). One is the saṃyoga (the combination of two consonants) of ka + ṣa - two very important consonants which when
    formed give us kṣa as in kṣatria. We will talk of this wonderful sound later.

    Svara and vyañjana
    Within the mātrikācakra & mālini systems the svara (vowels) are owned by śiva and the vyañjana (consonants) are owned by śakti.
    Yet consider this word vyañjana, defined as 'manifesting' also as ornamant , decoration. We will see the notion of this manifestation when
    we list out the consonants and their tattvas that go with each one. Yet this 'ornament' idea is very interesting to me and that too we will address.

    Consider any consonant . Lets look at k. This we call ka-kāra or ka-action as kāra means action, doer. Any phoneme can have kāra after it so
    if I am talking of ga, it would be known as gakāra. There is one exception and I will leave it to a foot note¹.

    For us to say 'k' there is an implied 'a' after it . This 'a' allows ka to be voiced. So in the sound ka क the 1st consonant of mātrikācakra,
    has the inherent 'a' included in it without it being written (k)क् + (a) अ.
    The point is when we look at each consonant sound the vowel is implied, part of the consonant. This means śakti and śiva are together in consonants.
    Examples of how Svara and vyañjana are written in one single symbol of devanāgarī and one sound of saṃskṛtā:
    • ka - क - sounding like the k in skate, king or kiss ; this ká and its 3 root is associated as a name of prajāpati, visnu and brahman
    • kha - ख - sounds like bung-khouse or bloc-khead ; this kha used in its neuter gender is a sound-form of brahma.
    • ga - ग - sound like good, give ; this ga is a name of gaṇeśa
    • etc.
    So it is said all sound/phonemes fall between a and ha . This a is śiva and ha is śakti so we have a+ha .We must close the mouth and
    this is done with anusvāra ṁ . We now have a+ha+ṁ ahaṁ which contains everything within the universe and considered parā-vāc,
    the Supreme word. If you care to read a bit more about this, consider the following HDF post: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=47879&postcount=7


    praṇām

    words
    • svara - a vowel which can be dīrgha or long, hrasva or short, and pluta meaning prolated or elongated
    • kāra - we do not call 'ra' rakāra but the term repha is used. This repha means a burring guttural sound , this comes aturally
      with 'ra' from the throat as in 'rum'.
      • Also visarga (ḥ) and anusvāra ( the nasal sound you will see it like this or like this ṁ) only goes by thier own names visarga
        and anusvāra with no kāra after it.
    Last edited by yajvan; 06 November 2010 at 06:40 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: the brillance of saṃskṛtā

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    It is said all sound/phonemes fall between a and ha . This a is śiva and ha is śakti so we have a+ha and we must close the mouth and
    this is done with anusvāra ṁ . We now have a+ha+ṁ ; ahaṁ which contains everything within the universe and considered parā-vāc
    the Supreme word. If you care to read a bit more about this, consider the following HDF post: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showpost.php?p=47879&postcount=7


    Let's look at some of the energies found in consonants (vyañjana) all owned by śakti. We start with ka-kāra¹ क , the first consonant .
    This sound vibration is found in pṛthvī ( some spell prithvi) which is earth or ~matter~ tattva of the pañca mahābhūta-s (the 5 great tattva-s or ~elements~ ).
    With the next 4 phonemes kha, ga, gha, and ṅa they equate to the remaining 4 mahābhūta-s , so it looks like this:
    • ka क - pṛthvī ~earth~ or matter
    • kha ख - jala ~water~ or fluid or āpa
    • ga ग - tejas ~fire~ or combustion; ( some would say agni)
    • gha घ - vāyu - ~wind~ gas
    • ṅa ङ - ākāṣa - pure space
    This is the 1st set of 5. What is the next set of 5? The pañca tanmātra-s ( the 5 subtle elements) of sense. These arise in the same order
    from the pañca mahābhūta-s. That is pṛthvī ~earth~ gives rise to the abode of smell . This is called gandha. It is not our nose that
    has not been emanated/manifested as yet but the quality/abode where this smell will occur. This gandha has the phoneme of ca-kāra.
    And like that we go from smell ( ca) to rasa¹ or taste
    ( cha) to rūpa or form (ja) , to touch or sparśa (jha) and to sound or śabda (&#241.

    In each case the pañca mahābhūta has a correlating pañca tanmātra and these have another 5 that they align to called the pañca
    karmendriya-s or 5 organs of action. We will review these 5 in the next post.

    The point is, there is this creative order that allows for the emission of creation to be experienced . Note the direction we are going.
    From the gross to the subtle e,g. earth down to ākāṣa, then into the abode of smell , taste, sound, etc. Why is that ? Why not from
    the most subtle to the gross? This we will attempt to answer in th next post.

    That said, this emission is none other then parā -vāk the śakti of thr Supreme sound/word. And it is mātrikā , the little mothers
    as they are affectionately called, that are unfolding this ( hence mātrikācakra), the garland of sound-form of śrī devī we
    know as the akṣara of saṃskṛtā.

    praṇām

    words
    • mālini - garlanded , crowned , encircled or surrounded ; the wife of a garland-maker
    • rasa - taste , flavor - the principal quality of fluids; āyurved calls 6 original kinds i.e. madhura , sweet ; amla ,
      sour ; lavaṇa , salt ; kaṭuka , pungent ; tikta , bitter ; and kaṣāya , astringent
    • kāra - doing, act or author.
      • we do not call 'ra' rakāra but the term repha is used. This repha means a burring guttural sound , this comes naturally
        with 'ra' from the throat as in 'rum'.
      • Also visarga (ḥ) and anusvāra ( the nasal sound you will see it like this or like this ṁ) only goes by thier own names
        visarga and anusvāra with no kāra after it.
    • akṣara - sound, vowel, syallable; akṣara also means imperishable ; a name for śiva or viṣṇu
    Last edited by yajvan; 15 November 2010 at 12:00 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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