Vowels and Consonants
In this chapter we will learn about different types of letters in Sanskrit. Letters are composed of vowels and consonants.
The vowels are called ‘स्वराः’ [swaras] in Sanskrit.
There are three types of Swaras-
From short vowels all other vowels are made. Following are the short vowels in Sanskrit:
अ इ उ ऋ लृ
Long vowels are formed as a result of doubling the same short vowels.
आ ई ऊ ॠ
The combination of short and long vowels formed Compound vowels.
ए ओ ऐ औ
ंं – अनुस्वारः ंः – विसर्गः
They can exist only with the support of a vowel.
Example - अं, अः
In Sanskrit, consonants are called ‘व्यञ्जनानि’ [Vyanjanani].
The consonants are divided into different categories according to their places of articulation/pronunciation.
क् ख् ग् घ् ङ् - the whole group is known as ‘क-वर्गः’
च् छ् ज् झ् ञ् - the whole group is known as ‘च-वर्गः’
ट् ठ् ड् ढ् ण् - the whole group is known as ‘ट-वर्गः’
त् थ् द् ध् न् - the whole group is known as ‘त-वर्गः’
प् फ् ब् भ् म् - the whole group is known as ‘प-वर्गः’
Some other consonants are there that don’t belong to this group. Let’s see it
Let’s see some examples
आ - आम्रम् – Mango
औ – औषधम् – Medicine
ऋ – ऋषिः - Sage
च – चक्षुः – Eyes
ग – गजः - Elephant
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