The structure of the Sanskrit language is flawless. And, Sanskrit is a very precise language.
It is critical to get the right understanding of the role and the structure of Sanskrit language and the importance of correct pronunciations. Mispronounced words have absolutely no meaning or can even have a completely different meaning than the intended one!
Sanskrit language is held to be of divine origin.
Proper care and attention must be used when speaking these divine sounds.
Sounds/letters in the Sanskrit script and these are formed in five distinct areas of the mouth. See image from the book on right....
Please see below to read more excerpts from the book. The importance of correct pronunciations........
Every Sanskrit letter has a precise sound in every word, all the time (no silent alphabet or different pronunciations at different times).
From the very beginning, these sounds have not changed and will never change.
For example in English language, there is a difference when the words “rough” and “dough” are spoken. The “ci” in “special” is different from the “ci” in “cinema”. In English we have different options to pronounce the vowel “a” in words “far”, “fat”, “fall”, “another”.
However in Sanskrit language, everything follows rules, right from the origin of a letter, to the most sophisticated philosophical idea. Sanskrit letters are called the “indestructible” (aksharāṇi) and the language has never fundamentally changed unlike all other languages.
Excerpt from the book:
Pay very careful attention to: “a” and “ā”
“a” - sounds like u in “up” or “cup”
“ā” - sounds like aa in “car” or “far”
Meaning can be very different for words with “a” or “ā” sound
“mala” (impurity/waste) and “mālā” (string)
“bala” (strength) and “bāla” (child)
“maya” (composed of/made of) and “māyā” (power)
Read much more on "Sanskrit", "Mantra", "key to pronunciations" and "Guide to pronunciations" in the book.
*Clips with pronunciations of Hatha Yoga terminology and commonly chanted "Mantra" will be uploaded shortly*