Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Maheswara Sutras

nR^ttAvasAne naTarAjarAjaH nanAda DakkAm navapanchavAram
uddhartu kAmassanakAdi siddhAn etadvimarSe SivasUtrajAlam

nR^tta = dance
avasAna = end
naTarAja rAjaH = Lord of dance
nanAda = sounded
DakkAm = damaru
nava pancha = nine and five = fourteen
vAram = times
kAma = for the sake of / with the desire to
uddhartu = upliftment
sanakAdi = sanaka etc
siddhAn = sages
etat = this
jAlam = web (of)
shiva sUtra = sUtras of Lord Shiva
vimarshe = (I) examine

At the end of the cosmic dance Lord Shiva the Lord of dance, sounded his damaru fourteen times. For the sake of the upliftment of sages like sanaka. I wish to examine this web of Siva sUtras.

The name Shiva or Maheshvara sutras coms from the tradition that Panini heard them from the sounds of Shiva Bhagavans' damaru (drum.) The 14 sutras are (in ITRANS format):

  1. aiuN
  2. R^iL^ik
  3. eo~N
  4. aiauch
  5. hayavaraT
  6. laN
  7. ~nama~NaNanam
  8. jhabha~n
  9. ghaDhadhaSh
  10. jabagaDadash
  11. khaphaChaThathachaTatav
  12. kapay
  13. shaShasar
  14. hal
Sounds like gibberish right? Actually they are a clever rearrangement of the alphabet. The letter at the end of each sutra is called an it. A letter followed by an it specifies all the letters in between. For instance, aN represents a, i, and u. ak represents a, i, u, R^i, and L^i. This enables grammatical rules to be specified in a concise, algebraic form.

Heres an example. In Sanskrit words can merge together in a process called sandhi. E.g. devi + uvAcha = devyuvAcha ("Devi said.") In the western method of learning Sanskrit, you just have to memorize a table of the different letter combinations. Panini simply says:

iko yaN achi

"ik is replaced by yaN when ach follows"

In other words, ik (i, u, R^i, L^i) is replaced by yaN (ya, va, ra, la) if a vowel (ach or a, i, u, L^i, R^i, e, o, ai, au) follows


At Sunday, June 08, 2008 10:28:00 AM, Blogger blossoms said...

really happy to see something like this on the basics of sanskrit grammar.its a great and admirable effort from your part.

At Wednesday, August 12, 2009 3:11:00 PM, Blogger shankark said...

so happy to find this shloka on the Damaru....kindly let me know the shloka of 14 syllables....I know there is a shloka which displays all the sound syllables as it emanated from the damaru of Shiva..... if you know it kindly send me a romanised version or in Devanagari script....thanks so much ... I too am a dancer from Malaysia... shankar_k65@hotmail.com

At Wednesday, February 03, 2010 10:07:00 PM, Blogger Himanshu said...

The shlokas NRITYAVASNE NATRAJRAJE........ is really mind blowing with a fragrance of spiritualisim. Will you please post its meaning in Hindi? hkvbokaro@gmail.com


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