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Devanagari Script (lesson 0!)

Part-17: Vedic Symbols

  The Vedas constitute the oldest literature known to man. It has not been possible to determine exactly when the Vedas were written. In India, the view held is that they were not the creation of any human being but divine sounds heard by the seers who understood them, interpreted them and gave them to this world. From the beginning, Vedas have been learnt following the oral tradition and never was the need felt to have a written form. With the western scholars developing deeper interests in the scriptures of India and the advanced made in printing techniques, specific notations were proposed to indicate the swaras to be applied when chanting the mantras.

   There has been very little standardization in the notations but in respect of the first two Vedas (Rig and Yajur), three swaras have specific diacritics associated with them. The figure below explains the notation.

image of text

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Short Vowels

Long Vowels

Support Vowels

Generic form of a Consonant






Semi Vowels, Sibilants etc.

Consonant Vowel combinations

Conjunct characters

Writing methods for Conjuncts

Conjuncts with "ra"

List of Conjuncts

Similar looking Aksharas

Vedic symbols

Rarely used Aksharas



Listening Practice

  Message of the Gita

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