Pronunciation and Phonetics

Learning proper pronunciation can be done without much knowledge of phonetics, actually. A basic knowledge, however, helps to make pronunciation clearer and thus facilitates the process of learning how to speak a foreign language properly.

eAmbalam introduces a phonetic chart which is based on Dhevanagari script. The sounds of vowels and consonants and other speech sounds in Sanskrit and the languages which have completely or mostly borrowed from it can be covered with the help of the chart. A few other sounds common to some languages in this group and outside are also put in. Unique sounds of some languages are specified too.

Diacritical marks are used to aid perfect pronunciation. World over, these marks have been created and propagated by scholars to make understanding of the differences in speech sounds in different languages better. Team eAmbalam also has created a phonetic chart which helps even first timers to pronounce words accurately.

Our Phonetic chart is unique, comprehensive, learner friendly and is divided into four columns wherein:
  • In the first column, the letter is written with the associated diacritical mark.
  • In the second column, an example is given in Dhevanagari language containing the letter.
  • In the third column, an example is given in English, which contains the sound closes to the letter or instructions in few cases, to facilitate better understanding.
  • In the fourth column, an audio button is placed with the help of which you can hear the actual pronunciation of the letter.
An open minded approach with the above introduction and guidelines will definitely enable the user to understand the speech sounds of any language and pronounce it like a native, which is eAmbalam’s aim in this exercise.

  VOWELS  
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
A or a Aḍavu Arise
Ā or ā Ānanda Vast
I or i Indhira Sing
Ī or ī Īśha Meal
U or u U ṣhā Good
Ū or ū Ū rdhhva Boost
R or r Riṣh i Try
Ṛ or ṛ Ni ṛ uti Grr!
Lr or lr   Pronounce L and R together.
E or e Eka Ate
AI or ai Aikya Sight
O or o Ojas Robe
AU or au Audh ā rya Now
A M or am Śhiva m Drum
A HA or aha R ā ma ha Aha!
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English


CONSONANTS
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
KA or ka Kavi Car
KHA or kha Khalu Mark -Him
GA or ga Gamana Gut
GHA or gha Ghata Ugh!
Ṅ A or ṅa Tura ṅ ga Ring
CHA or ca Chakra Chart
CHHA or cha Chhandas Branch
JA or ja Jagath Jug
JHA or jha Jhallari Fudge
NYA or nya Gnyana Knew
Ṭ A or ṭ Ṭ anka Top
ṬHA or ṭha Pāṭha Pothole
ḌA or da Ḍ amaruka Dog
Ḍ HA or ḍ ha Mūḍ ha Madhouse
Ṇ A or ṇ a Ga ṇ a Wander
THA or tha Thanu Health
THHA or thha Athha Theater
DHA or dha Dha śha This
DHHA or dhha Dhhana m Dha with an additional H sound
NA or na Namask ā raha Nut
PA or pa   Path ā ka Past
PHA or pha Phala m P with a H sound
BA or ba Bandhhu Ball
BHA or bha Bhadra Abhor
MA or ma Manas Money
YA or ya Yama Yummy
RA or ra Rajas Rub
LA or la Lath ā Lust
VA or WA, va /wa A śh va or A śhwa Water/Valour
ŚHA or śha Śhakthi Shutter
ṢHA or ṣ ha Ṣh a ṇ mukha Shunt
SA or sa Sarasvatī Sun
HA or ha Hari Hum
Ḷ A or ḷ a Ar āḷ a Bold
KṢHA or k ṣ ha Ak ṣh i Try to pronounce Ka, Sa & Ha – all at one time.
Extra Vowels in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada & Malayalam Scripts    
É or é Éṇi Angel
Ō or ō Ō m Ō M
ZHA Exclusive to Tamil & Malayalam Fold the tip of your tongue backwards and try to pronounce it with the aid of the audio button.
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English

Navagraha Temples

  • Navagraha-the nine planets could give harmony or misery to the individual as per its movements.
  • One has to do shānthis or parihāras; for the particular planet(s) and its lords; such direct appeals to the concerned planets and their lords will give quick and timely results.
  • When planets move from one direction to another it brings about changes in certain people's well being and fortune. By worshipping the planets we get immense benefits.
  • Any human being experiences mixtures of happiness and sorrows. Establishments too have their ups and downs, If we know the planetary positions at the time of commencing a job or enterprise, with its help, we will be able to find out how it will take shape or how we would fare in it.
  • If our horoscope is cast on the basis of the configuration of the planets at the time of our birth, our fortunes over the entire period of our life can be predicted. Indian Astrology believes that the planetary positions of nine planets in a geo centric orbit determine the way a person will live, progress and exemplify ones life to others before death.
  • Nava means nine and graha means planet. There are nine temples located in Tamil Nadu representing each planet in the Navagraha. All nine of them are located with in a 65 km radius in and around Kumbakoṇam

Important Temples of South India – Navagraha Temples

How to reach there?
  • By Air: Nearest airport is in Thiruchirāppaḷḷi (96 km). From there take the State Highway east to reach the Navagraha temples.
  • By Train: Kumbhakōṇam has a railway station, which is closer to the Navagraha temples.
  • By Road: Kumbhakōṇam is connected by the National Highway 36 from Thanjavur to Ozhukarai and the State Highway 22 from Melaiyur to Tiruchchirāppalli, and 66 from Kumbhakōṇam to Adirampaṭṭinam.

Name of
the Graha

Located in

Importance of the Temple

Sūrya

Sūryanār Koil, situated 21 kms from Kumbakoṇam, Tanjore District, Tamilnāḍu

  • Temple was built by King Kulothunga Chola I in the year 1100 AD. This temple is dedicated to Sun God Sūrya who is known as the giver of health, success and prosperity.
  • Every year in mid January, the harvest festival is celebrated in thanks giving and to honour, Sūrya or Sun. Sūrya is the most powerful living God - whom everyone can see, perceive and pray. Though he is visible, he also has been presented in a variety of forms. Lord of this planet is God Śhiva. 
  • Sūrya resides with his wives Chāyā and Suvarchā in this holy place. With Sūrya at the centre, temples of the other Grahas are around Sūrya .

Rāhu

Thirunāgeśhwaram, 8km from Kumbakoṇam, Tanjore District, Tamilnāḍu

  • A legend has it that the mythological serpents Ādhiśheṣha, Dakṣha and Kārkoṭaka worshipped Śhiva here.
  • Legend also has it that King Nala worshipped Śhiva here as in Thirunaḷḷār. Rāhu is instrumental in strengthening one's power and converting even an enemy into a friend. He is ruled by Goddess Dhurgā.
  • The main deity's name is Nāgeśhwara and Ambāḷ's name is Girigujāmbikā. She is decorated as a small girl in the Mornings, as young lady in Noons and as lady in evenings.
  • Here Rāhu resides with his wife and everyday, during Rāhu kalam, when Milk is poured over Rāhu idol, it miraculously changes to blue colour. People having Rāhu dośha come here during Rāhu kalam and perform Abhiśhekas.

Aṅgāraka

It is situated in Vaithīśhwaran Koil, 55 kms from from Kumbakoṇam, Tanjore District, Tamilnāḍu

  • The belief is that if prayers are offered to Aṅgāraka, he will bestow valour, victory and strength to the person. There is also a widespread belief that a visit here would remove obstacles that delay marriage.
  • Mars is regarded as a God of martial character, red in every aspect. Even the Romans held him as their Guru. He is the Son of Earth and is ruled by Lord Subrahmaṇya. This town is also called as Pull-irukku-Velūr.
  • Jaṭāyu - the eagle who made a gallant attempt to stop. Rāvaṇa from proceeding to Lanka with Sita, got relieved of his wings by Rāvaṇa, fell down here and eventually got Moksha. Even today we can see the place where Jaṭāyu was cremated - 'Jaṭāyu Kunḍam'.
  • Vaithīśhwaran koil is a crowd puller for many reasons along with the Aṅgāraka. Vaidyanātha Swāmi ( Śhiva ) is believed to cure illness of the ardent devotees. Lot of people throng here everyday, offer their prayers for regaining their health with the grace of the deity.
  • Ambāḷ is called Vālāmbikā alias Thaiyal Nāyaki. Separate sanctorum for Aṅgāraka is a speciality out here as you cannot find it elsewhere.

Chandra

This temple is situated at Thiṅgaḷūr 30kms from Kumbakoṇam, Tanjore District, Tamilnāḍu

  • Though there is a question about when this temple was built, historians agree that it must have been in existence since before the beginning of the Bhakthi period, which was well before the seventh century A.D.
  • Dedicated to the Moon or Chandran in Sanskrit and Thiṅgaḷ in Tamil, a visit to this temple is said to grant a comfortable and long life. In astrology, Chandra is the planet that removes stress and sorrow.
  • Chandra or Moon is a lovable God - Pleasing to the children as well as elders, universally appealing to everyone whatever may be the religion. Goddess Pārvathi rules the planet.

Śhani

Thirunaḷḷār, 55kms from Kumbakoṇam, Tanjore District, Tamilnāḍu

  • It is the only temple that is dedicated to Lord Śhani Or Saturn. When the Planet Saturn transits between zodiac signs, literally millions throng this shrine. The Legendary King Naḷa is said to have been relieved of his affections, which were due to the malefic influence of Saturn, after worships in this temple.
  • Of the numerous (tanks) thīrthams, the Nala thīrtham is the important one. By bathing here, it is believed that one washes off all kinds of misfortune, afflictions and to escape from the woes of Śhani.
  • Śhanīśhwara or Saturn, is generally known to affect one adversely on occasions when he occupies certain positions in one's horoscope. A prayer to him, especially on Saturdays, is said to mitigate the hardships one will have to face during these periods.
  • Śhanīśhwara is considered equally a bestower of all benefits to the devotees who pray sincerely to him. He is ruled by Lord Yama. 

Śhukra

Kanchanur, 22kms from Kumbakoṇam, Tanjore District, Tamilnāḍu

  • This Śhiva Sthalam is associated with Śhukra or Venus and is maintained by the Madhurai Ādhīnam. It is Located in a quite hamlet of Thiruvāḍuthurai. This Shrine is also referred to as Palāśhavanam, Brahmapuri and Agnisthalam.
  • Brahma is said to have had a vision here of Śhiva's wedding with Pārvathi. Men visit to pray for the well being of their wives.
  • Śhukra or Venus is the bestower of long life, wealth, happiness, children, property and good education. He is ruled by Goddess Mahālakṣhmi.

Kethu

Kīzhperumpaḷḷam, 57kms from Kumbakoṇam, Tanjore District, Tamilnāḍu

  • It is an ancient Śhaivite temple and legend has it that Kethu, the other planetary node of the nine celestial bodies worshipped Śhiva here.
  • Rāhu and Kethu are associated with legend of the serpent that helped Lord Śhiva churn the milky ocean. There is a Shrine dedicated to Kethu in this temple. Kethu brings prosperity to the devotee's family. He grants good health, wealth, cattle and all round prosperity.
  • He is ruled by Lord Ganeśha and Indhra. . Those who are affected by Kethu dośha come here for rectification.

Guru

Ālaṅgudi, 19kms from Kumbakoṇam, Tanjore District, Tamilnāḍu

  • It is regarded as a Guru Sthalam or Jupiter where Lord Dakṣhiṅāmurthi is held in great reverence. The Shrine attracts a large number of devotees when Jupiter transits between zodiac signs.
  • Parvathi, the consort of Lord Śhiva, is said to have been reborn on the banks of the Amrutha Puṣhkariṇi within the temple precincts before being reunited with Śhiva.
  • He results in a cure from ailments and helps one to ward off his/her sins and gives strength, valour, longevity, etc. He grants the boon of fatherhood to the childless, good education (Vidhyā).
  • The specialty here is that Lord Guru is engraved on the wall and is not in the form of separate idol reunited with Śhiva.

Budhha

Thiruveṇkāḍu, is 60kms from Kumbakoṇam, Tanjore District, Tamilnāḍu

  • It is a reference to this temple in Vālmīki's Rāmāyaṇa. Therefore it is said that the oldest part of the temple is more than 3000 years old.
  • Dedicated to Budhha or Mercury this temple in Thiruveṇkāḍu makes up the last of the Navagraha Temples. Budhha is said to bestow wisdom and intellect. Budha or Mercury is considered as the greatest among the wise. This Devata bestows wisdom and wealth on his devotees. He is ruled by Lord Maha Vishnu.
  • This temple is referred in 'Saiva Thirumurais' and Sastras. This place is similar to Kasi with all the Snana Ghats. One can do all the karmas here, that is supposed to be done in kasi. We can find a separate sanctum sanctorum for bhudan.
  • Bhudan holds the portfolio of Education and Arts and it is the next popular place students prefer to go after Tuition centers.

Special Reference to Performing Arts

 

 

  • Sambandhar, Thirunāvukkarasar, Arunagiriyār, Kumāra Guruparar, Paḍikkāsu Thambirān, Chidhambara Munivar, and Kālamegha Pulavar have had worshipped Thiṅgaḷūr temple Śhiva and got grace. Thevāra Pathikam dedicated to the shrine has been discovered so far. Thirunāvukkarasar has mentioned Thiṅgaḷūr in a Pathikam of 10 songs dedicated to another Śhivasthhalam, and hence Thiṅgaḷūr constitutes one of the Thevāra Vaippu thalangaḷ.
  • Appar, Sambandhar, Sundharar were sung hymns in awe in this temple. Indhra, Airavatha, Budhha, Sūriya and Chandra are said to have worshipped God Śhiva here.
  • Budhha temple is also known as Ādhi Chidhambaram, Naṭarājā's dance here is known as Hasthi Naṭanam. This Śhivasthalam is one of the 6 most sacred places on the banks of river Cauvery which is par with the temple at Varanasi. The other 5 Śhivasthalams are Thiruvaiyāru, Chāyāvanam, Mayilāḍuthurai, Thiruviḍaimarudhūr and Thiruvānchiam.
  • Thirugnyānasambandhar has sung in praise of the Lord Śhukra. Śhaniśhwara - The Thyāgarājamūrthi in Thirunaḷḷār is the second Sapthaviḍaṅgamūrthi. Sapthaviḍaṅga Sthalam means the holy place where Lord Śhiva performed his cosmic dance. The dance in Thirunaḷḷār is called Unmattha Naṭanam.

Bibliography

 

The following Kruthis are composed by Muthuswāmi Dīkṣhithar about Navagraha.

S.no

kriti

raga

tala

Planet

1

Sūrya mūrthe
sundhara chāyādhipathe

Saurāśhṭra

Chaturaśhra jāthi Dhhruva

Sun

2

Chandram
bhaja manasa

Asāveri

Chaturaśhra jāthi Mathya

Moon

3

Aṅgārakamāśhrayāmiyaham

Surati

Rūpaka

Mars

4

Budhamāśhrayāmi
sathatham

Nāṭā Kurinji

'Misra jāthi Jhampe'

Mercury

5

Brhaspathe thārāpathe

Aṭāṇa

Thiśhra jāthi Triputa

Jupiter

6

Śhrī Śhukra bhagavantham

Pharazu

Chaturaśhra jāthi Ata

Venus

7

Dhivākara thanujam

Yadhukula Kāmbhoji

Chaturaśhra jāthi Eka

Saturn

8

Smarāmyaham sadhā
Rahum

Rāma manohari (Rāmapriyā)

Rūpaka

Rāhu

9

Mahāsuram ketumakam

Chāmaram (Śhanmukhapriyā)

Rūpaka

Kethu

 










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