This glossary contains Sanskrit words, people, places, and literature that appear in the fifteen Vahinis and Sandeha Nivarini, all written in Telugu by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and translated into English by N. Kasturi.
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The Vahinis use standard spellings for Sanskrit. In addition, this glossary provides phonetic spellings, in parentheses after the standard ones, to help you pronounce the Sanskrit. Below, we provide a short explanation of the phonetic spelling. However, keep in mind that Sanskrit has more phonemes than other languages, while English has only 26 letters, so pronunciation based on English spellings will be deficient. Still, it's better than nothing!
The most frequent short and long vowels are spelled and pronounced as
For example, the spelling aanandha (bliss) alerts the reader to the fact that the first syllable is long, as in father, so that the accent is on the first, and not the second, syllable.
Phonetic spelling of Sanskrit consonants is difficult, because there
are more consonants (as well as vowels) in Sanskrit than in English. Also,
there are several d's, s's,
and t's in Sanskrit, which are aspirated differently.
In the examples of consonants given below, the examples for bh,
dh, and th are
slightly misleading, in that they may give the impression that two sounds
are said separately when they are not. The idea of the examples is to make
it clear that the h is distinctly aspirated.