當他們聽別人唸誦經典時，就記到腦子裏，所以他們有高度的音感，也很清楚地知道你無法只唸一個子音。比如 K 字，如果沒有其它的母音在一起，如
ka, ki , 或 ku , 你只能發出母音，或無法發音。所以印度人叫母音為聲音（svarāh） ，子音為顯示者（vyañjanāni）。因為子音只是讓你能夠清楚地顯出母音與母音間的差異。
肉的力量來發音時，就會發出「a」音來。梵文裏，任何一個子音，如沒有加上其他的母音記號，人都知道這個字是要與「a」母音配合。比方說「」念 ka，雖然在我們看來只是一個 「k」字。這是一個音節，不是一個字。只要有母音出現形成絡`，旨的子音只是用來顯示或裝飾那個母音。
'God-city writing', devanāgarī, is this Sanskrit lesson's title. Deva means 'god' or 'divine', and nāgarī is 'city'. Originally this was just an adjective, a word describing the noun lekhā 'writing', but gradually people just said devanāgarī
and everyone knew they were talking about the script or alphabet in
which Sanskrit was written. We leave it to our readers to discover
which city of which gods.
ancient times Sanskrit was written in many alphabets, and now it can be
written with the letters we have inherited from the Romans. But since
the Sanskrit system distinguishes more sounds than English does, we
need to add dots and long marks to the Roman letters, or write what is
one letter in Sanskrit with two of ours.
differs from the Roman alphabet in taking the syllable, rather than the
individual letter, as the basic unit. Being used to writing, we are
able to divorce letters from sounds. The ancient Indians, however,
including the early Buddhists, were not in the habit of reading and
writing, but would learn texts by heart as they heard them recited from
others. Consequently they were far more aware of the sounds of
language, and knew perfectly well you can't pronounce a consonant, for
example a k, without at the same time saying something like 'ka' or
'ki' or 'ku'. You have to say a vowel or there's no sound. Therefore
the Indians called vowels 'sounds' (svarāh) and consonants
'manifestors' (vyañjanāni), because consonants allow you to make finer distinctions between the vowel sounds.
we say the names of the letters we use to write English, we are not
always giving the sound they have in actual words. The letter c is
called something like 'see', but when it is used to spell a word it's
often pronounced like a k as is the first c in the word
consciousness－and what about the second c? Indevanāgarī on the other
hand, every written letter corresponds to a sound (there are no silent
letters), and the sound is always the same as that used in naming the
letter. In thedevanāgarī alphabet the sounds are listed first, and then the manifestors.
the first letter of the alphabet, pronounced like the 'a' at the end of
Buddha. This 'a' sound is considered the basic one from which the
others come, and in fact, when people make a 'neutral' sound with no
special meaning and no special muscular effort, they end up saying 'a'.
Any consonant in Sanskrit is understood to be pronounced with a
following 'a' unless some other mark is added. For example, our k
is always read
'ka'; this is a syllable and not just a letter. You find a syllable
every time a vowel appears, and the surrounding consonants are just
marks or adornments1 of that vowel. A syllable in Sanskrit is called akṣaram,
an 'imperishable', something that does not decay. “Ah!” you say,
“because it's 'put together' from these ak+ara is another reason it's
1. vyañjanāni‘consonant’ is the same word used for the Buddha's 80 minor characteristics.
2. Saṃskŗtam, which is Sanskrit for ‘Sanskrit’. See Lesson #1, VBS
#329. It also means ‘perfect’ or ‘complete’.
your wisdom (and attention to this lesson) on the Sanskrit sentence
written in two alphabets here below: