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Pronounciation of Brahma, Vahni, Jahnu

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Mon Apr 21 1997 - 14:11:39 PDT

[forwarded message from N. Krishnamachari]

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From: (N Krishnamachari)
Subject: Pronunciation of Brhama, Vahni, Jahnu, etc.

Dear Bhakti Group Members:

I would very much appreciate your advice on how the word Brahma is to be
pronounced.  Is it pronounced as Bramma (with no h sound), 
Bramha (with the h coming after the
m), or is it pronounced as Brahma (with the m coming after the h)?  The
way it is written in Sanskrit and in English is with the m coming after the
h.  However, in many vedic chanting recordings and in recordings of Sri
Vishnu ShasraNamam, I notice that people are pronouncing the word
with the h coming after the m, or as Bramma.  

Related words on which I have the same pronunciation doubt are the words 
Vahni and Jahnu, which also occur in Sri VishNu SahasraNAmam.

As all of you know, the word repeatedly appears in vedic chantings.
My initial reason for the question is the occurrance of this word several 
times in the Sri Vishnu SahasraNamam in the sloka:

   BrahmaNyo Brahma-krid BrahmA Brahma Brahma-vivardhanah |
   Brahma-vid BrAhmaNo Brahmi Brahmajno BrAhmaNa-priyah ||

Based on a translation of Sri ParAsara Bhattar's GuNa Ratna Kosa, there is a 
sutra which reads as 
   Brhmer nocca (sutra 588 in UNadi sutras in AshtAdhyayi),
but I am unable to interpret what it means. 

If you can give me any guidance on the pronunciation of the words above
I will be extremely indebted to you.
If you are aware of any articles or guidance from our AchAryas, or writings or
discussions relating to this issue, please let me know.
If any of you can throw additional light on
the sutra referenced above, I would sincerely appreciate it as well.

Narasimhan Krishnamachari

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