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From: Mani Varadarajan (mani_at_best.com)
Date: Wed Apr 23 1997 - 21:50:58 PDT
No one has stepped forward to answer this question yet, so let me take a shot. I am no authority on Sanskrit phonetics, but I have always heard these words pronounced as "brum-ha", "van-hi", etc., with the "h" sound coming after the "m" sound. I recall reading elsewhere that originally these words may have been pronounced with the "h" sound coming first -- the old Greek transliterations of these words spell them as "braachmaNa", etc., implying that the "h" sound came *before* the "m". Any Panini experts care to offer their opinion? Mani P.S. I am happy Sri Krishnamachari did not hesitate to post this informal, everyday question to the list. We used to have many more of these in the early days of our activity. I hope no one is scared of posting their questions or thoughts, no matter how casual they may seem! Please, use this list for dialogue on any issues of faith and religious practice you are wondering about.