You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : August 1998

On writing Sanskrit words

From: Mani Varadarajan (
Date: Mon Aug 17 1998 - 10:32:29 PDT

I request members to be very careful to transliterate
Sanskrit syllables properly. For example, a member
recently wrote:

> Tiruk  Kurugai  PirAn PillAn  who  wrote the  famous  6000 padi  
> belongs to "Sadamarshana gotram" 

The gotra is "SaThamarshaNa" gotra, derived from the rishi's

The meaning is obliterated or several altered if such care
is not taken. SrI vElukkudi svAmi used to joke about this
regularly.  For example, take the word "darpaNam", which
means mirror.  The word occurs very often in literature;
parASara bhattar's insightful commentary on the vishNu 
sahasranAma adhyAya is entitled "bhagavad-guNa-darpaNa".
Some Tamils write and pronounce this word incorrectly as 
"tarpaNam", meaning ritual worship of the departed ancestors,
because of the lack of difference between "t" and "d" in 
the Tamil alphabet.  Such an error naturally destroys the
meaning of the word.