Sanskrit Vowels - स्वराः (Svarāḥ)

Sanskrit Alphabet

Chapter

3

Skill Level

All

Language

Sanskrit explained in English

Overview

By now, you must have familiarized yourself with and learnt the Maheshwari Sutrani and Sanskrit Alphabet in chapter 1 and 2 respectively.

Sanskrit Vowels – स्वराः (Svarāḥ) are also known as अच् (Ac), as given in the Māheśvarī-Sūtrāṇi, which are given from अ (A) to च् (C).

The next step is to learn the Sanskrit Vowels which are called as स्वराः (Svarāḥ).

Learning this chapter will help you:

Who is the chapter for?

Sanskrit Vowels - स्वराः (Svarāḥ)

As mentioned in the overview section above, Sanskrit Vowels – स्वराः (Svarāḥ) are also known as अच् (Ac), as in the Māheśvarī-Sūtrāṇi.

अइउण् ऋऌक् एओङ् ऐऔच् अच्
aiuṇ ṛḷk eoṅ aiauc ac

Svaras i.e. vowels in Sanskrit are considered as Svaras according to how long they retain their sound when spoken.

If you take any Sanskrit vowel and pronounce it for a long period of time, all of the time you will hear its sound being reverberated.

Vowels can be used independently or can be mixed with a consonant. Their pronunciation will always be the same, irrespective of how they are used.

There are three types of vowels:
ह्रसव-स्वराः (Hrasava-Svarāḥ) | Short vowels,

दीर्घ-स्वराः (Dīrgha-Svarāḥ) | Long vowels and

संयुक्त-स्वराः (Saṃyukta-Svarāḥ) | Compound Vowels.

ह्रस्व-स्वराः (Hrasava-Svarāḥ) | Short vowels:-

These are the vowels from which all other vowels are made. They are five in number and are as given below:

स्वराः (Svarāḥ) Vowels

IAST Transliteration

a/A
i/I
u/U
ṛ/Ṛ

Type of Vowel
(According To Place of Pronunciation)

 
 
Monophthongs
 
 

दीर्घ-स्वराः (Dīrgha-Svarāḥ) | Long vowels:-

They are four in number and are as given below: 

Note: The sounds of दीर्घ-स्वराः (Dīrgha-Svarāḥ) Long vowels are pronounced twice as long as  that of ह्रसव-स्वराः (Hrasava-Svarāḥ) Short vowels.

स्वराः (Svarāḥ) Vowels

IAST Transliteration

ā/Ā
ī/Ī
ū/Ū
ṝ/Ṝ

Type of Vowel
(According To Place of Pronunciation)

 
 
Monophthongs
 
 

संयुक्त-स्वराः (Saṃyukta-Svarāḥ) | Compound Vowels:-

They have been formed by combining the ह्रसव-स्वराः (Hrasava-Svarāḥ)  Short vowels and the दीर्घ-स्वराः (Dīrgha-Svarāḥ) –  Long vowels.

They are four in number and are as given below:

स्वराः (Svarāḥ) Vowels​

IAST Transliteration

e / E
ai / Ai
o / O
au / Au

Type of Vowel (According To Place of Pronunciation)

 
 
Dipthongs
 
 

Combination (Of Vowels)

अ/आ + इ/ई
अ/आ + ए
अ/आ + उ/ऊ
अ/आ + उ/ऊ

Note: The sound of the letter ऐ (Ai) is pronounced twice as long as that of the letter ए (E). The sound of the letter औ (Au) is pronounced twice as long as that of the letter ओ (O).

There is another type of Vowel in Sanskrit which is not used very often. It is the प्लुत-स्वराः (Pluta-Svarāḥ).

They are nine in number. They are as follows: अ३ (a3), इ३ (i3), उ३ (u3), ऋ३ (ṛ3), ऌ३ (ḷ3), ए३ (e3), ऐ४ (ai4), ओ३ (o3), औ४ (au4).

You might also be interested in these sections

Sanskrit Words

Learn Sanskrit Words called as पदानि (padāni) in this section e.g. grammatical genders, grammatical numbers and cases among other things.

Begineer to Intermediate level

View Section

sandhiḥ

In Sandhi, there are two words: The word before and the word after the first one. Here, the last letter of the first word and the first letter of the other word are combined together.

Intermediate to High level

View Section

samāsaḥ

In samāsaḥ, words are combined together to form another word. Pūrvapadam (the word before) and Uttarapadam (the word after) are combined together to form another word.

Intermediate to High level

View Section
Comments Section