Sanskrit Alphabets origin from Maheswara Sutras

Maheswara Sutra is the most ancient known Sanskrit alphabet sequence. This alphabet sequence is at the same time a powerful Mantra and the vibrations of its sound has healing powers.
Sanskrit Language, which the Puranas describe as the Language of Gods, was from the sound of Lord Siva’s Damru, a percussion instrument which adorns Lord Siva’s hand.
Sanskrit Alphabets origin are from Maheswara Sutras.
maheswara sutra

After completion of His Cosmic dance, Siva sounded His Damaru as the Universe was being created.
These sounds create maintain regulate and destroy the Universe.
Semen and Sound are mentioned as the Creative Force of the Universe.
Lord Subrahmanya is worshiped as the embodiment of both.

Nada Bindu Kaladi Namo.
Bindu may be translated as Semen in the physical plane and as stages of spiritual development in Nada Yoga.
A damaru (Skt.damaru; Tibetan ཌཱ་མ་རུ; Devanagari: डमरु) or damru is a small two-headed drum, used in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism.Damru is known as the instrument of Lord Shiva. Damru was first created by Shiva to produce spiritual sounds by which this whole universe has been created and regulated…

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the damaru is part of a collection of sacred implements and musical instrument was adopted from the tantric practices of ancient India. These reached the Land of Snows from the 8th to 12th century, persisting in Tibet as the practice of Vajrayana flourished there, even as it vanished in the subcontinent of India.
There are two types of Damaru, Skull Damaru and Chod Damaru.

नृत्तावसाने नटराजराजो ननाद ढक्कां नवपञ्चवारम्।
उद्धर्त्तुकामो सनकादिसिद्धादिनेतद्विमर्शे शिवसूत्रजालम्

Shiva Sutras (IAST: Śivasūtrāṇi) or Māheśvara Sūtrāṇi are fourteen verses that organize the phonemes of Sanskrit as referred to in the Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini, the foundational text of Sanskrit grammar.
A famous verse in Sage Panini’s Ashtadhyayi says that the Panini grammar that is in use now is graced by Lord Shiva. Hence the first known organized sounds are known as the Maheshvara Sutra – Maheshvara being another name of Lord Shiva. Here is the verse from Panini’s Ashta-Dhyayi:

At the end of His Cosmic Dance,
Shiva, the Lord of Dance,
with a view to bless the sages Sanaka and so on,
played on His Damaru fourteen times,
from which emerged the following fourteen Sutras,
popularly known as Shiva Sutras or Maheshvara Sutras

Within the tradition they are known as the Akṣarasamāmnāya, “recitation of phonemes,” but they are popularly known as the Siva Sutras because they are said to have been revealed to Pāṇini by Shiva. They were either composed by Pāṇini to accompany his Aṣṭādhyāyī or predate him. The latter is less plausible, but the practice of encoding complex rules in short, mnemonic verses is typical of the sutra style.

IAST Devanāgarī
1. a i u ṇ

2. ṛ ḷ k

3. e o ṅ

4. ai au c

5. ha ya va ra ṭ

6. la ṇ

7. ña ma ṅa ṇa na m

8. jha bha ñ

9. gha ḍha dha ṣ

10. ja ba ga ḍa da ś

11. kha pha cha ṭha tha ca ṭa ta v

12. ka pa y

13. śa ṣa sa r

14. ha l

१. अ इ उ ण्।

२. ऋ ऌ क्।

३. ए ओ ङ्।

४. ऐ औ च्।

५. ह य व र ट्।

६. ल ण्।

७. ञ म ङ ण न म्।

८. झ भ ञ्।

९. घ ढ ध ष्।

१०. ज ब ग ड द श्।

११. ख फ छ ठ थ च ट त व्।

१२. क प य्।

१३. श ष स र्।

१४. ह ल्।

The fourteen sutras contain all the letters of the Sanskrit varnamala- the svaras (vowels) a, i, u, R^i, lR^i, e, ai, o, au and all the vyanjanas (consonants).
As per the Rig Veda Lord Siva brought this Sanskrit alphabet sequence, and the Sanskrit language to earth. The sounds of the alphabet originated from Lord Siva’s ‘damru’, probably some kind of a sound device.

siva chakras body
The Sanskrit alphabet sequence is known as the ‘Varna-mala‘. The word ‘varna‘ (वर्ण) means a ‘syllable‘ and all the energies related to that syllable – colour, presiding force, the mouth part used to pronounce each syllable, the related body part etc.

From these 14 verses, a total of 281 pratyāhāras can be formed: 14*3 + 13*2 + 12*2 + 11*2 + 10*4 + 9*1 + 8*5 + 7*2 + 6*3 * 5*5 + 4*8 + 3*2 + 2*3 +1*1, minus 14 (as Pāṇini does not use single element pratyāhāras) minus 10 (as there are 10 duplicate sets due to h appearing twice); the second multiplier in each term represents the number of phonemes in each. But Pāṇini uses only 41 (with a 42nd introduced by later grammarians, raṆ=r l) pratyāhāras in the Aṣṭādhyāyī.

The Siva Sutras put phonemes with a similar manner of articulation together (so sibilants in 13 śa ṣa sa R, nasals in 7 ñ m ṅ ṇ n M). Economy (Sanskrit: lāghava) is a major principle of their organization, and it is debated whether Pāṇini deliberately encoded phonological patterns in them (as they were treated in traditional phonetic texts called Prātiśakyas) or simply grouped together phonemes which he needed to refer to in the Aṣṭādhyāyī and which only secondarily reflect phonological patterns.
Pāṇini does not use the Siva Sutras to refer to homorganic stops (stop consonants produced at the same place of articulation), but rather the anubandha U: to refer to the palatals c ch j jh he uses cU.

As an example, consider Aṣṭādhyāyī 6.1.77: iKo yaṆ aCi:

  • iK means i u ṛ ḷ,
  • iKo is iK in the genitive case, so it means ‘ in place of i u ṛ ḷ;
  • yaṆ means the semivowels y v r l and is in the nominative, so iKo yaṆ means: y v r l replace i u ṛ ḷ.
  • aC means all vowels, as noted above
  • aCi is in the locative case, so it means before any vowel.

Hence this rule replaces a vowel with its corresponding semivowel when followed by any vowel, and that is why dadhi together with atra makes dadhyatra. To apply this rule correctly we must be aware of some of the other rules of the grammar, such as:

  • 1.1.49 ṣaṣṭhii sthaneyogaH that shows that the genitive case in a sutra shows what is to be replaced
  • 1.1.50 sthane ‘ntaratamaH that shows that the substitute of i is the semivowel that most closely resembles i, namely ‘y’
  • 1.1.71 aadir antyena sahetaa that shows that i with the K at the end stands for i u ṛ ḷ because the Shiva sutras read i u ṛ ḷ K.

Also, rules can be debarred by other rules. Rule 6.1.101 akas savarNe dīrghaH teaches that when the two vowels are alike a long vowel is substituted for both, so dadhi and indraH make dadhīndraH not *dadhyindraH. The akas savarṇe dīrghaH rule takes precedence over the iKo yaṆ aCi rule because the akas is more specific.

We can invoke and heal by reciting each different syllable of the ‘varnamala‘ .
Maheswara Sutra as a healing mantra too as mentioned above a healing mantra and is was chanted to revive the sick or dying.
For details, see page 2,3 in this PDF

References :

Related Articles :