Phonemes of Sanskrit Shiv Sutrani

A phoneme is the the smallest unit of sound which makes sense in a language. The Shiv sutrani शिव सूत्राणि also called the Maheshwar Sutrani महेश्वर सूत्राणि (सूत्राणि is the plural of सूत्र) are the phonemes of the Devbhasha Samskrutam. The highly intense building blocks of the perfect language of this creation, the perfectly arranged definition of Illumination. All common languages spoken in this world today are degraded versions Apabhraunsh अपभ्रंश of Sanskrit. 

In my several posts on the Kundalini, Chakra system, beej akshar etc I have written on the Consciousness that Sound really is. We worship sound as Shabda Brahma, the Eternal Divine. Then the indestructible sounds, the Akshar of Sanskrit are the sounds that the pran makes as it moves in the energy channels/ Nadi inside the Pranmaikosh of the five sheathed body. As you speak Sanskrit, normally in conversation or as a mantra during your pujas you are actually enhancing the power of your own Pran and Nadi system. This is why I reiterate that everyone must be able to speak simple conversational Sanskrit, read one Sanskrit article/ day and recite one Sanskrit mantra for a life time. Sound is Awareness and Sanskrit is the accurately precise mathematically perfect raw power that you directly derive from Sound as Self.

Maharishi Panini arranged the grammar of the Devbhasha Samskrutam in his book Ashtadhyayi. He did not ‘write’ the grammar, this language is the Devbhasha, ie the perfect description of the Illumination, it is in-built. He merely ‘saw’ the grammar in the Akash and wrote it down. In this following shlok he gives the origin of the Shiv sutrani.

नृत्त अवसाने नटराज राज: ननाद ढक्कां नवपञ्चवारम्। उद्धर्त्तु कामः सनकादि सिद्धान् एतद् विमर्शे शिवसूत्रजालम्॥

For the students of Pravrutti, this shlok can be understood as,

  • At the site of the act of Dissolution, the supreme actor of the drama, Nataraj, made loud sound using the large drum, Damru, fourteen times. The intention was to elevate the Maharishis Sanak and the other Siddhas Seers. This mesh of the Shiv Sutra, the auspicious phonemes of the  Devbhasha, is truly inside the real Knowledge of the Divine.
  • ie Bhagwan Nataraj danced the Tandav, ie caused the dissolution of creation. At the end of the Tandav, ie at the end of dissolution ie at start of new creation, he played his Damru fourteen times and created the first sound seeds of this present creation. These are 14 lines of the Shiv Sutrani. The realised Seers, the Maharishis Sanak, Sananda, Sanatan and Sanat and other Siddha Rishis etc witnessed this evolution of the Nada. ie the Conscious energy of sound vibration further differentiated into phonemes. As the language of light, Devbhasha took birth, it acted as a catalyst for further creation and subsequent evolution.

For the students of the Nivrutti, the same shlok can be understood as,

  • At the location where movement was occurring. (This is the perceived Creation itself, the site of movement, ie duality.) The ruler of the best of the actors made a large sound, to the disappearance of the newly spread out multitude (All individual souls are the actors. The Paramatma is the sovereign of all these individual jivatmas. The Nada is the source of Om itself. Here the Eternal is has made Om itself disappear). The intention is to draw out the most ancient eternal by subduing the plural. This is verily the the illusion of the web which has the Intelligence of the auspicious thread inside it.

Sanskrit is a palimpsest. The same words will give different meanings depending on the intelligence, awareness and intention of the writer/ reader. This is the true beauty of the Devbhasha, it speaks to the individual soul and always describes splendour of the Eternal Soul.

The phonemes of Sanskrit, the Shiv Sutrani are,

  1. ण् |
  2. क् |
  3. ङ् |
  4. च् |
  5. ट् |
  6. ण् |
  7. म् |
  8. ञ् |
  9. ष् |
  10. श् |
  11. व् |
  12. य् |
  13. र् |
  14. ल् |

This is me reciting them in one breath in the first audio, because I could not find anything suitable online. The effect is clearer when they are recited at one stretch. I have recited them slowly in the second audio. I am not a professional singer so do bear with me on these recitations. (For some strange reason, the Shiv Sutrani  are the first mantra I have put up in my own voice on my blog.

Even though the mantra is in my voice, it is always and ever the Shiv Sutra by Nataraj Raja. One can read, recite and hear the mantra only if the Bhagwan desires/allows it. So do be grateful to the Parmeshwar as you recite/ read/ listen to them. It is by his Krupa.

Ideally the recitation should be in one exhalation, this will come with practice. And remember to start and end your mantra jaap with Om. Recitation of the Shiv Sutrani is called the akshar samamnaya अक्षर समाम्नाय and this is a mantra.

Try to get the pronunciation of these ऋ ऌ ङ् ञ ङ ञ् ष right. Very very few people can pronounce these correctly. The remaining vowels and consonants in the Sutrani are the usual ones we use in our daily life.

  • ऋ – is Rrhhu, the tongue touches the upper teeth on both sides and the tip flicks the palate and you say ‘Rrhhu’, in a short burst (People in Uttar Bharat pronounce ऋ  as ‘Ri’ which is incorrect)
  • ऌ – is Llrrhu, the tongue first touches the sides and tip to the palate. and then flicks out and the sides of the tongue come down to touch the upper teeth. You say ‘Llrrhu’ in a short burst.
  • ङ- ङ् + अ = ङ For the proper pronunciation of this ङ, first recite – Ka, kha, ga, gha, क ख ग घ and keeping your throat and tongue in the same position, elevate the middle part of the tongue towards the upper palate, but do not touch it. This is the nasal ङ of the ka-varga क-वर्ग. I cannot find a suitable english letter combination for this sound, it is something like a breathy ‘nng’. If you follow the rhythm of the Ka, kha, ga, gha, the last nasal ङ will also flow in the same style. Do not overthink. Once you get its pronunciation you can say it stand alone. Like this,
  • ङ् – Here the pronunciation is a bit typical. ङ – अ = ङ् This is the same as the above but only the pure consonant ङ् is to be pronounced, ie do not pronounce the अ. This will come with practice.
  • ञ – This is the last nasal consonant of the च-वर्ग. It will be easier to learn to pronounce with the rest of the Cha-varga. cha, chha, ja, jha, च छ ज झ . And keeping the same throat and tongue position, try to elevate the middle part of your tongue towards the upper palate but not touching it. Again I cannot find an english letter combination for this sound, something like ‘ynn’. As you follow the rhythm of the Cha Chha Ja Jhha, the last nasal ञ will also flow in the same style. Like this,
  • ञ् – This is the pure consonant energy. ञ  – अ = ञ् You will pronounce it in the same way as above but avoid the last vowel अ, speak only the pure ञ्  consonant. Again this will come with practice.
  • ष – This is Shha. In this you will fold your tongue backwards and say ‘shhha’. (This is different from श, here your tongue lightly touches the upper teeth on the sides and you say ‘sha’.)


The Damaru that the Nataraj plays is not a drum, it is so much more.

  • It produces binaural beats and the ‘soundless’ vibration of the Nada is embedded in it. Binaural beats are formed when two slightly dissimilar tones are played together. They subtract from each other and leave an undefinable ‘soundlessness’ which is very beautiful and intense. In fact, do this as an experiment. Buy a properly made Damaru and play it yourself for 2-3 minutes. See for yourself what it makes you feel. You should experience a mental state equivalent to what you get after your 108 Dhyan mantra repeats. 
  • Playing the Damaru with specifically varying hand movements can create a series of two or more sounds. This is exactly what the Bhagwan did. He played it 14 times and created 14 sequences of sounds. He created the Devbhasha from the primordial conscious non-dual sound.
  • Finally the Damaru is a representation of the continually evolving consciousness. Its shape represents expanding and contracting energies which follow each other ad infinitum.
  • This shape is a representation of Dissolution and Creation perfectly balanced around the central Bindu. Cyclic Shrushti and Pralaya. The Eternal Nataraj plays the Damaru as he dances the Tandav, ie dissolution. And he also plays it to initiate a new cycle of creation. 
  • Playing the Damru while reciting the Shiv Sutrani is an energy high.

You are saying aloud the smallest elements of the Devbhasha, the building blocks of the perfection of Illumination. When you recite them faster and continue, it sounds just like the Damru playing, the same energy. Channelising the power of creation and dissolution within your self with the power of these vibrations. Trying to find that central Bindu, to stabilise yourself at this point. To become the Observer, the Pivot around which creation and dissolution are perfectly balanced. And the speciality of the Damru, the binaural beats, so in your jap a state will come when the Sutrani literally vanish in a burst of indescribable light/ sound/ energy. This is the state of Samadhi. And it happens.

In families who follow Sanatan Dharma, this sequence is taught to the boy child at the time of the Yajnopavit Sanskar and he is required to recite it during his Gayatri puja sequence regularly. For girls, wearing the Yajnopavit sutra is not compulsory, but all girls should be taught the Gayatri mantra and also these Sutrani on their 6th birthday.

So if you can, do add the Maheshwar Sutrani to your daily routine. Also teach your child and other family members, it takes less than 15 seconds to recite it once. On the very mundane levels, they are healing in nature and regular recitation will ensure that your physical and mental health remains balanced.

This will improve your pronunciation of the Akshar. Today people are unable to pronounce certain sounds, either they purposely spoil the sound or possibly they cannot say these. Spoiling the pronunciation of the Akshar affects your own energy, so always try to be as clear in your pronunciation. स्पष्ट उच्चारण is an asset. Do not unnecessarily fake accents or twist the sound, it will spoil your pronunciation for ever.

(Some people where I live pronounce र Ra as ड Da. eg Hindi Parso as Padso, Mirchi as Midchi, Kar lo as Kad lo. Then Ya as Ja, like Yug is pronounced as Jug! Some add an extra ‘A’ sound, स्त्री stri as istri इस्त्री  though funny is actually common. But the heights was when an astrologer was pronouncing स्पष्ट spasht as अस्पष्ट aspasht, which was actually sad.)

Pronouncing the Akshar correctly means that your tongue is touching the correct parts of your mouth. This is what grants you the complete energy of the Akshar. (For Sadhaks, control over the tongue is critical. Ever wondered why it is attached only from one end?) As you improve your pronunciations, you will be able recite your mantra, stotra etc perfectly, this is invaluable. First is verbal jap, the tongue and the mouth, then as you perfect this, the jap moves inwards, manasik jap at the 3rd eye. And then you see what you are meant to see. Illumination.

26 thoughts on “Phonemes of Sanskrit Shiv Sutrani

  1. sharshala January 30, 2022 / 1:36 pm

    Namaste mam,
    Thank you for the post. Mam, you indicated about regular recitation. Is there a minimum count to be followed, can you please suggest.


  2. Gratitude January 30, 2022 / 2:10 pm

    Pranam Dearest Tejaswini Mam 🙏🏻

    Thank you so much for sharing all this wonderful info with the how-to’s!!!! It is so so so appreciated!!! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    And You have a euphonious voice..👌🏻👌🏻 You’ve got some interesting vocal range.. and it’s a great start..👌🏻👌🏻🙌🏻✨
    you are not less than any professional singers.. Moreover, you added beauty to this shlok with your pure and great faith with your lovely tone..😍👌🏻🙌🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    Looking forward to hearing more from you..🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 kindly requesting you please consider my humble request and Please do share more with your voice..🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    Lots of respect,love and gratitude 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ANAND January 30, 2022 / 3:57 pm

    Pranaam Madam,
    This is a knowledge portal, much more than a blog. I don’t have any words to say thanks except echo the words of countless other grateful readers like myself.

    And a special thanks for pronouncing ऋ ऌ ङ ञ for us, I never knew the correct pronunciation thus far.

    Sincere gratitude best wishes and prayers as always,


    • astrologerbydefault January 30, 2022 / 6:34 pm

      Hi there
      even language teachers cannot pronounce the ङ ञ correctly
      they do not know about ऌ so no question of being able to pronounce it properly
      and the do not know how to pronounce ऋ I think only Marathi people pronounce it correctly.
      and they are unaware that ऋ ॠ is how the hrasva and deergha are written.

      i live in Uttar Bharat and when my son was very small his school teacher was scolding him for ‘incorrectly’ pronouncing the akshar. so i had to go and teach her a few things.

      Liked by 3 people

      • ANAND January 30, 2022 / 11:28 pm

        Pranaam Madam,
        Thanks so much for this knowledge. I don’t know if I may ask a pronunciation related question, for the mantra of Surya dev,

        I am doubtful about my pronunciation, in the beej mantra for example, the “hraang hreeng hroung” sound , I don’t know how much to stress on the ह्र part of the pronunciation, sometimes I feel it comes ok but I go out of breath when I do the jaap, and sometimes only the ह्र part sounds very similar to ” ऋ” manasik jaap is ideal, but I am still not there yet , hence this beginner query.

        I tried to look for the right pronunciation, some people have pronounced it as raang , which in my humble opinion would be incorrect. Any inputs would be helpful to many of us, of course only if it is convenient for you Madam. We are sincerely grateful for every letter typed on this knowledge portal.

        Sincere regards and best wishes,


      • astrologerbydefault January 31, 2022 / 10:32 am

        Hi there
        it is not a difficult sound to pronounce. Hrushikesh, Hruday etc are the same sound. no need to stress on anything artificially. it comes very naturally. if you over think it will cause problems.

        If you have heard Shri Kalicharan Maharaj speak, he has the best pronunciations i have ever heard.
        i recently heard Shri Ramchandra stuti recited by him and i played it on a loop for a few days literally, hours and hours.
        such a glorious voice, just the right mix of deep and nasal tones, perfect pronunciation and when a Yogi recites it is a different experience altogether.

        another thing, if you have a choice between equally well recited stotras by male and female artists, then the stotra in the male voice has more energy.

        meanwhile seeing this interest in Sanskrit, i have added the best possible recitation of Shri Ganapati Atharvashirsha in this post.

        Liked by 4 people

    • ANAND February 3, 2022 / 9:29 pm

      Pranaam Madam,

      Thanks so much for this guidance and of course this information. If I may say so on behalf of countless other grateful readers like myself of this knowledge portal, each post and many of its replies all open new dimensions of perceptions and realization… Be it the posts on Advaita or Devbhasha Sanskrutam, and of course Jyotish and many others, they all open new dimensions in us.. I have only described part of the realization, so much of it is beyond words.

      I have no words to express our gratitude except a heartfelt namaskar with folded hands.

      Sincere regards best wishes and prayers as always,


  4. anejaspeak January 30, 2022 / 5:22 pm

    Very beautiful post. You are right this is the first mantra in your voice though you have posted the very nice meditation session on YT.
    Somehow this post seem to end too soon. As if there was more to be said.
    Thank You. God bless.


  5. anejaspeak January 30, 2022 / 5:23 pm

    Could you pls cover the halant also?


  6. Nagarathna January 30, 2022 / 8:38 pm

    I needed this so very much. Thank you


  7. Joel January 30, 2022 / 9:57 pm

    Very timely post. I am in the beginning stages of learning the Sanskrit alphabet.
    Interesting note: I did feel a transcending effect after following your audio pronunciations !

    Jai Guru Dev


    • astrologerbydefault January 30, 2022 / 10:02 pm

      Hi there
      it is the energy of the Nataraj, all of it and always. they are his Shiv Sutra.
      not mine, not even in the audio, by any stretch of imagination.
      i mean that the mantra is from the Nataraj, the recital is because he has allowed/desired it.
      it is a mantra, so no human shud even for the tiniest instant feel that he/she has recited/ written/ spoken etc. this leads to self ego of the worst sort.
      they are always and in all forms the Shiv Sutrani By Nataraj Raja.

      apologies for the curtness here, i generally do not feel but the ‘your audio’ part of the comment sort of hit me on a deeper level.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Deepa January 31, 2022 / 1:46 am

    Awesome! We are Tamil brahmins but my sons always used to ask me why our Tamil sounds so different from others. I followed our speaking carefully over the next few days and found that actually, half the words were Sanskrit and the remaining had lot of Sanskrit aksharams. I completely agree with your easy about power of the sounds/ vibrations. I am wondering if you could post a few audio clips of your posts. Would love to hear the emotion behind the powerful essays you write. Thank you for the post.


    • astrologerbydefault January 31, 2022 / 9:33 am

      Hi there
      Tamil is nothing but a degraded version of Sanskrit just like the rest of the world’s languages. Unfortunately political narrative has cost these people their history and Dharma. Grandioseness and fake ego never works.

      I would encourage every person frm TN to listen to Dr R Nagaswamy’s videos and read his books. There is only one Dharma and one Devbhasha and to hear it with such conviction backed by proof frm language architecture books philosophy! Everyone can learn frm him. I only have heard his videos on YT and am tremendously impressed by him. Such clarity precision and dedication to Dharma. Utterly brilliant. He left his physical coil this month but his work is still there fr us.

      I do not have so much free time in life tht i can make audios/videos. It is too time consuming.
      I can write a post over a week coz i manage 10-15 mins here and there.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Vyjayanti January 31, 2022 / 11:56 am


    Samskrutam has been systematically removed from India’s education system and from the psyche of Bharatiyas.

    It was the one unifying factor. If this was removed, then it is easy to split Bharat.

    If the Bharatiya loses his samskrutam connection, then the wiring of the brain, the connection to the vibration within is also lost.

    I only managed to glance through this post of yours…saving it for another day…(maybe upcoming Shivaratri period) when I can cherish the deep resonance of Lord Shiva’s damaru.

    Only in Samskrutam, shabda and swara are one and the same.

    Om Namah Shivaya!


  10. Gratitude January 31, 2022 / 1:13 pm

    Pranam Dearest Tejaswini Mam 💗🙏🏻

    Thank you thank you thank you so much for sharing Amazing Shri Ganapati Atharvasheersha…👌🏻👌🏻🙌🏻 for the first time I’m listening it, and I can’t stop myself from continually listening.. After 7,8 times of hearing it , I wanted to know the meaning of it and it has a really beautiful meaning.. 💗💗👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻
    Thank you so much for this wonderful sharing and million thanks to that soul who moved you to share this beautiful recitation..💗💗🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    Thought of giving my full time completely after 6 months for Sanskrit learning because of my other projects now.. but whenever I read something about Sanskrit here I feel like I should start learning immediately.. but I’m unable to manage mam..I hope it will start soon..

    Kudos to your time managing skills..🙌🏻🙌🏻 you are unbelievable and always inspiring mam..🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
    More power to you..🔥🔥🙏🏻🙏🏻

    Lots of respect, love and gratitude..💗🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻


      • Gratitude January 31, 2022 / 5:34 pm

        Thank you for that beautiful article about Sanskrit mam.. and it’s quite convincing to learn Sanskrit through YT videos and chandamama books for beginners.. and definitely after witnessing a woman like YOU, who can do this much even in a hurried lifestyle Why can’t I try to manage 30 minutes of time daily to learn something..

        I’m going to start learning Sanskrit from today itself.. hope I will give it my best mam.. thank you for making it easy for me with your practical suggestions at least to start without thinking much.. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

        Lots of respect,love and gratitude 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻


  11. Sunny February 4, 2022 / 11:15 pm

    Hello ma’am,

    phenominal article…thank you so much…really needed

    “Ever wondered why it is attached only from one end?”…this statement striked me….

    “One can read, recite and hear the mantra only if the Bhagwan desires/allows it.” Why so? Doesn’t free will have any role to play?


  12. sharshala February 5, 2022 / 8:40 am

    Namaste mam,
    I need your advice, when I do my gayatri jaap in the morning, i tend to yawn. Since it’s early morning, i would not had my breakfast too! I would not be lazy too! Why does this happens? Is there something wrong, which I need to correct? Your advice is needed mam.


      • sharshala February 5, 2022 / 11:26 am

        😊yes mam, thank you.


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