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  • 1 | P a g e h t t p : / / w w w . v i r t u a l v i n o d h . c o m

    Grantha Script Lessons Grantha Lipi Ph



    Grantha Script Lessons by Vinodh Rajan is licensed under a Creative Commons

    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 India License.

    Based on a work at

    To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.

  • 2 | P a g e h t t p : / / w w w . v i r t u a l v i n o d h . c o m

    Contents Buddhanusmriti 3

    Grantha - 1 - Vowels 5

    Grantha - 2 - Ayogavaha 11

    Grantha - 3 - Consonants - Ka 17

    Grantha - 4 - Consonants ca - a 21

    Grantha - 5 - Consonants ta - pa 25

    Grantha - 6 - Consonants ya - ha 29

    Grantha - 7 - Summary I 34

    Grantha - 8 - Vowel Signs I 42

    Grantha - 9 - Vowel Signs II 48

    Grantha - 10 - Vowel-less Consonants 52

    Grantha - 11 - Summary II 55

    Grantha - 12 - Conjuncts I 61

    Grantha - 13 - Conjuncts II 64

    Grantha - 14 - Conjuncts III 70

    Grantha - 15 - Conjunct IV 75

    Grantha - 16 - Conjuncts V 80

    Grantha - 17 - Grantha Fonts & Softwares 85

    Sample Texts in Grantha 93

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    buddhnusmti :

    o nama sarvabuddhabodhisattvebhya

    : :

    ityapi buddho bhagavstathgato'rhan


    samyaksabuddho vidycaraasampanna


  • 4 | P a g e h t t p : / / w w w . v i r t u a l v i n o d h . c o m

    sugato lokavidanuttara puruadamyasrathi

    : :

    st devamanuy buddho bhagavniti

    o mune mune mahmunaye svh |

  • 5 | P a g e h t t p : / / w w w . v i r t u a l v i n o d h . c o m

    Grantha - 1 - Vowels

    | : |

    || ||

    || : ||

    || 'a' is the door to all Dharmas, for they are all originally unproduced ||

    Vijayadashami is usually a very special day to start, any related to Vidya. It is very auspicious to start Akshara Abhyasa [ ] at this day.

    Traditionally, Children are made to write the letter "", and start their education.

    So, in this auspicious day of Vijayadashami, lets start our lessons on Grantha Lipi. :-)

    We'll start our lesson with the Vowels a.k.a Svara-s. [ :: - ]

    Sanskrit has 14 Svara-s and 2 Ubhaykara-s [ ] that go along with the Svara-s.

    The 14 Svara-s in order are:

  • 6 | P a g e h t t p : / / w w w . v i r t u a l v i n o d h . c o m




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  • 8 | P a g e h t t p : / / w w w . v i r t u a l v i n o d h . c o m





    As you would have noted, some letters are same as that in Tamil and some are similar to that of Tamil. Lets sum up the similar letters:

    Same letters as in Tamil:

  • 9 | P a g e h t t p : / / w w w . v i r t u a l v i n o d h . c o m Letters similar to that in Tamil:

    Therefore, you would need to remember, only the following distinct forms.

    The other letters are only used very rarely, learn them at your own pace :-)

    Pronunciation of Letters I want to specifically write about the pronunciation of the following 4 letters. The other letters have the same pronunciation as in Tamil.

    - Must be pronounced similar to the ' in .

    Approximately, it has a pronunciation between /ri/ and /ru/

  • 10 | P a g e h t t p : / / w w w . v i r t u a l v i n o d h . c o m

    - It is the longer counterpart of the above letter.

    - Similar to the pronunciation of , but with a /l/ sound instead of /r/.

    It is highly erroneous to pronounce it as /lri/ as some people do.

    - The longer variant of the above letter

    I end the lesson with this. Next week, we can see about the Ubhaykara-s in detail.

    Wouldn't it be fair, to end the lesson without home work :-P. Try identifying the Akshara-s in the below jumbled text.

  • 11 | P a g e h t t p : / / w w w . v i r t u a l v i n o d h . c o m

    Grantha - 2 - Ayogavaha

    | | : |

    || | ||

    || : ||

    || ||

    || This is indeed the entrance into the non-duality (Advaya) of the Bodhisattvas. || || In that there is no use for syllables, sounds, and ideas ||

    Yet another lesson on Grantha Lipi. I ain't gonna teach Advaya, so bear with my discourse on syllables & sounds :-)

    This will be a short lesson. We'll be seeing 2 new characters called Anusvra & Visarga. They come under a class of characters called Ayogavha [Previously, I mentioned them as Ubhaykshara-s. However, the correct grammatical term for them is this].

    The Ayogavha class of characters do not exist independently, but rely on the vowel preceding them (An Analogy would be the Saarbezhuththu of Tamil). The other two characters that come under Ayogavha are Jihvmlya & Upadhmnya. [We will discuss them along with the consonants, for orthographic reasons]

    As Ayogavha are not independent, usually Anusvra & Visarga are shown in combination with 'a'. However, they can combine with all the vowel signs.

    Also in this lesson we will also learn two additional orthographic devices called Avagraha & Candrabindu .

  • 12 | P a g e h t t p : / / w w w . v i r t u a l v i n o d h . c o m

    Anusvra a

    Anusvra is a character that denotes the pure nasal. It is not the same as the pure consonant [ m ]as many commonly tend to mispronounce. It has unique sound different from that of [m ].There are some intricate differences between the pronunciations of both the letters.

    Anusvra should be pronounced as follows: With the mouth closed in the natural position, the nasal sound must be released. I know its difficult to replicate this, but at least give it a try :-). For ordinary consonantal [m ], the lips press against each other hard, and the sound is produced. This doesn't happen during the pronunciation of the Anusvra.

    Also, later in this series, we will discuss about the *approximate* pronunciation of the Anusvra when a consonant follows it. [Do note, the Anusvara is always pronounced as a pure nasal whatever position it may appear. We are just approximating the sound to get a better grasp of it]

    Try writing all the vowels in the previous lesson along with the Anusvara. No big deal, its just a small circle ! But just make sure, the circle is half the height of the preceding character. If a full height circle is drawn , it will become another character [which again we will see it later]

    Visarga : a

    Visarga is another interesting character in Sanskrit. It echoes the [h] sound in accordance with the vowel that precedes it. The echoing sound has half-the length of the corresponding vowel.

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    nama :: - This must be pronounced as nama(ha) : (ha) has a vowel length of half-mtra [The preceding vowel 'a' is of one Mtra]

    sattv :: - Pronounced as sattvaa(ha) : (ha) having one-mtra [Since has two Matra]

    viu : - Realized as Vishnu(hu) : (hu) having

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