Terms

51 Letters of Sanskrit

In one version of Sanskrit there are 51 letters linked to 51 sounds anfd to the 51 skulls of Kali. Other versions of the Alphabet have 48 49, 50, 52 letters. The alphabet is subdivided into 15 vowels (Skt., nityas) and 36 (semi-vowels and) consonants (Skt., tattvas); making it one of the largest alphabetic scripts in use today. the unique ‘sArasvata-siddhi’ (the siddhi of all Speech and Learning) obtained by the contemplation of LalitA-Tripurasundari surrounded by the vAg-devatAs (the Gods of speech). The name ‘vAg-devatA’, if used in the singular, denotes Sarasvati Herself. When it is used in the plural, it denotes eight divinities. They are assigned as follows to the various aksharas (letters of the alphabet): One for the sixteen vowels; One for the five letters starting with ka; Similarly one for each set of five letters starting respectively with cha, Ta, ta, and pa; One for ya, ra, la and va; One for sha, shha, sa, ha, La, kshha. Thus there are eight vAg-devatAs for the 51 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet.The first of these is called ‘vashinI’. Therefore all the eight are called ‘vashinI, etc. devatAs’ (vashinyAdi devatAH) or simply, ‘vashinI devatAs’ http://www.geocities.com/profvk/gohitvip/DPDS31-35.html
Back