Shiva and Language

Yesterday (10 Mar) was Shivaratri.

Shiva is also known to be Nataraja -
the expert dancer.

The dancing Nataraja is the root of
language. How so ?

Inline image 1 Nataraja

Nataraja holds a drum (extreme left hand in pic).
He beat it fourteen times at the end of his dance.
This produced the fourteen
sutras called Maaheshvara Sutrani.

The fourteen Maaheshvara Sutrani
constitute the alphabet and sounds
of Sanskrit.
(and subsequently other languages)

The fourteen sutras are referred to in
Panini’s Ashtadhyayi.

There is a story behind how Panini
came to know about these Sutras. [+]

Panini was student in Pataliputra (Patna).
However he was considered dull in his
studies. So, he went to the
Himalayas to do Tapas.

While doing Tapas, he got a glimpse
of Nataraja’s dance and heard the
fourteen beats of the drum.
He returns to Pataliputra and gains
fame for his expertise on grammar.

When Panini wrote Ashtadhyayi,
he used these Maaheshvara Sutrani
as short cuts to articulate the grammar rules.

For example, the first sutra starts
with sound a ( अ ) and the last sutra
ends with l ( ल् ), so al ( अल् ) means
all the sounds in the fourteen sutras

This also constitutes the whole alphabet.
It is said that this “al” is the root
for the English word – alphabet.

So, from the dance of Shiva was born
the basis of languages, the basis of

[+] Katha-Sarit-Sagara, 4th Taranga, verses 20-22

About 200 of you replied to the
one year anniversary newsletter.
Thank you very much for your responses !

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