Krsna Kirtana Songs est. 2001 www.kksongs.org
Lesson 6: Consonant Clusters 3 (Exceptions)
The last lesson, despite a relatively straightforward one, was a very difficult one. While the examples seemed fairly easy, there might have been points which were overlooked. How would one know that ba was supposed to bond with ja in the same way a typical Devanagari letter would? How would one know when to put the second letter below the first letter? While kka (k + ka) has a form of two ka letters where was on the top and the other on top, why does jja (j + ja) produce a cluster with both ja letters side? Even more confusing is when a third letter is added to the jja mix, why does it resort to a form where the first ja is losing its arm? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, but experience.
Experience will be built, but this chapter requires solid memorization. Unlike Devanagari where there were a few exceptions, this chapter will be filled with letters and mixes that do not follow the general trend.
The first letter is the mix between ka and ṣa to form kṣa. Figure 6.1 shows kṣa in a very unusual form. Be sure to know this letter very well, because there is a letter that looks very similar to the next letter in our discussion.
The letter that looks kṣa is the mix of ha and ma to form the letter hma. Notice the difference in the shape of kṣa and hma.
Double ṭa almost adheres to the same process of stacking the letters on top of each other. The only difference is that the second ṭa is not really a ṭa. Figure 6.2A shows this.
CLUSTERS WITH THE LETTER ta
The letter ta has many exceptions in its formation of clusters. Let alone clusters, even the virama form is quite irregular.
The letter ta mixes with ra to form tra. Special attention is needed for this letter. This is not like Devanagari where a great majority of the letters has lines above them. In Bengali, there are a good number of letters where the shape of the letter is the same, but the presence of the line above them makes all the difference in the word. Without the line above tra, the letter is changed to the vowel e.
When two ta letters combine, a new shape is formed. Again, pay attention to the line above the letter tta. Without the line, it is the vowel o.
The clusters discussed up to this point can use any vowel marking normally. However, when the vowel u is added to any cluster that has the second letter being ta, the tu takes shape of tta. Look at Figure 6.6 when the mix of st and nt with u to form stu and ntu respectively. These letters are not stt or ntt.
The last letter in our ta subsection is the mix between ka and ta. The form reminds us of tta with the right half of ka. This is very odd because ka is the first letter of the cluster, but its on the right. In addition, tta shape is used, even though it is just one ta, not two.
With the mix between ka and ra, the kra letter looks like tra with the right half of ka. Again, without the line, it might confuse a reader into reading kra and ai. (Technically, the right arm of ai is different from kra.)
MIXES WITH THE FORM OF ρa
The last form of todays discussion is the mix between the form of ρa. Why the word form will be highlighted soon. The first cluster is the mix between ja and ρa to form jρa. The form is shown by the left half of ja, with the right half of the letter ρa.
Lastly, the mix of ṣa and ṇa requires special attention. The first half of the letter ṣṇa is a full ṣa character, with the ṇ take a strange form. Actually, it is a very strange mutation to form the right half of ρa.
TABLE OF CLUSTERS
When I studied Bengali in 2000, the first website I encountered was ukindia.coms Bengali reading tutorial. Through the help of that site, I develop the basis of being able to read Bengali. However, consonant clusters are indeed a challenge to master. After reading the Caitanya Caritamrtas Bengali verses, I began to pick up the general forms of compounding consonants. A special table was made on that site. I modified it to be relevant to the last three chapters. Always note, there may be exceptions.
1: This form of k is used for kta and kra.
2: This form is used as a ρa symbol for the letter jρa. This form is used as a ṇa symbol for the letter ṣṇa.
3: This form is tu for a consonant cluster with a full ta. This is not tta.
Try spelling these words using Bengali Script:
1. kṛṣṇa (Lord Krsna)
2. kīrtana (chanting of the Lords name)
3. bhakti-yoga (devotional service) *use the ja form of ya.
4. yajρa (sacrifice)
5. lakṣmīpriyā (Lord Caitanyas wife: Laksmipriya)
6. karuṇā sindhu (ocean of mercy)
7. brahma-saḿhita (Brahma Samhita)
8. kṣatriya (warrior-administrative class)
9. prahlāda (Prahalada Maharaja)
10. nāma-haṭṭa (The storehouse of the Lords name)
Try reading the words from Bengali script.
UPDATED: June 16, 2009