2019-05-19

narasiṁhapañcāmr̥tastōtram

rāmāya rāmabhadrāya rāmacandrāya vēdhasē ।
raghunāthāya nāthāya sītāyāḥ patayē namaḥ ॥
māturmātāmahadayitayā saumyayā śrāvitō yacchrīrāmēṇāracitanr̥haristōtrapañcāmr̥tākhyam ।
vyācikhyāsurmanasi vidadhadrājalakṣmīṁ suśīlāṁ śaurērbhaktāṁ paramapadagāṁ yatnamētaṁ karōmi ॥
 atha stōtram ।
ahōbilaṁ nārasiṁhaṁ gatvā rāmaḥ pratāpavān ।
namaskr̥tvā śrīnr̥siṁhamastauṣītkamalāpatim ॥
ślōkōyam uparyuktānāṁ padyānāṁ sandarbhaṁ dhvanayati । rāmaḥ śrīrāmacandraḥ । pratāpavān tējōmayaḥ । nārasiṁhaṁ narasiṁhasya idamiti taddhitavr̥ddhiḥ । ahōbilam āndhradēśē bhavanāśinītīrē prakhyātaṁ narasiṁhakṣētram । tadgatvā prāpya । namaskr̥tvā namaskr̥tya namōvācaṁ vidhāya । sākṣātprabhr̥tīni ca ityatra namasaḥ sākṣātprabhr̥titvāt gatisañjñāvikalpāt lyabvikalpāt ktvāntaṁ sidhyati । śrīnr̥siṁhaṁ śriyā ṣaḍbhirguṇaiḥ sahitaṁ nā cāsau siṁhaśca nr̥siṁhastaṁ । yadvā śriyā lakṣmyā sahitaṁ nr̥siṁhastaṁ kamalāpatiṁ śriyō nityānapāyitvāt । astauṣīt prāśaṁsīt । anuṣṭubvr̥ttam ।
gōvinda kēśava janārdana vāsudēva viśvēśa viśva madhusūdana viśvarūpa ।
śrīpadmanābha puruṣōttama puṣkarākṣa nārāyaṇācyuta nr̥siṁha namō namastē ॥
atra narasiṁhaṁ caturdaśabhiḥ nāmabhiḥ japan rāmaḥ tasmai namō vyāharati । sarvāṇi bhagavannāmadhēyāni sambuddhau । gōvinda । gavāṁ vāṇīnāṁ stutīnāṁ vindaḥ labdhā surēbhya iti gōvindaḥ । yadvā gāṁ bhūmim avindat prāpnōditi । yadvā gāvō vēdavāṇyō yaṁ vindanti labhantē sa iti । yadvā gavāṁ dhēnūnāṁ vindaḥ pālaḥ iti kr̥ṣṇāvatāramahimnaḥ । kēśava । kēśādvōnyatarasyām iti praśaṁsāyāṁ vaḥ ucyatē । śōbhanāḥ kēśā yasya sa iti । yadvā vānti gandhayanti iti vāḥ kēśā yasya sa iti । janārdana । janān durjanān ardayati hinastīti । yadvā janaiḥ bhāgavatairardyatē yācyatē varān iti । vāsudēva । vasati asmin sarvamiti vāsuḥ, vāsyatē upasēvyatē bhaktairiti vā । dīvyati ramatē vijigīṣati dyōtatē stūyatē mōdatē vēti dēvaḥ divum̐ krīḍāvijigīṣāvyavahāradyutistutimōdamadasvapnakāntigatiṣviti dhātupāṭhāt । vāsuścāsau dēvaścēti vāsudēvaḥ । yadvā vasudēvasyāpatyaṁ pumāniti ādivr̥ddhēḥ । viśvēśa । viśvasya brahmāṇḍasya īśaḥ nāthaḥ viśvēśaḥ lōkanāthaḥ । viśva । viśati sarvamiti viśvam । mōkṣadharmaparvaṇaḥ “vēṣanādviśvamityāhurlōkānām” iti । madhusūdana । madhunāmānamasuraṁ sūdati hantīti । viśvarūpa । viśvāni sarvāṇi rūpāṇi yasya saḥ । śrīpadmanābha । śriyā yuktaḥ padmanābhaḥ । padmaṁ kamalaṁ sakalalōkakāraṇībhūtaṁ nābhau yasya saḥ । yadvā padmānāṁ lōkānāṁ hr̥dayakamalānāṁ nābhau madhyē bhavaḥ iti । yadvā padyatē jnāyata iti padmaṁ jnānam । padmasya jnānasya nābhī kēndraṁ padmanābhaḥ । puruṣōttama । uttamaḥ puruṣaḥ puruṣōttamaḥ । “na nirdhāraṇē” iti ṣaṣṭhītatpuruṣē niṣiddhē karmadhārayaḥ । yadvā puruṣēbhyō mānavēbhya uttama iti pañcamītatpuruṣaḥ । puṣkarākṣa । puṣkarē kamalapuṣpē iva akṣiṇī yasya saḥ । yadvā pōṣayatī bhūtānīti puṣkarē akṣiṇī yasya saḥ । nārāyaṇa । narāt jātāni tattvāni pañca nārāṇi । nārāṇyayanaṁ yasya saḥ, antaryāmitvānnārēṣu bhagavatō vidyamānatvāt । yadvā nārāṇām ayanaṁ pralayakāla iti । acyuta । na cyutaḥ iti । svarūpasāmarthyānna cyutaḥ । yadvā prapannēbhyō anapagatavāt acyutaḥ । yadvā jananabālyakaumārajarādyavasthāyānām avasthāntaraṁ na cyavatīti । nr̥simha । nā cāsau siṁhaścēti nr̥siṁhvātarārūpaḥ । namaḥ namaskarōmi । tē tubhyaṁ “namaḥsvāhāsvadhālamvaṣaḍyōgācca” ityanēna caturthī । “uktā vasantatilakā tabhajā jagau gaḥ” iti vasantatilakāvr̥ttam ।
dēvāḥ samastāḥ khalu yōgimukhyāḥ gandharvavidyādharakinnarāśca ।
yatpādamūlaṁ satataṁ namanti taṁ nārasiṁhaṁ śaraṇam gatōsmi ॥
samastāḥ sarvē dēvāḥ surāḥ khalu nūnam । yōgimukhyāḥ mukhyāḥ pramukhāḥ yōginaḥ । gandharvāśca vidyādharāśca kinnarāścā gandharvavidyādharakinnarāśca bhinnaprakārā dēvayōnayaḥ । yatpādamūlaṁ yasya pādayōḥ aṅghryōrmūlam adhōbhāgam । satataṁ sadā punaḥ punarvā namanti namaskurvanti taṁ tathābhūtam । nārasiṁhaṁ narasiṁha ēva nārasiṁhaḥ svārthēṇ । yadvā narasya avayavāni nārāṇi nāraiḥ sahitaḥ siṁhaḥ nārasiṁhaḥ । tam । śaraṇaṁ gataḥ prapannaḥ asmi । śrīrāmasya puṁstvāt gataḥ । stōtramidaṁ pipaṭhiṣuryōṣit gatāsmīti vacyāt । “syādindravajrā tatajāstatō gau” itīndravajrāvr̥ttam ।
vēdān samastān khalu śāstragarbhān vidyābalē kīrtimatīṁ ca lakṣmīm ।
yasya prasādāt satataṁ labhantē taṁ nārasiṁhaṁ śaraṇam gatōsmi ॥
vēdān samastān sarvān r̥gyajussāmāni khalu nanu śāstragarbhān śāstrāntargatān । vidyābalē vidyā jnānaṁ balaṁ śastrāṇi ca । kīrtimatīṁ lakṣmīṁ yaśasā yuktaṁ māṅgalyam । satataṁ sadā bhūri vā labhantē । janā iti śēṣaḥ । yasya nr̥siṁhasya prasādāt anugrahāt । taṁ tathābhūtaṁ nārasiṁhaṁ śaraṇaṁ gatōsmi । yathāpūrvam indravajrā ।
brahmā śivastvaṁ puruṣōttamaśca nārāyaṇōsau marutāṁ patiśca ।
candrārkavāyvagnimarudgaṇāśca tvamēva taṁ tvāṁ satataṁ natōsmi ॥
brahmā viriñciḥ śivō mahēśaḥ puruṣōttamaḥ mahāviṣṇuḥ । nārāyaṇaḥ paramātmasvarūpaḥ । asau viprakr̥ṣṭaḥ paratvāt । marutāṁ patiḥ marutvān indraḥ । candrārkavāyvagnimarudgaṇāśca candrō vidhuḥ arkaḥ sūryaḥ vāyuḥ samīraṇaḥ agniranalaḥ marudgaṇā maruddēvatāśca । sarvā api imā dēvatāḥ tvamēva । taṁ tādr̥śaṁ tvāṁ bhavantaṁ satataṁ santataṁ natōsmi namāmi । ṇamam̐dhātōḥ gatyarthakatvāt kartari ktaḥ । yathāpūrvaṁ yōṣidbhirnatāsmīti vācyam । “syādindravajrā tatajāstatō gāvupēndravajrā jatajāstatō gau । anantarōdīritalakṣmabhājaḥ pādā yadīyā upajātayastāḥ ॥” ityupajātivr̥ttam ।
svapnēpi nityaṁ jagatām trayāṇāṁ sraṣṭā ca hantā ca vibhurapramēyaḥ ।
trātā tvamēkastrividhō vibhinnaḥ taṁ tvāṁ nr̥siṁhaṁ satataṁ natōsmi ॥
svapnēpi saṁvēśē api nityaṁ sarvadā jagatāṁ lōkānāṁ trayāṇāṁ trayasya sraṣṭā nirmātā hantā nāśayitā । vibhuḥ vividhaṁ bhavati vibhavāvatāraiḥ sarvavyāpitvādvā । apramēyaḥ pramātumaśakyaḥ । trātā rakṣitā । tvam ēkaḥ kēvalaḥ trividhaḥ sr̥ṣṭisthitisaṁhārakartāraḥ । vibhinnaḥ brahmaviṣṇurudrādirūpaḥ । “ēkaṁ sadviprā bahudhā vadanti” iti r̥gvēdē । samastadēvatāntaryāmitvādvā । “mayā tatamidaṁ sarvaṁ jagadavyaktamūrtinā” iti gītācāryōktiḥ । taṁ tathābhūtaṁ tvāṁ nr̥siṁhaṁ satataṁ sadā natōsmi pūjayāmi । punaśca indravajrānāmnī upajātiḥ ।
iti stutvā raghuśrēṣṭhaḥ pūjayāmāsa taṁ harim ।
puṣpavr̥ṣṭiḥ papātāśu tasya dēvasya mūrdhani ।
sādhu sādhviti taṁ prōcurdēvā r̥ṣigaṇaiḥ saha ॥
iti stutvā nutvā raghuśrēṣṭhaḥ raghukulapuṅgavaḥ pūjayāmāsa ānarca taṁ hariṁ naraharim । puṣpavr̥ṣṭiḥ kusumadhārā papāta samapatat tasya dēvasya rāmasya mūrdhani śirasi । sādhu sādhviti praśamsāvācakān śabdān taṁ śrīrāmacandraṁ prōcurjughuṣuḥ dēvā amartyā r̥ṣigaṇaiḥ munisamūhaiḥ saha sahitāḥ । anuṣṭup ।
rāghavēṇa kr̥taṁ stōtraṁ pañcāmr̥tamanuttamam ।
paṭhanti yē dvijavarāstēṣāṁ svargastu śāśvataḥ ॥
rāghavēṇa raghukulōtpannēna kr̥taṁ viracitaṁ stōtraṁ stavaḥ pañcāmrtaṁ pañcabhiḥ amr̥tatulyaiḥ ślōkaiḥ vihitaṁ anuttamaṁ avidyamānam uttamaṁ śrēṣṭhataram itarastōtraṁ yasmāt tat dvitīyāyām । paṭhanti vadanti yē dvijavarāḥ agrajanmānaḥ tēṣāṁ svargaḥ uttamapadavī śāśvataḥ nityaḥ bhavēditi । tu niścayārthē । anuṣtubvr̥ttam ।

॥ iti śam ॥

2018-07-26

அத்துச்சாரியை பெயரிற்கு முன்னும் வரும்

பெரும்பாலும் மகரத்தில் முடியும் சொற்களுக்கு அத்துச்சாரியை வரும். மரத்தை நோக்கினேன். பழத்தினது சுவை. ஆயிரத்தில் ஒருவன். மகரத்தில் முடியும்.

குறிப்பாக, எத்தறுவாயில் இறுதி டகரம் றகரம் இரட்டிக்குமோ அத்தறுவாயில் மகரத்தில் முடிவனவிற்கு அத்துச்சாரியை வரும். எப்படி மாடு + வண்டி, ஆறு + மீன், குருடு + கண் முறையே மாட்டுவண்டி, ஆற்றுமீன், குருட்டுக்கண் எனப் புணர்ந்தன, அதுபோல் மரம் + மேல், பழம் + ஈ, ஆயிரம் + நூறு ஆகியவை முறையே மரத்துமேல், பழத்து ஈ, ஆயிரத்துநூறு எனப் புணரும்.

மேலும், இவ்விதிமுறை பெயர்களுக்கும் பொருந்தும். இராமநாதபுரத்தைச் சேர்ந்தவர் “இராமநாதபுரத்துச் சீனிவாச அய்யங்கார்”. மகாராசபுரத்தில் பிறந்தவர் “மகாராசபுரத்து விசுவநாத அய்யர்”. கும்பகோணத்தில் வாழ்ந்தவர் “கும்பகோணத்து இராசமாணிக்கம் பிள்ளை”. மாம்பலத்தில் வசிக்கும் தாத்தா “மாம்பலத்துத் தாத்தா”. பல்லாவரத்தில் வாழும் மாமன் “பல்லாவரத்து மாமன்”.

இக்காலத்தில் இந்த வழி மீறி சொல்வோர் பலர் உண்டு. ஆனால் மலையாளத்திலும் கன்னடத்திலும் இம்முறை கெடாது இருக்கின்றது. “குறியேடத்துத் தாத்திரி” என்பவர் கேரளத்தில் சுமார் நூறாண்டுகளுக்கு முன் நடந்த பாலியல் குற்றவிசாரணையில் இடம்பெற்றார். இந்நாளும் “குறியேடத்து நாராயணன்” என பெயர்கள் உள்ளன. பிரபல முன்னாள் திரைப்பட இசையமைப்பாளரின் முழு பெயரானது “மனயங்கத்து விசுவநாதன்”. கன்னடம் பேசும் ஒருவரின் குடும்பப்பெயரின் தமிழாக்கம் “மடத்து”. அதாவது மடத்தைச் சேர்ந்த குடும்பத்தின் பெயர். தமிழிலும் இவ்வழியினைக் காத்தல் வேண்டும்.

2018-05-20

Optimising catching the bus

Often times on my way home, I find myself walking North on Stone Way, attempting to catch a Westbound bus #44 on 45th St. at Stone Wy. I can see the buses go past from afar on Stone Way, and when I see a bus go past, I wonder what the implications are for my wait time at the stop. When I'm far enough away, I want a bus to go past already, so that the next bus might show up just as I get to the stop. But as I get nearer the stop, I don't want a bus to go past, as that would mean a longer wait.

The worst scenario is a bus whizzing past just before I get to the stop, while the best is a bus showing up just as I do. So there's a discontinuity there, and that made me want to model the problem, and help figure out how I should adjust my walking speed to synchronise my arrival and a bus being there.

Let

  • `l` be the distance from the stop when I sight a bus go past,
  • `nu` the frequency of Westbound buses along 45th St.,
  • `v_0` my current speed, and
  • `v` my new (for simplicity) constant speed once I see the bus.

So it takes me `l/v` time to get to the stop, and `l/v mod (1/nu)` time since the last bus passed by. Thus, it's `(-l/v) mod (1/nu)` time for the next bus. I thus want to minimise (the non-negative quantity) `(-l/v) mod (1/nu)`.

Let: `-l/v mod (1/nu) = epsilon_0`, for some `epsilon_0 >= 0`
`=> -l/v = -k/nu + epsilon_0`, for some `k in ZZ_(>=0)`
`=> v = -l/(-k/nu + epsilon_0) = l/(k/nu - epsilon_0) = (l nu)/k + epsilon_1`, for some `epsilon_1 >= 0`

Thus, I should pick speeds just greater than `(l nu)/k`, for some (positive) integral `k`. Let's say I don't want to go any faster than `v_0`, but I don't want to get home soon. I'd then pick `k` such that `(l nu)/k` is just less than `v_0`, i.e. minimising the positive quantity `v_0 - (l nu)/k`.

Let's let: `v_0 - (l nu)/k = v_delta`, with `v_delta > 0`
`=> k = (l nu)/(v_0 - v_delta) = ceil((l nu)/v_0)`.

Therefore, the speed I should target, that would
  1. minimise my wait time at the stop
  2. minimise the overall time
  3. not exceed my current walking speed
is `(l nu)/ceil((l nu)/v_0`.

What are the dimensions of a mod b?


I was doing dimensional analysis for a problem, and I noticed something curious about the remainder operator (sometimes referred to as the `mod` operator).

Let's recap how arithmetic operators interact with dimensional analysis. Say the dimensions of `a` are `A`, and the dimensions of `b` are `B`. For instance, `a` could be an areal measure, and `A` would be `L^2`, while `b` might be a momentum, and `B` would then be `MLT^(-1)`.

Given such quantities `a` and `b`, it's well known that the dimensions of `a*b` is `A*B`, and that of `a/b` is `A/B`. Now how about the dimensions of `a+b` and of `a-b`? That was a trick question: it doesn't make to sense or add or subtract `a` and `b`, unless they have the same dimensions, and are in fact, expressed in the same unit. You cannot add a length and a time, and furthermore, you cannot even add two length quantities, if one is expressed in metres and another in kilometres. Likewise with subtraction.

So what's the story with the remainder operator? What're the dimensions of `a mod b`? Because of the association with `a div b`, my intuition told me it might be `A/B`. Let's test that out.

Imagine I'm walking towards a bus stop, where there's a bus every `10` minutes (in the direction I want to go). When I'm far away, I see a bus go past, and it then takes me `27` more minutes to get to the stop. How long should I expect to wait for my next bus? The answer, of course, is `10 - (27 mod 10)` minutes or `3` minutes. In general, if the time-period (the reciprocal of frequency) of buses were `b` (with dimension `T`) and the time it took me to get to the stop were `a` (with dimensions `T`), the time I should wait for would be `b - a mod b`, with dimensions `T`. The fact that this expression makes sense must mean that both `b` and `a mod b` have dimensions of `T`, and are in the same units.

So that answers what the dimensions of `a mod b` must be: the same as the dimensions of `b`. But how can the dimensions be independent of the dimensions of `a`? Actually, they're not. `a mod b` is `a - kb`, with `k` chosen such that the result is between `0` and `b` (left-inclusive). So the dimensions of `a mod b` are the same as those of `a`, which then implies the following.

Like addition and subtraction, the remainder operator is only defined on quantities with the same dimensions, and in fact, expressed in the same unit, with the result also with the same dimensions and in the same unit.

2018-05-06

மல்லிப்பூ வகை

தமிழகத்தில் விளங்கும் மல்லி வகைகள் பற்பல. அவை அனைத்துமே இறைவழிபாட்டிலும் தலையழகிற்கும் நறுமணத்திற்கும் பயன்படுகின்றன. மணம், மென்மை, வெண்மை ஆகியவற்றினால் மல்லிப்பூ எத்தனையோ உவமைகளில் ஆளாகும். பழமென்றால் தமிழில் எவ்வாறு வாழையோ அவ்வாறே பூவென்றால் மல்லிகை. மல்லிகை தமிழர் பூவென்றே சொல்லலாம்.

அப்பூவின் வகைகள் தமிழில் மட்டுமே அறிந்தேன். வடமொழியிலும் ஆங்கிலத்திலும் உயிரியல் இருசொற்பெயரீட்டிலும் பெயர்கள் அறியாது ஆராய்ந்தேன். அகராதி மற்றும் இணையத்தின் கிடைத்த சில பெயர்கள் மேல் உள்ளன.

தமிழ்ப்பெயர் வடமொழிப்பெயர் ஆங்கிலப்பெயர் இருசொற்பெயர்
பிச்சி, சாதிமல்லி jāti, mālatī Royal jasmine Jasminum grandiflorum
நித்தியமல்லி, பெருமல்லி ? Brazilian jasmine Jasminum fluminense
குண்டுமல்லி navamallikā Arabian jasmine Jasminum sambac
முல்லை, உச்சிமல்லி yūthikā ? Jasminum auriculatum
கத்தூரிமல்லி kunda Indian jasmine Jasminum multiflorum
காட்டுமல்லி vanamallikā Wild jasmine Jasminum angustiflorum
இருவாய்ச்சி ? ? ?

பட்டியலில் குற்றம் குறைகள் அறிந்தோர் தொடர்பு கொள்ளுமாறு வேண்டுகிறேன்.

2017-05-22

வேற்றுமையுருபுகள் அவத்தம்

இலக்கணம் பயிலும்பொழுது எட்டு வேற்றுமையுருபுகள் (‐ஐ/‐ஆல்/‐ஓடு/‐உடன்/…) பயின்றேன். சில ஆண்டாக வடமொழி கற்கிறேன். வடமொழியிலும் வேற்றுமையுருபுகள் உள்ளன. மொழியை விளக்க இலக்கணம் எனில், வடமொழியில் பெயர்ச்சொற்களை விளக்க வேற்றுமையுருபுகள் இன்றியமையாதவை. உரையிலோ செய்யுளிலோ பெயர்ச்சொல்லது முடிவில் வரும் பிற்சேர்க்கைகள் எட்டே; அவ்வெட்டது மூலம் பெயர்ச்சொல் எல்லாமே எட்டாக வேறுபடும். இப்பிற்சேர்க்கைதான் வேறுபாட்டது உருபகளென கருதப்படுகின்றன.

அம்மொழி சொல்லச்சொல்ல, தமிழைப்பற்றித் தோன்றியது. வேற்றுமைகள் எவ்வளவு வடமொழியிற்கு பொருந்தியவையோ, அவ்வளவு தமிழிற்கு பொருந்தாதவையென தோன்றிற்று. சிறிது ஆராய்ந்தேன். என்னவென்றால், தமிழ் இலக்கணம் எழுதிய அகத்தியர் முதலானோர் அனைவரும் வடமொழி இலக்கணம் அறிந்தோர். அவ்விலக்கணத்தின் விதிமுறை கண்டு அவற்றை தமிழிலக்கணத்துள் திணித்துள்ளனர். இதனை ஆங்கிலத்தில் பற்பல எடுத்துக்காட்டுடனும் சான்றுடனும் அருமையாக கூறுகிறார் ஆரொலுடு சிப்புமன் முனைவர்.

2017-05-19

On Kogul


If you follow Tamil urban pop culture, you’ve probably heard of the ‘kogul’ moniker that describes native Tamil speakers’ pronunciation of foreign words. In Sanskrit, ‘gōkula/goːkul̪ə/’ means ‘cattle-station’, and through synecdoche also means Krishna’s cattle-shed near modern-day Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh. The derived term ‘gokul’, pronounced /goːkul̪/, is a personal name in various Indian languages. Tamil speakers pronounce the imported word variously as /goːgul/, /koːgul/ and /goːkul/, and thus the label. ‘Kogul’ began life in web-comics and has seen usage in diverse forms – in blog titles, photo captions, and as a Twitter hashtag. A search reveals >50000 ghits.

The reason Tamil speakers pronounce voiceless and voiced consonants interchangeably has to do with Tamil phonemic rules. The specifics are unique to Tamil, but the phenomenon exists in all world languages.

Each language has a fixed set of phonemes, and various context-dependent rules around which phonemes are valid in what contexts. For instance, English allows the /h/ phoneme in every syllabic position except the final. In the initial position, /pr/, /pl/ and /tr/ clusters are allowed but not /tl/. Sanskrit words cannot end in a palatal phoneme. Sanskrit also has sandhi rules when two phonemes come together either in the middle of a word or between words. And so on.

When a language borrows a word from another language it perforce has to adapt the phonemes into its set of valid phonemes. This is why gairaigo words in Japanese often sound very different from the source words (e.g. /bijinesu manejimento/ from ‘business management’, or /raibaru/ from ‘rival’). Other examples include English /ˈke-chəp/ from Amoynese ‘ke2 jap1’ and the Spanish ‘chofer’ from French ‘chauffer’. Not just loan-words, but cognates too are pronounced very differently in different child languages: compare the pronunciations of Stephen, Etienne, Esteban, Stefan and Estephanos across English, French, Spanish, German and Greek respectively.

In the Indian context, languages across India have borrowed Sanskrit words over millennia so systematically that grammarians have classified the borrowings: tatsama words are those that have retained their Sanskrit phonetics, while tadbhava are those with morphed pronunciations, like Hindi ghar/gʰəɽ/ from Sanskrit gr̥ha/gɽ̩ɦə/, pyās/pjaːs̪/ from pipāsā/pipaːs̪aː/ and lakhan/l̪əkʰən̪/ from lakṣmaṇa/l̪əkʂməɳə/ (Note the Hindi dental nasal in place of the Sanskrit retroflex nasal). Sanskrit has also borrowed words, fitting them into its phonemic scheme, e.g. pravāla/pɽəvaːl̪ə/ from the Tamil pavaṛa/pəvəɻə/, and dramiḍa/d̪ɽəmiɖə/ from the Tamil word for the language itself, tamiṛ/t̪əmiɻ/.

In effect, there’s nothing unnatural or wrong about Tamil people pronouncing the Sanskrit-derived word ‘Gokul’ /koːgul/. So why all this fuss?

In the 21st century, the Indo-Aryan culture centered around northern India is on the ascendant. Bollywood movies are popular throughout urban southern India and among the rural middle-class; there are 130 million non-native speakers of Hindi; ‘Indian food’, ‘Indian attire’ and even ‘Indian accent’ have come to mean the food, clothing styles and manner of speaking common in Hindi-speaking cities. Names like Rahul, Neha, Diya and Amar, once only found in the north of India, are now common throughout India, and are percolating into non-Hindi-speaking villages where few understand their meanings. Schwa elision, a standard feature of Hindi, is widespread in names of people, places and establishments well outside the Hindi-sphere.

At the same time, there’s renewed interest in “Sanskritic purity”: there is a movement to declare oneself a Sanskrit-speaker in the Indian census, there are many popular Sanskrit-quote-of-the-day web-feeds, and Carnatic music singers now mispronounce tadbhava words as if they were tatsama words. In fact, the kogul phenomenon was given prominence by a well-known Carnatic music blogger.

So, on the one hand, we have these Sanskrit purists trying to outdo one another in insisting on applying Sanskrit rules to non-Sanskrit languages. On the other hand, North Indian cultural practices have become normative and beyond judgement. That leaves the poor Tamils, pronouncing words in their language the way they’ve always done and according to the rules their grammar prescribes. Except now their pronunciation is being judged against a standard founded on ignorance and built on snobbery.