Joint Letters

Dipak Bhattacharya dbhattacharya200498 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Mar 6 02:37:51 UTC 2012

True! But, as I pointed out, these concepts are not older than the first millennium. The term kuu.taaakshara should be very late when the difference between the written and the heard sound faded in Tantric parlance. The earlier name for the written letter was maat.rkaa. A terminological development should have taken place in accord with that. I shall try to enquire. 


 From: Michael Slouber <mjslouber at BERKELEY.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, 6 March 2012 6:44 AM
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Joint Letters

Dear All,

Allen is indeed correct that in the Tantras they are called kUTAkSara.  See the attached image of one that extends down an amazing six lines.  It is from an Asha Archives manuscript from Kathmandu ("hAhArAva" #4790).


Michael Slouber
Ph.D. Candidate
South and Southeast Asian Studies
UC Berkeley 

On Mar 5, 2012, at 6:11 PM, Allen Thrasher wrote:

I think that when several consonants are joined together into a single bIja, as in Tantrism, they are sometimes called kUTAkSara-s, which I guess means "heap syllables," and that this applies to them both as pronounced and as written.  Is this terminology especially likely to be used when the consonants are many  in number (say, more than three) and are hard or virtually impossible to pronounce?
>I don't have my dicionaries or books on Tantrism and indrajAla easily accessible at the moment so can't double-check before posting, or give examples.

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