I recently heard in "Veda parichaya" in a local channel that the sounds of the alphabet(Sanskrit) originated from Lord Shiva’s ‘damru’. Can anyone elaborate on these sounds and their relation to Sanskrit.

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    @Fire. IF you have answer from the agamas and Trika, then give the answer from them. Don't add tags based on one answer. user1952500 gave a good answer without agamas and Trika. Question is not about agamas and trika. They are not necessary.Tagging is not for answers. ; RBz: If the question is about agamas or Trika ohilosophy, then use that tag. They are not necessary for this question. Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 6:20
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    Fire added the tags and there is no wiki for those. I was just suggesting to add it so that people like me can understand what it is. Commented since i cant sent a personal message to @Fire :)
    – RBz
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 6:37
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    @Fire. Tags should be added if they are related only. Agamas and trika are not related to the question. Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 6:40
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    @Fire There is no such rule that we should compulsorily add 5 tags. Questions can exist with 1 or 2 tags too. We should not add unrelated tags for the questions based on answers. Adding tags so that it enhances search is not a good reason. We have search functions for that.Tags are not for answers.The question is asking the origin of sanskrit alphabets. It is about a language not about trika or agamas. We already have a kashmiri-shaivism. We make make trika and KS synonyms. Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 6:54
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    @Sree Chandran Yes, there is no such rule. But I guess since agama covers epistemology as well we can't say it's not related to the question. And after all more tags mean more reach for these question as well as its great answers. I see no harm in extending the discussion to the related domains if we will get a wider view of these great topics. :)
    – RBz
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 7:30

2 Answers 2


Legend has it that when Panini prayed to Shiva and asked for knowledge, Shiva appeared before him and his Damaru (डमरु) made the following 14 sounds representing the MaheshwaraSutrani (माहेश्वरसूत्राणि):

enter image description here

In all of Panini's grammar, there are a set of sUtras(सूत्राणि) or formulae, which represent particular rules, and in those rules, the above सूत्राणि are the basis.

EDIT: This looks like a direct ripoff from the wiki page. I took the sutras from there as it was easier to type, but the simple sutra was my contribution. I'll later edit it with the sUtra for वृद्धि​ सन्धि, which is 'वृद्धिरेचि'

As a simple example, the सूत्रम् for यण् सन्धि (yan-sandhi) is 'इकोयणचि', expanded as 'इको यण् अचि'. This means then इकः meets अच्, the result is यण्.

    इकः : this is comprised of letters 'इ उ ऋ ऌ' as obtained from the first and second sUtras (note the first and last letters are used to represent the range).

   यण् : refers to the solitary letter 'य'

   अच् : this is comprised of the letters 'अ इ उ ऋ ऌ ए ओ ऐ औ' from the first to fourth sUtras

For example, इति + अपि = इत्यपि is a यण् सन्धि where 'इ + अ = य' is the fundamental operation from the vowels in the ends of the words.

For the वृद्धि सन्धि, the sUtram is 'वृद्धिरेचि' or 'वृद्धिः एचि' (which itself is a विसर्ग रेफ सन्धि) which indicates: एचः : this indicates the letters from the third and fourth sets: 'ए ओ ऐ औ' वृद्धि : meaning that they grow, or in this context, go to the next letter (i.e., ए => ऐ and ओ => औ)

Example: दन्त + ओषठ्रौ = दन्तौष्ठ्रौ (अ + ओ = औ) (meaning tooth and lips)


  1. Panini did not create Sanskrit or the grammar of Sanskrit. The language existed and was in use, and had a grammar before his. However his grammar is one of the systematic ones. Hence we can see some works predating Panini where there are slight deviations from his grammar. Those deviations are considered okay and acceptable.

  2. It is a legend that संस्कृतम् is गीर्वाणभारती, i.e., language of the Gods. Hence, even a डमरु of the high Gods makes sounds in संस्कृतम्. The word संस्कृतम् literally means 'correctly/nicely/well done' (सम्यक् कृतम्).

  3. The legend does not imply that Shiva created the Sanskrit language, only that संस्कृतम् is the commonly spoken language of the Gods. Even if Indra had descended to Panini, he would have likely spoken in Sanskrit.

Needless to say Panini became a well enlightened and learned man after that!


Same events happen in different ways. i.e, Lord Shiva indeed played Damru to emanate Sanskrit letters but that was happened during creation as well in different way.

From the commentary of Kshemeraj on Shiv Sutra on 2.7, we find.

According to the process described in Paratrimsaka etc. the first aspect (spanda) of anuttarasakti is the Supreme I-Consciousness which assumes the form of akula i.e. that of which the body (kula) is 'a' (). (This 'a' is the expression of Cit-sakti of Siva). As there is further expansion of the world manifesting-power of aham or I-consciousness, ananda sakti (bliss) comes into play which assumes the form of the letter 'a'(आ), then bringing forward iccha sakti (will power), that I consciousness displays 'i'(इ) in the aksubdha state of iccha and i(ई) in its ksubdha state which is an expression of isana or isitri (the power of mastery); then with jhana sakti in its aksubdha state, she displays unmesa (knowledge) which is represented by the letter 'u'(उ) and in the ksubdha state of jnana sakti displays unata (deficiency in jnana as mere jnana) which becomes the cause of objective appearance. This is represented by the letter 'u' (ऊ).

(After this there is a slight reverse movement in the progressive manifestation of the universe). Just as in the flash of lightning there is at first merely a faint glimmer, and then there is more bright light, so 'i' of aksubdha iccha sakti combining with 'r' becomes (r); and 'i' of Ksubdha iccha combining more firmly with 'r' becomes ; 'r' is the seed letter of 'fire'...

The previously mentioned anuttara i.e. the letter 'a' . and ananda i.e. the letter 'aa' combining with 'i' of iccha form the triangular ae (ए) vowel. With the combination of anuttara (i.e. the letter .) ananda (i.e. the letter ) and unmesa (i.e. the letter there is the formation of the letter 'o'(ओ) which denotes the inclusion of kriya sakti. With the combination of the previously mentioned two letters (i.e. with or + there is the formation of the hexagonal letter ऐ - and with the combination of 'a' or 'a' and 'o' there is the formation of the trident 'au'(औ). In the formation of the letter there is the union of all the three saktis viz, iccha, jnana and kriya with the predominance of kriya in its clearest form. Then the Supreme I-consciousness expresses the undivided knowledge of the universe in the form of a dot (bindu) in the letter 'am' अं. It shows further the visarga stage in the form of two (perpendicular) dots indicating simultaneously inner and outer manifestation. अः Thus the creative I in its inner awareness shows the entire panorama of manifestation only as resting within the anuttara state and from the standpoint of outer awareness exhibits the expansion of a group of five tattvas in each group of five letters, through a, i, u, r, i l Saktis. Each group of five letters from ka to ma expresses tattvav from prthivi upto purusa.

It continues till the creation of universe. i.e, In short each Sanskrit alphabet corresponds to creation phase. Lord Shiva being the originator of Sanskrit alphabets also mean he created the world (Injustice?). Also, note that, creation follows as a checkpoint which we call tattvas as I explained in this answer. There are 36 tattvas takes part in course of creation & thus all sanskrit alphabets comes into existence with each such tattvas as shown in the pic.

enter image description here

Adding all vowels now.

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