There is a famous story in which "Indrashatru" could either mean Indra's enemy or one who has Indra for his enemy depending on the accent.

In this video


The preacher is saying pronouncing "Krishna" as "Krishnaa" is just fine (Westerners do it with Sanskrit words that end in "a" like "Yoga","Krishna") and would not refer to Draupadi.

He says Chinese devotees say "Klishna" and that is fine too.

Does Hindu scripture support this?

  • 1
    The exact vedic reference which you are referencing was asked previously a few years ago. You should do a search. Calling on Krishna - on God - is not the same as using vedic mantras for attaining certain results. Krishna says in Uddhava Gita VI.33 - "Those who knowing or not knowing how much, what, and of what sort I am, worship Me with their whole soul and given up to Me are in My opinion the best of My devotees." Deep hankering after the Lord is what attracts the Lord, not correct pronunciation. Commented Apr 11, 2021 at 13:27
  • See Taittiriya Samhita II. iv. 12. for the story Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


In this context, there is a verse, presumably of Gaudiya Vaishnava origin, but the verse is also endorsed by advaita gurus.

mUrkhO vadati vishNAya vidvAn vadati vishNavE

ubhayOH sadRSam puNyam bhAvagrAhI janArdanaH

Sringeri Sankaracharya Sri Bharati Tirtha, explains this verse and its context in this video in Kannada.


In Sanskrit the word rAma ends in 'a'. So, "salutations to rAma" will be "rAmAya namaH".

The word Vishnu ends in 'u', so "salutations to Vishnu" will be "vishNave namaH".

A learned person and an ordinary person both worship Vishnu. The learned person worships using the grammatically correct vishNave namaH. The ordinary person knows only Sanskrit noun declensions for nouns ending in 'a'. So he worships Vishnu using the grammatically incorrect vishNAya namaH (borrowed from rAmAya namaH). But both of them get good merit (both are blessed by Vishnu), because Janardhana (Vishnu) only takes the essential intention behind the worship (and not the grammar etc). If the intention is good and worship is done with devotion, the worshipper is blessed.

  • I'll accept your answer - but this totally explodes sectarians who accept/reject deities by name :-) @alsoran
    – S K
    Commented Apr 11, 2021 at 14:06
  • @SK - it does nothing of that sort. Accepting/Rejecting is for intellectual establishment of scripture, not for Bhakti.
    – ram
    Commented Apr 11, 2021 at 18:05

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