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9. The two principles

Hence follow these two principles:

A. The forms of the vowel-characters given in the alphabetical scheme above are used only when the vowel forms a syllable by itself, or is not combined with a preceding consonant; that is, when it is either initial or preceded by another vowel. In combinations with a consonant, other modes of representation are used.

B. If more consonants than one precede the vowel, forming with it a single syllable, their characters must be combined into a single compound character.

a. Native Hindu usage, in manuscripts and inscriptions, treats the whole material of a sentence alike, not separating its words from one another, any more than the syllables of the same word: a final consonant is combined into one written syllable with the initial vowel or consonant or consonants of the following word. It never occurred to the Hindus to space their words in any way, even where the mode of writing admitted such treatment; nor to begin a paragraph on a new line; nor to write one line of verse under another: everything, without exception, is written solid by them, filling the whole page.

b. Thus, the sentence and verse-line ahaṁ rudrebhir vasubhiç carāmy aham ādityāir uta viçvadevāiḥ (Rig-Veda X, 125. 1: see Appendix B) I wander with the Vasus, the Rudras, I with the Ādityas and the All-Gods is thus syllabized: a haṁ ru dre bhi rva su bhi çca rā mya ha mā di tyāi ru ta vi çva de vāiḥ, with each syllable ending with a vowel (or a vowel modified by the nasal-sign anusvāra, or having the sign of a final breathing, visarga, added: these being the only elements that can follow a vowel in the same syllable); and it is (together with the next line) written in the manuscripts after this fashion:




Each syllable is written separately, and by many scribes the successive syllables are parted a little from one another: thus,

अ हँ रु द्रे भि र्व सु भि श्च रा म्य ह मा दि त्यै

and so on.

c. In Western practice, however, it is almost universally customary to divide paragraphs, to make the lines of verse follow one another, and also to separate the words so far as this can be done without changing the mode of writing them. See Appendix B, where the verse here given so treated.

d. Further, in works prepared for beginners in the language, it is not uncommon to make a more complete separation of words by a free use of the virāma-sign (11) under final consonants: thus, for example,

अहँ रुद्रेभिर् वसुभिश् चराम्य् अहम् आदित्यैर् उत विश्वदेवैः।

or even by indicating also the combinations of initial and final vowels (126, 127): for example,

अहं मित्रावरुणो भा बिभर्म्य् अहम् इन्द्राग्नी अहम् अश्विनो भा॥

e. In transliterating, Western methods of separation of words are of course to be followed; to do otherwise would be simple pedantry.