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Pronounce the Aunkar at the End of the Word - How to Read Guru Granth Sahib (Part 2)

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It took a few years but I have finally figured out how to read Guru Granth Sahib correctly. While I am still in the process of learning and refining my pronunciations and developing a better flow, I have got the basics down.


One of the things we are taught is that you don't pronounce Sihari ( ਿ  ) and Aunkar (   ੁ ) at the end of a word. 

This is wrong.

I used to think that sometimes you pronounce the sihari, sometimes you don't that is wrong as well.

You always pronounce the Sihari.

See this thread for details -


Unlike Sihari, Aunkar is sometimes pronounced and sometimes not.

In this thread, we'll only be covering words that end in Aunkar.


Aunkar (  ੁ ) as Silent

The reason why Aunkars are sometimes silent (not pronounced) is because they are used only to indicate a word that is masculine and singular.

So for example, in Mool Mantra -

ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥

Satye naam karta purakh nirbhau nirvair akaal moorti ayooni (/ajooni) saimbhau gur prashadi.


Satye, Prashadi - see the Sihari lesson linked above on why it is pronounced this way

Notice how the last Aunkar in the words Naam, Purakh, Nirvair,  is silent.

This is because in this sentence, these words are referring to a singular, masculine subject, that is, God.


Aunkars are not pronounced when it is used solely to indicate that the word is singular and masculine.


Another example -

ਆਦਿ ਸਚੁ ਜੁਗਾਦਿ ਸਚੁ ॥

Aadi sach yugaadi (/jugaadi) sach .

Aadi, Yugaadi - see the Sihari lesson linked above on why it is pronounced this way

Sach - meaning Truth is referring to the One Ultimate Truth, that is God.

So in the word Sach, the last Aunkar is not pronouced.


So we know Aunkar is not pronouced when it is there to indicate masculine and singular.

But when is Aunkar pronounced?

When Aunkar is part of the original word, then it is either pronounced.

To know when to pronounced it you need to be familiar with these words.


Aunkar (  ੁ ) as Short OO

Aunkar is pronouced as Short OO, the sound that it normally makes, when it part of the original word.

Even if the word is Masculine Singular, if the Aunkar is part of the original word, then it is pronounced.


Pronounced as Guru

Meaning Teacher.

ਗੁਰੁ ਈਸਰੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਗੋਰਖੁ ਬਰਮਾ ਗੁਰੁ ਪਾਰਬਤੀ ਮਾਈ ॥

Guru Eshar guru gorakh Bramaa guru paarvatee mai

Notice how the Aunkars on Ishar and Gorakh are silent, whereas the Aunkars on Guru are pronounced.

Even though in all cases the words are Masculine Singular, the Aunkars on Guru are pronounced because the original word has an Aunkar.



Pronounced as Prabhu.

Meaning Lord.

ਸਤਗੁਰਿ ਮੇਲਿ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ਨਾਨਕ ਸੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਨਾਲਿ ॥

Satguri mele milaya Nanak so Prabhu naale

Satgure, Mele, Naale - see the Sihari lesson linked above on why it is pronounced this way



Pronounced as Sadhu.

Meaning Saint.

ਕਰਿ ਕਿਰਪਾ ਮੋਹਿ ਸਾਧੁ ਮਿਲਾਇਆ ॥

Kare kripa mohe Sadhu milaya



Aunkar (  ੁ ) as Short -Wa

In Guru Granth Sahib, Short - Wa sound is also indicated with an Aunkar.

An Aunkar is used instead of the ਵ - Wa letter.

The reason for that is, Aunkar sounds very much like a Short -Wa sound.



Pronounced as Tatwa.

Meaning substance, core substance.

ਮਿਠਤੁ ਨੀਵੀ ਨਾਨਕਾ ਗੁਣ ਚੰਗਿਆਈਆ ਤਤੁ ॥

mitthat neeveen nanaka gun changyayian Tatwa



Pronounced Vishuambar, Vishwambar.

ਸਿਮਰਉ ਜਾਸੁ ਬਿਸੁੰਭਰ ਏਕੈ ॥

Simarau yaash (/jaas) Vishuambar (/Bishuambar) Ekai.


Part 3


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