Modern Siddham Explanation

ˇü Concerning MODERN SIDDHAM-"BONJI" is a holy and magical Sanskrit character, which came about in ancient India, but somehow survived only in Japanese Buddhism and combined religion. Another name for it is, "SIDDHAM" is a transliteration of, "SIDDHAMATRKA". It is said that it was brought to China together with Buddhist sutras, and calligraphically beautified.ˇˇAlthough it is a word of foreign origin, the possible reason why this unfamiliar character fitted in JAPANESE BUDDHIST ARTS is perhaps because of the unique "beauty" of the Bonji. It made a conspicuous figure last year, and was not been used only in Buddhism, but also in the fields of design, and fashion. It seems like it is a fact of matter that people from various countries have not been able to ignore this character as it holds so important status in the tattoo culture of Japan.ˇˇThe general recognition of the Bonji however, has not been separated from the factors of Buddhism, and it is interpreted as a "mere phonogram" exclusive to Buddhism... Isn't it pity that it only stays in the Sanskrit expression, just as the Seed-word of the Buddha? Well, that is what I feel. But I have found a way out of this dilemma by using "foreign phonetic notation". I would like to say here that it is this notation system-the "MODERN SIDDHAM" that has revived Bonji up to the present.
ˇü How the words are sorted in order-Although the notation order of Bonji is in distinguished arrangements, it is quite an alien system to us. In this book, we have allocated the consonants in alphabetical order so that they could be easily understood by anybody, whereas, the order of the vowels has been reset in the order of the Japanese (a-i-u-e-o) syllable, because Sanskrit-Hindi vowels are very similar to Japanese.
ˇü About the potential use of the vowel (a)-In my opinion, the most difficult point about using the foreign-sound notation system is whether the vowel (a)-the use of which is perhaps the greatest difference between Sanskrit and Hindi-should be pronounced or not. Both Sanskrit and Hindi letters in which no symbol is being used can potentially include this vowel. For Sanskrit, it can be read as it is written, but this is not the case in Hindi, where there are times when the potential vowels can be used to complete the necessary numbers of syllables (For more details, please check this CD).ˇˇTherefore, we discriminate in this book, between the Sanskrit recitation and Hindi recitation. Hindi of course, the Japanese denizen and English will also be vocalized in Hindi.
ˇü Concerning the nasal sounds-In Hindi, loanwords with nasal sounds are usually notated as such with the consonant "n". But in this book we use as much as possible the "Anusvara"-a nasalizing-sign for loanwords. This is because the Sanskrit-ness is simply characterized by "N" and "M" letters when written. However, in our pronunciation, we actually choose the right sound automatically knowing the letters that follow it. that is to say, it could possibly become n'/n~/n,/n and m sounds in Sanskrit and Hindi characters, and it does not always vary from the principle of nasalizing-sign.ˇˇAlso, primarily, it has been said that the nasalizing-sign dose not get pronounced at in the end of words, but since there has been much usage of it in Sanskrit, all "n" sounds are expressed with the nasalizing-sign in this CD.
ˇü Concerning the new vowel sound notation-Some new trends have appeared in the notation of modern Hindi linguistics. An English word ending with "er"[] is changed into "h,", and much "Nasal vowel symbol" are used in order to express various kinds of vowel sounds. If there trends come into general use in the future, the MODERN SIDDHAM may also evolve to match them.
ˇü About the new consonants notation-Since the consonant sounds also express loanword sounds, the "Bindu" is being added on the sound of the letters that have existed primarily. For an example, the letters such as -"k,a[]/kh,a[]/g,a[]/j,a[]/ph,a[]- are used in modern Hindi dictionaries, but in this book, the identical letters in India -"v" and "w"- are written as "wa"[]. Ordinarily, "the"[] is substituted as "da", and "tha"[] as "tha", but in this book, the expression with the help of Bindu -"d'a"[] and "th'a"[]- are newly organized. Some people may consider using the traditional notation system instead of using the new consonants, but indeed Hindi loanword notation system and this book booth carry the same concept.
ˇü Notation for English name of countries and people-The traditional system that is being used in the Hindi dictionaries has been applied for notation of the names of countries and places.ˇˇWhen it comes to the names of people, if there is any difference between the spelling and the pronunciation for notating the names, there are 2~3 alternative notations with the same spelling but a different pronunciation-It is up to you to pick the one you like the most. In addition, the pronunciation symbols used in English dictionaries has been used.ˇˇRegarding the notation of "T" and "D"-In Hindi, tongue sound of "t," and "d," is put as the "T" and "D" of English, the actual pronunciation is similar as well. But in this document, details sound of "t" and "d" are used, because of the Sanskrit-ness of the letter shape, high frequency of use during the Sanskrit age, and to adjust to the Japanese sound. But of course, there is no problem replacing them with the tongue sound of "t," or "d,".
ˇü Regarding the Seed-word-A "Seed-word" is mainly a "Bonji" of all Buddhas in Buddhism that is written in a single letter of an ideogram.