ಪ - the letter 'pa' .. The leter symbolizing padmaasana , this letter can be compared to symbol where a person sitting in padmasana posture.
ಶ - the letter 'sha' .. the letter symbolizing 'conch' which is very much used in vedic culture..
ಷ - the letter 'Sha' .. the letter symbolizes person with sacred thread in sitting posture.. you can imagine a 'ruShi'..
ನಿ - the letter 'ni' .. tamil claim a (IVC)symbol of god in sitting position.. But has anybody notice this symbol is a kannada letter..
Note that among south indian languages Kannada and its grammar is very close to sanskrit.. Looks like the kannada region was the first place where mostly occupied by vedic people.. But population density was very less compare to other regions of south india and able to retain sanskrit and its grammatical structure during kannada language evolution..ofcourse kannada is also very old same as Tamil/telugu/malalalam..
Devanagari script seems some what derivative of kannada script.
If kannada alphabet like ka ಕ is rotated 90 degrees, you can see it looks like devanagari 'ka' क
To me it looks like grantha,devanagari, tamil script more probably tries to avoid curves. They are staightened so that suitable for writing on stones/rocks or wooden surfaces.
But base original picture must have been from kannada/vedic symbols which brahmins initially might have tried to write on leaves most probably used by brahmins..
As kannada region were famous for ancient saints (majority brahmins/maharshis), they might have tried to write on leaves.. May be they lost as its not so easy to preserve writings on leaves..
Moreover brahmins software kind of people who actually work on development of countries, whose main playground was TN/AP regions where they really worked on..
But those regions were occupied by primitive people and could not preserve sanskrit language , its grammar led to development of new languages like kannada,telugu,tamil,malayalam..
I think initial script creation depended on many factors for example:
* the tools available for writing.
* The surface on which writing is to be done.
The main thing is what actually the symbols which were in their mind..
Even if script creator had complex symbols in his mind, he may not actually practically write because of limitation of tools available and also the surface on which he planned to write..
The original symbols could be some vedic symbols like conch,person sitting in padmasana posture etc..
But due to limitation of tools and surface on which writing to be done script might not look same what in creator's mind.
I think brahmi script creator might had ka ಕ in his mind. but due to physical limitation the brahmi ka ended up like + sign.
So important thing is what actually was in the mind of script creator rather than brahmi script found..
As the time passed and people invented new tools and choosed different surfaces, the script became more same what actually was in mind of script creator.
I notice quite good resemblance of brahmi script with kannada symbols..
Can we say that brahmi script actually initially tried to visualize vedic symbols/kannada symbols??
I think this approach will help understanding the evolution of scripts..
Languages, scripts are passed down the generations along with ideas behind it.
If you look at the evolution of Kannada script, there is incremental improvement in stages from
Brahmi -> Kadamba -> Old Kannada -> Present Kannada
Out of all language scripts originated from brahmi,,
Only Kannada Scrpit evolved into a script which can represent real Vedic Symbols (see my first post for examples)
Kannada language is the only language whose grammar is very close to sanskrit compared to other languages of present day india ..
This could be due to Kannada region was majority hardcore vedics including many saints..
even brahmi lipi origin has some connection with jains and Karnataka..
Karnataka was and is an important jain centre..
shravanabelagola is an important pilgrimage centre for jains..
reference : en_wikipedia_org/wiki/Rishabhadeva
Rishabhadeva and legend of BrahmiThe name Brahmi script is said to have come from a Jain Legend. According to South Indian legend the Jain thirthankara (monk) Rishabhadeva explained and taught the script to his daughters Brahmi and Soundhary. Therefore as a mark of this, the writing script is named Brahmi letters and the numerals is named Soundhary letters.
The name Brahmi is attributed to Rishabhadeva and his daughters Brahmi and Soundhary as stated in Kannada below:
"ಆದಿ ತೀರ್ಥಂಕರ ವೃಷಭ ದೇವನು ತನ್ನ ಕುಮಾರಿಯಾದ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮೀ ಸೌಂದರಿಯರಿಗೆ ಕನ್ನಡ ಆಂಕಾಕ್ಷರ ಗಳನ್ನು ವಿವರಿಸಿದ ಕಾರಣದಿಂದಾಗಿ ಈ ಅಕ್ಷರ ಲಿಪಿಗೆ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮೀಲಿಪಿ ಎಂದು ಅಂಕ ಲಿಪಿಗೆ ಸೌಂದರಿ ಲಿಪಿ ಎಂದು ಹೆಸರಾಗಿದೆ. ಈ ಖಚಿತವಾದ ಮಾಹಿತಿ ಯನ್ನು ಸಿರಿ ಭೂ ವಲಯವು ಬಹಳ ಸ್ಪಷ್ಟವಾಗಿ ತಿಳಿಸಿದೆ."
Its transliteration is:
"Adi tIrthaMkara vRuShaBa dEvanu tanna kumAriyAda brAhmI sauMdariyarige kannaDa AMkAkShara gaLannu vivarisida kAraNadiMdAgi I akShara lipige brAhmIlipi eMdu aMka lipige sauMdari lipi eMdu hesarAgide. I KacitavAda mAhiti yannu siri BU valayavu bahaLa spaShTavAgi tiLiside."
If you look at latest modern Kannada script,as I said earlier it can really represent some vedic symbols and even brahmi has its origin linking to kannada region.
Note that most of the languages created by sanskrit scholors who are similar kind of priestly class people.
Now..If you assume Kannada is the most close to what was in the original sanskrit scholor's mind or take latest modern kannada symbols as reference , .....
It is easy to see how other scripts tamil,hindi, etc are derived based on kannada symbols.. Usually Tamil symbol needs to be mirrored and rotated.
Example of tamil and hindi(devanagari) 'a' sound:
Example of tamil and devanagari 'ka' sound:
Here are some interesting observations which leads to thought that Kannada is a super set of script-symbols:
Basically other language scripts took different shapes based on the surface they choosed or some physical limitations for writing..
Some people may think its telugu oldest.. But note that tegulu is derived from old kannada script and they are slightly deviated from main stream kannada. Only kannada script looks very beautiful and symmetrical than all the other scripts.
Even you can see similarity of kannada script with english/greek alphabets.(sounds similar too)
english alphabet 'N' looks some what derived from kannada 'na' letter ನ
english alphabet 'S' might be from kannada 'Sa' letter ಸ rotated and removed top line and dot.
english alphabet 'A' might be from kannada 'a' letter ಅ upside-down and straightened..
english alphabet 'E' might be from kannada 'i' letter ಇ rotated 90 deg and straightened..
english alphabet 'w' might be from kannada 'va' letter ವ
english alphabet 'B' might be from kannada 'ba' letter ಬ rotated and slightly modified.
english alphabet 'D' might be from kannada 'Da' letter ಡ
english alphabet 't' might be from kannada 'ta' letter ತ
It will atleast prove that it is the same (Sanskrit) scholors who is behind all the indo-european scripts including tamil which always trys to claim different from other languages.
If further think deeply we can say that Brahmi script is the earliest version of kannada script. All other scripts including Tamil borrowed Kannada symbols at different stages of Kannada script.
Now Kannada script is the most advanced script at present day :)