First there are two kinds of v sounds in english – the v and the w.
In english, the v sound is made with the upper lip and lower teeth and the w sound with upper and lower lip. Try it with ‘water in a vase.’
The sanskrit v sound is somewhere in between these two sounds in many Indian states.
It is usual to write ravi and saraswati though there is only one va letter in samskRta.
The state vanga in samskRta is banga in bengAl.
ravi is rabhi.
If Tagore had been from a different state he may have written his name as ravIndranAth. But as a bengAlI, he wrote rabhIndranAth.
Though vivEkAnanda was also a bengAlI – he did not write bhibhEkAnanda but that is how a bengAlI may pronounce it.
In kEraLa, some people pronounce butter as vutter.
Someone searched the indra sahasranAma on this site and complained that there was no bAsav. He did not recognise vAsava, one of indra’s names as the one he was looking for. I deleted his rather impolite and belligerent message on fb, because I have never been able to tell anyone from any Indian state that the others are doing it differently and what’s more, the others could be right.
Even though I have studied, written about and linked to pANini s’ikSa, people don’t spend time on it – it requires work and thought and openness. The answers as to what is right and whatvis wrong can be had there.
The word vEda is pronounced as bhEd bengal, nepal, NE India and perhaps elsewhere too.
To others bhEd means difference as in bhEd bhAv.
After a slight exposure to japanese, I feel it sounds closer to north eastern and bengal pronounciations.
As far as the students on this blog are concerned, I would just like us to know that va and ba can be interchanged across Indian languages.