[Advaita-l] Svarita TP Rules

Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra, Water) vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com
Fri Feb 13 13:09:22 CST 2009

>What are hrasva and dIrgha svaritas? It would be
>good if someone can give an example to illustrate
>the two. Is it simply a hrasva or dIrgha svara with
>svarita intonation?
>I was taught that the elongation in svAhA(A) is a
>pluta (assuming that this was intended as a double
>vertical bar in print). 

To give an easy pointer, assuming one knows to recite the
mantra gaNAnAM tvA in the kRshNa yajurveda pattern.

Typically, you will see two vertical bars over the syllable
nAM. This is what is called dIrgha svarita. It is a svarita
on a syllable with a dIrgha vowel, but only when it occurs
before a conjunct consonant formation. The first half of the
syllable is at the same pitch level as the udAtta and the
second half is at a higher pitch level, while the word tvA
returns to udAtta level. The only other place where you
will hear a dIrgha svarita is when the sentence ends with
a dIrgha sound that also has a svarita on it, e.g. dhiyo
yo naH pracodayAt - the last syllable, yAt, has a svarita
and it ends the line, so even without a  conjunct consonant
following it, the yA is rendered as a dIrgha svarita and the
ending -t comes back to udAtta level.

Also, you will see one vertical bar over the syllable pa in
the word gaNapatiM. This is regular (or hrasva) svarita. In
this case, the vowel sound is also short. You can also have
the regular svarita applied to a dIrgha vowel sound, e.g. the
syllable "mO" in namO rudrAya. Here, the vowel is dIrgha,
but there is no dIrgha svarita, because there is no conjunct
consonantal formation after it.

The recitation pattern commonly found in Rgveda (at least
in the southern part of India) is to render the svarita as dIrgha
in all cases where the vowel is dIrgha. Thus, agnimILe has
a dIrgha svarita on the syllable mI, even though there is no
conjunct consonant after it. In some regional variations of
Rgveda recitation, they also elongate slightly a short vowel,
if it has a svarita on it. Thus, gaNapatiM in the gaNAnAM
tva verse ends up sounding like gaNapAtiM. I have heard 
this extra among mAdhva Rgvedins and also some Tamil
Nadu based Rgvedins.

The pluta is an elongation of a vowel for three time units,
where the short vowel is considered to be of one unit. It is
typically notated with the number 3 in parentheses following
the corresponding syllable. The hA in svAhA is only a dIrgha
vowel, not pluta. Stylistically, for effect, some spend more
time enunciating that syllable.

Hope this helps,

ps. One other notation convention, found in mostly older
publications, is to use a little curved underscore (ardhacandra)
above the syllable for the regular svarita and a single vertical
bar for the dIrgha svarita. It is more common nowadays to put
a single vertical bar for the regular svarita and two for the dIrgha.

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