[Advaita-l] Svarita in RV and YV (was Re: SRI SUKTAM - Meaning)

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Sun Mar 1 16:57:35 CST 2009

On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Sundaresan, Vidyasankar (GE Infra,
Water) <vidyasankar.sundaresan at ge.com> wrote:

> The prAtiSAkhya rules were meant to capture specifics of vedic
> recitation as the mantra-drashTA-s saw them and the pATha
> constructions as they were handed down by oral recitation. In
> the particular case of svarita, given that what is actually recited
> differs from some of the rules handed down in the prAtiSAkhya,
> we have one of three options:
> 1. The prAtiSAkhya text does a very imperfect job of describing
> the nature of the svarita, although it goes into very minute details;
> or
> 2. The nature of the actually recited svarita has changed, after the
> prAtiSAkhya was written, which means the tradition has not been
> all that faithfully handed down orally;
> or
> 3. We could find a way to reconcile the perceived discrepancies
> between the rules and the actual recitations

It is option 2. I am not for consoling myself that we are adhering to
pratishakhya rules exactly, by twisting plain sUtra texts. For one, it
makes no sense to do this, and the second thing is it would completely
invalidate the namudiri recitation which is quite different from the
other recitation. Surely two quite different recitation modes cannot
be faithful to the prAtishAkhya. Things can change and it is allowed.

> We cannot say that the vedic recitation pattern adhered to the
> rules laid out in the prAtiSAkhya most of the time and leave it at
> that, because the prAtiSAkhya often takes great pains to list
> exceptions and variant traditions (e.g. according to plaksha or
> vAlmIkI, etc.)
> I am not advocating that one should "correct" what one has learnt,
> based on some notion of an "Ur-text" or "more genuine" recitation
> pattern. However, the fact remains that today there are some who
> were taught and who teach "candra(g)M rayiM" with svara-s as per
> yajurveda, while there are others, of an equally respectable teaching
> lineage, who were taught and teach "candraM rayiM", with svara-s
> as per Rgveda.

I am not sure where you are going with this and the below. Is it your
contention that because someone taught padapATha for this verse from
the Rg veda everyone else should change to Rg veda svaras? My
contention is that there is nothing to disprove that these verses
could not have existed on any of the yajur-shAkhas which have
disappeared. As a matter of fact the mantra-prashnam contains many
verses which are not found in the yajur veda whith yajur svarams. So
are all these to be changed because padapAtha for them exist in the
R^ig veda? In fact kumArila uses this exact same argument about
gR^ihya karma mantras.

> For that matter, take the few Rk-s that are typically recited after the
> rudra namaka chapter (tam u shTuhi ... SivAbhimarSanaH). These
> are recited only as per Rgveda as far as I have heard them, never as
> per yajurveda usage. Thus, there is dIrgha svarita usage in the words
> yakshvAmahe, saumanasAya and namobhiH.
> This does not stop with the svara tones. The padapATha that I have
> learnt for these, from a yajurvedin expert, is also as per Rgveda, not
> as per yajurveda. Thus, su-ishuH and su-dhanvA (never svishur iti su
> ishuH or sudhanvA iti su dhanvA). This means that the other kinds
> of pATha, like krama, jaTA and ghana are also as per Rgveda only,
> not as per yajurveda. This is, in my opinion, an extremely good
> indication that these verses are not part of the yajurveda samhitA
> in the taittirIya branch. Now, if someone recites these verses in the
> yajurveda style, using the regular svarita instead of the dIrgha
> svarita,
> I for one, would have doubts about it, no matter who the reciter is!


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