[Advaita-l] Mantrapushpam > Vedic Education

Balasubramanian Ramakrishnan rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Tue May 10 12:46:27 CDT 2011

On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 11:31 AM, (Maitreya) Borayin Larios
<shrimaitreya at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have a technical question. If my memory doesn't fail me according to the
> vaidikas I visited in Maharashtra, the "break" he is describing is
> technically called "pañcāśat" (Skt for 50), but instead of "words", my
> informants say it refers to 50 pādas (quarter of a verse) and not to words.
> We must remember that in the saṁhitā text the words are joined by sandhi, so
> that it becomes difficult for the pupil to count the individual
> words.The pādas,
> on the other hand, are relatively easy to count and are not dependent on the
> break of sandhi. So my question is, whether the described "break" also
> refers to the pañcāśat of pādas, or if he could elucidate how they count the
> words if their are joined by sandhi?
> I am very much interested in obtaining detailed descriptions from members of
> the list who have learned the veda in the traditional method on how they
> received instruction (or eventually teach themselves). For instance, I have
> observed that the ṛgvedins initially repeat the pāda (or a fraction of
> it)three times after the guru, instead of two like the yajurvedins.

The yajur veda does not have padas, being prose. pa~ncaashat is
actually 50 syllables. When teaching, the pa~caashat divisions are not
followed. Neither are they followed during recitations. They are
present to as en "error control" mechanism. The traditional grantha
texts break the svara at the end of each pa~ncaashat, but during
recitation it is continuous and the svara changes because of that.

The other thing is there are various levels of pratiika mantras. I
believe this is the case in the braahmaNa and the aaraNyaka. Here the
beginning and and end of each chapter are usually recited pratikena,
there are also various levels of pratiikena mantras at the end of each
anuvaaka. There are other types of useful mnemonic aids, especially in
some chapters like the kaaThakam. I have learned only very miniscule
parts of the samhitaa. I don't remember it having these mnemonic aids.
These are called "kovai" by Tamil speaking vedic reciters. Remember,
the samhitaa has something much better, pada and krama texts. I'll
check with my printed samhitaa later today and let you know.


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