[Advaita-l] Fwd: Question/Clarification on Chanting Vaidika mantras

Balasubramanian Ramakrishnan rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Tue Nov 14 14:35:49 EST 2017

The reply went to Bhaskar's personal email - so forwarding it.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Balasubramanian Ramakrishnan <rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 1:11 PM
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Question/Clarification on Chanting Vaidika mantras
To: Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com>

Hello Bhaskar,

On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 2:01 AM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:

*> I quite do not understand your questions at all, sorry. Are you saying
below that ALL yajur-veda udAtta-s become svarita-s in yajur-veda? I am
pretty sure this is not the case.>>>  No prabhuji, I am not saying all
udAtta-s in YV become svarita in RV..But most of the popular upayukta
mantra-s in YV and RV have different svara-s with same wordings.*

No, they mostly have the same svara-s. However, some svara-s are recited
differently *relative* to each other, namely R^ig and yajuH. That means
what syllables are *called* (please note the word **called** and not how
they are chanted) anudAtta, udAtta and svarita will be the **same** in both
vedas, however the svarita will generally be recited in a different way
between the two veda-s. The udAtta and anudAtta are recited pretty much in
the same manner in both veda-s.

*>>  Does the meaning of the gayatri mantra also have the different meaning
when we see the pada-pAtha for the above mantra-s??  for example we say
bhargO with udAtta whereas bhagO will be chanted with svarita in RV gayatri
mantra.  Likewise durga sUkta (jAtavedase too same mantra-s have different
svara-s) do these mantra-s also have different meaning in pada pAtha??
Sorry, I have not read veda bhAshya and not familiar with pada pAtha of

Ud = udAtta (no mark), An = anudAtta ( _ mark), Sv = svarita (! mark).
dIrgha svarita (!! mark).

Consider one pada of the gAyatrI split into syllables and the svaras. Here
there is only udAtta and anudAtta:

bhar - Ud
ga.h - An
de    - An
vas  - Ud
ya    - An
dhI  - An
ma  - An
hi    - An

samhitA pATha in BOTH R^ig and yajus:
bhargo! de_vasya! dhImahi |

1. anudAtta after udAtta becomes svarita
2. anudAtta-s after svarita become pracaya till next udAtta
3. anudAtta before udAtta stays anudAtta

Contrary to what you say, the go syllable in bhargo is NOT udAtta, it is

The yajus chanting is the same as above. However the R^ig chanting is
different. In the R^ig samhitA pATha (Sringeri style):
bhargo!! de_vasya! dhImahi |

In the Tamil style:
bhargo!! de_vasya! (*) dhimahi |

The * represents a different type of hrasva-svarita which is used only at
the end of a vAkya in the Sringeri style.

The fundamental concept is that after the udAtta, the next syllable, if
svarita, has to transition back to an anudAtta like sound (called pracaya)
in general. So, *if* there is a svarita happening after the udAtta, then
what should happen? This was much discussed in the olden days:

1. One concept was that the svarita would be udAtta like in the beginning
and transition over to anudAtta. Within this there were discussions about
where the transition would happen, whether the transition is sudden or
gradual and so on.
2. The other concept was that svarita would reach an even higher tone
before transitioning to a lower tone. Again, there were discussions on
whether the transition would be sudden, gradual, etc.
3. What is the quality of the svarita before samyutAxaras versus a regular
combination of one vowel and a consonant?
4. What is the svarita like in a hrasva versus dIrgha vowels?
Etc., Etc., Etc.

You can see detailed analyses in the various prAtishAkhya-s and shikxa-s
about this. The quality of svarita as expounded by different schools is a
complicated subject. In any case, the summary of all this is that the
svarita can be modulated/pronounced differently between veda-s. But the
udAtta ALWAYS remains the same, that's what fixes the meaning of the word.
Unless you see the pada-pATha, you cannot be 100% sure about what the
udAtta is, although it's guessable most of the time. Yajus versus R^ig or
R^ig "Kanchi" versus R^ig "Mysore" may pronounce the ****svarita****
differently and that's perfectly ok. This is because they happen to be in
complete agreement on what the udAtta syllables are. If they are
pronouncing the udAtta or anudAtta differently, then one of the chanters is
chanting it wrong :-).

Hope this helps.


PS: Perhaps you are getting confused by the sUtra uccairudAttaH and
confusing svarita with this.

> If you are thinking of a particular example, please specify the entire
mantra and where it occurs in Rg and yajur along with svara-s if you cannot
provide the text references. Wikners transliteration would be good.
>>  I have provided some of the mantra-s above...Infact there are somany
like this in vivAha, upanayana viniyOga mantra-s and RV and YV mahAnyAsAdi
mantra-s and udakashanti mantra-s.
> Furthermore, there is no connection between hrasva and dIrgha and svara-s
udAtta, etc. The udAtta can be on a hrasva or dIrgha vowel. So can any of
the other svara-s.
>>  what I was trying to say is when the hrasva akshara has the udAtta with
visarga at the end of the vAkya, then it will be chanted as if it is
deerghAkshara in RV.  Sri Ananda Hudbli prabhuji may explain this in a
better way I think.
> I am also not sure what you mean by Kanchi pATha. Do you mean the Tamil
method? Tamil Nadu > Kanchi :-).
>>  Yes, kanchi pAtha means Tamil method.  Rigveda mantra-s chanting method
will be entirely different from what we used to here.  We call our style as
Mysore pAtha (like Andhra pAtha, dravida pAtha in KYV) in kanchi pAtha all
udAtta-s in the RV samHita mantra-s will be chanted differently and we will
immediately come to know 'this is Kanchi pAtha' if some person started
chanting mantra-s in this style :-)
> BTW, in the mantra adaa!"suu.s.tarasya_ veda!.h, the udAtta syllables are
"a" in the first word and "ve" in the second word. It's not da, whch is
>>  gaNapati sUkta in RV has the vAkya like this :  a'dA'shUshtarasya
ve'daH'...Here first da is deerghAkshara which has the svarita svara and
last 'da' in the word vedaH has the hrasvaakshara (da not dA) with visarga
and udAtta svara.  But while chanting this vedaH, since last 'da' has the
udAtta svara we chant daH as dAH as if it sounds like deerghAkshara !!
whereas this style of chanting we would not follow in YV.
>>  Kindly pardon me if I am not clearly expressing my doubts here.
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar

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