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

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
Wed Nov 22 06:10:51 EST 2017

praNAms Sri Ramakrishnan prabhuji
Hare Krishna

Thank you very much for your kind clarification.  Yes, there was a confusion in my mind with regard to udAtta, which all these days I was thinking letters which have (I) mark is udAtta /svarita and letter which have (II) mark as svarita  or deergha svarita.  When the (I) svara is called udAtta then (II) called as svarita and when the same (I) svara called as svarita then  (II) become deergha svarita this was my earlier understanding.  Frankly I did not know that udAtta is the akshara which is svara-rahita akshara.  It is due to my zero knowledge about svara rUles (prAtishAkhya etc.).  And I also did not know that chanting the 'svarita' differently across the different tradition / style is allowed and it does not change the meaning of the word.  Thanks once again for your detailed clarification prabhuji.

Kindly pardon me for the very belated acknowledgement of your mail.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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

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---------- 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 svarita.

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 svarita.
>>  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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