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From: Lakshmi Srinivas (lsrinivas_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Mon Oct 05 1998 - 16:20:09 PDT
Mani Varadarajan wrote: > > Once again I must refer to my experience with Sri Rangapriya > svAmi. Several people were reciting sections from the Vedas > in his presence -- purusha sUktam, vishvakarma sUktam, etc. > Finally, nArAyaNa upanishad was started. There is a phrase > in the upanishad: > > yad bhUtam yac ca bhavyam > > Immediately after the goshTi recited this line, Rangapriya > svAmi told them to stop and asked someone to repeat what > was just said. He said again: > > yad bhUtam yac ca bhavyam > ^^^^^^ > > with the appropriate svara, pronounced exactly as written above. > > Rangapriya svAmi pointed out that this was incorrect. > According to Vedic rules for sandhi here, the correct > pronounciation is: > > yad bhutain yac ca bhavyam > ^^^^^ > > with the "tain" being particularly nasal. This same > pronounciation occurs in the line "tain yajnam barhi > Siprokshan" in the purusha sUkta. > > What I gathered from his correction was that utmost > attention must be paid to sandhi, svara, and pronounciation > of the Vedic words. We cannot be casual about it. > Consequently, we should recite said Vedic passages > only after learning them properly. > > Mani > While I can not agree more with Sri Mani on the need for proper instruction from an AchArya on all matters concerning ritual, there's just a point or two which needs to be clarified here: 1. There's nothing particularly vedic about the sandhi bhUtam+yat= bhUta(n)yyat. This follows the standard rule in Sanskrit grammar vA padAntasya (Panini 8.4.58), when taken along with the rule anusvArasya yayi parasavarNah (Panini 8.4.57) demands that shA(n) + ta = shAnta "quiet" Rule 8.4.58 governs sandhi patterns such as saM+vatsarah = sa(n)vatsarah "a full year" dAnam+yacchati = dAna(n)yyacchati "he gives" aham+likhAmi= aha(n)llikhami "I write" 8.4.58 basically tells us to nasalize the last vowel of the first pada (in place of the anusvAram) when yay (i.e., any consonant except the USHma viz., sha, SHA, sa, ha) follows the anusvAram. Such examples abound in normal Sanskrit too i.e., one may find them in non Vedic slokams too e.g., SahasranAmam, SvAmi Desika's works and other slokams which many of us recite regularly. I wonder what is the received opinion on the need for correct uchchAraNam in these cases? BTW, accents however are a different matter as they are purely vedic and can, on occasion, change the intended meaning of the mantra as explained lucidly in the post by Sriman Sadagopan in this connection. 2. What happens in situations where recourse to a qualified achArya is not always possible e.g., outside Tamilnadu or outside India? Is self-help disallowed in these cases? There are some larger issues here so I would seek the advice of list members who have more experience with such matters. Warm Regards. Lakshmi Srinivas BTW, the last question re self-help is really important to me. My kids are 3rd generation non-South India raised.