You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : October 1998

Pancha Sooktham recitation

From: Lakshmi Srinivas (
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=

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.