स्वरितोच्चारणे ऽष्टाध्यय्य् एव प्रमाणम् मम।

शास्त्र-ग्रन्थेषु विवादः

अष्टाध्याय्याश् च “पाणिनिय”शिक्षाग्रन्थस्य च मध्ये विवादे सति, अष्टाध्यायीम् एव प्रमाणं मन्ये – न पश्चाल् लिखितं शिक्षाग्रन्थम्।

“उच्चैः उदात्तः॥
नीचैः अनुदात्तः॥
समाहारः स्वरितः॥
तस्य आदितः उदात्तम् अर्धह्रस्वम्॥” इत्यष्टाध्यायी। अनेन स्वरितस्य आदितः अर्धह्रस्वम् उदात्तम्, शिष्टो भागो ऽनुदात्तः।

“पाणिनीय”शिक्षायां (वर्तमानसम्प्रदायेषु नैकेषु च) तावत् “उदात्ते निषादगान्धारावनुदात्त ऋषभधैवतौ । स्वरित्प्रभवा ह्येते षड्जमध्यमपञ्चमाः ॥ १२॥” इत्यनेन स्वरितस्य उदात्ताद् अप्य् उच्चं स्थानम्। (ष ऋ ग म प ध नि ष२ इत्येतेषु स्वरेषु उदात्ते गान्धारे सति स्वरितस्य मध्यममस् स्वरः!! )

एवम् एतयोर् विवादः स्वरितस्य विषये। मया त्व् अष्टाध्याय्या एव पक्षस् स्वीक्रियते, मन्यते च आधुनिकपरम्परास् ततस् स्खलितेति।  कारणान्य् अर्धव्यवस्थितरीत्योच्यन्ते ऽत्र।

सूचनाः –

  • वर्तमान-परम्परा उच्चरणविषये स्खलिताश् चेदपि, तदनुसरणे रक्षणे वा जनानाम् अधिकारम् अभ्युपगच्छामि
  • इत्थम् अवगमितवन्तं Dhananjayaम् नमामि कृतज्ञः। तद्विषयकी मुखपुस्तकचर्चा अत्र
  • अस्यालेखस्य शोधयितृभ्यां धनञ्जय-श्रीरमणाभ्यां मम हृत्पूर्वका नमस्काराः।
  • अत्रौद्धत्यं चेद् दृश्यते, क्षन्तव्योऽहम् – अत्र भवादृशैः परीक्षा, खण्डनमण्डने, परिष्कारश् चैवेष्यन्ते ।

Practical observations

  • In nearly all contemporary vedic recitation systems, the aShTAdhyAyI system is contradicted.
    • Frits Staal made a claim that certain nambUtiri-s recite udAtta in high-pitch pada&”ratha-pATha”. He claimed this was retention of ancestral style of veda recitation or even accented Skt speech as recorded by pANini’s statement of “ucchair udAttaH |”. [TW17]
  • अपि स्पानिकादिभाषास्व् अवलोकनेन उदात्तस्य तारतमस्वरत्वं ज्ञायते। तदपि बहुशः पाणिन्युक्तस्थानेष्वेव – amo (आद्युदात्तम्) amAmos। प्रत्ययस्य आद्युदात्तत्वेन पदमध्यो “A” उदात्तः। पाणिनीये शास्त्रेऽपि अपित् प्रत्यय आद्युदात्त एव, इति स्मरणीयम् ।
  • [अस्मात् संवादात् – ] मम दक्षिणात्यस्याभिप्राय आर्यावर्त्तवास्तव्येषु सस्वरभाषणं श्रूयतेतराम् स्वाभाविकतया, यद्यपि तत्राऽप्य् अपूर्णता ऽनुभूयते।
    • मत्परिचितेन कदाचिद् दर्शितमिदं गृह्यताम् ( https://archive.org/download/sasvara-bhAShaNe-prayogAH इत्यत्र) –RShi-dilli-jana-bhAShaNam। तेनैव गुर्जरजनेनाजानता ऽपि स्वप्रादेशिकसंस्कारबलाद् दाक्षिणात्यभाषणदर्शनेऽपि स्वराः‌ स्थापिताः :-) – RShi-mumbai-gurjara-vs-daxiNa.opus
    • तत्रैव गुर्जरभाषणविविध्यम् अपि स्याद् रुचये।

Theoretical observations

  • तैत्तिरीय-प्रातिशाख्ये मतम् अत्र (मूलम् अत्र)। “आदिरस्योदात्तसमः शेषो ऽनुदात्तसम इत्याचार्याः॥” इत्य् अवधेयम्।
    • paaNini’s arrangment is explicitly allowed. there is one other similar alternative. The pair that grant higher tone to the *first half hrasva duration only* are still different from current “pure higher tone” or rising tone practice. Also, some “hand waving” is allowed by the last sUtra.
    • As shrI dhananjaya says: “As you can see from the description, when this passage was written, apparently one couldn’t just listen to people speak, and know the pronunciation.”
  • वाजसेनयि-प्रातिशाख्ये (मूलम् अत्र, टीका अत्र): उभयवान् स्वरितः १.११०।
  • What about multiple non-pANiniiya options preserved in – say – taittiriiya prAtishAkhya?
    • As shrI dhananjaya says: “Thus the complete opposite options given for the second part of the svarita. Either it is the same level as udAtta (1.42), extremely low (1.44), the same as anudAtta (1.45) … Or the first part is like udAtta and the next part is like anudAtta, “according to the teachers”, I.e., pANini-tradition 1.46. By the time this passage was written, it appears that people did not speak this as a first, or nearly-first language. So one basically repeated extremely polar opposite pronunciations. … This does not happen in pANini’s own description. People who travelled to the north and south banks of the VipAsh (उदक् च विपाशः॥ ४।२।७३ – “अञ् प्रत्ययो भवति चातुरर्थिकः। अणो ऽपवादः। … स्वरे विशेषः। महती सूक्ष्मेक्षिका वर्तते सूत्रकारस्य।”)  (today’s Beas) river could hear that names of wells were pronounced differently, and pANini’s job was to describe it. … By the time of this prAtishAkhya, this sort of obvious demonstration of sounds was not available in society. This prAtishAkhya is an accurate description of various optional liturgical uses (not for communication, but for worship). For worship, it is presumably the right thing to do whatever one’s own shAkhA prescribes. The aim of worship is personal-spiritual, not communication!”
  • Why did the svara-vyavasthA that deviated from the aShTAdhyAyI system thrive at the cost of the latter?
    • Possible reasons:
      • When the svara-s had (mostly) fallen out of use in laukika speech, the simpler thing to teach youngsters, even if it is completely artificial, thrived. “Listen boys – anudaatta is lower tone, udaatta is higher tone, svarita is even higher. simple. no falling tone business. now get to memorization.”
      • Better marketing strategy. Certain shiShTa-s who had noticed the deviation from pANini devised various easily accessible and well marketed shikShA texts. Such as saying – oh look here – “pANinIya” shikShA is so clear. It was by pANini himself so don’t worry about inconsistency with aShTAdhyAyI.

Basic appeal of the pANinIya system

  • Back to basics: Why is pANini’s svara system or grammar superior to alternatives?
    • Why ever is sanskrit superior to alternatives? Because it was the “language” of father manu and bhRgu, and the language of the deva-s, which encodes sagely thought about dharma and more. (as prof aa points out here )
    • If we want to speak the language “right” for the above reasons, and perhaps for its own sake, pANini’s svara vyavasthA is the way to go – the “mArga” contrasted with “deshI”, to use art terms.
    • One must not forget where the authority of other shikSha-s come from. It’s not that they sound more pleasant and beautiful. Rather, it is either that:
      • they (spuriously) claim to be what some ancient sage (pANini for example) agrees with;
      • or that they dominate today.
  • An effort to revive and use the pANini’s svara system in veda and loka may be compared with Dr padmA subrahmanyan’s successful fairly revival of “mArga-nRtya” using bharata-muni’s texts and temple sculptures (“bharata”nATya wasn’t good enough).

Appeal of the non-pANinIya system

  • Everyone follows it! No one speaks sasvara saMskRta. Give up and go with the flow – it will be easier.
  • Narrow minded tradition followers will not allow you to participate in a group ritual if you insist on the pANinIya system.
    • Personal observation: For the most part, is fine to allow the tradition followers do the chanting in such rituals. For advanced rituals, the priests (who tend to be more advanced) can be shown the pANinIya option allowed in pratishAkhya.
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