1. Which one of the following is
correct in gāyatrī mantra: ‘suvaḥa’ or ‘svaḥa’?
Bhagavān Baba chants the gāyatrī mantra in His own &
unique way with ‘suvaḥa’.
In Rigveda, gāyatrī is present as “tat savitur vareṇyam...
...prachōdayāt” without “bhūr bhuvas-s(u)vaḥa”.
In Krishna Yajurveda,
• taittirīya saṁhitā contains occurences of “bhūr
bhuvas-suvaḥa” not followed by “tat savitur…”
• taittirīya āraṇyaka contains:
- occurences of “bhūr bhuvas-svaḥa” not followed
by “tat savitur…” (aruṇa praśhnaḥa)
- ‘suvaḥa’ in “Om bhūḥu Om bhuvaḥa Ogm suvaḥa…”
followed by “tat savitur…” (mahānārāyaṇōpaniṣhat)
So, if we chant the gāyatrī mantra in a Krishna Yajurvedic
style, then ‘suvaḥa’ may be a relevant choice. As well as “svaḥa”
in a Rigvedic style.
2. At many places in your documents,
you have used the term ‘bramha’. One professor in Sanskrit said the correct
pronunciation is ‘brahma’. Can you please clarify?
In classical Sanskrit, yes, this professor is right.
But in Vedam chanting, ‘brahma’ is pronounced ‘bramha’, hence written
‘bramha’ in SaiVeda.
Note: Such an inversion also occurs in some seldom cases, like
‘vahniśhikhā’ pronounced as ‘vanhiśhikhā’
The chanting of the well-known and excellent Challakere Brothers or Sri
K. Suresh, confirm that point.
version of śhrī sūktam available on SaiVeda seems to be
different from another one I heard. What is the right version?
Some famous prayers, like śhrī sūktam or gaṇapati
atharva shīrṣhōpaniṣhat belong to forgotten Vedic
śhākhā-s, and are chanted and preserved by still-alive
Vedic śhākhā-s. Hence the many different versions, all
4. In gaṇapati atharva shīrṣhōpaniṣhat,
should we chant “saṁhitā sandhiḥi” or “sagmhitā sandhiḥi”?
The ‘gm’ appears in Yajurveda only. This sentence belongs to an
upaniṣhat from Atharva Veda, so ‘gm’ should not appear in the
This upaniṣhat being often chanted by Yajurvedic paṇḍits,
‘gm’ appears in their chanting of this sentence. Thereupon, ‘gm’ should
also logically appear in some other sentences, like “tvaṁ (tvagm)
sākṣhādātmā 'si nityam” or “tvamēva
kēvalaṁ (kēvalagm) hartā 'si”. But it is not the case
in many versions.
Finally, since this upaniṣhat belongs to a forgotten Vedic
śhākhā, many ways of chanting based on tradition are to be
5. Please explain the difference between ‘dadātu’ and ‘dadhātu’.
The term ‘dadātu’ means to give; ‘dadhātu’
is broken up as ‘dadātu + dhārayatu’: give AND
maintain/sustain it (for a longer time)
Whatever is merely given (‘da’) may be wasted and lost, whereas ‘dha’
implies that some positive qualities will be given in addition (wisdom,
moderation,…), for an appropriate and lasting use of that gift.
Thus, ‘da’ is related to the gross and immediate aspect of the gift,
and ‘dha’ to its subtle and lasting aspect.
6. Chanting in dēvī sūktam
differs from other sūktams. Why application of svarita, etc. are not
like in others?
On SaiVeda, the documents concerning the Rigveda are presented in two
styles: kāñchī pāṭha and śhṛṅgērī
pāṭha. For both styles, the main rules are thus:
- long and up vowels are chanted as dīrgha svarita.
ex: viśh’vadēēvai‑ḥi |
- short and up vowels followed by a nasal sound are chanted as
dīrgha svarita on the nasal sound.
- short and up vowels followed by final visarga: their length is
ex: duṣh’kṛta‑ḥa || 2 || (parjanya sūktam, RVS 5-83)
Specific rule for kāñchī style:
Short and high vowels, not followed by two consonants (or, followed by
consonant + vowel): their length is doubled.
7. In SaiVeda audios, unlike many others, a pause
is systematically respected between two vowels. What rule does this refer
The book “The Taittirīya Prātiśhākhya – with the
commentaries tribhāṣhyaratna and vaidikābharaṇa-,
edited by R. Shama SASTRI and K. RANGACARYA, deals with the phonetic system
used in ancient India as applied in the taittirīya saṁhitā
of the Krishna Yajurveda.
In this book, the rule 22:13 (p.498) concerns in particular the pause
between two vowels, the first vowel appearing as a result of a sandhi rule
According to this prātishākhya,
the pause should last 1 mātra.
Three examples are given:
“sa [pause] idhānaḥa” (TS 4-4-4)
Separate words are “saḥa | idhānaḥa”,
the “ḥa” of “saḥa” disappearing by sandhi rule in the saṁhitā.
“ta [pause] enam” (TS 2-3-11)
Separate words are “taḥa | enam”, the
“ḥa” of “taḥa” disappearing by sandhi rule in the saṁhitā.
“tā [pause] asmāt” (TS 2-4-4)
Separate words are “tāḥa |
asmāt”, the “ḥa” of “tāḥa” disappearing by sandhi
rule in the saṁhitā.
The duration of the pause is therefore the
same whether the final vowel of the first word is short (e.g. 1&2) or
long (e.g. 3).
8. What is the difference between
kāñchī pāṭha and śhṛṅgērī
Kāñchī pāṭha and śhṛṅgērī
pāṭha are two different chanting styles (pāṭha) for
Rigveda mantras. When a short vowel, not followed by two consonants, is up
(udatta), it is chanted short in śhṛṅgērī style,
whereas it is one unit of time longer in kāñchī style (indicated
by an hyphen in RCCS).
1-1) : स
न॑ पि॒तेव॑ सू॒नवेऽग्ने
सूपाय॒नो भ॑व । सच॑स्वा
॥ ९ ॥
- In kāñchī style, this
example contains two extensions:
sa na[fp]’ pitēva- sūnavē
(a)g’nēē sūpāyanō bha-va | (two extensions)
svas’tayēē || 9 || (no extension because ‘cha’ is followed by two
consonants, ‘s’ and ‘v’)
- In śhṛṅgērī
style, there is no extension:
na[fp]’ pitēva sūnavē
(a)g’nēē sūpāyanō bhava |
svas’tayēē || 9 ||
Exception: in both
styles, short and up vowels before
a final visarga (ḥ) are one unit of time extended.
1-89) : आ नो भ॒द्राः
, उ॒द्भिद॑ ।
ā nōō bhad’rā[hk]’ krata-vō
yan’tu viśh’vatō (a)dab’dhāsō , apa-rītāsa
ā nōō bhad’rā[hk]’ kratavō
yan’tu viśh’vatō (a)dab’dhāsō , aparītāsa
9. At the end of the Sri Rudram, “ayaṁ
śhiva…” is sometimes written or chanted “ayagm śhiva…”. Why
is this not the case in SaiVeda?
अ॒यं मे वि॒श्व भेषजो॒ ऽयं शि॒वाभि॑मर्शनः ॥
In Krishna Yajurveda, an
anusvāra ‘ṁ’ followed by ‘śh’ turns into ‘gm/ge or gge’. But this
rule cannot be applied to this mantra as it is part of Rigveda only
(RV 10-60-12) and should thus follow the Rigveda rules of chanting,
according to which an anusvāra ‘ṁ’ followed by ‘śh’ remains
unchanged. The correct pronunciation is therefore “ayaṁ śhiva”.
10. The oṁ is very present in
Vedam chanting. Is it always part of the mantra?
Are sandhi rules to be applied to the oṁ?
Let us answer through examples.
Ex1: 1st sentence of Sri Rudram
oṁ namastē rudra manyavē...
This oṁ does not belong to the very mantra of the saṁhitā.
If it is chanted, it is merely as an opening to the chanting of the Sri
Rudram. Regarding the saṁhitā, one may check out whether a word
belongs or not to a mantra with the pada pāṭha, which gives all
the separate words of the saṁhitā.
In case this oṁ is chanted, it can be:
- on-namaste rudra (sandhi is applied) in a single breath (as in
Challakere Brothers’ chanting) or
- oṁ (classical anusvāra or even pure ‘m’) - silence -
om bhuḥu | om bhuvaḥ | ogm suvaḥa | om mahaḥa
oñ janaḥa | on tapaḥa | ogm satyam |
All these oṁ are definitely part of the mantras, and
sandhi rules are to be applied, as confirmed by Challakere Brothers’
Ex3: 1st sentence of śhīkṣhāvallī
(just after the śhānti mantra)
This oṁ, despite being printed in many written sources,
is not part of the mantra. It should rather be considered as the
introductory praṇava of the upaniṣhat. It can (or not) be part
of the chanting, as it can be seen in Sri K. Suresh’s chanting, in which
this oṁ is not chanted, and Challakere Brothers’ chanting, in which
it is chanted.
So, one can:
- chant oṁ (or om) - silence - śhīkṣhāṁ...
(like the Challakere Brothers)
- or not chant the oṁ (like Sri K. Suresh).
In a group chanting, of course, a common version is to be
determined and then adopted.
Then comes the following question:
In that example, is it possible to apply the sandhi rule as it
may be in ‘oṁ namastē rudra manyavē…’?
If a sandhi rule were to be applied here, it should be the
specific KYV-sandhi rule (gm) and we should chant ogm śhīkṣhāṁ.
It would imply that this oṁ is part of the mantra (which is not).
Moreover, if no sandhi rule is applied and oṁ
śhīkṣhāṁ is chanted in one single breath, it
would match the RV-way of chanting whereas this mantra does not belong to
Thus, in that example, we may chant oṁ followed by a
silence, or not chant it.
11. In gaṇapati prārthanā,
we can find the mantra | dhīnāmavit’tryavatu |. Is
the syllable « trya »
short or long?
The syllable ‘trya’ is
actually ONE single syllable. Since the vowel ‘a’ is short, the syllable ‘trya’ is short and lasts one unit of time, like the
next two syllables, ‘va’ and ‘tu’.
This syllable should not be chanted ‘traya’ or ‘triya’; it should
NOT last two units of time.
Similarly, in the mahāmṛtyuñjaya
mantra, the syllable ‘trya’ of “tryambakaṁ” lasts 1 unit of time, followed by one
unit of time for the doubling of the nasal ‘m’ of ‘tryam’:
In contrast, in chamakam 11, we come across “trayastrigm”. In this case, ‘traya’
has two units of time: one for ‘tra’ and one for
‘ya’. The word is written as “trayastrigm”
and not “tryastrigm”.