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’ (nārāyaṇa sūktam).

The chanting of the well-known and excellent Challakere Brothers or Sri K. Suresh, confirm that point.


3. The 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 acceptable.


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 chanting.

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 accepted.


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.


6Chanting 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.
viśhvadēēvai‑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 doubled.
duṣhkṛta‑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 to?

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 (vivṛttivirāmaḥa).

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 pāṭha?

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).

Example (RV 1-1) :   स न॑ पि॒तेव॑ सू॒नवेऽग्नेसूपाय॒नो भ॑व । सच॑स्वा नः स्व॒स्तये॥ ९ ॥

- In kāñchī style, this example contains two extensions:
sa na[fp] pitēva- sūnavē (a)gnēē  sūpāyanō bha-va |  (two extensions)

sachasvā nas svastayēē || 9 ||  (no extension because ‘cha’ is followed by two consonants, ‘s’ and ‘v’)

- In śhṛṅgērī style, there is no extension:

sa na[fp] pitēva sūnavē (a)gnēē  sūpāyanō bhava |

sachasvā nas svastayēē || 9 ||

Exception: in both styles, short and up vowels before a final visarga (ḥ) are one unit of time extended.

Example (RV 1-89) :   आ नो भ॒द्राः क्रत॑वो यन्तु वि॒श्वतोऽद॑ब्धासो॒ , अप॑रीतास , उ॒द्भिद॑ ।
ā nōō bhadrā[hk] krata-vō yantu viśhvatō (a)dabdhāsō , apa-rītāsa , udbhida‑ḥa |   (kāñchī)

ā nōō bhadrā[hk] kratavō yantu viśhvatō (a)dabdhāsō , aparītāsa , udbhida‑ḥa |   (śhṛṅgērī)


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 मेवि॒श्व भेषजो॒ ऽयं शि॒वाभि॑मर्शनः

ayam mēē viśhva bhēēṣhajō (a)ya śhivābhimarśhanaa ||    

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 - namastē

Ex2:  Mahānārāyaṇōpaniṣhat (TA 10-35-1)

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’ chanting.


Ex3: 1st sentence of śhīkṣhāvallī (just after the śhānti mantra)

oṁ śhīkṣhāṁ vyākhyāsyāmaḥa |

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 RV.

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 | dhīmavit’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’: trya-m-bakaṁ.

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”.






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