“Gleaning from the Ancient Indian Phonetics” Present a comprehensive analysis of science of phonetics completely extracted from the essence of siksas, explanatory and regulative text of pronunciation of Vedic mantras by which the layman gets a clear view of pada, varna, matra, bala, sama, and Santana. The author has intently looked into the phonetical patterns and substances of each and every siksas ascribed to four Vedas, again she tries of explain the specific standard of recitations of Vedic stotras with utmost accuracy and clarity. It discusses specifically siksas of Yajurveda, its principles, comparative analysis and its application with certain indication of gestures. The author has traversed the relevant areas of modern phonetics, significantly aims at expressing the importance of ranga, nada, nasikya, yama, enumeration of svarabhakti, and many other topics in a befitting manner. Thus it is source of instruction directing and measuring the utterance of Vedic mantras with proper degree of pitches and sweet rhythmic sounds. It certainly judges every parameters of pronunciation gleaned from ancient Indian phonetics. This work definitely contributes a lot in the traditional ways of chanting the mantras following the suitable rules and regulation of siksas in the flawless process. Thus, it may offer a novel procedure or act as a brilliant guide for scholarly Vedic reciters to put forth a modern-socio-cultural scenario on an objective through phonetic patterns undoubtedly sourced out from ancient phonetics.
Dr. Manaswini Sarangi, M.A. L.L.B., Ph.D. in Sanskrit on “A Comparative study of Yajurvedic siksas”, presently works as a guest lecture in PG Department of Sanskrit, Utkal University, Vani Vihar, Bhubaneswar. She possesses consistently brilliant first class academic career, worked as an advocate and income-tax consultant from 2000-10. In the year 2006, she received her doctorate degree and decided to change her and joined as a guest lecture in the department of “Human consciousness and Yogi science” under Utkal University, Vani Vihar. Now she works as a guest lecture in Sanskrit Department, Utkal University, Vani Vihar.
During her school days she had been awarded as the “all-rounder” for her scholastic academic performances. In 2004, she received an award for “Best Secretary” for her outstanding extracurricular activities in WTO (Women of Telecom Organization) from CGMT, BSNL Odisha, while doing legal practices she also availed another two brilliant awards like “Sajan” award on behalf of “Sanatan-Samajvad-Sanskrit-Samsthan”. In 2006, she achieved the most honourable award “Best Women Organiser” from Rajiv Gandhi Forum-Odisha “Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhawana award” in 2007 for her excellent social activities for the society poor and downtrodden. Apart from this, she has delivered two-three research papers in regional and national journal, attended and participated in more than ten to twelve sessions of seminars with presentation of original research papers.
The Siksa “a Treatise on Phonetics” is one of the six auxiliaries of the Vedas and is of fundamental significance inasmuch as it minutely instructs the pronunciation of all sounds n term of their physiological origin with outgoing air causing sounds to produce and it give all the details such as their place of articulation, time taken for pronunciation of vowels and syllables, internal and external efforts in pronouncing them, the different accents such as udatta, anudatta, svarita and their nature etc. Besides the correctness of pronunciation, it also instructs the standard manner of pronunciation as well as the knowledge of deviation thereof (svravarnah, uccaranna-prakaro yatra siksyate upadisyate sa siksa-Sayana in Rgbhasyabhumika, varnah. Svarah, matra, balam, sama samtaah ityuktah, siksadhyayah-Taittiriyopnisad 1.2) These sound constitute the core components of the Vedic mantras and the Siksa treatises ensure flawless and effective chanting of the mantras. Reciting a mantra with clear voice (suvyakta-svara), undivided attention and concentration (dhairya) and complete absorption in the act of recitation (taccittatva) are to be taken care of by the reciter of mantras. (suvyaktasvao dhairyam tatcittatvam caturgunah/etadyuktah pathedvedam as vedaphalamasnute// Vyasa-siksa). Some of the Yajurveda-siksa have gone to the extent of recommending remedial measures for accomplishing right pronunciation such as brushing the teeth with sticks of specific trees and so on.
About 35 number of treatises known Vedanga Siksas have been available. Their instructions are indiscriminately applicable for all the Vedas. However, some of them belong to and are concerned with the Phonetics of some particular Veda. For example, Saisiriyasiksa and Saunakiya-siksa belong to Rgveda, Yajnavalkya-siksa, Varnaratnapradipika-siksa, Pratisakhyapradipika-siksa etc. belong to suklayajurveda. Carayaniya, Pari-siksa kaundinya-siksa etc belong to Krsnayajurveda. So also are the names of the Siksa connected with the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda.
In view of the above seminal importance of the Siksa texts. Dr. Manaswini Sarangi Panda has rightly ventured to bring out her research work in a book form entitled Gleanings from the Ancient Indian Phonetics which was earlier adjudged as a successful Ph.D. dissertation of the Utkal University. Vanivihar, Bhubaneswar Odisha wherein she has compared the Siksa texts connected with the Yajurveda. The tradition of Suklayajurveda is a living tradition in Odisha right from ancient time. There are evidences of patronization of this tradition by the kings of Sailodbhave (7th Century) and Soma dynasties (8th-11th centuries) in the then Odisha. Monarchs belonging to the dynasties the education in the line of Yajurveda, thus the Vedic education particularly belonging to Yajurveda was flourishing in various ways in ancient Odisha since long time. This is another reason the scholar has indicated in the Preface of the book justifying dor taking up such as study because she is native to the state of Odisha.
The study consists of five chapters besides the Introduction and Conclusion. The first chapter is devoted to furnish historical account such as different Siksa-texts, fixing their chronology, their relation with Pratisakhyas and the Siksas belonging to Various Vedas including the Suklayajurveda. The second chapter undertakes a survey of the Siksas belonging to the Rgveda, Samaveda and the Atharvaveda. In the third chapter, detailed account of the Siksas relating to Yajurveda both Sukla and Krsna Yajurveda are given. In the fourth chapter the scholar has compared all the Siksas belonging to Suklayajurveda pointing out similarities and differences and peculiarities noted among them. In the fifth chapter emphasis is given describing selectively some important concepts such as ranga, nada, nasikya and yama. The work concludes with a report on the inevitability of the knowledge of Siksa of Suklayajurveda as a guiding manual for correct and effective chanting of mantras of Suklayajurveda. She has tried to demonstrate with pictures the details of hand-movements while reciting mantras and the manner in which the sound such as anusvara, visarga, rangavarna,yakara, the sa-sa-sa-karas, the sound jna, the accents such as udatta, anudatta and svarita with its further and the faulty hand-postures in recitation according to the dictum of Suklayajurveda.
The comparative analysis of different Suklayajurvediya is well executed in this study by Dr. Manawini Sarangi-Panda. It is to be remarked that the tenets of correct knowledge of articulation of different sounds as instructed in Siksas and Pratisakhyas are not only relevant for Vedic language but worth-learning for every student of Sanskrit language since they are extremely fundamental. Sanskrit also inherits many of these norms.
I congratulate the author for this excellent study and wish that the scholars and researchers will find it interesting.
The study entitled as “Gleaning from the Ancient Indian Phonetics” is the improved version of my Ph.D. thesis “A Comparativ Study of Yajurvedic Siksas” awarded in the year 2006 in Utkal University, Vani Vihar, Those data fascinated me to trace out the elements of Vedic recitation sourced out of ancient Indian Phonetics. After that I thought to publish it with the inspirations which I received from the different books of eminent authors like Yugal Kishore Vyas, Amarnath Shastri, Pattabhiram Shastri, Siddhesvara Verma, Ram Prased Tripathy, Virendra Kumar Vermar, Laxman Swarup, Manmohan Ghosh, Ladukesar Satpathy and the renowned western scholars like Macdonell, Max-Muller Winternitz. Finally, I must admit that unless something is pre-ordained it never happens. So definitely I had ‘his’ blessings all through and was probably ‘his’ desire that someday I would succeed in my effort. Due to the well wishes and blessings of my guru, Professor Pratibha Manjari Rath, I managed to arranged to arrange each and every chapter systematically.
The introductory portion describes about the significance, the plan, the presentation about the study of the Siksas. Chapter 1 describes about the definition, chronology, verification and complexity of Siksas. Chapter 2 gives a brief note on content analysis of the Siksas belonging to the Rg, Sama and Atharva Vedas along with general Siksas. Chapter 3 deals with the survey of Krsna Yajurvedic and Sukla Yajurvedic Siksas. Chapter 4 describes the comparative analysis of Sukla Yajurvedic Siksas, their similarities, dissimilarities and the peculiarities of Yajurvedic Siksas. Chapters 5 discusses about Ranga, Nada, Nasikya and Yama letters in Yajurvedic Siksas followed by the summary of findings.
This book is an instrument for every Vedic student as it has spared more stress on chanting Vedic mantras with distinct pitches of sweet sounds or pronouncing the Vedic words with utmost accuracy. I shall feel myself rewarded if this work goes ahead arousing interest in the minds of the scholars engaged in Svadhyaya as well as Vedic research. This treatise will prove to its higher order if it is appreciated by the learned critics and scholars.
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