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A Śikṣā for the Twiceborn Author(s): Lewis Rowell Source: Asian Music, Vol. 9, No. 1, Second India Issue (1977), pp. 72-94 Published by: University of Texas Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/833818 . Accessed: 20/10/2011 22:03
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A SIKSA FOR THE TWICEBORN By Lewis Rowell The name of the Naradlyas'ika (hereafter NS), the to the legendary sage N~rada, phonetic treatise attributed of Indian music. has a familiar From ring for most students ancient to modern times Indian writings on music have been from this famous with brief citations liberally sprinkled has been held in tremendous respect work, and its authority in spite of the acknowledged difficulties in determining its exact meaning and in reconstructing the pitch system described therein. Western scholars have largely ignored this controversial text, while Indian authors have seen it more as a symbol of ancient learning and a font of approthan as a source of specific information priate quotations on the musical tradition from which it arose. Certainly this s'ik a (pronounced shick'-shah) is not valid today for as a guide to the correct utterance its intended purpose: of the hymns of the Simaveda. The text itself bris les with problems for the and translator. And there is no general agreeinterpreter ment either as to its authorship or date. Like many other of the Vedic and Epic periods it evidently writings "accumulated" at the hands of multiple authors. Although prefer to dismiss the work as a patchwork many scholars assembled at a relatively it can be shown that late period, much of the text comes from late Vedic times. Certain for example, are quoted from the P4inTya verses, 4ik , of the early Aikpas. one of the most comprehensive It seems safe to assume that the core of the work dates from the first A.D. but with numerous later to the fifth centuries accretions. At that the N' ranks as one of the earliest Indian writings on the theory of music. to place the My approach in this paper will be first text among others in its genre and describe its briefly The focus, however, will be on the "social" contents. aspects of this text--reconstructing the Weltanschauung of the Samavedin in terms of how he viewed himself, his priestly service as a chanter of the sacred hymns, his learning, I should and the nature of the world as he perceived it. add that this study is preliminary to a much larger project that should eventually lead to a re-edited translation, text, and commentary on the more technical and controversial issues that do not arise in the present paper.
The NS is addressed to the dvija, one literally "twiceborn" through investiture with the sacred thread and therefore one of the upper classes a Brahman). (especially 72
that which was "heard. tradition and the result of human learning. the "how and when. Kal a and jyotisa concern the proper procedures and times for the Vedic sacrifices. and the like." and Vyakarapa and nirukta provide tools for analyzing tracing words back to their radical remembering the texts: elements. and mental discipline form the basis for higher learning. in which music emerges as a means of quantifying." i. an excellent Limb of the Vedas" (1." i.1). rhetoric. syntax. disciplines Communication skills arithmetic. containing many meanings. and astronomy).e.The author describes it as "alpagranthari prabh~ttrthax Sravyai vedxAgamuttamam"--"a little treatise. and logic) led to the four mathematical of the Quadrivium (geometry.2. the Ved5Agas occupy a less authoritative position and are classified as smrti. music. of the Vedas") will help in understanding 1ikg as a The Vedas themselves are classified as literary genre. revealed to the ancient fruti. I think it is more than coincidence that the earliest Indian on music occur in a genre that is part of a similar writings constellation of disciplines. way. the Mediaeval Trivium and Quadrivium which were based on the need to understand and preserve similarly sacred texts. Their primary purpose was to promote the correct performance and of the sacred texts. praiseworthy. seers. both in the abstract and as a scale of reference for measuring the universe as perceived physical by Mediaeval man.e. parts of The NS contains one typical speech. and hence the following preservation six divisions: 'ik a kalpa vya ara a nirukta chandas jyotiqa and articulation phonetics ritual grammar. THE GENRE A brief consideration of the Vedigas "Limbs (lit. example of nirukta in which the word g~ndharva (the style of music described is analyzed as by Bharata and Dattila) follows: 73 . word separation. The "three roads" of the preliminary Trivium (grammar. deducing meanings. analysis etymology metrics astronomy These subject divisions in an interesting parallel. that which is "remembered.
duration quantity. Several gradations Rg-Veda. It is derived from the first a phonetic unit of some kind. letter. music instrumental is this: term gndharva means "to be sung". always systematically of Book I and deserve some preliminary dominate the contents wide range of meanings: remarks. A great deal of nonsense has been written I take it as a term that has phonemic rather than phonetic of subtle sound. about svara. root /vr. 1. appearance. color. it is used in the NS to a reiting tone. skill sutra (lit. a tonal accent. semantTc path: unit--of to the appearance of any specific speech or almost anything else. cover. seems to occupy a very special place among the for speech (Vic) Vedigas. is the peculiar communicable recitation province of siksg. and a complex theory of sound production gradually The process by which literature. meaning "to cover.12 of Chandas and apply to the actual recitation of the the Vedic texts and s'iks• analysis present a detailed to the keen ears and analytic Vedic chant that testifies All the VedAgas of the ancient Indian scholars.4. in the aphoristic "thread") were written style that was designed to compress the maximum amount of into the minimum space. mean all of the following: 74 . of speech were recognized. inarticulate reality becomes transformed into the domain of articulate. the organs of pronunciation delivery euphonic laws each of these topics. Varna has a particularly word--in general. In the TaittirTya Upanishad (1. enabling the chanter information on the basis of a to command huge masses of text material limited number of memory clues. of the instrumental and VA. individual syllable. say the wise. the playing of (in general)." and develops along this and then caste.125 and X. sound. or perception a manifestation leanings: Derived from the root /svr or svar. vowel. the proper playing strokes (dhtus). Sik•due in part to the reverence in hymns X.71 of the deified in Indian thought. The N' addresses although not Svara and varp nor in this order.2) the six elements of s'iksa are set forth as: varna svara m~tra bala saiman santna sounds individual vowel quality accents.The meaning of the GA. DHA. developed in post-Vedic of pure sound and meaning the inner.
and characteristics Sama-Vedas. telling the Sik• of the Rg-. separation. in each school of Vedic order. Book 2 is concerned mostly with phonetic matters and concludes with a long set of instructions for the daily life and conduct of a Samaveda trainee. (Vyasa 1893). Lomasi-. aiksatgraha the GautamT-. It should also be emphasized that the sikgas were short. is represented of the separate sounds but also by the passages equating colors and castes to the various steps of the scale. the reader will generally translate svara as "tone.3 In sum the NS is by far the most interesting of the siksas of the Samaveda and the only one to exert much influence on later Indian thought and the emerging discipline of the theory of music. three are addressed to the Smaveda: and Naraiyi~-'ikg7s. the second 113. and the author has made a point of exploring the several meanings of each term. accent. Yajur-. for example. were more elaborate of word the peculiarities phonetic treatises detailing etc. in the following pages. manner. hence not only by descriptions varpa. the standard metre of epic poetry. the term means literally to each recitation. pitch in general. terms are notorious for their multiple meanings. the Of these. on the other hand. especially parallel Most of the material relevant to music is contained in Book 1. each book divided into eight chapters (ka ik•s). It should be noted that the author of the NS claims a wider application of his precepts: 1~. is the anugubh. in the proper order. which divides each. 75 .a scale step. If.t [the present work] has been called a for the Twiceborn. (recensions The prtif sakhs khyas. the first contains 126 couplets The metre ('lokas). completely explained by N~rada. each couplet into four pdas of eight syllables There is a tendency to treat each pair of lines in a towards the end of the line.2. There are about 65 extant in the Benares 31 of them contained edition of likss. 1." he Sanskrit will not go far wrong. "belonging had to be known by the specialist. s~ikha. DESCRIPTIONAND CONTENTS The NS consists of two books (prap hakas). general manuals whose precepts applied to all the various of a particular or schools) Veda." Their doctrines whereas one suspects that the likya was intended more as a textbook for the student and novice-teacher and a handy reference tool for the priest-in-training.
syllable of consonants. bodily locations additional the five correspondences. correspondences and bird sounds. etymology of the word gndharva the Vedic scale equated to the seven with animal svaras. Chapter 1 the Vedic purpose of the treatise. (grmnas). types of sruti the three anud•tta the seven use each udxtta (acute). the 2 3 4 colors and castes as related to the chromatic svaras. tempo described. (~ruti). and deities. nasals and 4 5 vowel and consonant. 5 6 7 the Vedic scale with the corresponding and finger movements. syllable separation the four types of hiatus.TABLEOF CONTENTS Book i. the three octave registers. the importance of correct articulation the topics of svara: the seven laukika the three basic scales svaras. hexatonic scales modes (tanas). tones as practiced reciting by various schools and styles of chant. rsis. regions of utterance the ceremonies of Vedic chant microtones advice to chanters. prolongation. combinations. antarasvara). (mtrcchanas).. correspondences the ten qualities fourteen faults of singing. the grara tones (kakalT and rg•. discontinuity 76 continuity . tions. (circumflex) types of svarita and when to 8 Book 2. aspiration reduplication of the three Vedic accents application durato text examples. Chapter 1 2 3 tremolo (kampa). Vedic accents: and svarita (grave).
5. at word end). Vasistha.6 inserted vowel sounds sibilants. (2.5). general advice on articulation advice practical daily life for the Smavedin's 7 8 Rarely is a topic pursued for more than four slokas. It is generally accepted that the Vedic from its initial nucleus scale spread out in both directions of a few pitches. descending I have proposed what I believe a matter for speculation.11. point is that not even of the principles they were able to enunciate completely of the svaras'! articulation because of the "subtlety" cited include the acarya Somalarman Other authorities and Audavraji (2. a topic. of material and the presentation The typical condensed style. Visvavasu) yris are cited in but the author's 2.7. semiaspirated glottal vowels Vedic metres briefly described. to be a logical pitch level for the Vedic scale and then in the text in equating these to followed the instructions the secular svaras. approach is through a listing of the characteristics or qualities (lakaanas) (gu as) of one another. is in the most laconic. and it is usually thought of as a the origin of the laukika scale is entirely scale." optative the reader is addressed in the second person. Instructions mood: "one should" and "one should not.8) in the of the tables As an aid to the interpretation the example below is a conjectural section. examples of the use of svarita and two of its sub-types: pracaya and nigh~ta. contradict Occasional passages and as a whole is a melange of the theoretical the treatise in the are presented and the practical. Tumburu. 77 . Frequently four Some famous names occur here and there: celebrated and (Nrada. the visarga (an (svarabhakti).3.8.1 & 2. following of the two pitch systems that Nrada equates illustration in 1.
living and the like. in one's belief schemes of correspondences. linking music and of mutual interdependence the gods. creatures. "subsist" •is. the seven svaras "propitiate" the universe: the three gr-mas "arise" from the and gandharvas. of life the interconnectedness is asserted.The Vaidika (Vedic) scale krusta (loud) prathama (first) dvitiya (second) trtiya (third) caturtha (fourth) mandra (low) atisvara last) (the (krusta) The laukika (secular scale ) PA (pancama) DHA (dhaivata) NI (nislda) SA (gadja) RI (rsabha) GA (glndh~ira) MA (madhyama) PA WORLDOUTLOOK listed among The various sets of "correspondences" of how indication of the NS give the clearest the contents The the ancient Indian saw himself and his surroundings. that music has a naive belief both in East and West: of existence-with other categories connections specific animal and plant life--as divine beings. by means of the Sama three worlds. world outlook is one found often in early music theory. colors. By the presentation well as sounds. of elaborate and a chain is reinforced. all creatures and In Indian thought this mode of classifying svaras. relating phenomena reaches back into Vedic times where the and a deity as well a various hymns were each assigned rsi as a metre. 78 .
5. and t DHA the whole host of beings yaksas (attendant demi-gods) saffron ksatriya vaisya or ~Tdra mandra horse f NI multicolored atisv~ra elephant all r com .5.3 &4 SAMASVARA 1.2. rsis k atriya trtiya bull h GA vaisya ~dra brahman or dvitiya goat n \O MA jasmine prathama crane c PA dark brahman krus.5. and pitrs. SA gods lotus leaf parrot yellow gold brahman caturtha peacock t RI rsis pitys (forefathers) gandharvas (celestial musicians) gods.4.Table Correspondences 1 svaras (NS) to the seven SVARA DYNASTY 1.3 &4 B O 1.a cuckoo chest.15 & 16 COLOR 1.1 &2 CASTE 1.4.1 &2 ANIMAL/BIRD SOUNDS 1.
MA. preference and fifth scale degrees--which tends to bear out fourth. table. and ancient Indian cosmology was dominated by "sevenness" The seven svaras provide an obvious parallel "threeness. (Sardgadeva Safgitaratnakara instructive: 80 . air. as Gombrich points out (1975:117f). combined) to fill incompletE of Table 1 reveals what seems to Closer analysis system. Sachs' observations on the tendency for musical systems to around perfect intervals (1943:64)." to all other groups of seven. and heaven) and the three daily Soma oblations. and Indian theorists are by no means unique in resorting to the doctrine of misra out an otherwise (mixed. and PA--the first. and. be an unconscious for SA. crystallise Systems for such as this are also subject to cultural preferences certain numbers. while the three grmas and the three registers are equated respectively with the three worlds (earth.In such a system the occasional redundancies and are much less disturbing rationalizations to the Indian sense of order than a lacuna. Comparison with a similar adapted from is the 13th-century 1945:64).
Table Correspondences to the seven 2 svaras (SR I.ih bibh (fea NI asuras (demons) spotted vaisya Pugkara Tumburu Sun jagati sam .46-59) SVARA DYNASTY COLOR CASTE CONTINENT RSI DEITY ' METRE RAS 52 & 53 SA gods 54 & 55 lotus 53 brahman 55 & 56 Jambu 56 & 57 fire 57 & 58 Agni 58 & 59 anustubh 59 vira adb and (ang RI GA MA rsis gods gods yellow gold jasmine ksatriya " vaisya brahman SEl~a Kusa Kraunca creator BrahmK gayatri tristubh brhati sam Oo moon Visnu Sarasvati Siva karu hasy and (ero PA DHA pitrs rsis dark saffron brahman ksatriya ? ""and Salmali Sveta N--rada Visnu pakti sam Tumburu Ganesa u.3.
as well Table 2 gives evidence of changes in society in the musical system which can be as some developments to the deduced. at different cultures to add that different hardly necessary to times have obviously arranged the scheme and its details of the world and existence. and many of the details sets of correspondences It should be pointed out that similar (Kaufmann 1967:55) and appear in early Chinese literature It is Mediaeval European music theory (Rowell 1972:5). and thus do two chromatic tones. kakali to the regular not appear in this table in connection have been removed (cf. and the unconvincing adaptation rasa system. the general scheme is closely Still patterned are similar. Meru.g. the system of world-continents of the eightfold metres. e. Ntrada's the svaras of the STmavedic scale: correspondences to 82 . Later deities system is apparent. have acquired status. Certain inconsistencies the and in general an attempt to regularize Agni's role). the concentric have been added: and several new categories that surround Mt. svaras. the ?idra caste has been restricted and antarasvara. suit their perception Table 3 presents Finally. upon that in the NS.
3-5 1.7. demons.Table 3 Correspondences to Correspondences to the the Sasvaras S~raasvaras (NS) (NS) SAMASVARA LAUKIKASVARABODILY LOCATION FINGER PLACEMENT DYNASTY 1.5. and monsters all things animate and inanimate on earth atisv~ra NI heart base of little finger 83 .6-8 krusta prathama dvitiya PA MA GA top of head forehead between brows ears eye- tip of thumb gods humans beasts thumb forefinger middle trtiya RI finger gandharvas apsarasas (celestial nymphs) also birds.1 &2 1. the pitys and caturtha SA throat ring little finger mandra DHA chest finger dwarfs.7.1 &2 1.7.
the various registers--an of the system early description known as Kupdalini yoga. come unseen but no less real beings: gods. This inward-looking egocentric stance is one of the most basic traits of Indian thought. either and is then emitted from singly or in combination. air. fathers. Umwelt is created. on the outside. one that involves from the external information it processes and effectors--how world and how it acts upon the surrounding environment by of sound. seers. tastes. the body. monsters. I The seven svaras of the basic scale and (in the NS. of the in the N'--a multidimensional. The line between the divine and the demons. to change their form at of supernatural creatures ability will or be reborn in another body further tends to blur the are at times indisAnd the gods themselves categories. And finally framework. sounds. and art. Agni from fire and tinguishable the three worlds of earth. and the like. in the midst of a set of concentric figure spread-eagled circles the four elements and. animated (as the author from tells us in 1. musicians. and heaven provide the spatial in this worldThere are few other spatial concepts view other than those spaces measured on or by the body. to a corresponding part of the body and/or marking the svaras on the fingers.g. Indra from thunder. from their elements. smells. representing the seven planets.5. expressed throughout Indian literature frequently That the Indians were not the only early men to place themselves at the center of existence is shown in the European often diagrammed as a human concept of microcosm/macrocosm. foreexperience celestial dwarfs. Impressions reaching the body through the organs of perception come next in the hierarchy: sights. and the demoniac is easily crossed in Indian mythology. general world scheme outlined at the concentric universe: the human body is clearly central core of this orderly cosmos. e.into the At the risk of pursuing the subject farther I shall attempt an interpretation realm of fantasy. its receptors. as well as the beloved into a specific hierarchy society animals and birds that populate Indian legends and serve as a source for the many colorful throughout the analogies of everyday Beyond these categories sikga literature. at least) the Vedic scale provide the physical scale of and overt physical clues are given by pointing reference. Thus a complete physical emotions. one exception is the later notion of the world continents 84 . means of the articulation Beyond the immediate reach of the body is the body Indian the four-tiered caste system that organizes social.7-12) breath that arises by the vital the navel and strikes the various organs of utterance.
are themselves small versions of this larger principle of time and thus in later literature are assigned cyclical stations in this scheme of correspondences. cyclical rhythm was not a feature of the early t~la system. and recreation. out of reach. As for music. Music's clear divisions and his ability to repeat it at will reassured him that he could measure that which was out of sight. laid out as a scale of reference for the cosmos. dissolution. S~ma-. but it later emerged as the dominant rhythmic principle under the relentless of cultural for pressure preferences circularity. As he [Nrada] said: the incorrect utterance of a mantra. as many Indians believe. And if music. or Yajur. and the powerful forces he can command through his performance of the hymns and sacrificial rites. and its divisions are also used to mark off temporal experience into measurable increments.verses in ignorance of discord arises. life-cycles finally. The metres cycles of creation. then the act of utterance is a means of making manifest the most vital which is internal and inarticulate. or otherwise incommensurable by the simple available standards of daily life. 85 . part of their being--that THE PRIESTLY LIFE Verses scattered here and there in the Nf afford into the daily life and thought of the Smavedin. performs the Rg-. glimpses to the process of teaching and learning Many of these relate and will thus be reserved for the final section of this Others speak of the sacred nature of his calling paper. in this cosmology? Why does music figure so prominently I would like to propose that early man felt more at home with his musical scale than the mysteries of his universe. faulty in either pitch or vowel quality. incorrectly compound IndrasJatrub. his ancestors. his gods. is often speculation. in sacrificing. And the penalties for inexact performance were severe: Whenever anyone. and his own vital substance. like the Thus the musical power of naming. this harsh language injures the sacrificer as when one accents the himself. brings a sense of control.listed in Table 2. is a kind of primal Veda and a means of revelation. The power of measuring. these treatises [the siks]. in "naive" or "pre-scientific" scale. And although temporal concepts are also of relatively minor importance in the NS. we can safely assume the concentric view of time that persists cyclical in Indian thought: daily cycles of worship are emboxed within lunar cycles within yearly cycles of seasons within the repeated generational within. does not convey the proper meaning.
and the main themes are these: proper beginning the opening invocations. nor avoid articulating nor nor should one make them too musical.Whenever a mantra is uttered in a distorted of tone or manner. 1.1. and unafraid. the right mental attitude. he meant to say: "May the enemy of Indra flourish'" the compound as (intending a genitive case and tatpuruga with Indra in the genitive His false accentuation. verses are representative: exact timing.15 86 . The following A wise man should not allow any limb of his body to shake. how to hold the hand and posture. self-controlled. 1. and one should as conclude the syllables just as precisely one begins them. with great avoiding any extremes and timing the syllables precision: One should utter speech evenly. should one use a tremolo: one should sing the S~mans evenly like the course of a hawk in the sky. 1. his offspring. force. and body.6. synchronized with both the hand and mouth.14 One should not attack the syllables with excessive them. sky. glance. a wise man should pronounce the syllables. and perform the ceremonies in proper order. lacking in correctness vowel.12 Emphasis is placed on evenness of articulation. and move it during the chant.4-6 Pandits often cite Indras'atruh as an example of how a Sanskrit compound can be taken in two diametrically when meanings. Vrtra was taken at his word and was slain by Indra.6. made a sacrifice and prayed for Indra's downfall. produced this meaning: Indra. sit in a relaxed manner. slatru "May the enemy.10 Like a tortoise who has drawn his limbs together-with fixed mind. tranquil.6.6. The procedure for chanting the samans is set forth in 1. he should lay the back of his hand down lightly. flourish'" (the compound thus became a karmadhraya with both elements in apposition). and his beasts.6. it injures the sacrificer's person. [enemy] in the nominative). 1. 1. depending upon the accentuation: opposite Vytra. [namely] however. before his epic duel with Indra.
and syllables. stanzas. it and 87 . the sky. or as scissors cutting hair--so should be made the pauses between successive syllables. lakspam. eat a and avoid the company of women and proper breakfast.18 On the other hand.6.6. head registers. sukumiram. because throat. To conclude this translation of 1. samam. and is so-called because it is Purgam (filled) full of microtones. alamkytam. vyaktam. vikrufam. Alaikytam (adorned) is so-called manifests the tone in the chest. how to avoid speech defects. so it is with the s'rutis that govern the perception of svaras. and the like. madhuram.6. or the thread through a necklace of pearls.16 The final chapter of Book 2 is filled with practical matters pertaining to daily routine: the priest was to brush his teeth well with a get up early. shadow and sunlight. perform his morning worship. prasannam. brush made from twigs. control of the breath. 1. the microtones that determine the exact size of each svara: Just as there is no definite path for fishes moving in the water or birds in. scoundrels. pjrnam. continuous and between yet without too obvious a connection similar to the transition between svaras. Raktam the (colored) signifies blending of svaras on the bamboo flute and vip. wash himself. 1. 1.11 One should perform the transition between svaras evenly and precisely. Mixed in with these admonitions are many other bits of advice on good articulation.3: section I append a complete The ten qualities (gutas) of singing are these: raktam. in combination with metres. the priest is advised not to be overly concerned for the exact placement of the s~'rutis.Precise continuity is urged in the following slokas: As a lightning flash appears in the middle of the sky.
or improperly disordered. quality a faults of singing: These are the fourteen lack lack of confidence. neither too high nor too low. a tone nasality. a shrill of clarity. i. roughly pronounced. primary and secondary the utterance of all meanings. when one's and free is so-called distinct) Vyaktam (manifest. TEACHING AND LEARNING A recurring theme in the NS is the nature teacher-student From these verses relationship. roots. is so-called because Sukumwram (delicate) the delicate this style of singing features of word. tracting Saman (even) is so-called because of the combining of the proper regions of utterance. vowel. it is called vyaktam. excitement. particles. compounds. sportively playing with the voice and procertain syllables. sweetness. meaning. is restrained whether one's diction (avapa) or released (nirvapa). strive Master teachers (Sc~ryas) women for pandits for correct word-separation. timidity.is recognized Prasannam (clear) utterance is without hesitation from any speech impediment. and tone. is so-called because the (gentle) Slaksnam svaras are pronounced neither too quickly nor too slowly. word stem. accent. register. modification and of words. but ordinary men for loudness.e. these being correct. produced too high in the head or in the wrong disconnected. of the it is clear 88 . prefixes. primary and secondary substitution suffixes. discordant. articulated. articulation because its Madhuram (sweet) is so-called nature is abundantly endowed with a charming of word and syllable. for evenness. case endings. tone. because words (loud) is so-called Vikrugsam and syllables are clearly uttered aloud. tasteless. gender. the distinct because it features utterance of word.
2.9 And the author to get responsibility stresses the best that it is the student's out of his guru: Just as one obtains water by digging in the earth.7. to the according acarya Somasarman. duration of a Rc syllable. and in the slow vjtti for the instruction of pupils. so it is when one wishes to obtain knowledge from a teacher.3.8 Verses such as the preceding have been largely for the state of confusion that arises whenever. 2. found in many other and often quoted by later writers: The mtr? should be given the time of one of an eye) or a nime a (the twinkling and this should be the flash of lightning.27 The following provide one of the few indications of tempo in the verses NS and emphasize that the only worthy teacher is a dvija: With regard to tempo: one should perform in the fast vytti when studying.22 The only other mention of tempo in the NS is celebrated passage from Book 2. under the guidance of a yourself you recite the best of these is teacher. 1. properly. 2. the fingers looking at it and placing and what the phonetic treatises. 1. one attempts to fix the duration of the mrnatrK.8. (style) but in a moderate tempo when reciting. verily living of a living recitation under the direction teacher.6. responsible in Sanskrit metrics. The mtrK or mora was taken to be the basic unit of 89 in a s'ikas .that the guru system was firmly established when the were formulated: of the relevant portions s'iks There are five kinds of teachers: your hand.6.21 A Twiceborn who has studied the phonetic treatises in this manner--he alone is worthy to instruct pupils in accordance with right teachings.
although the latter (ultimate The to be perceived too delicate singly. locations. of measurement and was assigned Clearly a-single "a twinkling of the eye" is much too short a duration. Even the position of the teacher is specified: You should intone the seven svaras directly thus the into the right ear of your student. and the habit of marking the svaras on in Vedic chanting. (pupils). and protracted laghu). In one. well-known Guidonian Hand in the European Middle Ages--the of svaras") "circle lit. 1.5 And the virtues urged upon the student: of patience and perseverance are One should attain his objectives gradually. equal one mitr? (1964:153). that five nimegas are required to and Bharata specifies The text of the NS. and was both an aid to learning the various finger joints is often called the hastavla The hand itself remembering.4 & 5). two. farther on a journey when proceeding 2. in obtaining knowledge just as in climbing a mountain. are to be (treatises) along passed sastras of the sipyas by acaryas for the benefit their sons. to the bodily regions approhand is occupied with pointing As an opening routine the student is priate to each svara. The six obstacles to knowledge are listed as: 90 .6.8. musical gamut (the svaramap~ala. receiving respectively Sanskrit prosody the short vowel a came to be the standard mtr?. and--as in the (the vipa of the hand) in early treatises.15 cited verses have mentioned the hand as a Previously Hand motions play an important role means of instruction. considered were classified as short (hrasva or themselves syllables long (aJ1gha or guru). so the confusion is crystal clear at this point. (pluta). was marked off on specificfinger Narada of one hand that the chanter touch the fingers prescribes since the other with the thumb of the same hand (1. over the entire gamut once he advised to move his fingers OMand the preliminary has performed the sacred syllable invocations (1.6. and three matras. unfortunately.text measurement.8.5). remains. and one can travel leagues gradually. divided into a us (atoms) and subdivided were into parampus atoms).
lazyness. V. The edition. R. the most obvious errors. was himself a S-mavedin. to and sleep--these are the six obstacles knowledge. the copy I saw in Datratreya 91 . in a colorful animal analogy. reading books. is riddled with furthermore. hanging around actors and dancers. the commentary glosses over most of the really difficult and raises more questions than it passages answers. 2. one rises to the world of Brahmn. fondness for women. Madras. Typically. lesser value was a third published edition by Pandit Sastri of Maharashtra.8.29 And two of the concluding s/lokas sum up.8. and was lent for my study and photopieced together copying through the kindness of Dr. eccentric and word spelling and is generally in a style separations.Gambling. pronounce the syllables. his all-too-brief comments supplement those of also included in this edition. and Narayanasvami Dikshitar. the procedure for typically recitation correct and hold out the ultimate reward: Just as a tigress carries her cubs in her neither them nor holding them teeth. put together that would make a first-year Sanskrit student wince. contains the commentary of Bhagtalobhakara. Just so are the syllables to be uttered. Of Bhatas'obhakara. by means of the unclearly correct utterance of the syllables. The problems are compounded by the available editions: I began with the 1934 Datia edition. not nor bitten off. The editor. It appears to have been casually thrown together from the Benares edition (Vyasa 1893). which is still in available It print and readily throughout India. I have also used a somewhat better edition that about 40 years ago in the Journal appeared seriatim of the Mysore Sanskrit this edition had been College. 2. about which almost nothing is known except that there seems to be an older commentary embedded within it. Raghavan of the Music Academy.30 & 31 NOTES i. biting so loosely so should one that they fall.
citations from the Some brief bibliographical notes for readers who may wish to explore topics important to the background of the Ne: for the literature and phonetics. to indicate my immense gratitude his time and learning. Vedic Metre. Raghavan for in the generously I have. brief quotations. and interpretations which. Sankaran and B. Hopkins and comprehensive 1972 is an excellent source for the mythology of ancient India. Phonetics Press. Faddegon 1963 contains a wealth of information on the Samavedic chant. see Allen 1953. Book 1. 1905 Press. given so midst of the annual Conference. value is reduced.S. E. if assembled under one Their cover.C. NS and have discussed scholars. by his unsystematic approach and lack of documentation. Kanta 1970 to the Samaveda. while Velankar 1949 provides a convincing of explanation the evolution of later Sanskrit metrics. REFERENCES CITED Allen. examined numerous copies of the the text with many other Indian 2. W. though. Mishrafik• 1972. translations. chapter 2. would amount to nearly half of Book i.V. Cambridge University 92 . Deva 1967 contains one of the important studies published by C. Oxford University Cambridge: London: Arnold. and Varma 1929.the library of the Madras Music information about its publication. NS will follow this format. All Academy lacked all the I would like here to Dr. Arnold applies more specifically 1905 is a standard source for Vedic metres. verse 1. The many books of Swami with numerous bits of Prajnanananda are interlaced information on the NS. of course. Deva: "Vedic Chant: Studies in Indian Musical Scales--l" in which the (87-105) authors address the difficult question of the pitch values of the three main Vedic accents.R. 1953 in Ancient India.
C. 93 . Narada 1934 Notations University of the Orient. Pade. ed: by Abhinavabharati by Abhinavagupta. 1973 Historical Calcutta: Rowell. Sktantram: Delhi: Meharchand Lachhmandas. Ramakrishna Kavi and J. Study of Sanskrit the Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series with the commentary NpradTy? ika. Datia: Swami Prajnanananda. In Ancient ed. Psychoacoustics Madras: the Music Academy. 1972 Epic Mythology. 4." The Diapason (April 1972): an Eightieth Birthday Tribute to Harold Gleason. Barend Studies Holland on the Smaveda. "Ancient Indian Cosmology". pp. E. by Carmen Blacker and Cosmologies.S. House. of Music and Speech. B. Varanasi: Indological Book Hopkins. Sri Pitambarapitha Sanskrit Society. 1963 Gombrich.20. Publishing Amsterdam: North- Deva. Lewis 1972 "Adam of Fulda: Theorist and Composer. 110-142. Mukhopadhay. Vidhata 1972 A Critical Varanasi: Office.Bharata 1964 with the commentary N~tyasastra.5. Kanta. 1967 Faddegon. Bloomington: Phonetics.F. 4. Kaufmann. Vol. 145. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. Co. Baroda: Oriental Institute. 1975 R.W. Press. Gaekwad's Oriental Series No. Surya 1970 a Pratis~ikhya of the Samaveda. M. Firma K. Walter 1967 Musical Indiana Mishra. Michael Loewe. Development of Indian Music.L. pp. by Sikgvivaraiopeta Bhafas'obhakara.
Observations Royal Varma. Velankar. 94 .W. and West. Madras: Adyar Library. Bombay: Haritosam~lK. 1949 H. Vyasa. Series.D. Siddheshwar Studies in the Phonetic Critical 1929 London: of Indian Grammarians.D. 1893 Benares Sanskrit Benares: Sikssafgrahab. by H. of ancient texts on a Collection Jayadaman: Sanskrit Prosody. Kun an Raja. tr. Pandit. Sangitaratnkara of S~rtgadeva.Sachs. Asiatic Society. Norton & Co. Curt 1943 Sarigadeva 1945 The Rise of Music in the Ancient World--East New York: W. ed. Velankar. by C.
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