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Hindu Dharma:

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Nose of the Vedapurusa Siksa comes first among the six limbs of the Vedas, the nose of the Vedapurusa. The function of the nose here is not be taken only as that of perceiving smells. It has also the function of breathing; in fact it is one of the organs of breathing. Siksa serves as the life-breath of the Vedic mantras. Where is the life of a Vedic mantra centred? Each syllable of a hymn is to be enunciated strictly according to ...
 
Yoga and Speech When you play the harmonium, the nagasvaram or the flute, the sound is produced by the air discharged in various measures through different outlets. Our throat has a similar system to produce sound. It is not that the throat alone is involved in this process. How do we speak and sing? Speaking or singing is an excercise that has its source below the navel in the 'muladhara' or ...
 
Root Language - Sanskrit In speaking about the Vedas I stated that the sound of a word was more important that its meaning. That reminds me. In the Vedic language called 'Chandas' and in Sanskrit which is based on it, there are words the very sound of which denotes their meaning. Take the word 'danta'. You know that it means a tooth. We have to use our teeth to produce the sound of the word 'danta' - the tongue has to make an impact on ...
 
Pronunciation Siksa deals with 'uccarna', 'svara', 'matra', 'bala', 'sama' and 'santana'. The sound of each mantra is determined with the utmost accuracy. How different sounds have their source in different parts of the body and how they are vocalised, all such details which are of scientific and ...
 
Scripts The evolution of the script of any language must be based on symbols or signs denoting various 'units' of its speech(phonemes). Most of the European languages including English are written in the Roman script. There is a script called Brahmi and the Asokan edicts are in it. In fact it is from Brahmi that the scripts of most Indian languages have evolved and these include not only the Devanagari script in which Sanksirt is written but ...
 
A Language that has all Phonemes From the foregoing it is clear that Sanskrit has the 'f' sound. In fact there is no sound vocalised by humans that is not present in that language. 'Zha' is not, as is usually imagined, unique to Tamil. It exists in the Vedic language which is the source of Sanskrit. The 'da' in the Yajurveda has to be pronounced as ...
 
Languages and Scripts : Indian and Foreign A special feature of our language is that each syllable of every word is pronounced distinctly. Take the English word 'world'. The sound of the first syllable has no clear form; it is neither 'we' nor 'wo'. Then the letter 'r' is slurred over. There are many such indistinct words in foreign tongues. They come under the catergory of 'avyakta-sabda' (indistinct sounds). In our country all ...
 
Aksamala 'Rudraksa' means the eye of Rudra or Siva. 'Rudraksa-mala' is a 'garland' (or rosary) made up of such 'eyes'. 'Aksa' means eye. In Tamil the rudraksa is called 'tirukkanmani'[ the sacred pupil of the eye] What is the meaning of 'aksamala' or 'sphatika-aksamala'? Here the word 'aksa' is not taken to mean the eye but the ...
 
Importance of Enunciation and Intonation You must not go wrong either in the enunciation or intonation of a mantra. If you do, not only will you not gain the expected benefits from it, the result might well be contrary to what is intended. So the mantras must be chanted with the utmost care. There is a story told in the Taittiriya Samhita(2. 4. 12) to underline this. Tvasta ...
 
Versions with Slight Differences I have spoken about the importance of maintaining the purity of Vedic syllables. All over India, from the Himalaya to Ramesvaram and all through the ages, the Vedas have been taught entirely in the oral tradition, without the aid of any printed books and without one part of the country being in touch with another. And yet 99 percent of the texts followed everywhere is the same to the letter. So it means ...
 
Vedic Vocalisation and the Regional Languages If we relate certain characteristics of the different languages of India to how Vedic chanting differs syllabically from region to region, we will discover the important fact that the genius of each of these tongues and the differences between them are based on how the Vedas are chanted in these regions. I make here certain observations based on my own philological researches. The letters da, ra, la and zha ...
 
Impact of Siksa Sastra In the foregoing we noticed that certain Vedic syllabes had a special association with certain regions and that these were absorbed in the languages spoken there. We also learned from this that the Vedas flourished in all countries. There was never a period in Tamil Nadu, the land we know intimately when Vedic dharma ...
 
Names of Months From our inquiry into the derivation of the Tamil margazhi from Margasirsi, you must have formed an idea of how the genius of one language differs from that of another. You may note this from how the original Sanskrit names of other months have changed in Tamil. Usually, as observed before, the name of a month is derived from the asterism under which the full moon falls in that month. Citra-purnima is a sacred day. The Tamil Cittirai does not ...
 
Other Notable Aspects of Siksa The general rule is that the sound of the Vedas ought not to be changed, that there should be no tonal alteratiions. But there are rules permitting slight modifications based on the differences between the recensions. - and these rules are according to the Siksa sastra. Slight tonal changes are also allowed. In some hymns of the Rgveda the 'a-kara' and 'e-kara' are drawn out further than in the other Vedas. In some ...
 
 

"Hindu Dharma" is a book which contains English translation of certain invaluable and engrossing speeches of Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji (at various times during the years 1907 to 1994).
For a general background, please see here