Now I shall speak out/deliver the Śikṣā (Phonetics) as per the views of Pāṇini. One should learn it technically as per the shastric lore in pursuance of popular & Vedic injunctions (1). Even if the word & meaning are wellknown yet they are not within the reach of the common man or people intellectually deficient and hence, I shall dwell upon/narrate/explain the rules of pronounciation of words (2). The alphabets in Sanskrit & Prakrit are sixty-three or sixty-four, according to their origin, has been stated by Brahman Himself (3). Vowels are twenty-one, stops twenty-five, the group beginning with ‘ya’ (semi vowels, sibilants & h) eight, Yamas four, anusvāra & visargas are dependent & the pluta of ‘ḷ’ category is untouchable(4-5). Ātmā (Soul) along with Buddhi (Intellect) reaches out to objects & then inspires mind with an intention of speaking; the mind then impetus to the fire within the body, and the latter then drives the air (6).The air/breath circulating within the chest/lungs creates the soft(Mandra) tone & creates sound. The same being connected with the morning offering (Prātaḥ savana) rests in Gāyatrī (Chhanda) (7). The air circulating in the throat produces the middle tone (Madhyamā) & realtes to mid day offering (Mādhyandinasavana) and follows the Triṣṭubh (metre); and the shrill (Tāra) tone produced by the air circulating in the roof of the mouth relates to the third (evening) offering & follows the Jagatī (metre) (8).That air sent upward & checked by the roof of the mouth attains to mouth & thereby produces speech sound (varṇas) which has been classified into five catogories(9).The classification is made according to their pitch, quantity, place of articulation, the primary effort & secondary effort. This is stated by the experts those are wel-verced in speech sounds. So, you must learn it with great effort (10).There are three kinds of accent: Udātta (Accute Accent), Anudātta (Non-Udātta) & Svarita (circumflex Accent).Among vowels the short, long & Pluta are distinguished by the time of their articulation (11).
Out of seven musical notes, the Niṣāda & Gāndhāra can be risen in the high pitch (Udātta) & Ṛṣabha & Dhaivata in low pitch (Anudātta); whereas, Ṣaḍja, Madhyama & Pañcama have their source in the medium speech (Svarita) (12).The speech sound has eight places (of articulation): chest, throat, roof of the mouth (head), root of the tongue, teeth, nose, lips & palate (13).The Uṣmas (Spirants) have eight ways of their development: change to ‘O’, hiatus, tālavya-mūrdhaṇya or d ‘sa’kara or ‘r’ sound, jihvāmūlīya and upadhmānīya(14). A word ending in ‘o’ (out of uṣmans) is followed by another word beginning with ‘u’, the former one should be considered as ending in a vowel coming from an uṣman(15). When combined with nasal stops & semi-vowels, hakāra should be known as arising from chest, whereas ‘h’ not so combined is considered to be from throat (16). A & h are guttural/throat sounds, i, cu (i.e c, ch, j, jh & ñ) & ś are palatals; u & pu (i.e p, ph, b, bh & m) are labials; ṛ, ṭu (i.e t, th, d, dh & n) & s cerebrals; , ḷ , tu ( i.e t, th, d, dh, n) & s all these are dentals (17). Ku is uttered from the root of the tongue, v is a denti-labial sound; e & ai are throat-palatal & o & au are throat-labial sounds (18).The throat related e & o is of half a mātrā & ‘ai’ as well as ‘au’ is of one mātrā. These two letters (ai & au) are open-close sounds means thereby their first half (a) is open & the second half (i) is close (19). A Saṁvṛta (close) sound is of one mātrā long whereas, a Vivṛta sound is of two mātrās long. Ghoṣa-s (Voiced Sounds) are all Saṁvṛtas while Aghoṣas (breathed sounds) are vivṛta (20). Vowels & sibilants are open in enunciation, e & o are more open and ai and au are still more open (21). Nose is the place of articulation for anusvāras & Yamas. Upadhmānīya, Uṣmans, Jihvāmūlīyas & Nāsikyas are Ayogavāhas and they share the place of articulation on which they depend (22).
The anusvāra after the vowels is not pronounced at the root of the teeth, should be made sonorous like the sound that of an alābuvīṇā (a violin made of bottle gourd), but when it is positioned before h, ś, ṣ, s this pronunciation is a must (compulsory one) (23). In the anusvāra, hiatus, virāma & in case of double consonant both the lips should be separated as it is in case of au & v (24). As a tigress carries her cubs in between the two rows of teeth in such a care that they are neither hurt nor dropped; similarly, one must be careful enough during pronunciation to take care of these speech sounds being not elided or mispronounced (25). As the women from Saurashtra pronounce the word ‘Takrān’, so also raṅgavarṇas are to be pronounced like that of the pronounciation of the word Kherāñ (26). While prouncing raṅga sounds one should not swallow the proceeding sound. The preceeding sound must be uttered long (as it should be) and then only the nasal one should be uttered (27). One mātrā should be in the heart & half a mātrā in the roof of the mouth & the rest half should be in the nostril. Thus, these are the two mātrās of raṅga sound (28). A raṅga sound is arisen from the heart and has a sound like bell-metal with tenderness. The (best) example of it is ‘Jaghanvāṁ’ (29). The kampa sound should be made in the middle and in both of its sides must be equally adjusted & the kampa should be accompanied by a ranga sound. The example of it is Rathīva (30). The speech sounds must be pronounced in such a way proper manner that can help us elevating in the world of heaven (31).
Those who recite the Vedas in singing style, too quickly, with a nodding of head, by using a written text, without knowing the meaning of the passages/lines and with low voice are considerd as bad reciters (32). Sweetness in recitation, clearness, splitting of words properly, right accent, patient & follow up of time are the six merits of a good reciter (33). Shyness, fear, too loud, indistinctness, undue nasalisation, repressed toning, undue cerebralization, missing the attention of the place of articulation, improper accent, harshness, making undue separation of words, uneven tone, hastiness, want of due palatalization are the fourteen defects in the Vedic chantings(34). One should not recite a Vedic passage in under-tone, between one’s teeth quickly, with gap, slowly, with hoarse voice, in singing manner, with repression, with omittation of words/syllables and also syllables in a plaintive voice (35). In the morning one should recite the Vaidikamantras with the voice coming from one’s chest and that sound must resemble with the growl of a tiger; during midday his sound must come from his throat and it must resemble the sound of a Chakravaka bird; in the third savana he must recite with the highest speech from the roof of his mouth and that resemble the sound of a peacock, swan or cuckoo (36-37).The vowels are without touch and the semi-vowels are slightly touched whereas ś, ṣ & s are stops (half-touched sounds)(38). Ñam (ñ, m, ṅ, ṇ, n sounds) are the produced through nose & h except when it is combined with r.
Jhaś (jh, bh, gh, ḍh, dh) are voiced, semi-vowels (y, r, l, v) & jas (j, b, g, ḍ, d) are slightly voiced; the group of letters beginning with Kh & ending with Ph are breathed; Char sounds are slightly breathed. This is called the basis of svaras. This science has been propagated by the son of Dākṣī (Pāṇini) (39-40). Metrics (Chhandas) are like the two legs of the Vedas and the Kalpa is like two its two hands; the Astronomy (Vaidikajyotiṣa) is like its eyes whereas Nirukta is considerd as its ears. Śikṣā is like nose & Vyākaraṇa (Grammar) is its mouth. This is the reason by learning Veda along with all its auxiliaries (limbs) the person attains the Brahmaloka (41-42). The top of the thumb in touch with the root of the index finger indicates udātta and in contact with middle of the ring finger indicates svarita and in contact with little finger it indicates anudātta (43). In Vedic context, the index finger is known as udātta, the middle finger as prāchya, the little finger as nihata and the ring finger as svarita (44). In a pada, there are nine kinds of accents: antodātta, udātta, anudātta, nīca-svarita, madhyodātta, svarita, dyudātta, tryudātta. The examples respectively for the said tones are: Agniḥ, Somaḥ, pra, vo, vīryam, haviṣā, svah, Bṛhaspatih, Indra-Bṛhaspatih (45-47). Anudātta is to be understood in the chest/heart, Udatta at the root of the ear & Prachaya in the whole mouth (48). The sparrow’s charping is of one mātrā and crow’s crow is of two mātrās. It is of mongoos sound which is of half a mātrā (49). That which has come from a bad Acharya, which is unclear, mispronounced or indistinct and being so it does not create any merit but like that of the biting of a poisones snake (as it is uncurable) one cannot get rid of the sin committed through this (50).
When it is from a good teacher, with clear accent then the Veda is properly established. With good/proper accent & voice the Veda shines (51). A mantra that is corrupt/ faulty by accent & sound does not create that sense for it is meant/used for. It rather becomes a negative force/a thunderbolt of speech to kill the beneficiary party like that of Asuras in pronounciation of Indrashahatru for a faulty accent (52). When the mantra is deficient in syllable it tends to diminish the merit and if it lacks the proper accent then it makes the reciter ill & if the syllables treated wrongly then it, like a thunderbolt, strikes the head of the reciter (53). If anyone recites Veda without a show of hands and also does not follow the proper accent then he is burnt by the Rik, Yajus & Saman & gets rebirth in an inferior progeny (54). The one who reads the Veda with the proper show/gesture of hands, follows the proper accent, place of articulation with the proper understanding of meaning, he, being purified by Ṛk, Yajus & Sāman enjoys the realm of Brahman (55).This science of Devine knowledge was handed over by the Lord Shiva to the the wise son of Dakshi. This is the state of affair or the factual position (56). Salute to (respectable) Panini who propagated the entire Vyākaraṇa being a gift in the form of an albhabetic receiving from lord Shiva (57). Great homage is paid to that respectable Pāṇini who washed off (actually purified) the human speech with the sacred/pure water of words & enlightened the world of knowledge by removing the darkness of ignorance (58). Great homage to the Pāṇini who opened the eyes of the blind with the help of the pencil of collyrium (59). Those twice-born who read carefully this work which has come out of lord Shiva, get wealth, cattle, progeny, fame; and at the end enjoy a great time in heaven(60).This is the end of Shiksha-a part of Vedanga.