Differences between oral and written Taittiriya Samhita

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Wed Nov 22 06:53:14 EST 2000


This question points to one more dilemma, not just in western
transcription of Vedic texts, but also in recognizing where the end of a
metrical line occurs.  The end of a metrical line is obviously clear in
metrical texts.  This allows a clear demarcation of the so called
ardharca, where the sandhi-continuity ends in recitation.  This becomes
particularly a problem in the prose texts.  There are traditional ways of
marking the so called avasaanas even in prose texts, such as the
repetition with -iti- in the middle, x-iti-x, in the recitation of
Vikk.rtis like Ja.taapaa.tha.  For the particular example cited by Harry
Spier, it looks like the divisions of the text into 4.5.2, 4.5.3 etc. mark
the units which end in Avasaanas, but the sub-divisions of 4.5.2 into
4.5.2.1 etc. do not end in Avasaanas.  This seems to be indicated in the
Satavalekar edition of the TS, where only at the end of 4.5.2 we find the
word nama.h not subject to combination with the following.  The
subsections like 4.4.2.1 are directly combined in sandhi with the next
segments and hence we see namo at the end of one and namo at the beginning
of the next, because for the reciters this is a continuous text.  Problems
like that exist also in the prose parts of the Zaunakiiya AV (15th
Kaa.n.da) and are resolved clearly only in the Ja.taapaa.tha.  I have
prepared a critical edition of some of these Vik.rtipaa.thas of the
Zaunakiiya AV, and marking the Avasaanas is one of the important feature
seen there.  Best,
                                        Madhav Deshpande

On Tue, 21 Nov 2000, Harry Spier wrote:

> Dear list members,
>
> In comparing the audio tape (and the accompanying chanting book) I have of
> the Rudram (satarudriya) i.e. Taittiriya Samhita 4.5 chanted by a
> traditionally trained vedic priest of the Hiranyakesin school of the
> Taittiriya Samhita from Satara Maharashtra with the TITUS on-line text (HTML
> version)of Weber's edition of the Taittiriya Samhita I noticed the following
> difference.
>
> In paragraphs 4.5.2 and 4.5.3 in the on-line Weber's edition all the padas
> in these two paragraphs end in "namas".  But in the oral version I have all
> the padas of theses two paragraphs end in "namo".
>
> For example:
>
> Oral version taittiriya samhita
> namo hiraNyabAhave senAnye dizAm ca pataye namo / 4.5.2.1
> namo vRkSebhyo harikezebhyaH pazUnAm pataye namo/ 4.5.2.2
> etc.
>
> TITUS Weber's on-line taittiriya samhita
> namo hiraNyabAhave senAnye dizAm ca pataye namas / 4.5.2.1
> namo vRkSebhyo harikezebhyaH pazUnAm pataye namas/ 4.5.2.2
> etc.
>
> 1) Can someone explain the reason for the difference between the oral
> version I have and Weber's edition. (I am assuming that the on-line version
> is not a misprint but agrees with the printed edition).  I was under the
> impression that there were no variations in the taittiriya samhita. (A.B.
> Keith says in his introduction to his translation that there are no "real"
> variations).
>
> 2)Also if what is being done in Weber's edition is treating each pada as a
> sentence then shouldn't it be "namaH" not "namas", perhaps someone could
> explain that also.
>
> 3) Do the differences between Weber's edition and the oral version I have
> represent two different oral traditions or styles (or even minor
> variations)of chanting the taittiriya samhita.
>
> As an aside the corresponding padas from the satarudriya of the TITUS
> on-line version (HTML) of Weber's edition of the Vajasaneyi Samhita
> (Madhyandina) agree with the oral version of the Taittiriya samhita I have
> and use "namo" and not "namas" at the end of these padas.
>
> Many thanks,
>
>
> Harry Spier
> 371 Brickman Rd.
> Hurleyville, New York
> USA 12747
>
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