Atharva Veda info request

Srinivasan Pichumani srini at ENGIN.UMICH.EDU
Sat Nov 1 02:29:52 UTC 1997

        For Shaunakiiya Atharvaveda, a few years ago (1980) there were two
        reciters in Varanasi, Narayan Shastri Ratate and one more whose name
        escapes me.  I visited Pt. Ratate and got hold of a manuscript of the
        Shaunakiiya Caturaddhyayikaa.  Mr. Ratate is now gone, but I hear that his
        son is continuing the tradition.
                I am currently editing three manuscripts, two of the Jatapatha and
        one of Kramapatha for the Shaunakiiya AV, and as far as I know there is no
        one alive who can recite these VikRtipathas.
                All the best,
                                        Madhav Deshpande

Wayne Howard in his book "Veda Recitation in Varanasi"
(Motilal Banarsidass, 1986) mentions the following names -
Narayan Shastri Ratate, Ramcandra Athvale, and Gangadhar
Dev.  He doesn't say anything about the latter two reciters
but mentions that Ratate belongs to a Maharashtra Rgvedic
family specializing in Atharvaveda to preserve it from
extinction.  He mentions that Narayan Shastri's father,
Ahitagni Ramcandra Shastri Ratate was a true caturvedi
and was honored with the titles "Vaidik Cakravartii".
The only other name he mentions is Lakshmisankar Gaurisankar
Raval of Bhavnagar, Gujarat... whose svas'aakha was Paippalaada
but his recitation was S'aunakiiya... he had his adhyayana
under Laabhsankar Jha in Varanasi.

In the preface, he mentions that this book was based on
fieldwork done in 1970-71 !

        > To the best of my knowledge, there is nobody in Gokarna
        > who knows the Saunakiya AV, or any other AV "saakhaa.

Howard too mentions that an Atharvaveda reciter was rumored
to exist at the Maharaja' Sanskrit College in Mysore, but
that he couldn't meet him.

        > A taperecording of this text was made several years ago (in Gujarat) by the
        > Tirupati Devasthanam and is on file there, though it is virtually
        > impossible to get (I have tried). The IGNCA also has a copy of this
        > recording, but the procedural problems there are nearly as forbidding. I am
        > currently working on a proposal which would enable copying the material in
        > Tirupati. (Ask me in a year what has come of it).

In May 1996, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) released a
set of 4 tapes, 1 tape to each Veda, entitled "Vedanaadamrtam"...
The Atharvaveda tape features the reciters E.Seetaraman and
K.V.Balasubramanyam... they recite the following:
        medhA jananam, bhUmi sUktam, rudram, dIrghAyurprApti
        (AyuSkAmIya sUktam), anna sUktam, puruSa sUktam,
        nakSatra sUktam, s'Anti sUktam.
But the recitation is done completely in the common YV style
of the region.


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