[INDOLOGY] Metrically restored Rgveda and traditional recitation

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at umich.edu
Mon Jan 12 23:43:35 UTC 2015

It is not clear how much the tradition was bothered by metrical
inconsistencies.  There is an interesting passage in the Aitareya Brāhmana
that says: na vā ekenākṣareṇa chandāṃsi viyanti na dvābhyām.  Even by a
deviation of up to  two syllables, the tradition did not consider the meter
to be violated.  The text titled Vedavicāra (19th century) that I am
editing and translating cites this passages and extends it further: ekena
dvābhyām ity upalakṣaṇam, tasmād akṣaranyūnādhikabhāvena chandāṃsi nānyathā
bhavanti.  Thus, it seems to be that "metrically restored RV" is a purely
modern creation.  If the Brāhmaṇa texts were not bothered by deviations of
meters up to two syllables, can we be so certain that the authors of the
Vedic hymns were so bothered.  There is a possibility that "metrically
restoring texts" could be something like a modern hyper-correction.  Modern
reciters of the Vedas that I am familiar with do not seem to worry about
reciting a metrically correct text.  While they seem to show interest in
reciting the various Pāṭhas and their permutations, I am not at all certain
that they are scanning the recited text for metrical deviations.

Madhav Deshpande

On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 8:46 PM, Dipak Bhattacharya <dipak.d2004 at gmail.com>

> It is the metrically restored text which the Ṛk-Prātiśākhya enjoins for
> recitation. I have heard the disyllabic recitation from at least two Vedic
> reciters and was myself advised to do so with the few verses that I had to
> learn to utter as a child. But I have not examined each and every case of
> recitation.  I hope Professor Deshpande has the same experience
> Best
> DB
> On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 8:12 PM, Harry Spier <hspier.muktabodha at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Dear list members,
>> Do any members know if when the Rg Veda is recited by Vaidikas if that
>> recitation agrees with the metrically restored Rg Veda or if they recite it
>> like the written text with the metrical anomalies.
>> Thanks,
>> Harry Spier
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Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor of Sanskrit and Linguistics
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
202 South Thayer Street, Suite 6111
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608, USA

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