[Advaita-l] 'khsha' kAra in yajurveda saMhita maNtra-s

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 28 10:57:18 CDT 2013

One general note of advice on this count. veda is Sruti, so give priority to the sound
as heard, not to the written representation of it. The latter changes with time, with
script convention and with people's personal preferences. The former, thankfully,
has been preserved well by careful reciters, even till today, as can be seen when we
compare with old Siksha and prAtiSAkhya rules.


ksha-kAra is not an independent sound by itself, although it has a separate sign in
the script. It is a conjunct consonant, involving k- followed by -sha. Note, Sa, sha and
sa are the Ushma sounds (sibilant/spirant). There is a rule in the taittirIya prAtiSAkhya
that says, "prathama Ushmaparo dvitIyam" - i.e. when the first sound in a consonant
varga is followed by a sibilant, it gets transformed to the second second in that varga.
That is why, the sound should be pronounced as if it is kh-sh, not as k-sh. Nowadays,
in order to highlight the correct pronunciation for those who read the written word,
many opt to explicitly write/print it as such, avoiding the usual letter for ksha.


Note that the above rule will apply in situations like the following:


apsu (in the waters) is uttered as aph-su,

gRtsa (clever, sharp) is uttered as gRth-sa

kRtsna (entire, whole) is uttered as kRth-s-na


So you will see printed versions such as "namo namo gRthsebhyo gRthsapatibhyaSca
vo", "namaH kRthsnavItAya dhAvate", "SIkhshAM vyAkhyAsyAmaH" etc. 


The prAtiSAkhya also lists exceptions to the above rule and provides a list of cases 
where some AcAryas of old held that the rule does not apply, so one can expect that 
there was a bit of variation in the pronunciation from ancient times.



> To: advaitin at yahoogroups.com; advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
> From: bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com
> Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 10:43:24 +0530
> Subject: [Advaita-l] 'khsha' kAra in yajurveda saMhita maNtra-s
> praNAms
> Hare Krishna
> In the saMhita maNtra-s (taitereeya krishna yajurveda) we find words like 
> dikhshu, khshetra, chakhshu etc. ( pls. note the mahAprANa 'kha' in these 
> words, example: khshetrasya patina vayaguM hiteneva jayAmasi etc. ) but as 
> we all know normally these words have only 'ka' (alpa prANa 'ka')..kindly 
> let me know which is the way of correct pronunciation while chanting 
> saMhita maNtra-s?? AFAIK, there is no word that has 'khsha' in Sanskrit 
> normal usage, we have only words like kshetra, dikshu, chakshu etc. with 
> alpaprANa 'ka' only. Kindly give some more details on the usage of 
> 'khsha' (mahA prANa) in veda maNtra-s. 
> Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!
> bhaskar
> PS: My special request to Sri Ramakrishna Balasubramanian prabhuji and 
> Sri Ananda Hudli prabhuji who have studied their respective veda shAkha 
> saMhita bhAga.
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