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Vedic Word – Importance – Preservation

According to Vedic tradition, the ‘word’ in its pristine form is supreme. Any alteration in the spelling, intonation, accent or articulation would be to the detriment of the reciter. Word is of great significance and its preservation is of great importance.

When the flush of the composition of the Vedic verses and later their redaction into Samhitas (classified collections) was over, the Samhitas were well in vogue in their natural karma, and ‘word by word’ pada modes of recitation. Later, in order to avoid the possibility of any distortion therein, eight special modes of recitation (vikritis) were evolved, known as jata, mala, sikha, rekha, dhvaja, danda, ratha and ghana.

In each of these, words in the Vedic verses were repeated and rearranged by permutation and combination. The verses so arranged were also studied by role, and these provided the means by which the words in the verse could be corrected when in doubt. Quite often, the compound words in the original were also resolved into their components in these modes.