svara स्वर

Definition: Denotes in the Upaniṣads the sound of a vowel: these are described as being ghosavant, ‘sonant,’ and also as balavant, ‘ uttered with force.’ The precise word for a mute is sparśa, ‘ contact,’ while ūsman denotes a ‘sibilant,’ and svara a ‘vowel,’ in the Aitareya and śāñkhāyana Áraṇyakas. The semivowels are there denoted by anta-sthā (‘intermediate’) or aksara. Another division in the Aitareya Aranyaka is into ghosa, ūsman, and vyañjana, apparently ‘vowels,’ ‘ sibilants,’ and ‘consonants’ respectively. Ghosa elsewhere in that Aran­yaka seems to have the general sense of ‘sounds.’ The Taittirlya Upaniṣad refers to mātrā, a ‘ mora ’; bala, ‘ force ’ of utterance, and varna, ‘letter,’ an expression found else­where in the explanation of om, as compacted of a + u -f- in. The Aitareya Araṇyaka and the śāñkhāyana Araṇyaka recognize the three forms of the Rigveda text as pratrnna, nirbhuja, and'ubhayain-antarena, denoting respectively the Sarphitā, Pada, and Krama Pāthas of the Rigveda. The same authorities recognize the importance of the distinction of the cerebral and dental n and s, and refer to the Māṇdūkeyas’ mode of recitation. They also discuss Sandhi, the euphonic ‘combination’ of letters. The Prātiśākhyas of the several Samhitās develop in detail the grammatical terminology, and Yāska's Nirukta contains a good deal of grammatical material. The śatapatha Brāhmaṇa distinguishes the genders, and the Pañcaviφśa Brāhmana the division of words in the Sāman recitation.


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