svara स्वर

Definition: vowel, as contrasted with a consonant which never stands by itself independently. The word स्वर is defined generally :as स्वयं राजन्ते ते स्वराः (M. Bh. on pan. The word स्वर is always used in the sense of a vowel in the Pratisakhya works; Panini however has got the word अच् (short term or Pratyahara formed of अ in 'अइउण्' and च् at the end of एऔच् Mahesvara sutra 4) always used for vowels, the term स्वर being relegated by him to denote accents which are also termed स्वर in the ancient Pratisakhyas and grammars. The number of vowels, although shown differently in diferent ancient works, is the same, viz. five simple vowels अ,इ,उ, ऋ, लृ, and four diphthongs ए, ऐ, ओ, and अौ. These nine, by the addition of the long varieties of the first four such as आ, ई, ऊ, and ऋ, are increased to thirteen and further to twentytwo by adding the pluta forms, there being no long variety for लृ and short on for the diphthongs. All these twentytwo varieties have further subdivisions, made on the criterion of each of them being further characterized by the properties उदात्त, अनुदIत्त and स्वरित and निरनुनासिक and सानुनासिक. (2) The word स्वर also means accent, a property possessed exclusively by vowels and not by consonants, as they are entirely dependent on vowels and can at the most be said to possess the same accent as the vowel with which they are uttered together. The accents are mentioned to be three; the acute (उदात्त), the grave अनुदात्त and the circumflex (स्वरित) defined respectively as उच्चैरुदात्तः, नीचैरनुदात्तः and समाहारः स्वरितः by Panini (P. I. 2.29, 30,3l). The point whether समाहार means a combination or coming together one after another of the two, or a commixture or blending of the two is critically discussed in the Mahabhasya. (vide M. Bh. on P. I. 2.31). There are however two kinds of svarita mentioned by Panini and found actually in use : (a) the independent स्वरित as possessed by the word स्वर् (from which possibly the word स्वरित was formed) and a few other words as also many times by the resultant vowel out of two vowels (उदात्त and अनुदात्त) combined, and (b) the enclitic or secondary svarita by which name, one or more grave vowels occurring after the udatta, in a chain, are called cf P. VIII. 2.4 VIII. 2.6 and VIII 4.66 and 67. The topic of accents is fully discussed by the authors of the Pratisakhyas as also by Panini. For details, see R. Pr. III. 1.19; T.Pr. 38-47 V. Pr. I. 108 to 132, II. I.65 A. Pr. Adhyaya l padas 1, 2, 3 and Rk. Tantra 51-66; see also Kaiyata on P. I. 2.29; (3) The word स्वर is used also in the sense of a musical tone. This meaning arose out of the second meaning ' accent ' which itself arose from the first viz. 'vowel', and it is fully discussed in works explanatory of the chanting of Samas. Patanjali has given Seven subdivisions of accents which may be at the origin of the seven musical notes. See सप्तस्वर above.


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