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3. All vowels (svara) belong to Indra, all sibilants (ûshman) to Pragâpati, all consonants (sparsa) to Mrityu (death). If somebody should reprove him for his vowels, let him say, "I went to Indra as my refuge (when pronouncing my vowels): he will answer thee."

4. And if somebody should reprove him for his sibilants, let him say, "I went to Pragâpati as my refuge: he will smash thee." And if somebody should reprove him for his consonants, let him say, "I went to Mrityu as my refuge: he will reduce thee to ashes."

5. All vowels are to be pronounced with voice (ghosha) and strength (bala), so that the Udgâtri may give strength to Indra. All sibilants are to be pronounced, neither as if swallowed (agrasta)[1], nor as if thrown out (nirasta)[2], but well opened[3] (vivrita), so that the Udgâtri may give himself to Pragâpati. All consonants are to be pronounced slowly, and without crowding them together[4], so that the Udgâtri may withdraw himself from Mrityu.

  1. Grâsa, according to the Rig-veda-prâtisâkhya 766, is the stiffening of the root of the tongue in pronunciation.
  2. Nirása, according to the Rig-veda-prâtisâkhya 760, is the withdrawing of the active from the passive organ in pronunciation.
  3. The opening, vivrita, may mean two things, either the opening of the vocal chords (kha), which imparts to the ûshmans their surd character (Rig. Prât. 709), or the opening of the organs of pronunciation (karana), which for the ûshmans is asprishtamsthitam (Rig. Prât. 719), or vivrita (Ath. Prât I, 31; Taitt Prât. II, 5).
  4. Anabhinihita, for thus the commentaries give the reading, is explained by anabhinikshipta. On the real abbinidhâna, see Rig. Prât. 393. The translation does not follow the commentary. The genitive pragâpateh is governed by paridadâni.