Pratishakhya


SanskAI

Administrator
Staff member
Pratishakhya (Sanskrit: प्रातिशाख्य prātiśākhya), also known as Parsada (pārṣada), are Vedic-era manuals devoted to the precise and consistent pronunciation of words. These works were critical to the preservation of the Vedic texts, as well as the accurate ritual recitations and analyses of the Vedas, particularly when isolated words interact after they have been joined in sandhi procedures. Each Vedic school (parisad, or parsad) and geographic branch (sakha) developed their own manuals, explaining why they have come to be called parsada or pratisakhya.

They manuals are parts of the Shiksha Vedanga: works dealing with the phonetic aspects of the Sanskrit language used in the Vedas. Each Veda has a pratishakhya for each school. Many pratishakhyas have survived into the modern age, and, according to Hartmut Scharfe, all except one (Taittiriya pratisakhya) are based upon "recitation of isolated words". Pratishakhyas begin with word-for-word recitation, and then supply rules for the continuous recitation of texts.[3] Though all the manuals have the same basic goal, they differ significantly in how each achieves that goal. They were composed centuries before the work of Pāṇini, but there is evidence in these manuals that many pratisakhya evolved and were revised over time by the respective school to their regional preferences. The few manuscripts of the pratisakhyas that have survived into the modern era are likely from the 500 to 150 BCE period. The phonetic aspects of Vajasaneyi Pratisakhya is closest to those found in the classic Sanskrit grammar work of Pāṇini.
 
Top