What and How about “Paath”
There is a classical tradition of reciting verses related to Vedic mantras, Puranas, poetic texts and stotras. Mantras and stotras are bound by the rules of pure grammar of Sanskrit language, hence special attention is required in their pronunciation, memorization, contemplation, reading etc. The error in pronunciation is fatal and distorting the meaning. Along with this, Wrong pronunciation does not achieve the required goal. In the scriptures of mythology and Sanskrit grammar, the ill-effects of wrong pronunciation have been said.
Patanjali Muni has said in the Mahabhashya text that - The person who pronounces impure is called "Vagvajra"("वाग्वज्र"), i.e., impure pronunciation and recitation becomes deadly like a weapon and destroys the host and the reader himself.
Patanjali says that:
“स वाग्व्रजो यजमानं हिनस्ति ।
यथेन्द्रशत्रुस् र्व रतोऽपराधात् ॥”
In this way, to avoid impure recitation birth defects, it is preferable to recite the mantras and verses of related to the letters & vowels only after having accurate knowledge.
It is necessary to know the merits and demerits of the “text” for the reader in order to recite it in a pure and systematic way. The best reader is the one who reads the merits and demerits of the letters separately in a melodious voice. Along with this, reading each verse (word) appearing in the mantra or shlokas separately, reading it in the correct tone (neither too loud nor too low voice), reading comfortably and in controlled rhythm (neither reading in a hurry and not slowly) is considered to be the sign of a good reader.
In Paniniya shiksha it is said:
माधुर्यम् अक्षरव्यक्ति: पदच्छेदस्तु सुस्वर: ।
धैर्यं लय समर्थश्च षडेते पाठकागुणा: ||
The one who sings the paath, shakes the head while reciting, recite as it is written, shows haste, recited without knowing the meaning and recited with a tight throat is considered to be the vile reader. i.e., not all these qualities can be of a good reader.
According to Panini, there are 6 characteristics of a reader:
गीती शीघ्री शिर: कम्पी तथा लिखितपाठक:।
अनर्थज्ञोल्पकण्ठश्च षडेते पाठकाधमाः॥
Effect of text:
According to linguistics and phonology, words have their own effect. In Sanskrit grammar and texts, by considering the word as Brahma the impermanence of the word has been proven. i.e., words do not perish, but after coming out of the mouth, the effect of words becomes established in the infinite sky. Bad words create negative atmosphere and “Sadhu (pious)” words (good and Sanskrit words) have positive effect. The positive effect of the words coming in the stotras, while traveling in space, creates an atmosphere in favor of the achievement of the reader. Therefore, in all types of hymns, prayers have been made for the destruction of fear, grief, anguish and melancholy.
॥ भयशोकमनस्तापाः नश्यन्तु मम सर्वदा ॥
In this way, when the reader prays again and again that my fear, sorrow and anger of the mind should be destroyed, then it becomes certain to be the same according to the law of phonology. That is, by destroying the fear and grief of the reader, the accomplishment of the task is ensured.
Thus, the reader should understand the implications of the text, properly observing the qualities of a good reader and a poor reader, taking care of the tone, letters, quantum should recite mantras and various stotras. The recitation of Stotras is equally capable of producing positive energy as the chanting of Vedic Mantras, that is why the source of the concerned deity should be recited as per the wish and action.
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