Post No. 9231

Date uploaded in London – –5 FEBRUARY  2021     

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Four Types of Speech in the Rig Veda

Speech plays an important part in the utterance of the name of the god. The word speech has a broad meaning.

There are four types of speech.  Only the learned men know them. The first three are always kept secret. It is the fourth one that man speaks.

Rigveda 1-164

The four kinds of speech are

Para, Pasyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari.

Para is subtle.

Pasyanti is only suggestive.

Madhyama has no phonetic quality of production of sounds. It simply creates a movement of one’s larynx or throat for the purpose of uttering words.

Vaikhari is an articulated speech with accent and meaning.


The Panini Siksha

Teachings Panini gives us an account of the articulation of words as under:

The individual Atman – soul- wishing to express something, sends orders through buddhi/intellect to the manas/mind. The mind then strikes at kayagni/the fire of the body and the latter urges the marital/ the vital wind, and the vital wind passing through Ursa/ the chest generates Svarajambu/sound vibration. The sound vibrations rise up to the top of the head from inside the murdhan, a cerebral point and strikes on various spots in the mouth, thereby creating varnam/letters which are divided into five categories.–Panini Shiksha 6-7-8

With Paninis grammar Sanskrit language reached its classic form with developed vocabulary. The greatest linguistic achievement of this remarkable language is that the alphabet begins with vowel s followed by consonants with a definite science of phonetics.

Paninis grammar recognised the root as the basic element of word, classified 2000 monosyllabic roots and introduced the proper use of pre fixes suffixes and inflexions. It is considered the greatest intellectual and scientific achievement of the ancient civilisation of the human race before the nineteenth century, when the whole world was in dark about the subject.

The work contain s about 4000 rules for the cases,

moods, persons, tenses, sandhi/euphonic combination etc.

Patanjali s Mahabhasya /Great Commentary, is composed as a commentary on Paninis grammar. Kashika Vrtti/ Benares commentary of Jayadeva Nd Vamana is also a commentary on Paninis work.


The common man utters god’s name with Vaikhari or articulated speech. As one goes from vaikhari to madhyama and then to Pasyanti and para, ones meditation becomes more internal. The higher form of speech is mentioned in the Rig Veda.

The altar is the limit of the earth, the sacrifice is the centre of the universe. Soma is the seed of the powerful horse and Brahman is the highest abode of peace

Rig Veda 1-164-35




tags- tags- origin of speech, Pani, Siksha

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