Years ago while learning RV 2.12.13 I encountered a peculiarity of Vedic usage that I asked my teacher about. He described the two alternatives: 1) going with pata~njali’s recommendation that the pada pATha should be reconstructed as per pANini, ignoring the received padapATha; or 2) going with the received padapATha and accepting its peculiar rules. He also pointed out that a more fundamental study of the basis the padapATha would require a comparison of the AV-vulgate kaNDa 20 padapATha with that of the RV. He mentioned the special vaidika rule to explain what we saw in 2.12.13 but I did not register it. Later, shrI PR pointed me to a pamphlet (pada-pATha charcha) by the famous vaidika scholar in the city of my youth KV Abhyankar on the pada paTha, wherein I found discussion on issues my teacher had mentioned.
Tradition has it that the deva indra himself in his revelation grammar to the R^iShi-s had specified the sUtra:
arthaH padaM |
This sUtra is the foundation on which the padapATha is generated. KVA explains that this sUtra implies that a word or a part thereof is defined as pada, only if it possesses a sense that is distinctly conveyed by it. Thus, a compound is a pada if the sense (artha) inheres from the compound state rather than the individual fragments. If the individual components of a compound convey the intended sense separately by themselves then they are separated into two pada-s. In saMskR^ita some nouns are formed by an affix added to another noun, known after the example taddhita (i.e. tat+hita). Even their retention or dissolution in the pada paTha is governed by this sUtra.
The next sUtra in this regard as per yAska is:
chatvAri pada-jAtAni nAmAkhyAte chopasarga nipAtAsh cha |
There are four kinds of pada-s recognized by the makers of the padapATha: nouns, verbs, prepositions and indeclinables. KVA further clarifies these with the sUtra:
tAni dvividhAni kevalAni samastAni cha |
Each of these kinds is again of two types: Single or connected. i.e. where two fragments are linked into a single word that bears a single udAtta.
tannAma yenAbhidadhAti sattvaM |
Nouns are those words which denote an entity which has been perceived. It includes pronouns and is declinable: e.g. agniM, yaj~nasya etc.
tadAkhyAtaM yena bhAvaM sa dhAtuH |
Verbs (AkhyAta) are those which specific action (bhavaM, e.g. vardhate, like the verb lists of the nighaNTu and its Avestan parallel) and denote the nature of the activity (dhAtu or the root, e.g. vR^idh, like the lists in the dhAtupATha of pAnini).
kriyA visheSha vAchina upasargAH |
Words denoting specific features and directions of the actions denoted by the roots are the prepositions. Typically they precede immediately the verb or noun derived from the root that they qualify. However, in the saMhitA pATha they can be intervened by one or more words. If they immediately precede a verb which has retained its accent then they form a compound with the verb. These form the foundations of pada paTha interpretation. Now there are many more sUtra-s that go into the details but let us consider the peculiarities:
saMhitA (RV 1.10.11): A tU na indraH |
pada: A | tu| naH | indraH | -> why is tU-> tu?
nipAta-s (indeclinables) may be lengthened for Chandas in saMhitA but they are restored to their normal form in pada.
-Now there are some peculiarities of dvandva-s that become immediately apparent when the padapATha is recited. Especially frequent in the veda are devatA dvandva-s that are also found in Avestan, Greek, Latin and Hittite suggesting it might have been there from common ancestor of all Indo-European lineages. Rule:
devatA-dvandveShu vanaspatyAdiShu cha yugapad dvAvudAttau |
The authority for this sUtra-s is pANini 6.2.140-141 and the prAtishAkhya 2.48 of the shukla-yajurvedin-s. It states that devatA dvandva-s and compounds of the form vanaspati retain an udAtta of each word of the compound. Thus we have: mi[tra]-[va]ruNa; [dyA]vA-pR^ithi[vI]; [va]nas[pa]tiH; [in]drA[bR^i]has [pa]tI.
However, this rule is violated if the said nouns are in the vocative case, in which case there is a single udAtta on the first syllable: [in]dra-vAyU; [so]ma-rudra.
-In many cases the saMhitApATha has a Na or Sha in place of the actual na or sa. These are restored to na and sa in the padapATha:
e.g.: saMhitA: mo ShU Na indrAtra pR^itsu devairasti hi ShmA te shuShmin-navayAH |
pada: mo iti | su | na | indra | atra | pR^it.su | devaiH | asti | hi | sma | shuShmin | ava.yAH ||
Note the transforms of the above kind and also the shortening mentioned earlier of ShmA->sma.
-Now we come to that one which puzzled me most:
saMhitA: shunash-chich-ChepaM niditaM sahasrAt | (RV 5.2.7)
pada: shunaH.shepam | chit | niditam | sahasrAt ||
Note that in the padapATha the ‘chit’ which was inserted inside the noun shunaHshepa was pushed after the restored form of the word in which it was inserted. This is not only true of this one instance but there are other such examples which have been explained by the great Kashmirian commentator uvaTa, who lived in bhoja-deva’s court.
However note the following:
saMhitA: dyAvA chid asmai pR^ithivI namete | (RV 2.12.13)
pada: dyAvA | chit | asmai | pR^ithivI iti | namete iti ||
Now even though this is apparently very similar to the shunaHshepa example above. But here the dvandva dyAvA-pR^ithivI is not restored. Why? This was what puzzled me. My teacher had said the given RV padapATha of sthavira shAkalya deploys the proposal of yuga-pad-adhikaraNa-vachanatA. Now KVA explains that this proposal holds that both the halves of certain compounds are by themselves capable of conveying the sense of the whole compound. As examples of the above proposal elliptical dvandva-s are invoked by a pANini vArttika-kAra: just dyAvA or pR^ithivI stand for the whole dvandva or pitarA stands for mAtA-pitarA in the sUkta to the R^ibhu-s. So apparently the sthavira shAkalya proposed that dyAvA and pR^ithivI in examples like 2.12.13 are cases of yuga-pad-adhikaraNa-vachanatA and each fragment stands for the whole. Now, since the padapaTha’s objective is meaning (first sUtra above), such split dvandva-s interpreted under the above proposal should be accordingly used in interpretation of the R^ik in question. Is this really the case?