Why do North Indian Brahmins pronounce ‘ṣa’ (ष) as ‘kha’ (ख) while chanting mantras? Do they follow a different school (shakha) and is there a rule in any Pratishakhya of that particular school or is it incorrect chanting?
Here are a few examples of the letter ‘ṣa’ (ष) being pronounced as ‘kha’ (ख), while chanting by North Indian Brahmins:-
- Yajurvedic Puruṣa Sūktam as opposed to the Rigvedic Puruṣa Sūktam chanted by South Indian Brahmins. One would clearly see that in the former, Puruṣa is pronounced as Purukha, while the latter retains the original pronunciation. In Yajurvedic recitations by South Indian Brahmins also there is no ‘kha’ pronunciation.
- Svasti Mantra, North Indian style.
- Rudri Patha, North Indian style.
Also if they do in fact follow a different school, I would like to know in which areas is this school spread (including the South if at all)? Is this chanting style prevalent in Western and Eastern India as well? Also which school is prevalent in Southern India, that retains the original ‘ṣa‘ sound?