Request change name of (as yet unpublished) 1CD3 VEDIC SIGN NIHSHVASA

From: Shriramana Sharma (
Date: Mon Aug 17 2009 - 01:01:56 CDT

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    I wish to place my request for changing the name of the sign 1CD3 from
    VEDIC SIGN NIHSHVASA to something more appropriate. It was proposed by
    N3366 and is currently placed in Unicode 5.2.0 beta. I thought I should
    make an attempt before Unicode 5.2.0 officially becomes a standard.

    I do not know what source gave the authors of N3366 the suggestion of
    the name, but it is misleading. Though "nihshvasa" in Sanskrit/Indian
    languages means "breathing out" and the description you have given fits
    that: "a spacing character used to indicate to the performer where a
    breath can be conveniently taken", this is quite misleading, because
    this mark always occurs in the middle of a phrase within which there
    should be no pause.

    Please see the following for more details:

    -----------BEGIN VEDIC TECHNICALITIES-----------

    In Vedic rituals, each Sama mantra is sung in either five or seven
    sections called bhakti-s. There are ritualistic specifications as to
    which of many persons participating in the rituals should sing which
    bhakti. To denote the end of a bhakti, the double danda is used.

    Within each bhakti, there are groups of syllables (let us call them
    'phrases') which are to be sung with a single breath and without pausing
    in between. The single danda marks the end of each such phrase where a
    pause is made and one may take breath. Where the end of a phrase
    coincides with the end of a bhakti, the pause is indicated by the double
    danda terminating the bhakti, and so no single danda is added for that

    Normally phrases are totally contained within bhakti-s. Sometimes,
    however, phrases will cross bhakti boundaries. One syllable of a phrase
    will be in one bhakti and the next will be in the next. In such cases,
    it is necessary for the person(s) who are responsible for singing the
    next bhakti to start precisely at the end of the first syllable
    pronounced by the person(s) singing the previous bhakti.

    At this point, if a normal double danda is placed to mark the end of the
    first bhakti in the midst of a phrase, it causes the erroneous
    impression that a pause can be made at that point, since that is how it
    is used everywhere else. To avoid this error, a double danda is inserted
    in superscript between the two syllables at the precise border of the

    -----------END VEDIC TECHNICALITIES-----------

    (For 1CD3 N3366 shows a rather slanting version of two dandas rather
    than the normal straight vertical double-danda, but some printings also
    have the normal vertical dandas.)

    Now in the case where the same person does not participate in singing
    both bhakti-s, after singing the first bhakti the person can of course
    take a breath, but in the case where the the same person has to sing
    both bhakti-s, he can NOT take a breath here, despite this superscript
    double danda. Therefore the name of NIHSHVASA is misleading.

    Therefore I suggest changing the same of the character to something more
    meaningful and appropriate like VEDIC SIGN NON-BREAKING SECTION SEPARATOR.

    Shriramana Sharma.

    P.S: I am also making an attempt on the bug reporter. Please do not
    mistake as I am doing so only because I have not got response to direct
    mails to two Unicode people I know.

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