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By Swami Harshananda

Anudātta literally means ‘not raised’.

The Vedic Samhitās have been preserved for millennia due to the well-organized system of ‘svaras’ or intonations. Such svaras are of three types :

  1. Udātta - The udātta is without any sign.
  2. Anudātta - The anudātta is indicated by a horizontal line below the letter.
  3. Svarita - The svarita is a vertical line above the letter.

They are generally translated as ‘raised,’ ‘not raised’ and ‘falling.’ They are musical in nature.

For instance : Oṃ saha nāvavatu. Here ‘sa’ is an anudātta and ‘na’ is a svarita. The other letters are all udātta.

While chanting, the udātta letters are chanted as the basic note (‘sa’ or ṣactja of music), the anudātta as one note below (‘ni’ or niṣāda) and the svarita as one note above (‘ri’ or ṛṣabha).


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore