Aitareya-Aranyaka: Third Aranyaka, Second Adhyâya, Sixth Khanda
I. Next Krishna-Harita confided this Brahmana concerning speech to him (his pupil):
2. Pragaâpati, the year, after having sent forth all creatures, burst. He put himself together again by means of khandas (Vedas). Because he put himself together again by means of khandas, therefore (the text of the Veda) is called Samhita (put together).
3. Of that Samhita the letter n is the strength, the letter sh the breath and self (gaman).
4. He who knows the Rik verses and the letters n and sh for every Samhita, he knows the Samhita with strength and breath. Let him know that this is the life of the Samhita.
5. If the pupil asks, “Shall I say it with the letter n or without it?” let the teacher say, “With the letter n.” And if he asks, “Shall I say it with the letter sh or without it?” let the teacher say, “With the letter sh.”
6. Hrasva Mandukeya said: “If we here recite the verses according to the Samhita (attending to the necessary changes of n and s into n and sh), and if we say the adhyâya of Mandilkeya (Ait. Ar.III, 1), then the letters n and sh (strength and breath) have by this been obtained for us.”
7. Sthavira Sakalya said: “If we recite the verses according to the Samhita, and if we say the adhyâya of Mandukeya, then the letters n and sh have by this been obtained for us.”
8. Here the Rishis, the Kavasheyas, knowing this, said: “Why should we repeat (the Veda), why should we sacrifice? We offer as a sacrifice breath in speech, or speech in breath. What is the beginning (of one), that is the end (of the other).”
9. Let no one tell these Samhitas (Ait. Ar. III, I-III, 2) to one who is not a resident pupil, who has not been with his teacher at least one year, and who is not himself to become an instructor. Thus say the teachers, yea, thus say the teachers.