172. Before an initial sibilant

Before an initial sibilant—श् ç, ष् ṣ, स् s—स् s is either assimilated, becoming the same sibilant, or it is changed into visarga.

a. The native grammarians are in some measure at variance (see APr. ii. 40, note) as to which of these changes should be made, and in part they allow either at pleasure. The usage of the manuscripts is also discordant; the conversion to visarga is the prevalent practice, though the sibilant is also not infrequently found written, especially in South-Indian manuscripts. European editors generally write visarga; but the later dictionaries and glossaries generally make the alphabetic place of a word the same as if the sibilant were read instead.

Examples are: manuḥ svayam or manus svayam; indraḥ çūraḥ or indraç çūraḥ; tā́ḥ ṣaṭ or tāṣ ṣaṭ.