प्रस्तोतर्या देवता प्रस्तावमन्वायत्ता तां चेदविद्वान्प्रस्तोष्यसि मूर्धा ते विपतिष्यतीति ॥ १.१०.९ ॥
prastotaryā devatā prastāvamanvāyattā tāṃ cedavidvānprastoṣyasi mūrdhā te vipatiṣyatīti || 1.10.9 ||
9. ‘O Prastotā, if you recite the prastāva without knowing anything about the god to whom this hymn relates, your head will fall’.
Prastotaḥ, O Prastotā; yā devatā, that god who; prastāvam anvāyattā, underlies this prastāva hymn; tām avidvān, without knowing anything about him; cet, if; prastoṣyasi, you recite the prastāva; te, your; mūrdhā, head; vipatiṣyati iti, will fall.
Here the question arises whether or not an ignorant person is permitted to recite the scriptures. According to Śaṅkara, he is permitted, but if he commits errors, he will be liable to punishment. It may not cost him his head, but he may go after death to the world of his ancestors, rather than to the world of the gods. But perhaps he would have gone there anyway because of his other errors. As to the falling of the head, the curse need not be taken literally.