Search This Blog

Monday, July 11, 2011



There is a proper method of doing everything and if it is more advanced or sophisticated then the process, practice and performance everything has to be laser precision. The difference in sophistication is as between plucking a half broken nail or shaving a beard and a tumor inside the brain while both rituals involve cutting a part of the body in the latter it is very very complicated and the process has to be undertaken only by an expert with experience. In fact neuro surgery is the only field where you need to be 100% perfect even at the first operation.
Similar is the case when handling Vedas, for, most of it contains esoteric messages beneath the outer shell of linguistic communication purportedly received by enlightened souls in spiritual trance and reported subsequently to those whom they deemed would be fit enough to remember the essence, not merely the rituals in which they were encapsuled, and record it for ultimate spiritual, mental and physical emancipation of human race at a time when humanity was not divided by differences of religions, culture, nationality,race,political ideologies etc.
As such they are universally applicable for spiritual well being of any human being subject to existence of certain conditions if understood in proper perspective. No religion has any exclusive right on them nor is there any need to label it as a part of any religion; it is just plainly useful for human beings and the environment as a whole.
Human race has managed to or managing to understand only one out of its three essential parts, namely the physical aspect, the other two being the mental [made of consciousness, psyche, intellect etc] and spiritual [which includes everything –good, bad and ugly, that forms part of life]. Now in this process of evolution of understanding of majority of human race barring a few exceptions, there is an advancement of understanding the physical aspect of human beings and therefore many people across the globe belonging to different religions, various nations and many cultures have seen the benefits and accepted the usefulness of YOGA and PRANAYAMA [breathing exercises] as for the other two mental and spiritual even in the place geographically and culturally where these Vedas have emanated only a minority are interested and bothered to know and learn from the Vedas and out of this minority only a very miniscule minority have some real knowledge and there are a few who have mastered some aspects of these two and they are present around us to guide and help us in various ways let us allow them to do so without spoiling them by making cults out of them.-BALAYOGI
Read the article below
Vedic Chanting -- a Perfectly Formulated Oral Tradition -- Dr. S.

Our tradition believes that the Vedas are the breath of God Himself!
With that belief, our Rishis exercised enormous care to preserve the
Vedas in its original form without the infiltration of any errors.
Especially in the absence of writing, and through only an oral
transmission from father-to- son or teacher-to-disciple, for
thousands of years, this is an accomplishment of unimaginable
proportion! Considering the vast magnitude of mantras contained in
the vedas, such a preservation, with built-in safeguards, is mind

It is believed that the complete benefit of Veda mantras could be
achieved only when the following conditions are met:

o Correct pronunciation of letters (words)
o Correct duration for utterance of letters (words) -- and,
o Correct intonation of letters,

Our Rishis prescribed several fool-proof methods to correctly recite
the ved mantras.

Six ways of recitation were considered incorrect and they are:
One who chants in a sing-song fashion, who chants fast, who nods his
head up and down without actually raising or lowering the pitch, who
reads from a book, who chants without knowing the meaning, and who
chants in a feeble voice, are considered incorrect .

They believed that altering the pitch even (without any change in
words and duration), might lead to diametrically opposite effects, as
related in the story of Vrtra who, instead of killing Indra, got
killed by Indra by just a change in the intonation alone of the
mantras chanted by Vrtra’s father, Tvashta.

The rules of correct pronunciation and articulation of sounds are
given in the Vedanga, known as Seeksha. Seeksha deals with varNa
(letters), svar: (pitch); [there are essentially three svaras,
namely, anudatta (gravely accented or low pitched), udatta (high
pitched or acutely accented), svarita (circumflexly accented)]
maatraa (duration -- a prosodial unit of time); balam (strength or
force of articulation); saama (uniformity); and santaana:
(continuity) during recitation.

Our ancestors devised unique methods to protect and maintain the
basic Veda mantras in its original form through various patterns and
combinations of recitation. The basic mantra is called vakya or
samhita paatha which is a full sentence. Splitting them word by word
is known as pada paatha, which gives the knowledge of each word to
the student.

Next is krama paatha, where the first word of the mantra is added to
the second, the second to the third and so on, until the whole mantra
is completed. This method enables the student not only to know
individual words but also how to combine words in recitation and the
changes in svara that occur as a result of such combination.

Both Pada and Krama methods of chanting retain the natural order of
words of the samhita paatha and so, are known as prakrti or natural.
For example, if we take sentence consisting of six words a-b-c-d-e-f,
in samhita paatha, it will be chanted as six separate words a, b, c,
d, e and f in pada paatha will be recited as a-b, b-c, c-d, d-e, and
e-f in krama paatha. Actually, a reciter proficient in chanting in
the krama format is honored as a kramavit !

In addition, they devised eight other combinations which do not
follow the natural order, and are known as vikriti or artificial
order. The vikritis are given in the following verse: They are,
jataa, maalaa, sikhaa, rekhaa, dhwaja, danda, ratha and ghana.

Among these only jataa and ghana are prevalent (or, only !) practices
in the Krishna Yajur Veda which is mostly predominant in the South.
In Sukla Yajur Veda, which is mostly predominant in Banaras and in
the North, (the Madhyandina and Kanva schools) all the eight vikritis
were practiced.

However, today, there may not be any scholars at all who might know
all these vikritis Jataa (braid) paatha In the above example, the six
words in the line, when chanted in the jataa format becomes, a-b-b-a-
a-b; b-c-c-b-b-c; c-d-d-c-c-d; d-e-ed-d-e; e-f-f-e-e-f and so on. As
can be seen, the forward-reverseforward arrangement of words resemble
the way ladies braid their hair, and so this practice of chanting is
termed jataa!

Two types of maalaa (garland) exist: a)krama maalaa and b) pushpa

This is simialr to krama paatha in that two-word units with the
characteristic overlapping are the foundation. sikhaa (top knot) is
similar to jataa except that, instead of two words being repeated
forwards and backwards, three words are linked. Recitations in rekhaa
(row), dhwaja (flag), dand (staff), and ratha (chariot) are more
complex and the reader can refer to Wayne Howard [2] for details.

Mention can be made here that there are three of ratha, namely,
dvipaada (two wheels), tripaada (three wheels) and catuspaada (4
wheels). Each wheel corresponds to a quarter verse (paada) of the
text. Among these, dvipaada chatuspaada varieties are the ratha types
most widely cultivated today.

Ghana (bell) paatha
This is one of the most popular format of recitations and requires
years of learning and practice by the student. A scholar proficient
in recitation in this format is honored as a ghana paathi . Here the
arrangement of words take the shape of a bell.

For example, the group of words a-b-c-d-e-f mentioned earlier, when
chanted in the ghana format will be, a-b-b-a-a-b-c-c-b-a-a-bc; b-c-c-
b-b-c-d-d-c-b-b-d; and so on.

No comments: