Rigvedic Chanting : K.M. Vasudevan Namboothiri and N.M.
chanting refers to the recitation of the hymns
of the Vedas, the most ancient sacred texts of
India. Counted among one of the four Vedas, the
Rig is a magnificent collection of over 10,000
verses. These contain ancient prayers for prosperity
and hymns dedicated to several nature gods. As
one of the oldest religious tradition of the world,
Vedic chanting has continued for several millennia.
Some of its verses continue to be recited as Hindu
prayers at religious and other occasions. The
tradition has been kept alive and unbroken by
a handful of people who implicitly understand
that fidelity to pronunciation and accent is important
because of the belief that the energy of the mantra
is in its sound. The human voice chanting these
verses has the healing power to replenish the
universe, and promote harmony and health. K.M.
Vasudevan Namboothiri and N.M Narayanan present
Rigvedic Chanting. Shri Namboothiri learned Sanskrit
and the Rig Veda traditionally. After his post-graduation
in Statistics, he worked as an officer in the
Indian Statistical Service. H sought voluntary
retirement after 21 years and is now engaged fully
in the teaching and propagation of the Rig Veda.
Dr Narayanan is a scholar of the Rig Veda and
studied the canon through the traditional system
up to Ghanapatha, or ‘Bell mode’ –
an advanced stage of learning to chant the scripture
in which words are repeated back and forth in
a bell shape. A Ph.D in Sanskrit Poetics, he is
Assistant Professor, Department of Sanskrit at
Sree Kerala Varma College, Thrissur.
The Sukta begins
with the Mantra ‘Bhadram karnebhih….’
in Rig Veda. This 10-verse sukta invokes all the
divine beings of the cosmos, requesting them to
bestow noble thoughts, well-being, health and
long life to all animate and inanimate objects
in the world. The sukta also wishes brotherhood
and peace among the human beings of the world.
The 10 verses will be first chanted in Samhita
Swara. The eighth verse, or Rk - Bhadram karnebhih
srunuyama devah… will be chanted in Samhita,
Pada, Krama, Jata and Ratha modes (all elaborated
musical methods of chanting).