Veda Prasar Samiti
( Formerly Delhi Vedic Trust )
Recordings of classical chants of Vedas

Contents

During the last 15 years Delhi Vedic Trust (a non-profit association), had been distributing recordings of classical chants of Vedas, starting first with Shukla Yajur Veda in 1990 and gradually adding other Vedas over the years. In April 2000, recording of one shaka in its entirety of every Veda was completed, thanks to the blessings of Garuda Bhagavan referred to in the Vedas themselves as Vedaswarupi or the Repository and the very Form of all Vedas.

Having regard to the subsequent location of the trustees and the interest evinced by donors in places far beyond the shores of the country of the earliest manifestation of the Vedas, signifying their universal appeal, the name of the trust was changed to a more generic one as VEDA PRASAR SAMITI and registered now in Chennai, South India. It retained its character as a non-profit association with primarily the same objectives as at commencement.

Those interested in hearing the sacred VEDAS - either the ones of their specific choice or all of them - will have an opportunity to do so at their convenience and in their own homes.

The following recordings are presently available: ..... Contents

.. RIG VEDA .. 4 MP3 CDs
.. SAMA VEDA .. 4 MP3 CDs
.. SHUKLA YAJUR VEDA .. 4 MP3 CDs
.. KRISHNA YAJUR VEDA .. 4 MP3 CDs
.. ATHARVA VEDA .. 2 MP3 CDs

All recordings are in MP3 format using high quality CDs. Each CD will contain between 10 to 12 hours of chanting. The total duration for all the Vedas together is slightly less than 200 hours.

For each Veda, a Sanskrit text in Devanagari script is provided with the CDs.

Track Lists are provided giving reference to the opening and closing mantras in each track of the CDs. This will facilitate easy and quick retrieval of selected mantras or suktas from the CDs after referring to their numbers in the corresponding texts or vice versa.

The recordings have all been done in studios - successively in New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai - using professional high quality modern equipment. Recitations are in authentic classical style by specialist Veda-Parayanamdars trained under the Guru-Sishya tradition.



Veda Prasar Samiti, a non-profit association registered in Chennai, South India in 1999, is aiming to:

  • preserve the traditions of Vedic literature by creating a library of vocal renderings of the Vedas in various classical styles
  • provide research facilities for students and scholars
  • provide English translations and transliterations
  • provide an opportunity to all those who would like to hear the sacred VEDAS - to do so at their convenience and in their own homes

Those interested in the project may kindly contact the Trustees for further details. Their contact details are given at the end of this web site.





Veda Prasar Samiti
presents
Veda Recitation or Vedic Chants in classical styles

RECORDING OF VEDAS ON MP3 CDs
A Veda Prasar Samiti Project

Contents
{ First click under each Veda to go to the Text and click again there for a short audio-clip }

Introduction

Rig Veda
Sama Veda
Shukla Yajur Veda
Atharva Veda
Krishna Yajur Veda
Age of the Vedas How old are they ?
PROJECT VEDA - A : Renderings in MP3 CDs
PROJECT VEDA - B : Renderings in Text
Essence of the Vedas
Quality of the recordings
Quality of Recitation
Status of the Project
( As of April 2004 )
Error - free methods of chanting
Financing of the Project - Phase II
About the Veda Prasar Samiti
Trustees : Contact Addresses, Telephone Numbers and email

INTRODUCTION { Go to Top }

Veda literally means knowledge. This knowledge is without beginning. They are the vibrations created out of the breath of the Supreme. Through the Vedas the Supreme is to be known. Brahma created the worlds with the aid of the knowledgeof the Veda mantras which existed as vibrations / sound in space. The sages / rishis became aware of these vibrations when in close communion with the Supreme in periods of ecstasy / trance, so much so, that they burst into spontaneous expressions of truth seen through the Soul's eye and gave the world the Veda mantras / hymns.

The Vedas are called "Sruthi" or that which is heard. Without being recorded in writing, the Vedas have been passed from generation to generation in the ancient method of learning by the ear in Guru-Sishya (Master-Disciple) tradition. One reason for not learning entirely from written text was that some sounds do not lend themselves to be accurately reproduced phonetically. They fall in between two syllables and there are many such sounds in the Vedas. These can be trasmitted only orally.

In addition the Veda mantras have to be recited in a certain cadence or rhythm to produce the necessary vibration and to have the desired effect of elevation of the Soul to spiritual heights and experience the Supreme. The essence of the Vedas is thus to provide knowledge to the Soul to enable it to evolve to a state of communion with the Supreme. These universal truths were initially propounded in the form of Rcks and compiled as the Rig Veda.


Age of the Vedas { Back to Contents }


Picture Source - NASA

The picture is an enlarged fraction of an image called the Hubble Deep Field which was assembled from actual photos taken late 1995 by the aid of the Hubble Space Telescope. The smaller light objects are galaxies or galaxy clusters close to what astronomers believe to be the very edge of the universe 10-20 billion light-years away. The Hubble Deep Field represents at the time mankind's deepest optical view of the universe. Light received from an object 10 billion light-years away has been moving through space for 10 billion years. This means that parts of the Hubble Deep Field image are created by the telescope apparatus being hit by photons emitted at elementary processes that took place 10-20 billion years ago.

Veda Mantras are from the beginning of Time
prior to Big Bang !!!
Sounds as vibrations have come down unchanged from origin of creation.

Rig Veda { Back to Contents }

Click here for an Real Audio clip or MP3 Audio clip containing "Invocation and first richa of the Veda"
{ 116 seconds, 464K Real Audio Format, 1.8MB MP3 Format }

In the Rig Veda, the universal truths propounded explain the universal order of life in three planes

    * Internal ( to the Soul )
    * External ( to the body in terms of Dharma or worldly life )
    * Spiritual ( in terms of the cosmos )

The universal order of life in these three planes is then linked to the Supreme encompassing the three planes. Thus all terms / names mentioned such as Indra, Agni, Vayu etc. have exoteric and esoteric significance in each of the three planes as understood by the individual Soul depending on the spiritual evolution of the Soul.

Sama Veda { Back to Contents }

Click here for an Real Audio clip or MP3 Audio clip with Gayatri mantra { 56 seconds, 222K Real Audio Format, 872KB MP3 Format }

The Sama Veda consists of hymns (many of them common with the Rig Veda) which when sung in the appropriate manner will strike a chord in enabling one to understand the universal truths and order of life depending on their stage of spiritual evolution. The source of the musical patterns of the Sama Veda hymns is derived from the vibration / sounds of the cosmos. This reveals that spiritual evolution can be achieved through music (by hearing as well as singing).

Yajur Veda { Back to Contents }

The Yajur Veda consists of hymns from the Rig Veda along with other hymns which when recited in the performance of a yajna / havan will enable the Soul or the beneficiaries to understand the universal truths of the Veda in any or all of the three planes of its meanings depending on the individual's stage of spiritual evolution. Though the Yajur Veda is associated with performance of Yajna for worldly gains, it is understood that the individual beneficiaries will ultimately evolve spiritually and subsequently undertake these Yajnas for the spiritual and material benefits of mankind as a whole. The Yajur Veda has two distinct schools of presentation and following as explained below.

Shukla Yajur Veda { Back to Contents }

Click here for an Real Audio clip or MP3 Audio clip with the holistic mantra "poornasya poornameva..." and first few verses of Isavaasyopanishad {112 seconds, 448K Real Audio Format, 1.7MB MP3 Format }

This Veda is followed in the Northern parts of India and has mantras in the form of the Veda and Brahmanas (explanatory notes to the mantras) presented in the Satapatha Brahmana. The Shukla Yajur Veda is said to have been taught by the "Sun" to sage Yajnavalkya and hence the name "Shukla" or "White" Yajur Veda.

Krishna Yajur Veda { Back to Contents }

Click here for an MP3 audio-clip containing "Invocation and first Mantra of the Veda" { MP3 format, 2.05 minutes, 1965K }

This is followed in the Southern parts of India and has Veda mantras and Brahmanas intermixed - that is, the Brahmanas follow the mantras as explanatory notes in the Veda text itself. Since Shukla Yajur Veda is known as "White", this Yajur Veda has been denoted as "Krishna" or "Black" Yajur Veda. Both the versions are accepted as authentic and both schools are practised widely.

Atharva Veda { Back to Contents }

Click here for an Real Audio clip or MP3 Audio clip with Shanti Mantra { 43 seconds, 172K Real Audio Format, 676KB MP3 Format }

The Atharva Veda, when understood in the external plane, is generally known to contain hymns common to the Rig Veda including others for the sole purpose of performing "Magic" or to communicate with ghosts and spirits or for curing ailments. However, when viewed in the spiritual plane, the Atharva Veda expounds universal truths of the oneness of the universe, the way to live in communion with the world of evolved souls, to pray for a healthy life and finally to merge with the Supreme.

Essence of the Vedas { Back to Contents }

All the Vedas provide the same knowledge to experience the Supreme through different paths.

  • The Rig Vedi would approach this goal through prayer and intellectual pursuits.
  • The Sama Vedi through musical renderings of the hymns
  • The Yajur Vedi through Yajna and invocation of Agni to carry the message of the hymns to the Supreme.
  • The Atharva Vedi through tantra or other rituals.

All the Vedas provide the same knowledge to experience the Supreme through different paths. The Vedas propound and accept all forms of religious practice in the pursuit of understanding and merging with the Supreme. Hence it is highly secular and tolerant in its teachings by ultimately preaching.

"May Happiness and Peace come to One and All irrespective of Faith, Creed, Color and Social order of the Society including Beings of other forms of evolution."

Error - free Methods of chanting { Back to Contents }

( Extract from "The Vedas" published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan )

Without resort to writing, our forefathers had devised many ways to prevent even a very small error to creep into the Vedas. The fullest benefit from the Vedic mantras can result only if no word is changed; no unauthorised upward or downward drift in the note occurs in the recitation. Hence the numerous safeguards. How much time it should take to utter each word is indicated by resort to the notation by "maatras"-the time it takes to pronounce a short vowel. How to regulate breathing so that the vibrations can occur at what part of the body to give birth to the pure word sound is also laid down in the Vedanga Seeksha. The Taitreeya Upanishad, for e.g., begins with Seeksha thus:

Seeksham Vyakyaa syaamah - Varna Swarah - Maatrabalam - Saama Santaanah
Seeksha deals with Varna, Swara, Maatra, Strength, Saama and Santaanah

A fool-proof method is to chant each mantra in various patterns and combinations known as
Vaakya, Pada, Krama, Jata, Maala, Sikha, Rekha, Dhwaja, Danda, Ratha, Ghana, etc.

Some learned pandits are called "Ghanapaatis". This means that they are learned in the Vedas to the extent of chanting of the Vedas in the pattern called "Ghanam". When we listen to a Ghanapaati reciting Vedas in Ghana form, we note that he repeats the in various ways back and forth and in different patterns. This would be pleasant to the ears and creates a sense of happiness within. It would seem that the natural grandeur of the Veda mantras is heightened, as it were. So would be the effect of recitation in the other prescribed patterns of Kramam, Jata, Sikha, Maala, etc. But the main object of reciting them is to make no mistake in the original meaning and sound pattern of the words.

Vaakya Paatha or Samhita Paatha is to recite the mantras in a sentence straight. When mantras come in sentences, some of the words therein have to be conjoined in chanting. To recite the Veda mantras, pada by pada or word by word, instead of joining the words and stringing them together is Pada Paatha. Pada Paatha occurs after Samhita paatha. In pada paatha the sentence is broken down to "words" or pada. This gives the student of the Vedas the knowledge of each word in a sentence.

In Krama Paatha, the first word of the mantra is added to the second, the second to the third, the third to the fourth and so on, until the whole sentence of the mantras is completed. This paatha or method of recitation helps the student understand not only the individual words but also how two words can be combined in recitation and what modification occurs in swara in such a combination.

In certain ancient edicts, notably gift deeds, at the end of the name of some illustrious persons, there would be a suffix "Krama Vit". Like "Veda Vit", "Krama Vit" means that the person is well versed in reciting the Vedas by the Krama Paatha methods.There are many such edicts in South India.

In Jata Paatha, the first word and the second are first recited together and then the words are recited in a reverse order and then again in the original order. Whereas in the Krama type of recitation the order of words is 1-2 ; 2-3 ; 3-4 ; 4-5 and so on, in the Jata Paatha, the order will be 1-2-2-1-1-2, 2-3-3-2-2-3, 3-4-4-3-3-4, 4-5-5-4-4-5 and so on. Just as two words are repeated forwards and backwards in the Jata Paatha, the Sikha Paatha three words to be so linked.

In Ghana Paatha the combination will be:

1-2-2-1-1-2-3-3-2-1-1-2-3
2-3-3-2-2-3-4-4-3-2-2-3-4
3-4-4-3-3-4-5-5-4-3-3-4-5


The chanting will go like this:

1-2-2-1-1-2-3-3-2-1-1-2-3 2-3-3-2-2-3-4-4-3-2-2-3-4 3-4-4-3-3-4-5-5-4-3-3-4-5 ........... and so on till the end of the Veda ......


Chanted in Ghanam style as above, Rig Veda may take over 450 hours to chant and occupy nearly 300 cassettes!

Just as in a laboratory, a life giving elixir is preserved with the utmost care, the Veda mantras, which are for universal benefit, have been preserved by the ancients, without resort to writing by such methods of recitation. It must be remembered that, while chanting words backwards and forwards, the swaras of each have to be properly preserved and the student learns how the combination of words affect the swaras. The Samhita Paatha and Pada Paatha are called Prakrithi ( or natural ) Paathas, as the words of the mantras occur in normal sequence. The rest are called Vikrithi ( or artificial and not natural ) Paathas. In Krama, although the words do not occur in the natural order of one, two and three, since they do not revert like one after two and two after three, it cannot be called fully Vikrithi or artificial. The Vikrithis are eight in number:

Jataa maalaa sikha rekha dhwajo dando ratho Ghanah
Ityashta vikritayah proktah kramapoorva maharshibhih


The above system of complicated recitation was devised in very earl times in order to peserve the purity of the word, sound, intonation, pronunciation, accent and sound combination of the Vedas. By repeating the words in manifold ways, the correct tally of the words was also kept which naturally ensured the purity of the texts. To enable the scholars to take up the difficult methods of recitation, it was even laid down that the more difficult methods of chanting earned the chanter more punya or merit.

About the Veda Prasar Samit { Back to Contents }

Veda Prasar Samiti, a non - profit association, was formed with the following objectives:

  • preserve the traditions of Vedic literature by creating a library of vocal renderings of the Vedas in various classical styles
  • provide research facilities for students and scholars
  • provide English translations and transliterations
  • provide an opportunity to all those who would like to hear the sacred VEDAS - to do so at their convenience and in their own homes

PROJECT VEDA : A Rendering in MP3 CDs

The various sakhas (recensions) of all of the Vedas recorded are as follows:

.. SHUKLA YAJUR VEDA .. Kanva Sakha
.. SAMA VEDA .. Kouthuma Sakha
.. RIG VEDA .. Shakala Sakha
.. ATHARVA VEDA .. Saunaka Sakha
.. KRISHNA YAJUR VEDA .. Taitreeya Sakha

A few of the more important of the other Shakas example Jaimini of Sama Veda etc are proposed to be taken up for recording in Phase II.

PROJECT VEDA: B Renderings in Text { Back to Contents }

Each Veda has been rendered as per a reference text for which we could have access. Transliteration and translation by various authors, as published for some of the Vedas are made available as optional extras for interested persons. The Trust proposes to undertake publishing of texts for those recordings where texts are not readily accessible.

Quality of Recordings

The recordings are done on professional studio quality equipment. The master copies of the renderings are kept in custody and for future preservation on Digital Audio Tapes (DAT). Master Copies are now kept in Compact Discs (CD) as well.

Quality of Recitation

The chantings are by Specialists in their profession, trained in the Guru - Sishya tradition and with several years of experience. Each team and there are separate teams identified and selected for individual Vedas - contains a good proportion of "Ghanapaatis".

The Current Status of the Projects { Back to Contents }

As of April 2004, Phase I of our project has been completed. In other words one shaka in its entirety of every Veda has now been recorded. In Phase II we propose to take up bringing out text / books with English Translation / Transliteration of those shakas for which they are not available with the booksellers now. We would concurrently attempt to record some rare shakas which are slowly going into oblivion. For example, it is gathered that for the Jaimini shaka of Sama Veda, presently barely two pundits are available.

Financing of the Project - Phase II

Donations from interested persons are welcome, to finance the production cost of texts and books not available in the market and undertake recordings of rare shakas and then Upanishads and finally Bhagavatam.

The Trustees { Back to Contents }


Founder Trustees:

N Subramanian,and N. Rajshekar


Late A. Krishnan

Other Trustees:

RKA Subramanya, and K. Vageesh



Contact details are provided in our latest website Veda Prasar Samiti:

Contacts:


C.V. Sreenivasan, Bangalore, India


N. Subramanian, Chennai, India


K.N. Nagarajan, Chennai, India


S. Mohan Prabandham, Wellington, Florida, USA


To reach Veda Prasar Samiti, send e-mail to Mr. N. Subramanian at: ta27pa@yahoo.co.uk
or
Mr. S. Mohan Prabandham at: smprabandham@gmail.com

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