Vedic Chanting has been recognized as the heritage of humanity by UNESCO. In Yajur Veda, a mantra is mentioned, which will generate rainfall. “Nikame nikame nah parjanyo varsatu“. All mantras are powerful and do their assigned functions without fail. They are the agents of divinity. They have the intrinsic power to change the normal functioning of laws of nature.
Chanting is a meditative form of practice and a unique ancient tradition in India. With the correct process of chanting, the body, voice, mind and emotions are integrated and reach the source from which the sound originates, which is the ultimate quest of an individual in his thirst for eternal wisdom. This truth is hailed as “Nadah Brahman” (The origin and truth of the science of sound) in the sacred texts.
One such peace mantra needs to be chanted in UNO, when all other peaceful solutions fail in the areas of conflicts in the world.
UNESCO, a department of UNO concluded, “The oral tradition of Vedic Chanting has been declared intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO. In a meeting of jury members on 7th November, 2003 at Paris, Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, declared the chanting of Vedas in India outstanding example of heritage and the form of cultural expressions. The proclamation says in the age of globalization and modernization when the cultural diversity is under pressure, the preservation of oral tradition of Vedic chanting, a unique cultural heritage has great significance.”(1)
Revelations of the sacred texts and human superstitions, at times, seem to go hand in hand. A barrier exists for the girls and they are not allowed verdict chanting in some traditional societies. Most Indian women still have no access to Vedas.
UNESCO eulogized Vedas in the year 2003. The secular Indian Government woke up in the year 2006. In the Union Budget for 2006-2007, in his speech P. Chidambaram, Minister of Finance, on February 28, 2006, announced, “ I am happy to inform the House that Kuttiyattam, Vedic Chanting and Ramlila have been declared ‘Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ by the UNESCO. These old art forms and oral traditions need to be safeguarded. Pending drawing up a detailed scheme, I propose to make an initial provision of Rs.5 crore in 2006-07”. (2)
It is another question how much will be spent on TA bills of officials, arranging 5 star level conferences, dinners etc out of those 5 crores and how much will reach those who sincerely wish to pursue the study of Sanskrit and Vedic Chanting. It has been observed in India that most of the Government sponsored schemes are badly implemented due to bureaucratic delays and corruption.
Intonation of the Vedic Mantra
Mantra is a Sanskrit word. “Man” means mind, and “tra” means “to deliver.” A mantra is a transcendental sound vibration that has potency to liberate the mind from material conditioning. The intonation of the mantras is highly scientific. Vedic chanting is a great effort in memorization, worked out through mnemonic methods. The ancient literature was preserved thus in its entirety. Tonal and verbal purity was maintained through generations. Chanting was so pure, not a syllable was changed. The total benefit of intoning the mantras can be achieved thus. Breathing was regulated as per the procedural discipline. Vedic chanting prevents all ills and makes sure contribution towards world peace.
Divya Jyoti Ved Mandir
Vedic chanting by women was a social taboo in India but Divya Jyoti Ved Mandir was inaugurated by a woman, a foreigner! Ms. Minja Yang, Director and UNESCO Representative, Cluster Office, New Delhi was the Chief Guest on the occasion of official inauguration of Divya Jyoti Ved Mandir on July 7, 2006 and she said, “Thank you very much for inviting UNESCO here tonight and I must say that I am honored and very delighted…and I must say that I am really very touched to think that the program that UNESCO has launched such as ‘Culture for Peace’ is actually being lived on day-do-day basis by you. Thanks to the institution such as yours….Meeting people like all of you, I find a sense of utility in the work that I do for United Nations…”
Since then Miss Deepa Kaushik, a young girl is in charge in Divya Jyoti Ved Mandir for activities related to promoting Vedic Chanting. She is B. Tech-Electronics and Telecommunications, Masters in Human Rights, M. Phil in Social Works. “Within 4 years we have trained about 5000 boys and girls all over India in Vedic Chanting and New Delhi takes the lead with about 2500 students,” says Deepa. Dr. Vijay K. Singh, who holds a Doctorate in Sanskrit, is another activist. “We at home converse in Sanskrit only, including our six year old child,” he says indicating his love for the Sanskrit language.
The beauty of Divya Jyotin Ved Mandir is all those who are associated with it work on honorary basis. “We work with a mission, not for commission!” says Deepa. Her expression is not egoistic, but shows her grit and tremendous self-less commitment for the cause of Vedic Chanting.
To my next question, “Have you ever received any Government grants?” she replies, “What grant? To be frank, I am not even aware that our Government gives grants to promote Vedic Chanting!”
2. P. Chidambaram (Item No.107 Budget 2006-2007)