Lecture cum Demonstration Program on Peculiarities of Kerala Vedic chanting
Location: Society House
I seek not science, not religion, not Theosophy, but Veda—the truth about Brahman, not only about His essentiality, but about His manifestation, not a lamp on the way to the forest, but a light and a guide to joy and action in the world, the truth which is beyond opinion, the knowledge which all thought strives after — yasmin vijnate sarvam vijnatam . I believe that Veda to be the foundation of the Sanatan Dharma; I believe it to be the concealed divinity within Hinduism,—but a veil has to be drawn aside, a curtain has to be lifted. I believe it to be knowable and discoverable. I believe the future of India and the world to depend on its discovery and on its application, not to the renunciation of life, but to life in the world and among men.”
— Sri Aurobindo (Essays Divine and Human, Vol. 12 [CWSA], P. 62)
AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry in collaboration with Vadakke Matham Brahmaswam, Kerala organized the ‘Lecture cum Demonstration Program on Peculiarities of Kerala Vedic chanting’ on 4th August, 2023 at Sri Aurobindo Society, Union Territory of Puducherry.
Dr. Kishor Kumar Tripathy, Member Secretary, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry welcomed the delegation and said that this event was organized under the celebration of the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of India’s Independence and 150th Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo. Presenting the intangible aspects of Vedic wisdom, he said that Vedas are considered the fountainhead of knowledge and the grand repository of a remarkable civilization. Sri Aurobindo has given special emphasis on the Vedas as the eternal source ‘I believe that Veda to be the foundation of the Sanatan Dharma; I believe it to be the concealed divinity within Hinduism,—but a veil has to be drawn aside, a curtain has to be lifted.’ He further highlighted the Vedic chanting of Kerala and said that the chantings of Malayalam-speaking Nambudiri Brahmins have been preserved through unique mnemonic techniques, distinctive and ancient features, and rituals and have been handed down orally as a living tradition. There is a great need for the preservation of the ancient wisdom for the modern generation for sustainability.
Adv. P. Parameswaran, President, Vadakke Matham Brahmaswam, Trissur, Kerala presented the vision of unity based on the Sagathana Sukta of the Vedas. He refereed Maharshi Aurobindo’s vision of the future ‘We do not belong to the past dawns but to the noons of the future.’ He said that the future generation should study and preserve the grand cultural heritage of the Vedas. There is a need to understand the real secret of the Vedic wisdom through scientific study and research. He said that the integral wisdom of the Vedas s the essence of the society. He further expressed that Brahmasva Matham will collaborate with AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society for the propagation of Vedic wisdom.
Dr. C.M. Neelakandhan, Chairman, Vedic Research Centre, Vadakke Matham Brahmaswam, Trissur, Kerala said that all the Vedas and the associated knowledge systems are the seed to understand the supreme reality. He said that we believe that there is a spiritual power that regulates the entire cosmic function of the universe. The Vedic texts proclaim that divinity is within and we have to explore through self-knowledge. This was the central aim of the Vedic education system. Highlighting the interpretation of Maharshi Aurobindo, he said that Sri Aurobindo has revealed the secret of the Vedas as eternal wisdom. He focussed on Vedic chanting and its peculiarities which survived from generation to generation.
The Lecture cum demonstration of Peculiarities of Kerala Vedic chanting done by Shri Mullamangalam Narayanan Namboothiri (Secretary, VMB) & Shri Oravankara Damodaran Namboothiri, Shri Mundayur Divakaran Namboothiri, Shri Vadakkumpad Pasupathy Namboothiri (Vedic teachers) and students of VMB and vote of thanks by Shri Dhananjayan P.B, Academic co-ordinator, Vadakke Matham Brahmaswam, Trissur, Kerala. They demonstrated unique style of recitation techniques with special emphasis of Gurukul education system. It included different types of Vedic chanting, mode of recitation and gestures used for chanting the sacred mantras. The Acharyas and students of Vedasharama Gurukulam also participated in the event and recited some of the suktam of Yajurveda.
As part of the program ‘Lecture cum Demonstration Program on Peculiarities of Kerala Vedic chanting’ the acharyas, students and scholars representing the Vadakke Matham Brahmaswam, Kerala visited the Pondicherry Museum, Contemporary Gallery of Government of Puducherry, Palmera Art Centre and Auroville on 5th August, 2023. Charu Tripathy, Associate Director from AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society informed about the rich and diversity of cultural expressions and the rich collection of Puducherry Museum including French India Gallery, The Archaeology Section, The Bronze Gallery, Display of Vehicles (Southern Courtyard), Sculptures (Courtyard- North and South), French India Gallery (Two), The Arms Gallery, Gallery of Art and Crafts (Western Wing) and The Geological Section (Southern Colonnade).
The team also visited Palmera Art Centre of Auroville and interacted with Mr. Jurgen, Director of Palmera Art Centre. Dr. Kishor Kumar Tripathy, Member Secretary, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society spoke about the rich tradition and emphasize that community outreach activity can create a better atmosphere to understand the diversity of cultural expressions. Dr. Rajendran, Founder of Assist World Records Research Institution informed about the exhibition on ‘Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam.’ Students and Acharyas of Vadakke Matham Brahmaswam recited some of the mantras from the Rigveda. The team also visited Auroville-City of the Future. The team enjoyed the trip.