New member introduction: Venkatesh
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Thu Mar 28 07:57:00 CST 2002
My name is Venkatesh and i am involved with the web site
http://www.kamakoti.org which is the official web site of the Shri
Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. We had started this web site sometime in
Aug'97 with a couple of pages.
Over the span of time, and with the Blessings of the Acharyas of the
Peetham and with the assistance from invaluable volunteers, this web
site has grown to it's present form, encompassing over 1200 pages.
I may not have a large amount, personally, to contribute to the
mailing list, but i do hope to learn a lot from it.
>From Thu Mar 28 09:15:02 2002
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 09:15:02 -0800
Reply-To: venky at oreka.com
To: List for advaita vedanta as taught by Shri Shankara
<ADVAITA-L at LISTS.ADVAITA-VEDANTA.ORG>
From: SUBSCRIBE ADVAITA-L Venkatesh <venky at OREKA.COM>
Subject: Weekly page from Hindu Dharma: Uses of Chandas Sastra
This week's page from Hindu Dharma (see note at bottom) is "Uses of Chandas Sastra" from "Chandas". The original page can be found at http://www.kamakoti.org/hindudharma/part8/chap6.htm.
Next week, you will be emailed "Foot for the Vedas - Nose for the Mantras" (from "Chandas")
(this email is being sent on an automated basis)
Uses of Chandas Sastra
from Chandas, Hindu Dharma
Siksa sastra may be said to be a "guard" to ensure the right enunciation of a (Vedic) mantra. But it is Chandas that determines whether the form of the mantra is right. Of course the form of a mantra can never be wrong. The mantras, as mentioned so often, were not created by the sages and are not the product of their thinking. It was Bhagavan who caused them to be revealed to them. Man, beast, tree and other sentient creatures and insentient objects of creation exist as they should be according to the law of nature. In the same way, the metre of a Vedic mantra must be naturally correct. However, Chandas helps us to find out whether a mantra or sukta that is being taught or chanted has come down to us in its true form. We may check the hymn according to its metre and if we find it faulty we may correct it in consultation with people who are well-versed in such matters.
Apart from the mantras, which appeared on their own, are the composition of poets. Chandas is of help in giving shape to poetic thought and imagination. Like tala to music is chandas to poetry.
It is because poetry is composed according to a certain measure and its rhythm determined in a certain order of syllables that it acquires a definite form. It is also easy to memorise. Modern society is discarding all those rules of discipline meant to give it a definite character and purpose. In keeping with this new trend, poetry too is being written without any metre and "poets" compose as they please. People don't realise that to be free means to be firmly attached to a system, that discipline is the road to a higher freedom.
Chandas is the means by which we ensure that the Vedic mantra is preserved in its original form, it being impossible to add one letter to it or take away another. The very purpose of the Vedas is the raising up of the Self. Must we then permit a single sound to be added to it or be taken away?
Hindu Dharma is a translation of two volumes of the well known Tamil Book "Deivatthin Kural", which, in turn, is a book of 6 volumes that contains talks of His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahaswamiji of Kanchipuram. The entire book is available online at http://www.kamakoti.org/ .
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