[Advaita-l] Question/Clarification on Chanting Vaidika mantras

Balasubramanian Ramakrishnan rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Wed Nov 1 06:12:37 EDT 2017

People have been quoting from the ChAndogya bhAShya, etc., which I have in
fact quoted decades prior on this list. I am aware of all these references
and more. I reiterate - knowing meanings is next to irrelevant for most
people. Unless the correct procedure is known or the Veda is chanted
perfectly, thinking about the meaning, etc., is just completely useless. In
real life I see out of a 1000 who chant, may be a handful chanting
properly. This is even in India unless it’s a congregation of paNDitas. But
100% are ready to bloviate with references from Upanishads, bhAShas, inner
meanings and what have you.

On Mon, Oct 30, 2017 at 10:32 AM S Jayanarayanan via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

>  Balasubramanian Ramakrishnan rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com wrote:
> > This is from the pANinIya shikShA and repeated in many other shikShA-s. A
> > commentary I have read on one of the other shikShA-s (forget which one
> now,
> > might be the vyAsa) is perceptive. He says that the artha here refers to
> > the accents, udAtta, anudAtta, etc., since these are crucial to the
> > meaning. Understanding the actual meaning is secondary.
> >
> Yes, so far as the effect of performing a ritual is concerned, knowing the
> meaning
> of Mantras is certainly secondary to chanting accurately.
> > In fact, understanding the meanings in Vedic mantra-s is secondary to the
> > point of almost irrelevance. Correct chanting is paramount.
> >
> That's taking it to the "extreme" level! Knowing the meanings of Mantras is
> very good. One should add that knowing the *correct* meaning - not just
> the literal
> meaning - is excellent.
> Besides, the Veda doesn't consist of Mantras alone, but also Vidhis
> (Brahmanas).
> One can ask the question: "Which is more important - Mantras or
> Vidhis/Brahmanas?"
> Of course, the answer is that both are equally important, but some would
> say
> that the balance is 51-49 in favor of the Vidhis, since even to know which
> Mantra
> to recite comes from the Vidhis. Hence knowing the meanings of the Vidhis
> is the
> foundation of Dharma

No. As per the mImAmsA shAstra, vidhi is like 99%. As a matter of fact, the
true meaning of the mantra can be gained only from the vidhi. The mantras
are ALMOST irrelevant.


> > Rama
> >
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