Vedam being chanted in Prashanti Nilayam
Veda mantras or vedam chanting are the recital you hear being done by priests during yagyas or temple poojas.Well,these are the commonest examples that may get you to the idea of what these veda mantras mean.
Are you familiar with these verses ? :
'' Yopam pushpam Veda pushpavan prajavan pashuman bhavati ..''
'' Sarvamangala mangalye shive sarvartha sadhike sharanye tryambake devi naarayani namostute''
'' Namah Shivaya ''
'' Rajadi rajaaya prasayasahine vayam vaishravanaya ... ''
'' Tatpurushaya vidmahe mahadevaya dheemahi tanno rudra prachodayaat''
'' Namaste astu bhagavan visveshvaraya mahadevaya trymbakaye...''
Well ,these are small portions from specific veda mantras.Most of the common mantras you chant are also veda mantras - just that most are not aware of what exactly they are chanting.They are unaware of the power and greatness of what they are reciting.
Veda mantras are not songs or 'prayers' like many people assume.There is a big difference actually.They are not to be confused with bhajans,kirtans, devaram or poems - which are written or composed by devotees or sages of a specific time.
So what are these veda mantras ? Where did it originate from ?
Veda mantras are cosmic sound (shabda brahman). Cosmos is the universe- the entire creation. So how are veda mantras cosmic sounds ?
See, where there is a movement,motion or vibration,there is sound.Conversely, to produce a sound,the vibration corresponding to it must be created. Veda mantras are the sound vibrations that are ever present in the cosmos.It is not composed or made by anyone.
This is why Vedas are also called as apaurusheya - not of human origin.
When ancient sages were meditating,these veda mantras appeared to them,in a flash,in their hearts.The sages whose names are associated with various chants ( veda mantras will have the name of the Rishi associated with it .For example, the Rishi for Sri Rudram is Agni ) are not the composers of these chants.
They are merely the instruments who have seen ( or heard ) the chants. Thus,the sages are sometimes referred to as 'seers'.The Vedic seers have the name of mantra-drashtaas.A drashtaa is one who sees.
'Seeing' or 'looking' here does not denote merely what the eyes perceives.It is a term that covers all forms of perception and all modes of cognition.For example, when we say that a man has 'seen' all sorrows in his life,does the term 'seen' imply only what he saw with his eyes ? The term mantra-drashtaa also could be taken in a similar manner as referring to what is perceived through inner vision.The sages were able to hear the Vedas in their hearts.
The Rishis or sages are like radios who were able to tune in to the frequency of these cosmic sounds and hear them.They are like downloaders who downloaded these veda mantras from the cosmos.
For example, each radio station emits radiowaves across the country.But we cannot listen to the waves or sounds ( music ) played by the radio stations.We need to use a radio and tune to the particular FM - only then we can hear to the songs played in the desired radio stations.
Ancient sages were like these radios - who acted like an instrument to transmit these veda mantras.They taught these mantras orally to disciples, in a guru-shisya system.In ancient India of Satya Yuga ( the Golden age ) , people were extremely brilliant.They could learn everything just by listening.
This is why, the Vedas initially had their name as just ' Shrutis' ( that which was heard ). Only then , they were compiled,written and arranged into four divisions - namely Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. Yajur Veda was then subdivided into two parts - Krishna Yajur Veda and Shukla Yajur Veda.
Even today,with modern instruments, scientists have been able to identify certain Veda mantras. For example, the sound of Sun has identified as the pranava - ' OM' by NASA.
Video above : Sound from the Sun recorded as "OM"
We don't have to go that far indeed.Our grandparents have told us symbollically '' If you sit quietly and meditate in the early mornings , you can hear God ... '' , Try it .If you sit silently around 4 am and just be still , you can hear the sound ' OM '.
The Power of Veda Mantras
The power of veda mantras are indescribable.The mantras have the power to inspire good thoughts in people.
In fact,in ancient times, Rishis and sages used to move to forests and chant these powerful veda mantras.These mantras spread across the world and purified everything.It purified all the elements polluted by bad thoughts and actions.Even today, if we chant , we are doing a great service by killing harmful microorganisms,destroying harmful electromagnetic waves in the air and such.
This is one of the main reasons for conducting Homam and Yagya. I have written an elaborate article on the significance of Homam and Yagya , which you can find here :
In the past,veda mantras were used elaborately as technology. If the mantras are recited in particular ways,certain amazing results would take place, including changes in the weather, producing certain types of living beings or even palaces.
Others have used it to produce weapons equal to the modern nuclear bombs,like the brahmaastra weapon - which was used in the Mahabaratha war.Specific mantras could be attached to arrows with the sound causing powerful explosions when the arrow reached its target.
The Veda mantras also activate our subtle energies.The sound also affects the atmosphere resulting in individual and collective wellbeing of the world - which includes all beings and not just humans.
These mantras can create new subjective states in ourselves,alter our physical being,reveal knowledge and faculties that we did not possess before.
LEARN VEDA MANTRAS NOW :
The veda mantras were declining in use.This is a great gift from our culture,which is not very well recognised today.Today people have labeled it as a 'brahmin' thing. Everyone can and should chant the vedas.There is no restriction to anyone .
Many spiritual gurus and particularly - Baghwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba had greatly emphasised that every individual should learn the vedam.Today,anyone can learn them.Tutorials online have been created too :-
Learn Veda mantras here :
There are many veda mantras :- famous ones include Sri Rudram , Chamakam, Purusha Suktam, Sri Suktam, Durga Suktam,Medha Suktam, Sivopasana mantra,Ganapathi Upanishad , Narayana Upanishad, Narayana Suktam and so on...
Try listening to some of these veda mantra recital in youtube..They will mesmerise you.
There is an interesting point to note as to what Suktams are - as a lot of these veda mantras are called ' suktams'.
Rig Veda is the largest and the most important of all the Vedas.The Rig Veda consists of mantras and hymns of praise to various deities.These hymns are called riks. A collection of riks is a suktam. Each suktam consists of a number of riks
Perhaps,the most important and emphasised veda mantra is Sri Rudram. I have even made a specific article on the importance of Sri Rudram specifically ( click here to read )
Different veda mantras have a particular deity associated with it. For example, Sri Rudram is associated with Lord Shiva and Purusha Suktam, for Lord Vishnu.
Each confers various benefits and realisation. To briefly put, Sri Rudram is a great karma , dosha and sin destroyer and healer of everything , and it usually brings rain after chanting. Ganapathi Upanishad empowers our stability in life and intelligence.
Sri Suktam is said to be the basis of the entire carnatic music.Durga suktam empowers shakti within us... and so
When we chant the veda mantras, the very Gods start becoming alive within us.
Let us all learn and chant the vedam.May we create a prosperous age in the future.Particularly,impart to kids while young - they will rock in every field of their life, guaranteed.
Video Above : Space sounds for healing and meditation
The video above shows how other cultures have tapped into the science of cosmic vibrations and use it for spiritual purposes.. Our ancients have gifted the most advance method by providing us with veda mantras.Let us utilise and make sure it is transmitted to the upcoming generations.
* Vedic Chanting has been acknowledge as one of the oldest traditions by UNESCO*
I take this opportunity to send my gratitude to everyone out there who has and is spreading the glories and tutoring Vedas.