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Re: Pancha Sooktham recitation

From: muralidhar rangaswamy (
Date: Wed Sep 09 1998 - 06:49:37 PDT

Dear Bhaktas,

Mani makes excellent points. Let me add that that the following 
six aspects must be strictly adhered to while reciting the Vedas.

(1) Proper speed. Unnecessarily speeding up destroys the the 
    majesty of the Veda Vakyams.
(2) Mixing music and Vedams: This should not be done at all.
(3) Shaking the head while chanting (Shira Kampi) to generate 
    increased intensity of sound is a prohibition.
(4) Reading from text: This is again a taboo.
(5) Reciting the Veda Vakyams without understanding their meaning:
    There can be no greater disservice than this.
(6) Weak-throated recitation (Alpa Kantam).

Adiyen is the first one to admit that he is the prime offender in 
all the above respects.

Let me also point out that while engaging in Veda Parayanam, 
one needs to have purity of thought, sound and intonation. These 
can result only when Deha Shuddhi (Purity of body-
i.e., a body disciplined by performance of regular Anushtanam), 
Manas Shuddhi (tranquility of mind and clarity of thought) and Sthana 
Shuddhi (purity of the place where the chanting takes place) 
prevail. If one emphasizes strict adherence to these rules, the 
number of occassions and places where such a recitation can take 
place are very few in number!

It is absolutely not true that the Narayana Upanishad has no place 
in temple rituals. Such authoritative statements without facts to 
back them up are at best misleading. On more than one occassion, 
I have witnessed its rendition during Tirumanjanam, and upon 
completion of Alankaram in Temples in India. On the other hand it 
is absolutely true that there are not many qualified exponents of 
Atharvana Vedam in the southern parts of India. Consequently, there is 
a dearth of knowledgable people from whom one can learn the Narayana 
Upanishad with proper Swaram. Practitioners of Atharvana Vedam  
can be found in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

Namo Narayana,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy 

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