[Advaita-l] aruNa prashna & upanishad chanting in evening

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 30 23:15:52 CST 2013

>The case of the 'srIsUktam' is also there.  Someone who has done the entire
>yajurveda adhyayana told me that this sUktam is not there in the  Veda.

The  shrIsUkta is part of the khila portion of the Rg veda, as per the
prevailing shAkala shAkhA. However, I have seen that it is included as a
regular sUkta in the saMhitA portion of the AshvalAyana shAkha. There is a
publication by svarNavalli maTha where even a shrisUkta nyAsa (apart from
the puruSha sUkta nyAsa) is printed, after the MahAnyAsa. Obviously, there
are svara differences between the Rgvedic and yajurvedic versions.

Regarding the variations in vedic rituals, we have to learn to separate the
rice from the chaff. We have to distinguish between defective practices
mainly due to negligence, carelessness, laziness, hurrying up to finish the
ritual quickly, skipping details to finish quickly, etc., and practices
that have come down to us through different traditions. I think (and many
would agree) that defective practices are prevalent mainly due to the
business-like attitude towards vedic practices, not only in the minds of
the purohitas but also in the minds of the yajamAna's. People are generally
in a hurry to finish the ceremony and have little interest in learning
about the significance of the ceremony itself, let alone the meaning of the
mantras employed. For example, many people line up to sponsor a Homa in a
temple, but the first question they ask after the saMkalpa is done is:
"What time is the pUrNAhuti going to be, so I can come back then?" With
this kind of attitude, we really cannot blame the purohitas if they hurry
up and finish the whole thing as quickly as possible, skipping many parts
in the process. I have seen, for example, the entire suKta (samudrAdUrmir)
used during pUrNAhuti being reduced to just 2 mantras. But again, I have
also participated in Homas where the entire sUkta is indeed chanted. Apart
from this hurrying up and skipping, there are also other defective
practices such as chanting with no or erroneous svaras, paying little
attention to the mantras themselves, Yajur veda-trained priests chanting Rg
vedic mantras without proper svaras and vice-versa, chanting at a
super-high speed, etc. I have  witnessed a chaNDI homa where the chanting
speed was so high that I had difficulty recognizing the mantras.

Regarding Bhaskar's point about variations in prayogas, there could be
variations due to differing traditions. Agreed, the gRihya sUtras and
shrouta sUtras are uniformly available to everyone, but they do not specify
each and every detail, which can be found in the prayoga texts. And
different prayoga texts may have variations even though they may belong to
the same Veda. I know of differences between the Narasimha prayoga parijAta
pUrva prayoga and the Naryana Bhatta pUrva prayoga, both representing the
AshvalAyana sUtras. I will mention one difference. In the Narasimha Prayoga
Parijata, mostly followed in Mysore, Bangalore, and other surrounding
areas, there is no mention of shraddhA sUkta in the puNyAha procedure. In
the Narayana Bhatta Purva Prayoga, mostly followed in southern coastal
Karnataka, the shraddhA sUkta is part of the procedure. If there are
differences between two prayoga manuals belonging to the same AshvalAyana
sUtras, we can expect the same in other shAkhAs as well. We have to accept
them as different traditions.


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