[Advaita-l] ***UNCHECKED*** Re: Rudram chanting in Whitehouse

V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org
Tue Oct 14 01:19:04 CDT 2014

On Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 9:40 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Please see my other post on this topic and as I said, please do some
> research before jumping to judgment. The few ghanapAThI-s who are living in
> the USA are, in  my experience, very particular and selective about  what
> they teach and to whom. It seems very obvious to me that whoever taught
> these two American boys to chant is most probably not a veda ghanapAThI in
> the USA.

In this connection it is interesting to see this:


//The Italian team (consisting of four children) comprised professionals
like teachers, doctors and engineers. All of them had undergone a basic
course under Raja Sastrigal in Vatican, before coming here. It all began
with one Italian man, Flavio, who got influenced by the Hindu way of life,
came into contact with Raja Sastrigal, way back in 2001. Sastrigal went to
Vatican and stayed there for three months to teach Flavio, and his wife
Stepano, the basics of Sanskrit hymns and Vedas. Over the years, the couple
has gathered followers, who were also influenced by Hindu spirituality.

The couple developed their diction and pronunciation over the years. The
few local people assembled were astonished to hear the Italians’
near-perfect rendering of Sri Rurdram Chamakam, Rudrajapam, Srisuktham, and
portions from Upanishads.

Flavio and Stepano even changed their Italian names, adopting Hindu names
Shivananda Saraswati and Savithri. Aurora, an Italian team members, told
Express that she believes India is a Karmabhoomi and the Hindu way of life
has led to understanding herself better.

The Italian lady, who is now known as Lalitha, said she would follow the
footsteps of her Guru Shivananda Saraswati. The training for chanting the
mantras and hymns lasted for about three hours and Raja Sastrigal performed
kalasa theertha (sprinkling of holy water) on the trainees as per the
rituals of the Hindu religion at the end.

The team members would spend a couple more  of  days in Puducherry, before
returning for more learning after a few months.//

> But the reality is that the number of people with a vaidika orientation is
> only going to keep growing in the USA and other countries, whereas it is
> really declining in India itself. There are too many things that are
> changing too rapidly.

This is very true.  A software professional from Bangalore, now in the US,
is teaching Rg Veda over Skype to many, some of them living in India.
There is also a young vedic scholar who is into paurohityam in Bangalore
teaching Yajur Veda over Skype to people abroad.

The decline in interest for studying the Veda among Indians is very
visible.  Two years back when I started teaching retired people some
portions of the Yajur Veda in a locality, some 14 people, all smartas,
madhvas and srivaishnavas, attended.  Slowly many dropped out for various
reasons and the number now is just two or three.  And the other problem is,
at that age, they cannot get the intonations/pronunciations properly and
struggle.  It is hard to get them recite reasonably well.  One specific
problem is the pronunciation of the mahāprāṇa syllables by Tamil persons
who have not studied Sanskrit or Kannada, Telugu, etc. in their
school/college.  They find it extremely difficult to pronounce mahāprāṇa
sounds despite repeated tutoring.   In fact many do not even know that
mahāprāṇa exists.


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