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

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 30 10:31:32 EDT 2017

 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!
> Rama

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