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

Balasubramanian Ramakrishnan rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Mon Apr 9 18:20:54 EDT 2018

A while back, we had this discussion and it seems I had some wrong
information which I shared with the list and would like to correct it now.
When I wrote the stuff below, I had seen a few shukla-yajur-veda
recitations (kANva shAkhA in the South) and did not see any hand gestures.
However, in the video below they do have hand gestures. Now, I am not sure
if some people omit it. Anyone in the know, please comment. Thanks!


So it seems hand gestures are forbidden in the kR^iShNa yajur and R^ig


On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 12:58 PM, Balasubramanian Ramakrishnan <
rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com> wrote:

> As I mentioned, hand movements are deprecated in South India and that
> would go for KYV shAkhA. An exception: Among the paNDita-s, some but not
> all, ghanapAThi-s use some hand movements to connect up the pada text and
> going back and forth between the different padas. They seem to find this
> useful. However some other ghanapAThi-s do no not use any hand movement
> here either. They just rattle off the entire thing, which is pretty amazing
> to hear and watch. I must confess here that I use counting techniques or
> other mnemonic schemes to memorize certain anuvAka-s, where I do count off
> my fingers, or do something else. But I try to make it as inconspicuous as
> I can.
> Rama
> On Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 8:45 AM, Vēdānta Study Group <
> vedant.study at gmail.com> wrote:
>> hariH om
>> Thanks, Venkatesh ji for the overall picture, and Balasubramanian ji for
>> the specifics
>> Balasubramanian ji, interesting to learn that the nod of head is
>> prohibited across the board, but the northern shukla yajurvedis use hand
>> movement to indicate the svaras.
>> Do you have any idea of krishna yajurveda veda (KYV) shaakhaas? Though I
>> am a Gujarati, through my association with teachers of Vedanta (Pujya Swami
>> Dayananda ji and others), I have mostly studied the mantras in the KYV
>> tradition.
>> Namaste,
>> Prashant
>> On 1 November 2017 at 07:39, Balasubramanian Ramakrishnan <
>> rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> The actual question about bodily movements. So according to pretty much
>>> all shikShas, there has to be a show of hands to indicate udAtta, svarita,
>>> etc. But this is deprecated in the Southern traditions. The Northeren
>>> shukla yajurvedins use a show of hands, but the southern shukla yajurvedins
>>> do not. shiraH kampanam is strictly prohibited. However the nambudiris,
>>> only when learning, indicate udAtta by upper tilt of the head, anudAtta by
>>> downwards and svarita by sideways tilting of the head.
>>> See for an example
>>> https://www.facebook.com/soumyakaimukku/videos/897411777073744/
>>> Rama
>>> On Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 12:04 PM Vēdānta Study Group via Advaita-l <
>>> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>>>> hariH om
>>>> Namaste All,
>>>> During ucchAraN of vaidika mantras, is nodding the head or moving eyes
>>>> up/down as a bodily support advisable to help modulate svaras? Or is one
>>>> supposed to enunciate the svaras without the assistance of bodily
>>>> movements? Could someone please clarify, and also, if possible, provide
>>>> the
>>>> pramANa where these instructions are given?
>>>> Namaste,
>>>> Prashant
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