Through the practice, you will find yourself out of your comfort zone, starting at what seems to be the deep end, glancing at the page number progressing excruciatingly slowly. Then at some point, you will find yourself in a flow, the rhythmic recitation of the verses in anuṣṭubh meter (4 sections of 8 syllables each), will rock you in a gentle trance. The practice ends and for many it seems like we just started!
Just a few months ago, at an event, The Ambassador of India to Belgium asked me a very pertinent question. She said, “Tell me, what is that would make me take the time to learn, understand and practice Veda recitation. I know it is important, but I’d like to understand exactly why.”
I was born in the year 1972, my most significant life event. More importantly, the same year, a wonderful translation of 12 Rig Veda hymns was taking place. Jean Le Mée, extraordinary Engineer and poet, powered by his interest in Sanskrit, completed his Sanskrit studies from Columbia University and published “Hymns from the Rig-Veda”, first edition in 1975.
All of this, all my work is dedicated to the memory of my mother Saroja Sriramaiah. She was an accomplished classical and devotional singer, taught chanting classes to over a thousand students at home and at 10 different chanting centres in Bangalore, India. 6 years after her passing, her students still continue to gather once a month in our family home to chant selected Sanskrit hymns.