The mantras of the Vedas are thousands of years old and have been transmitted through the generations via an oral tradition from teacher to student. How is it possible to keep the wisdom of these mantras alive?

Authentic Vedic Chanting requires the application of strict rules, so that the meaning is not lost or altered over time. One of these rules covers pronunciation. The pronunciation needs to be precise so that we know what we are chanting. We learn the correct pronunciation from our teacher. It is through the tradition of teaching by call and response, listening and repeating what we hear that we learn to be accurate.

Why is it important? It matters because chanting is a meditative practice and we absorb the qualities of the focus of our meditation. If pronunciation is not correct, then we may not know what we are inviting into us.

A good example of how easy it is for confusion to occur comes when chanting the sanskrit word for bliss, ānanda. The long ā means continuous and nanda means joy.  Continuous joy is bliss.  However, if you mistakenly shorten the first a and make the word ananda, short a means no. Therefore ananda means no joy.  You can see why care must be taken with pronunciation.

It’s the same when you want to call your friend. You have to use their correct name or they won’t come. I am Debby, if you call me Deidre, I won’t answer.

Something happens when we are disciplined and learn to chant with precision. We begin to notice changes, the things that were difficult become easier and this can lead to other changes in our habits as well. When we feel the benefits of our actions, it makes the effort to be disciplined manageable because we feel it. Real lasting personal transformation only comes with effort, our own personal effort.

If we love something, it is worth dedicating the time to learn and practice it.  Chanting these ancient and sacred mantras faithfully, according to the rules will mean the full healing potential of the mantra can be realised. Ultimately, with practice, we can let go of the absolute focus on pronunciation as we absorb the mantra within us.

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Tune in next week when I’ll share more about the healing power of Vedic Chanting and the potential for real personal change.