Talk:Vedic chant

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Hare Krishna "Maha Mantra"[edit]

from the article:

"The Hare Krishna mantra, also often refered to as the 'Maha' Mantra: (pronounced ha-ray, krish-nah, and rar-mah respectively)"

There are many Maha Mantras in many Hindu and non-Hindu sects. it is rediculous to term that one mantra "the Maha Mantra". Please discuss.

Sfacets 01:30, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Dear Sfacets - With all due respect the current article does not say that the Hare Krishna mantra is the only mantra in the world ever called the Maha-Mantra. But it's true that it is often referred to as the Maha-Mantra, both by Gaudiya Vaishnavas and general Hindus. If you really want to go into this in depth maybe you could create a Maha-Mantra disambiguation page discussing the major mantras refered to by this title? GourangaUK 21:05, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Merge with Patha?[edit]

Hello dab, it seems to make sense to merge the two to me. As long as the Vedic Chant article doesn't become purely historical in it's content as it's still a lively tradition. The 'Vedic' is referring to the contemporary Vedic tradition at the moment, not the historical Vedic. If you agree? GourangaUK 08:22, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, as long as you mean the surviving shrauta schools who practice the pathas. Of course chanting of this or that mantra in popular Hinduism, without preserving accent, or even of post-Vedic mantras, should not be considered "Vedic chant", even if sometimes popularly so referred to. I doubt that the Unesco would consider sociable chanting of "Hare Krishna" a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage". We can of course say that the term is extended in popular usage, but the main scope of this article should be the strict chanting of the Samhitapatha (and others) according to some specific shakha, including the hand gestures for accent etc. This is a 'contemporary tradition' (meaning a surviving tradition), but it is practiced only by a tiny minority of Hindus as far as I am aware. dab () 09:47, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
The word Vedic means different things to an historian than to the majority of Hindu practitioners. I feel it essential that this page should either include both sets of information, or if that's not preffered we should make another page on Vedic mantra from the historical perspective. Hare Krishna is a mantra of Vedic culture, as is Om and the Gayatri. GourangaUK 10:01, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
The word Vedic may mean different things to different people, but such convenient flexibility strips the word of any effective meaning if "Hare Krishna" is considered "Vedic". Yes, pious Vaishnavites would like it to be so, but that doesn't make it fact. rudra 22:49, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
I do not think that the term "vedic" can properly be applied to the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantras. The term "vedic" is so over-used to apply to anything Hindu that it is almost meaningless. Vedic chant to me refers to the traditional metrical chanting and chanting of specific texts which can properly be classified as Vedic, such as Samaveda. Buddhipriya 03:48, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
It comes down to opinion really - for traditions who view The Vedas, the Upanishads and Puranas etc... as one complete set of literature then the term Vedic is applicable for a wide range of practices. For those who would rather strictly differentiate between The Vedas and other texts of Hinduism then no, Vedic would be innapropriate. I say opinion, because factual information regarding the dating of these texts is practically non-existant, even if the current scholarly concensus is that certain texts are much older than others. Gouranga(UK) 15:01, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
As Dab explained, this is not just a matter of opinion. There is a specific discipline related to the methods for doing the chanting of texts which has nothing to do with the chanting of short mantras such as the Hare Krishna mantra. If you attend traditional temple worship (not ISKCON events), there is usually a lot of chanting, but only some of it is "vedic" chanting. For example, the sahasranamas, while beautiful and very long, are not considered "vedic" chant as they are all chanted in śloka meter and none of them involve the specific meterical rules which define "vedic" meter. If you read the Rig Veda in Sanskrit, and particularly if you read those verses in their Samaveda versions, in addition to the text there are very detailed chanting metrics given along with the text. Also, vedic chant includes an addition type of vowel duration in addition to the usual short and long vowels of classical Sanskrit, and an additional nasal sound found only rarely in classical Sanskrit. This is not just a matter of dating, it has to do with the form of the chanting. Buddhipriya 05:52, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Dubious claim[edit]

"Such a Vedic chant is often considered the oldest unbroken oral tradition in existence" needs a source to back it up... it has been present on this page for a while without any sources. 20:52, 8 January 2007 Sfacets(UTC)

17:20, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Needless to say, the grunt, moan, etc would be the oldest oral traditions.Trnscndr Bryan E. Hall, MPW

oral tradition of coherent text of course; otherwise, language itself would be the oldest articulate oral tradition (and yes, 'grunt, moan' would be even older). The tradition goes back some 3,000 years, and there is not really a candidate to challenge it. Homer would be roughly comparable, but there is no living oral tradition of rhapsody. I don't think there is any other candidate, most other "living ancient traditions" are of the order of 2,000 years, and thus even considering margins of error younger by a couple of centuries. I propose the statement is vindicated even without a direct reference, since we have solid references dating the RV to 1500-1000 BC over at Rigveda; the Gayatri mantra is Rigvedic, and the Vedic chant traditions include the Gayatri mantra; thus it stands to reason that at least part of the tradition is aged more than 3,000 years, plus we have no candidate that can hope to tie with this. dab (𒁳) 18:21, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Agree with dab . Except, of course, if any knowledge of another candidate tradition was lost to modern history - because some other civilisation never bothered to codify that tradition in some form of text. How would you then infer that there was such a tradition you ask? Well, you'd have to extrapolate, but a starting point would be to note the consistency in social administration, economic activity etc. - all of which would carry the fingerprints of the historical zeitgeist. If we do observe large similarities and a growing civilisation, then it's highly unlikely that each successive generation pondered and arrived at the same conclusions of their own accord, without some sort of forward transfer of the contemporary summum bonum of their knowledge. So yeah, looking at archaeological, and perhaps even fossilised ruins may be a start. i.e. The same way we've established the age of the Vedas as being much older than the radio-carbon date of the earliest manuscript (although, the Vedas themselves mention "shruti", and "smriti" so - they are evidence of older-than-earliest-manuscript in of themselves.
Anyway, the Cradle of Civilsation article mentions that if the advent of writing/ proto-writing is to be considered, then the Harappan civilisation is one of the earliest. I'd conjecture that if a civilisation decided to document something, it's because they ran out of cerebral memory to remember oral lessons. That would probably have happened once the oral corpus reached critical size. The older a civilisation, the bigger its oral corpus (until they make the jump to writing) - and the earlier they jump to writing. So, this hand-waving argument and rampant extrapolation (albeit based on another Wikipedia article's citation) probably ought to fit well. (talk) 09:48, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

BBC article in external links[edit]

From the linked BBC article: "Although the Vedas were recorded in writing some 15 centuries ago[...]" This seems off by quite a few centuries -- weren't the Vedas first written down a couple of centuries bce? Might be worth adding a note next to the link. Jlandahl 05:31, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Bibliographic data missing[edit]

The current text of this article contains note references in Author-date format:

  1. ^ (Staal 1986)
  2. ^ a b c (Filliozat 2004, p. 139)

However, the bibliographic information, normally appearing in a separate section below the notes, is missing: First name, Title of work, Place of publication, Publisher, etc. Could someone please restore or add this data? EricP (talk) 00:48, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, these same references appear to be missing from several Wikipedia articles. The actual references are in Indian mathematics; someone with patience ought to fix all these articles. Shreevatsa (talk) 01:21, 27 October 2009 (UTC)