Video Clip – Vedic Chanting

A Project on Safeguard and Support of The Masterpieces of Intangible Heritage of Humanity
i.e. Our Oral Tradition and Ritualistic Practices

Audio-Visual Documentation of the Recitation Techniques of Vedic Texts

The Vedas have been held as the earliest known knowledge-based compilation of humankind. A tradition, essentially oral in nature, followed to preserve and transmit these to the succeeding generations; it continues till date. All existing traditional experts of Vedic learning recite their respective branch of the Vedas daily. Owing to various historical, social, financial, religious and cultural reasons, this oldest living oral tradition of ours faces extinction risk. The Vedic scholars, reduced to numbers, are finding it difficult to keep the tradition alive on their own. It is to be noted that out of 1131 recensions only 10 survive in unbroken chanting traditions. This vital issue forms the very basis of our cultural heritage, and hence, the Ministry of Culture was approached with the proposal ‘Safeguard and Support of Masterpieces of Intangible Heritage of Humanity’, i.e. the oral tradition and ritualistic practices related to the Vedas, for a sympathetic consideration. The proposal got the approval of the Ministry. As a result, extensive documentation has been initiated under the programme. The Division already has 250 hours of audio-video documentation of different recensions of the Vedas, viz. Sakala and Kaushitaki of the Rgveda; Kanva, Madhyandina and Taittiriya of the Yajurveda; Kauthuma, Jaiminiya and Ranayaniya of the Samaveda and Paippalada of the Atharvaveda.