- Study of Vedas
Sound waves are routinely used to scan internal organs (ultrasound) and to shatter kidney stones (lithotripsy) Please let us not underestimate the acoustic energy which reverberates from Veda mantras if correctly chanted. Indeed some truly learned person can even precipitate the death of someone through uttering certain esoteric sounds only known to the few; the story of Raja Vena is one case which comes to mind:
ittham vyavasita hantum rishayo rudha-manyavah nijaghnur hunkritair venam hatam achyuta-nindaya (Bhag. 4.14.34)
Without using any weapons, King Vena was simply killed by high-sounding words (humkAra).
Just because the internet has opened the floodgates to information and we can even learn how to make bombs and concoct deadly poisons from household reagents in the privacy of our homes, do we not understand that flawed learning of Veda and this knowledge in the wrong hands could be disastrous?
Therefore study of Vedic scripture is undertaken only subsequent to vedAraMbha saMskAra which follows the sacrament of “upAnayanam” and there are obligatory criteria in this matter as detailed in Shastra on how this should be done. Any other method of erudition in Veda would therefore be a travesty and be seriously defective. Veda is not for all asunder. Every thirsty man who beholds the ocean will want to drink from it; but it is brine and cannot quench the thirst. It must first be distilled to make it palatable.
In all Indic languages intonation can make such a difference to the meaning of the words; for instance in Hindi, hara-dAtA (हर दाता) means ‘Shiva, the giver’, whereas by omitting the emphasis on the ‘r’ in hara the phrase then means ‘each donor’.
How then would this be known without the guidance of the Acharya?
“mantro heenah svarato varnato vaa mithyaaprayukto na tamarthamaaha, sa vaagvajro yajmaanam hanasti yathendra shatruh svarato’paraadhaat”
‘The mantra defective in svara (inflection) or varna (letter) uttered erroneously and declares not the true meaning. The lightning word (wrongly uttered) slays the performer (yajman) himself just as the word “Indrashatru” for fault of svara slew Vrittra, the performer of the yajna and the enemy of Indra, instead of slaying Indra the enemy of Vrittra, as intended.’
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