Currently I have been classifying my personal collection of private recordings of Veda and Yoga Chanting made over nearly 20 years with TKV Desikachar or his senior chant student Sujaya Sridhar.
They were previously all archived on some twenty ageing and fragile cassette tapes and, with many thanks to the stalwart and painstaking sound engineer work by Christina, are now digitalised and individually itemised.
Now they have been both digitalised and cut into individual tracks I am astonished to see that there are over 200 recordings from the Veda and associated Indian and Yoga texts, along with some recordings around the Yoga Sūtra. The Veda and associated Indian textual resources draw from the textual sources listed below:
- Opening Vedic Prayers
- Taittirīya Saṃhitā
- Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa
- Taittirīya Āraṇyaka
- Taittirīyra Upaniṣad
- Other Upaniṣad
- Other Chants – Ancient
- Other Chants – Modern
- Closing Vedic Prayers
Many of the Romanised Saṃskṛta and Chant Notated reading sheets for these oral learning support resources have already been put online via the above links in the Dharma Downloads section of the website. As to the recordings themselves, some 25 downloadable MP3 Sound files have already been posted in the Vedic Sound Files page and more will follow as time and opportunity permit.
Meanwhile, once again, my gratitude to my teacher TKV Desikachar for his openness and willingness to freely spend time with my trusty hand held tape machine, replete with the usual Indian background track of bird, clothes washing and traffic sounds. The same feeling is extended towards all these recordings as they become open source resources to support the world wide Yoga community wishing to embrace the unique qualities inherent within both Veda and Yoga Chanting.
“I think, that all those who want to practise Vedic chanting must be able to do so,
provided there is no confusion with Patañjali’s Yoga.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting 1999
I would only raise the question that is still an important resonance in my view as a teacher who was a long time personal pupil of Desikachar over 20 years. If a Yoga Teacher is really wishing to openly honour their alignment with this Paraṃparā (ongoing transmission from teacher to student), then can TKV Desikachars wishes around the increasingly confusing mixing of Indian Religious Chanting with Yoga teachings and Yoga chanting be respected in how we choose to transmit these precious jewels to others?
“I unintentionally mixed the Vedic tradition, teaching about God’s pre-eminence,
with Yoga, whose goal and intention are different.
Yoga regards the mind principally, this is absolutely universal. In the Yoga system, Īśvara, the principle of perfection, is nothing but a means to attain mental clarity, and still, it is a means among others!
Things are very different in the Vedic culture, for which God only matters.
The Brahma Sūtra (the source text for Vedānta) understood it perfectly, since they exclude Yoga from the ways of salvation, because it does not give the Lord the first priority.
One must be aware of the image conveyed by Yoga, when it is confused with Vedic chanting,
and of the image of the Vedas, when Vedic chanting is confused with Yoga.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting
For example, all the Art of Sounding and Mantra Personal Sādhana Modules offer a clear delineation between Sound, Yoga and Veda Chanting. Obviously within our personal Sādhana or where teaching individuals within a private 121 context, it is a matter of personal preference, background, or inclination.
“Teach what is inside you.
Not as it applies to you, to yourself,
but as it applies to the other.”
– Śrī T Krishnamacharya
However where we are teaching within group contexts or, increasingly more remotely these days, via downloadable handouts, on-line learning, websites, or social media, and thus transmitting impressions to others increasingly without even knowing who or where in their personal belief system the ‘other’ is, the boundaries are even more easily confused.
“Unfortunately, many people are not able to differentiate between Yoga and Hinduism.
This is the biggest blunder I have seen in many institutions.”
– Excerpt from an interview with TKV Desikachar by Fit Yoga Magazine April 2008
For example I have Workshops and Courses running with both practicing Christians and practicing Muslims. Thank you.