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7-Studying the Ved

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7-Studying the Ved

Ved Vidyaa Abhyaas involves the following:-

Ved Mantra Adhyayan (resulting in Dhaaranaa), Shraut Shaastra Abhyaas.
Ved Mantra Adhyayan is the first stage. This involves memorizing the whole text of the Ved (every letter and Swar) of one's own Shaakhaa (after completing one's own Shaakhaa other Ved can be taken up. This is a Sampradaaya being flouted especially in North India.) This is a Herculean task, involving 6-10 years for "good" students. It may take minimum 12 years for average students.

At the end of it, the student has memorized the whole Mool Mantram. In case of Yajur Ved, Mool Mantra is comprised of 44 chapters (called Prashn in Krishn Yajur Ved) of Sanhitaa and 38 of Paraayatam. Sanhitaa is called Vaakya Granth, and is used in "practical" (Karm Kaand) of the Ved epitomized by Yaagnya. So, "understanding" Sanhitaa completely (every aspect of every word) is very important. Hence, Padachchhed of this part has also to be memorized. Pad Paath and Kram Paath also should be studied, to master Padachchhedam. Only after mastering Kram can one become "Ved Pandit." This is minimum for mastering the Ved. This part alone takes up to 2 years for sharpest class of students. Basing on interest one may take up Jataa and Ghanaa also, which are useful mainly for getting complete mastery over all the syllables (Pad.) Mastering Jataa and Ghanaa takes up to 2 years. So, for just memorizing the whole Ved, it takes minimum 8 years (Kram Paath) to 10 years (Ghanapaath).

Right age for starting the study of Ved as per Dharm-Shaastra is 7 years 3 months. "garbhaashtameshu braahmanaam upaneeyat. tam adhyaapayeet" is the Shaastra instruction.

Periodically (every year) Ved Sabhaa are conducted in the regions where one belongs. Every year, the Pandit (and Paathshaalaa) attend the Sabhaa along with their students. Among other things, students are examined every year, in the portion they completed. Generally Sanhitaa is studied first.

Usually now a days, not everyone, is studying Shraut. Shraut is the methodology of performing Shraut Karm - Yagya etc. Some people may spend a brief period of time mastering the other Karm which are useful for pursuing the career of priest (Purohit). Pourohityam is the lowest career option and not even 1% of the Ved students opt for it. 2 years of Shraut study and "apprenticeship" will help a student become proficient of performing (including administering) the Yagya Karm.

Parallel to the Ved Adhyayan, the students are taught Sanskrit Saahitya starting with Amar Kosh and including Shabd and Dhaatu Manjaree, Panch Kaavya and Naatak like Abhigyaan Shaakuntalam. This gives thorough grounding of Sanskrit Bhaashaa required for pursuing Shaastra. Not only that, it gives a lot of Manovikaas which is very important for a student who is doing a lot of memorization work.

But such a regime is very difficult and is quite a challenge for even the most intelligent of students. Unfortunately over the past half century, very few intelligent students are coming into Ved Vidyaa. So, this is almost nowhere practiced these days. Also, even in Ved Paathshaalaa the vagaries of modern life have crept in. It is difficult for students to take up so much hard work and concentrate. The result is, we are seeing so many Ved Pandit with very little Saahitya knowledge.

To encourage Sanskrit Saahitya Abhyaasam along with Ved Adhyayan, in Kaanchee and elsewhere, Ved exams included Saahitya as an optional. Not even a miniscule of students opted for it. It is still being pushed for in many places. Saahitya Adhyayan culminates in the 6 Vedaang (shat-Ang) - Shikshaa, Vyaakaran, Nirukt, Kalp, Jyotish, and Chhand. People call these also as Shaastra.

With enough mastery of Sanskrit Language, one takes up study of the four Shaastra viz., Tark, Vedaant, Meemaansa, and Jyotish. Usually Tark is taken up first. Out of the remaining three, some or all are studied. With enough grounding in Sanskrit, women can directly take up Shaastra Adhyayan. Some are actually doing it.

Thorough study of Shaastra involves Ved Mantra. This is how those highly learned women get to know the Mantra.

Graduation courses are offered in various universities in and outside India in Shaastra and even Ved.

Women do study Shaastra and get to know the referred Ved Mantra.
If she lives up to going through the whole meaning of a whole Ved, she can 'see' all the Mantra. It is through study of Shaastra do women become Brahm-vaadinee.

Another situation in which women could get to know Ved Mantra is in Yagya (and Nitya Agnihotra). Yagya and Nitya Agnihotra involve "inviting Agni Dev" and handing over the Havishya to him. Though we can see Agni, Agni Dev is essentially (like all other Devataa) known through Mantra. The communication medium is Mantra. So, the Kratu-related Mantra are recited by the wife of the Yajamaan, especially in the parts where she has to directly perform. In Nitya Agnihotra also, if the husband is not able to be at home at the required time, women do preserve the Agni and hence chant the related Mantra.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 05/24/13