Weekly online Vedam chanting have been a new national initiative launched by the National Devotional Wing since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in April this year. The online vedam chanting takes place every Saturday from 7:15 am to approximately 8:45 am and creates a vibration akin to what is felt when sitting in Sai Kulwant Hall in Prasanthi Nilayam in the daily vedic chants. The initiative provides a valuable opportunity for people learning Vedam to undertake the lead chanting and allows listeners to benefit from the positive vibrations from the chanting. The chanting to date in this program have been undertaken to a remarkably high standard with a strong focus on the pronunciation and intonations of the mantras.
The program commences at 7:15 am with the chanting of the familiar Suprabatham for approxiamtely fifteen minutes. Following the Suprabatham there is a five to ten minue “Experience Sharing” session where a pre-selected Sai Devotee shares their story of their specific experience with Swami and the lessons that they learnt through this expereince. These sessions have often revealed some incredible stories and reinforced the all-knowing and all-loving nature of Swami in relation to His devotees.
The Vedam chanting then commences with the Ganapathi Prarthana chant followed by the chanting of the sacred hymn Aaditya Hrydayam, a mantra given by Sage Agastya to Lord Rama, which praises the Sun Lord and bestows energy and health. This is followed by the chanting of the well-known Rudram, inclusive of both Namakam and Chamakam, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The lead chanting of the Rudram is done in pairs to provide more opportunity for people to be involved and reduces the burden on one person chanting for the entire session. After the completion of the Rudram another two or three Vedic mantra’s are chanted which vary from week to week to provide the required diversity to the program. Vedic mantra’s chanted to date include Purusha Suktam, Vishnu Suktam, Narayana Upanishad, Narayana Suktam, Medha Suktam, Mantra Pushpam, Durga Suktam, Shivopasana, Sri Suktam and many more. The Vedic chants then conclude with the chanting of the five Shanti Mantra’s, which pray for peace for the whole universe, followed by the Kshama Prarthana which seeks forgiveness for any errors committed during the chanting of the mantras.
The session finally concludes with a short five minute talk on the significance or meaning of a selected Vedic Mantra which helps understand the origins and messages behind the Vedas. Topics covered during these sessions so far include the significance of Aum, the meaning of the Aaditya Hrydayam, the origins of the Chamakam, the meaning of Rudram, the significance of the Gayatri Mantra, insights into Bhrugavalli and Anandavalli and many other topics. The session has been well received by devotees who have been appreciative of the opportunity to learn about the deep spiritual messages expounded in the Vedas.
Members who are able and confident in leading Vedam chanting are encouraged to provide their names to their Regional Devotion Coordinator if they would like to lead the vedic chants in one of the sessions. All are invited to tune in and listen to the powerful chants each week on Saturday morning.
Members can join in and listen to the Vedic chanting on Sai Australia YouTube Channel.