Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Parables of Acharya on proper chanting of Vedas

Hare Krishna Friends,
My apologies for missing to post last Friday. The following excerpt is drawn from the book “Exalting Elucidations”.

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What follows is a humorous parable narrated by Acharya depicting the need to recite the Vedas in the prescribed manner:

A poor pandit had unmarried daughters. He was at a loss as to how he could find the money to get them married. A friend told him, “Musicians get handsome rewards.” Consequently, the desire to learn singing sprouted in his mind. He found out that to train his voice, he would have to practice singing for long. Hence, he sat under at the outskirts of his village and practiced singing. But what emerged from him was a mere cacophony.

A ghost that had earlier been a musician inhabited that tree. It was not able to bear the pandit’s murder of music. So, it told him, “I am a music-knowing ghost. This tree is my home. Your cacophony is making it impossible for me to stay here. Go elsewhere.” The pandit replied, “Why should I go? I want to earn money and for that I want to become a songster by ardent practice. This is my chosen place of practice.”

The ghost said, “Since it is money that you want, I will tell you how you can get it. I shall possess the princess. The king will have his physicians attend to her. However, they will be unable to cure her. You seek the king’s audience. Tell him that the princess is possessed by a ghost and that you can exorcise it and cure her. With the king’s permission, go to the princess and sing there as you are doing now. I, who cannot bear your atrocious singing, will immediately leave the princess. She will get cured. The king will handsomely reward you. Thereafter, there will be no need for you to come here and kill music.”

The man agreed and the ghost’s plan was successfully executed by them. As a consequence, the man was able to get more than enough money to get his daughter married, while the ghost was able to live in peace on its tree. Just as the music-knowing ghost of the story was put off by the poor man’s cacophony, Vedic scholars feel ill at ease when someone chants the holy Vedic mantras incorrectly in their presence.

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Prostrations to All.



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