The Origin of Chants and Vedas
The topic of Vedas and chanting is like an infinite sea. Chants are described as the voice of the Divine. Where did the human world get these chants? Who wrote all of these chants? Was there a particular writer? Who created them? Who gave these chants to the world?
The chants used in the world to bring peace, joy, wisdom and all such things are from the Vedas. They were not created, rather they were found in nature. Sanskrit, the ancient language of the Vedas is known as Devanagari which literally means 'language of the gods' or the ‘breath of the Divine’. The Vedas were found in nature by the ancient yogi rishis (sages or seers) who while in deep meditation could tune into the sounds arising from nature. For example, radio waves are present within a radius of the transmitting station. They are not ordinarily visible or audible to us. However, when we use a radio receiver to tune into the correct frequency we are able to hear the radio waves that ar present in the atmosphere. Similarly, the Vedas are present everywhere across Space throughout the Universe, but if we don’t have the necessary receivers, we cannot tune into to the correct frequency and realize their presence. The ancient sages, had this receiving ability and once they tuned into to the sounds of nature they realized the presence of this sacred sound yoga and began to chant and pass on the Vedic chants to humanity.
Chants and Vedas are Universal
In this world nature is common and cannot be owned by anyone. Try as we may in our present world to own and possess many things (including nature and even God!), ultimately humans cannot possess Nature. Nature is a force beyond our control and nature is for all people and sentient beings. Similarly, Vedas arising from nature are universal and common for all. Vedas precede religion and are thus not just for Hindus or any one religion. The Vedas and all the sacred chants are intended for the welfare of the world and all creations, not just humans. Ayurveda, astrology, all yogas, breathing exercises etc are from the Vedas. All the divine forms like Saraswati, (Goddess of Creativity) are described in the chants and this is how the world came to know about the many forms and their special qualities. The main concept of the Vedas is to lead the human life on a path of dharma (righteousness), peace and joy through a spiritual life.
The Sound Vibration of Chants
Many people upon hearing chants are drawn in just by hearing the sounds and feeling peace, joy, love and other transforming effects. It is not necessary to know the literal meaning of the chants beforehand for this to happen. This is because the power of the sound vibration of chants transcends the conscious mind and speaks directly to the core vibration in each of us. Chants resonate the part of us that is our essential nature (call it Soul, Spirit, Atma, God) and thus we feel a common connection upon tuning into these universal chants.
Made up of root sounds such as Om (the eternal sound of the universe) these sound vibrations are pure energy (shakti) which released into the subtle channels (nadis) has the ability to purify the mind, open the heart and generate harmony and Divine love.
Chants for specific Purposes
Throughout the ages the Vedic chants are used for many purposes. There are specific chants to heal sickness, clear the pollution from nature, remove poison from a snake bite and even to put down an infirm animal. The Vedas are very broad and wise, containing information known for millennia about the nature of the universe that scientists are only just discovering. All the divine forms like Lakshmi, are described through the chanting and this is how the world came to know about the many forms and their special qualities.There are long chants (slokas, stotrams) and there are short simple mantras.
Chants transcend religion
We are in awe at how we can connect so deeply and intimately with people all over the world through chanting. We may be unable to converse in each other’s native language, come from different cultural backgrounds but when we sit and chant simple mantras together we connect on a profoundly deep level. This is the power of chants to bring real peace and connection.
Anyone can learn chants from any religion or no religion. The beauty of chants is that they are spiritual in nature and transcend any divisions based on race, religion, geography etc.
Chants are the Language of the Soul. The Soul (Atma, Spirit, Self, Divine, Buddha Nature) like nature is common to all. When we define and appropriate the Soul, calling it a Jewish Soul, a Christian Soul, a Muslim Soul and so on, we project characteristics, human limitations and divisions for that which is the One in all. We give a limited identity to That which is boundless, formless, beyond mental understanding.