Slokas, sastrigal and me!!!

Certain events that happened recently have caught me in a difficult position. Dying traditions across generations within a single family, perhaps. The death is chosen changing priorities and also the environment in which the generation is brought up.
We had a house warming ceremony and as usual I and my dad were chanting the Sanskrit slokas which I had learnt. This induction to slokas is a normal part of a tam-bram upbringing and so I learnt it along with rudram, chamakam and Vishnu sahasranamam (a thousand names of Lord Vishnu) as well. For the uninitiated they are slokas and pretty long ones at that.
So everyone, by implication my relatives and our generation, watches us dumbfounded along with the sastrigal, who conduct the ceremony, wondering -
1. How come they know all this ? ( how come we missed it ? )
2. How come they know all this ? ( this time the sastrigal, wondering about a professional threat or a sense of relief that there are people who know these slokas )

So I wonder who chose not to learn? I have learnt some Sanskrit and it feels wonderful reciting them with the intonations and all. To quote a specific example - imagine about 50 people reciting slokas together in a crescendo and wonder the kind of environment it creates, quite akin to a concert of Oasis or Pt. Birju Maharaj. Within my family tree, generations have side-stepped these things. Well is it a question of interests or relevance or priorities or sometimes just the vicariousness of the experience? I am gloomy at what I see.


I said...

I think this post took from our discussion recently.

I beg to disagree, i think tradtion esp Indian tradition is more deeper than Culture, words or outer ritualistic expressions.

Stutis/Mantras etc. are just creations of great beings from a plane where they are connected with the higher reality.

Chanting them has only meaning if you feel connected and deeply blissful. Knowing them or not knowing them has might have some cultural ego gratification advantage, but unless experiential transformation takes place in us they have little value in the traditional sense.

This might surprise you since i deal in this stuti business 24/7.

all this is my understanding and dont feel offended :-)

This experiential knowledge cannot get lost. Mantras books Vedas can be burnt forgotten, but till ppl exist who have experienced that state, there is no problem to the great Indian tradition. Culturally may be yes there would be a change. But traditional will be still alive :-)

Om Tat Sat

EggHe/\D said...

I think I forgot to mention my relatives here. The target I had in mind was my own family and the generation coming after me actually.

TheQuark said...

To me Sanskrit is a dead language and there is no problem with it. Things change. Ashu would take an atavistic stance of ancient scriptures but our populace is groveling under overawing sense of misrepresented history [sone ki chidia thing].

@Egg: sastrigal! does this mean some guy Shastri's daughter?