Om Sri Gurubhyo namah
Vedo Nityam Adhiyatam;
Odhamal oru naalum irrukavendam;
Recite the Veda every day;
Sanatana Dharma, Bharata Varsha and the Veda Sanatana Dharma is the soul of India. India will live as long as Sanatana Dharma prevails' – Maharishi Aurobindo said in his famous speech at Uttarapara in Bengal in 1909. Great rishis like Kanchi Mahaswami have declared that Veda is the very basis and source of of the Sanatana Dharma. So, Sanatana Dharma is the very soul of Bharata Varsha, that is India, and the Veda is its core.
The Veda is musical, not textual
The Veda is Brahmam in musical form – “Nadabrahmam”. The Veda was heard in its musical form by Rishis in their highest state of meditative consciousness. That is why the Veda bears the name 'Shruti' – meaning that which was heard. As it was heard and not authored by any one, it also known as “Apaurusheya” – being un-authored. All four branches of the Veda – Rg, Yajur, Sama and Atharva – share the same character. The Veda as a body of oral knowledge was transmitted from generation to generation by reciting it in musical verse and not read as a text like other sacred texts. The Veda was reduced into text form in a later development to help in memorizing the text.
The Veda is learnt by reciting, not by reading
Learning to render the Veda in musical discipline is the only method of learning the Veda. The Veda is learnt by a disciple directly from a teacher by capturing its musical nuances and repeatedly reciting it to the prescribed meter to perfect its musical character. This method – the only method – of learning the Veda is known as Veda Adhyayanam. Unlike the learning of other sacred texts by reading, the learning of the Veda is possible only through proper training in the discipline of the musical form of the Veda. Fortunately, through the efforts of great souls over thousands of years Veda Adhyayanam has been largely kept in living form till today. The learning of the Veda is the very core of Para Vidya – the knowledge of the self.
The danger to the survival of the Veda
But with each passing day the number of scholars well-versed in the different branches of the Veda is dwindling rapidly. And the quality of the scholarship is also declining because the best in the society is more keen on pursuing; the knowledge of the world – and only those who cannot afford or fail in the pursuit of worldly knowledge take to learning Para Vidya. Given the importance of the subjects that enhance the material knowledge of the external world, the Veda Adhyayanam is relegated in importance. This poses the greatest danger to the very survival of the Veda in its true and musical form which is the very core of Sanatana Dharma and which in turn is the very soul of Bharata Varsha.