Produced by IGNCA and supported by Ministry of Culture, Government of India for INDIA presentation to UNESCO Vedic chanting is the world’s oldest oral tradition in vogue. Distilled from a vast body of Sanskrit literature, compiled between 5000 to 1500 years, the chanting tradition was transmitted through the Guru-Shishya parampara as Shruti (heard) and Smriti (remembered) tradition. ICNCA made this film on the “Oral tradition of Vedas” for the Ministry of Culture, Government of India for presentation to the UNESCO. Subsequently, UNESCO has declared Vedic chanting as a Masterpiece of oral and Intangible Heritage on Humanity.
The film alludes to the Jaiminiya Shakha, Ranayaniya Shakha of Samaveda and Saunaka and Paippalada Shakha of Atharva Veda, followed in Trichur of Kerala, Gokama and Honnavar of Karnataka, Trichy of Tamil Nadu, Sholapur of Maharashtra, and Puri and Balasore of Orissa. It unveils the unique recitative methodology of memorizing the vast Vedic corpus, adopted by ancient seers, to ensure its transmission without distortion by Vedapathins. It highlights the reiterative utterance of the words Jatapatha and Ghanapatha, chanted in forward, backward and circuitous manner, and the mnemonic devices of training the young mind in sound patterns. The roving camera takes one through various Gurukuls in peninsular Indra where the traditions survive in isolation.