The Vedic tradition in India has been very rich and varied. It has a history of more than five thousand years. The texts of Vedic corpus are the oldest literature available in the world in its perfect entity. The legacy of Vedic literature is handed down from generation to generation till today through oral tradition which is a unique means when compared to other world religious literatures. This has immensely helped us to keep the Vedic texts intact in their form and recitations.
The knowledge of the rituals is disseminated mainly from the Vedas and the SrautaShastras and Kalpa Sutras. They comprise information about the methods and the manner in which the Vedic sacrifices were meant to be performed so that their purity and efficacy could be guaranteed. This knowledge is crucial for the continuation and preservation of Dharma, the survival of the priesthood and for the survival and success of the whole humanity as such.
Since the efficacy of the Vedic hymns, the rituals and the power of God is generally accepted, the ‘Rutviks’ had to take extra precautions to preserve the reputation of the Vedic wisdom and practice, and ensure the right results of the rituals that they performed. Probably it also led to the idea of karma yoga that one should engage in ritual or obligatory actions without the desire for their result. The Rutviks went to extreme lengths and took elaborate precautions to ensure that the rituals were performed under their supervision with utmost care and sanctity. If the rituals failed, they attributed it to the displeasure of the Gods or fate or karma rather than their own failure.
Of the four divisions of the Vedas, the knowledge of the rituals is found mainly in the Samhitas and Brahmanas, and to some extent in the Aranyakas. A few ancient Upanishads, especially the ones derived from the Brahmanas, also contain information about them to denote their spiritual significance.
Most of the knowledge traditions of India have their root in the Vedas. These knowledge traditions include Shad Darshanas, philosophies of atheistic schools, technical literature, scientific literature, fine arts, dance and music. Interdisciplinary studies of these branches of knowledge, their relation to Vedic traditions and their relevance and importance in the modern time are to be subjected to intensive study and research which will help to have a new awareness on the Vedic rituals and practice in the present day. The workshop envisages having such an approach towards the Vedic recitation and practices, as well as the knowledge traditions enshrined in them.
South Zone Cultural Centre (SZCC), Thanjavurwas established to bring the indigenous cultures of the zone closer to the mass to help them understand, experience and enjoy the cultural variety of India. This workshop is organized in line with the vision of both SZCC and ICSS on disseminating Indian knowledge traditions.
About Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University) is a multi-campus, multi-disciplinary research academia that is accredited with 'A' by NAAC and is popularly ranked as one of the best research institutions in India. Founded by world-renowned humanitarian leader, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Amritawas established to provide world-class education and research opportunities for students with a mission towards untangling the monumental scientific and societal challenges being faced by the world today. The university is spread across six campuses in three states of India - Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, with the University headquarters at Ettimadai, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Amrita is the first youngest university to be awarded with 'A' grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an autonomous body established in 1994 by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in the country. Among all the major universities of India, Amrita also has been ranked 4th best university in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) Ranking 2020 for Indian Universities approved by Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Govt. of India.
About Amrita Darshanam, International Centre for Spiritual Studies
Amrita Darshanam, International Centre for Spiritual Studies has been established under the guidance of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), one of the prominent spiritual leaders of our times. The center serves as an academic platform for study and research in the domains of philosophy, culture, arts, literature, and society under the broad canopy of India Studies. It offers degree programs, hosts seminars, conferences and workshops, and undertakes projects and collaborations with national and international organizations on topics related to Indian Knowledge systems.
Mysuru campus of Amrita has been offering Sanskrit courses for all undegraduate students as an optional language. Along with the cultural education programs, yoga, philosophy and value programs to undergraduate and post-graduate students of all streams are also offered. Chanting and other training are also provided to interested students. Philosophy and yoga related electives are on offer for the undergraduate students. Recently Mysuru campus and the Oriental Research Institute (ORI), University of Mysore, Mysuru have jointly organized an awareness program on the relevance of manuscripts.
About South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur
The South Zone Cultural Centre was established to bring the indigenous cultures of the zone closer to the masses, especially to the rural population and the under privileged, to make them understand, experience and enjoy the cultural variety of India. Dance, Drama, Music and Art must all be integrated to make a comprehensive presentation of every aspect of Indian culture through Zonal Cultural Centre. The programmes are organized in line with this vision and with the intention to perform the centrifugal role of disseminating culture outwards.