Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Travel Photographer's The Vedic Disciples

This is the second of my multimedia (audio slideshows) projects of stills, audio and video made during my The Oracles of Kerala Photo Expedition/Workshop™. It's of the activities at an ancient Vedic 'gurukul' (or training/boarding school; very similar to the Buddhist monasteries for novitiates), where we were treated to a demonstration of this way of teaching sacred Vedic scriptures.

It is an ancient Indian educational system, which is currently being rejuvenated with the assistance of the Indian government. The young boys who populate the Vedic school usually belong to a caste of Keralan Brahmins, who are responsible to carry on the age-old tradition of chanting Vedas during religious rituals or functions. The chanting is learned by practice, and nothing is written down.

The rhythm of the Vedic chants is followed by the young boys' moving their bodies in cadence to the verses, which reminded me how the Buddhist novices recite their mantras, or how the Islamic students recite the Qur'an at their madrasas.

You can watch The Vedic Disciples on Vimeo as well.