Preserving Vedic Oral Tradition

The Vedashala Project

The vedashala, or school of Vedic study, is a traditional context for the preservation of the Vedic oral tradition. Until a decade ago, the vedashala system in modern India was in danger of disappearing as fewer young people pursued these studies and as traditional sources of funding diminished. Today, more than sixty schools exist.

In 1998, Muktabodha founded a vedashala in Satara, India, to help ensure that the knowledge and chanting of the Krisna Yajur Veda mantras and the wisdom they embody would be preserved for future generations as a living oral tradition. Under the direction of Sri Vivek Laksman Godbole, a 14th generation Vedic expert, the vedashala has grown into a respected learning institution which has been honored by Vedic authorities for the quality of its teaching and the accomplishments of its students. The achievements of the vedashala have also been recognized by UNESCO through its worldwide program, "The Intangible Heritage of Humanity". The vedashala is credited in particular with preserving the Taittiriya Hiranyakeshin school of the Krishna Yajur Veda, an especially endangered element of Vedic tradition.

Now, as senior students graduate, they themselves are becoming teachers, as well as practitioners, thus re-establishing and preserving the living tradition in which they have been trained.

With the Vedashala Project reaching this point of maturity, Muktabodha's vision for creating the vedashala to preserve this living oral tradition for future generations has been fulfilled. To this end, responsibility for the vedashala was recently passed to Sri Vivek Godbole and the Krisna Yajur Veda Trust and it is now functioning as an independent organization.

This is an evolutionary step in the history of Muktabodha and one which is enthusiastically embraced by all involved.

Importantly, this change enables Muktabodha to turn its attention to preserving other highly endangered areas of the Vedic oral tradition. The Institute looks forward to announcing this next project area in the near future.