Welcome to our sacred courtyard in Varanasi, the inner monastic quarters of Vedanidhi, a sister institution of Hansavedas. A ceremony featuring Rudrādhyāya chanting from the Sāñkhyāyaṇa branch of Rigveda was held on 14th February 2017 to honour the Lord of Time, Śiva who is the presiding lord of Varanasi. This short clip from the five-hour long ceremony features a sublime classical music rendition by renowned maestros, Jayanthi Kumaresh on Saraswati-vīṇā and her husband Kumaresh Rajagopalan on Dhanur-vīṇā (violin). The musicians are performing one of their compositions as part of their ordination by the monks. They were honoured and felicitated on the next day, 15th February 2017, at another ceremony.
His Holiness Swami Sharadananda (left) and His Holiness Swami Vidyadhishananda (right), both wearing terracotta colour robes, were the presiding monks seen sitting in the back. Also sitting in the back is nun Sadhvi Girija wearing yellow ochre robes.
The ceremony was conducted by the last living Vedic priest chanters (Vedāchārya) of the Sāñkhyāyaṇa branch of Rigveda, Harshad Lal Nagar to the right of Indra Shankar Jha, both sitting far left behind the ceremonial altar. They are both in their eighties. Unfortunately, these priests have no successors to carry on the oral tradition of this intonated chanting lineage. The monks invited them to conduct this ceremony following which they were duly honoured and felicitated on 15th February 2017.
Recorded live on 14th February 2017 in Varanasi, India.