We were pleased to welcome Finnian M.M. Gerety (Yale University) for our next Open House discussion, ‘Living Traditions of Vedic Ritual and Recitation in India’, which was streamed live on Thursday, October 19, at 11 a.m. EDT, and was recorded.
To prepare for this event, you might like to view the following short films made by Finnian Gerety about Vedic traditions in the South Indian state of Kerala:
- “Mantras 2 the Max” is a five-minute short depicting a modern Vedic ritual performance that attracts thousands of Hindu devotees.
- “Human Guru” is a one-minute short documenting the traditional oral transmission of Vedic chanting;
- for comparison, “Digital Guru” shows the same practitioners using digital technology in their lessons.
For a more general orientation, there is a Wikipedia article on the Vedas (to be read with the usual caveats). If you prefer to get more specialized background, you can peruse his website and academia.edu page.
You can watch the discussion in the frame below, or on the CHS YouTube channel.
Finnian M.M. Gerety is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. He received his Ph.D. in South Asian studies from Harvard University in 2015. He works at the intersection of sound, ritual, text, and technology in Hindu traditions of India, examining the performance and interpretation Sanskrit mantras in historical and modern contexts. His current book project, This Whole World is OM: A History of the Sacred Syllable in India (to be published by Oxford University Press), is the first-ever monograph to address the origins and history of OM, the ubiquitous “sacred syllable” of Indian ritual, meditation, and yoga. His work at Yale will be the foundation of a planned book project, Mantras to the Max: Sacred Sound in South India, which explores religious soundscapes and the mediation of new technology in South Indian Hinduism.