Sunday, February 22, 2009


The Chamakam is an extremely ancient prayer that comes to us from the Yajurveda. In the days of old, the priest of the Vedic sacrifice (yajna) would chant this long supplication to the Divine while pouring oblations into the holy fire. These days, as yajna rituals are rare, the Chamakam is mostly chanted in temples of Shiva following the other famous Yajurvedic prayer known as Sri Rudram or Rudradhyaya. In essence, the Chamakam supplicates the Divine to provide all the necessary things for humanity's continued survival and prosperity. Though the reciter repeatedly says me meaning "to me" (grant me), it should be understood that the supplication is on behalf of humanity, and not the individual.

A translation of the Chamakam is posted here. However, no translation can ever capture the mystifying beauty of the Vedic mantras in the original language (proto-Sanskrit). Also, it must be noted that several items being beseeched are those specific to ancient Vedic rituals and do not have names in modern languages. As the Vedic rituals were considered crucial for the well-being of all humanity, praying for the necessary items and correct performance of the ritual plays a central role in the hymn.

When listening to Vedic hymns being chanted, one ought not concentrate too much on understanding the words or the meaning. It is far more important to close one's eyes, mediate, and allow one's mind to be transformed by the divine vibrations therein.

Aum Namah Shivaya, and a blessed Maha Shivaratri to all my readers.

Phalguna Krsna 14, Samvat 2065
(Plava Samvatsara, Yugabda 5110) [?]

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