NEW DELHI, INDIA, January 14, 2011: Can ancient mantras induce rains? Do Vedic chants impact the surrounding environment? A team of scientists will attempt to find out the answers when they descend on the ancient village of Panjal in Kerala to study the 3,100-year-old Vedic ritual called Athirathram to be held from April 4 to 14. The ritual to invoke Agni, the God of fire, will be conducted by 18 priests in the precincts of a Lakshmi Narayana shrine.
A team of scientists led by V.P.M. Nampoori, former director of the International School of Photonics, Cochin University, will conduct research into the impact of Vedic chants and the fire ritual on the atmosphere. The 12-day ritual will present the opportunity to explore the ‘scientific implications on nature, mankind and all other living creatures’, the scientist said in a statement. Nampoori said the ‘chanting of mantras and the worshipping of Agni with medicinal herbs energize and protect the environment’.
The scientist said he would conduct ‘elaborate experiments in the areas of atmospheric changes in temperature, humidity and pressure level during the ritual’. ‘Studies will be conducted on the implications on micro-organisms in the soil and variation in the yield from plants and animals,’ he said. The research will also include the ‘physiological and psychological effects on human beings, especially on those who are under meditation.’
Sivakaran Namboodiri, a trustee of the Varthathe Trust and a Vedic scholar and healer, said: ‘The three previous editions of Athirathram had brought rain to Panjal 35 years ago, to Kundoor where it was held in 1990 and to Kizhakkencherry in 2006′. ‘We want to find out whether it brings rain and increases the yield of the soil and milch cattle, which will be exposed to chanting,’ Sivakaran said.