Friday 21 September 2018

What is a Suktam ?

In the Vedas,we come across hymns which we refer to as 'Suktams'.Suktam comes from the root sounds - Su - SusHTu ( which means superb ) , and Uktam ( which means utterance ).

So what does this 'Suktam' denote in the context of Vedas ? 

Among the mantras of the Vedas,we have those that come in a particular length of verses that denote a particular deity or truth.These are called ' riks'.The Rig Veda is a bucket which contains the mantras of the Vedas that come in the form of 'Riks',hence the name ' Rig Veda'.

Rik in the language of Vedas is a parallel to the term 'shloka' in linguistic samskrta.

( Linguistic Sanskrit came from the sounds in Vedas.Vedas are not sanskrit )

Now, a Suktam is nothing but a compilation of 'Riks'.The names of the Suktams are man-made for convenience.For example,the title 'Rudra suktam' would simply denote a particular hymn comprising riks pertaining to Lord Rudra.

This is why a particular Suktam can share many titles.For example,Ganapati Suktam is also called Bramhanaspati Suktam - because the verses in this suktam can denote both Lord Ganesha and Brhaspati.

The Devi Suktam from Rig Veda is also called Vak Suktam, VaagambhriNi suktam and AmbhriNi Suktam..

Video above : Devi Suktam recitation by Whatsapp Veda Learner Shravanthi

So to put it in a nutshell, a Suktam is a compilation of riks in relation to a particular deity or truth the Vedas convey.

Pic above : The Navagraha Suktam is a compilation of Riks from different parts of the Yajur Veda and Rig Veda.All verses that denote a particular graha is selected and compiled as a Suktam for convenience.

Pretty simple.


(1) Origin of Vedas 

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