Having been exposed primarily to the South Indian, Smartha way of things, I have seen usual Veda parayana begin with "Om Sri Gurubyoh Namah| Hari-h Om. Gananam tva ganapatim havamahe...".

I heard in one lecture that this has no origination in the vedic scriptures themselves. Is that statement true? If yes, what is the right way for one who begins veda parayanam? If the statement is incorrect, what is the source for this way of begining veda parayanam?


In the student phase of life (Brahmacharya Asrama), the student has to take permission from the Guru before beginning the recital. Before that he must also sip some water, as prescribed, to get purification.

He also has to clasp the Guru's feet in order to show respect before the recital begins. So, in situations, where the Guru isn't physically present at the spot, saying "Sri Gurubhyo Namaha" is a correct thing to do.

Usually in all Hindu traditions, appeasing Lord Ganesha is also done (at the beginning) so chanting Mantras for him at the start is all right too.

Manu Smriti 2.70. But (a student) who is about to begin the Study (of the Veda), shall receive instruction, after he has sipped water in accordance with the Institutes (of the sacred law), has made the Brahmangali, (has put on) a clean dress, and has brought his organs under due control.

2.71. At the beginning and at the end of (a lesson in the) Veda he must always clasp both the feet of his teacher, (and) he must study, joining his hands; that is called the Brahmangali (joining the palms for the sake of the Veda)

Since this recital is happening under the supervision of the Guru, the Guru asks the student when to start/stop.

2.73. But to him who is about to begin studying, the teacher always unwearied, must say: Ho, recite! He shall leave off (when the teacher says): Let a stoppage take place!

Another fundamental rule is one should begin any Vedic recital only after pronouncing OM. And, one should do the same after one has finished the recital too.

2.74. Let him always pronounce the syllable Om at the beginning and at the end of (a lesson in) the Veda; (for) unless the syllable Om precede (the lesson) will slip away (from him), and unless it follow it will fade away.

Also, regarding whether one should begin the recital by saying something like Harihi Om, then that is not mandatory. But reciting OM is.

And, here is a related question on that: Do all Vedic mantras start with "hari om"?

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  • I am accepting this answer since no other has provided me one. But I am still on the search for the root of my question. Hopefully, it will bring up more questions to put up here. – Ambi Jan 16 '19 at 5:10

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