Bringing Vedic chanting from a living lineage in South India to worldwide seekers.
Do you want to learn Veda chanting but don’t know exactly where or how to start? Have you learned some Veda mantras but are not sure you have learned them correctly? Have you heard many versions of the Gāyatrī mantra, or other mantras and wondered which version is correct? Is it disrespectful to mispronounce or sing these mantras? Is chanting the Vedas different from singing them?
It is not easy to determine the right method, resources, or respectful approach to learn this precise and ancient oral tradition. There are multiple authentic lineages and traditions engaged in Veda recitation. While they all may share many precise rules and pronunciation, each has specific nuances.
Number of courses
There are several South Indian Veda chanting traditions, notably, the Kañci Sampradāya(tradition) from Tamil Nadu, the Nambudiri tradition from Kerala and the Śringeri or Mysore tradition from Karnataka. Shantala’s teachers are the Challakere Brothers, who hail from the Mysore lineage, and teach using traditional methods. They emphasize understanding the treatises of Śīkṣā –a vedāṅga (literally, “limb of the veda”) and one of the 14 traditional Vedic sciences (vidyās). Śīkṣā dictates the precise phonetic rules of reciting the Veda. Shantala brings you this teaching with an uncompromising attention to detail, coupled with numerous learning resources for practice. Until now, such instruction has been inaccessible to most students. Shantala is grateful to her lineage and teachers for rendering this ancient vidyā accessible for the benefit of the modern world.
Our global community
Our student community comprises thousands of students. People from all over the world participate in a range of events – celebrating important Indian festivals together through our free community events; weekend mini workshops learning the practice of gāyatrī prāṇāyāma; the very popular foundation course in Vedic chanting; short term courses to learn the most important sūktams (hymns) from the Veda, and also long-term courses like a one-year Rudram program and the high-level Teacher Training Program in Vedic chanting for our most committed students.
Shantala is a Veda recitation teacher from Bangalore and has been studying 1-2-1 with her Guru Sri M.S.Sreenivasan as one of his senior students. She continues her personal practice alongside teaching and is grateful to the Challakere family for mentoring her. Combining her long background in corporate Learning & Development along with traditional methods of learning she grew up in, Shantala creates courses accessible to students from all backgrounds. She loves creating a global community around chanting practices and is committed to continuing her own family tradition. She lives in a farmhouse in the Belgian countryside with her husband and two small children.
Founder & Teacher
Born and raised in India, Shantala Sriramaiah enjoyed an early introduction to Sanskrit and chanting through her mother Saroja, who taught chanting classes for over 30 years in her family home and at the various cultural institutions in her hometown Bangalore. Mentored by several Vedic scholars, Shantala teaches a global community of students.
Admin & Members
Originally from The Netherlands, Edgar is a business academic by training, and a former professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, a strategy consultant, and an entrepreneur in the travel industry. He is a homeschooling dad now and responsible for all administrative and membership matters.
Next to Shantala’s mother Saroja, her father has been the greatest influencer, supporter and advisor to realise Veda Studies. An engineer by training, Sriram was a pilot in the Indian Air Force before he turned a successful entrepreneur. He is a devout Hindu and keeps the memory of Saroja alive by monthly chanting sessions in his home in Bangalore.
Learning resources support
Mahendra creates all the workbooks, videos and many of the charts, handouts and presentation material used for teaching. The Veda Studies logo was created by him as well! He is especially good at creating all the videos for our courses for practising chanting with the text showing on screen!
Based in Bangalore, Aparna is an entrepreneur while also supporting Veda Studies with guidance on important festivals and observances. Many of the temple pictures you see in Shantala’s teaching material have been provided by Aparna. She loves going on pilgrimages and we enjoy all the pictures in our classes as a result.
Poornima from Mumbai is a Yoga teacher working to bring the wisdom of Yoga into everyday living for herself and her students, both online and in-person. She is an avid yoga blogger and completed the first Teacher Training program with Shantala. She helps out with Veda Studies website content, co-teaches with Shantala & also offers private chanting classes.
Marina Muktidhara from Croatia currently lives in beautiful Slovenia. She studied Classical and Vedic Sanskrit, Indian Philosophy, Literature and Religion. She studied with Shantala for several years and was part of the first Teacher Training group. Marina supports starting chanting students at Veda Studies and also offers private chanting classes.
Sophia Ann French
Sophia Ann French has been a journalist for over 15 years. She launched India’s first online magazine on Yoga and Vedanta which was published for a year (2020 – 2021) and at present, she is a student of Veda recitation and Indic Knowledge Systems. At Veda Studies, she manages our social media and writes blogs that feature interviews with our students and graduates of the Indica Veda Studies Teacher training Programme.
“Attending Shantala ji’s classes on Vedic chanting has been an illuminating experience for me on many levels. Her authentic and clear articulations of the mantras learnt with great humility and dedication from the renowned Challakere Brothers are made very accessible to us using her signature innovative style of representing the pronunciation using colour codes etc. Although a Sanskritist, i feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to learn significant aspects of Vedic phonetics from her which she teaches us lovingly yet firmly, patiently and with her characteristic laugh, till we have mastered it up to her satisfaction! Highly recommend her classes for anyone who is seeking a guide to experience the power of Vedic chanting! Namo namaH to her and to her gurus for this precious gift!”
I am very happy that I could, and still can learn from Shantala. Before meeting her, I had been practicing chanting daily but she really opened my eyes to important nuances. Her patience and authenticity is backed by the excellent lineage of the Challekere Brothers. I think that every Yoga teacher who teaches mantras should attend her courses. I really appreciate Shantala’s vocation and enthusiasm about Vedic studies. Her courses and teaching materials are professionally structured, making learning easy and thorough. I’ve really enjoyed the self-paced online courses as well as the live events and classes. I wish that many more people would benefit from them. Highly recommended. Thank you very much, Shantala.
“Dear Shantala, thank you for this wonderful course. It was a very good overview of the Veda. You transmitted so much knowledge giving us the structure of the Veda, reciting the different types of mantras and telling stories about you and your teachers. You put so much pieces in a structured way together that the bigger picture of the Veda becomes clearer to me. I appreciate your knowledge and teaching style a lot. I look forward to future courses. Many greetings Olaf”
Sign up for our Free introduction
Study at your own pace, an introduction to Vedic chanting in our Lineage.