First words to come out of Gramaphone – Rig Veda!!!

Got this from someone – must-read…..Max Muller’s contribution to Vedas is something beyond comprehension….Kanchi Periyava, Sri Anantharama Dikshithar etc have praised him a lot for his work…



HMV Company had once published a pamphlet giving the history of gramophone record. Gramophone was invented by Thomas Alva Edison in the 19th century. Edison, who had invented many other gadgets like electric
light and the motion picture camera, had become a legend even in his own time.

When He invented the gramophone record, which could record human voice for posterity, he wanted to record the voice of an eminent scholar on his first piece. For that he chose Prof. Max Muller of Germany, another great personality of the 19th century. He wrote to Max Muller saying, “I want to meet you and record your voice. When should I come?” Max Muller who had great respect for Edison asked him to come on a suitable time when most of the scholars of the Europe would be gathering in England.

Accordingly, Edison took a ship and went to England. He was introduced to the audience. All cheered Edison’s presence. Later at the request of Edison, Max Muller came on the stage and spoke in front of the instrument. Then Edison went back to his laboratory and by afternoon came back with a disc. He played the gramophone disc from his instrument. The audience was thrilled to hear the voice of Max Muller from the instrument. They were glad that voices of great persons like Max Muller could be stored for the benefit of posterity.

After several rounds of applause and congratulations to Thomas Alva Edison, Max Muller came to the stage and addressed the scholars and asked them, “You heard my original voice in the morning. Then you heard the same voice coming out from this instrument in the afternoon. Did you understand what I said in the morning or what
you heard this afternoon?”

The audience fell silent because they could not understand the language in which Max Muller had spoken. It was `Greek and Latin’ to them as they say. But had it been Greek or Latin, they would have definitely understood because they were from various parts of Europe. It was in a language which the European scholars had never heard.

Max Muller then explained what he had spoken. He said that the language he spoke was Sanskrit and it was the first sloka of Rig Veda, which says “Agni Meele Purohitam.” This was the first recorded public version
on the gramophone plate.

Why did Max Muller choose this? Addressing the audience he said, “Vedas are the oldest text of the human race. And Agni Meele Purohitam is the first verse of Rig Veda. In the most primordial time, when the people
did not know how even to cover their bodies and lived by hunting and housed in caves, Indians had attained high civilization and they gave the world universal philosophies in the form of the Vedas.” Such is the illustrious legacy of our country!

When “Agni Meele Purohitam” was replayed the entire audience stood up in silence as a mark of respect for the ancient Hindu sages.

This verse means:

“Oh Agni, You who gleam in the darkness, To You we come day by day, with devotion and bearing homage. So be of easy access to us, Agni, as a father to his son, abide with us for our well being.”

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7 replies


  2. Hari Om,
    Very great is our tradition and so nice to hear the importance of our culture and heritage through the mouth of a foreigner in these days the material wealth plays a vital role and many forget the tradition and our vulture and paaramparyam takes the last place. This is the one which shows what we are losing.I also read that the chancellor of Germany read Gita daily and he is able to administer properly becuse of what is said in the Gita. Mahesh you are really excellent please continue in your journey of spiriituality.

  3. hi

    suspect this is an urban legend. better not to use e-mail fwds for this holy blog.


  4. Please read this.. amazing..

  5. Thrilled beyond words. Delighted and happy to know about Mahan Max Muller chose Rg Veda as first instrumental record.

    Excellent points Sri L Mohan. thanks.


  6. Thank you Mahesh… After reading Mahaperiyava’s “Guru Upadesam” book, every one will do the “Brima Yagyam” also, as a part of “Nitha Karmas” along with “Madyanigam”.

    Your information is highlighting more about the importance of “first veda” of “Sathur Vedham”.

    Once again, thanks for bringing out all such information. May the Mahaperiyava’s blessing be with you always. As you are giving such information, every brahmin will understand more about the imortance of nithya karma..This is also as a part of “Darma” and every brahmin by doing this, gets benefitted. By way of doing this, “Pancha Boothanals” are helping us. As a result, all jeevans are in the world, can survive peacefully. Hence, this is also the duty of every brahmin to do this nithya karma definitely, everyday. Credit entry will be posted in everyone “Soul Pass Book”, which is permanant. Poor or rich, this is only 5 mts.time to do this, and no need to spend money. Whatever, the mental situation, please try to follow and get benefitted and let others to get benefit. Also, bless me to continue to do at any situation. Vedam=Eshawar=Sankarar=Mahaperiyava

  7. Years back when I read the Biography of Maxmueller by NIrad Chaudhry,I read about this..was stunned beyond words.

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