Monday, 19 January 2015
What are the Vedas? Part -I
What are the Vedas? Part -I
Just as there is a visible and tangible universe before us (Drushya Jagat) - there is also an invisible intangible universe (sabda jagat). The knowledge and truth about this formless and eternal universe of 'sound' is what is contained in the Vedas. There were revealed to the holy sages of Bharat in the form of mantras. Hence, mantras are not composed or created, but realized and discovered in deep meditation. The Rishi to whom a particular mantra is attributed - is called a Drashta (literally one who saw). In deep samadhi state the Rishi withdraws his mind from his 5 senses and perceives the truth that is beyond senses - soul. All Bharatiya Vidya (Indian Sciences) were evolved from the Vedas that the Rishis brought to us through divine will. The word Rishi is explained in the Vedic dictionary (Nirukta) as 'Rushati Gacchati' - 'Traveller on the road to Truth' or ''one who experiences the truth beyond senses'.
The holy Vedas are of divine origin - hence referred to as 'Apourusheyam' (not by humans). The attempts to date them will not succeed as the lens we use to measure them are limited by time and space. The Vedas form the essence of creation and hence Vedic knowledge is knowledge about creation, sustenance and destruction - everything we ever need. It is an misnomer to think that Vedas deal with a bunch of moral codes. Since Vedas were used in the creation - everything about the Creator and Created are dealt with in the Vedas.
Brahma Rishi Veda Vyasa foresaw towards the end of the Dwapara Yuga that in the Age of Kali lesser minds will prevail - the minds less bound by parameters of Dharma, Satya, discipline, learning, lifespan etc. Hence, out of his own love and duty apart from the orders of Sri Krishna reorganized the Vedic knowledge into 4 branches - Rig, Yajus, Sama and Atharva. Hence, the Veda is essentially one - reorganized into 4. In the days that followed, more of this hoary knowledge and texts were lost than retained. Whatever is left of modern day Hinduism with all it's allied sciences and branches of knowledge is directly due to the work of two great re-organisors of all time - Rishi Veda Vyasa and Sri Sankhara Acharya. These are the noble souls every Hindu ought to remember the first thing in the morning.
Thus, the Vedas form the basis of Sanatana Dharma (or what later came to be called by westerners as Hindusim). Any Holy text will and shall have its origin in the eternal Vedic truths - if not, it is washed away gradually as did Jainism and Buddhism which went against basic Dharmic tenets of Yagya sanskruti and Swadharma. Taking the Vedas as their foundation the structures of Sruti, Smriti and Purana came about. Hence, the sloka says
"Sruti Smriti Puranaanam Aalayam Karunaalayam".
Hence, Vedic dictums are best understood in the light of other literature. The literature is understood when one looks beyond the literal meaning of Sanskrit words. This realization dawns when one leads a life prescribed in the Vedas!!