are called the Vedas, or the Amnaya. The Hindus
have received their religion through revelation, the
Vedas. These are direct intuitional revelations and are
held to be Apaurusheya or entirely superhuman,
without any author in particular. The Veda is the
glorious pride of the Hindus, nay, of the whole world!
Veda comes from the root 'Vid', to know. The
word Veda means knowledge. When it is applied to
scripture, it signifies a book of knowledge. The Vedas
are the foundational scriptures of the Hindus. The Veda
is the source of the other five sets of scriptures, why,
even of the secular and the materialistic. The Veda is
the storehouse of Indian wisdom and is a memorable glory
which man can never forget till eternity.
are the eternal truths revealed by God to the great
ancient Rishis of India. The word Rishi means a
Seer, from dris, to see. He is the Mantra-Drashta,
seer of Mantra or thought. The thought was not his own.
The Rishis saw the truths or heard them. Therefore, the
Vedas are what are heard (Sruti). The Rishi did not
write. He did not create it out of his mind. He was the
seer of thought which existed already. He was only the
spiritual discoverer of the thought. He is not the
inventor of the Veda.
UNIQUE GLORY OF THE VEDAS
represent the spiritual experiences of the Rishis of
yore. The Rishi is only a medium or an agent to transmit
to people the intuitional experiences which he received.
The truths of the Vedas are revelations. All the other
religions of the world claim their authority as being
delivered by special messengers of God to certain
persons, but the Vedas do not owe their authority to any
one. They are themselves the authority as they are
eternal, as they are the Knowledge of the Lord.
Brahma, the Creator, imparted the divine knowledge to
the Rishis or Seers. The Rishis disseminated the
knowledge. The Vedic Rishis were great realised persons
who had direct intuitive perception of Brahman or the
Truth. They were inspired writers. They built a simple,
grand and perfect system of religion and philosophy from
which the founders and teachers of all other religions
have drawn their inspiration.
are the oldest books in the library of man. The truths
contained in all religions are derived from the Vedas
and are ultimately traceable to the Vedas. The Vedas are
the fountain-head of religion. The Vedas are the
ultimate source to which all religious knowledge can be
traced. Religion is of divine origin. It was revealed by
God to man in the earliest times. It is embodied in the
are eternal. They are without beginning and end. An
ignorant man, may say how a book can be without
beginning or end. By the Vedas, no books are meant.
Vedas came out of the breath of the Lord. They are not
the composition of any human mind. They were never
written, never created. They are eternal and impersonal.
The date of the Vedas has never been fixed. It can never
be fixed. Vedas are eternal spiritual truths. Vedas are
an embodiment of divine knowledge. The books may be
destroyed, but the knowledge cannot be destroyed.
Knowledge is eternal. In that sense, the Vedas are
OF THE VEDAS
is divided into four great books: the Rig-Veda, the
Yajur-Veda, the Sama-Veda and the Atharva-Veda. The
Yajur-Veda is again divided into two parts, the Sukla
and the Krishna. The Krishna or the Taittiriya is the
older book and the Sukla or the Vajasaneya is a later
revelation to sage Yajnavalkya from the resplendent
Rig-Veda is divided into twenty-one sections, the Yajur-Veda
into one hundred and nine sections, the Sama-Veda into
one thousand sections and the Atharva-Veda into fifty
sections. In all, the whole Veda is thus divided into
one thousand one hundred and eighty recensions.
consists of four parts: the Mantra-Samhitas or
hymns, the Brahmanas or explanations of Mantras
or rituals, the Aranyakas, and the Upanishads.
The division of the Vedas into four parts is to suit the
four stages in a man's life.
Mantra-Samhitas are hymns in praise of the Vedic God for
attaining material prosperity here and happiness
hereafter. They are metrical poems comprising prayers,
hymns and incantations addressed to various deities,
both subjective and objective. The Mantra portion of the
Vedas is useful for the Brahmacharins.
Rig-Veda Samhita is the grandest book of the Hindus, the
oldest and the best. It is the Great Indian Bible, which
no Hindu would forget to adore from the core of his
heart. Its style, the language and the tone are most
beautiful and mysterious. Its immortal Mantras embody
the greatest truths of existence, and it is perhaps the
greatest treasure in all the scriptural literature of
the world. Its priest is called the Hotri.
Samhita is mostly in prose and is meant to be used by
the Adhvaryu, the Yajur-Vedic priest, for
superfluous explanations of the rites in sacrifices,
supplementing the Rig-Vedic Mantras.
Sama-Veda Samhita is mostly borrowed from the Rig-Vedic
Samhita, and is meant to be sung by the Udgatri,
the Sama Vedic priest, in sacrifices.
Atharva-Veda Samhita is meant to be used by the Brahma,
the Atharva-Vedic priest, to correct the
mispronunciations and wrong performances that may
accidentally be committed by the other three priests of
Brahmana portions guide people to perform sacrificial
rites. They are prose explanations of the method of
using the Mantras in the Yajna or the sacrifice. The
Brahmana portion is suitable for the householders.
two Brahmanas to the Rig-Veda-the Aitareya and
the Sankhayana. "The Rig-Veda", says
Max Muller, "is the most ancient book of the world.
The sacred hymns of the Brahmanas stand unparalleled in
the literature of the whole world; and their
preservation might well be called miraculous."
Satapatha Brahmana belongs to the Sukla-Yajur-Veda. The
Krishna-Yajur-Veda has the Taittiriya and the Maitrayana
Brahmanas. The Tandya or Panchavimsa, the Shadvimsa, the
Chhandogya, the Adbhuta, the Arsheya and the Upanishad
Brahmanas belong to the Sama-Veda. The Brahmana of the
Atharva-Veda is called the Gopatha. Each of the
Brahmanas has got an Aranyaka.
Aranyakas are the forest books, the mystical sylvan
texts which give philosophical interpretations of the
rituals. The Aranyakas are intended for the Vanaprasthas
or hermits who prepare themselves for taking Sannyasa.
Upanishads are the most important portion of the Vedas.
The Upanishads contain the essence or the knowledge
portion of the Vedas. The philosophy of the Upanishads
is sublime, profound, lofty and soul-stirring. The
Upanishads speak of the identity of the individual soul
and the Supreme Soul. They reveal the most subtle and
deep spiritual truths. The Upanishads are useful for the
subject matter of the whole Veda is divided into Karma-
Kanda, Upasana-Kanda and Jnana-Kanda. The
Karma-Kanda or Ritualistic Section deals with various
sacrifices and rituals. The Upasana-Kanda or
Worship-Section deals with various kinds of worship or
meditation. The Jnana-Kanda or Knowledge-Section deals
with the highest knowledge of Nirguna Brahman. The
Mantras and the Brahmanas constitute Karma-Kanda; the
Aranyakas Upasana-Kanda; and the Upanishads Jnana-Kanda.
ESSENCE OF THE VEDAS
the spirit of the teachings of the Vedas. Learn to
discriminate between the permanent and the impermanent.
Behold the Self in all beings, in all objects. Names and
forms are illusory. Therefore sublate them. Feel that
there is nothing but the Self. Share what you
have,-physical, mental, moral or spiritual,-with all.
Serve the Self in all. Feel when you serve others, that
you are serving your own Self. Love thy neighbour as
thyself. Melt all illusory differences. Remove all
barriers that separate man from man. Mix with all.
Embrace all. Destroy the sex-idea and body-idea by
constantly thinking of the Self or the sexless, bodiless
Atman. Fix the mind on the Self when you work. This is
the essence of the teachings of the Vedas and sages of
yore. This is real, eternal life in Atman. Put these
things in practice in the daily battle of life. You will
shine as a dynamic Yogi or a Jivanmukta. There is no
doubt of this.
invites you to the Wonderful Spiritual World
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