Category Archives: Vedic Religion

The Terminology of the Vedas and European Scholars – A Book Review by Vinita Arya

Introduction

In the previous article (The Works of Pandit Gurudutt Vidyarthi – A Book Review of “The Terminology of the Vedas” – Vinita Arya see this link http://aryamantavya.in/tag/pandit-gurudutt-vidyarthi/) we saw how the late great Pandit Gurudutt Vidyarthi brilliantly yet succinctly demolished the reputation of those European scholars who claimed that they alone possess the intellectual power to correctly interpret the Sanskrit language and the Vedas.

His revelation in that tract serves as a warning to innocent readers and as a means to educate them in the three types of methods used by scholars to interpret the Vedas; namely the mythological, antiquarian and contemporary, methods (see footnote 1 at the end of this article for a summary). Pandit ji also reveals the three types of words, the yaugika, rurhi and the yoga-rurhi which should be understood when discerning the correct derivation and meaning of a Vedic word (see foot note 2). His firm preference for the last method, the contemporary method and the correct yaugika definition of Vaidik words cannot be under emphasised as in this second more detailed study of the terminology of the Vedas Pandit ji’s choice of the contemporary method and yaugik definitions are central to what he believes is the “great controversy to rage between the East and the West concerning the supremacy of the (sic) Vedic Philosophy.”

For Pandit ji the subject of the correct interpretation of Sanskrit and the Vedas is of vital importance because it involves “issues of (such) great value”, and to ignore it would be to succumb in a cowardly fashion to the increasing hegemonic global dominance of Western powers and to the frighteningly “imperfect, defective and incomplete” scholarship of their Western intellectuals. Here Pandit ji alludes to European scholars such as Professor Max Muller and Professor Monier Williams whose intellectual prowess even the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer thought was “no better than the higher class of school boys “.

This fervent call by Pandit ji for all scholars to employ “truthfulness and honest integrity” from the depths of their souls in the “righteous pursuit and discernment of the TRUTH” in order to ensure present and future world peace was a remarkably prescient one. His urgent words were written on the verge of the twentieth century, a century which saw not only the most bloodiest of world wars between the German and British orientalist powers, (ironically over whose version of Aryan supremacy was the most legitimate where previously they had been co-conspirators in misinterpreting the Vedas), but also the rise and hardening of caste divisions on the Indian political and social scene due mostly to the deliberate misinterpretations of the Vedas and Manusmriti by vested interests.

In the nineteenth century Pandit ji’s foresight to warn his fellow humans of this terrible “future world” to come if our unprejudiced and impartial Vedic scholars, who are “thorough adepts in science and philosophy” are supplanted by prejudiced scholars possessing only quasi-knowledge and who are prone “to superstition, motive, predetermination and the suppression of the truth”, seems to have largely gone unheeded by the world but in particular by the descendants of the once illustrious and dharmic people of Aryavarta.

The reason for the failure of his fellow- Indian brethren to heed his desperate advice can be accredited he maintains to them having received the highest English education and being “entirely ignorant of Sanskrit”. Their ignorance is such that they too hold like their European Professors and masters “that the Vedas are books that teach idol-worship or element worship” and that “they contain no philosophical, moral or scientific truths of any great consequence, unless they be the commonest truisms of the kitchen”.

Pandit ji doesn’t despair totally however quoting Schopenhauer again he says that; “In India, our religion (Bible) will now and never strike root; the primitive wisdom of the human race will never be pushed aside by the events of Galilee. On the contrary, Indian wisdom will flow back upon Europe, and produce a thorough change in our knowing and thinking”. These are fine words but what gives Pandit ji the confidence to predict not only the eventual failure of Christianity in India, but also in Europe from where it had originated?

It comes down to his knowledge of the works of Sayana, the great grammarian from which European scholars draw their knowledge when misinterpreting the Vedas. Pandit ji regards Sayana’s interpretations as being so diseased and unworthy of emulation that “whatsoever the value of the efforts of modern (European) scholars, their comparative philology, and their new interpretations … their so-called marvelous achievements cannot but be diseased.” He predicts that “sooner or later, the disease will develop its final symptoms and sap the foundation of the very vitality it seemed to produce. No branch of a tree can live or flourish when separated from the living stock. No interpretations of the Vedas will, in the end, ever succeed unless they are in accord with the living sense of the Vedas in the Nirukta and the Brahmanas”.

In this article therefore, some of the key examples which Pandit ji gives of such flawed diseased learning and how they are to be greatly contrasted with actual accurate interpretations of the Ved will be explained. It is sincerely hoped that the reader will be inspired by the incredible effort and depth of scholarship undertaken by Pandit ji to expose the many contradictions in the scholarship of European scholars and that he/she will in the future undertake the same effort and scholarship to take on and defeat modern “Sanskrit scholars” who are still rather worryingly determined to bring the reputation of the Vedas into shocking disrepute for their own selfish gain.

 

The Terminology of the Vedas and European Scholars – a detailed analysis

In this thirty one page piece Pandit ji focusses his criticisms on the works of two European scholars who collaborated very closely with each other throughout their professional lives; the German, Professor Max Muller and his British mentor and benefactor Professor Monier Monier-Williams. Why a strong intellectual bond and purpose between the two developed is truly worthy of another article itself however the main aim of these scholars appears to have been to distort and besmirch the reputation of the Vedas. The main reason behind their actions put succinctly was so that only Christianity, and its patron, the British Empire would flourish in India and not Vaidik Dharma and independent indigenous rule.

Pandit ji, a keen follower of Maharishi Dayanand’s liberating Vaidik mission to educate the masses, would have witnessed the usage of arguments concocted by Muller and Monier Williams by Christian missionaries in his native Punjab. These desperate men and women used such flawed Christian logic to counter the growing influence of Maharishi Dayanand, that for real Vaidik scholars like Pandit ji it became easy to call them out for it. Pandit ji however fearing for those who did not have his knowledge wrote this tract in order to warn his countrymen not to succumb naively to their fierce but deceptive proselytization.

In his second more detailed analysis of the major European Sanskrit scholars he commences his criticism by referring to Muller’s prejudiced denunciation of Schopenhauer for praising the Upanishads. Pandit ji quotes Muller as saying that the Upanishads have a “dark side” in contrast with the “bright rays of eternal truths in the Gospel”. Offering no evidence of this so-called dark side, Muller merely states that Indians ought not to study the empty idolatry and subjective worship of nature as devised by their wily priesthood but like Ram Mohan Roy of the Brahmo Samaj be “quick enough to perceive” that the true mission of their race was not to participate “in the political struggles of the world” or to expend “its energies in the exploits of war and the formation of empire” but “to concentrate all its powers for the fulfilment of the important mission reserved to it in the history of the East”. This mission he reveals is to become worthy after “gradual education in the fullness of time” to be “admitted to the truths of Christianity” which the religion of the Buddha “has served to prepare the way of Christ”.

Such blatant partisanship, designed to prevent the subjugated people of India from throwing off the yoke of colonialism and Christianity can be also seen in Monier Williams’ book – “Indian Wisdom”. The aim of this book Pandit ji strongly asserts “is to caricature the Vedic religion” by calling it “Brahmanism” and “to hoist up Christianity by the meritorious process of deliberate contrasts”. One such contrast concerns the differing aims of Christianity and “Brahmanism”. The Bible, Monier Williams maintains, regards man as being created in the image of God, but his nature having become corrupt through a taint, derived from the fall of Adam, the first representative man and the parent of the human race means that this taint can only be removed by “a vicarious death”.  This vicarious death must be undergone by “the second representative man – Christ – whose nature was divine and taintless, (who) voluntarily underwent a sinner‘s death, (so) that the taint of the old corrupted nature transferred to him might die also”.  Christ’s death however is not the central tenet of this religion but “that He rose again and lives eternally, (so) that He may bestow life for death and a participation in His own divine nature in place of the taint He has removed”.

Although Christianity is revealed here to be a very intricate, or rather confusing philosophy, Monier Williams still regards Christianity and not “Brahmanism” as being markedly superior to all other religions. He asserts that Christianity alone has “a personal God ever living to supply the free grace or regenerating spirit by which human nature is re-created and again made God-like”. While lowly “Brahmanism” whose various personal “Hindu gods melt away, on closer scrutiny, into a vague spiritual essence” and whose “personal manifestations of the Supreme Being ultimately merge in the Oneness of the Infinite”, is less attractive to the seeker seeking personal salvation Monier Williams maintains. So as to preempt any scepticism however towards his pompous proclamations of superiority he quickly adds after this that it is of course immaterial that European Christians themselves may have “lamentably fallen from its true standard” or that there exists in Europe “nominal adherents” who have disgraced the religion through “their inconsistencies and shortcomings”. What is however of utmost importance for the whole human race to acknowledge, is the esteemed Oxford Professor says, that it is only Christianity that has “the message of salvation intended by God to be gradually pressed upon the acceptance of all His intelligent creatures”.

Such arrogance, Pandit ji says has inevitably led these alleged scholars to become utterly blind to the truth. He laments their “entire ignorance of the laws of interpretation of Vedic terms” and that of modern philologists. Fed by Christian prejudices he views them as illiterates. An erudite person, fit to interpret the Vedas he establishes earlier on in his tract would be someone who is a complete master of the science of morals, poetry, geology and astronomy and well-versed in the philosophy of dharma, and characteristics, essential existences, yoga and Vedanta and the doctrines of logic or the science of evidence. In fact s/he would be “a master of all these and much more before he can lay claim to a rational interpretation of the Vedas”, Pandit ji in his ensuing analysis proves that he is such a master by the depth, quality and extensiveness of his research. Opening his introduction to the topic of the kind of words used in the Vedas, he refers to “the fourth section of the first chapter of Nirukta which opens with a discussion of this very subject, in which Yaska, Gargya, Shakatayana and all other Grammarians and Etymologists unanimously maintain that Vedic terms are all yaugika”. He briefly tells us before explaining the agreed rule, that there was at first a mild disagreement between the grammarians Yaska and Shakatayana with Gargya as the latter “maintains that only the rurhi terms are not yaugika”. However when that mistaken opinion has been effectively refuted by the other two it becomes accepted from then onwards that despite the fact that rurhi words emanate from yaugika roots, they are only laukika and never Vedic in nature as “all the Rishis and Munis, ancient authors and commentators without exception, regard all Vedic terms to be yaugika”.

The unhappy consequence of European scholars’ failure to respect that all Vedic terms are yaugika has been that arena of Sanskrit learning has become flooded by “their (erroneous) interpretations of the Vedas with forged or borrowed tales of mythology, with stories and anecdotes of historic or pre-historic personages”. To prove this point Pandit ji presents Dr Muir’s quite fantastical renderings of the Rig Ved mantras as evidence of this. According to Muir, the following historical personages are mentioned in the Rig Veda; the Rishis Kanvas, in 1. 47. 2; Gotamas, in 1. 71. 16.; Gritsamadas, in 2. 39. 8; Bhrigavas, in 4. 16. 23; and Vrihaduktha, in 10. 54. 6. Pandit ji being a serious student of Maharishi Dayanand and being aware that the cardinal rule for determining the legitimacy of any rendering of any Vedic mantra, is that it should lack any reference to any historical persons, geographical places, actual rivers, mountains, gods or goddesses etc. demolishes such conceits straightaway by providing the correct definitions of these words from Nighantu. “The words Kanva and Gritsa he reveals only signify learned men in general (see Nighantu iii. 13); the word Bhrigavah only signifies men of intellect (see Nighantu, v. 5). The word Gotama signifies one who praises; and Vrihaduktha is simply one whose ukthas, or knowledge of natural properties of objects, is vrihat or complete” he states. He also then goes on in two simple lines to destroy Max Muller’s assertion that the Rig Ved contains the story of a person called Shunah-shepa. Pandit ji explains frankly that Shepa according to Nirukta means contact and as it is suffixed to shunah or shvan, which means knowledge, the term shunah-shepa can then only mean one who has come into contact with knowledge i.e., a learned person but it does not mean a specific actual person.

The simplicity of Pandit ji’s answer here points to the truthfulness of his statement that all Vedic words are yaugika. Surprisingly even Max Muller agrees with him as he is quoted as saying that “every word (in the Vedas) retains something of its radical meaning; every epithet tells; every thought, in spite of the most intricate and abrupt expressions, is, if we once disentangle it, true, correct, and complete”. He also says that “names . . . are to be found in the Vedas, as it were, in a still fluid state. They never appear as appellatives, nor yet as proper names; they are organic, not yet broken or smoothed down”. However Muller, true to his Christian calling distorts this acknowledgement of the truth by claiming that words in only certain portions of the Vedas are yaugika. That is to say that they are only so in the “primitive strains” of the Vedas’ initial chhandas period. He denies that they are yaugik in what he calls the secondary, mantra period. The Vedic “hymns in the first chhandas period, according to him “contain “no very deep wisdom in their teaching” and in it only common things are taught, which are free from the flights of fancy.

Rig Ved 7.77 epitomises he believes the spontaneous utterances of the simple (foolish) minds of the chhandas period. In this mantra (or “hymn” as Muller prefers to call it) the prayer which is “addressed to (the) Dawn … has no reference to any special sacrifice, it contains no technical expressions, (and) it can hardly be called a hymn, in our sense of the word. It is simply a poem, expressing without any effort, without any display of far-fetched thought or brilliant imagery, the feelings of a man who has watched the approach of the dawn with mingled delight and awe, and who was moved to give utterance to what he felt in measured language”. The later Mantra period in contrast he maintains is full of technicalities and elaborate ceremonies although Muller provides no proof to back up his claim.

Muller’s simplistic designations and descriptions Pandit ji believes have been made out of both ignorance and petty prejudice. In his view Muller firstly has applied the laukik Sanskrit interpretation of the word chhandas meaning “spontaneity” to incorrectly signify the content and nature of the mantras. He should have in fact heeded Yaska’s instructions which say that “there is no difference in the meaning of mantra and chhandas”. All the Vedic mantras without exception according to Yaska are called both mantra and chhandas, because through its mantras “one learns the true knowledge of all existences” and because the Vedas are by their very nature chhandas that which produces “delight or which illumines everything, i.e. reveals its true nature”. These explanations derived also from Panini and the Shatpatha Brahman’s yaugika interpretation contain no references whatsoever to the “spontaneity” described by Muller in his interpretation. Furthermore Pandit ji attributes Muller’s faulty understanding of Vedic words to his adoption of Sayana and Mahidhara’s method of looking at them in only their rurhi sense. “It is clear then”, Pandit ji says that “if Max Muller had kept in view the canon of interpretation given in Nirukta that all Vedic words are yaugika, he would not have fallen into the fallacious anachronism of assigning different periods to different parts of the Vedas”.

If European scholars of Pandit ji’s time had sincerely and consistently adopted the yaugik sense of words when interpreting the Vedas then it would have indeed been a very significant step on their part. However if they had also removed their entrenched Christian prejudice towards the Vedas altogether that Pandit ji concludes would have been an equally important step. Removing Christian prejudices from their minds would mean no longer viewing the Vedas as being books of primitive times which consist of emotional savages offering vengeful or propitious prayers addressed to the forces of nature. Or, believing that the Vedas sometimes contain hymns of poetic exaltation, simply portraying the simple phenomena of nature in the personified language of mythology. It would mean finally accepting that throughout the Vedas, Darshans and Upanishads the higher truths of philosophy and monotheism which contain a firm conviction in the uniformity of nature, exist consistently (and not intermittently as Muller would have us believe).

The biggest mental stumbling block however faced by such scholars to achieving this, Pandit ji says is the Christian Holy Book; The Bible. Blind allegiance to the Bible and all the systems that depend on it has it seems rendered these European scholars, on the whole, unfit to comprehend that disinterested, neutral literature, in the form of the Vedas, Darshanas, Upanishads can exist without it being the product of political or religious revolutions or controversies. Determined to undermine the antiquity and eternal universal authority of the Vedas and Vedic literature, ingenious strategies have been employed by such shameless scholars as the English Orientalist Frederick Pincott who asserts, with no proof that “the old Brahmans were superstitious, dogmatic believers in the revelation of the Vedas. When Buddhism spread like wild fire, they thought of shielding their religion by mighty arguments and hence produced the darshana literature”.

If only these Christian scholars were to just admit, Pandit ji says that the most certain date in Indian history that of the Mahabharata war actually took place (at Pandit ji’s time of writing) about 4,900 years ago and that the Darshanas, and their compilers Jaimini, Vyasa, Patanjali, Gautama, Kanada and Kapila therefore, existed at least 4,900 years ago, centuries before even the first word of Buddhism was uttered in India and that even the great Shankara, a great commentator on the Vyasa sutras, who waged a manly war against Buddhism or Jainism, preached nearly 2,200 years, it would be a very important step in the right direction. Although as Pandit ji himself acknowledges, to do so would put the whole Biblical account of creation completely into question. It would also totally negate the ridiculous assumption adopted to save the face of the Bible that the Brahmins only began to make their faith seriously philosophical in the Darshanas “after the great shock which the spread of Buddhism gave to the old Indian form of faith”.

Removal of Christian prejudice in its totality however could not happen Pandit ji admits without the complete discrediting and discarding of the mythological commentaries of Sayana and Mahidhara. If these commentaries were nonexistent he contends “it would have been impossible for them (European scholars), from the mere grounds of comparative mythology or Sanskrit philology, to alight on such interpretations of the Vedas”. A typical example of the kind of misleading laukik and therefore non-yaugik interpretation of the Vedas of Sayana’s from which European scholars have drawn much erroneous inspiration, Pandit ji notes is a mantra from Rigved 9.96:

brahmā devānāṃ padavīḥ kavīnāṃ ṛṣirviprāṇāṃ mahiṣomṛghāṇām

śyeno ghṛdhrāṇāṃ svadhitirvanānāṃ somaḥ pavitramatyeti rebhan

Sayana translates this mantras thus; “God himself appears as Brahma among the gods, Indra, Agni, &c: He appears as a poet among the dramatists and writers of lyrics; He appears as Vashishtha, &c. among the Brahmanas ; He appears as a buffalo among quadrupeds ; He appears as an eagle among birds ; He appears as an axe in the forest ; He appears as the soma-juice purified by mantras excelling in its power of purification the sacred waters of the Ganges”.

Pandit ji tears this defective rendition of this particular Rigveda mantra completely apart. What is supposed to explain the central conscious being that enjoys all experience; the human spirit instead ends up explaining a God in non-Vedic pantheistic terms where everything is God. It panders to the popular prejudices and feelings of the time which were so superstitious “that the waters of the Ganges were regarded as sacred; incarnations were believed in and the worship of Brahma, Vasishtha and other rishis was at its acme”. Sayana’s non-scientific urban translation Pandit ji concludes does not mirror the universal and eternal sense of the Vedas but that of his own age. “His interpretation of brahma, kavi, deva, rishi, vipra, mahisha, mriga, shyena, gridhra, vana, soma, pavitra of all these words, without one exception, is purely rurhi or laukika”.

Yaska, the great author of Nirukta, contrastingly renders a faithful and accurate translation of this mantra as he attaches the yaugik and not the laukik sense of the mantra. So in the hands of Yaska, Sayana’s description of a pantheistic God drenched in superstition becomes a consistent and intelligible account of the experiences of the Atma, the human spirit. In Nirukta, xiv. 13 he says of this Rig Ved mantra;

“The external world as revealed by the senses finds its purpose and object, and, therefore, absorption, in this central being. The indriyas or the senses are called the devas, because they have their play in the ex- ternal phenomenal world, and because it is by them that the external world is revealed to us. Hence Atma, the human spirit, is the brahma devanam, the conscious entity that presents to its consciousness all that the senses reveal. Similarly, the senses are called the kavayas, because one learns by their means. The Atma, then, is padavi kavinam or the true sentient being that understands the working of the senses. Further, the Atma is rishir vipranam, the cognizor of sensations; vipra meaning the senses as the feelings excited by them pervade the whole body. The senses are also called the mrigas, for they hunt about their proper aliment in the external world. Atma is mahisho mriganam, i.e., the greatest of all the hunters. The meaning is that it is really through the power of Atma that the senses are enabled to find out their proper objects. The Atma is called shyena, as to it belongs the power of realization; and gridhras are the indriyas, for they provide the material for such realization. The Atma, then, pervades these senses. Further, this Atma, is swadhitir vananam, or the master whom all indriyas serve. Swadhiti means Atma, for the activity of Atma is all for itself, man being an end unto himself. The senses are called vana, for they serve their master, the human spirit. It is this Atma that, being pure in its nature, enjoys all”

The universality of application of Yaska’s translation which goes beyond all boundaries of time and space is attributed to its simplicity, naturalness and truthfulness of meaning in stark contrast to Sayana’s artificial translation which is a product of its degraded times. The true message of the Vedas Pandit ji strongly maintains therefore can only shine if the words of the texts of that living Vedic religion are interpreted strictly in their yaugika Vedic sense by all scholars Indian and non-Indian alike, without the distortion of later puranas and allied commentaries as these texts are but “a rotten remnant of the old philosophical living religion of the Vedas”.

Pandit ji accepts that such a change in thinking would indeed be remarkable. Judging by his experiences with such European scholars as Muller and Pincott he doesn’t hold much hope. While Muller recognizes that mythology is actually the degeneration of truth and that the ancients of India, Greece and Rome did indeed give the same object one name after the other in a yaugika fashion, he also unfortunately renders such “polynomy” as evidence of polytheism in the Vedic religion. Pincott on the other hand while admitting that modern day Sanskrit commentators are ignorant and that the Puranas are very modern productions cannot quite bring himself to discard the firm belief that the Rig Ved “abounds in mythological matter”.

Taking firstly Muller’s accusation that the Vedas are polytheistic Pandit ji devotes a considerable amount of space in the latter part of his critique to debunking this theory. He presents at the outset the lies which pious Christian missionaries and yet more pious Christian philologists propagate by quoting one of them as saying; “Monotheism is a belief in the existence of one God only, polytheism is a belief in the plurality of gods, (so) If we must employ technical terms, the religion of the Veda is polytheism, not monotheism”. The 27th hymn of the 1st Ashtaka of the Rigveda is provided as evidence of this as according to this particular Christian Sanskrit scholar it says: “veneration to the great gods, veneration to the lesser, veneration to the young, veneration to the old we worship the gods as well as we are able: may I not omit the praise of the older Divinities;” This translation leads this pious Christian to conclude that the religion of the Vedas are pantheism and polytheism combined and that “monotheism, in the strict sense of the word, is not found in Hinduism.”

Pandit ji uncovers further evidence of such bias by highlighting Muller’s laughable translation of a very famous Vedic mantras from the Yajurved. In Yajurved 13.4 it is said Hiranyagarbha samavartatagre bhutasya jatah patireka asita. Sa dadhara prithivim dyamutemam kasmai devaya havisha vidhema. “Hiryanyagarbha” is translated by Muller as “golden germ” which Pandit ji maintains has been done deliberately so that the true meaning “God in whom the whole luminous universe resides in a potential state” can be hidden. Not only does the author not want the reader to comprehend the Vedas’ monotheism here, but also Pandit ji says sardonically so that “someday, not in the very remote future, these Christians will discover that the golden germ means conceived by the Holy Ghost”. And where Muller does make some allusion to a monotheistic God in the case of the words “jatah patireka”, which Muller translates as “the one born Lord of all this”, Pandit ji being fully aware of the devices used by Christian missionaries to fool the gullible forewarns of “one of those future happy days, (when) this mantra of the Veda will be quoted as an emblematic of a prophecy in the dark distant past, of the advent of a Christ whom the ancients knew not”.

He stridently then provides three very clear proofs of monotheism in the Vedas; firstly from Yajurved 13.4 itself Pandit ji provides a very different translation than Muller;

“God existed in the beginning of creation, the only Lord of the unborn universe. He is the Eternal Bliss whom we should praise and adore”.

From Yajurved 17.19 in which it is said;

viśvataś cakṣur uta viśvato-mukho viśvato-bāhur uta viśvatas-pāt saṃ

bāhubhyāṃ dhamati sampatatrair dyāv-ābhūmī janayan deva ekaḥ

“Being all-vision, all-power, all-motion in Himself, He sustains with His power the whole universe, Himself being One alone”.

And finally Atharvaved 13.4.16-21 which states that;

na dvitiyo na tritiyash-chaturtho napyuchyate … sa esha eka eka vrideka eva

sarve asmin deva ekavrito bhavanti

“There are neither two gods, nor three, nor four…nor ten. He is one and only one and pervades the whole universe, All other things live, move and have their being in Him”.

Despite providing such a strident proofs of monotheism in the Vedas Pandit ji was nevertheless aware of the kind of elaborate theories critics could create to explain away such evidence. “Henotheism” was one such ingenious invention devised to counter a monotheistic interpretation of the Vedas. Muller who invented “henotheism” labelled Vedic Dharma as “henotheistic” because he believed that unlike polytheistic religions which “recognize the existence of various deities or names of deities (and therefore are polytheistic), they (henotheistic religions) represent each deity as independent of all the rest, as the only deity present in the mind of the worshipper at the time of his worship and prayer”. So according to Muller the Vedas could never be hymns to one God but to always to various gods, but just not all at the same time. This is because “according to the varying aspects of nature, and the varying cravings of human heart, it is sometimes Indra, the god of the blue sky, sometimes Agni, the god of fire, sometimes Varuna, the ancient god of the firmament, who are praised as supreme without any suspicion of rivalry, or any idea of subordination.” This alternating focus, in his view is why the Vedas are henotheistic and not monotheistic. Muller ends by justifying his choice of the word “henotheism” by saying that ” “this peculiar phase of religion, this worship of single gods, forms probably everywhere (in) the first stage in the growth of polytheism, and, deserves, therefore, a separate name”. Muller’s subsequent henotheistic interpretations of “agni” and “indra” quoted by Pandit ji show Muller’s shameful attempt to establish the existence of Vedic gods or devatas where it has never existed before. He calls Agni, “the lord of fire”, who when addressed by the poet, is spoken of as the first god, not inferior even to Indra. When Agni is invoked, he says Indra is forgotten; but there is no competition between the two nor any rivalry between them and other gods. This Muller says “is a most important feature in the religion of the Veda,” and proudly proclaims that before his scholarship “it has never been taken into consideration by those who have written on the history of ancient polytheism”.

Pandit ji rightly deduces from Muller’s pompous analysis that his sole aim in creating “henotheism” is to make Indians wrongly believe that the worship of multiple devatas was and is an essential feature of Vedic worship. By uprooting the Indian nation from its “instinctive monotheism”, Pandit ji believes, Muller hopes to make the people of India “fall down to an acquired belief in henotheism” which would further weaken its resolve to fight for self-determination and for self-realisation. He confronts Muller’s malicious disinformation strategy head on by saying that “the Vedas, the sacred books of the primitive Aryans, are the purest record of the highest form of monotheism possible to conceive. Scholars cannot long continue to misconstrue the Vedas, and ignore the laws of their interpretation”. And in proving this he quotes Yaska’s Nirukta numerous times to reject this theory. In Nirukta 1.2 it is stated that “whenever the process of an art is described, the mantra that completely describes that process is called the devata (or the index) of that process. More succinctly in Nirukta 7.1 “devata” is defined as a general term applied to those substances whose attributes are explained in a mantra. It may also denote Yaska says in Nirukta 7.4 1 a noble person: “learned men, parents, and atithis, (those guest-missionaries who have no fixed residence, but wander about from place to place benefiting the world by their religious instructions), are regarded as devatas or called by the names of devatas”. Furthermore quoting Nirukta 7.15 he says these processes, attributes, learned people all have the qualities to illuminate as Yaska says that “whatsoever or whosoever is capable of conferring some advantage upon us, capable of illuminating things, or capable of explaining them to us, and lastly, the Light of all lights, these are the fit objects to be called devatas”. And finally to dispel any notion that this illuminating quality refers to a god of illumination “agni” as professed by Muller Pandit ji cites Yajurved 23.17; which says “I present to your consideration agni which is the fruitful source of worldly enjoyments, which is capable of working as though it were a messenger, and is endowed with the property of preparing all our foods. Hear ye, and do the same”. In doing so he clearly points out that agni is only the expression of the one and only Omniscient God’s properties. It is “agni” therefore which forms the subject matter of this mantra and is its devata, and not any imaginary, mythological “god of fire”.

The devatas, or the substances, the properties which Yaska says can form the subject matter of any Vedic mantra are he explains all the things “that can form the subject of human knowledge”. He groups this infinite mass into thirty three devatas in accordance with authorities from such mantras as Yajurved 14.31 and Atharva Ved 10.22. 4-27 which state that “the Lord of all, the Ruler of the universe, the Sustainer of all, holds all things by 33 devatas”, and that “the knowers of true theology recognize the 33 devatas performing their proper organic functions, as existing in and by Him, the One and Only”. These thirty three devatas are in fact according to the Shatpatha Brahman the eight vasus, eleven rudras, twelve adityas, one indra and one prajapati. which manifest the glory of God. “The eight vasus” Pandit ji quotes directly from the Shatpatha Brahman are“1. heated cosmic bodies, 2. planets, 3. atmospheres, 4. super terrestrial spaces, 5. suns, 6. rays of ethereal space, 7. satellites, 8 stars. These are called vasus (abodes), for, the whole group of existences resides in them, viz., they are the abode of all that lives, loves, or exists. The eleven rudras are the ten pranas (nervauric forces) enlivening the human frame, and the eleventh is atma (the human spirit). These are called the rudras (from root rud to weep) because when they desert the body it becomes dead, and the relations of the dead, in consequence of this desertion, begin to weep. The twelve adityas are the twelve solar months, marking the course of time. They are called adityas as, by their cyclic motion, they produce twelve adityas are the twelve solar months, marking the course of change in all, objects, and hence the lapse of the term of existence for each object. Aditya means that which causes such a lapse. Indra is the all-pervading electricity or force. Prajapati is yajna (an active voluntary association of objects on the part of man, for the purposes of art, or association with other men for purposes of teaching or learning). It also means Pushus (the useful animals). Yajna and useful animals are called prajapati, as it is by such actions and by such animals that the world at large derives its materials of sustenance”.

The thirty three devatas enumerated above clearly pass the six tests which Pandit ji says that they must pass in order to be classified as genuine devatas. Devised by true scientists and natural philosophers these tests concern time, locality, force, human spirit, deliberate activities and vital activities. The twelve adityas, or the twelve months, satisfy the criteria of time in that its twelve solar months mark the course of time over the months and corresponding seasons which succeed each other, one after the other. The eight vasus or eight abodes fulfil the locality criteria as they enable the twelve months to exist and occur. Electricity being all pervading and therefore capable of modifying and creating effects easily passes the force test as force by its nature is the modification within matter which creates effects. Subjective knowledge possessed by the atma, the ego is the domain of the fourth test; the human spirit. Prajapati in the form of yajna and pashus (useful animals) conform to the deliberate activities part of the test, as both man and beast perform voluntary, self-conscious deliberate actions for the benefit of the world at large. Lastly, involuntary, passive modifications caused by ten of the eleven rudras known as the pranas or nervauric forces are identified as vital activities. These bodily functions are overseen by the eleventh rudra; the human spirit or the atma.

Pandit ji takes great pains to explain the correct yaugik interpretation of these devatas which form the subject matter of all mantras in the Vedas. He does this so as to disassociate them from the misleading laukik translations of European scholars such as Muller. One such mantra from Rig Veda 1.162. 1 concerns the devata – asva. This mantra is as follows:

mā no mitro varuṇo aryamāyurindra ṛbhukṣā marutaḥ parikhyan

yad vājino devajatasya sapteḥ pravakṣyāmo vidathe vīryāṇi

Muller in his ignorance translates the mantra as saying – “May Mitra, Varuna, Aryaman, Ayu, Indra, the Lord the Ribhus, and the Maruts not rebuke us, because we shall proclaim at the sacrifice the virtues of the swift horse sprung from the gods.” Here Pandit ji derides Muller’s evocation of an imaginary polytheistic pantheon of Vedic gods who are according to his translation are so unhappy at hearing the virtues of the swift horse being proclaimed at the sacrifice that they rebuke the poet of this mantra! He challenges Muller to prove the validity of his position, saying that he will not be able to as “even the most diseased conception of a savage shrinks from such a superstition as the “swift horse sprung from the gods”. Both Muller’s translations and the false “horse sacrifice” ashwamedha concept in the so called Puranas originate from what Pandit ji asserts is a total ignorance of the dialectic laws of the Vedas, “when words having a yaugika sense are taken for proper nouns, and an imaginary mythology (is) started”.

Muller he reveals has taken the words, “mitra”, “varuna,”, “aryama”, “ayu”, “indra”, “ribhus”, “maruts” to be proper nouns and ignoring their yaugika sense he has carelessly translated them to mean the “god of the day”, “god of the investing sky”, “the god of death”, “god of the wind”, “god of the watery atmosphere”, “celestial artists” and “storm gods” respectively. If the yaugika sense was respected then Muller would have known the literal translations of these words that mitra means a friend; varuna, a man of noble qualities ; aryama, a judge or an administrator of justice; ayu, a learned man ; indra, a governor ; ribhuksha, a wise man ; marutahs, those who practically observe the laws of seasons. Regarding the word “asva” it does not only mean horse as Muller maintains but it also means the group of three forces heat, electricity and magnetism or in fact anything that can be carried through a distance. For the last point, he quotes Maharishi Dayanand’s Rig Ved bhashyam to explain that “ashva vidya” means “the science of training horses and the science of heat which pervades everywhere in the shape of electricity. The Shathpath Brahman also states clearly that ashwa like an “animal of conveyance” has “distance-carrying properties”.  Moreover the word “devajata” which Muller translates as “sprung from the gods” because the popular laukika sense of the word dev means god, is actually revealed to mean both “brilliant qualities” and “learned men”. While the word “virya” has a very dynamic actual definition of “power-generating virtues” rather than the rather flat signification of “virtues” offered by Muller in his translation. All these authorities collectively support Pandit ji’s final translation of Rig Ved 162.1 which is that “we will describe the power-generating virtues of the energetic horses endowed with brilliant properties, or the virtues of the vigorous force of heat which learned or scientific men can evoke to work for purposes of appliances (not sacrifice). Let not philanthropists, noble men, judges, learned men, rulers, wise men and practical mechanics ever disregard these properties.” When compared to Muller’s ignorant and prejudiced translation which ruthlessly sidelines the actual devata of the mantra: ashva – the forces of heat, in favour of pure fantasy, Pandit ji’s sincere and simple yaugika based interpretation allows the science in the Vedas to shine through.

The proper yaugik interpretation of words in the Vedic mantras however uncovers not only their real scientific meaning but also how and by whom the devatas, the subject matter of the mantras ought to be used by in an ethical manner. In the mantra above for example Paramatma teaches us about the forces of heat and which persons are qualified to evoke and use them. “Scientific men” we learn, study these forces, do research on them and create appliances for the benefit of human advancement. Facilitating them in these noble endeavours are the philanthropists, noble men, judges, learned men, rulers, wise men and practical mechanics, who are cautioned by God never to disregard their properties as to do so would inhibit the progress of society. Similarly in Rig Ved 162.2 (yan nirṇijā rekṇasā prāvṛtasya ratiṃ ghṛbhītāṃ mukhato nayanti, supranajo memyad viśvarūpa indrāpūṣṇoḥ priyamapyeti pāthaḥ) Pandit ji notes, God clearly states that the right to govern (to “drink the potion of strength and of power to govern”) should only be given to those “who preach that only wealth earned by righteous means should be appropriated and spent, and (to) those born of wisdom, who are well-versed in questioning others elegantly, in the science of forms and in correcting the unwise.” Like the previous mantra which concerns ashva vidya, God is clear that the right to govern “should be practiced only by those who are possessed of righteous means, are wise, and have the capacity to govern and control.” These learned men and women being suitably qualified morally and intellectually are the only ones trusted to handle the devatas, the subject matter of the Vedas, as they are themselves by their very virtuous nature, devatas, illuminating and enlightening persons. When this profound wisdom is contrasted with Max Muller’s senseless translation of the same mantra, one can only feel sorry for the naive reader who only knows and therefore only trusts the latter. Muller’s translation makes no mention of “righteous wealth”, those “men born in wisdom”, “who have an idea of all forms”, who are “able enough to put questions elegantly” and have the right to “strength” and the “power to govern”. Instead we get a mythological version which makes a mockery of the original. His version reads; “when they load before the horse, which is decked with pure gold ornaments, the offering, firmly grasped, the spotted goat bleats while walking onwards; it goes the path beloved by Indra and Pushan.” Pandit ji in analysing such a ridiculous interpretation counts nine words that have been wrongly translated by Muller and says that this all due to the yaugika sense of the words being ignored and “the rurhi or the laukika sense being everywhere forced in the translation.”

Pandit ji pithily says in the closing stages of his study, in clear censure of Muller, Pincott and their kind that “it is clear from the above quotation, that religious teachers, parents and learned men, these alone, or the like, were called devatas and no others, in Yaska’s time. Had Yaska known of any such idolatry or henotheism or devata worship, which superstitious Hindus are so fond of, and which Professor Max Muller is so intent to find in the Vedas, or had any such worship prevailed in his time, even though he himself did not share in this worship, it is impossible that he should not have made any mention of it at all, especially when speaking of the common practice among men in general”. Quite clearly judging by the analysis of European scholars of the Vedas and Sanskrit, they were either totally unaware of this fact about Yaska or too blinded by Christian prejudice to truly acknowledge and preach it.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion what is made abundantly clear in Pandit ji’s analysis is that in order to understand the dual scientific and moral purpose of the Vedic mantras one must understand the devata, the subject matter of the mantra in question. In order to understand the correct significance of the devata of any Ved mantra, Pandit ji’s implores us to ignore the misleading mythological, antiquarian and rurhi word based methods of interpretation emanating from the mischievous Sayana centred ramblings of modern European “scholars” such Muller, Monier Williams and Pincott. Rather he requests that we fully understand and embrace the interpretation of those Vedic scholars, who use the more accurate contemporary yaugik words based method of interpretation of the Vedas, and who consult the works of great grammarians like Yaska so as to reveal the true eternal universal message of God.  If we follow the latter’s analysis, then Pandit ji says there can be no doubt that we will come to see that “element worship, or nature worship, is not only foreign to the Vedas and the ages of Yaska and Panini and Vedic rishis and munis, but that idolatry and its parent mythology, at least in so far as Aryavarta is concerned, are the products of recent times”. This is a crucial point which must be heeded not only by our Christian brothers and sisters, but our staunch Puranic and atheist ones who ironically even today rely on the faulty scholarship of these non-Indian nineteenth century academics (some of whom were barely literate in Sanskrit and had never set foot in India) to prove that our ancestors engaged in everything from beef eating, soma wine drinking to caste and gender discrimination. If, such a heartfelt recognition and adoption of the real Vedic truth can be achieved by all humans everywhere, then Pandit ji says all the damage caused by European scholars and all the terrible crimes against humanity which have resulted from their attempt to conceal the liberating word of God in the Vedas can be overturned. This surely is an important prerequisite to creating the best kind of society that all humans are craving for.

In signing off Pandit ji, stresses one last point to his readers; that while interpreting the devatas in the Vedic mantras in the correct manner our feelings towards “God the adorable”, the one true devata should always be full of profound devotion. One should always remember that God, the Supreme Soul as mentioned in Nirukta 7.4, is worshipped on account of his omnipotence. The devatas who are “but the pratyangas of this Supernal Soul” i.e. the partial manifestations of the glory of God … owe their birth and power to Him as through Him they exercise their beneficial influences by attracting properties, useful, and repelling properties, injurious”. “He alone” Yaska and Pandit ji conclude “is the All-in-All of all the devout.” We should therefore ultimately derive inspiration from such a humble final acknowledgement and tread the divine path signposted by Pandit ji and other true Vedic scholars or forever flounder in the obscurity created by Sayana, Muller, Monier-Williams, Pincott and others of their deluded ilk. The final choice to do so or not however is ours.

To read the complete version of ‘The Terminology of the Vedas and European Scholars’ by Pandit Gurudutt Vidyarthi please click on the link below and download the book ‘The Works of Pandit Gurudutt Vidyarthi’ and then go to page 69.

 

Footnotes:

  1. For a detailed understanding of what each method and each type of word entails the previous article should be read before embarking on this one. However to summarise them; the mythological method views the Vedas as being myths – “prayers from such an emotional character addressed to the forces of nature “which portray “the simple phenomena of nature in the personified language of mythology”. The antiquarian method in contrast involves the modern scholar using his modern day understanding of ancient concepts and phenomena to interpret “the books and the general literature of the period to which ancient literary records belong “. And lastly the one which Pandit ji considers to be the best; the contemporary method, which involves the modern scholar using commentaries closer in time to the exposition of the Vedas. Here he specifies the usage of commentaries such as Nirukta by Yaska and Mahabhashya of Patanjali to interpret the Vedas as to do so would be to follow the invaluable maxim that “the nearer we approximate to the literature of the period to which the Vedas belongs the greater would be our chances of the interpretations being more probable and more correct”.

 

  1. Pandit ji says in the Terminology of the Vedas that “a Yaugika word is one that has derivative meaning” i.e. which derives its meaning from its root. The word is “all connotation”, which means that an idea or feeling is invoked from that word, from the literal or primary meaning of its root and it is this connotation which determines its denotation. A rurhi word in contrast to a yaugika word has no connotative meaning “it is the name of a definite concrete object” and is determined by “an arbitrary principle” which means that its meaning is chosen at random, on a whim. This very clear demarcation between yaugika and rurhi words doesn’t exist with regards to a third class of words which can be interpreted. This class of words is called yoga-rurhi and here two words are synthetically combined into a compound denoting a third object by virtue of the combining of these two words. The relation or the interaction of phenomena are expressed in the resulting words that are created. Pandit ji gives the example here of the word kamala. “The word stands … in relation of the born to mud, the bearer, which leads the word kamala to be called pankaja as panka means mud and ja means to bear”.

“नव वर्ष” : शिवदेव आर्य, गुरुकुल पौन्धा

सृष्टि विवेचनम्
यहाँ पर्व मनाने की परम्परा में नववर्ष का पर्व विशेष महत्व रखता है, क्योंकि सृष्टि की उत्पत्ति चैत्र मास शुक्ला प्रतिपदा को स्वीकार की जाती है। किसी कवि ने कहा है कि-

चैत्रे मासि जगद् ब्रह्म ससर्ज प्रथमेऽहनि।
शुक्लपक्षे समग्रे तु सदा सूर्योदये सति।।

सृष्टि किसे कहते हैं इस विषय में स्वामी दयानन्द सरस्वती जी महाराज आर्योद्देश्यरत्नमाला में कहते हैं कि- ‘जो कर्ता की रचना से कारण द्रव्य किसी संयोग विशेष से अनेक प्रकार कार्यरूप होकर वर्तमान में व्यवहार करने योग्य होती है, वह सृष्टि कहाती है।’ इसी बात को स्वमन्तव्यामन्तव्यप्रकाश में कहते हैं कि ‘सृष्टि उसको कहते हैं जो पृथक्द्रव्यों को ज्ञान, युक्तिपूर्वक मेल होकर नानारूप बनना।’
हम सभी इस सिध्दान्त से अवगत हैं कि किसी भी वस्तु का निर्माणकर्ता अवश्य होता है। निर्माणकर्ता पहले होता है और निर्मितवस्तु पश्चात् होती है। परमेश्वर सृष्टिकर्ता है और उसने जीवों के कल्याण के लिए यह सृष्टि बनायी। सृष्टि के सृजन से पूर्व मूल प्रकृति सत्व-रज-तम की साम्यावस्था में होती है।
सत्यार्थप्रकाश में स्वामी दयानन्द सरस्वती जी कहते हैं कि – अनादि नित्य स्वरूप सत्व, रजस् और तमो गुण की एकावस्था रूप प्रकृति से उत्पन्न जो परम सूक्ष्म पृथक्-पृथक् तत्वायव विद्यमान हैं, उन्हीं का प्रथम ही जो संयोग का प्रारम्भ है, संयोग विशेषों से अवस्थान्तर दूसरी इसकी अवस्था को सूक्ष से स्थूल, स्थूल से बनते बनाते विविधरूप बनी है, इसी से संसर्ग होने से सृष्टि कहाती है।

इयं विसृष्टिर्यत आबभूव यदि वा दधे यदि वा न।
यो अस्याध्यक्ष: परमे व्योमन्त्सो अंग वेद यदि वा न वेदग॥

[ ऋग्वेद १०-१२९-७ ]

इस ऋग्वेदीय मन्त्र के आधार पर कहा गया है कि जिस परमेश्वर के द्वारा रचने से जो नाना प्रकार का जगत् उत्पन्न हुआ है,वही इस जगत् का धारणकर्ता, संहर्ता व स्वामी है।

अद्भ्यः सम्भृतः पृथिव्यैरसाच्च विश्वकर्मणः समवत्रताग्रे।
अस्य त्वष्टा विदधद्रपमेति तन्मत्र्यस्य देवत्वमाजानमग्रे॥

[ यजु ३१-१७ ]

तेन पुरुषेण पृथिव्यै पृथिव्युत्त्पत्यर्थमद्भ्यो रसः सं भृतः संगृह्य तेन पृथिवी रचिता। एवमग्निरसेनाग्नेः सकाशादाप उत्पादिताः। अग्निश्च वायोः सकाशाद्वायुराकाशादुत्पादित आकाशः प्रकृतेः प्रकृतिः स्वसामथ्र्याच्च। विश्वं सर्वं कर्म क्रियमाणमस्य स विश्वकर्मा, तस्य परमेश्वरस्य सामर्थ्यमध्ये कारणाख्येग्रे सृष्टेः प्राग्जगत् समवत्र्तत वत्र्तमानमासीत्। तदानीं सर्वमिदं जगद् कारणभूतमेव नेदृशमिति। तस्य सामर्थ्यस्यांशान् गृहीत्वा त्वष्टा रचनकत्र्तेदं सकलं जगद्विदधत्।

[ ऋग्वेदादिभाष्यभूमिका, सृष्टिविद्याविषयः ]

अर्थात् परमपिता परमेश्वर ने पृथिवी की उत्पति के लिए जल से सारांश रस को ग्रहण करके, पृथिवी और अग्नि के परमाणुओं को मिला के पृथिवी रची है। इसी प्रकार अग्नि के परमाणु के साथ जल के परमाणुओं को मिलाकर जल को रचा एवं वायु के परमाणुओं के साथ अग्नि के परमाणुओं से वायु रचा है। वैसे ही अपने सामर्थ्य से आकाश को भी रचा है, जो कि सब तत्वों के ठहरने का स्थान है। इस प्रकार परमपिता परमेश्वर ने सूर्य से लेकर पृथ्वी पर्यन्त सम्पूर्ण जगत् को रचा है।

सृष्टि उत्पत्ति विषय को अंगीकार कर  ऋग्वेद में इसका निरुपण इसप्रकार किया गया है कि –

ऋतं च सत्यं चाभीद्धात्तपसोऽध्यजायत।
ततो रात्र्यजायत ततः समुद्र्रो अणवः।।
समुद्रार्दणवादधि संवत्सरो अजायत।
अहोरात्राणि विदधद्विश्वस्य मिषतो वशी।।

अर्थात् प्रदीप्त आत्मिक तप के तेज से ऋत और सत्य नामक सार्वकालिक और सार्वभौमिक नियमों का प्रथम प्रादुर्भाव हुआ। तत्पश्चात् प्रलय की रात्रि हो गई। किन्हीं भाष्यकार के मत से यहां रात्रि शब्द अहोरात्र का उपलक्षण है और वे उस से प्रलय का ग्रहण न करके इसी कल्प की आदि सृष्टि के ऋतुओं सत्य के अनन्तर अहोरात्र का अविर्भाव मानते हैं। फिर मूलप्रकृति में विकृति होकर  उसके अन्तरिक्षस्थ समुद्र के प्रकट होने (उसके क्षुब्ध होने) के पश्चात् विश्व के वशीकर्ता विश्वेश्वर ने अहोरात्रों को करते हुए संवत्सर को जन्म दिया। इससे ज्ञात होता है कि – आदि सृष्टि में प्रथम सूर्योदय के समय भी संवत्सर और अहोरात्रों की कल्पना पर ब्रह्म के अनन्त ज्ञान में विद्यमान थी। उनके जन्म देने का यहां यहीं अभिप्राय प्रतीत होता है कि वेदोपदेश द्वारा इस संवत्सरारम्भ और उसके मन कल्पना का ज्ञान सर्वप्रथम मन्त्र द्रष्टा ऋषियों को हुआ वा यों कहिये कि – प्रत्येक सृष्टिकल्प के आदि में यथा निमय होता है और उन्होंने यह जान लिया कि – इतने अहोरात्रों के पश्चात् आज के दिन नवसंवत्सर के आरम्भ का नियम है और उसी के अनुसार प्रतिवर्ष संवत्सरारम्भ होकर वर्ष, मास और अहोरात्र की कालगणना संसार में प्रचलित हुई।
भारतीय संवत् के मासों के नाम आकाशीय नक्षत्रों के उदयास्त से सम्बन्ध रखते है। यही बात तिथि अंश (दिनांक) के सम्बन्ध में भी है। वे भी सूर्य-चन्द्र की गति पर आश्रित हैं। विक्रम-संवत्  अपने अंग-उपागों के साथ र्पूणतः वैज्ञानिक सत्य पर स्थित है। विक्रम-संवत् विक्रमादित्य के बाद से प्रचलित हुआ। विक्रम-संवत् सूर्य सिध्दान्त पर आधारित है। वेद-वेदांगमर्मज्ञों  के अनुसार सूर्य सिध्दान्त का मान ही सदैव भ्रमहीन एवं सर्वश्रेष्ठ है। सृष्टि संवत् के प्रारम्भ से लेकर आज तक की गणनाएं की जाएं तो सूर्य-सिध्दान्त के अनुसार एक भी दिवस का अन्तर नहीं होगा। सौर मंडल को ग्रहों, नक्षत्रों आदि की गति एवं स्थिति पर हमारे दिन, महीने और वर्ष पर आधारित हैं।
स्वामी दयानन्द सरस्वती जी सत्यार्थप्रकाश के अष्टम समुल्लास में कहते हैं कि-‘आदि सृष्टि मैथुनी नहीं होती, क्योंकि जब स्त्री पुरुष के शरीर परमात्मा बनाकर उनमें जीवों का संयोग कर देता है, तदनन्तर मैथुनी सृष्टि चलती है।’
सृष्टि और प्रलय को शास्त्रों में ब्रह्मदिन-ब्रह्मरात्री के नाम से जाना जाता है, ये दिन-रात के समान निरन्तर अनादि काल से चले आ रहे हैं। सृष्टि और प्रलय का समय बराबर माना है, इसमें कोई विवाद नहीं है। इसी प्रक्रिया को स्वामी जी कुछ इसप्रकार परिभाषित करते हैं कि – जैसे दिन के पूर्व रात और रात के पूर्व दिन, तथा दिन के पीछे रात और रात के पीछे दिन बराबर चला आता है, इसी प्रकार सृष्टि के पूर्व प्रलय और प्रलय के पूर्व  सृष्टि तथा सृष्टि के पीछे प्रलय और प्रलय के आगे सृष्टि अनादि काल से चक्र चला आता है। इसकी आदि वा अन्त नहीं, किन्तु जैसे दिन वा रात का आरम्भ और अन्त देखने में आता है, उसी प्रकार सृष्टि और प्रलय का आदि अन्त होता रहता है। क्योंकि जैसे परमात्मा, जीव, जगत् का कारण तीन स्वरूप से अनादि हैं, जैसे जगत् की उत्पत्ति, स्थिति और वर्तमान प्रवाह से अनादि हैं, जैसे नदी का प्रवाह वैसा ही दीखता है, कभी सूख जाता है, कभी नहीं दीखता फिर बरसात में दीखता और उष्ण काल में नहीं दीखता ,ऐसे व्यवहारों को प्रवाहरूप जानना चाहिए, जैसे परमेश्वर के गुण, कर्म, स्वभाव अनादि हैं, वैसे ही उसके जगत् की उत्पत्ति, स्थिति, प्रलय करना भी अनादि है जैसे कभी ईश्वर के गुण, कर्म, स्वभाव का आरम्भ और अन्त नहीं इसी प्रकार उसके कर्तव्य कर्मों का भी आरम्भ और अन्त नहीं।
सृष्टि की उत्पत्ति और प्रलय यह अनवरत चलने वाला चक्र है। ऋषिवर देव दयानन्द जी ऋग्वेदादिभाष्याभूमिका के वेदोत्पत्ति विषय में लिखते हैं कि-
सृष्टि के वर्तमान होने का नाम दिन और प्रलय होने का नाम रात्रि है। यह जो वर्तमान ब्राह्मदिन है इसके (१९६०८५२९७६) एक अर्ब, छानवे करोड़, आठ लाख, बावन हजार, नव सौ, छहत्तर वर्ष इस सृष्टि की तथा वेदों की उत्पत्ति में व्यतीत हुए हैं और (२३३३२२७०२४) दो अर्ब तैंतीस करोड़, बत्तीस लाख, सत्ताइस हजार, चैबीस वर्ष इस सृष्टि को भोग करने के बाकी रहे हैं। इन में से अन्त का यह चैबीसवां वर्ष भोग रहा है। आगे आने वाले भोग के वर्षों में से एक-एक कांटाते जाना और गत वर्षों में क्रम से एक वर्ष मिलाते जाना चाहिए, जैसे आज पर्यन्त कांटाते बढ़ाते आए हैं।’
[ वेदोत्पत्ति विषय, ऋग्वेदादिभाष्यभूमिका ]

ऋषि का अनुसरण करते हुए वर्तमान विक्रमी सम्वत् २०७४ को हम इस प्रकार से देखें-
१ सृष्टि = १४ मन्वन्तर
१ मन्वन्तर = ७१ चतुर्युग
१ चतुर्युग =  सतयुग (१७,२८,०००)
त्रेतायुग (१२,९६,०००)
द्वापरयुग (८,६४,०००)
कलियुग (४,३२,०००)
कुलयोग = ४३,२०,०००
७१ चतुर्युग (४३,२०,००० × ७१) = ३०,६७,२०,००० वर्ष
१४ मन्वन्तर (३०,६७,२०,००० × १४) = ४,२९,४०,८०,००० वर्ष

(१४ मन्वन्तर – स्वायम्भुव, स्वारोचिष, औत्तमि, तामस, रैवत, चाक्षुष, वैवस्वत, सावर्णि, दक्षसावर्णि, ब्रह्मसावर्णि, धर्मसावर्णि, रुद्रसावर्णि, देवसावर्णि तथा इन्द्रसावर्णि)

कुल सृष्टि की आयु    = ४,२९,४०,८०,००० वर्ष
सृष्टि की वर्तमान आयु = १,९६,०८,५३,११८ वर्ष
इस प्रकार वर्तमान सृष्टि की आयु कुल आयु से कांटाने पर  सृष्टि की आयु  २,३३,३२,२६,८८२ अभी शेष रहती है। यह वैवस्वत् नामक सातवाएं मन्वन्तर वर्तमान में चल रहा है।    अनेक आचार्य १४ मन्वन्तरों की १५ सन्धिकाल के अवधि की गणना पृथक् करते हैं जिसके आधार पर वर्तमान सृष्टिसंवत् १,९६,०८,५३,११८ में ७ सन्धिकाल की आयु (७ × १७,२८,०००) १,२०,९६,००० मिलाकर १,९७,२९,४९,११८ सृष्टिसंवत् स्वीकारते हैं।
प्रत्येक संवत्सर अर्थात् वर्ष को २ अयन (उत्तरायण एवं दक्षाणायन), ६ ऋतु (वसन्त, गीष्म, वर्षा, शरद्, शिशिर, हेमन्त), १२ मास (चैत्र, वैशाख, ज्येष्ठ, आषाढ़, श्रावण, भाद्रपद, आश्विन, कार्तिक, मार्गशीर्ष, पौष, माघ, फाल्गुन), २ पक्ष (शुक्ल एवं कृष्ण), ७ दिवस (रविवार, चन्द्रवार या सोमवार, भौमवार या मंगलवार, बुधवार, बृहस्पतिवार या गुरुवार, शुक्रवार, शनिवार), १ अहोरात्र (दिन) अर्थात् ८ प्रहर में विभक्त किया गया।
परमपिता परमेश्वर ने सृष्टि का निर्माण व इसको नियमित रूप से चलाये रखा है। उस परमेश्वर को जानने वाले हम लोग होवें। इसीलिए वेद हमें बार-बार उपदेश देता है कि-

हिरण्यगर्भ: समवर्त्तताग्रे भूतस्य जात: पतिरेक आसीत्।
स दधार पृथिवीं द्यामुतेमां कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम।।

[ ऋग्वेद १०/१२९/१ ]
अर्थात् हिरण्यगर्भ जो परमेश्वर है, वही एक सृष्टि के पहिले वर्तमान था, जो इस सब जगत् का स्वामी है और वहीं पृथिवी से लेके सूर्यपर्यन्त सब जगत् को रच के धारण कर रहा है। इसलिए उसी सुखस्वरूप परमेश्वर देव की ही हम लोग उपासना करें, अन्य की नहीं।

सभी सहृदय पाठकों को भारतीय नववर्ष विक्रमी संवत् २०७४ एवं सृष्टिसंवत् १,९६,०८,५३,११८ तथा होलिकोत्सव की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं।

– शिवदेव आर्य
गुरुकुल-पौन्धा, देहरादून
मो—8810005096

Opposition to Manu: Why?

During the British period in India some western writers indoctrinatedin Christianity, and having vested interests in the continuance of the BritishEmpire hatched a foolproof conspiracy. They planned to inculcateantipathy in and demolish faith from the minds of Indians towards everything and everyone who traditionally was closely associated with themajesty, magnanimity and magnificence of India. These western writerssucceeded in converting to their views some of the Indians with the help ofthe imperial influence of the British and their divide-and-rule policy.

Macaulay’s educational policy also lent them a helping hand. Such Indiansthen carried on and furthered this anti-Indianism. Thus came up on thescene a group of people who made Maharishi Manu- the first law-giver,and hisManusmriti, the foremost law-book, a target of their slanderouscriticism. Things have come to such a pass that whereas disparaging Manuand decrying his Manusmrition mere hearsay and unsubstantiatedcriticism has become a mission for some sections of the society, it hasbecome a fashion with the English-knowing people in India, and an issuefor winningelections for some political parties. Very queer is the conduct of our politicians in this regard. A few years ago, soon after the split of aparticular political party, the erstwhile progeny of Manu disowned him astheir foremost father and started cursing and condemning him, hisManusmriti and his progeny from the public fora. One of the political partiesstructured a point and program, viz.,Manuvad for grabbing politicalpower. Some years ago when a statue of Manu was installed on the Jaipurpremises ofthe Rajasthan High Court in recognition of his having been thefirst law-giver, some people saw the statue as a potent danger and begansubjecting the lifeless statue to a controversy. The dispute thus created isunder the consideration of that very Hon’ble Court to decide. The fact ofthe matter is that some people regard the opposition to the statue as avery good opportunity to makethe best political capital and are trying to acquire a political identity.

One is amazed to see such peopledisregarding the Manusmriti as they have not even as much as seen the shape and size ofthe book, let alone read it, One day I confronted a person who started slighting the Manusmriti by quoting a couplet from Tulsidas. viz., ‘Dhol, pashu,shudraaurnari …. ‘attributing it in ignorance to Manu asone oftheshlokasauthored by him. It can easily be guessed from this illustration how littlethe slanderers orManu know about him and his Manusmriti.

Laymen apart, even as widely read a man as Dr. Ambedkar is sweptaway in opposition to Manu to such an extent that he sees in every antiShudraact a doing of Manu. He has attributed to Manu the anti-Shudrasayings of even Shankaracharya. And the chaos and confusion created byordinary writers in respect of Manu has a very long account. All this points to a careful and serious study of the Manusmriti hasnot been carried out.

It has been observed that there are three types or people who indulgein deprecating Manu. The first are those who have read Manu throughprejudiced commentaries written in English, and have been brought up in atradition thus developed. Such people are not acquainted with thealterations and interpolations carried out in the ancient Indian literaturethrough the ages. The second are those who have not read side by side theoriginal and the interpolated versions thoughtfully and critically. The thirdare those who have made it a point todisparage Manu on account of somemisgivings, prejudices and worst of all, even vested interests. But the factremains that Maharshi Manu neither as a man nor as a writer deserves tobe condemned. India and Indianism can take pride in him and look big anddignified. 

  1. MANU’S PLACE AND POSITION
  1. Manu’s Position in India Maharshi Manu is the first to have given the world a well-regulated,systematized, ethical and ideal pattern of living for human beings. He is thefirst among manavas (one of the human races), the first among scripturewriters,the first among law-makers, law-givers and social philosophers,the pioneer statesman and above all the first sage-ruler. Manu is thereligious teacher who introduced the yajna-rituals. The religious scripturecomposed by him which today is known as the Manusmriti is the oldest of the Smritis. We see in our ancient history and literature right from Vedic agesdown to modem times, a long tradition of those scripture- writers, litterateurs,authors, poets and rulers who have spoken of Manu eulogistically. VedicSamhitas andBrahmanical scriptures describe Manu’s words as efficaciousand beneficent like medicine.
    Maharshi Valmiki in his Ramayanaalludes to Manu as an authority in the field of religious scriptures. Ram,who is worshipped as God by the Hindus, quotes Manu’s verses to provethat his conduct has been in consonance with the directions given in thereligious scriptures. TheMahabharta proclaims at several places thatthe Manusmriti is a tried and tested constitution of life, and alludes to itswriter as the greatest preceptor and jurist. In several of the Puranas Manuhas been embellished with epithets such as the foremost sage-ruler,scripture-writer, etc. and thus has been painted as a person devoted to humanwelfare. Acharya Yaska quotes Manu’s dictum in his Nirukta in thediscussion on equal rights for sons and daughters and thus regards him asauthentic. In the ArthashastraChanakya has quoted Manu as an authority.Brihaspati, a writer of one of the Smritis regards the Manusmriti asthe most authentic document and proclaims other Smritis controvertingManu’s as unacceptable. Ashwaghosh, the Buddhist poet, quotes Manu’sdicta in his work Vajrakopnishad as evidence. Yajnavalalkya’sSmritiis based on the Manusmriti itself. All religious books and Smritis quoteManu’s words in support of the contentions contained in them. Dharsen,the king ofValabhi has declared Manuism as an authentic creed as per apetrograph of 571 A.D. DaraShikoha, the writer-son of Emperor ShahJehan describes Manu as the first and original human whom Jews,Christians and Mohammedans call Adam. GuruGovind Singh has showeredliberal eulogies on Manu in his book entitled ‘DashamGrantha’.

MaharshiDayanand, the founder of the Arya SamajacceptsManusmriti as an authority second only to the Vedas. Shri Aurobindoregards Manu as a semi-god. Shri RabinderNath Tagore, Dr. RadhaKrishanan, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and many other national leaders have made mention of Manu in their writings as the first law-giver. A numberof jurists such as Justice A.N. Mullah, N.Raghavacharya and others haveacknowledged Manu’s set of laws as an authority. Keeping only this widelyacknowledged recognition of Manu in mind Pt. Nehru and people at largeembellished Dr. Ambedkar with the epithet ‘Modem Manu’ while presenting the Constitution of India to the LokSabha. Also, while unveiling the statue ofDr. Ambedkar, ShriR.Venkataraman, the then President of Indiaadded to the grandeur of the former’s personality by calling him “Modern Manu.”

  1. Manu’s Recognition Overseas

 Manu’s position and prestige, his magnanimity and magnificence and the extent of his influence overseas have not been any the less thanthese have been in India. The encyclopediasbrought out by the British,Americans and Germans describe Manu as the foremost among humans,as the first law-giver, as the pioneer jurist and social philosopher.Upholding Manu’s beliefs Max Mueller, A.A. Macdonnel, A.B. Keith,P.Thomas, Louis Renoy and other western writers regard the Manusmritinot only as a religious book but also a law book and describe the lawsgiven therein as universal in application and beneficial toall mankind. Sir William Jones, a judge in the Indian Supreme Court at one time learntSanskrit to have first-hand study of the Manusmriti on having realizedthe scripture’s indispensability in arriving at judgments in respect of somedisputes of Indians. He even edited the Manusmriti. The famousGerman Philosopher, FrederichNeitsche has gone to the extent of sayingthat ‘the Manusmriti is superior to the Bible as a scripture; in fact,according to him ‘It is a sin to compare the Manusmriti with the Bible’.

Books like ‘The Encyclopedia of Social Sciences’ brought out in the USA,The Cambridge History oflndia’, Keith’s ‘History of Sanskrit Literature’,A History ofDharma Shastra’ by Bharat Ratna P.Y. Kane, Dr. Satyaketu’s’DakshinPurviAurDakshin Asia Mein BhartiyaSanskriti’ (India Culturein South East and South Asia) and other similar books contain a vivid anddetailed description of the extent of the influence of the Manusmriti.These readings can make every Indian feel puffed with pride at thecountry’s ancient heritage.

We come to learn from the history of, and the petrography found onthe island of Bali, Burma, Philippines, Thailand, Champa (Vietnam), Cambodia(Kampuchea), Indonesia, Malaysia, Ceylon, Nepal etc. that varna systembased on people’s profession as propounded in Manu’s scripture has beenpractised in these countries. Paramount importance was given to the lawsenunciated by Manu, and judgements were doled out accordingly. A numberof verses of the Manusmriti have been found inscribed in the form ofpetrographs. Kings and emperors used to take pride incalling themselvesthe disciples or followers of Manu, and would feelelevated by adding oneor the other label of Manuism to their name. According to an inscriptionfound in Champa (Vietnam) Raja Jai InderVarmadeva was a follower ofManuism. According to another inscription found in UdayanVarma’s’SadokKakthom’ there is a mention of a book entitled ‘ManavNeetisar’ which isbased on the Manusmriti.ln one ofYashovarman’s inscriptions found inPrasatKompan we find quoted a verse. i.e.2.1.36 from the Manusmriti.In one of the inscriptions of Raja Jayavanna there is a mention of ministerwho was well-versed in the Manusmriti. In Bali island Manu’s socialsystem is still being practiced,the code of conduct and the constitutions ofthe aforementioned countries were and still are largely based on theManusmriti. The Philippines believe that Manu’s Smriti and another Smritiauthored by Laotse have contributed a lot to the making of their country’scode of conduct. It is in recognition of their contribution that the statues ofthe two have been installed at the gate of the legislature of that country.Howsoever much Manu may be disparaged and deprecated therelationship that has been built between us and Manu can never be undone.We can never break offwith Manu; can never put him in abeyance so longas this human society and its history are intact.Indian society regards Manu as their original ancestor as is testifiedin the country’s ancient literature. All humans are the progeny of Manu. Itis for this reason that all words meaning’man’, such as manushy, manuj,manav, manusb, have originated from the word Manu. So the writer ofthe Nirukta says while giving an etymology of these words ‘मनो: अपत्यम मनुष्य: (3-4). This means that we are calledManushya for we are theprogeny of Manu. The statement ‘मानव्य: प्रजा:  in the Brahmanicalscriptures alsotestifies the same fact. The European scholars havephilologically proved that there was a time when Europe, Iran and Indiansub-continent were the members of one ethnic group. The wordsconnoting man in the languages of these regions are all derivatives of wordsoriginated from Manu, e.g., minos in Greek and Latin, mann in German.manna in Spanish, man, manis, manus, manes, etc., in English and itsdialects, nuh {with स (s) मनुस . (manus) changed into ह: (h) and म (m)getting dropped} in Iranian Persian. This fact is testified in the historicalwritings and inscriptions of these countries. Iranians regard themselves asAryans even today and believe Saptasindhu country to be the place oftheir origin. Cambodians (Kampucheans) regard themselves as the progenyof Manu. The inhabitants of Thailand consider themselves to be thedescendants of Ram who belonged to the Suryavanshi clan. Both Ramand Krishan belong to Manu’s lineage. On having read this account wecan say that no other scripture-writer or law-giver has been accorded ashigh a place or pride and prestige as Manu.

  1. Accusations hurled at Manu and theManusmriti

Now let usconsider the charges levelled against Manu and theManusmriti which can broadly be classified in three categories:-

  1. Manu built up a caste system based on birth.
  2. In his social system whereas he made partisan and even inhuman laws for the Shudras. He gave privileges to Savarnas (thehigh-born, particularly the Brahmanas. Thus Manu was anti-Shudra.

iii. Manu was anti-woman. He did not allow women equal rights with men. Also Manu has spoken rather disparagingly of women.To answer these charges it will be fitting to citeevidence and examples from the Manusmriti itself rather than quoteinstances and adduce proofs from outside. A few observations are made below on the basis of some conclusionsdrawn from the Manusmriti.

B, THE REAL NATURE OF MANU’S VARNA SYSTEM

  1. Based on merit, profession and potentiality Manu’s system has Vedic origins:-

The varna system propounded in the Manusmriti is based on anindividual’s profession, his merits and capabilities and has Vedic origins.This system finds its mention originally in three of the Vedas, viz, Rigveda(10.90.11-12), Yajurveda (31. 10-11) and Atharvaveda (19.6.506), Manuconsiders the Vedas to be of axiomatic status in religious matters. So,regarding the Varnasystem as a system propounded and sanctioned by the Vedas and considering it to be the basis of righteousness, Manu includes it in his system of administration, and disseminates his plan through hisscripture.

  1. Varna system and castsystem as contrastingsystems:-

The determining factors in Manu’s Vedic Varna system are merits,vocation and capabilities rather than the birth of a human. Here it isessential to understand thatthe varna system and caste system arecontradictory propositions. Neither of these systemscan sustain itself whereas the other is being practiced and thus the presence of one rules out the other. The basic difference between the two can easily be understood ifwe appreciate the etymological difference of the two words. In the varnasystem it is the varna (an individual’s vocation) which is the decidingfactor whereas in the caste system it is the parentage which is of crucialimportance. Inter-changeable use of the two words is highly misleading.

The word Varna is derived from the Sanskrit verbal root ‘वृज वरने ‘ whichmeans the vocation which is chosen. Acharya Yaska clarifies theconnotation of his word in his Nirukta as follows:

वर्ण: वृनोते (2· 14) meaning thereby the word ‘Varna’ has something todo with the choice/the selection (of vocation/profession here), whereas the word ‘Jati’ has something todo with Janma:, (birth). The word jati hasbeen used as a synonym for janma (birth) and not caste as is illustratedbelow:

जाति अंध बधिरौ :blind and deaf by birth

जातिम  स्मरति पौर्वीकीम :remembers his previous birth.

द्विजाति :because he is believed to be born twice.

एकजाति :Shudrabecause he has only one birthand does not have the second which  is believed to take place on beinginitiated into the study-period. As per vedicvarna system the society is to be divided into fourclasses, viz,Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. As long aspeople kept on choosing one of these vocational groups on the basis ofmerit-cum-profession-cum-ability the system kept on being called VarnaVyavastha (class system). However, when birth or parentage began todetermine if one wasa Brahmana oraShudra, etc., it came to be called JatiVyavastha (caste system). An etymological study of the word Varnawhichis formed from a Sanskrit verbal root and a suffix added to it, onlyindicates that when the system(i.e. Varna Vyavastha)come into being theVarna (vocation) was selected on the basis of the concerned individual’smerit-cum-profession – cum-ability and not acquired on account of hisparentage.

  1. No mention ofpresent-day castes and sub castes in Manu’s Varna system:

That Manu has made a mention of only four varnas and or nocastes or sub-castes is conclusive proofin support of the fact that Manu’svamavyavastha was based on vocation and performance and not on birth.

Two facts are evident from it. One, there were nocastes based on parentage during Manu’s times. Two, parentage or gotra(sub-caste) wasof no consequence in varna-vyavastha and one would not acquire a varna(vocation) on this basis. Ifduring Manu’s times birth had been the basis fordetermining varna or if there had been castes or sub-castes Manu wouldcertainly have enumerated them and also pointed out which of thembelonged to the Brahmana community and which to the Shudra community and soon and so forth. How much disregard Manu had for birth-basedaggrandizement is known from that verse in the Manusmtiti in which amention has been made with derogatory epithets like ‘Vantashi’ (one whoeats his vomit) for those who eulogised someone for his lineage orparentage (3- 109). Besides, in Manu mention had been made of anindividual’s virtues and good deeds only and not of his clan, caste or kinshipwhile showing respectfulness and reverence to him.

  1. Purpose ofManusmritidefeated if birth-based castes accepted:

The very purpose of the composition ofthe Manusmriti would bedefeated if we accepted Manu to be a believer in castes on the basis ofbirth because the scripture has assigned different tasks to different varnas

(classes). If a person were to be a Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya or Shudraby birth he would remain in the same varna whether or not he performed the tasks allocated to that varna. The very fact that Manu has assigneddifferent roles to different varna only proves that he approves of vocationand not of birth as the basis of varnavyavastha.

  1. Provision for change of Varna in Varna Vyavastha.

There is a very basic difference between the varnavyavastha andthe caste system. It is that there is a provision for change of varna in varnavyavastha. An important verse from the Manusmritidispelling all the doubtsin this respect is being quoted as all evidence:-

शूद्रोब्राह्मणतांएतिब्राह्मणश्चैतिशूद्रताम्।
क्षत्रियाज्जातंएवंतुविद्याद्वैश्यात्तथैवच।।(10-65)।।

Manu says in this verse that a Brahmana becomes a Shudra andvice versa on the basis of one’s merits, actions and abilities. Similarly suchan interchange also takes place between Kshatriyas and Vaishyas.

  1. Change of Varna on neglecting prescribedduties:

There are dozens of verses in the Manusmriti which speak of provisionsfor downgrading Brahmanas to the class of Shudras on account of the former neglecting their prescribed duties and indulging in deeds ofdebased nature (See 2/37, 40, 103, 168; 4/245 etc.) and for upgradingShudras to higher varnas consequent upon their undertaking tasks of noblernature (See 9/335).

  1. Varna vyavastha practiced up to the Mahabharta period:

The aforementioned proofs and arguments make it abundantly clearthat in Manu’s social system all people had equal rights to join any of thevarnas according to their merits and vocations, irrespective of theirparents’profession. This system continued from Rigvedic period until Mahabharata(Geeta) period, The Geeta clearly says:

चातुर्वर्ण्यंमयासृष्टंगुणकर्मविभागशः।।(4- 13)।।

The chaturvaranya (the four-class system) has been created on thebasis of people’s vocations and merits and not on their birth and parentage.

  1. Change of Varna: Examples in history:

Hundreds of examples from Indian history can be cited in supportof the fact that Varna Vyavastha is based on an individual’s vocation andaction, and has nothing to do with his birth.

  1. KavashAilush, a son of a slave-woman, and Vatsa, a son ofa Shudra-woman became Rigvedic Rishis for their having become seersof Mantras (exponents of vedic hymns).

ii Raja Vishvamitra who- was born of Kshatriya parentsbecame a Brahmarshi.

iiiSatyakamJabal whose birth and lineage are unknownbecameBrahmavadi Rishi (an exponent of the highest reality, Brahma)

  1. Matanga who was born in a Chandalfamily came to be called a Rishi…
  2. Valmiki who (according to some legends) was lowly-born acquired the fame which goes with the name of Maharishi Valmiki.
  3. Slavewoman’sson, Vidur, became the primeministerof Raja Dhritarashtra and came to be known as a Mahatma.

vii. Shri Ram, a son of King Dashratha, and Shri Krishna, born in a Yadav family, came to be regarded as God. They became venerableeven for the Brahmanas their birth in a Kshatriya family notwithstanding.

viii. On the other hand, Ravana who was born in the clan of Pulastya Rishi came to be called a         ‘demon’ for indulging in evil deeds.

  1. Raghu, the ancestor of Rama, had a son named Pravridha. He was outcast from the Kshatriya clan due to his misdeeds and misdemeanor and became a demon.
  2. Trishanku, originally a king became a Chandal.
  3. Many of Vishwamitra’s sons came to be called Shudras.
  1. The whole community acquiring a new varna.

Besides individuals we also come across examples of a whole community or a large part of it leaving its earlier varna and acquiring a new one. Some verses in the Mahabharta and the Manusmriti, with, of course some variations in the text reveal that some of the communities were Kshatriyas earlier but with the negligence of their duties, and for their not having undertaken penance to atone for their omissions and commission seven when so required by the Brahmanas, degenerated into being enlisted among the Shudras.

 

शनकैस्तुक्रियालोपादिमाःक्षत्रियजातयः।
वृषलत्वंगतालोकेब्राह्मणादर्शनेनच।।
पौण्ड्रकाश्चौड्रद्रविडाःकाम्बोजायवनाःशकाः।
पारदापह्लवाश्चीनाःकिरातादरदाःखशाः।।(10-43, 44)

 

Meaning: Owing to their having neglected their prescribed duties and not having undertaken penance even on being advised to do so by the Brahmanas some of the Kshatriya communities which came to be called Shudras were:Paundraka, Audra, Dravida, Kamboja, Yavana, Shaka, Parada, Pahalva,Cheena, Kirata, Darada, and Khasha. In addition to these some othercommunities that find a mention in the same context in the Mahabharta(Ch. 35. 17-18)are: Mekala, Lata, Kanvashira, Shaundika, Darva, Chaura,Shabara and Barbar.

Examples of change of varna are found until much later history. According to J. Wilson and I·LL. Rose the Pakharana or PushkamaBrahmanas of Rajputana, Sindh and Gujarat, and Pathak and MahavarRajputas of Aamtara in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh were upgraded 10 higher classes consequent upon change ofvarna (see Hindi EncyclopaediaPart 4.).

 The secret ofidentical sub-castes in all the four varnas:

The identical surnames found among Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Dalitas are a firm proof not only indicating the existence of long family traditions but also showing that the members of all communities are descendants of the same one original family. Peopleinthe beginning chose a particular varna on the basis of their merits,performance and potentialities and later on came to be regarded as members of the same varna. In the times that were to come their varna in case of some, was upgraded, and in case of others downgraded forvarious reasons. For example, in some areas the people of Brahmana community continued to remain Brahmanas whereas in others they became Ksharriyas and in yet others, Shudras. During the course of time a rigid social system developed and parentage and birth became the bases of a person’s categorization which came to be called caste.

  1. The basic elements in varnavyavastha

The basic elements of varnavyavastha as propounded in the Manusmriti are merits, vocation and capabilities, Manu does not attachany importance to an individual as such or to the varna to which hebelongs, but to the aforesaid attributes. Where these attributes abound onthe positive side the individual and his varna are accorded greater respect and reverence. Where they are in a low measure or are on the negative side the individual and his varna are given a lower recognition. Even till today no civilized system has been able to negate the elements constituting Manu’s,varnavyavastha nor is any likely to do so in future. Negating these is sure to lead to injustice and consequent discontent, protests,mismanagement and ultimately to anarchy. Such a situation is describedidiomatically in Hindi as: ‘Treating the donkey at a par with the horse’, and’driving all with the same stick’.

 

As a result of such a situation no country or society can progress and prosper, be happy, contented or peacefully remain disciplined,systematised or even unified. In fact such an arrangement can not be sustained for too long. Even the communistic pattern of society or government, which wears by the principle of equality for all, has not been able to ignore the elements so basic to Manu’s system. Even in that system we have public posts and social positions being given to individuals after taking intoconsideration their merits, duties and capabilities which further determinetheir perks, status and salary structure.

 

If we carry out a comparative analysis of the present dayadministrative and business set-up vis-a-vis the one conceived by Manuwe shall be able to see clearly the essential similarities between the two.There are four classes in the administrative hierarchy of the government,ii. Class I Gazettedofficers ii. Class II Gazettedofficers iii. Class IIIand Class IV employees. Among them the first two men are of the officer-cadre and the rest are karamcharis (workers). The basis of this classification isan individual’s potentialitiesand capabilities, and theduties assigned to him.And these very things determine the privilegesstatus and importancegiven to him. In earlier times, the possession of particular types ofpotentialities and capabilities by an individual was certified by theacademic institutions (The Gurukulas, the Ashramas and the Acharyasof the institutions) much on the same lines as is being done today (byschools. colleges. universities, etc.). In the absence of any suchcertification a semi- educated or anuneducated person has to undertake amenial job or physical labour and such a person is put in the last categoryofservice. In earlier times also a person who would not go to a teacher for acquiring knowledge or a particular skill used to undertake a job of asimilar nature and was categorized as a Shudra which means a man of alow position, a message-bearer, etc. One can easily see how similar to theword ‘Shudra’ are the connotations of words like ‘Naukar’, ‘Chakar’. ‘Sevak’, ‘Preshya’ (a message bearer), ‘servant’, orderly’, ‘a low class employee’etc.

 

There is not much difference between the systems of allotment ofvocation as it exists today and as it was practiced earlier. In both the casesone is permitted to practice a profession such as medicine, law or teachingonly on the acquisition of a relevant degree or diploma or certification, andnot without it. Rules and duties for all jobs are prescribed which if violatedwill entail removal from the position held by a person.

 

  1. Practical opportunities for Shudras to change their varna

 

There are some people who have considered themselves Shudrasand for some reasons are still labouring under this erroneous impressionand thus keeping themselves deprived of human rights. The Arya Samaj regards Manu as a religious preceptor and is an ardent follower ofthe principles and systems enunciated by Manu openly invites them to getinitiated into any of the varnas they qualify for, and thus offers themconcrete opportunities to change their varna. Long before the present-dayconstitution of India came into force MaharshiDayanand declared in thelight of the dicta ofManusmriti that untouchability, notions of inequalityamong humans,casteism, denial of education to women and to those of Shudra parents, child marriage, unmatched marriage, polygamy,practice of sati system and social and economic exploitation were greatsocial evils. He also carried on a crusade against these evils. The AryaSamaj has set up gurukulas and schools some of which are exclusivelyfor women. The children born of so-called Shudra-parents have been admitted to these educational institutions. With the result hundreds ofDalitseducated there have become scholars of Sanskrit, Vedas and other holy scriptures. Why do Dalitas forget that in order to abolish untouchability numerous followers of Manu and disciplesofRishi Dayanand themselvesbecame untouchables in the eyes of the society, and yet they didn’t yield and carried on the struggle? Dalit writers who are ignorant of these developmentssee the Arya Samaj with coloured glasses. Does thisnot amountto ingratitude on their part?

 

  1. A correct appraisal of the system

 

Manu belongs to antiquity. Although the model values of life,ethical proprieties and true form of religion described by Manu are ofuniversal nature some of the provisions made by him arealterable to suit the particular place, time and the situation. The social system which Manu took as a modeland advocated for adoption was of the bestkind during his time. This iswhy that system has been the most widely acceptedand has lasted forthousands of years. During the course of the time some of the arrangementsin that system lost their original nature and became deformed. Todaypolitical and social conditions have changed. Democracy has replacedmonarchy. Many social systemsand traditions have also changed with thepassage of time. But this does not imply that our ancient values havebecome completely unacceptable things to look down upon. If that wereour line of thinking everything connected with our ancient magnificence such as our great men, heroic personages, poets, authors, cities, holy places,monuments, buildings, literature, history, etc. all would become detractable. To carry out a proper appraisal the system a person or a thing has to beevaluated in thecontext of the situations prevailing at the time to which itbelongs.

 

  1. Maharishi Manu and DrAmbedkar

 

  1. Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar has been the chief carrier ofthe traditionof opposing Manu, and also the main source of inspiration toanti Manuism today. It is true that as a result of birth-based casteism,inequality and untouchability practiced in society Dr. Ambedkarwas subjected to a series of acts of slight and injustice, inequitabletreatment and some consequently nightmarish experiences. It is also truethat any self-respecting educated person would have reacted along thesame lines as did Dr. Ambedkar. And yet it is also true that the treatmentmeted out toManu byDrAmbedkaron the basis of the prejudice he had nursedagainst the former and without a correct and complete understanding ofhis ideas was also an act of extreme injustice and hence uncalled for.Being a legal luminary, he is all the more to be arraigned for this excess.He provided in the constitution that in no case should an innocent personbe punished even if it leads to the acquittal of the culprit. But he himselfdidnot observe this principle in respect of Manu in his pronouncements. Heimputed to Manu a kind of social systembased on birth and parentagewhich in fact was the creation of a society subsequent to Manu’s times,and kept on accusing Manu unjustifiably and even carried on a vilificationcampaign against him. He also used extremely bitter and unpalatable wordsfor a Maharishi who is held in high esteem in the Aryan (Hindu) society.Dr. Ambedkar’s attention was repeatedly invited to the fact that he hadseveral misconceptions and biased opinions about Manu and that he shouldclear them. But he persisted in his prejudices. There were several reasonsfor this insistence. Perhaps he did not want to retract on what he hadalready written on Manu. In his own words ‘I may seem hard on Manu,but I am sure my force is not strong enough to kill his ghost’. And it is truethat the ‘ghost’ was never shed and was infact bequeathed to his followerson his death. But the big question is: Can the appraisal which flows out ofa haunted mind be called nominal, balanced. well- considered and correct?

 

That Dr. Ambcdkar did not know Sanskrit language is a1so a fact ofhis life. He himself admits that he had acquired knowledge on Manu andthe Manusmriti from the critiques and analysis ofManu written in Englishlanguage. Naturally, therefore, he could not takeinto account some aspectsof Manu such as the original text and the interpolations in the Manusmriti,the perspectives in which a verse has been written, etc. The learned Doctoracquired opinions and built his own views on the basis of his readings ofbiased commentaries in English. No research had been carried out on the interpolations in the Manusmriti till the times ofAmbedkar. So hedid notcome across any man or material to guide him andexplain the original fromthe subsequent motivated insertions. If these reasons had not existed hewould have perhaps not spoken so ill of Manu and the Manusmriti.

 

15.A statement and discussion of some of the basic beliefs ofDr. Ambedkar on Manu’s Vedic Varna system appear to be necessary soas to carry out a critical appraisal of these beliefs and also to acquire a new proofto support the contentions made in this write-up. He writes:-

 

* One thing I want to impress upon is that Manu did not give thelaw of caste and that he could not do so. Caste existed long before Manu.(Caste in India, P.16)

*It is indisputable that the Vedas lay down the theoryofChaturvamyain what is known as the Purushsukta. (Philosophy of Hinduism, P.25)

* Manu may not be responsible for the creation of caste. Manupreached the sanctity of the Varna and as I have shown varna is the parentof caste. In that sense Manu can be charged with being the progenitor if notthe author of the caste system. (Philosophy of Hinduism, P.25)

* I must admit that the Vedic theory ofvarnas as interpreted by SwamiDayanand and some others is sensible and an inoffensive thing. It did notadmit birth as a determining factor in fixing the place ofan individual insociety. It only recognized worth. (Annihilation of Caste, P.92-93)

* The essence of the Vedic conception of Varna is the pursuit of acalling which is appropriate to one’s natural aptitude. (Annihilation ofCaste, P.92)

* The Principle underlying caste is fundamentally different from theprinciple underlying varna. Not only are they fundamentally different but they are also fundamentally opposed. (Annihilation of Caste, P.92)

 

  1. Dr. Ambedkar accepts unequivocally that varna system has its origin in the Vedas, that it has been handed down by the Vedas, thatManu is only an advocate of this system and not its creator, that the Vedicvarna system is logical and not at all despicable in as much as it is based onan individual’s merits, vocation and capabilities, that the Varna system and the caste system are contradictory in nature and that Manu is not thecreator of the caste system. Thus as per Ambedkar’s own admissions,Manu stands absolved of the charges of being the creator of either thecaste system or even the varna system. He being an advocate of thevarna system cannot be charged with being a supporter of the birth-basedcaste system. If varna system is ‘sensible’ and ‘inoffensive’ Manu hasdone only the desirable and nothing wrong by supporting andstrengthening the system. Manu, being a follower of Vedic faith, regardsthe Vedas and their postulates as axiomatic. Then it is no sin that hedisseminates the good provisions and principles of his religion ascommanded by the Holy Scriptures upholding this faith. Followers of allfaiths do likewise. After having converted to Buddhism Dr. Ambedkaralso disseminated Buddhist beliefs. Ifhe isjustified in doing so, Manu toois. It is surprising that even after having made admissions (which figureabove in his own words) Dr. Ambedkar detracts Manu every step of the way by holding him responsible for the caste system. How far is it justifiedto impute to Manu the creation of social systems which came into beinglong after him, and speak bitterly of him on this basis?

 

About 80 amendments have been carried out in the IndianConstitution in the 46 years of its existence, some of which violates the spirit of the constitution such as the one prolonging the use of Englishas an official language, the one seeking removal of the provision of givingsubsistence allowance to Muslim women, etc. Can Dr. Ambedkar be heldresponsible for these amendments and the amendments yet to come? Ifnot, how can Manu beheld responsible for the evil and depraved systemwhich developed and came to be practised long after him.

 

  1. Dr. Ambedkar believes that thevarna system has given rise to thecaste system and since Manu advocated the varna system he is to blame forthe caste system. What an odd and offensive argument! Just in tune withthe caste system itself. It amounts to saying that if someone does notobserve shraddha he will go to hell alongwith his forefathers of sixgenerations only because the latter have been the forefathers of the former. Also, ifsomeone observes shraddha his six earlier generations will crossover to heaven as they are his begetters. Much on the same lines since thecaste system isan evil system so the system immediately preceding it (i.e.the varna system), should also be an evil one.

 

What is surprising is that a legalluminary should be leveling seriouscharges against a law giver. Dr. Ambedkar has nowhere provided in theConstitution of India that whilepunishing a culprit his parents, grandparents and ancestors should also be declared guilty only because theyhave begotten him. Only if Dr. Ambedkar had made a provision in theconstitution that people could also be declared guilty, punished andexterminated fortheir misdeeds in the past, ifnot in all cases, at least in thecase of some matters relating to nationalism! It would have gratified atleast those nationalists who believe that on the attainment of freedom thosepeople who had indulged in treason against the cause of freedom, who hadcollaborated with the imperialistic foreign rulers, who had indulged in actsof espionage and had sent the patriots to thegallows, should have been declaredoffenders and punished. The traitors to the national cause led a happy andbountiful life in the days of foreign rule by having been favoured withlanded property, pelf and position. And they or their progeny even nowcontinue to do so.

 

 

*the references are to government of Maharashtra publication of DrAmbedkar’s writings and speeches, 1979.

 

On the other hand the freedom fighters are going aboutfrom pillar to post on the look-out of even the basic amenities of life. Suchcharity towards treachery and such indifference towards patriotism havehardly ever been shown in any other case of a transfer of power or a changeofgovernment! If the treacherous people had been punished it would havetaught them a lesson and in turn it would have been in the larger interestofnational integrity, unity and freedom.

 

  1. Manu is being held responsible for the varna system havingdegenerated later into the caste system as if Manu had been in the foreknowledgeof this degeneration, and had consciously advocated the varna systemwith a dubious design! Dr. Ambedkar is the creator of the presentconstitutional system ofIndia. But, did he know at the time of the creationof this constitution what system of government might spring from it in thefuture due to unforeseen developments? No, not at all. Similarly Manualso did not know what shape the varna system would take in the times thatwere to come.

 

  1. Dr.Ambedkar is the creator and a staunch advocate of thecurrent constitutional provisions which are free from caste prejudices. Ifunfortunately, consequent upon some changes for some unforeseenreasons, the Indian constitution acquires a casteist bias hundreds of yearshence will Dr. Ambedkar be responsible for that?At that time everyreasonable person will say at the top of his voice, ”No, No. Ambedkar isanti-casteist. Why should he be labelled as the author of the caste-basedsystem?” When obviously the caste-system is at variance with the varnasystem how can Manu be dubbed as the creator of the caste system? Sothe charge that Manu was the father of the caste system cannot besustained and hence stands rebutted. The fact of the matter is that asubsequent society is the creator of the evil caste system and that verysociety is to blame for its subsistence and sustenance.

 

  1. Dr. Ambedkar states that Manu ‘did not give the law of casteand that he could not do so. Caste existed long before Manu’ (Caste inIndi a, P. 16). Thus Ambedkar himself admits that Manu is responsibleneither for the creation of the caste system nor for the society practicing it.This implies that varna system was already in vogue and the society hadcome to accept it before Manu. This system was after people’s hearts. It hadbeen universally accepted as the best system at that time. It was notimposed by Manu on society. How then is Manu responsible for thesystem which society had already accepted and was practising? AsDr. Ambedkar had advocated a system acceptable to people so had Manualso promoted the varnasystem which had been liked by the people, thenthere is hardly any justificationleft for holding Manu guilty.

 

  1. No system in the world is fully flawless and acceptablewithout reservation. So there is no justification at all in subjecting the wholeof Hindu religion to insulting criticism in the context of the evil caste systemwhich developed long after Manu and other Hindu social philosophers.Are all the constitutional provisions of today which boast ofbeingjust andfair, really perfect? As a matter of fact they are highly controversial,modern senseof equitability notwithstanding. Reservation for the weakersection has been provided as warranted by the present day requirements,and yet it is being violently questioned. Hundreds of years hence when theworking of the present system is recorded in history ignoring the current perspectives it is certain that the sections of the society enjoying privilegesof reservation now will be painted in the same colourBrahmanas arcbeing painted today in the context of ancient holy scriptures.

 

As per present constitutional provisions appointments to almost allpublic posts from the highest to the lowest have to be made on the basisofdegrees and diplomas, and performance at competitive examinations andinterviews. Nominations are made to certain posts. In only a few years ofthe coming into being ofthecurrent constitution things have come to sucha pass that the yardstick of merit is ignored with impunity and the relativesand recommendees of political leaders and officers in power alone aremostly nominated to administrative posts in utter disregard of anindividual’s merits. Interviews are supposed to be held to measure a jobseekersworth. However,jobs go not to the worthy but to the recommendeesor to those who can afford to purchase these positions. Selection listsquashed by the courts bear a testimony to it. Merit is the first casualty incase of appointments to political posts. Nepotism and favouritism are theorder of the day in this respect. Imagine a situation, which is a possibility,that some centuries hence the present constitutional arrangements getdegenerated into arrangements the basis of which becomes birth andparentage rather than the deserts of an individual. Will Dr. Ambedkar andthe constituent assembly of which he was a member be responsible for that degenerated form of things? Will anybody be justified in calling thearrangements given by him and theconstituent assembly responsible forthat degraded and decayed system? If not, Manu can also not be calledthe father of the caste system and can’t be held responsible for thesubsequenterosion of the social system he pleaded for.

 

  1. A more thoughtless and dangerous statement by Dr. Ambedkaris: If you wish to bring about a breach in the system then you have got toapply dynamite to the Vedas and the Shastras (Annihilation ofCaste).

 

On the one hand Dr. Ambedkar believes that Vedas do not advocatethe caste system, and instead pleads only for the varna system which he believesto be logical and not despicable, it being a system based on an individual’smerits and performance. On the other he makes a highly improper andprovocative statement urging for the torching nay dynamiting, of the Vedas.How paradoxical the statements are! He has given a call for theextermination of and a complete dissociation with the Vedas, the holyShastras, the Puranas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Geeta. These holy scriptures provide a basis to and are a source ofinspiration for all good values oflife such as righteousness, inquisitiveness, literary and culturalexcellences, civilized and good conduct. Exterminationof the holy scriptures amounts to the demolition of Hindu (Aryan) civilization,culture, religion,et al.

 

Did Dr. Ambedkar have this as a target in mind? If Dr. Ambedkarhad felt distressed and afflicted in the Hindu fold and had wanted to be outof it, he could have jolly well renounced this faith, walk out of it and lived on as afree man withoutjoiningany particular religious community. But he couldnot, infact, do this without taking recourse to some religious faith either. Consequently he joined the Buddhist fold and came to regard the Buddhist scriptures as the carriers of ultimate truth·- this all in contrast to his callfor the renunciation of Hinduism and Hinduscriptures! Here I would like to refer to aquestion put by Mahatma Gandhi (to Dr. Ambedkar) who wantedto know how one could be a Hindu by disowning the Vedas and Shastras when nobody could be a Muslim by rejecting the Quran and nobody couldbe aChristian by rejecting the Bible.The thinking ofAmbedkar can be compared with the thinking thatsuggests that instead of treating the boils of a diseased person the patienthimselfshould be exterminated.

 

  1. There is not even a remotely suggestive mention of the castesystemin the Vedas. Dr. Ambedkar admits this. Even so he has criticizedthe Vedas without justification on other counts. He has talked ofexterminating the Vedas rather than acknowledging their worth. Even onhaving converted to Buddhism he continued to deprecate the Vedas andthus defied his preceptor, the Buddha and the Buddhist scriptures in asmuch as they speak very highly of the Vedas and of those who are well-versed in the Vedas, and thus affirm their importance. Here are somequotes in support of this contention.

 

“विद्वा च वेदेहि समेच्च धम्मम्

न उच्चावचं गच्छति भूरिपज्वो”(Suttanipata – 292)

 

Mahatma Buddha says ‘The scholar who acquires the knowledgeof righteousness from the Vedas never wavers in life.’

 

(b)विद्वा च सो वेदगू नरो इध, भवाभवे संगं इमं विसज्जा |

सो वीतदण्हो अनिंघो निरासो अतारि सो जातिं जरोति ब्रूमीति ||(Suttanipata – 1060)

 

The scholar who bears the knowledge of the Vedas gets disinterestedin life and becomes indifferent to death, becomes devoid of desiresand yearning, and thus having become aimless gets disentangled from thevicious circle of life and death. (other verses supporting the idea inSuttanipata are: 322.458,503,846. I059, etc.)

 

  1. Dr. Bhadanta Ananda Kausalayana, carrying forward theanti-Manu tradition promoted by Dr. Ambedkar detracts Manu only forthe sake of detracting in his book entitled ‘National Duty’. His thesis in thisbook is shallow in as much as there is neither any logic nor any appealinganalysis. An attempt has been made here to prove bad even what isundoubtedly good through misinterpretation and lopsided presentation.Whereas he resents uncharitable remarks about women made by Manu(ashe believes)he also appears to beanguishedat why the word Pujarha=’worth worshipping’ has been used for women. This amounts to taking thestand: ‘Heads, I win; tails, you lose’. He presents himself as a greatparadox. He is an admirer of Mahatma Gandhi and yet does not accept hisprecepts. He is a Buddhist and yet does not acknowledge the importanceof the Vedas and those who possess the knowledge of the Vedas, as hasbeen made out in the Buddhist literature. He took pride in proclaiminghimself as a non-Hindu (non-Vedic).

 

  1. All anti-Manu writers have made certain identical remarkswhich make a biased and lopsided appraisal ofthe Manusmriti. They havenot quoted those verses which, being in consonance with the topic in thecontext, are, beyond any controversy, regarded as from the original text.These are the verses which carry charitable and amiable remarks aboutwomen and Shudras. On the other hand, these writers have decried anddisparaged Manu by quoting those verses which are doubtlessly regardedas interpolations. These writers have not cared to resolve the question whythere should be in the same context clearly self-contradictory statements.

 

And another relevant question is: Why should they have quoted only thecontroversial statements ignoring others? In fact, if these writers had caredto discuss this issue they would have automatically come across the answerto the question. In that case there would have been left no reason forresentment and consequent protest. Instead, a number of misgivings couldhave been avoided.

 

  1. The position of the Shudras in the Manusmriti

 

Now let us address ourselves to the most discussed and the mostcontroversial topic regarding the Manusmriti, viz, the position of theShudras as described in the Manusmriti. If we glance even cursorily at the evidence available within the Manusmriti itself we arrive at somebasic and important facts which indicate what Manu’s attitude towards theShudras was.

 

  1. The Dalits and the Backwards of Today are not among the Shudras.

 

Nowhere does the Manusmriti talk of the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes of today asbeing the Shudras. Manu has giventhe world the varna system, and he determines the varna of a man not onthe basis of his parentage but on the basis of his merits, vocation and capabilities. This is the reason why no community or vocation as such has been included in the Shudra category. The subsequent societies andlater-day system- givers were the ones who named certain varnas and vocations asbelonging to the Shudra category. Some people of unfounded misgivingsare imputing this later development to Manu. Subsequentsocietieswere and are responsible for the degenerated systems but Manu is the one being lashed out at! What asense ofjusticeon the part of the representatives oftheDalits!

 

 

  1. Manu’s Definition of Shudranot Applicable to present-dayDalits.

 

The present day Dalits and Backwards cannot be included in the Shudra category as per definition ofShudra given by Manu. According to him those who have, besides their normal birth, also a second birth calledBrahmajanma {Which takes place on being initiated into receivingeducation at the feet of the teacher for acquiring awareness of the higherreality'(Brahma)} are called dvijas (twice-born), i.e., the Brahmanas,Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. Those who do not have the Brahmajanma andthus have only one birth are called Shudras. This means that a child whogoes to his teacher at the time prescribed for receiving education in theVedas and other knowledge passed down orally (with all the formal religious ceremonies performed)and also for receiving training pertinent tohis varna,  is born a second time.

 

This Vidyajanma which has been called Brahmajanma in the holyscriptures is his second birth, However, a child who deliberately or on account of being a dullard or being incapacitated to acquire education and training in any of the three dvijavarnas remain ekjati which means theone having only one birth, a mere natural or Shudra. Besides, the man who, despite having received education and training in anyone of the threehigh varnas does not carry out the prescribed duties and obligations of thatvarna, also becomes a Shudra (See Manusmriti: 2-126,169,170, 72,10-4. etc.)

 

A couple of quotes from the Manusmriti as evidence to this effectmerit our attention:-

 

(a) ब्राह्मणःक्षत्रियोवैश्यस्त्रयोवर्णा:द्विजातयः।
चतुर्थएकजातिस्तुशूद्रोनास्तितुपञ्चमः।।(Manu. 10.4)

 

This means that the three varnas, i.e., the Brahmanas, the Kshatriyasand the Vaishyas are called dvijatis (dvijas, i.e., twice-born) because they have, through education, a second birth also. The fourth varnais ekjati (once-born only) because members of this varna have only onebirth, i.e., the normal birth and do not have a second birth named Vidyajanma. There are no other varnathan these four ones.

 

(b) शूद्रेणहिसमस्तावद्यावद्वेदेनजायते।(2-172)

 

It means that unless a man acquires the Brahmajanma (a second birth by undertaking the studies of the Vedas) he continues to remain like aShudra.

 

(c) नवेत्त्यभिवादस्य—यथाशूद्रस्तथैवसः (Manu. 2-126)

 

It means that the one who is not possessed of the courtesy of doingobeisance to others is a Shudra.

 

(d)प्रत्यवायेनशूद्रताम् (Manu. 4-245)

 

It means: A Brahmana becomes a Shudra ifhe joins the companyof depraved and evil-minded people and conducts himselfat their level.This definition of the Shudra continued to remain in operation evenuntil later days.

 

(e) जन्मनाजायतेशुद्र:,संस्काराद्द्विज् उच्यते|(SkandaPurana)

 

Every person is born a Shudra. It is onlyon the performance of theUpanayana ceremony laterthat he becomes a dvija(twice-born).This system upheld by Manu is practised on the island of Bali eventoday. There dvijatiand ekjati words are used to distinguish the dvijasfrom the Shudras. However, Shudras are not regarded as untouchablesthere.

 

 

  1. Shudras are not Untouchables

 

A numberofverses in the Manusmriti indicate that Manu had anattitude of humanity, feeling and goodwill towards Shudras and by no meansdid he regard them as untouchable, depraved and hate-worthy. Manu has used for Shudras such epithets as ‘best’, ‘highest’ and ‘cleanest'” And aperson who is described so eulogistically can never be untouchable orhate-worthy, (9-335). Manu has directed Shudras to carry out in the households of dvijas such domestic chores as cooking, and some othermanual and labour-based services(1-91;9·334,335).lf some Shudracomesas a guest to the house of a dvija the latter is directed to serve him meals,(3-112). Heis also directed to take meals only after he has served meals tohis servant” who used to be Shudras in those times (3.)16). Are the servants and domestic helps in a household in the present day varna-free’civilized’society served meals in precedence over the employer? Are they given so much of consideration? How humane, respectful andconsiderate an attitude Manu had!

 

As per Vedic Varna system Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas andShudras have been metaphorically described to have emerged from themouth, arms, thighs and feet of Brahma (the pramatmapurusha) respectively(1-31). This leads us to three conclusions. Firstly, the membersof all the four varnas are the progeny of God and enjoy equal status. Secondly,when they are all born of the same origin, not even one varnacanbe untouchable or despicable. Thirdly the feet which are organs of thesame body cannot be untouchable or despicable vis-a-vis the other parts. With such verses in the Mamusmriti, can any objective and unprejudicedreader make the observation that Manu regarded Shudras as untouchableand hateworthy?

 

  1. Special concessions to Shudras in the order of precedence

 

Manu has given exceptional regard to Shudras in matters of socialrecognition. In the order of precedence prescribed by Manu he accordsrespect and recognition to the first three varnas in proportion to theirmerits. And accordingly the learned are the most respectable (2-111, 112,130). But Manu has shown extra consideration for Shudras and hasprovided that the members of the dvijavarna should show prior respect toan aged Shudra, even though he be illiterate. Such respectfulness for agehas not been extended to any of the first three varnas.

 

मानार्हःशूद्रोऽपिदशमींगतः।(2-137)

 

Meaning: All elderly Shudra should be shown respect in precedenceover others who deserve to be respected only on the basis of the merits they possess-the greater the merits the more the respect.

 

  1. Freedom to Shudras in the observance of religious rules and duties

 

(a) नधर्मात्प्रतिषेधनम्।(10-126).

 

It means that the Shudras are not barredfrom the observance of religious ceremonies and rites. In saying so, Manuhas allowed freedom to Shudras to observe religion. The samepoint is also made in the verse in which he says ‘we must imitate goodpoints of conduct found even in a Shudra (2-213). Vedas grant Shudras aclear right ofperformingyajna, and of reading Vedas and Shastras:

 

यथेमांवाचंकल्याणीमावदानिजनेभ्य: |
ब्रह्मराजन्यभ्यांशूद्रायचार्यायचस्वायचारण|य|| यजुर्वेद – (Yajurveda xxvi-2)

 

Meaning: I have given the benevolent Vedic sermon for all humanbeings, viz., Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, women, domestic help and the Shudras of the lowest degree also.

 

(b)यज्ञियासःपञ्चजनाममहोत्रंजुषध्वम्(Rigveda 10-53-4)

पञ्चजना: =चत्वारोवर्णाः,निषाद: पञ्चमः(Nirukta 3-8)

 

Meaning: Five classes of people who are entitled to performyajnashould carry out agnihotra. They are the people belonging to the fourvarnasand the fifth are the Nishadas,Manu proclaims that the postulates of the Manusmriti are in conformity with those of the Vedas. Naturally, therefore, Manu’s beliefsand views are also the same as those of the Vedas. That is the reason whywearingofupanayana has not been barred for anyone inthe discussion onthis topic in the Manusmriti. It means that one becomes Shudra only whenone does not undergo upanayana ceremony and remains uninitiated.

 

  1. Shudras the least liable to punishment as per Manu’s penal code

 

Now let us have a look at the penal code propounded by Manu. It ishighly improper to suggest that Manu has provided for the Shudras a morestringent code of punishment, and has extended privileges and prerogativesto Brahmans. In Manu’s code merits are the yardstick, and the level ofintelligence, social status, post and position held and the likely socialconsequences of the crime are the fundamental criteria for determiningthe punishment to a wrong-doer. Manu’s code of punishment is just andequitable which is also psychologically effective. If Manu has accordedgreater respect and higher social status to higher varnas, he has alsoprovided for more rigorous punishment in the case of members of these varnaswho commit crimes. Accordingly the Shudra is the least and the Brahmanaamong all the varnas is the most liable to punishment. In case a king isinvolved in a crime he is liable to much more severe punishment.

 

अष्टापाद्यंतुशूद्रस्यस्तेयेभवतिकिल्बिषम्।
षोडशैवतुवैश्यस्यद्वात्रिंशत्क्षत्रियस्यच।।
ब्राह्मणस्यचतुःषष्टिःपूर्णंवापिशतंभवेत्।
द्विगुणावाचतुःषष्टिस्तद्दोषगुणविद्धिसः

(viii-337,338)

 

A convict in crimes like theft etc. has to be punished keeping inmind the principle that higher the varna to which he belongs the greater the punishment be meted out to him as there is expected to be greaterunderstanding on his part in respect of the seriousness of the crime, itsconsequences and social implications. Thus a Shudra is to be punished eight times severely, the Vaishya sixteen times,a Kashatriya thirty two times, Brahmana sixty four times; nay, hundred times or even 128 times more severely.

 

Besides, Manu has also ruled that no person-be it the preceptor,the priest or even the parents of the king should beexempted from thesaid punishment. The king should not let even a friend go scot-free. Ifsome financially well-off convict seeks exemption on the payment of alarge sum of money in lieu ofthe physical punishment due to him he too should not be let offwithout due punishment. (8.335,347)

 

See how just, practical, result oriented and psychologically effectiveManu’s penal code is! Ifit is juxtaposed with the present day penal code the difference will become clear. The cardinal principleoftoday’scode is: Allare equal in the eyes of law. Its first point of difference with Manu is thatwhereas in it people enjoy social prestige as per their position and status in the public and the government they are liable to only equal punishment.

 

The second point of difference is that the modem system is not equitable.This unequitable situation can be explained with an illustration. Suppose on trespassing into a field to graze, a lamb, a buffalo or an elephant is eachstruck with one blow of the same slick, what will be its effect on each ofthese animals? The poor lamb will break down and start bleating in pain, the buffalo willjust feel the impact and the elephant won’t even feel that ithas been given a blow. But the question is: Does it really amount to a standard measure of punishment and equitable justice? Equitable justice is that which works in normal day to day life. A he-buffalo can be controlled with just a lathi blow whereas it requires an iron-hook or a goad to tame anelephant or a lion. Let us take another illustration. If it is a question of thepayment of a fine ofRs. 1000/- a poor and penniless person will be able to pay it off with extreme hardship by borrowing the amount on exacting terms and will have to labour for a life time to repay the sum. A manbelonging to middle class will feel the pinch of it but will easily pay it off. But a wealthy person will pay off the fine with a what-do-I- care attitude! It is the result of only this unrealistic and psychologically ineffective penalsystem that whereas the poor get entrapped in the clutches of law, the people with position, pelfand power easily get away with crimes or havethemselves let off on the payment of only monetary fines. It will berevealing to cast a glance at the statistics available as to how many of thepoor and powerless on the one side and how many of the rich andresourceful on the other side have been effectively booked for offences. The latter, if at all they are sentenced, keep on paying off monetary fines foroffences only to repeat them. There is no such imbalance in Manu’s PenalCode which is extremely even handed!

 

The severity of punishment is perfectly proportionate to the seriousnessof the crime in Manu’s penal code. He provides for rigorous punishmentsfor serious crimes, and for lighter punishments for less serious offences to all varnas without any discrimination, whatsoever. The provision for very harsh punishment especially for the Shudras is in sharp contrast to Manu’spronounced code. Such a provision is to be found only in the spurious verses which were never composed by Manu.

 

  1. Shudras are not slaves

 

The statement calling for engaging Shudras in slavery or for notpaying them their wages runs counter to Manu’s well-known instructions.In fact Manu has called upon the kings to give wages to servants anddomestic helps as per their status. He also emphasises that their wagesshould not be deducted without any sufficient and valid reasons. (7·125,126,8-216)

 

  1. Shudrasare Savarnas

 

If we referto the Manusmritiin its present interpolated form wecan see a number of provisions made by Manu which have been altered bythe subsequent societies to suit their whims and requirements. Manuregards all the four varnas as savarna and anyone other than the four asnon-savarna. But the subsequent societies started putting the Shudras inthe category of non-savamas. (10-4,45)

 

Manu includes the artisans, sculptors, etc. among the Vaishyas (3-64,9-329; 10-99-120) but the subsequent society relegated them to the categoryof Shudras. Also, whereas Manu regards agriculture and animalhusbandry as the job of the Vaishyas (1.90) the Brahmanas and Kshatriyaswho have mostly been pursuing these professions have not been acceptedas Vaishyas by the subsequent societies including the present. How canthis categorising be accepted as prescribed by Manu?

 

Thus we see that the provisions which were really made by Manuare just and equitable. He has not been unfair to the Shudras or, for that matter, to any other varna.

 

  1. The position of women in the Manusmriti
  2. Women are held in highest esteem

 

It is clear from the internal evidence of the Manusmriti that theanti-women picture of Manu presented by some is baseless and contrary tothe facts. The provisions concerning women in Manu have been inspired byhis sense of respect, justice and goodwill and his concern for their securityand equality with men. Here are some facts of evidence in support: -Maharshi Manu is the first great man ofthe world to have given thesociety the highest ideal about women which adds remarkably to the dignity’, status and self-respect of women.

 

यत्रनार्यस्तुपूज्यन्तेरमन्तेतत्रदेवताः।
यत्रैतास्तुनपूज्यन्तेसर्वास्तत्राफलाःक्रियाः|| (3·56)

 

The correct meaning of the verse is: Gods (who stand for divine qualities, good deeds, sweet nature and blessings for the family, for obedient children and other coveted possessions) make their abode in thehousehold in which women are treated with respect. However, wherethey are not shown any respect, all ventures and undertakings end in smoke. There can be no better proof to show the reverential attitude ofManu towards women than the extremely respectful and beautifuladjectives used for women by him. He says that women in the family are instrumental in bringing good luck to the household; they are respectable; they are illuminating by their very presence and decorative in appearance;they are a symbol of prosperity; they are the mistresses and the solemanagers of the household; they are heavenly in influence; they areconducive to a smooth worldly journey (ix-11, 26, 28; v- 150). He adds that people wishing for their welfare must respect women and that those families and households in which women have to suffer slights, go to dogs.According to him the real happiness and welfare of a household lies in thehappiness and welfare of the women in it (iii-55-62). So he instructs thehusband and the wife in the household to remain happy and satisfied witheach other, not to act against each other and not to indulge in any such activity as may lead to their separation (ix-101·102). Only one verse will suffice to bring out Manu’s feelings.

 

प्रजनार्थमहाभागा: पूजार्हागृहदीप्तय: ॥

स्त्रिय: श्रियश्चगेहेषुनविशेषोस्तिकश्चन॥ (Manu 1-26)

 

It means that women bring good luck to a household throughprocreation; they deserve respect and reverence; they irradiate the housewith their presence. In fact there is no difference between the goddess ofwealth and the woman.

 

  1. Son and daughter have equal status

 

Those unacquainted with Manu’s code will be pleasantly surprisedto be informed that Manu is the first law-giver to have ordained that sonand daughter enjoy an equal status in the family. He has also given this concept a constitutional validity. He says:पुत्रेणदुहितासमा।(9-130) whichmeans that daughter is at par with son in every respect.

 

  1. Son and daughter: Equal partners in parental property.

 

Manu regards both the son and the daughter as equal heirs toparental property. This opinion findsa mention in theManusmriti in chapter ix-130, 192. This very view has been quoted in the Nirukta as follows:-

 

अविशेषेणपुत्राणांदायोभवतिधर्मत:|

मिथुनानांविसर्गादौमनु: स्वायम्भुवोsब्रवीत्|| (iii-1-4)

 

Meaning: In the beginning ofthe creation SvayambhuManuordained and declared that there are equal rights for sons and daughters in theancestral parental property. Manu has infact enhanced the importance ofgirls in the house-hold by laying down that only daughters (and not sons)are entitled to inherit the personal property of the mother(ix- 131).

 

  1. Special instructions for the safety of women’s property:

 

Manu has ensured that nobody usurps the property of women under the impression that they are weaklings. He has laid down that people makingsuch attempts, howsoever close they may be to the concerned woman, should he given the same punishment as has been prescribed for thieves(ix-2 12; iii-52, viii-2,29).

 

 

  1. Stringent punishment for crimes against women

 

Manu has tried to ensure the security of women by laying down thatthe kidnappers and killersof women should be awarded capital punishmentand the rapists be banished after being tortured (viii-323; ix0232, viii-352).Manu has given clear instructions for the redressal of all difficulties, big or small, facing women. Men have been instructed not to quarrel with their mother,wife and daughter (iv-180). There is a provision for punishment to persons leveling false charges against them; to those deserting women even when they are innocent; to those who fail to fulfill conjugal obligations towardswomen (viii-275,389; ix-4).

 

  1. Marital Freedom to Women:

 

Manu has an ideal approach on the subject of marriage of a woman.He has conceded to her the freedom of marrying a man of her choice whoin her opinion is the most suitable for her (ix-90, 91). He has allowedremarriage of a widow and has also sanctioned Niyoga (temporaryattachment to a member of the opposite sex for a definite purpose such asprocreation, etc.) (ix-1 76,56-63). Marriage is a symbol of affection and respect for girls and, therefore, according to Manu dowry in any form ishighly improper and hence forbidden (i ii-51-54). Earnestly wishing for thehappiness of women he suggests that it is better to remain unmarried lifelong than to marry a wicked and vicious man (ix .89).

 

  1. Joint obligations and woman’s indispensability in the performance of religious rites

 

The participation which women get in every field of activity enjoyed bymen in India as sanctioned by Vedic religion is of a unique nature and is notto be seen elsewhere. Here no religious rite, no social ceremony and nohousehold venture can be accomplished without women being associated.Manu also has the same creed to propound. So he entrusts the job ofaccomplishing religious rites and ceremonies to women, and gives directions that such rites should not be carried out without theirparticipation (ix- II 28, 96). During the Vedic period women enjoyed allrights such as the right to study the Vedas, right to the wearing ofyajnopavita (sacred thread), right to doyajna (sacrificial ceremony),etc. They used to embellish the position of Brahma (the director) in theyajna ceremony. They would acquire the position of seers (exponents) ofVedic hymns after having received high education. Manu who regarded the

Vedas as being of axiomatic authority in all religious matters was a greatadvocate of high education and all religious rights for women as ordainedin the Vedas. That is why he rules that all the rights relating to womenshould be carried out under their own supervision with the chanting ofVedic hymns by them. (ii-4 ;iii.28)

 

  1. Preference to women

 

The admirers of’ladies first’ culture will be gratified to learn thatManu has instructed that we should stepaside to make way for women ona priority basis. He also rules that newly married women, unmarried girls, ailing, expectant and old women should be provided foodfirst and then only should husband and wife in the family take mealstogether.(ii.138; iil.114, 116)Al1these provisions in Manu indicate the highdegree of sense of respect and affection he had for womenfolk.

 

  1. Manu not in favour of unrestrained freedom to women

 

It will be only pertinent to clarify in this context that Manu is anadmirer of virtues and a great detractor of vices. So he accords all respectto virtuous ladies and provides for all punishmentstovicious women.

One of the characteristics of these provisions of Manu is that he is not infavour of unlimited liberty for women which may make her unsafe andconsequentially be extremely harmful to her. So he has warned womenagainst jumping the security cover provided to her either by the father or bythe husband or by the son because such a misadventure on her part canbring a bad name to two families, her parents’ and that of herin-laws’ (v-149; ix-56) However, by no means does it mean that Manu isanti-women’s lib. This only implies that the first social requirement ofwomen is security which may be provided to her by the State’s law andorder machinery or by some man or by her own valour. Her own valour, moreoften than not, fails to protect her in a world dominated by sensualtendencies. There are instances to show that even well-armed woman dacoits have required male protection and patronage. However, it will notbe proper to assess Manu’s contentions in the present day politicalperspective. Today there is a law-enforcing government and yet thousands of women have been criminally assaulted and thus compelled togo to the dogs. The rape and subsequent killing of women is the order of the dayand the rule of law is rendered ineffectual. The real import of Manu’swords can be realized vis-a-vis a situation when there is looseness inadministration consequent upon a change in the system of governmentfollowing violent incidents. It is in such a situation that Manu’s words proveto be perfectly true.

 

This analysis makes it clear that the provisions made by Manu areneither anti-shudra nor anti-woman. They are in fact, extremely fair,just,impartial and even-handed. Manu has said nothing objectionable, nothing exceptionable.

 

E- Spurious interpolations in the Manusmriti

 

The aforementioned discussion leads us to the inevitable conclusion that the Manusmriti does have in it a large number of verses carryingnoble canons and commandments. However, it is also a fact that theextremely objectionable verses which anti-Manu writers have beenquoting and underscoring are imputed to Manu and hisManusmriti. Thismakes the scripture a carrier of paradoxes. If the latter type of verseswere also accepted as really from the originalManusmriti it would meanthat the book has in it on the one side just and fair rules and regulations andunfair and treasonable and hence despicable proposals and postulates onthe other. The crucial question is: Is it an acceptable position that a bookshould originally carry in it such paradoxes and self-contradictorystatements and commandments? When there are no apparently self-contradictorystatements in the compositions of even ordinary writers ofaverage intelligence how can there be such paradoxical statements in thewrite-up of such a legal luminary and religiously righteous sage. A plain, simple and incontrovertible explanation to this is one and only one: the justand noble laws and those giving due consideration to a man’s potentialities,actions and abilities are originally written by Manu and those against theseprinciples, and putting a premium on partial, unreasonable and unjustapproach are interpolations added to the Manusmriti from time to time,designed to suit the vested interests of interpolators. This explanation getsupheld as correct and just if we make a reference to the Manusmritiitself. The original verses are contextually relevant and written in a soberstyle which matches with the principle of due consideration for an individual’s merits, actions and potentialities so dearly upheld by Manu.The interpolated verses are written in a different style and are not onlyirrelevant and out of context but also thematically discordant Thus we candetermine which verses are original and which ones are interpolated. Inbrief the following can be stated as guiding principles for telling the originalfrom the interpolated:-

 

1.The system upheld by Manu is the Vedic Varna system (EvenDr. Ambedkar has accepted this fact). So the verses upholding theprinciple of merit-profession-potentiality are the original ones and thoseagainst it and pleading for parentage and birth as determining factors arethe motivated insertions made subsequently.There were no castes during Manu’s times. That is why Manu does not name any caste as belonging one or the other varna. Keeping this inview the logical conclusion is that the verses upholding the inheritance ofvarnas are the interpolated ones.

 

  1. The verses relating to the system of due and equitable punishment quoted in the present write-up, which constitute the generallaw, are original. And the verses which talk of discriminatory rigorouspunishment only to some sections are interpolated ones.

 

  1. Similarly the verses quoted here relating to the definition of Shudras, talking of a charitable attitude towards them, of the performance ofreligious rites by them of possible change from one varna to the other arefrom the original text. On the other hand those which talk of a person beinga Shudra if born of Shudra parents, which talk of untouchability, ofdiscrimination between the high and the low, and those which supportexploitation of weaker sections are interpolated ones.

 

  1. Again the verses quoted in this article suggesting that women should be given due regard, should enjoy social freedom, have equalitywith men and have the right to education including the right to study the Vedas, are original and those negating these postulates are interpolations.Some readers may be interested in going deep into the question ofwhich verses are original and why, which verses are subsequent motivatedadditions and why. They are urged to refertotheManusmriti (Complete)in Hindi published by the ArshSahityaPracharTrust. 455-.Khari Baoli, Delhi. This book carries an appraisal of the book on the strength of arguments based on internal evidence and tells the original verses from theinterpolated ones on the basis of universally acceptable yardsticks. Thisedition of the Manusmriti will prove very useful in securing informationregarding the original subjects taken up in the scripture for discussion,regarding the interpolated verses clearly stating why they are decisivelyand conclusively interpolated and not original, regarding some of the popular misgivings about the Manusmriti and their resolution in aconvincing manner. This is the latest research on interpolations in theManusmriti. It is essential to make it clear here that the interpolatedverses are no longer a subject of controversy. Instead, they have beenaccepted as such decisively, conclusively and finally. It is a factsupported by written evidence that there motivatedadditions have been made to the ancient Sanskrit literature from time to time. TheMahabharata which originally carried only 10,000 verses has graduallybecomea stupendous volume of about one lakh verses. Today’s Ramayanacarries hundreds more shlokas than those in a hand-written versionwhich is about one thousand years old and which isstilllying preserved inthe Nepalese archives. The Manusmriti is also sailing in the same boat. As a matter of fact a larger number of additions, alterations andinterpolations have been carried out in it. The reason obviously is that it is more related and relevant to the day-to-day conduct and concerns of humanbeings. So it was subjected to manipulations by vested interests. Thescholars of all shades and hues are unanimous on the issue ofinterpolations in the Manusmriti. The commentaries available on it bear adirect testimony to this fact. The later-day commentaries carry a largernumber of verses. There are 170 more verses in Kullukabhatta’scommentary (12th century) than those found in that of Meghalithi (9thcentury). Till then the extra verses in the former had not been assimilatedin the main body of the commentary and so had to be given in largebrackets. There is a variation in the number of verses found in othercommentaries.

 

* British researchers like Wooler, J.Jolly, Keith and MacDonell andthe Encyclopedia Americana also accept that the Manusmriti carries alarge number of interpolations.

 

*MaharshiDayanand, the founder of the Arya Samaj regards onlythe original and interpolation-free Manusmriti as authentic. He has pointedout some interpolated verses and has urged scholars to identify other suchverses for expurgating this great work.

 

*Mahatma Gandhi in his book entitled ‘Varna Vyavastba’ accepts that the objectionable verses found in the Manusmriti are subsequentmotivated insertions. Dr. Radhakrishanan, Dr. Rabindemath Tagore andother national leaders and scholars too are of the same opinion.Hence the need of the hour is that the original Manusmriti shouldbe reckoned as authentic, and the opposition to Manu on the basis ofinterpolated Shlokas should be rebuttedbecause Manu and Mauusmritiare worth taking pride in and not something condemnable. We shouldnot drag such invaluable and important heritage of our country in the dirtypolitics of vested interests, and thus should not desecrate it by subjecting itto indignities and insults.

 

 

Vedas: Sources of Science, Spirituality and Healthy Living: Acharya Ashish Arya

Vedas: Sources of Science, Spirituality and Healthy Living

(Acharya Ashish Arya , Vaidic Sadhan Ashram,Tapovan,Nalapani,Dehradun, Bharat,India)

The divine knowledge of Vedas was revealed in the beginning of human civilization in the hearts of four Rishis by Almighty, is the basis of both physical as well as spiritual sciences. All the essential knowledge to live happy life in this transitory world and attain the state of total liberation is efficiently given in four Vedas.  According to Maharishi DayanandSaraswatiसर्वेषांवेदानाम् ईश्वरे मुख्येsर्थे मुख्यतात्पर्यमस्ति। तत्प्राप्तिप्रयोजना एव सर्व उपदेशाः सन्ति ।(Rigvedadi-Bhashya-Bhumika)means that the main purpose of Vedas is to experience God and become enlightened by knowing the truth.Materialistic and Spiritual knowledge in Vedic hymns is given only for this very purpose. Hence, the primary object of physical sciences as well is to understand Creator through His well-designed creation. Some glimpses of physical sciences in Vedas are mentioned below with references and evidences. Some of which are even unknown to modern science today. For instance

  1. As is well known, there is yet no definite theory about the birth of the moon in modern science.

As per modern view, the Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago.  Other smaller planetary bodies were also forming.  One of these hit earth late in Earth’s formation process, blowing out rocky debris. A fraction of that debris went into orbit around the Earth and aggregated to form moon.

However, According to Vedas the birth of our nearest neighbor and the earth’s only natural satellite is described in the mantra of the famous AsyaVamasyaSukta, which gives almost an eyewitness account of the phenomenon, which brought the moon in existence.

सा बीभत्सुर्गर्भरसा निविद्धा नमस्वन्त इदुपवाकमीयु:||  (Rig. 1.164.8)

The mantra clearly illustrates that our neighbormoon is partof mother earth, which wasdisembodied. The earth, which was upright in the beginning and full of liquid mass at a high temperature and pressure and was constantly pierced by the fierce radiation of the sun, which  produced a tremendously high pressure.Due to that high pressure the basic fluid material, by the immense force of the sun’s gravity and its own internal pressure burst out as moon at a suitable point in the earth’s orbit.

That the moon is the child of the earth with the sun as his father is confirmed by another mantra of Rigveda, in which the moon himself describes his own parentage.

द्यौर्मे पिता जनिता नाभिरत्र बन्धुर्मे माता पृथ्वी महीयम् (Rig. 1.164.33)

(The sun is my father, the progenitor; here is my navel. This great earth is my mother and ‘bandhu’ or one who binds me in bonds of affection).

2.सप्त वीरासो अधरा Rig. 10.27.15According to the Veda, the total number of planets of the solar system are 10, including the asteroid belt. Out of these, the first seven came out of the sun and the last three were captured by the sun from outside by its strong gravitational field. Out of the last three, the eighth came from above, the ninth from behind and tenth from the front of the sun as it went about in its orbit around the Centre of the galaxy and the first seven plants went around the sun in their respective orbits.(Courtesy: The Cosmic Yajna by Dr.M.L.Gupta)

In addition, Millions of years before Copernicus’ discovery Holy Vedas revealed this scientific truth that the earth revolves around the sun which is clearly stated in the hymn given below.

आयं गौ: पृश्निरक्रमीद (Yaj. 3/6)This Earth with its oceans revolves in the space around the Sun.

Moon is illuminated by Sun LightRig. 1.84.15॥ ॥Rig.10.85.9

Solar eclipseRig. 5.40.5

In Atharva Veda total age of the universe (duration of one creation) is given

शतं तेs युतं  हायनान्  द्वे युगे त्रीणि चत्वारि Atharv. 8.2.21I, Creator of the cosmos creates the beautiful universe for you. Having the duration of an Ayuta(ten thousand) multiplied by a Shata( a hundred).Thus totaled ten lac a Prayuta, A million, in figure 10,000,00. Then place the digits of 4, 3 and 2 serially before the figure of ten lac (10, 000, 00) making it 432, 0000,000 years. Thus, the total duration of the universe is Four billion, thirty-two crore years.

Rigveda 1-50-4 speaks about the high speed of the light and states that the Sun quickly pervades the whole world. In the commentary on this mantra Saayanaacharyawrites : “It is remembered that the sunlight travels two thousand two hundred and two(2,202) Yojnas in half a Nimesha. According to this speed of light is 187083.97852863=187084 miles/second.

Thus the modern value of 1,86,000 miles/second for the velocity of light is close to the above value. “Saayana” wrote his commentary in the 15th century AD, while the modern science finds out the velocity of light in 20th century. This is praiseworthy for Vedic science.

Medical Sciences in Vedas: In eleventh chapter of Atharva Veda (11.4.16), there is mention of four kinds of Therapy: 1. Psychotherapy, 2. Naturopathy,3. Drug Therapy, 4. Surgical Therapy

114 hymns in Atharva Veda are devoted to the medical subjects. For instance –Gulgulu, bdellium,olibanu for Tuberculosis  (Atharv. 19/38/1)

Dark-ColouredRajani plant (Curcuma Longa Lim) for Leprosy (Atharv. 1/23/1)

Cheepudru (PinusLongifoliaRoxb) for mental disturbance,tumors in arm-pit , pain in bone joints  (Atharv.  6/127/2-3)

Arundhati (Soymidafebrifuuga) for bone fractures i (Atharv.  4/12/1)

Pippali (Piper Longum Linn) for the Insane and the patient with Rheumatism (Atharv.6/109/11) etc.

There are so many Ved mantras, which deal with the art of building ships and Aircrafts.we should think of Sh. Shivakar Bapu ji Talpade, An Indian Vedic Scientist , who utilized the ancient knowledge of Vedas, to fly an unmanned aircraft up to height of 1500 ft., eight years before his foreign counterparts.Please click the given link below, to know how this modern world is wholeheartedly accepting the glory of ancient Vedic scriptures,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgcIpoOowL4#t=15

 

Email: ashish.tapovan@yahoo.co.in

TapovanAshram,Nalapani,Dehradun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, the Vedas sanction death of a cow slaughterer: Dr. Dharmveer

The debate on beef is nothing new. The liberals, intellectuals have been creating an uproar about their right to eat beef on a regular basis. Their fight is not about an animal, their main objective today is to be anti Hindu. They will stand up for anything and against anything as long it is against Hinduism. Their overlords have just been thrown out of power after misgoverning India for 60 + years and they are venting out their frustration about anything they can get their hands on. If they really had concern for the Muslim world, they would have raised their voice against what is happening in Syria. They are essentially a bunch of hypocrites who were until now receiving monetary and other benefits for their anti Hindu stance. With the Modi Government coming to power in 2014 this has stopped to a great extent and this is the only way they know, to vent out their frustration. However their anti hindu stance has now morphed into being anti national.

 

According to them, Hindus do not have right priorities. How can killing of a cow be so important. there can hardly be comparison between value of man and a cow. All animals were created for the human beings and it is hence no sin in killing them or eating them. Even if we buy this argument that all animals were created for human beings, it still doesn’t mean that we destroy them altogether and eating them cannot be the only use they can be put to. Firstly all that has been created for human beings is a common resource and belongs to all and should therefore benefit all. They should be used in a way that is most useful and serves everyone. The best utilization of the resources is a measure of human intelligence. One doesn’t burn a house and say that the wood is for fire. It is used for fire but it is useful in construction of a house as well. Putting it to the best is the responsibility and duty of human beings.

 

 

If someone wants to benefit himself at the cost of others, he cannot be given the right to do that.

Personal conduct is everyone’s right but in a society we abide by the rules of the society. Today those who are advocating their right to eat beef will tomorrow ask their right to eat other human beings, will we allow that in the name of personal freedom. This happened in “Nitahari”. The law and the society considered those people to be guilty and punished according to the crime.

Similarly, the hindu society considers the cow “ Aghanya” which means that it should not be killed. The law also forbids it. The so called liberal class wants eat beef  and go against the majority of the population (which is still Hindu) and the law. This is not only against the society but going against the law is betraying the country too.

If one sections is breaking the law and getting away with it, sooner or later the law abiding section will also break the law. If eating beef is the right of “ Engineer Rashid” then punishing the beef eater will become the right of a Hindu. Both these situations of breaking the law would give rise to anarchy and in the country. This is not in the interest of the society. We always have to uphold the interest of society and the country. If one section proves itself powerful by killing a cow and the other creates chaos by using pork, their will tension and both situations are regrettable.

 

The meat eaters, especially the beef eaters have today created a food problem for the entire world.  Beef is a food requirement for a few people but cow milk is for the entire society. children, elderly and the sick especially need milk. It is a requirement of those who eat beef as well.  A large scale consumption of beef has created a shortage for milk. Butter, ghee, sweets all are prepared with milk. Milk shortage has resulted in adulteration in all milk products as the supply can no longer meet the demand.  Due to mass slaughter of cows and other bovine population has brought us to verge of drinking soybean water as milk.

If we remove milk and milk products from our diet, there is hardly anything left in our food. We believe that factories, industries and services are symbols of prosperity. We cannot be more wrong.  The way our needs and requirements are fulfilled by livestock, they cannot be fulfilled by any other source.  The livestock population lies at the real base of our prosperity. Animals are beneficial in life and even after their death. Their natural death also provides us with a lot of things so where is the need to kill them. Cow’s milk is good for the development of brain as well as physical strength whereas the meat is rich in “ Tamo gun” ( which increases aggressive and destructive behavior and anger).  Swami Dayandand had written more than a century ago, that a decline of the livestock population will cause the fall of the king and his subjects.

British rule had understood 2 of our strengths that needed to be destroyed in order to rule India.

The first was our education system which was knowledge, thought and ideal based. The second was a livestock, especially the cow which was central to our prosperity. They left us in poverty by destroying our these 2 strengths. Even today their pimps create ruckus on these issues in order to destroy the remaining social and religious fabric of India.

 

 

Cow is not a symbol of a Hindu or a Muslim identity. It belongs to everyone. Cow gives benefits even when it does not provide us milk. Cow manure is a natural fertilizer and cow urine is known to have medicinal properties. Developed countries are now developing medicines with cow urines to fight cancer. That cow milk enriches our food quality is a well known fact, cow manure is also an excellent natural fertilizer and protects soil quality. Swami Dayanand had made great efforts during his lifetime to protect cows and India’s livestock.  He also started a movement to collect 10 million signatures and send them to Queen Victoria to ban cow slaughter in India.  He understood the importance of cow in India’s Economy and explained it with a small book “ Gau Karunanidhi” or the economics of a cow. He explained that in a life time a cow can feed a much larger population as compared to the meet obtained by slaughtering it.  Hindus consider a cow holy, this is not just a religious belief that they have. It has its roots in the importance of a cow in our life and its basis in our prosperity. While we our busy slaughtering our cows, countries like Denmark are working to protect the Indian breed of cows. This makes the debate of beef in our country both depressing and worrisome. Milk from the Indian breed of cows is of a higher quality as compared to any other cow breed in the world. A large scale research has already proved this fact. This breed is today on the verge of extinction and we are debating our right to slaughter it. In light of these facts the debate on beef doesn’t seem natural but reeks of a concerted effort to destroy the society and halt its progress.

 

The advocates of beef who want to break the law in the name of using their right of freedom to eat food of their choice keep forgetting that this freedom can be exercised when the resource is in plenty and easily available. They feel that they have the right to eat beef, but is their right more important than the right of those who drink milk? The importance of beef over milk is a sign of intellectual bankruptcy, nothing more. The cost of beef eating on health and environment has been widely researched and documented but has gone largely unheeded. There has been an increase in the technology of slaughtering and each development is more cruel than the previous one. A calf is killed while in the womb because the leather so obtained is soft and a very high quality. Animals is tortured before death as the meat so obtained is tastier! This has made humans more cruel. the effect of this is now being seen in our society, in our towns and cities and villages where people are becoming more cruel and more intolerant. The religions which do not have tenets of non violence should not be called religions. Tolerance and non violence are both essential to protect and maintain the limits and boundaries of a society. Raising and protection of cows and other livestock increases qualities of kindness and brings prosperity.

Some people make fun that we call cow our mother. They do not understand the sentiment behind the words. In India when we understand the importance and value of something and earn benefit from it we develop and emotional bond. We love it, value it and protect it.  We call the earth our mother, the teacher’s wife, wife of elderly people and wife of the king are also addressed as mother. The word symbolizes respect and reminds us of our duty towards them.

Those who advocate their right to eat beef but scorn at the mention of pork should be asked that if God created all animals for the consumption of human beings then why are pigs considered impure. Can God ever create pure and impure animals. the purity and impurity of anything that has been created by God is a relative term and has been created by human beings. All creations of the Creator are pure. Those who call certain animals impure should be remade doc the verse from “ Yog Darshana” that the human body is from birth to death synonym of impure. People decide pure and impure according to their knowledge, interest and needs

The need of the hour is to put a complete stop on beef export. Beef traders are trying to make more and more money by exporting beef especially to the Gulf countries. India is a federal State which means that the protection of cow is state subject and not that of the Union Government. A countrywide consensus has therefore not been achieved on the subject of cow protection and faces administrative hurdles. A few BJP states have banned cow slaughter, however a much more concerted effort is needed on allergen scale to protect the Indian cow.

 

The Vedas are quite clear on the concept of giving a death sentence for cow slaughter. What the Vedas say on this subject is therefore hardly a controversial topic. It is ludicrous therefore when people say that there is beef eating in the Vedas. India is however not governed according to the Vedas, and it is not run according to the Quran either, which says killing an infidel is a path to heaven. India is ruled by its Constitution. So whatever the Vedas say or the Quran says is immaterial and we should handle the matter as per the law which prohibits cow slaughter.

 

At the same time we remember what the Vedas say about punishment to a cow slaughterer

“ If someone destroys our cows, horses or people, kill him with a bullet of lead or glass”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vedas For Beginners 7 : What is meant by ghosts and spirits[ Bhuths and pretaas]?

K:  Do bodies like ghosts and spirits exist?  Number of stories is told on ghosts and spirits.  Talismans, threads are tied in an attempt to ward off evils. Mantras are muttered to drive away the spirits. There are exorcists claiming similar action. Is it correct?

V:  Really speaking, ghosts and spirits do not exist. What people say on the subject are just imaginary stories. Time has three dimensions, present, past, and future. Bhoot means past i.e., what is elapsed.   A deceased does not exist anymore. He is counted to as belonging to the past (Bhoota). Therefore, Bhoot refers to the person who is dead and gone. There is nothing called pretha (spirit). A dead person is called as pretha ( pra+ ita) which would also mean as one who has already gone away. In other words Bhoot and pretha refer to that person who was there earlier but not now because he is dead. People who say that they have seen these ethereal bodies, normally also claim that they could be seen in night only. How? All phony things occur only in night. Whether these men claiming to have seen such unearthly bodies possess catty eyes or whether these airy bodies are made of radium type substance that could be seen only in dark is for anybody to guess. All the big and minute things in the world could be seen either with our naked eyes or thru specially made lenses. If Bhoots and Pretas were to be some sort of human bodies definitely they would have been visible or not visible at all. Fact however is, it is generally said to be seen by a person who normally suffers from deliriums or convulsions or whose mind is heavily influenced by stories of Bhoots and Pretas. Otherwise men who are sound, in body and mind do not claim for having seen them. As per principles of psychology when the man’s mind is subjected to certain bad influences (psychological trauma) he would be visualizing pictures of some weird objects and scenes.  What is to be seriously pondered over here is that when a man is dead his body gets merged in the five elements of nature. And the soul takes a new body as per law of Karma. Then where is the question of Bhoot or pretha? Wherefrom it can originate?

ghost

If it is said that Bhoot or prêt refers to the subtle body then it should be clarified that the soul cannot discharge any bodily functions without the medium of gross physical body.  If, talisman, black threads, mumbo-jumbo, exorcism were capable of warding off diseases, then the ward of the men indulging in such spurious practices should never succumb to any disease? Is it so? Their children also die and so also they vanish one day. If mantras or mumbo-jumbo could cure men from diseases then where is the necessicity for Doctors and Hospitals? Funnily, the cat will be out of the bag when a person who is said to be possessed of spirit is confronted with a difficult problem. Person desirous of examining them should ask for a Veda Mantra from a person possessing such spirits in case he is a Hindu or he must be asked to recite versions of Koran in case he is a Muslim. If done, these tricksters stand thoroughly exposed. Further these fraudulent men employ some smart tricks here to fool the credulous. So when the common man is unable to understand these phenomenons they tend to think that they (men of spirits) are capable of controlling the spirits. Frankly speaking there are no spirits, but these thoughts keep nagging the weak and the doubting thamases. The truth however is, every person shall reap what he sows and there is no escape from this law.  . The just God is present everywhere and his law that person is rewarded or punished as per his previous karma or sanskars stands unchanged.

 

Do planets influence men and cause pleasures and pains?

 

sonia-astro

 

K. Good! There may not be objects like spirits. But pleasures and pains are definitely caused by planets. We have to undergo the punishments inflicted by these nine planets. Astrology can never go wrong. Astrology is so perfect that it can predict the cosmic phenomenon like lunar eclipse and solar eclipse well before hand.

 

V. pains and pleasures are not due to planetary influences. They occur because of the outcome of ones deeds. The planets that are present would give neither pain nor pleasures to anybody. Planets do influence the earth each in its own way. The changes like happiness or sorrow that occur are dependent on the strength of the objects.  For ex, Sun is a star. Its light is found everywhere. Utilizing the sunlight a plant is growing tall with roots firmly embedded in the soil.  At another place there is tree which lies after being cut. The sun falls equally on the growing tree as well as on the tree that is cut. But it is only the uncut tree that is growing big and the severed tree is withering away fast due to sunlight. Whereas the sun is falling equally on both why the uncut tree is flourishing well and other is getting dried up? The same sun falls equally on iceberg and stone.  The stone becomes harder because of sunlight but the iceberg melts. A healthy eyed man enjoys the beauty of Nature made more enchanting by the shades of light whereas the man with the diseased eye shuns the sight of sun and feels unhappy. Now tell me whether this difference was caused by Sun? Did he do any mischief here?  What was the fault of Sun?  The changes, the pleasures or pains occur because of the strength of the object. Now look!  There are two parts present in Astrology.  That part which is based on mathematical calculations is called Astronomy could be called as scientific. The other which is predictive in nature and dependent on speculations on planetary movements is a pure myth. The lunar and solar eclipses are related to Astronomy. Therefore they can be predicted well in advance i.e. before months and years. The Sun, the Moon have been at work as per physical laws and the Astronomy is accordingly written. Astronomers have the knowledge of the movement of planets and they could therefore accurately predict when the eclipses could take place. Where there is certainty in the movements of the objects its influence could be known at once by mathematical calculations. There is definiteness in the movements in a clock. Any boy who is conversant with the reading of the clock could say with certainty when 12 Noon occurs. When both the needles are getting together at 12.during the day he would instantly say that it is 12 Noon.  This is possible because there is an accurate movement in a clock. Truly speaking, Astronomy is mathematics based science.  Astrology is a predictive mumbo-jumbo and Astronomy has been associated with this by default.

          

 Note :  This is the translated version of the original Hindi  ”Do bahinonke bathe” written by late Pt. Siddagopal”Kavirathna” .

 

Vedas For Beginners 6 : IS GOD JUST AND MERCIFUL?

V:  How the attributes of Mercy and Justice could remain together with God was your yesterday’s question. Frankly speaking, both Mercy and Justice are always remain together, the difference being whereas Mercy is from the side of God; Justice is dispensed as per the Karma of men. For ex, a farmer sows the seed in a farm. But the God instead gives him hundreds of grains in return. This is God’s mercy. About Justice it is as per the well-known adage “he reaps what he sows”. When he sows the groundnut seed he reaps the groundnut crops only, and not wheat. This is his justice. There is a father with four sons. The father gives Rs 1000/- each to his sons. This is the mercy being shown by the father on his sons. If one son snatches the portion of another son forcibly then the father punishes the erring son. This is his justice. The father gives money from his side. Hence he is merciful; punishing the erring son and restoring the rights to the entitled is the Justice of the father. A king punishes a robber. This is his Justice. By giving death sentence to the robber he protects the weak and affected. This is His mercy. If the king lets off the robber it is His “injustice”. Really speaking the meaning of both Justice and Mercy is one and the same. Where is Justice without Mercy? The unjust is selfish and never kind. God is while being Just is also Merciful. He has created the world for living beings. This is His total Mercy. He dispenses fruits according to their Karma to everybody and this is His Justice.

 

K: Does God becomes aware whenever a wicked deed is performed or not? If yes, why it is not stalled immediately?

 

V: God tries to stall everybody from doing wicked deeds instantly. The proof for this is, while about to do an  evil, the feelings of guilt, shame, crop up in the mind of the doer at the same time, whereas while doing a good deed the feelings of delight, enthusiasm springs in his mind instantly. All these things happen from the side of God. This is called the inner voice. Why human beings? Even in animals the feelings of doubt and shame crop up. When a piece of bread is thrown at a dog it eats at the same place with its tail wagging. The same dog when it steals a piece of bread it neither wags the tails not eats at an open place. It eats stealthily. Why? It knows that this is a food gained by stealing. Hence it is clear that God prevents the living beings from committing a crime. Yes. This much is certain. God does not snatch away the liberty of doing an action from any body. The Soul is beginning less and is free to do any action and this being the case how can He take away the independence of human beings? If he takes away the liberty, the Souls do not remain as Souls as such or there a longing to improve from their side. For ex, when examination is going on, the teacher would be watching the boys against copying. So many boys would be writing wrong answers and the teacher is observing them. He does not prevent boys from writing wrong answers but allows them. He is not coming in the way of their independence. If the teacher on the other hand were to dictate the correct answers to all, how could there be an improvement from the boys? What is the point then in teaching and conducting examinations to them? In that event, the students do not remain as students but become a piece of lifeless dolls. It is the duty of the teacher to teach them well. To study well and write correct answers is the duty of boys. In a similar manner it is the duty of God to provide the nature of Good and bad deeds through Vedas. It is not His job to get good or bad things done. The living beings do their Karma according to their freedom. They get happiness if they were to do good things inspired by Knowledge and suffer if they do vice versa. Apart from the knowledge given thru Vedas, God by remaining within their hearts would be prompting living beings not to do evil things.  Of course, it is up to their freedom and power to heed to this advice or not. This is called the God’s attempt to prevent the occurrence of Evil deeds. Prevention does not mean taking away the freedom. In case, God was to take away the freedom of action, the imitative and Enthusiasm for doing a Work or not gets lost and the living beings become reduced to just dolls in the hands of God. And God becomes accountable for everything.

 

K: Good! Why God does not provide the benefit [Award or Punishment] immediately?

V: How can award or punishment be given instantly? Let us think for a while. God has given a reward for the good work done by a person immediately. The duration of happiness consequent of this reward could be also visualized to last for one year. Now in the very next day he does some wicked things and that that the duration of punishment for this deed is to last for a year. Now think about this. Now the man has got a reward and consequently he should not put to any suffering for a period of a year. But if punished immediately for his bad deeds for a period of a year then the earlier order of God that he should enjoy happiness for a period of one year is defeated. Since the human being possess the work freedom, he would  keep on doing either good or  bad deeds and if God were to provide instant reward for the deeds done then the system of God  awarding  punishments or happiness and their unhindered enjoyment or suffering  overlap each other   and His own inimitable law suffers.

 

K: Do the lakhs of lives in the world are born of their Karma?

V: There are two types of lives in the world. One is called Bhogayoni and other is called Ubhaya yoni. They have got this birth because of their Karma.

K: What is meant by Bhogayoni and Ubhayayoni?

V: Those lives that enjoy happiness or sorrows but do not indulge in any action for their future are called Bhogayoni. For ex, animals and birds. Man is an Ubhayayoni. He enjoys both pain and pleasures as per predetermined Karma and also does both good and bad things for future.

K: Why man is considered as Ubhayayoni?

V: Animals and Birds have passion or concern for eating only. They don’t have the passion to produce things. They are here to enjoy as decided by God’s system. They don’t earn anything. These animals eat, wheat, grains, but they are incapable of producing them for the reason they lack thinking faculty. But the man because of thinking strength produces the crops by utilizing the animals. Because of his thinking power only he is described as Ubhayayoni. He is capable of enjoying the goods and controls all animals by his thinking power. A shepherd has thousands of sheep. A cowherd has thousands of cattle.  Man gets acrobatics done even by lions in circus. Why animals? Because of this thinking strength he manipulates fire, air, water, sky, earth to his advantage. God did not give man feathers to fly but he has got aero plane built for the purpose. God did not provide him with bodies of fish, crocodile, turtle, etc, to remain in water but he has got ships, built for the purpose. God did not give him the distant penetrating sight of an eagle but has found out Microscope, Telescope etc, to overcome the difficulty. What is the secret of this? It is because of his thinking ability. Hence he is Ubhayayoni.  He enjoys the reward of his karma of his previous births and also does action for future also

K: Does all lives get their births as per their Karma? Does not man become animal or bird in his next birth?

V:  Yes. The types of lives [Yonis] are got by their own Karma. Souls keep on moving from one lives [Yonis] or the other. The Karma done in human life are linked to merit or sin [Punya or Pap] I have already told that human being possesses the thinking ability and when he misuses this faculty he commits a sin requiring to travel in all types of lives[Yonis}. God gives birth in many lives [Yonis] according to his own Karma for his improvement. The effect of his good and bad deeds leave imprint on his subtle body. It is this Sanskars that merit him births in several types of lives [Yonis].

K: When human birth is got?

V: When the Sanskars of noble deeds outweigh the Sanskars of sin he gets a human birth. When the Sanskars of selfless life become super strong he gets a liberation i.e. Moksha. In other words, man becomes free from the worries of mundane life and enjoys Bliss.

K: How can the soul of an elephant get into the size of an ant? Because the bigger the animal the bigger the size of the soul. This could be possible. Is it not?

V: There is no big or small in Souls. All Souls are of similar type. There are big or small things in the size of bodies. For ex, in a big machine there are many parts. One part cuts, the other part separates, yet another prints and each part does its own job. But the machine provides equal power to each part. But since the machine is big it has many parts with diverse functions. Those animals which have manlike lips drink milk. A bird with its peaks gulps the milk. There is no disparity in souls. The difference is found only in bodies.

K: Does birth takes place according to Karma? If that is the case, where was Karma before birth? While there cannot be Karma without a body and when was there was no soul with body, how Karma could be done then? Then how he gets caught in the bondage of births?

V: The birth takes place because of ignorance and the bodies are got according to Karma. A boy gets admitted to a school because he is ignorant. Further standards depend upon his Karma or fitness. Similarly, the man gets entry into a School called this world i.e. his first appearance with a body, due to his finite knowledge and taking births in so many lives are due to Karma. Secondly, this is not the first time that he got a birth but has obtained body countless times before and still happening. The Soul has many Sanskars.  One may ask what the Sanskars were obtaining at the time of beginning of Creation. At the beginning of Creation Sanskars pertaining to previous Creation was already there. The Creation is flowing like a river which has no beginning or end. Creation and dissolution of the world keeps on occurring like day and night. It keeps on rotating like a Wheel.

K: Some people assert that evolution has taken place from smaller animals to man.  They say that Man is the ultimate evolution in Creation.

V: This is wrong. If that is so, when man is present the other animals should have become extinct. Whereas man and other animals, birds etc, are also there. How can it be said, that Man also has evolved as other animals went on evolving?  How a seed could remain intact after it is sprouted and grown as tree? Can the flower buds remain as such after flowering? Another important thing to be noted is, there is general knowledge found to be even in animals other than man. But Special knowledge is to be found only in man.

 

How this Special knowledge is found in man? This is due to his power of thinking. This thinking power is not found available in other animals. If this thinking power was present in other animals then man would have found it, not possible to boss over them.  A common principle to be noted here is that, “Nothing emerges out of nothing”. In case, man is evolved out of other animals, then the thinking power should have been present in other animals too. But this is not seen. The theory of evolution says that man is evolved out of monkey. If this is the case, then a just born baby would not have been drowned if thrown into water. If man is evolved out of monkey then all the powers of monkey should have been found invested in man. But this is not the position. Hence, it is clear that man, animals, birds etc have been formed as per the just system of God.

 

Note :  This is the translated version of the original Hindi  “Do bahinonke bathe” written by late Pt. Siddagopal”Kavirathna” .