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विश्व को ऋषी दयानन्द की देन – प्रा राजेंद्र जिज्ञासु

महर्षि दयानन्द जी का प्रादुर्भाव विश्व इतिहास की एक महत्वपूर्ण घटना है। महर्षि का बोध पर्व उससे भी कहीं अधिक महत्वपूर्ण  घटना है। आज पूरे विश्व में मानव के अधिकारों तथा मानव की गरिमा का मीड़िया में बहुत शोर मचाया जाता है। ऋषि के प्रादुर्भाव से पूर्व मानव के अस्तित्व का धर्म व दर्शन में महत्व ही क्या था?

बाइबिल की उत्पत्ति  की पुस्तक में आता है कि परमात्मा ने जीव, जन्तु, पक्षी, प्राणी पहले बनाये फिर उसने कहा, ‘‘Let us make man in our image’’ अब नये बाइबिल में श     द बदल गये हैं। अब हमें पढ़ने को मिलता है, ‘‘Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness.’’ अर्थात् परमात्मा ने कहा हम ‘पुरुष को’ (अब मानवों को) अपनी आकृति जैसा और अपने सरीखा बनायें। यह कार्य छठे दिन किया गया। मानव की इसमें गरिमा क्या रही? वह जीव-जन्तुओं से पीछे बनाया गया और क्यों बनाया गया? इसका उत्तर  ही नहीं।

इस्लाम में मनुष्य को बन्दः कहा जाता है और भक्ति को उपासना को बन्दगी कहा जाता है। बन्दः का अर्थ है दास और बन्दगी का अर्थ दासता, सेवा करना आदि। तो यहाँ भी मानव की गरिमा क्या हुई? अबादत का अर्थ भी बन्दगी-दासता ही है। हिन्दू तो जगत् को मिथ्या व ब्रह्म को-केवल ब्रह्म की सत्ता  को स्वीकार करते थे। कुछ आत्मा को अनादि भी मानते थे। सब कुछ अस्पष्ट था।

महर्षि दयानन्द जी ने सिंह गर्जना करके कहा कि ईश्वर, जीव तथा प्रकृति तीनों अनादि हैं। तीनों की सत्ता है। जीव की कर्म करने की स्वतन्त्रता का घोष करके ऋषि मानव की गरिमा पहली बार इस युग में संसार को बताई।

जहाँ कर्ता  है, वहीं क्रिया होगी और जहाँ क्रिया है वहाँ कर्ता को मानना पड़ता है। सूर्य, चन्द्र, तारे, ग्रह, उपग्रह सब गति करते हैं। गति देने वाले परमात्मा की सत्ता  तो स्वतः सिद्ध हो गई। उपादान कारण के बिना आज भी कुछ बनते नहीं देखा गया सो जगत् के उपादान कारण प्रकृति का अनादित्व भी सिद्ध हो गया। विज्ञान ऐसा ही मानता है। यह महर्षि दयानन्द की विश्व को बहुत बड़ी देन है।

मनुष्य की उत्पत्ति  की बात चली तो यह भी जान लें कि बाइबिल में आता है I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earch and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for fodd.  फिर लिखा है,  Trees that were pleasing to the eyes and good for food.

अर्थात् दो बार ईश्वर ने बाइबिल के अनुसार शाकाहार को मानव का पवित्र भोजन बताया व बनाया। यही वेदादेश है परन्तु ईसाई व मुसलमान ही मांसाहार व पशुहिंसा में अग्रणी हैं। ऋषि ने पेड़, पौधों, जलचर, नभचर व गाय आदि सब प्राणियों की मानव कल्याण व विश्व शान्ति के लिये सुरक्षा को आवश्यक बताया।

ऋषि बोध पर्व के दिन ऋषि के जन्म-जन्मान्तरों के संस्कार जाग उठे। उन्हें पता चला कि ईश्वर वह नहीं जिसे हम बनाते हैं। ईश्वर वह है जो सृष्टि का कर्ता  है। ईश्वर खाता नहीं, वह खिलाता है। वह भोक्ता नहीं भोग देता है। वह द्रष्टा है। कर्म फल का भोग करने वाला जीव है। सर सैयद अहमद ने लिखा कि शिवरात्रि के दिन दयानन्द जी को जो ज्ञान हुआ क्या वह इलहाम (ईश्वरीय ज्ञान) नहीं था? आत्मा को प्रभु की आवाज सुनाई न दे तो दोष किसका? ऋषि ने स्वयं लिखा है कि आत्मा में नित्य गूञ्जने वाली आपकी आवाज को प्रभु हम सुनते रहें। मन में भय, लज्जा और शङ्का जो दुष्कर्म, पाप करते समय मनुष्य के मन में उत्पन्न होती है, ऋषि ने इसे ईश्वर की आवाज बताया है। पश्चिम के विद्वान् ने भी इसी बात को इन शब्दों  में कहा है, there is a candle of the lord within us अर्थात् हमारे भीतर प्रभु की एक बत्ती  प्रकाश करती रहती है।

महर्षि दयानन्द अपनी काया से बलवान् थे, वे अपने मन व मस्तिष्क से बलवान् थे और अपने आत्मा से भी महान् व बलवान् थे। कोलकाता विश्वविद्यालय के एक पूर्व दार्शनिक विद्वान् डॉ. महेन्द्रनाथ जी ने अत्यन्त मार्मिक शब्दों  में लिखा है-  Strong is the epithet that can be applied in truth to Dayanand, strong in intellect strong in adventures strong in heart and strong and organizing forces. And his teachings through life and writings cab summed up in one word STRENGTH  अर्थात् बलवान् एक ऐसी उपाधि है जो दयानन्द पर ठीक-ठीक चरितार्थ होती है, विचारों में- मस्तिष्क से बलवान्, साहसिक कार्य के कारण बलवान्, हृदय से बलवान् तथा शक्तियों के गठन करने में बलवान् और उसके जीवन एवं साहित्य द्वारा उसकी शिक्षाओं को एक शब्द  में बताना है तो वह है ‘शक्ति’

इससे अधिक हम ऋषि की महानता पर क्या कहें? ऋषि ने अपने सन्देश, उपदेश व जीवन द्वारा मानव समाज को प्रकाश दिया और मृतकों में नवजीवन का संचार किया। उनके बोध पर्व पर हम उन्हें शत बार नमन करते हैं।

 

महर्षि दयानन्द दर्शन का विश्वव्यापी प्रभाव पढ़ने के लिए नीचे दी हुयी लिंक पर क्लिक करें

http://www.aryamantavya.in/impact-of-rishi-dayanand-on-world-phylosophy/

The Autobiography of Swami Dayanand Saraswati

It was in a Brahmin family of the Oudichya caste in a town belonging to the Raja of Morwee,in the province of kathiawar,that in the year of Samvat,1881,(1924 A. D.) I,now known as Dayanand Saraswati,was born.If I have from the first refrained from giving the names of my father and of the town in which my family resides, it is because I have been prevented from doing so by my duty. Had any of my relatives heard again of me, they would have sought me out. And then, once more fau to face with them, it would have become incumbent upon me to follow them home. I would have to touch money serve them, and attend to their winhea . And thus the holy work of the Reform, to which I have wedded my whole life, would have irretrievably suffered through my forced withdrawal from it.

 

Education

 

I was hardly five years of age when I began to study the Devanagari characters, and my parents and all the elders commenced training me in the ways and practices of my caste and family; making me learn by rote the long series of religious hymns, mantras, stanzas and commentaries. I was eight when I was invested with the sared Brahminical cord (triple thread ) , and taught gayatri sandhya with its practices, as abo Yajur Veda Sanhita preceded by the study of the Rudradhyaya. As my family belonged to the Shiva sect, their greatest aim was to get me initiated into its religious my steries; and thus I was early taught to worship the uncouth piece of clay representing Shivs’s emblem,known as the Parthiwa Lingam.But as there is a good deal of fasting and various hardships connected with this worship, and on the other hand I had the habit of taking early meals, my mother, fearing for my health opposed my daily practicing of it. My father sternly insisted upon its necessity, and this question finally became a source

of everlasting quarrels between them. Meanwhile I studied the Sanskrit grammar, learned the Vedas by heart and accompanied my father to the shrines, temples, and places of Shiva worship. His conversation ran invariably upon one topic; the highest devotion and reverence must be paid to Shiva, his worship being the most divine of all religions .I went on thus till I had reached my fourteenth year, when having learned by heart the whole of the Yajur Veda Sanhita, parts of other Vedas, of the Shabda

Rupavali and the grammar,my studies were completed.

 

Vigil

 

As my father’s was a banking house and he held moreover the office-hereditary

in my family -of a Jamadar, we were far from being poor, and things, so far, had gone very pleasantly. Wherever there was a Shiva puran to be read and explained, there my father was sure to take me along with him; and finally, unmindful of my mother’s remonstrance’s ,he imperatively demanded that I should begin practicing Parthiwa Puja. When the great day of gloom and fasting-called  Shivaratree-had arrived, this day following on the 13th of Vadi of Magh. My father regardless of the protest that my

strength might fail, commanded me to fast, adding that I had to be initiated on that night, into the sacred legend, and participate in that night’s long vigil in the temple of Shiva. Accordingly, I followed him along with other young men, who accompanied their parents. This vigil is divided into four parts, called prahars, consisting of three hours each. Having completed my task, namely, having set up for the first two prahars till the hour of midnight, I remarked that the Pujaris, or temple disservants and some of the

lay devotees, after having left the inner temple, had fallen asleep outside. Having been taught for years that by sleeping on that particular night, the worshipper lost all the good effect of his devotion, I tried to  refrain from drowsiness by bathing my eyes now and then with cold water. But my father was less fortunate. Unable to resist fatigue, he was the first to fall asleep, leaving me to watch alone. Reflections on Idolatry Thoughts upon thoughts crowded upon me, and one question arose after the other in my disturbed mind. Is it possible,-I asked myself- that this semblance of man, the idol of a personal God that I see bestriding his bull before me, and who, according to all religious accounts, walks about, eats, sleep s and drinks; who can hold a trident in this hands, beat upon his dumroo(drum); and pronounce curses upon men,-is it possible that he can be the Mahadeva, the great Deity, the same that is invoked as the Lord of Kailash, the Supreme Being and the Divine hero of all the stories we read of him in his Purans (Scriptures)? Unable to resist such thoughts any longer, I awoke my father, abruptly asking him to enlighten me to tell me whether this hideous emblem of Shiva in the temple was identical with the Mahadeva(GreatGod) of the scriptures, or something else.”Why do you ask it?” said my father. “Because, I answered, “I feel it impossible to reconcile the idea of an Omnipotent, living God, with this idol, which allows the mice to run over its body, and thus suffers its image tobe polluted without the slightest protest.” Then my father tried to explain to me that this stone representation of the Mahadeva of Kailash, having been consecrated by the holy Brahmins , became, in consequence, the God himself, and is worshipped as such; adding that as Shiva cannot be perceived personalty in this KaliYug the age of mental darkness, – we hence have the idol in which the Mahadeva of Kailash is worshipped by his votaries ;this kind of worship is pleasing to the great Deity as much as if , instead of the emblem , he were there himself . But the explanation fell short of satisfying me . I could not , young as I was, help suspecting misinterpretation and sophistry in all this . Feeling fain with hunger and fatigue , I begged to be allowed to go home . My father consented to it , and sent me away with a

sepoy , only reiterating once more his command that I should not eat . But when, once at home , I had, told my mother of my hunger , she fed me with sweetmeats , and I fell into a profound sleep. In the morning , decision my father returned and learned that I had broken my fast , he felt very angry . the tried to impress me with the enormity of my sin; but do what he could , I could not bring myself to believe that idol and Mahadeva were one and the same God , and therefore , could not comprehend why I should be made to fast for and worship the former. I had, however, to conceal my lack of faith, and bring forward as an excuse for abstaining from regular worship my ordinary study which really left me little or rather no time for anything else. In this I was strongly supported by my mother, and even by my uncle, who pleaded my cause so well that my father had to yield at last and allow me to devote my whole attention to my studies. In consequence of this, I extended them to “Nighantu”, “Nirukta ” “Purvamimansa”” , and other shastras

, as well as to “karmakand” or the ritual

 

 

Renunciation .

 

There were besides myself in the family two younger sisters and two brother, the youngest of whom was born when I was already sixteen . On one memorable night , as we were attending a nauteh festival at the house of a friend , a servant was dispatched after us from home , with the terrible news that my sister , a girl of fourteen , had been just taken ill with a mortal disease . Notwithstanding every medical assistance, my poor siter expired within four ghatikas after we had returned . It was my first bereavement, and the shock my heart received was great . while friend and relatives were sobbing and lamenting around me , I stood like one petrified , and plunged in a profound reverie . It resulted in a series of long and sad meditions upon the instability of human life . ‘Not ‘one of the beings that ever lived in this world could escape the cold

hand of death -I thought : I , too , may be snatched away at any time and die . whither , then shall I turn for an expedient to alleviate this human misery ,connected with our death bed ; where shall I find the assurance of , and means of attaining muktee , the final bliss ? It was there and then , that I came to the determination that I must find it , cost whatever it may , and thus save myself from the untold miseries of the dying moment of an unbeliever . The ultimate result of such meditations was to make me violently break and for our with the mummeries of external mortification and penances and the more to appreciate the inward efforts of the soul. But I kept my determination secret, and allowed no one to fathom my innermost thoughts. I was just eighteen then. Soon after, an uncle a very learned man and full of divine qualities,-one who had shown for  the greatest tenderness, and whose favourite I had been from my birth, expired also; his death leaving me in a state of utter dejection. and with a still profounder conviction settled in my mind that three was nothing worth living for or caring for in a worldly life.

 

Obstacles

Although I had never allowed my parents to perceive what was the real state of my mind, yet I had been imprudent enough to confess to friends how repulsive seemed to me even the idea of a married life. This was reported to my parents, and they immediately determined that I should be betrothed at once and the marriage

solemnity performed as soon as I should be twenty.

Having discover their intention, I did my utmost to thwart their plans. I caused my friends to intercede on my behalf, and they pleaded my cause so earnestly wilk my father that he promised to postpone my betrothal till the end of that year. I then began entreating him to send me to Benares, where I might complete my knowledge of Sanskrit grammar, and study astronomy and physics, until I had attained a full proficiency in these difficult sciences. But this time it was my mother who violently opposed my wishes. She declared that I should not go to Benares, as whatever I might feel inclined to study, could be learned at home as well as abroad ; that I knew enough as it was, and had to be married anyhow before the coming year; as young people through an excess of learning were apt to become too liberal and free sometimes in their ideas. I had no better success in that matter with my father. I for on the contrary no sooner had reiterated the favor begged of him, and asked that

 

 

my betrothal should be postponed until I had returned from Benares a scholar, proficient in arts and sciences, that my mother declared that in such a case she would not consent even to wait till the end of the year, but would see that my marriage was celebrated immediately. Perceiving, at last, that my persistence only made things worse, I desisted, and declared my self satisfied with being allowed to pursue my studies at home, provided I was allowed to go to an old friend, a learned pandit, who resided about six miles from our town in a village belonging to our jamadaree.Thither then, with my parent’s sanction, I proceeded, and placing myself under his tuition, continued for some time quietly with my study. But while there, I was again forced into a confession of the insurmountable aversion I had for marriage. This went home again. I was summoned back at once, and found upon returning that everything had been prepared for my marriage ceremony. I had entered upon my twenty-first year, and

so had no more excuses to offer. I now fully realized that I would neither lae allowed to pursue my studies any longer nor would my parents ever make themselves consenting parties to my celibacy. It was when driven to the last extremity that I resolved to place an eternal barrier between myself and marriage.

 

Flight

 

On an evening of the year samvant 1903, without letting any one this time into my confidence, I secretly left my home, as I hoped for ever. passing the first night in the vicinity of a village about eight miles from my home, I arose three hours before dawn, and before night had again set in. I had walked over thirty miles, carefully avoiding the public thoroughfare, villages, and localities, in which I might have been recognized. These precautions proved useful to me, as on the tired day after i had absconded, I learned from a government officer that a large party of men, including many horsemen were diligently roving about in search of a young man from the town of-who had fled from his home. I hastened further on to meet with other adventures. A party of begging Brahmins had kindly relieved me of all the money I had with me, and made me part even with my gold and silver ornaments, rings, bracelets, and other jewels, on  the plea that the more I gave away in charities, the more my self-denial would benefit me in the after-life. Thus, having parted with all I had, I hastend on to the place of residence of a learned scholar, a man named LaLa Bhagat, of whom I had much heard on my way from wandering sanyasis and Bairagees (religious mendicants). He lived in the town of Sayals, where I met with a Brahmachari who advised me to join at once their holy order, which I did. Joining the holy Order After initiating me into his order and conferring upon me the name of shuddha chaitanya, he made me exchange my clothes for the dress worn by them-areddish-yellow garment. From thence and in this new attire, I proceeded to the small principality of Kouthakangda situated near Ahmedabad, where , to my misfortune, I met with a bairagi a resident of a village in the vicinity of my native

town, and who was well acquainted with my family. His astonishment was as great as my perplexity. Having naturally enquired how I came to be there, and in such an attire, and learned of my desire to travel and see the world, he ridiculed my dress and blamed me for leaving my home for such an object. In my embarrassments he succeeded in getting himself informed of my future intentions.

I told him of my desire to join in the Mella of kartik, which was to be held that year at Siddhpore, and that I was on my way to it. Having parted with him, i proceeded immediately to that place, and took my abode in the temple of Mahadeva at Neelkantha, where dandi Swami and other Brahmacharis, already resided. For a time, i enjoyed their society unmolested visiting a number of learned scholars and professors of divinity who had come to the mella, and associating with a number of holy men.

 

Severance of Family Tie

 

Meanwhile the Bairagi whom I had met at Kouthakangda, had proved treacherous. He had despatched a letter to my family, informing them of my intentions and pointing to my whereabouts. In consequence of this, my father had come down to Siddhpore with his Sepoys, traced me step by step in the mella, learning something of me wherever I had sat among the learned pandits, and finally, one fine morning appeared suddenly before me. His wrath was terrible to behold. He reproached me violently, accusing me of bringing an eternal disgrace upon his family. No sooner had I met his glance, though knowing well that there would be no use in trying to resist him, I suddenly made up my mind how to act. Falling at his feet with joined hands, I entreated him in supplicating

tones to appease his anger. J had left the home through bad advice, I said; I felt miserable, and was just on the point of returning home, when he had prividentially

arrived; and now was willing to follow him home again. Notwith standing such humility, in a fit of rage he tore my yellow robe into shred, snatched at my tumba, and, wresting it violently from my hand, flung it far away; pouring upon my head at the same time a volley of bitter reproaches and going so far as to call me a matricide. Regardless of my promises to follow him, he gave me in the charge of his Sepoys, commanding them to watch me night and day, and never leave me out of their sight, for a moment.

 

Conversion to Vedant

 

But my determination was as firm as his own. I was bent on my purpose and closely watched for my opportunity of escaping. I found it on the same night. It was three in the morning ,and the sepoy, whose turn it was to watch me, believing me asleep fell asleep in his turn, All was still; and so softly rising and taking along with me a tumba full of water, I crept out and must have run over a mile before my absence was noticed. On my way, it espied a large tree, whose branches were overhanging the roof of a pagoda; on it I eagerly climbed, and, hiding myself among its thick foliage upon the dome, awaited what fate had in store me. About 4in the morning, I heard and saw through the apertures of the down, the sepoys enquiring after me. and making a diligent search for me inside as well as outside the temple. I held my breath and remained motionless, until

finally believing they were on the wrong track, my pursuers reluctantly retired. Fearing a new encounter, I remained concealed on the dome the whole day, and it was not till darkness, had again set in that, alighting, I fled in an opposite direction. More than ever I avoided the public thoroughfares, asking my way of people as rarely as I courel, unit had again reached Ahmedabad, whence I at once proceeded to Baroda. There I settled for some time; and at chetan Math (temple) I held several discoureses with Brahmanand and a number of Bramanand charis and Sanyasis upon the Vedant philosophy. It was Brahmchris and other holy men who established to my entire satisfaction that Brahm, the Deity, was no other than my own Self-my Ego, I am Brahm, a portion of Brahm ; Jiv (Soul) and Brahm, the deity being one and the same. Formerly, while studying Vedanta, I had come to this opinion to a certain extent, but now the

Important problem was solved and I gained the certainty that I was Brahm. Study of Vedant At baorda learning from a benares woman that a meeting of the most learned

scholars was to be held at a certain locality, I repaired thither at once; visiting a personage known as Satchidanand Paramhansa, with whom I was permitted to

discuss upon various scientific and metaphysical subjects. From him I learned

also, that there were a number of great Sanyasis and brahamacharis who resided

at chanoda kanyali. In consequence of this, I repaired to that place of sanctity on the Banks of the Nerbuddah, and there at last met for the first time with real Dikshits, or initiated Yogis, and such Sanyasis as Chidashrama and several other brahmacharis. After some discussion, I was place under the tuition of one Parmanand, and for several months ,studied “Vedantsar,” “Arya Harimihir Totak” Vedant paribhasa,” and other philosophical treatises. During this time, as a Brahmchari I had to prepare my own which proved a great impediment to my studies. To get rid of it, I therefore concluded to enter if possible into the 4th Order of the Sanyasis. Fearing, more over, to be known

under my own name, on account of my family’s pride and well aware that once

received in this order I was safe, I begged of a Dekkani pandit a, friend of mine, to intercede on my behalf with a Deiksheet-the most learned among them, that i might be initiated into that order at once. He refused, however, point blank to initiate me, urging my extreme youth. But I did not despair. Several months later, two holy men, a Swami and a Brahmachari, came from the Dekan, and took up their abode in a solitary, ruined building in the midst of a jungle, near Chanoda and about two miles distant from us. profoundly versed in the Vedant philosophy, my friend the Dekkaniy pandit, went to visit them, taking me along with him. A metaphysical discussion following brought them to

recognize in each other Diksheet of a vast learning. They informed us that they

had arrived from “Shringeri Math,” the principal convent of Shankaracharya, in  the south, and were on their way to Dwarka. To one of them Parnanand Saraswati, I got my Dekkani friend to recommend me particularly, and state, at the same of time. the object I was so desirous to attain and my difficulties. He told him  that I was a young  Brahmachari, who was very desirous to pursue his study in  metaphysics unimpeded; that I was quit free from any vice or bad habits for which fact he vouchsafed; and that, therefore, he believed me worthy of being accepted in this highest probation ary degree and initiated me into the 4th order of the Sanyasis; adding that thus I might be materially helped to free myself from all worldly obligations, and proceed untrammeled in the course of my metaphysical studies. But this Swami also declined at first. I was too young, he said. Besides, he was himself a Maharashtra, and so he advised me to appeal to a Gujrati Swami. It was only when fervently urged on by my friend, who reminded him that dekkani sanyasis can initiate even gowdas, and that there could extst no such objection in my case as I had been already accepted, and was one of the five Dravids that he consented. And on the third day following he consecrated me into the order, delivering unto me a Dand and naming me Dayanand Saraswati. By the order of my initiater and my proper desire. I had to lay aside the emblematical bamboo- the Dand, renouncing it for a while as the ceremonial performances connected with it, would only interfere with unimpeded progress of my studies.

 

TRAVELS Pursuit of Yoga

After the ceremony of initiation was over they left us, and proceeded to Dwarka, For some time I lived at Chanoda Kanyali as a simple Sanyasi. But upon hearing that at Vyasashram there lived a Swami. whom they called Yoganand, a man thoroughly versed in Yoga, to him I addressed myself as an humble student, and began learning from him the theory as well as some of the practical modes of the science of Yoga (or Yoga Vidya ) When my preliminary tuition was completed, I proceeded to Chhinour, as on the outskirts of this town lived Krishna Shastree, under whose guidance I perfected myself in the Sanskrit grammar. and returned to Chanoda where I remained for some time longer.

Meeting there to Yogis-Jwalanand Pooree and Shivanand giree. I practiced Yoga with them also, and we all three held together many a dissertation upon the exalted science of Yoga; until finally, by their advice, a month after their departure, I went to meet them in the temple of Doodheshwar, near Ahmedabad at which place they had promised to me the final secret and modes of attaining Yoga Vidya. They kept their promise, and it is to them that I am indebted for the acquirement of the practical portion of that great science. Still later, it was divulged to me that there were many far higher and more learned Yogis than those I had hitherto met yet not the highest still – who resided on the peaks of the mountain of Aboo, in Rajputana. Thither then I travelled again, to visit such noted places of sanctity as the Alvada Bhawance and cthers; encountering, at last, those whom I so eagerly sought for, on the Peak of Bhawance Giree. And learning from them various other systems and modes of Yoga.It was in the year of Samvant 1911,that I first joined in the Kumbh Mella at Hardwar, where so

many sages and divine philosophers meet, often unperceived, together. So long as the Mella congregation of pilgrims lasted. I kept practicing that science in the solitude of the jungle of Chandee; and after the pilgrims had separated, I transferred myself to Rishikesh, where sometime in the company of good and pure Yogis and Sanyasis, oftener alone, I continued in the study and practice of yago visit to tehri After Passing a certain time in solitude, on the Rishikesh, a Brahmachari and two mountain ascetics joined me, and weall three went to Tehri. The place was full of ascetics and Raj(Royal)Pandits-so called on account of their great learning.One of them invited me to come and have dinner with him at his house. At the apointed hour he sent a man to conduct me safely to his place, and both the brahmachari and myself followed the messenger. But what was our dismay upon entering the house , to first see a brahmin

preparing and cutting meat, and then , proceeding further into the interior apartments

, to find a large company of pandits seated with a pyramid of flesh, rump-steaks, and dressed-up heads of animals before them! the master of the house cordially invited me in; but, with a few brief words-begging them to proceed with their good work and not to disturb themselves on my account, I left the house and returned to my own quarters . A few minutes later the beef eating pandit was at my side praying me to return , and trying to excuse himself by saying that it was on my account that the sumptuous viands had been prepared! I then firmly declared to him that it was all useless. They were carnivorous, fIesh-eating men. and myself a strict vegetarian, who felt sickened

at the very sight of meat. If he would insist upon providing me with food. He might do so by sending me a few provisions of grain and vegetables which my Brahmachari would prepare for me. This he promised to do, and then very much confused retired.

 

WamMarg or Indian Bacchanalianism

Staying at Tehri for some time, I inquired of the same Pandit about some books and learned treatises I wanted to get for my instruction; what books and manuscripts could be procured at the place. And where. He mentioned some works on Sanskrit grammar, classics, lexicography’s, books on astrology and the Tantras -or ritualistic. Finding that the latter were the only ones unknown to me. I asked him to procure the same for me. There upon the learned man brought to me several works upon this subject. But no sooner had I opened them an my eye fell upon such an amount of incredible obscenities

mistranslations, misinterpretations of text, and absurdity, that I felt Perfectly horrified. In this Ritual ,I found that incest was permitted with mothers, daughters, and sisters (of the shomerker’s cast); as well as among the pariash of the outcastes-and worship was performed in nude state. Spirituous liquors, fish and all kinds of animal food, and Moodra (exhibition of indecent images)were allowed, from brahmin down to Mang, and it was explicitly stated that all those five things of which the name cooences with the nasalm as for instance, Madya(in- toxic ting liquor) Meen (fish) Mands (flesh) Moodra, and Maithoon (coition) were so many means for reaching muktee (Salvation)

. By actually reading the whole contents of the Tantras I fully assured myself of the craft and viciousness of the authors of this disgusting literature which is regarded as Religious I left the place and wentto Shreenagar. Visit to Religious Places Taking up my quarters at a temple on Kedar Ghat, I used these Tantras as weapons against the local pandits, whenever there was an opportunity for discussion. While there, I became acquainted with a Sadhoo, named Ganga Giri, who by day never left his mountain where he resided in a jungle. Our acquaintance resulted in friendship as I soon learned how entirely worthy he was of respect. While together, we discussed Yoga and other sacred subjects, and through close questioning and answering became fully and mutsually satisfied that we were fit for each other. So attractive was his society for me, that  I stayed over two months with him, It was only at the expiration of this time, and when autumn was setting in that I, with my companions, the Brahmaphari and the two ascetics, left. Kedar Ghat for other Places. We visited Rudra Prayag and other cities, until we reached the shrine of Agasta Munee. Further to the north, there is a mountain peak known as the Shivapoorce (town of shiva) where I spent the four months of the cold season; when finally parting from the Brahmachari and the two ascetics, I proceeded back to Kedar, this time alone and unimpeded in my intentions, and reached Gupta kashee.

 

Search of Yogis (Clairvoyants)

I stayed but a few days there, and went thence to the Triyugee Narayan shrine, visiting on my way Gowree Koond tank and the cave of Bheemgoopha. Returning in a few days to Kedar, my favorite place of residnce, I there finally rested a number of ascetic Bramin worshippers -called pandas, and the devotees of the Temple of Kedar of the Jangam sect, -keeping me company until my previous companions, the Bramhchari with his two ascetics returned. I closely watched their ceremonies and doings and observed all that was going on with a determined object of learning all that was to be known about these sects. But once that my object was fulfilled, I felt a strong desire to visit the surrounding

mountains, with their eternal ice and glaciers, in quest of those true ascetics I had heard of, but as yet had never met them. I was determined, come what might, to ascertain whether some of them did or did not live there as rumored. But the tremendous difficulties of this mountainous journey and the excessive cold forced me, unhappily to first make inquires among the hill tribes and learn what they knew of such men. Everywhere I encountered either a profound ignorance upon the subject or a ridiculous superstition. Having wandered in vain for about twenty days ,disheartened I set raced my steps as tonally as before, my companions who had at first accompanied me, halving left me two days after we had started through dread of the great cold. I then ascended the Tunganath Peak. There, I found a temple full of idols and officiating priests, and

hastened to descend the peak the same day. before me were two paths, one leading west and the other south-west. I chose at random that which led towards the jungle, and ascended it. Soon after the path led me into a dense jungle with rugged rocks and dried-up waterless brooks. The path stopped abruptly there. Seeing myself thus arrested, I had to make my choice to either climb up still higher or descend. reflecting what a height there was to the summit, the tremendous difficulties of climbing that rough and steep hill, and that the height would come before I could ascend it , I concluded that to reach the summit that night was an impossibility. with much difficulty , however , catching at the grass and the bushes, I succeeded in attaining the higher bank of the

nala (the dry brook), and standing on a rock, surveyed the environs I saw nothing but tormented hillocks, highland, and a dense pathless jungle covering the whole where, no man could pass, Meanwhile the sun was rapidly descending towards the horizon. Darkness would soon set in and then without water or any means for Kindling a fire, what would be my position in the dreary solitude of that jungle.

Temptation of Priest craft

By dint of tremendous exertions though, and after an acute suffering from thorns, which tore my clothes to shreds, wounded my whole body, and lamed my feet I managed to Eros the jungle, and at last reached the foot of the hill and found myself on the highway. All was darkness around and over me, and I had to pick my way at random trying only to keep to the road. Finally I reached a cluster of huts, and learning from the people that that road led to Okhee Math, I directed my steps towards that place and passed the night there. In the morning feeling sufficiently rested and refreshed I returned to the Gupta Kashee whence I started the next day on my northward journey. But that journey attracted me , and soon again I repaired to Okhee math, under the pretext of examining that hermitage and over serving the way of living of its inmates .

There I had time to examine at leisure the doings of that famous and rich monastery , so full of pious pretence and a show of asceticism , The high priest (or chief Hermit ), called Mahant , tried hard to induce me to remain and live there with him becoming his disciple . He even held before me the prospect , which he thought quite dazzling , of inheriting some day his lacs of rupees , his splendor and power , and finally succeeding him in his Mahantship or supreme rank . I frankly answered him that had I ever craved any such riches  or glory , I would not have secretly left the house of my father , which was not less sumptuous or attractive than his monastery with all is riches . The object , which induced me to do away with all these worldly blessings , I added , “I find you neither strive for , nor possess the knowledge of . “He then enquired what

was that object for which I so strived . “that object , ” I answered , “is the secret knowledge , the vidya , or trlle erudition of a genuine yogi the mooktee , which is reached only by the purity of one’s soul , and certain attainments unattainable without it ; in the meanwhile , the performance of all the duties of man towards his fellow – men , and the elevation of humanity thereby . ” The Mahant remarked that it was very good , and asked me to remain with him for some time at least ; But I kept silent and returned no reply ; I had not yet found what I sought for . Rising on the following morning very early , I left this rich dwelling and went to Joshee math . there , in the company of Dakshnee or Maharashtra Shastrees and Sannyasis , the true ascetics of the 4th order ,

I rested for a while. Yogis at Joshi Math (Convent) At Joshee Math I met many Yogis and learned ascetic and, in a series of discussions, learnt more about Yoga-Vidya and parting with them went to Badrinarayan. The learned Rawaljee was at that time the chief priest of that temple; and I lived with him a few days, We held discussions upon the Vedas, and the “Darshanas,” Having enquired from him whether he knew of some

genuine Yogi in the neighborhood, I learnt, to my great regret, that there were none there at the time, but that he had heard that they were in the habit of visiting his temple at times. Then I resolved to make a thorough search for them throughout the country and especially in the hills, Further search of clairvoyoyants one morning at day break, I set on my journey; when, following along the foot of the mountains, i at last reached the banks of the Alaknanda river. I had no desire of crossing it, as I saw on its opposite bank the large village called “Mana.” Keeping, therefore, still to the foot of the hills, I directed my steps toward the jungle following the river course the hills and the road it self were thickly covered with snow and, with the greatest difficulty, I succeeded in reaching that spot where the Alaknanda is said to take its rise. But once there, finding myself surrounded by lofty hills on all sides, and being a stranger in the country, my progress, from that moment was greatly retarded. Very soon, the road ceased abruptly and I found no vestige of even a path. I was thus at a loss what to do next, but i determined finally to cross the river and enquire for my way. I was poorly and thinly clad, and the cold was intense and soon became into unbearable. Feeling hungry and thirsty, I tried to deceive my hunger by swallowing a piece of ice, but found no relief. I then began to ford the river. in some places it was very deep, in others shallow- not deeper than a cubit-but from eight to ten cubits wide. the river-bed was covered with small and fragmentary

bits of ice which wounded and cut my naked feet to bleed. very luckily the cold had quite benumbed them, and even large bleeding cracks left me insensible for a while, slipping on the ice more than once, I lost my footing and came nearly falling down and thus freezing to death on the spot .For should I have found myself prostrated on the ice , I realized that, benumbed as I was all over, I would find it very difficult to rise again. However, with great exertion, and after a terrible struggle, I managed to get safe enough on the other bank. Once there more dead than alive. I hastened to denude the whole upper part of my body; and, with all I had of clothes on me, to wrap my feet up to the knees and then exhausted, famished, unable to move. I stood waiting for help, and

knowing not whence it would come. At last, throwing a last look around me. I espied two hillmen, who came up and having greeted me with their “kashisamba” invited me to follow them to their home, where I would find food . Learning my trouble, they , moreover , promised to guide me to “sadpat” a very sacred place; but I refused their offers, for I could not walk, Not with standing their pressing invitation I remained firm and would not “take courage” ” and follow them as they wanted me; but, after telling them that I would rather die , refused even to listen to them. The idea had struck me that I had better return and prosecute my studies. The two men then left me and soon disappeared among the hills. Having rested, I proceeded on my way back. Stopping

for a few minutes at basudhara, a sacred bathing place, and passing by the neighborhood of managram, I reached badrinarayan at 8,o’ clock that evening.

Upon seeing me, the Rawaljee and his companions were much astonished and

enquired where I had been ever since the early morning . I then sincerely related

to them all that had happened to me. That night , after having restored my strength with a little food, I went to bed, but getting up early on the following morn, I took leave of the Rawaljee and set out on my journey back to Rampur. That evening. I reached the home of a hermit a great ascetic, and passed the night at his place. that man had the  reputation of one of the greatest sages living, and I had a long conversation with him upon religious subjects. More fortified than ever in my determination, I left him next morning, and after crossing hills, forests and having descended the chilkia ghattee, I arrived at last at rampur where I took up my quarters at the house of the celebrated ramgiri, so famous for the holiness and purity of his life. I found him a man of extraordinary habits. though. He never slept, but used to pass whole nights in holding conversations- very loud sometimes apparently with himself. Often, we heard loud

scream, then weeping, though there was no one in his room with him. Extremely surprised, I questioned his disciples and pupils and learnt from them that such was his habit, though no one could tell me what it meant. Seeking an interview with him, I learnt some time after, what it really was; and thus I was enable to get convinced that it was not true Yoga he practiced, but that he was only partially versed in it. it was not what I sought for.

Books on yoga and science

Leaving him I went to kasipur, and thence to Drona sagar, where I passed the whole winter. Thence again to Sambal through moradabad, when ,after crossing gurh mukteshwar I found myself again on the banks of the ganges. Besides other religions works. I had with me the “Shiva Sanhita” “Hat- pradipika” , “yoga-bij” and “Gherand sanhita”, which I used to study during my travels. some of these , books treated on the nari chalan and nari chakaras, (nervous system) giving very exhaustive descriptions of the same, which I could never grasp, and which finally made me doubt as to the correctness of these works. I had been for some time trying to remove my doubts, but had found as yet no opportunity. One day I chanced to meet a corpse floating down the river.

There was the opportunity and it remained with me to satisfy myself as to the correctness of the statements contained in the books about anatomy and man’s inner organs. Ridding myself of the books which I laid nearby and taking off my clothes, I resolutely entered the river and soon brought the dead body out and laid it on the shore. I then proceeded to cut it open with a large knife in the best manner I could. I took out and examined the kamal (the heart) and cutting it from the navel to the ribs, and a portion of the head and neck, I carefully examined and compared them with the descriptions in the books.

Finding they did not tally at all. I tore the books to pieces and threw them into the river after the corpse. from that time gradually I came to the conclusion that with the exception of the Vedas, upanishadas, patanjaly and sankhya, all other works upon science and Yoga were false. Having lingered for some time on the banks of the Ganga, I arrived next at Furrukhabad; when having passed sreenjeeram I was just interning Cawnpur by the road east of the canton went, the samvat year of 1912 (1855 A.C.) was completed.

 

Practice of Yoga

 

During the following five months, I visited many a place between Cawnpur and allahabad . In the beginning of Bhadrapad, I arrived at Mirzapur where I stopped for a month or so near the shine of Vindiachal Asooljee; and arriving at Benares in the early part of ashwin, I took my quarters in the cave ( At the confluence of the Buruna and the Ganges ) which then belonged to Bhumanand saraswati. There, I met with Kakaram, Rajaram and other Shastrees, But stopped there only twelve days and renewed my travels after what I sought for . It was at the shine of Durga-koho in chandalgarh, where I passed ten days. I left off eating rice altogether. And living but on milk I gave myself up entirely to the study of Yoga which I practiced night and day .

Frauds of Idolatry

Unfortunately, I got this time into the habit of using bhang, a strong narcotic leaf, and at times felt quite intoxicated with its effect. Once after leaving the temple, I come to a small village near Chandalgarh where by chance I met an attendant of mine of former days. On the other side of the village, and at some distance from it stood a shivalaya (A temple of shiva ) whither I proceeded to pass the night under its walks . While there under the influence of bhang. I fell fast a sleep and dreamed that night a strange dream. I thought I saw Mahadeo and his wife parvati. they where conversing together and I placing my clothes and books on its back, I sat and meditated; when suddenly happing to throw a look inside the stasue which was empty, I saw a man concealed inside . I extended my hand towards him, and must have terrified him, as jumping out of his hiding place, he took to his heels in the direction of the villege . then I crept into the statue in my turn and slept there for the rest of the night. In the morning and old womasn come and worshipped the Bull-god with myself inside . Iater on , she returned with offerings of “Gur” (molasses) and a pot of “Dahi” (curd milk ) which, making puja to me (whom she evidently mistook for the god himself ) she offered and desired me to

accept and eat. I did not disabuse her, but, being hungry . Ate it all . the curd being very sour proved a good antidote for the bhang and dispelled the sings of intoxication, which relieved me very much .

 

Forests of Nerbuddah

After this adventure, I continued my journey towards the hills and that place where the Nebuddah takes its rise. I never once asked my way, but went on travelling southward. Soon I found myself in a desolate spot covered thickly with jungles, with isolated huts appearing now and then among the bushes at irregular distances. At one of such places I drank a little milk and proceeded onward. But about half a mile farther, I came to a dead stop. The road had abruptly disappeared and there remained but the choice of narrow paths leading I knew not, where. I soon entered a dreary jungle of wild plum tree and very thick and huge grass with on signs of any path in it when suddenly I was faced

by a huge black bear. the beast growled ferociously, and rising on its hind legs, opened wide its mouth to devour me. I stood motionless for some time and then slowly raised my thin cane over him, and the bear ran away terrified. so loud was its roaring that the villagers whom I had just left, hearing it, ran to my assistance and soon appeared armed with large sticks and followed by their dogs. they tried hard to persuade me to return with them. If I proceeded any further, they said, I would have to encounter the greatest perils in the jungles which in those hills were the habitat of beats, buffaloes, elephants, tigers and other ferocious beasts. I asked them not to feel anxious for my safety, for I

was protected, I was anxious to see the sources of the Nerbuddah and would not change my mind for fear of any peril. Then seeing that their warnings were useless, they left me after having made me accept a stick- I immediately threw away.

Forest Life

On that day I travelled without stopping until it grew quite dusk. For many hours I had not perceived the slightest trace of human habitation around me. No village in the far off, not even a solitary hut, or a human being. But what my eyes met the most was a number of trees, twisted and broken, which had been uprooted by the wild elephants, and, felled by them to the ground further on I found myself in a dense and impenetrable jungle of plum trees and other prickly shrubs whence, at first I saw no means of  extricating myself. However, partly crawling on the belly, partly creeping on my knees, I conquered this new obstacle and after paying a heavy tribute with pieces of my clothes and even my own skin, bleeding and exhausted I got out of it. It had grown quite dark by

that time. but even this-if it impeded, did not arrest my progress onward, and I still proceeded. Until I found myself entirely hemmed in by lofty rocks and hills thickly grown over with a dense vegetation but with evident signs of being inhabited. Soon I perceived a few huts, surrounded by heaps of cowdung, a flock of goats grazing on the banks of a small stream of clear water and a few welcome lights glimmering between the crevices of the walls. Resolving to pass the night there, and go no further till the next morning, I took shelter at the foot of a large tree which overshadowed one of the huts. Having washed my bleeding feet my face and hands-in the stream, I had barely sat to tell my

prayers, when I was suddenly disturbed in my meditations by the loud sound of a tom-tom Shortly after, I saw a procession of men, woman and children, followed by their cows and goats emerging from the huts and preparing for a night religious festival. upon perceiving a stranger , they all gathering around me, and an old man came enquiring from whence I had appeared. I told them I had come from benares , and was on my pilgrimage to the Nerbudda sources,after which answer they all left me to my prayers and went further on . But in about half hour , came one of their headmen accompanied by two Hillman and sat by my side, He came as a delegate to invite me to their huts . but, as before, I refused the offer (for they were idolaters) He then ordered a large fire to be lit near me and appointed two men to watch over my safety the whole night.

Learning that I used milk for all food, the kind headmen asked for my “kamandalu” (a bowl) and brought it back to me full of milk, of which I drank a little that night. He then retired, leaving me under the protection of my two guards That night I soundly slept until dawn, when rising and having completed my devotions, I prepared myself for further events.” ( Here the auto biography ends. -T)

SOUL, MAGIC, GAMBLING & POLYGAMY ARE IN VEDAS ?

soul_body

SOUL, MAGIC, GAMBLING & POLYGAMY

Author : Pt Dharmadev Vidyamartand

Besides discussing the notions of transmigration of soul and theory of action, we will discuss in this chapter, whether there was magic, drinking, gambling, and polygamy during the Vedic Age.

TRANSMIGRATION OF SOUL

An impression is sought to have been created by the authors of the Vedic Age that the Vedic Aryas had neither definite knowledge of the transmigration of soul nor were they interested in its theoretical aspects.

For instance it is written in this book:-

“ As the Rigvedic Aryas were full of the “Joíe de viver” (joy of life), they were not particularly interested in the life after death, much less had they any special doctrines about it. We can, therefore , glean only a few notices of life beyond, that are scattered throughout the Rigveda. In our search for any reference implicit or explicit, to rebirth or transmigration, we come across only a few doubtful passages. According to R.V.1.164.30, the soul (Jivah) of the dead one moves in its own power; the immortal one having a common origin with the mortal one (the body). But this transmigration is not certain.”

“So we may conclude that only the germs of the conception of rebirth were there, and those developed either naturally or through the influence of ideas current among the original tribes with whom the Aryans came into contact”

But careful perusal of the text will show that there are clear references to soul and its transmigration in the Vedas.

In Rigvedas it is clearly stated that the soul which inhabits this ephemeral body, is eternal, permanent and true:

rig 6.9.4

(“Behold this (individual spirit) the first being which enjoys (consequence of his actions) as it is the immortal light placed within the mortal frame. That has manifested itself. This immortal soul is staying (in the body) while it seems growing with the growth of its body.”

The theory of rebirth also finds expression in the following mantra from the Rigveda:-

rebirth in rigveda

(May I have glance at the indestructible Lord of the sense organs (i.e. the individual soul) which ever walk, through the pathways of coming (birth) and departure (death); it traverses its path with its body and even without it and having covered itself with its actions (i.e. in accordance with its good and evil actions), it comes (takes birth) again and again in the various worlds.”

GOD AND SOUL

The relation of soul with God and difference between the two have been clearly enunciated in the following mantra:-

rig 1.64.20

(Like two birds, there are two spirits i.e. the finite and the Supreme which, knit with the bonds of friendship, reside on the same tree (of the material universe). One of the twain (i.e. the finite spirit)

enjoys the sweet ripe fruit (and also the bitter one) produced by his good or bad actions, whereas the other (i.e. the Supreme Spirit) simply looks all around without enjoying its fruitage.”

THE SOUL THROUGH THE AGES

There is clear description of the soul incarnating itself in different bodies according to one’s own actions:-

soul 1

“O individual soul! in accordance with thine actions, thou assumes the form of a woman and that of a man, sometimes thou becomes a virgin, thou walkest with the help of 21 staff when thy body becomes old and frail, thou takest birth again and again as thy face is turned towards all directions (in accordance with thy actions).

soul 2

(This individual soul, sometimes it becomes their father and sometimes their son too, and sometimes becomes their elder brother and sometimes it even becomes their younger brother. Verily, the one self of luminous soul dwelling within the mind, has taken birth before and verily it again enters the womb of the mother.)

soul 3

(O God of life, please give us eyes again in our future life and give us breath, in this world and confer on us all necessary objects of enjoyment; O most Gracious Being! May we see the rising sun for  a long time, be kind upon us and give us blessings,)

In the following mantra from Yajurveda (4. 1 5), a devotee plays to God for a good life in the birth to come:

yajurveda 4.15

(May I receive, through the grace of God, my mind again in future life, may I have life again, may I get breathe again, may my soul return again and may I be the possessor of eyes and ears again in future life; may Self Refulgent God, keep us safe from misfortune and dishonor.)

In Atharva Veda, the use of स उ जायते पुन: most certainly confirms the Vedic theory of transmigration of soul:

soul 4

(The individual soul wanders within the womb of mother and takes birth again and again in bodies of intelligent persons. It exists in past, present and future; when it becomes a father, it again enters into the body of a son with the powers of his actions.)

Reproduced below are two mantras from Atharveda in this connection:-

soul 5

(May the earth give us birth again and may the shining heavenly region and the atmosphere restore the same to us; may Soma, All Creating God, give us body again (after our death) and may the All Nourishing God, lead us on the path of peace and happiness.)

And also:-

soul 6.1

soul 6.2

(May I again receive my sense organs in my future life and may I receive my spirit, together with worldly possessions and knowledge Divine so that I may perform fire-offering on the altars and may ever attain prosperity.) `

THEORY OF ACTION

In Vedas there is a great emphasis on action and industry. lt is clearly mentioned in the vedas that one cannot achieve progress and prosperity through mere performance of yajnas, singing euologies to God or offering prayers to him.

The Vedic Age, however, seeks to create an impression that devotees have been instructed in the Vedas to seek more and more gifts from God by flattering songs and ritualistic sacrifices.

But this is not true. For instance, it is clearly mentioned in the Rigveda that God never befriends a person Who avoids hard work or industry :

rig 4.33.15

ln Yujurveda, there is clear instruction to desire a long life full of action:

soul in yajur

PRAYERS FOR PURITY

In Vedic Age, very serious allegation has been made against the Rishis :-

“Absence of evil is not what they pray for. Their supreme desire is to triumph over poverty and resistance”

In the 97th  hymn of the First mandala of the Rigveda, there are 8 mantras, each of which ends with अप न: शोशुचदघम (O God destroy our sins). Some of these mantras are reproduced below:-

prayer 1

(O God, may we become yours. Destroy our sins.)

prayer 2

(May with Thy mercy, O Omnipresent Lord, all our sins be destroyed -may we never commit sins again).

prayer 3

(Just as sea is crossed through ship, may we cross this miserable world through Thy Grace – May our sins be destroyed.)

POLYGAMY AND VEDAS

Of many misconceptions about the Vedas propagated by the authors of Vedic Age, one pertains to polygamy.

It is written in the Vedic Age:-

“The Rigveda certainly permits polygamy, though monogamy may have been the rule. Whether monogamy developed from polygamy in the Rigvedic Age as Zimmer thinks in “Altindísche Leben “, or whether polygamy is secondary as Weber believes in “Indische Studeíern” cannot be decided-Probably polygamy, though allowed, was practically confined to the “Rajanya” class. Polyandry is not referred to anywhere in the Rigveda.”

It may be stressed that monogamy is considered best in the Vedas. Some of the mantras indicating this ideal have also been referred in the Vedic Age which also acknowledges that monogamy was the rule though polygamy was allowed. For instance, in Rigvedas 1.124.32 and 1O.74.4  जायेव पत्य उशती सुवासा: means knowledge reveals itself to the scholars, just as a woman draped in her best attire, presents herself before her husband. It may also be mentioned here that the words जाया and पत्या are both singular in number and, therefore, clearly indicate monogamy.

In the following mantra from the Rigveda God has been compared to a “chaste woman” of a noble character :

rigvedic god

(He who is like the sun, the supporter of the universe, who abides on earth like a king with good friends, who is like heroes at home- and who is like the irreproachable Wife, beloved of her husband.)

In the following mantra from Rigveda, one of the four comparisons which have been made to express a devotee’s desire for God to turn to him is that of a husband for wife :-

rigveda god 1

“As kine turn to the Village, as warriors to their steeds, as loving milk-giving cows to their calves, a husband to the Wife, so may the Deity, the Upholder of the heavens, Lord of all Bliss, turn towards us”.

In the hymn about marriage in Rigveda (10.85.30) a bride is enjoined to work for the happiness and pleasure of her husband :-

rig 10.85.30

(Shining like the sun, oh, bride, full of tapas, ascend this chariot and go to thy husband”s home to add to His pleasure and happiness.)

In the following mantra, the bride has been blessed to live with her husband and never be separated :

rigveda god 2

(May you always live together happily in your home-may you lead a happy, prosperous married life.)

In the following mantra both husband and wife make a declaration that their hearts will be united with each other like water which is cool and peaceful.)

rigveda god 3

ln the following mantra, the Wife says to her husband :

rigveda god 4

(Establish me firmly in your heart. May our hearts be united.)

rigveda god 5

(May you be mine entirely. May you never even praise other women in my presence.) ‘

The following mantras may also be quoted in support of this Vedic ideal of polygamy :

rig 14.2.64

In these mantras also, there is an instruction to the couples to love each other like “chakva-chakvi ” (love birds) and use sweet words for each other.)

Because of a few similies in the Rigveda, the authors of the Vedic Age have tried to establish the existence of polygamy during the Vedic period which is very erroneous. A large number of quotations against polygamy in the vedas render such interpretations infructuous.

For instance, take the following mantra, in which a person, tortured by the worldly agonies, has been compared to a person annoyed or troubled by co-wives :-

cowives

And also in the following mantra, it is written that a person, having two wives, is pressed from both sides like a neighing horse driving a chariot which is pressed between two spokes :-

two spokes

While there is provision for only one marriage in the Vedas, in exceptional cases, “Niyoga” (temporary alliance of wife with a stranger), is permitted with a limited purpose.

GAMBLING/ DRINKING IN THE VEDIC PERIOD

Vedic Age describes dice playing as one of the principal amusements of the Vedic period. It says :-

“Dice was another amusement. The number of dice, the method of dice playing and the names of the throws are all described in detail in the various texts of this (Yajur Veda) period A ritual game of dice is played at the Agnyadheya and the Rajasuya  cennonies – so gambling is probably sought to be restricted by elevating racing and dicing to the rank of religious ceremonies.”

The book has, however, failed to mention where the details of dice playing have been given in Yajurveda. We cannot believe in what they say unless they produce some evidence in support of their contention. Such an evidence is impossible to produce. (because it is not there at all.)

Moreover there is another reason for not believing them because what they have said is quite contrary to the injunctions against gambling in the hymn l 0.34 of the Rigveda (which is entirely devoted to this subject). ln some of the mantras of this hymn, it is clearly stated that gambling bums the heart of a person like the charcoal which though apparently cool from outside, is potentially destructive.

lt is also said that the family members of a gambler-his parents, Wife, brother etc, also disown him when he runs into debt because of this game :

gambling 1

In the end there is clear instruction against gambling in the most unequivocal terms : अक्षौर्या दिव्य (O man, no gambling.)

A gambler is told that he would enjoy the blessings and pleasures of the family life only when he earns money by industry, by such work as agriculture :

agriculture

It there is a provision anywhere for gambling or dice playing on the occasion of some Yajnas, it should be considered only as an interpolation without the sanction or authority of the vedas; it is, therefore, unauthentic and without merit.

One might say that even a highly religious man like Yudhistira used to gamble. But does it go to prove that gambling is a meritorious thing? We may recall what Lord Krishna had told him: if he were in Dwaraka he would never have let him indulge in this game asserting that its consequences are disasterous :

mahabharat 5

mahabharat 6

In these shlokas he counts gambling among the four vices which destroy a man’s beauty and his wealth (the other three being women, hunting and drinking).

DRINKING

Vedas have clearly instructed against drinking in the same way as against gambling.

Among the seven vices (even one of which makes a man sinner) is also drinking :

drinking 1

Yaskacharya has described these seven vices as follows in Nírukta :

drinking 2

(Theft, corruption, killing of righteous persons, abortion, falshehood, repeating a bad action and drinking.)

In Rigveda there is a mantra which described how the men who drink do not feel ashamed even in undressing themselves and looking at each other in naked bodies.

drinking 3

Drinking and gambling have been described in Rigveda as actions which lead to अधर्म (unrighteousness).

drinking 4

In Atharva Veda (6.7O. 1) meat eating, drinking and gambling have been placed in the same category and described as condemnable and prohibited :-

drinking 5

It is alleged in the “Vedic Age” that the risis remained intoxicated under the influence of “soma” which was misunderstood as a kind of a liquor.

In fact, the word Soma सोम: which occurs in the following mantras stands for God, who is described as the producer of all herbs, water, firmament, earth, sky, fire, sun and air illuminator and Master of the whole universe and Omnipresent.

Addressing God a devotee says; “King of this entire Universe, O Lord, Thou who art, Omniscient and Knower of everything and Repository of all virtues and Father of all “devas° purify me :

drinking 6

Can even an idiot take the word “Soma ” for a herb or a medicine in this context? There is not an iota of doubt that this word has been used only for God because He alone is and can be Omnipresent, Omniscient and the Master of the universe.

While the word ‘Soma ‘ has been used for God, at times it is also meant to denote affectionate devotion to God which is coupled with the true knowledge of His attributes. For instance, in Rigveda’s 9.108.1, it is stated:

rig 9.108.1

Here ‘soma ` is described as spiritual intoxication induced by true devotion(इन्द्राय क्रतु वितभो ).

This spiritual intoxication is naturally different from the intoxication induced by liquor or drinks.

In Rigveda and Samveda, the word soma has been described thus :-

drinking 7

(This soma which is full of sweetness ( मधुमान) is purifier( पावक: ) inducer of virtues ( देवावी ) and destroyer of all impure sentiment’s ( अधं शंसहा )

lt is clear from the above that this soma is not used for simple liquor but Spiritual intoxication which results from devotion, knowledge and purification.

In the same Vedas, Soma has been invoked for purification, strength and intellects :

drinking 8

Such a description of the ordinary liquor, which pollutes the intellects, is quite incongruous.

The following mantra, which occurs both in the Rigveda as well as Samaveda, gives a very clear cut account of Soma :

drinking 9

(O, Soma, the Illuminater  and Purifier, Thou proclaim-est immortality for all.)

This mantra leaves in no doubt about the true meaning, rather nature, of Soma-which is a declaration of Conquest over death (i.e., immortality).

The following mantras, from Rigveda also confirms that besides God, the word “Soma` means spiritual intoxication :-

drinking 10

ln the above mantras the word `soma’ has been described as giver of Peace, purifier, born of Truth and embodiment of knowledge etc.

Hundreds of mantras can be quoted to prove that the meaning of the word ‘ Soma” as interpreted by contributors to the Vedic Age is completely wrong. Their contention that the Risis remained drunk all the times is, therefore, completely baseless.

||इति||

 

 

VEDAS : IS THERE CHARM AND MAGIC IN THEM?

black magic 1

VEDAS : IS THERE CHARM AND MAGIC IN THEM?

Author : Pt Dharmdev Vidyamartand

The authors of the Vedic Age following copiously their western masters have not only entertained wrong concepts about all the four Vedas, but their treatment of the Atharvaveda is Worse as they see in some of its hymns dealing with medicinal herbs charm and magic.

The Atharvaveda, in reality, deals with medicine as evident from Gopath’s येSथर्वाणस्तद भेषजं तदमृतम तद ब्रह्म or Tandya Mahabrahman’s भेषजं वै देवानामथर्वाण: ( अर्थात ऋषिणा दृष्टा मंत्रा: ) भैषज्यायैवारिष्टयै|

l References made in Atharvaveda to medicinal herbs, masmerism, hypnotism incantation are entirely scientific.

lt is really a matter of great ragret that such wrong concepts should be entertained by these scholars about Atharvaveda which is also known as ब्रह्मवेद :-

chatwaro

(The use of this word “ब्रह्मवेद:” for Atharvaveda is justified by a number of hymns which, besides dealing with medicines also deal with the science of God and soul. There is no indication in it of any “charm” and “magic”.)

Western scholars like Bloomfield and Whitney misconstrued different “manis” (which are actually medicinal herbs) for charms, amulets or sorceries. Even while translating mantras dealing with medicinal herbs, coronation and family harmony, they gave misinterpretation and misleading meanings to show that there is magic and charm in Atharvavedas.

Bloomfield in particular, gave such misleading captions as “Charm against Jaundice” to his translation of Atharvaveda`s 5.22 in which the reference is made to the cure of Takman (fever) through medicinal herbs.

“Charm with the Apamarg, a plant against sorcery, demons and enemies ” is the caption given by him to another mantra from the Atharvaveda in which there is mention of treatment of barreneness among women through the use of “Apamarga”

In Atharvaveda’s hymn 4.8, there is a beautiful description of a coronation ceremony. But unfonunately, Bloomfield’s caption for the hymn containing this mantra, is “Charm pertaining to Royalty

The hymn 3.3O of the Atharvaveda refers to family harmony, unity and mutual obligations and duties of the members of a family. Quoted below are three mantras from this hymn with Bloomfield”s own translation :

bloomfield 1

(Unity of heart and unity of mind, freedom of hatred do I procure for you. Do ye take delight in one another as a cow in her new born calf.)

bloomfield 2

(The son shall be devoted to his father, be of the same mind with his mother, the wife shall speak honied, sweet words to her husband.)

bloomfield 3

(The brother shall not hate the brother and the sister not the sister. Harmonious, devoted to the same purpose speak ye words in kindly spirit.)

It is very shocking to find that Bloomfield has given the heading of this hymn as “Charm To Secure Harmony” knowing fully well that these hymns only stresses the importance of friendliness, harmony, mutual love, co-operation and sweetness of temper. etc. among the family members.

Following Bloomfield, the authors of the Vedic Age commenting on this hymn write: “Of the same type but much more elevated in tone is the of quoted and justly celebrated charm for securing concord.”

In the hymns 7- 12 of Atharvaveda, there is a clear reference to सभा and समिति (which are the equivalents of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha of the Modem Age.) Given below are the first two mantras of this hymn with Bloomfield’s translation :

bloomfield 4

(May assembly and meeting, the two daughters of Prajapati, concurrently aid me! May he with whom I meet, co-operate With me! May I obey Father, speak agreeably to those assembled. We know thy name, O assembly, Mirth verily is thy name; may all those that sit assembled in thee, utter speech in harmony with me.”

AUTHOR’S COMMENTS :-

Here the word “नरिष्टा” should mean benevolent to the people ( नृ + इष्टा ) or that which does not allow people to suffer) With this exception, it may be said the translation is not bad. What is disgusting is the title given to it by this western scholar : “Charm to procure influence in the assembly.”

The authors of the Vedic Age not only incorporated the blunders committed by such western scholar in this respect but went a step further and expressed ideas which are thoroughly absurd and misleading.

For instance, under the head “Medicinal Charms”, they write :

“Quite a number of medicinal charms are included in the Atharvaveda. The chief malady that was sought to be treated magically is the Takman. From the symptoms described it is almost certain that it was nothing but malarial fever. The plant kusha is maintained as potent in fighting Takman, but whether as medicine or as amulet is not quite clean”

This is indeed very misleading statement. Not only for fever alone but also for several other diseases like impotence, barrenness, leprosy, T.B. urinary troubles etc., the Vedas have suggested

treatment through administration of such medicinal herbs as Apamarga, Kushtaa Preshni, Parni, Soma, Darbh.

Even for fever, the cure suggested in the hymns 5-4 and 19-39 of the Atharva Veda, is through oral administration of “kustha “ and not its use in the form of amulets. One fails to understand how the authors of the Vedic Age misunderstood this point. A few mantras from these hymns, with their English translation by Bloomfield himself, will show how misleading is their interpretation :

ath 5.4.1

(Thou that art born upon the mountains; as the most potent of plants, come hither, O kushtha, destroyer of the Takman to drive out from here, the Takman (fever).

It is clear here that Kushtha has been described as वीरूधामबलवतम: which is translated by Bloomfield as “the most potent of plants”.

bloomfield 5

(Pain in the head, affliction in the eyes and ailment of the body, all that shall the Kushtha heal a divinely powerful medicine.)

The expression “powerful remedy” was enough to remove the doubt whether Kushtha was a medicinal herb or an amulet. But the authors of the “Vedic Age” deliberately entertained the doubt to confuse the readers.

In the hymn 19.39, the adjective विश्वभेषज has been used for this herb at least five times. This word has been rightly translated by Bloomfield as “Universal remedy”. In mantra 4 of this hymn, this herb has been described as उतमो अस्योषधीनाम  :-

bloomfield 6

“Thou art the most superior to the plants as a steer among the cattle, as the tiger among the beasts of prey. Verily no harm shall suffer this person here for whom I bespeak these mom and eve, aye the entire day.”

It is thus clear from the above that instead of any sorcery or amulet, the reference is only to treatment of fever by administration of medicinal herb called “Kushtha”.

In this connection we want to draw the attention of our readers to a very ridiculous comment by the authors of the Vedic Age:

“It is interesting to note that in one hymn (5.22) Takman has been asked to seize the Shudra and the Dasi or to go away to Mujavats or to the Valhikas further beyond and the last verse, the author says quite maliciously that he is sending Takman to the Gandharis, Angas and Magadhas like one sending a treasure to a person.”

The mantras which form the basis of the above comment are as follows :

hymn 5.22

lt is obvious that the whole confusion in these mantras has arisen from the misunderstanding of the words दासी, शुद्रा, गंधारी, मुजवान, मग्ध” in the above mantras.

The word “दासी”’ used in one of the above mantras, is in fact a herb called “काकजंघा“. दासी and काकजंघा are synonymous as evident from the following from राजनिघुनट्टू.

rajnigantu

A lot of misunderstanding has been created by the authors of the “Vedic Age” by taking into account only the prevalent meaning of the words like dasa and shudra and ignoring their real meaning suitable in the context.

Just as the word dasi, so also the word shudra have been used in the above hymn for a medicinal herb-in this case for príyagulata प्रियंगुलता which is supposed to be good for curing fever.

vaidik shastra

About its power to cure fever, it is stated in Bhav Prakash Níghantu :

bhavprakash nighantu

After knowing the real meaning of the words dasi and sudra in this context, the meaning of the above quoted mantras will be as follows :

(O, disease, pervading the body like poisonous serpent and making the body lethargic, go away by the use of blossoming Desi herb.)

The sum and substance of this mantra is that the herb dasí also known as kakjanga wards off fever.

(O fever, which growest in the grassy and shady regions, go away by the use of sudra also known as priyangoo)

A repeated reference to different mantras in the Atharvaveda such as आंजन मणि(4.9),शंख मणि(4.9),वरण मणि(10.3), जांगिड मणि(2.4 ),पर्ण मणि (3.5 ), शतवार मणि  (19.36 ), etc. have led some scholars to think that there is charm or magic in the vedas. They misinterpret the Word मणि as a pearl only and feel that use of different pearls has been suggested in the AtharvaVeda for curing different diseases.

But the principal meaning of this word, as supported by Ayurvedic books, is a herb (destroyer of diseases). The word with three or four roots, has also other meanings.

According to the aphorism  सर्वधातुभ्य इन्  in the उपाधि कोष(4.118), the word मणि takes its existence from the root मणिशब्दे with इन् प्रत्यय. Thus the word मणि means a good orator or a leader :-

manati

Other roots of मणि are मनु ज्ञाने, (दिवादि:) मन स्तम्बे, मनु अवबोधने ( तनादि ) which respectively mean a man of knowledge, one who deserts the enemies or the diseases, or one who imparts knowledge to others.

For instance, in the following mantra, it is said that through the help of Sraktya mani, an intelligent person, like a Risi, gains victory over all armies and destroys all enemies :

sraktya mani 1

The use of the word sraktya mani for an intelligent person also occurs in another mantra in the Atharva Veda :

sraktya mani 2

(You are full of action, you are able to fight back your enemies, you can attack your rival)

When this meaning does not fit in the context, it should be taken to mean some herb or the medicine.

We shall briefly discuss the word मणि used in the context of medicines.

आंजनमणि, for instance, stands for a tablet made of antimony which removes many diseases.

It is clearly stated in the following mantra of the Atharvaveda (4.95) that आंजनमणि gives strength to a patient and is the medicine for हरितरोग (kind of a fever) The use of the word भेषजं {indicates

that this subject has connection with the science of medicine and not magic.

SHANKH MANI:

About शंखमणि it is stated in the Atharvaveda :

shankmani

(This conch shell, with a pearl, helps one recover from many diseases. May it help overcome the misery resulting from a sin or a disease.)

The word अंह: is generally used for sin but it also means disease as evident from the following etymology or derivation of this word as given in the Unadikosa.

unadikosh

 JANGIDMANI:

Jangidmani has been used in the Atharvaveda mainly for Soma. Commenting on Atharvaveda’s 1.9.34 Sayanacharya writes :

In Atharva Veda Brihat Sarvanukra Maní there is a reference to the herb in the following words :

jangidmani 1

It has also been described as a medicine or a herb elsewhere in the same book :

jangidmani 2

As the words चन्द्र and सोम are synonymous, all the names denoting chandra also stand for Soma.

jangidmani 3

This is confirmed by such quotations as the following from शुश्रुत चिकित्सा स्थान :-

jangidmani 4

Thus we see that Jangadmani is the same medicinal herb as Soma about whose benefits it is stated in the 19th chapter of the same book :

jangidmani 5

The use of words like औषधि भेषज  and विश्व भेषज for this herb also gives indication of its great usefulness in curing many incurable diseases.

PARNAMANI —- — SOMA

There is a reference to पर्णमणि in Atharvaveda’s 3.5. According to Satpath (6.5.l .1), Parna is another name for ‘ सोम (सोमो वै पर्ण: )  The relation between ‘सोम and पर्ण has been made clear in the following mantra from the same hymn :

parnmani 1

Jangdmani consists of tablets or globules of soma and Parnamani of only (soma) leave.

According to the first mantra of the same hymn, there is also reference to W: (water) andw (juice). Thus the Pamamani taken in the form of leaves, lengthens the life of a person and removes all diseases.

In eighth mantra of this hymn, the Parnamani is also called तनुपान (protector of the body and increaser of semen) :

parnmani 2

According to एष वै संवत्सरो य एष तपति(satpath),संवत्सर: means ‘sun° and, therefore, it has been suggested here by implication that “Parnamani’ should be taken to secure the splendor of the sun or its heat.

It is mentioned in the following mantra from the Atharva Veda (3.5.2) that regular use of Parnamani increases physical strength and makes a man very influential and wealthy :-

parnmani 3

In Susrat Chikitsa Shastra, it is said that one who regularly takes Parnamaní, increases his life and poison, burns and wounds do not cut short his life :

parnmani 4

SATAVARI MANI (RISHBHAK HERB)

In Atharva Veda (19.36.17), there is a reference to शतवार मणि  which is described as useful for killing all germs and giving splendor to the life :

shatwarmani 1

In the second mantra of the same hymn, it is said that it removes all small and big diseases :

shatwarmani 2

In the fifth mantra of this hymn, Rishabh ऋषभ as been given as a synonym for Satvar शतवार , a name which is mentioned in the books on Ayurveda also :-

shatwarmani 3

shatwarmani 4

In this very hymn, it is mentioned that rishabh or satvar mani cures such diseases as T.B. and also others connected with pregnancy. It is also good for giving strength to the reproductive organs.

In some hymns the words `रक्षांसि राक्षसो, गन्धर्व, अप्सरा do not stand for any ghost, “witch” etc. as generally misunderstood. They only denote different kinds of germs.

For instance, in the Kaushitak Brahmana, it is clearly written about रक्षांसि :-

shatwarmani 5

(The genns which sip blood of a person are called `रक्षांसि)

According to satpatha (10.53.20) अप्सरा: are those which live in rose plants etc :

shatwarmani 6

These almost invisible germs living in rose plants get into human body through the nose and cause many mental deseases. Says Satpath :

shatwarmani 7

(The insects, which fall for beautiful objects, and consume them, are called गन्धर्वा :

In the following mantra from Atharvavads, the word  पिशाचhas also been used for a deadly germ which eats away the flesh of a patient and causes wounds in his body :

shatwarmani 8

This usage of पिशाच’ for a deadly germ eating away the flesh of a person has also been supported by the derivation of the word given in शब्द कल्पदुम :

shatwarmani 9

Similar derivation of the word has also been given in vachaspatya brihadmídhana .

shatwarmani 10

Thus it can be said that `राक्षस, गन्धर्व, अप्सरा  etc are different varieties of gemis which can be killed through the persistent use of शतवार or ऋषभक मणि. They have no connection with the magic or charm.

VARAN MANI ( वरण मणि )

There is a description of वरणमणिin the Atharva veda’s hymn (10.3) In third mantra of this hymn the adjective used for varanmani  वरणमणि is visvabhaj विश्वभेषज: which means a medicine which removes all diseases :-

varanmani 1

In another mantra of the same hymn, it is described as वनस्पति a herb which is useful for many diseases:

varanmani 2

The word वनस्पति has also been used for वरणमणि in the mantra of this hymn :

varanmani 3

In the 11th mantra of the same hymn, there is an instruction to wear this herb in the form of an armour in combination with mica. It is believed that its touch with the human body is good for all cardiac diseases :-

varanmani 4

In the Ayurvedic books, this herb has been named as वरुण as evident from the Bhav Prakas Níghantu ( भावप्रकाश निघंटु) :

varanmani 5

In Níghantu Ratna (निघंटु रत्न) the herb, is considered effective in many diseases related to impurification of blood, urinary troubles.

It is believed that the use ofthis herb in the form of pills or its application on clothes is very useful.

KRITYA  AND ABHICHAR

The misunderstanding about the role of sorceries and incantation, as propounded in the Vedas, is also responsible for the belief entertained by some scholars that there is magic and charm in the Vedas. The truth is that both these things have use in Warfare and armament and have nothing to do with magic. Their use is Suggested mainly for defensive rather than offensive purposes.

Kritya is of two kinds. First अंगिरस:- which consists of explosive substances used to shatter the buildings and the second  is आसुरी which is made up of poisonous substances which are put in fire to destroy enemies :

kritya 1

According to Atharvaveda, the priests are asked to help the people to Ward off the ill effects of Krítya :

kritya 2

(May the priests do something to ward off the ill effects of violence by the enemies.)

At another place in Atharva Veda (21 .l8.5), a priest asserts :

kritya 3

(I ward off the evil effects of Krítya against cows or men.)

It is evident that it is on the basis of the Vedas that Kautalya Shastra laid down that the priests should impart full knowledge of Krítya and Abhichar to kings and their kinsmen :

kritya 4

Use of many Manis and herbs has been suggested in this connection. For instance in Atharva Veda (19. l 4.4) जांगिडमणि, सोम are stated as effective against Kritya :

kritya 5

This herb destroys the ill effects of kritya कृत्या and is useful in prolonging the life span of a person.

At another place in Atharva Veda (8.7. 1 0), herbs used against poinsonous substances, are also stated to be effective against sorceries (कृत्या) :-

kritya 6

It is made abundantly clear in Atharva Veda that if used against innocent persons, it brings about disastrous consequences and therefore, should never be used against them :

kritya 7

उन्मोचन(vomiting or purging) or प्रमोचन(countering the effects of poison by the intense use of ghee, honey etc is stated in the following mantra :

kritya 8

In  (Shusrut Kalpadum) (Chapter one Sloka 75-76) also the same remedy has been given to avert the ill effects of अभिचार :

kritya 9

There are many mantras in the Atharva Veda in which lie the seeds of modem therapy (including mesmerism) which is used to help patients in eliminating many mental and physical diseases. In the following mantra from Atharva Veda, a physician tells his patients about the healing power of his hand touch will cure him of the ailments :-

kritya 10

For curing mental diseases, the doctor first of all, tries to capture the heart  of the patient by repetition of the following mantras from Atharva Veda :

kritya 11

After gaining full control over the heart of the patient, the doctor suggests to him with full confidence that he would fully cure him of mental diseases like insanity, perplexity or confusion of mind :

kritya 12

To free a person from fever, etc., the doctor also suggests to the patients:

kritya 13

There are also mantras in the Vedas which are repeated with will and determination to remove sin, achieve success, overcome diseases, and to increase power.

For removing thought of sin :-

kritya 14

For achieving success: –

kritya 15

For overcoming diseases :

kritya 16

For increasing power :

kritya 17

It would however, be stupid to ‘suggest’ that any of the mantras relating to Kritya and Abhíchar have anything to do with charm or magic.

There is no charm or magic in such mantras.

VEDAS : IS THERE MONISM OR POLYTHEISM IN THEM?

Devas 1

VEDAS : IS THERE MONISM OR POLYTHEISM IN THEM?

Author : Pt Dharmdev Vidyamartand

 From the Book “Veda:The Myths and Reality” ( A reply to Vedic Age )

One of the subjects which has generated a lot of controversy among the scholars is whether the Vedas teach polytheism, henotheism, monism or monotheism.

Before discussing this question, however, let us discuss what these terms really mean. Polytheism means belief in the plurality of gods, each with a sphere of his own in the governance of the this universe. “In simple words, it means Worship of many gods or Gods.

By monism is meant “development of the universe from a monad or from a single element.

lt corresponds to what is generally called as the principle that nothing else except Brahma (God) or the Absolute exists.

The Henotheism denotes that each of several divinities is regarded as the Supreme-each in its sphere.

And monotheism is belief in the existence of only One God.

Westem scholars like Clayton have said that there is polytheism in the Vedas. Even Max Muller who saw in Rigveda”s hymn 10.121 an expression of One God, “expressed with such power and decision, that it will make us hesitate before we deny to the Aryans, an instinctive monotheism which, however, comes out with a rider : “This is one of the hymns which has always been suspected as modem by European interpreters”

Even while commenting on Rigveda’s “प्रजापते न त्व दे तानन्यो विश्वा जातानि परी ता बभूव” he says, “This is the last verse, into my mind,  most suspicious of all.”

lt is obvious that this suspicion has been raised deliberately by Max Muller and other western scholars as their study of the Vedas was biased and they were not willing to accept monotheism in the Vedas.

This is the reason why they have also created confusion while translating “कस्मै देवाय हविषा विधेम” as “to which God shall we offer worship”. ln fact they want to show that there are many gods and the devotee is wondering as to whom to Worship. (ln fact कस्मै देवाय is answered by “प्रजापति” as “क” stands for “प्रजापति” as clear from Satpath : “को हि प्रजापति अथवा प्रजापतिर्वक ”

Max Muller has, in fact, coined a new word “Hen0theism” to show the worship of many “single Gods” or a number of independent deities in the Vedas.

For instance in his book “Ancient Sanskrit Literature ” Max Muller writes :” Each Vedic poet seems to exalt the particular god to whom he happens to be singing, to a position of supremacy. It would be easy to find, in the numerous hymns of the Veda, passages in which almost every single god is represented as Supreme and Absolute. ln the first hymn of the Second Book of the Rigveda, Agni is called the Ruler of the universe, the Lord of men, the Wise King, the Father, the Brother, the Son, the friend of men, nay all the powers, and names of others are distinctly ascribed to Agni. Indra is celebrated as the strongest in the hymns as well as in the Brahmnas, and the burden of one of the songs of the Tenth book is ” विश्वस्मादिन्द्र उत्तर “. (Indra is greater than all.) Of soma it is said that he was born great, and that he conquers everyone. He is called the king of the world, he has the power to prolong the life of men

and is the maker of heaven and earth; of Agni, of Surya, of lndra and Vishnu. ln the very next hymn, addressed to Varuna, it is the Varuna who is, to the mind of the poet, Supreme and Almighty.”

Clarifying this concept hynotheism A.C Clayton writes in the “Rigveda and Vedic Religion :-

“In his Writings Max Muller constantly referred to this and coined the word Hynotheism or Kathenotheism to express what he re-garded as a ‘peculiar character’ of the ancient Vedic religion.

It denotes that each of several divinities is regarded as highest. The one that was worshipped and that they, therefore, treated him as if he were absolutely being independent and Supreme, alone present to the mind of the worshipper.”

In effect, as pointed out by Dwij Das in his book “Rigveda Unveiled”, the Rishis have been reduced to the position of “sycophants or cowardly liars, who could call each single god, as the one Supreme Being, only to avert the wrath of that God. Knowing at the same time, that they are not telling the Truth.”

Clayton and a few other scholars, though denying monotheism in the Vedas, say that they regard this practice of glorifying one God exclusively as “a species of poetic licence by which a singer magnified the god whom he was invoking, rather than an evidence that the poet actually claimed that the god to whom he was at the moment referring was the superior of all others”

We, however, do not agree with Clayton and other scholars that such descriptions are due to poetic license either. We are not prepared to believe that there is any scope for such poetic licence in view of overwhelming evidence of monotheism in the Vedas. The Vedas teach monotheism or the Worship of one God in the purest form . They teach that God is Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent Lord of the universe. He is absolutely formless and perfect.

The vedas declare :

vrun

Monotheism in the Vedas has not been stated more forcefully than in the following mantras from the Atharvaveda where God has been described as One and the only One. :

ath 13.4

(He (God) is called neither the second, nor the third, nor yet the fourth. He is called neither the fifth, nor the sixth, nor yet the seventh. He is neither the eighth, nor the ninth, nor yet the tenth.)

He takes care of all that breathes and of all that does not breathe. He has got all this conquering power, He is the one, one and the only one.

All these luminous forces of nature become one in Him. How emphatically the oneness of God has been asserted in such passages and how absurd and false is the view advocated by some prejudiced Western scholars that the Vedas teach polytheism.

We will give some more evidence of the Oneness of God in the Vedas.

In the हिरण्यगर्भ hymn, (in Regveda) consisting of 10 mantras, God has been described as प्रजापति and more than four times it is clearly stated that.

He is One and  the only One.

Following mantras from this hymn may be quoted to clarify this point :-

rig 10.121.1

(God who possesses all the luminous Worlds within Himself and exists from the very eternity, He is only One Manifest Lord of the created creatures. He is supporting this earth and this heaven. Unto that All-Blissful Divinity, we offer our humble worship.”)

atmada

(He who is the Giver of physical vigour and spiritual power, He whose order is carried out by all the luminous objects and by the enlightened beings, whose shelter is immortality and turning away from whom is death, unto that all blissful Divinity, we offer our humble Worship.)

pranato

(He who by the greatness of His power, is the Sole Ruler of living and lifeless objects existing in this world, He, who is the Lord of these bipeds and quadrupeds unto that All-Blissful Divinity, we offer our humble Worship.)

aapo

(When water in its subtler form, possessing mighty force within itself, became manifest, therein was held the Universal life force which of heat and energy, it was then the One Universal life force of all the luminous objects became manifest, unto that All blissful Divinity, we offer our humble Worship.)

Atharvaveda says. He, the only One is the Giver of joy, and should be worshipped: “एक एव नमस्य: सुशवा:”

Samveda also describes God as One एक इत्”:

vishwa

The Oneness of God has been poetically described in the following mantra from the Rigveda :-

rig 10.31.5

(He whose eyes go every where, who faces all sides, whose arms are here, there all around and whose feet in all directions–is the Only One Divine Being who has created all these heavens.)

God is proclaimed as ‘एक (one) and अन्तमानुष: (unparalled) in the following mantra from the Rigveda:-

rig 1.154.14

Addressing God as “अग्नि” Rigveda in the following mantras in its first hymn of the Second Mandela says:

rig 3 mantras

rig 2.1.7

indra

Just as a person is called brother, father, uncle, husband etc because of different relationships he bears to other members of the same family, so also God is described differently because of his different attributes.

He is called (Agni) when we remember him as an embodiment of knowledge and इन्द्र: (Indra) when we want to denote His vast wealth.

To denote his Omnipresence, we call him विष्णु(Vishnu) and to give an idea of His greatness, we described His as ब्रह्मा (Brahma).

By virtue of his Supremacy in knowledge, He is known as ब्रह्मणस्पति (Brahmanaspati). His purifying power entitles Him to be called वरुण (Varuna).

As he loves everyone He मित्र(Mitra) and as He isjust, He is अर्यमा (Aryaman).

He is रूद्र (Rudra) because He comes harsh on the wicked, द्रविणोद (Dravinoda) because He is Giver of wealth and strength, सोम: (Soma) because He has created roots and herbs etc. God is also described as ‘सोम (Soma), पुष(Pushan) and भग (Bhaga) as evident from the following mantras from Rigveda;

rig and soma

rig and soma 1

(O, Soma,Thou, “who hast created these herbs, this water and these cows”, Thou who art present in the entire firmament and removeth all darkness by Thy illumination, Thou, who art Creator of good intellect, Thou who art also Creator of firmament, sky, earth, fire, sun and air etc. Thou art (“Pusan”) because of Thy powers to strengthen and revive because Thou art worthy of our Worship. Thou art the Master of the whole universe and art present in all the Worlds.)

Several other mantras, can be quoted to show that अग्नि (Agni) ,आदित्य (Aditya) , वायु (Vayu) ,चन्द्रमा(Chandrama), शुक्र(Shukra) , आप (Aap) , प्रजापति (Prajapati) are all different names of the same One God and only denote His verious attributes.

For instance, take the following mantra from Yajurveda (32.1)

yajur32.1

(Here God has been described differently because of His different attributes : अग्नि(Agni) because He is embodiment of knowledge, आदित्य (Aditya) because. He is Eternal, वायु(Vayu) because He is the cause of all movement in the world (वा गति गन्धनयो: )-“चन्द्रमा” (Chandrama) because He is pleasing to everybody, ( चदी आल्हादे ) -“शुक्र (Shukra) because He is pure (शुनिरपूर्ति मावे) (ब्रह्मा) because He is the Greatest of all, CNN: (Apa) because He is Omnipresent and प्रजापति (Prajapati) because He looks after His subjects).

The mantras published by Max Muller from Rigveda’s 2.1 under the caption “Agni”, in fact, sing the glory of One God who has been described here as अग्नि (Agni)

agni

Can anyone believe that these adjectives have been used for simple fire? Thus Max Muller and his followers only betrayed their bias and partiality when without probing deep into the meaning of

these words, they played havoc with them.

Now the question arises 1 how can we reconcile the idea of One God with several references to 33 devas (gods) in the Vedas ?

A lot of misunderstanding results from the Western scholars who have taken ‘ ‘देव’ ‘ as “God” everywhere.

देव, according to Yaskacharya, the celebrated author of Nirukta (Vedic Philology) means one who confers some advantage upon us, can illumine things i.e. explain or throw light upon them, and one who is the source of light :-

nirukta 7.15

The word देव (Deva) with its root  a comprehensive term covering brave men, devotees of God, learned persons, Brahmins,                objects like sun, moon, fire, electricity.

Following are some of the meanings of देव occuring in the Satpath Brahman :

satpat brahman

satpat brahman 1

THE 33 DEVAS

There is reference to 33 devas in the Vedas at several place. For instance, a clear reference has been made to them in Rigveda’s 1.45/27, 8/28/1,88/30/2 and Yajurveda’s 20/26 etc.

There is also reference to the 33 devas in Satpath and other Brahmins (which are commentaries on the Vedas).

Satpata says that : there are 33 Devas which manifest the glory of God. Of them are 8 Vasus, 11 Rudras, 12 Aditya, lndra and Prajapati. The eight Vasus are (1) Agni or fire (2) earth (3) air (4) superterrestrial space (5) sun (6) moon (7) atmosphere (8) stars.

These are called Vasus (abodes) because in them resides all that lives, moves or exists.

The eleven Rudras are the ten pranas (vital forces) enlivening the human frame and the eleventh is the Atma or the soul. lndra is all pervading. Prajapati  is Yajna.

The 12 Adityas are the twelve solar months making the course of time. They are called Adityas as, by their cyclic motion, they produce changes in all objects.

Thus it is clear that calling sun, moon, earth, fire earth etc as ‘devas ‘, the Vedic religion cannot be described as Polytheistic.

It is, however, clearly stated in Rigveda that God is the Supreme Lord of all the devas :

devas

(God is the One Life and Lord of all devas and, therefore, we worship Him, who is Giver of all happiness, peace and bliss.)

father

Dependence of devas on God has been brought out by the Vedas in several mantras.

For instance in Atharvaveda, after describing God as महद यक्षम(the Most Venerable Supreme Being), it is Stated that devas live around God as the creepers around a tree :  around

ARE DEVAS IMMORTAL ?

ARE THEY PROOF OF POLYTHEISM

Some of the western scholars, on the basis of the portrayal of 33 devas in satpath, assert that it is a clear cut evidence of polytheism in the Vedas.

To contradict this view, first of all, let us be clear that ‘devas’ as described in the Vedas, do not necessarily only stand for gods.

The word  देव(deva) which has its root as दिनु (Dinu) is a comprehensive term covering the attributes of God; sometimes they stand for devotees of God and also learned persons; they also denote objects of Nature like Sun, Moon, Fire etc.

While Devas have been described as immortal in the Vedas; it has been clarified that they derive this immortality from God. This idea also occurs in Brahmanas and Upnishadas. ln Rigveda, for instance, it is stated that God alone bestows immortality on the devas :

devebhyo

In Yajurveda (32.l0) also, it is said that the devas live in the protection of God :

bandurjanita

To God turn all devas after emancipation to enjoy the everlasting bliss.

lt has been clearly stated in the Rigveda that the learned and the wise describe the One existing God in many ways.

But despite this truth, Agni, Indra, Mitra, Varuna etc have come to be considered as separate gods. It will, therefore, be fruitful to know the significance of these words to remove the mist surrounding them. We will also discuss what have come to be known as dual gods like मरुत: etc.

From the spiritual point of view, अग्नि stands for God who is also called as यमा, मातरिश्वा,इन्द्र, वरुण as stated in the following mantra from the Rigveda :

rig 1.164.46

From the social point of view, the word अग्नि (‘Agni”) denotes agni 1

There are many mantras in the Vedas in which Agni has been used in the sense of an enlightened leader,

For instance, in the following mantra from the Rigveda, अग्नि: (for whom the adjectives used are ऋषि (seer), पवमान: (purifier) पांचजन्य: (dedicated to the welfare of the society) is requested to dispel all ignorance by his discourse :

rig 9.66.20

The adjectives used as होता, पुरोहित(Knower of the rites of the Yajnas (priest), in the following mantra from the also leaves us in no doubt that the word अग्नि: has been used for an enlightened leader :

agni 2

The same impression is confinned by the use of such adjectives as शुचिव्रतत  (who firmly observes the sacred vow) कवि: (sage or poet) for ‘Agni’ in the following mantra :

agni 3

 INDRA :-

The word इन्द्र primarily stands for God as it has been derived from the root “इदी परमैश्वर्य”.

It also stands for “soul° as it possesses great power being the master of the sages.

From the social point of view, the word ‘E’ stands for the king or president, or the commander in-chief-of the Anny (सेना इन्द्राणी-इन्द्र:-सेनापति: ).

There is no room for doubt that the word Ef: has been used for God in several mantras in the Vedas in which He has been described as the Creator of the Universe and Bestower of happiness.

ln the following mantra, for instance, which occurs in Samaveda, Rigveda and Atharvaveda, God, described as “Indra” has been requested to fill us with knowledge in the same way as a father does to his son :

indra 1

In the following mantra from Rigveda, God addressing Indra (soul) tells about the power inherent in it :

indra 1

(March forward and use your power, None can stop Thy thunderbolt. Everyone is subdued by Thy strength.)

lndra (soul) is made to describe its own power in the following mantra from Rigveda:

indra 3

(I can face one enemy (lust) and anger), I can also face three enemies (lust, anger and greed) etc.; I will crush all my enemies like husk in the granery.)

The use of word इन्द्र for king is undeniable in the following mantras from the Rigvedic Sukta in which इन्द्र  has been described as स्वस्तिदा(engaged in welfare of others), वृषा(showerer of happiness on others) अभयं कर: (inspirer of fearless in others) :

indra 4

Likewise रूद्र according to Swami Dayanand, stands for the just God who makes the wicked persons weep (रोदयति दुष्टान दंड प्रदानेनेति न्यायकारी परमेश्वर: ), a great hero who makes the enemies cry (रोदयति शत्रून इति रुद्रो महावीर:) the judge who inflicts heavy  penalty on the wicked (रोदयति दुष्टान इति रुद्रो न्यायधीश:), the preceptor who imparts knowledge to others (रुत ज्ञानं राति-ददातिती रूद्र: उपदेशक: ), the germ which generates diseases (राति-ददातिती रुद्रो रोगुत्पादक: कृमि:) a doctor who removes the sufferings of others (रुत दुखं द्रावयतिती रुद्रो वैद्य: ).

Referring to Swami Dayanad”s view that all the gods mentioned in the Rigveda are simply variant names for one God, Dr. Griesward in his book “The Religion ofthe Rigveda” says : “This process of reduction from multiplicity to unity would have been easier if there had been no dual gods or group gods mentioned in the Rigveda”

But the correct study of What he has described as the dual gods or group gods like अग्नोजिमौ, अश्विनौ, मरुत: will reveal that these words, like other devas, have several meanings and do not stand for any particular god or gods as such.

Dr. Griesward’s remark that monotheistic interpretation of the Rigveda on the part of Swami Dayanand is “wild” and “unscientific” is also very surprising in view of the massive evidence we have given to support monotheism in the Vedas.

The quotations given earlier in this chapter are enough to support the existence of monotheism in the Vedas. Swami Dayananda, therefore, did nothing which was purely imaginative or unscientific.

Let us examine some words which have been mistaken by westem scholars as dual gods.

agni 4

agni 5

The similar meanings of अग्नीषोमौ are also found in Aitteriya, Satpath Brahamanas etc. For instance:

satpat brahman 2

Following are some of the meanings of “इन्द्राग्नी” :-

rig 1.109.6

Some of the meanings of अश्विनौ are given below-

rig 5.73.2

Swami Dayanand has at several places interpreted  अश्विनौ as . This definition of अध्यापकोउपदेशकौ is substantiated by the second and third mantra of Rigveda”s I-120 in which the adjective विद्वांसौ has been used for  अश्विनौwho have been requested to impart knowledge.

rig 1.120

As मरुत figures prominently among the so- called group gods, examination of this word is very necessary. HW: does not denote God.

maruto

In ताण्डय महाब्राह्मण, मरुत: has been described as मरुत रश्मय: (l.4.l25) and in Aitareya as ( आपो वा मरुत: )(6.2O)

In Nighantu मरुत: reads as पदनामसु which stands for monsoons.

Swami Dayanand has given the following meanings of the word मरुत: in course of his commentary on the Vedas:-

vayayv

No scholar can dismiss Swami Dayanand”s interpretations of the word मरुत: to be a pure fabrication of his mind. As it is clear from the above, the word has not been used for God. Some of the synonyms used for this word in the Vedas, are =नर:, मर्या, मानुष: etc. .

In Rigveda for instance, at many places (particularly l.39.3,8.20.lO,l.64.l0,10.86.8,8.552, the word नर: has been used for मरुत:

ln the following mantra, for example, words नर: and मर्य: have been used for मरुतो देवता :-

maruto 1

The word गृहमेघास: (householder) has been used for TRE: in the following mantra from Rigveda (7.59.l0) :-

rig 7.59.10

The synonym for मरुत: in this mantra from Atharvaveda given below (7.773) is मनुषास: (thoughtful men) :-

maruto 2

ln a number of mantras in the Rigveda (see for instance 5.53.3,5.59.6,5.6,4,7.56.l,l.77.l)the word मर्या: has been used for मरुत: which means the ‘mortal men’. Sayanacharya has also, at some places, in his Commentary written मनुषरूपा वा मरुत: (see Rig. 10.83) While commenting on the two mantras from the Rigveda (8.89) Sayanacharya has described ITR-T: as persons who speak less ( मित भाषिण:)and who Worship God( स्तोतार: ).

Much before Sayanacharya, Samveda commentator Madhava, who belongs to the Sixth century, has also while explaining (प्र व इन्द्राय बृहते) say हे ( मरुत:) मदोया ऋत्विज:).

Bharata Swami while explaining  बृहदिन्द्रय गायत मरुतो वृत्रहन्तमम writes मरुत:- स्तोतर: महत रुवन्तिती मरुत: The mantras बृहदिन्द्राय गायत also occurs in Yajurveda (20.30) Both Bharat Swami and Mahidhara give the same meaning of the Word मरुत:

MAXMULLER AND MARUTA

While Maxmuller has given the meaning ofमरुत: as (Storm gods) in his translation of hymns relating to them, at places he deviates from his usual meaning and uses the word in the sense of नरा: (men).

For instance, while translating the following mantra from the Rigveda (1.393), he uses “O ye men” for Maruti :

marauti

(When Ye overthrow what is firm, O ye men)

In the following mantra from Rigveda (1 .85.8), also Maxmuller describes Maruta as “men terible to behold”

rig 1.85.8

The word “men” has also been used for Maruta in his translation of the following mantra from Rigveda

rig 8.20.16

(He, oh men, whose libations ye want to enjoy, that mighty one, O shakers, will obtain your favour with brilliant riches etc.)

Thus it is clear from the above that though there is description of many devas in the Vedas and they denote different meanings there is only One God who is Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent.

The existence of many devas in other words, does not interfere with the concept of One God.

THE VEDAS AND THE MONISTIC PHILOSOPHY

We must, however, clarify that though there is monotheism in the Vedas, there is no enunciation of monistic philosophy in them.

The whole relationship between God and soul has been clearly defined in the following mantra from the Rigveda (where both of them have been described as two birds sitting on the same tree):

dwa suparna

In the above mantra, it is stated that जीवात्मा (soul) and परमात्मा (God) are two birds who are friendly to each other. Both of them are enternal and are sitting, as though on the tree of matter. One of them (soul) is to reap the fruits ofpast action and the other just looks on. Elaborating this, says Mundakakopanishad :-

m upnishad 3.1.2

On the same tree sits जीवात्मा (soul) immersed and deluded account of his ignorance and helplessness. But, when he sees the other, the Lord, who is worshipped by all and His glory, he becomes freed from sorrow. This shows the difference between God and soul.

While God is all-pervading, the soul is not, while God is Onmiscient, the Soul is not, and therefore, the soul is a prey to grief and sorrow. While God is Omnnipotent, the soul ‘s power is limited. Their relationship is that of the father and the son, the master and the servant, the King and his subject, the adorable and the adored.

Says the Taitteriya Upanishada :

t upnishad 1

(God is the embodiment of Bliss. The soul enjoys Bliss only by attaining Him.)

The above quotations from the Upanishadas (which are at many places only the Explanation of the Vedic mantras or expression in different words of what is contained in the Vedas) show that in the mantra “हा सुपर्णा” the reference is to God and soul and not (intellect) and जीवात्मा (soul)

That God and soul are different is also evident from the following mantra which occurs in Rigveda and Yajurveda :

babhuva

God, who is Creater of all Worlds, is different from them and yet within them. People do not know about it because their mind is clouded by ignorance.

The same idea finds expression in Satpath Brahmana :-

satpat brahman 14.6.7

God is one who is present in the soul and yet who is different. It is God which controls the soul)

The same supremacy of God over soul has been established in the mantra given below in which God has been described as अद्भुत(wonderful)  प्रियम( very loving) and काम्भम्(worthy of the soul’s adulation) :

yaju 32.15

In the following mantra, God has been described as   भुज्य: सखा(a worthy friend) of soul thus clearly establishing their mutual relationship.

ln the following mantra, it is stated that the only way (soul) to seek salvation is to know God who is  (Full of lustre) (Great) and  (Beyond darkness) :-

yaju 31.18

We may also quote another mantra from the Rigveda (8. l 6.6) which totally contradicts the monistic philosophy whose basic tenet is:-brahma satya

Brahma alone is सत्य (true) and the whole creation is मिथ्या(false) and that the जीवात्मा (soul) is not different from Brahma.

The true relationship between the (soul) and (God) and (matter) indicated in the following mantra falsifies the dictum (God alone is real, the world is illusory)

tamu

In this mantra it is stated that :

(a) We should offer our prayers only to God

(b) All objects like sun, moon etc are inferior to God because they are all inanimate and lifeless.

(c) We should Worship that God with humility and devotion (नमोमि गीर्भि: )

lt would also be wrong to presume that though the attributes of the world are visible, they appear to be so out of ignorance. This would be quite contrary to the teachings of the Vedas. For instance, in the following mantra from the Rigveda (2.15.1) not only God has been described as महतासत्यस्य: (true) but even His करणानि(Creations) are stated as महानि सत्या: (true)

rig 2.15.1

The same idea has been clarified in Rigveda”s 4.17.6 :

rig 4.17.6

lt is stated here that all objects created by विश्वे सोमा: (God) are सत्रा अभवन: (true)

Even in Rigveda’s 10.55.6., it is stated that all the objects are सत्यम इत् (true) न मोघम (not false or useless) :-

rig 10.55.6

In Yajurveda’s 40.8 also, it is clearly stated that God created this universe for the benefit of the mankind with truthfulness or reality :

yaju 40.8

“This universe is not only true but it is different from Him.”

This idea occurs at several places in the vedas. For instance, it is stated in the following mantra from the Rigveda (1.4.14) that God is only One (11:63: ) and He has created this world (विश्वम) separately from Him (अन्यत) But because He is Omnipresent (मानुषक्), all this Creation is permeated by Him. There is no place where He is not present :-

na yasya

The existence of God, separate from His creation, has also been mentioned in the following mantra from Rigveda (1.151.1) (which is also repeated in Samveda) :-

rig 1.151.1

(i.e. God created this Universe which is separate from Him.)

|| इति ||

VEDAS & Interpolation

interpolation in vedas

VEDAS & Interpolation

Author : Pt Dharmadev Vidyamartand

Authors of the Vedic Age have asserted that several parts of Vedas are no more than later additions or interpolations.

Asserting that the tenth Mandala is manifestly an earlier addition, they argue in favor of their contention that: (1) the language of this mandala is different from that of other mandalas. (2) the content of this mandala with such philosophic hymns as श्रद्धा,दान and नासदीय is also different from that of others.

Some western scholars also hold the view that the entire Kandas 15,17,18,19 and 20 have been interpolated in Atharva Veda. Even the whole of Atharva Veda was composed leter and added to the Vedas.

They say in Yajurveda also, only तैतिरीय सहिंता or कृष्ण यजुर्वेद is ancient, the वाजसनेय सहिंता which is also known as शुक्ल यजुर्वेद is comparatively modern.

In their opinion the whole of Samaveda has been stolen from the Rigveda; there is nothing original or new in it. Likewise there are many other parts of the Vedas which the authors of the “Vedic Age” have tried to show as later additions or interpolations.

IS 10th  MANDALA AN INTERPOLATION?

Describing the 10th Mandala as “Atharvedic in character” the authors of the Vedic Age claim:

“That the Tenth mandala is later in origin than the first nine, is, however, perfectly certain from the evidence of the language”

But illustrations given by these authors to prove their contention are highly illogical and irrational.

It is a common observation that at times one and the same author uses two different styles on two occasions in accordance with the subject he is dealing with. Sometime his language appears to be difficult and at the other very simple. Vedas were revealed for the benefit of the mankind including both the intellectuals and ordinary persons. This is the reason why in some mantras like the विश्वानि देव सवितर्दुरितानि परासुव, the language is so lucid and simple while in others, it is so abstruse and difficult.

The modernity or antiquity of a passage cannot be determined by the presence or absence of particular words. But the authors of the Vedic Age have asserted that some of the words used in the 10th mandala of Rigveda such as  लोक, मोघ, विसर्ग, गुप् do not occur in the Vedas except in the interpolated portions or Balhilya Hymns. They have no evidence to show what is interpolated and what is not. The distinction made by them is imaginary.

THE WORD “लोक “

Besides in the previous Mandals, the word ‘लोक” occurs at several places in the Rigveda; for instance, it is there in 1.93.6, 2.30.6; 3.2.9; 4.17.17; 5.4.11; 6.23.3; 7; 6.47.8; 6.73.2; 7.20.2; 7.33.5; 7.60.9; 7.84.2; 7.99.4; 8.100.12; 9.92.6; ‘लोका:’ Rig. 9.113.9; ‘लोके’ Rig. 329.8; 5.1.6; 9113.72;

Even the authors of the “Vedic Age’ do not consider these portions to be interpolated and, therefore, it is surprising how they included this word among those which, according to them, occur only in the 10th  Mandala or the interpolated portions.

The word मोघम also occurs, (besides the l0th Mandala,) in the following mantras from the Seventh Mandala :-

rig 7.104.15

The word `विसर्ग also occurs in the 103th hymn of the seventh Mandala of Rigveda तप्ता धर्मा अश्नुवते विसर्गम ln the 10th  Mandala also, this word occurs though only once.

Proving modernity of l0th  Mandala on the basis of the occurrence of the word विजय as done by the authors of the “Vedic Age`, is simply absurd as the word, in its various forms, occurs many a time in Rigveda.

For instance the word  विजय has been used in Rigveda 2. 1 9.9 in यस्मान्न ऋते विजयन्ते जनास:

lt occurs in other forms in the following places :-

mantras

About the word सोम the authors of the Vedic Age say that while it occurs 50 times in the Ninth Mandala, it is used only once in the 1Oth  Mandala.

ls it important for this word to occur many times there even if it be not needed in the context? We fail to understand how the existence of separate subjects in different Mandalas and use of different words accordingly go to prove modernity? The authors of the “Vedic Age” have said that the words सर्व, भगवान, प्राण, हृदय etc. mostly, though not exclusively, occur in the Tenth Mandala. If they also occur in the other Mandalas, how do they, even according to their theory, show the modernity of the Tenth Mandala ?

We consider Vedas to be the Voice of God and therefore, the words used there are inevitable and indispensable:

vaisheshik darshan 1

We have absolutely no business to ask why particular words did not occur in this or that Mandala. It will be only impertinence on our part to raise this question. Even the ordinary writers know that the use of words changes in harmony with the content of a write up.

We can give many illustrations to show how one writer has resorted to different styles in different books in keeping with the spirit, the temper and the mood of their content.

For instance, it is well-known that the language of Panini`s अष्टाध्यायी is different from his जाम्बवती विजय महाकाव्य. There is also a lot of difference between the language of Jaimini”s Mimansa and his “Brahmana”.

The language of Katyana’s श्रौतसूत्र and स्मृति also varies widely.

Among the modem writers also Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Life Divíne ‘ differs very much from his “Basis of Yaga ” in respect of language.

We do not think that it matters very much if words like पृत्सु, गिवर्ण:, विचर्षनि:, वीती do not occur in the Tenth Mandala even when they are frequent in the preceding Mandalas. As we have pointed out earlier, it is not at all important to use the same words everywhere. What great difference does it make after all if instead of ` विचर्षनि the word प्रचेता or विश्ववेदा: has been used in the Tenth Mandala ?

The word ‘ विचर्षनि is also not to be found in the Seventh Mandala. Does it prove the modernity of this Mandala also on this count?

In fact the whole bogey of interpolation in the Vedas was raised by Western scholars like Macdonald. They raised this issue because they could not imagine that ”barbarous” people could express their thoughts so clearly on the spiritual, philosophical and psychological subjects as found in such hymns as हिरण्यगर्भ सूक्त,नासदीय सूक्त,श्रद्धा सूक्त, मन्युसुक्तादी.

The Western scholars, in fact, stressed the distinction of language to prove that the l0th  mandala is an appendix of the Rigveda. They have contended that the language and the content of the mantras contained in the mandala are different from those of preceding mandala. We, however, beg to differ with their view.

The seers of many hymns of the Tenth mandala and those of the first and several others are the same. Only the scholars who are impartial and objective can decide on how is this in keeping with the belief of those who advocate the theory of appendix?

As pointed out earlier, the Western evolutionists and the Christian scholars, were greatly surprised to note enunciation of the theory of monotheism and other philosophical concepts in such hymns as हिरण्यगर्भ सूक्त.

In their perception the entire hymns containing such concept was “modem.”

But they fail to see that the idea of the oneness of God occurs in many other mandalas. For instance, this idea of monotheism is also expressed in the first, second and the fourth manandalas.

Even the concept of monotheism found in the Tenth Mandala has been earlier expressed in the Second mandala. Dr. Macdonald, who is one of the advocates of the theory of interpolation of the l0th  mandala in Rigveda, has contradicted himself in regard to this issue.

For instance, while, on the one hand, he has tried to show that the Tenth mandala was added later and, therefore, considered it to be modern comparatively, on the other, he maintains “Nevertheless, the supplements collected in it (Tenth mandala) appear for the most part to be older than the additions which occur in earlier books.”

Thus he demolishes his own argument regarding interpolation (in the Tenth mandala) on the basis of the distinctions in language. We may also mention here that some of the Rishis of the Tenth Mandala as for instance, Aditi…. Janshayane, Vaivastan, Yama Vaivaswat, Yami Vaivaswat Yama Yami etc. are very ancient-almost contemporaries of Manu Vaivasta.

ls it not ridiculous to call a hymn to be of recent origin or modem when its Rishis who revealed them are so ancient?

The word नत्युoccurs three times in the First mandala, two times in the Fourth, two times in the Fifth and Sixth, four times in the Seventh and one time in the Ninth mandala.

विश्वदेवा: is the ‘devata’ (subject matter) of three hymns of the First Mandala, two of the Sixth and Ninth mandalas, and of three hymns of the Tenth Mandala.

The word उषसalso occurs 32 times in the First mandala, nine times in the Second mandala, 16 times in the Third, 27 times in the Fourth, 9 times in the Fifth, 14 times in the Sixth, 29 times in 14, two times in the Eighth mandala, 8 times in the Ninth and 23 times in the Tenth mandala.

lt is, therefore, illogical to prove the modernity of 10th mandala on the basis of such words.

In अनुवाकानुक्रमणी and चरण व्यूह it is stated :-

mantra 2

(There are 64 chapters and 18 Mandalas in Rigveda)

It is because of its comprising 10 mandalas that Rigveda has been described as दाशतयी by Yaskaracharya in his Nirukta.

We will now discuss the Balkhilya hymns.

ARE BALKHILYA HYMN S INTERPOLATED?

Eleven hymns in the Eighth mandale of Rigveda– from 49 to 59-are called बालखिल्य सूक्त named after their preacher Balkhilya.

Some Western scholars and their followers like the authors of the Vedic Age hold the opinion that these hymns were later added in the Eighth Mandala. Not only that, they have even made some contradictory statements in regard to theses hymns.

After showing its distinction from other mandalas, the authors of the “Vedic Age” write about the Eight mandala:-

“This peculiarity of the Eighth mandala does suggest-by no means proves, that the Eighth mandala was subjoined at a later date to the kernal constituted by the family mandalas. But there is positive reason to believe that there was a time when the Eighth mandala was actually considered to be the last in the Samhita, for why else, should the Balkhilya hymns be thrust into the Eigth mandala and not added after the Tenth.”

This whole chain of arguments seems to be incongruous. First of all, the authors themselves have given only suggestion or indication but no proof that this mandala was added later. Then why to state this uncertain thing as a fact? Moreover to say that the Rigveda ended definitely with the Eighth mandala demolishes the argument that it was added later on – and it also presupposes that the Balkhilya hymns were interpolated, the fact which itself has not been proved by any strong evidence.

One of the arguments advanced in support of the theory of interpolation of Balkhilya Sukta is the existence of the following in the Aiterya Brahmana :-

aitreya brahman

Explaining it, writes Sayanacharya:-

sayancharya commentary

(i.e. there was a Rishi called Balakhilya whose 8 hymns were compiled in a book called “बालखिल्य”.

It appears that some of the hymns, which Rishi Balkilya popularized, were compiled and were available in the form of a booklet, possibly with explanation just as some such hymns of the Rigveda संगठन सूक्त ( Rig. 10.191) स्वराज्य सूक्त (1.80),शिवसंकल्पमंड ( Yaju. 34.10 ) were separately available. This does not show any evidence of any interpolation but only popularity of these particular hymns.

lt may be stressed here that the portion, from which the above sentence has been quoted from Taittireya Brahmana, is itself considered interpolated as stated in the chapter on “AncientSanskrít

literature ” in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Therefore, a doubtful and interpolated statement cannot be given as evidence of interpolation of the Balkhilya Hymns.

These hymns which are not different from others in respect of their language or content were also included by Max Muller in his European edition of the Rigveda.

Referring to the antiquity of these hymns, Wintenitz writes in his book “A History of Indian Literature :-

“The word khilya means ‘supplement’ and this name in itself indicated that there are texts which were collected and added to the Samhita only after the latter had already been concluded; this does not exclude the possibility that some of these khilyas are of no less antiquity than the hymns of the Rigveda Samhita, but for some reason unknown to us, were not included in the collection.”

While we do not agree even with the sentiments expressed by Wintenitz (because we do not see any difference in these hymns from 49th  and others in Rigveda), his remark on their antiquity, however, deserves the attention of the readers.

Winternitz has also acknowledged that these hymns, available in the form of a hand written manuscript, are found at the end of the book.

lt was very improper on the part of Griffith to take out these hymns from the middle of the Eighth mandala and to publish them at its end. He had no right to do so. lt will not be proper to call them

interpolations only because they are preceded with अथ and ended with इति.  It seems that “अथ “, “इति” were added to them when they were compiled separately for the benefit of the the common man.

The Aryas had made arrangements since the beginning to preserve the Vedas in their purest form leaving no scope for interpolations. One of such arrangements was devising eight forms of their recitation known as :-

जटा पाठ (Jata path), माला पाठ (Mala path), शिक्षा पाठ (Shiksha path), लेखा पाठ (Lekha path), ध्वजा पाठ (Dhwaja path),दंड पाठ (Dand path), रथ पाठ (Rath path), धन पाठ(Dhan path) I

In view of the prevalance of these different modes of recitation, it was difficult to make any addition without their immediate detection.

Another devise to preserve the accuracy of the text of the Vedic mantras was to prepare many indices of the number of metres, of words and the seers and devatas (subject matter) of different mantras.

KRISHANA YAJURVEDA VS SHUKLA YAJUREDA

The authors of the Vedic Age have advanced the view that कृष्ण यजुर्वेद{ (Black Yajurveda) is more ancient than than  शुक्ल यजुर्वेद(White Yajuweda.)

The Black Yajurveda consists of the original mantras and the Brahmanas (which consist of explanatory notes and commentaries of the text of the mantras).

The Vedic Age authors are of the view that the mantras and the Brahmanas (which were separate in the White Yajurveda) were mixed up in the Black Yajurveda at a later date.

These authors say that listing the first words of the White Yajurveda in the Black Yajurveda might give the impression that the White Yajurveda represents the original tradition of which the Black Yajurveda (with all its variation) is a later version.

But, they assert, “Truth should rather be just the opposite, it is hardly possible that the mantras and Brahmnas kept separate in the white Yajurveda tradition, should have got mixed up at a later date.”

They hold the view therefore, that the Black Yajurveda is older than the White Yajurveda.

Despite whatever these authors might say, we are clear that Brahmanas (which are explanatory data and commentaries on the text) cannot come before the text.

The very definition of the Brahmana (given below), presupposes the existence of the text before the commentaty.

brahman commentary

Vedic commentator Patanjali’s assertion along with Swami Dayananda’s explanation go to prove beyond doubt that the Brahmanas were written and added afterwards:

patanjali 1patanjali 2

(The explanatory notes by learned Brahamins and Risis, added to the Vedas for elucidation of the Vedic hymns, are called Brahrnanas. Because of the mixture of the mantras and the explanatory notes, the Taitteriya Samhita is considered of later origin. To consider a Brahmana to be more ancient than the original text, is illogical.

It is a matter of great regret that the authors of the Vedic Age failed to see this small matter and committed the blunder of imagining  the White Yajurveda as of later date than the Black Yajurveda.

 

ATHARVAVEDA : WAS IT WRITTEN AFTERWARDS?

Western scholars like Bloomfield hold the view that Atharvaveda was composed much later than the other three Vedas. ln fact, they do not regard it as a Veda at all.

Perhaps such scholars formed this view on the basis of the use of the word त्रयीविद्या, which they thought denoted the existence of three Vedas.

But the fact is that this word actually denotes three subjects that the Vedas deal with – knowledge, action and devotion and the three styles ‘साम (musical) ऋक्(metrical) and यजु (prose).

Says Mimansa Shastra :

mimansa 1

(i.e., where there is metrical composition, it is called  ऋक्where there is music, it is साम and the rest is यजु. (prose)

In his introduction to `सर्वानुक्रमणी’, Sadguru Darshan, following Mimansa, has rightly observcd :-

mimansa 2

(Though there are four Vedas, they have been divided into three categories on the basis of metre, music and prose.)

Bloomfield and many other Western scholars believe Rigveda to be the original Veda. Other Vedas are supposed by them to have been composed with mantras from the Rigveda with a few more additions. But this belief is also wrong. Many mantras from this Veda (which is considered to be the most ancient) give evidence of the existence of the four Vedas.

In the following mantra from Rigveda itself, it is clear that there are four and not three Vedas :-

rigveda 21

ln this mantra a devotee offers prayers for his protection through एकया (Rigveda) द्वितियया (Yajurveda), तिस्रूभि: (Samveda) चतुस्रुभि: (Atharveda).

This mantra is repeated in Yajurveda (20,43) and also in Samaveda (mantra 36 and 1554). The word अथर्वा means a person with equilibrium of mind who is well-versed in the knowledge of the Atharvaveda                    .

The word अथर्वा or अंगिरा occurs in many mantras in the Rigveda.

For instance :

rig 1.83.5

 

rig 10.21.5

Thus there is no doubt that Atharvaveda is as ancient and authentic as Rigveda.

The same is also true of the Yajurveda and the Samveda because they have also been mentioned in the above mantras.

Besides Vedas, there is also clear reference to the Atharvaveda in other Scriptures.

For instance, the importance of the repetition of the mantras from the Atharvaveda has been stressed in Kanva Samhita :

atharva 1

Many such quotations can be given from scriptures to prove the authenticity and antiquity of the Atharvaveda. However those given above are, for the time being, sufficient to show how absurd are the views of Bloomfield and others on this subject.

INTERPOLATIONS IN ATI-IARVA VEDA

On the one hand Bloomfield and his followers like the authors of the ‘Vedic Age”, regard Atharva Veda to be modem and on the other, they try to show that l5th , 17th , l9th  and 2Oth  Kandas were later additions. They have advanced very strange arguments in support of their contention, Their main argument is that some of these Kandas are absent in the Paíppalada recension. But their argument becomes weak in view of the fact that some of these kandas (which they say were interpolated) are present in this recension. Only a few mantras have been omitted.

Absence of some mantras in these recensions does not go to prove that they were added later or are unauthentic.

But without taking this into account, the authors of the “Vedic Age” blindly follow Bloomfield when they write :-

“Of the 20 Kandas of the Atharva Veda, the last one is manifestly a later addition manufactured almost wholly out of the borrowings from the Rigveda to serve as a manual for the priest called Brahmanacchamsin who had a definite though minor role to play at the Soma sacrifice. Moreover, the Kuntapa Suktas of this kanda are without any Pada Patha and nothing parallel to them can be found in the Paíppalada recension – showing that they had been given a place in this late kanda of the Samhita at a very late date.

“In fact, the 19’“ Kanda ends with significant prayer which strongly suggests that the Samhita, at one time, was considered to end with it.”

But how can the fact that many mantras in the 20th  Kanda of the Atharva Veda had been taken from the Rigveda, prove the modernity of the former? On the other hand, it should only show antiquity of these mantras because the authors regard Rigveda to be oldest of all the Vedas!

lt is also wrong to presume that the 20” Kanda was added only to emphasise the role of a priest because the kanda contains many other important hymns such as इन्द्र सूक्त and स्वराज्य सूक्त. etc.

Even where there is repetition of some mantras from other Vedas in this Kanda, they serve some definite purpose.

On the repetition of mantras in different Vedas, Swami Dayananda writes in his “Introduction to Rígveda: ”

“By the Rig verses, we define objects, by the Yaju verses we apply them to use and by the same verses in Sama, we sing them.”

What Swami Dayanand observes becomes clear when we examine the following mantra which occurs in all the four Vedas :

shano devir

When the mantra occurs in the Rigveda, it deals particularly with the properties of water; In Yajurveda, its application is for achmana (sipping of water). It is to be taken for God in Samaveda, which mainly deals with devotion and contemplation.

In Atharvaveda the utility of water for different technical purposes is stressed. lt also symbolises peace of which women are embodiment.

The last mantra of the 19″‘ kanda (which the authors of the Vedic Age consider to be indicative of the end of the Atharvaveda) is as follows :-

atharva 2

(We are putting the veda in the bag from which we had taken it out for preservation and safety etc.)

There is nothing to indicate the end of this Veda in the above mantra. This can as well denote the end of a particular chapter or a Kanda, in this case, of the conclusion of the 19” Kanda.

But most ridiculous is their remark which again seems to have been influenced by Bloomfield.

“But there are reasons to believe that the 19th  kanda itself is a late compilation, for its hymns, though found in the Paippalada recension, are scattered throughout that text.”

This cuts at the root of their presumption that the Atharvaveda ends at the 19th  kanda. If it is a late compilation, how could it be taken to mark the end of Atharva Veda?

Then it also falsifies their assumption that this hymn is not present in the Paippalada recension because they have themselves admitted that “these hymns, though found in the Paippalada recension, are scattered throught that text.”

As we have pointed out that in such recension, it is quite natural to find change in the order of the mantras. The new order is guided by the special purpose of such compilations.

SAMA VEDA : ITS SEPARATE EXISTENCE

The authors of the Vedic Age hold the wrong notion that most of the mantras contained in Samaveda had been taken from Rigveda and that it has no separate existence. If it were so, there would have been no specific reference of Samaveds and its psalms at many places in Rigveda itself as for instances, in the following mantras-

samveda 11

(In these mantras, there is a clear mention of one who sings the songs of the Sama Veda.)

The following mantra, mentions the hymns of the Sama Veda side by side with Rigveda :-

rigveda 22

ln the mantra given below the word  सामगा has been used for one who sings the hymns of the Sama Veda and separately for the knower

of the Atharva Veda thus clearly pointing out to the separate existence of the two :

atharva 3

There is an injunction for singing the hymns of Sama Veda to glorify God in the following mantras :

samveda 12

इति