Tag Archives: veda the myth and reality

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

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

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

ghost

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

 

Do planets influence men and cause pleasures and pains?

 

sonia-astro

 

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

 

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

          

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

 

Vedas For Beginners 6 : IS GOD JUST AND MERCIFUL?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

K: What is meant by Bhogayoni and Ubhayayoni?

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

K: Why man is considered as Ubhayayoni?

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

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

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

K: When human birth is got?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Vedas For Beginners : Is the God the Creator?

K:  Sister!  Give reply to yesterday’s question

 

V:  Your yesterday’s question was how God could protect the world when he was devoid of body for the reason that there could be no activity without body being present. But  I say that  your understanding of the matter is wrong. Conscious being can do functions any where it resides. It can give momentum. Where it is not there, then only the requirement of body is needed. For ex, now I have lifted this book. From which?

K: By hands of course.

 

V: If hands were not to be there would it be possible to lift the books?

 

K: Not possible.

 

V: Good!  The hands have lifted the book.  Now tell me which lifted the hands?

 

K: You have lifted the Books with your strength.

 

V: Look! I am shaking my entire body. From which the body is being shaken?

 

K: From your strength. It is obvious.

 

V: You were just telling that no activity was possible without Body. Now how the body got its activity without a Body?  The answer to this question is wherever the conscious entity and its strength is present there remains no necessity for the agency like the body. The Soul that resides inside the body gives mobility for the entire body, and for those things that reside outside the mobility is given thru the body. This is because He [Soul] is not found outside. God resides both inside and outside and he is omnipresent. Hence He does not require a body. Since he is present in the entire universe he gives momentum for the entire universe.

 

K:  I see, Pot makers, Cooks etc, who are having a Form, alone could create objects having Form. Then how formless God could create this world having a Form?

 

V: Creators who have a visible Form could create things that are external to their bodies. They cannot create things within their bodies. For the creation of things that are external to their bodies the help of limbs like hands and legs are necessary. However these are not necessary for creation of things that are inside. There are no materials which are external to god. He pervades all.  He is omnipresent. Hence no body is necessary for Him to create. A cook prepares food that is outside his body. Supposing if he prepares the food inside his body then who would eat the food? In such case why hands and legs are needed? The blood, bone, and marrow are formed inside the body without the help of hands and legs. Now think over. Sense organs create and watch external things. In case they were to watch what goes inside the body the life becomes miserable. How things will be if one were to smell inside body things, were to watch the flesh, blood, stools etc present inside the body? It is awful experience indeed! It is god’s grace that we see things that are external to the body.

 

K: Does the Creator pervade the created? Clock maker makes the clock. Clock is different from that of clock maker. The sweet maker makes the sweet. The sweet and sweet maker is different from each other. It is a universal principle that the maker is different from what is made. How it is possible that the God creates all and pervades all? Secondly it is not understood how things are created without the aid of hands and legs.

 

V:  The clock makers, sweet maker, are all creative men with finite abilities further bound by the limitation of space and time. They are together with the object created to the extent of action involved for creation.  If they were not to be there the corresponding action would not have taken place. When we say that clock-maker made the watch it would mean that he assembled the machine parts. A clock-maker makes the watch but does not create it. The machine parts maker is with the clock when the machine parts are being assembled. If he was not present, the machine parts would not have joined together to become a clock. Similarly the machine maker is present with machine parts with action. If that was not the case the machine parts would not have been made. Similarly, the people who made steel [out of iron ore] used to make machine parts were with the steel and this would not have come off had they not been with steel. This goes to prove that behind making a clock many hands of creation are involved. The Creator is present with the every corresponding action. Similar is the case of Goldsmith, and others. They are the creators of their action. Many hands are involved before making a final product.

 

So it is clear that while making an object, apart from the maker, the help of many people are involved. Then only an object could be created. Why this is so?  This is so because man has limited knowledge and limited abilities and he could create things with the coordinated efforts of others. Those Creators are with the created by their action. When they could associate with gross objects as such,why god is not present in the subtlest of the subtle, grossest of the gross Creation? Think for yourself. Creation does not mean just Sun, Moon, Stars, Mountains, Tress, Rivers, Human beings, Animals, Birds etc, There are many things which are endless subtle and beyond imagination. The Creation includes or a combination of all these things.

 

          Creation is made by an intelligent combination of atoms. Five gross elements, five principles of subtle entities called Panchatanmatras [speech, touch, vision, taste, and smell] five great elements called Panch-Mahabhootas [ether, air, water, fire and earth] are all created out of these atoms. The creation is made of out of these things. If the assembler of atoms is not with them how they can take shapes? There is no machinery in the world which can hold atoms together and bring out things out of them. The elements which are indivisible are called Atoms. God is immanent in all the atoms. Hence is able to form the grossest and subtlest things in the world. The atoms are the subtlest things in insensate [Jada] matters and God is more subtle than them. Hence he could pervade them. If this was not the case, he had to seek the help of outside agency similar to man taking the help of others for creating things. Hence it is clear that everyone is present to the extent of action involved for creation. Now the question how could things be created without hands and legs? Granting that these parts are necessary, a question that arises here as to who could have created these limbs? Here it should be understood, Hands and legs are the product of creation. When hands and legs could be created without the help of the latter is it not then possible for other parts of Creation to be had without the assistance of hands and legs?  Are the hands and legs of a child in mother’s view being formed with any hands or legs? Seeds grow into plants and trees. And are they so made with hands and legs? It should be made clear here, that hands and legs could manufacture things that are related it.  Is it possible to create mosquitoes and other minute creatures out of legs and hands? The circumference of the Earth where human beings reside is about 25000miles. There are planets like Mars, Uranus and stars like Sun in the Universe which are million times bigger than the Earth. Is it possible to create these objects with hands and legs? Only the omnipresent and omnipotent God has created these bodies in a purposeful manner.

 

K:  Sister!  Some how you initiate new subjects for discussion.  Where is the Rule being observed here? Are the things created as per Rule? Where is the method here?  We see tall mountains, deep valleys, on the one side! And on the other side there exist dense forests, deserts, bushes, shrubs etc. Where is the method/order here? Like wise the world is formed haphazardly. Normally a system is followed. When a man builds a house, he provides for a living room, well, lavatory etc so as to make it hospitable. An agriculturist builds an agricultural farm, provides for a farm house, canals, varieties of plants and trees etc in a methodical manner. A shopkeeper arranges goods in order in the shop. So a Rule or method is followed by man, whereas I find Creation to be reckless and bizarre. As per my assessment no Rule or method is found to be in Creation.

 

V: It is utter foolish to say that no Rule or method is found in Creation. Why Sun should rise in East and set in west? Why not the other way round? Is there no Rule here? Even the best made human watch shows slight variation in being either fast or slow. But do you find a variation by a second in the movement of Sun and the Moon? How perfect are their movements? Based on the movements of Sun and Moon the eclipses occurring at a distant future could be predicted accurately. Similar is the state of things in respect of other cosmic bodies also. Now tell me why mango seed is obtained from Mango tree only. Why we cannot get oranges from Mango tree? Why man is born a baby, grows into adult and gets old. Why not he gets old first, youth later and baby there afterwards?  Why see with eyes only and not heard from them? Why nose smells only but cannot taste?  Are these not indicative of the presence of Rule here?

 

Mountains are found to be somewhere and so the rivers. Oceans, bushes, Forests are found to be at some other place. And to say that there is no Rule in creation because of this diversity is reflective of your ignorance. With what petty yardstick you are measuring the Creation? Normally people find fault in things they do not understand. This is universal phenomenon. This sort of reasoning could be likened to an ant which started climbing the body of man and telling that the head is like a forest, eyebrows as thorny fences, nose as a hillock with nostrils as tunnels, moustaches to bushy forests, etc and felt that man indeed  should be awful creature. The ant bound by its limited intelligence assumes that body has been formed haphazardly.

 

Supposing, for the convenience of ant, if the eyes, face, nose and other parts are removed and body is made flat then the ant might feel that the body had been constructed in orderly fashion. Now my point is body shaped to the requirement of an ant could satisfy the whims and fancies of an ant and it might even say that the human body was in order. But the body shaped to the ant’s requirement could ever remain human?  Will the aesthetic intelligent transaction between the organs of perception and action occur there?  Not at all. Take another example. An Engineer constructs a machine having hundreds of parts inside it. The shape and size of each part might be round, curved, square, big or small. The parts are made to the requirement of the machine. An ignorant person not aware of the importance of machine might think that the parts are too big or curved and he may even say that the parts have been assembled haphazardly.  It is natural for an ignorant to think this way. But the machine maker knows well and he has assembled the parts as ought to have been done for the machine to work satisfactorily. If the machinery parts had been made either round or straight only the Machine would not have worked at all.

 

Similar is the position of Creation effected by God. The machinery called Creation has many parts. It has mountains, rivers, ocean, valleys, forests etc, etc. The Creation has a purpose and an object, i.e. welfare of human beings. For the ignorant, the parts of Creation appear as uncouth, useless and lacking in order, the reason being they are unaware of purpose of Creation. The usefulness of parts of Creation i.e., oceans, rivers, mountains etc is not understood. The examples of shopkeeper, agriculturist, etc that were given are too small and could be understood easily, whereas the laws of Creation are too subtle and complex to be understood. Just think over of the Brain thru which man makes laws. Even this brain is made by god who has formulated innumerable laws of Creation. If no laws were to be there who would have believed God? The existence of immutable laws provides the proof of existence of God.

 

K: O.K. God has made the Creation. Who has created the God?

 

V:  Created matter is the effect. It [created matter] requires a material cause [base material] and the Maker is called Efficient cause. God is not a created-matter. He is Eternal and has No origin. Hence, the question, as to who created God does not therefore arise. Who could be creator for who is self-created? If the Creator were to have a creator then he cannot be called a Creator. He becomes a Cause then. He is alone a Creator who is self-independent. The matter- created, cannot be termed as Creator. The human bodies deemed as Creators are not Creators in the real sense. They are instruments or agencies that bring about Creation. The Soul is the Creator. 

 

K: O.K.  Granting, that Creator has no Creator as such, then please tell me as to why should we accept the God? Why should we praise [stuthi] pray [prarthana] and communion [Upaasana] Him?  How is He related to our lives?

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

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

Translated by Vasudev Rao.

NO VIOLENCE IN YAJNAS

Sunplus

NO VIOLENCE IN YAJNAS

Writer : Pt Dharmadev Vidyamartand 

Importance of Yajnas has been stressed in several places in the Vedas. Yajna is even considered a way to Worship and realise God :-

rig 10.90.16

(When truthful and enlightened persons worship God through Yajnas, they attain salvation which is freedom from sorrow.)

The Word “यज्ञ” has its origin in the root (“Yaj”) ”यज” which means :

(1) Worship of God by enlightened persons (Devapuja)

(2) Unity (Sangatikarana)

(3) Charity (Dana)

Thus, “Yajna” epitomises all our duties towards God, to our superiors, equals and inferiors. This is the reason why Yajna is considered the noblest of all human acts. How a man, who does not perform Yajna, goes on degrading himself, is mentioned in Rigveda (l0.94.6)-and Atharvaveda (20.94.6) :

atharvaveda 2

(Those who do not ride the boat of Yajna, become abominable and impure and their character keeps on deteriorating.)

It is matter of great shame that such yajnas, which are the means of worshipping God and attaining salvation, have been misinterpreted and misconceived by our own, medieval masters, no less by western scholars and, their modern followers who assert in their commentaries of the vedas that there are references here to sacrifice of sheep, goats, horses, buffaloes in the course of such yajnas.

For instance, one of the contributors to the Vedic Age, writes while discussing Apri Hymns,

“Scarcely less debased than the Dana Stutís are the Apri hymns, manufactured artificially for employment in animal sacrifices …. . . There is no reason to doubt that these hymns were actually used at the animal sacrifices as the tradition maintains”

Another contributor referring to the Kausika Sutra (XIII,I-6) says that it prescribes a magic rite in which portions of the bodies of some animals and human beings, such as of a lion and a tiger, a ksatriya and a Brahmacharin are to be eaten to acquire certain power ; not totemism but same sacramental communion, is hinted at.”

While detailed discussion on this issue will form a huge treatise, it will suffice here to suggest a few points to remove such misconceived notions about the yajnas.

To begin with, we must stress that the word  ‘अध्वर’ (Adhvara) occurs as a synonym or as an adjective for “यज्ञ ” (Yajna) at several places in all the four Vedas.

The author of the Nirukta, a book on philology, Yaskaracharya, gives the etymology of the word “Adhvara ” thus :- mantra

nirukt 2.7

(“Adhvara” is the name of Yajna which means free from any violence).

Given below are some of the mantras from all the four Vedas in which the word “Adhvara” has been used in relation to Yajnas :-

RIGVEDA :-

(1)rig 1.1.4

-Rig. 1.1.4

(Thou, O Lord, art present only in the Yajnas, which are free from violence. Only such Yajnas are acceptable to the truthful learned persons).

(2)rig 1.1.8

-Rig. 1.1.8

(In this mantra also God’s presence only in violence-free actions is stressed)

(3)rig 1.14.21

-Rig. 1.14.21

(Using the word “Adhvara” for Yajna, the Wise have been requested to keep the Yajna “violence-free”.)

(4)rig 1.128.4

-Rig. 1.128.4

(It is stated in this mantra that God and the wise enjoin upon people to perform Yajnas free from violence.,)

(5)rig 1.19.1

-Rig. 1.19.1

(The blessings of God and the priests have been invoked in this mantra for the success of a Yajna free from violence, always.)

YAJURVEDA :-

Yajurveda is also full of mantras where not only the adjective “Adhvara” has been used for Yajnas, but also we are taught against violence of all kind including the violence against animals. For instance, this mantra indirectly rules out all violence in our dealings with the outside world:-

yajurveda 36.18

(Oh God, the Dispeller of darkness, may everyone look upon me with friendly eyes, may I look upon everyone (not human beings alone) with love and friendship, may we look upon each other with love and friendship.)

Describing Yajna as the noblest of acts in Yajurveda (101), people have been asked to protect the animals (पशुन्पाही) In Yajurveda (6-1 1) also there is a teaching for the married couple-pashun paaipasun trayetham.

In Yajurveda 14.8 it is said ….. द्विपादव चतुष्पात पाहि l (O man thou protect bipeds and quadrupeds)

‘ Likewise in more than 43 mantras in this Veda, the word Adhvara has been used either as an adjective of yajna or its synonym.

SAMAVEDA:

There are also many references to Yajna as “Adhvara” in Samaveda.

Note for instances the followings :-

samveda 7

(In this mantra scholars have been invited to attend the Yajna which is ‘चारु'(beautifi-because it is adhvara (non-violent).

samveda 8

(Using the word Agní(अग्नि) for God, it is said that He encourages non-violent Yajnas “adhvaranam”.

samveda 9

In this mantra also describing Yajna as “adhvara” people are enjoined to Worship God.

There is clear instruction against violence, particularly animal sacrifice, in the following mantra :-

samveda 10

It is prayed in this mantra: May we not indulge in any violent act, nor others tempt us to do so.

ATHARVAVEDA :-

Likewise in Atharvaveda, there are many mantras in which the word “adhvara” has been used for Yajnas. For instance :-

atharva 5

In fact the misconception about the injunction of animal sacrifice in the Vedas takes its root from the misinterpretation of the word medha ( मेधा ); a synonym of यज्ञ which is used as a suffix to many words such as अजमेध(Ajmedha),गोमेध (Gomedha) , पुरूषमेध (Purushmedha), अश्वमेध (Aswamedha) etc,

These words, however, do not stand for sacrifices of horses, cows, human beings etc as will be shown in the following pages.

The Sanskrit root of the word मेधMedha is मेध्रुमMedhra which means :

(1) to sharpen the intellectual faculty

(2) to promote unity or love among people

(3) or to practice violence.

There is no reason why it should be taken only in the last sense, particularly in relation to Yajnas, in which there is strong emphasis on non-violence in all the Vedas.

It may be noted here that Purush Medha (पुरूषमेध ), Purush Yajna ( पुरूषमेध ) and nriyajna (नृयज्ञ ) are synonyms.

In Manusmriti, नृयज्ञ  nriyajna has been explained as hospitality नृयज्ञोSतिथिपूजनम (Manu 3-70).

Taking the second meaning of the root Medhra. ( मेधृ )the word नृमेध (nrimedha) would mean uniting people for noble deeds and inspiring love and unity among them.

Nriyajna (नृयज्ञ ), Purush medha (पुरूषमेध ), are also Rishis of the following mantra from the Samveda :-

sam 1

That the meaning of such words as अजमेध, and अश्वमेध are different from what they are understood by western scholars is also clear from their references in Brahmanas and Mahabharata etc.

For instance in Shatpath it is stated that the word Asva अश्व: also stands for the seminal energy :

“राष्ट्रं वा अश्वमेध:| वीर्यं वा अश्व||”

Increasing the energy or power of the citizens of the nation or proper administration of the state)

अज is also the name of a kind of paddy which at one time as a rule was poured into the Yajnas.

For instance, we read in Mahabharata (Santiparva):-

shantiparv

When in ancient literature people are asked to offer Aja ( अज ) in the Yajnas, it does not mean they should sactifice a goat, but pour seeds of lentil of the same name.

The similar sentiment has been expressed by Vishnu Sharma in his Panchatantra (Kakoliyam):

panchtantra

Those who perform animal sacrifice for Yajnas are fools. They do not understand the proper meaning of the Vedas. ln “अजैर्यज्ञेशुयष्टव्यम” in the Vedas, the word Aja should be understood to mean “ Vrthi”, a particular variety of old paddy and not sacrifice of goats.

In “स्याद्वादमंजरी ”, a famous book in Jain literature, the word अज been taken to mean only paddy and never a goat.

jain book

(While the ignorant misinterpret the word अज as a goat, the learned understand by it only different varieties of paddy.)

lt has been clearly stated at several places in the Mahabharata that there is no mention in the Vedas of meat eating drinking, or animal sacrifices. The Yajnas marred by violence are contrary to the spirit of the Vedas and against the human laws of Manu. The yajnas with animal sacrifice were propagated by rogues, atheists, grabbers, usurpurs. Such Yajnas, in fact, are sinful and against religion.

Given below are two slokas from Mahabharata (Shantiparva) which will drive home this point :-

shantiparv 1

(It is stated in these verses that persons, who have spoken of animal sacrifice in Yajnas are stupid, atheists and are devoid of all knowledge about the injunctions of the shastras.)

Manu, the law giver, had stressed the importance of non- violence in all actions. Those who indulge in violence, do so on their own accord. Their actions have no sanction of Manu. Nor do their actions have the approval of the Vedas. All the religions preach non-violence and give it the highest priority in life. Only wicked persons started the tradition of meat eating, drinking and using other intoxicants. They were motivated by egoism, attachment and greed in starting this tradition. The Brahmans see the Omnipresent God in the Yajnas and offer oblations of milk or milk products in the sacrificial fire.

It is clear from the above that animal sacrifice in the Yajnas was started only by the wicked. And since it is not in harmony with the spirit of the vedas, any reference to it in Sravsutras, Grthyaasutras, Brahmanas, Smrítis or other religious books should be taken as an interpolation.

That the import of such material in the original ancient literature was not a new phenomenon has been stated by the famous dualist Acharya Madhvacharya in the following words in Mahabharata :

mahabharat 2

(Some wicked ones import foreign material into original books, some hide a few portions, others alter due to the laziness or do it deliberately. Thus even when these ancient books are not destroyed, they are distorted beyond measure)

The ancient Rishis were totally against animal sacrifice in the Yajnas. For instance, it is stated in Mahabharata (Aswamedha parva) that:

mahabharat 3

mahabharat 4

(When the Rishis saw the poor animals (brought for sacrifice in the Yajnas,) they were deeply touched, “There is no mention of animal sacrifice anywhere. This will only destroy your religion. You should perform Yajnas in accordance with the instruction, given in the Vedas for greater benefit.)”, they told the priest.

No wonder Risis, who have been described in Nirukta as “those who realise the real spirit of Dharma”, considered animal sacrifice contrary to the spirit of the Vedas.

At another place in the Shantiparava in Mahabharata, it is said :-

shantiparv 2

Certainly animal sacrifice is not sanctioned by the Vedas. The Yajna is always non-violent and should be performed that way. If one goes to heaven by killing animals or shedding their blood, what is then the way to hell?

ASVAMEDHA YAJ NAS AND NON-VIOLENCE

lt is generally held by Western Scholars and their zealous followers that horses were sacrificed in Asvamedha Yajna.

But the description of such a Yajna performed by king Vasu as found in the Mahabharata, does not bear out testemony to this abominable practice.

तस्य यज्ञो महानासीदश्वमेधो महात्मन: |

bruhaspati

(lt is stated in these verses that the Yajna was officiated by great sages and saints including three sons of the Prajapati and Kapila, Katha, Titeri and Kanva etc. This Yajna was very pious and sacred and no animal was sacrificed in it a all. The priests of this Yajna, who included authors of the Katha Samhita, Taittiriya Samhita, and Kanva Samhita, performed it in the non-violent way.

There seems to be some reference to animal sacrifice in “Taitteriya Samhita” which were added or interpolated to it only later.

EXHIBITION OF ANIMALS IN THE YAJ NAS

The root Medhra ( मेध्रू ) from which the Sanskrit word Medha (मेध )has been made also means Sangalnana(संगमन) This is borne out by the description of Asvamedh Yajna recorded in Mahabharata

(Aswamedha parva). For instance, in the following description, there is clear indication of an exhibition of different varieties of birds and animals being organised at the time of the Asvamedha :-

ashvamedha 1

ashvamedha 2

The misinterpretation of the words Alambha( आल्मभ ), Sanjapana (संज्ञपन) and Avadana ( अवदान ) was also responsible for creating confusion relating to the issue of animal sacrifiee in the Yajnas.

The following mantra from Yajurveda, is often quoted to suggest the evidence of the animal sacrifice :

animal sacrifice

The word alambha ( आलंभ ) in this mantra has been wrongly interpreted to mean sacrifice here of elephants for the Welfare of the Prajapati ( प्रजापति ) ; in fact, alambhana does not mean “to kill” but “to acquire”.

(The word Alambha आलंभ has its root in  आंगपूर्वक लाभ which means to acquire, to embrace etc.)

For instance, see the use of this Word in the second sense in the following mantra :

animal sacrifice 1

(Here it is prohibited for the Brahmacharins to look or to embrace women (स्त्रीणां च प्रेक्षणालम्भम ).

In the second chapter ofपारस्कर गृह्सुत्र word occurs in this sense where the Acharya touching the heart of a Brahmacharin says :

animal sacrifice 2

(The bridegroom should lift his hand above the right shoulder of the bride and touch her heart.)

Here the commentators like Jai Rama and Hari Rama have interpreted the Word आलभते as सप्रूशति  (touches)

ln the following injunction again from Paraskara Grihsutra the word alabhate has been used for “touching” :

 

ln Yajurveda there is a reference to acquire particular birds for specialized study and not for any wayward killing :

yajurveda 24.20

THE CORRECT MEANING OF SANGYAPANA( संज्ञापन )

The word संज्ञापन (Sanjyapanam) used at many places in Brahmanas and Shraut Sutras is generally taken to mean “killing instantaneously”. But this is grossly incorrect and only betrays the ignorance leading to its misinterpretation.

lt is clear from the use of this word in the following mantra that it means “to inculcate knowledge” or “to unite” :-

atharva 6.10.94.95

(The mantra means that your bodies should be united, you should take physical exercises unitedly, your minds and your souls should be united. May God, the Repository of Knowledge, always keep you united etc.)

In Satpath also there is a passage where the word has been used in the second sense of making one realise or making it known to others :-

shatpat 1

(In this mantra, the power of the tongue, to make the other one know what is in the mind, is stressed.)

MISINTERPRETATION OF THE WORD ASWAMEDHA

It is assened in the Vedic Age that “Animal sacrifices” are indicated in the Apri Suktas and the horse sacrifice (Asva Medha) was undoubtedly performed”.

But the fact is that there is not the slightest reference to the animal sacrifices in these hymns. This is only the result of their ignorance and illusion.

The word अश्वमेध during the Vedic period was used in the sense of “administration of the state” or “increasing the strength of the state” as clear from  ‘राष्ट्रं वे अश्वमेध: (Satpath 13- 1-6) or वीर्यं वा अश्व: But there is no evidence whatsoever of the sacrifice of horses in the Yajnas performed during that period.

In the following mantra which used to be recited at the time of the Asvamedha Yajna, there is no reference to animal sacrifice at all :

ashvamedha 3

ashvamedha 4

(It is mentioned in these mantras that the horses should be properly trained and full knowledge acquired about their behavior, food and drinking habits etc. People have also been asked in these mantras to look after the horses property.)

In all the mantras of this hymn, there are similar instructions. In the end also, prayers are offered for giving us cows, horses, strong progeny and wealth :-

hymn 1

No doubt some of the Indian scholars like Sayanancharya, Uvvate and Mahidhar and foreign scholars following them like Prof Max Muller, Griffith and Wilson, have misinterpreted some of the Vedic mantras occurring in this hymn to suggest that there is a mention rather an injunction of animal sacrifice in the Vedas. While in reality, it is only the figment of their own mind with no truth in it at all. There is not only complete absence of any instruction for animal sacrifice in the Vedas, but there is clear provision for punishment of those who indulge in this practice even negligence, towards these dumb creatures.

Two of the mantras have been thoroughly misunderstood in this regard, the first one being as follows :

hymn 2

Sayanacharya, along with his Indian and foreign follower has given a very absurd meaning of this mantra. According to him the mantra means as follows :-

“Those who see the boiled flesh of horses and praise the smell of their bodies, let the labour of such persons be ours”.

According to Swami Dayanand, however, the mantra means :

“Drive away from us those who beg the flesh or horses or consider them worthy of sacrifice.”

The word Vajinam(वाजिनम) also means a “brave person”. Thus the mantra can also mean that the brave person, who is also well- versed in the art of cooking protects his country and brings wealth to it.

The second mantra, which is ofien misunderstood by scholars, is given below :

hymn 3

Saynacharya, and Mahidhar have played havoc while interpreting this mantra in the following way:

“Let not an iota of thy flesh may fall to the ground, O horse, may the gods, desirous of it, receive it.”

Compare it with the rendering of this mantra with the one given by Dayanand in the following words :

“O Ye men, you should get the affected limbs cured by doctors because the medicine given by them is beneficial for health.”

Killing of animals has been prohibited in many mantras in the Vedas. For instance, take the following :

hymn 4

(Don’t kill the horses.)

In Yajurveda’s 25.43 also, the words, ‘मा स्वाधितिस्तन्त्र आतिष्ठिपत् ‘ clearly instruct against killing of animals :

hymn 5

hymn 6

Some orthodox scholars went to the extent of imagining that those animals, which are sacrificed in fire, go to heaven. The misconceptions in this regard seemed to have sprung from the following mantra from the Rigveda (1 .162.21) (which also occurs in Yajurveda (25.44) :

yajurveda 25.44

Commenting on this Sayanachalya writes :

sayancharya 1

(Those shall not die O horse, because offered to gods, thou must achieve the divinity and thus share their immortality.)

The correct meaning of this mantra, however, is “Just as a man travels comfortably in a chariot moved by fire, water and air, so the soul, which is fully enlightened through self-knowledge and free from the fear of death or violence, attains the divine bliss)”

Misinterpretation of such Vedic mantras was usually motivated by self-interest greed and ignorance.

Now we will critically examine some of the misconceptions about the sacrifice of cows and beef-eating’s.

Clayton, in his book, “The Rigveda and Vedic Religion” writes:

“At one sacrifice, probably a very unusual sacrifice, performed once in five years, called the “Pancha Sharadiya Sava, seventeen young cows were offered. Bullocks, buffaloes and deer were also sacrificed, sometime in large numbers. The White Yajurveda mentions 327 domestic animals, including oxen, milch cows, that are to be offered along with the horse at the greater Horse- Sacrifice”

The basis of Clyton’s conclusion seems to be “Rajendra Pal’s book entitled “lndo Aryans ate meat and drank wine”.

Most of the foreign writers have upheld this view and authors of the Vedic Age have almost copied it.

While describing the customs and traditions of the marriage ceremonies during the Vedic Age, they have written:

“The guests are entertained with the flesh of cows killed on the occasion (of marriage).”

This statement made by them is highly erroneous because cows have been described in the Vedas at several places as ‘Aghnya’ (अघ्नया ) and Aditi( अदिति ) which means “not to be killed under any circumstances” Some of the mantras in which the word Aghnya (अघ्नया ) has been used for the cow are as follows :

cow 1

(hi this mantra cows, addressed as Aghnya अघ्न्या have been enjoined to keep themselves healthy by use of pure water and green grass so that we, who drink their milk, may be endowed with Dharma, knowledge and wealth”

cow 2

(In this mantra also, where again the word अघ्न्या has been used for cows, it is stated that this animal is responsible for our health and prosperity.)

cow 3

cow 4

(In this mantra, the milk of the cow has been compared with the fight of God.)

cow 5

(Describing the devotee, who is a man of action, it is stated that he gets up before the dawn, entertains noble thoughts and drinks the milk of the cow which should never be killed.)

cow 6

(In this mantra also the adjective for Dhenunaam (धेनूनाम) is Aghnyanam अघ्न्यानाम [which is very significant)

There is also clear instruction in Rigveda. 101.15 against the slaughter of cow which has been described as a mother :-

rigveda 101.15

(Don”t kill the cow which is like the mother, the daughter, and the sister to the learned Brahmacharins.)

The word Aghnya  अघ्न्या has also been used for the cow in the Atharvaveda :-

atharvaveda 3

(I remove all your jealousies and prejudices and unite your hearts. May you love each other as a cow loves her new born calf.)

The following mantra from the Atharvaveda also extols the qualities for which the cow is universally loved and revered :

atharvaveda 4

(In this mantra, the milk of the cow, for whom again the adjective Aghnya(अघ्न्या) has been used, is considered of special benefit to the children.)

aghanya 1

(In this mantra use of the milk of the cow, has been suggested for the learned persons endowed with great intellects.)

cow 7

(In this mantra, the Veda has gone to the extent of suggesting the use of cow’s milk for removal of sins :

The penalty of death has been suggested for those who kill the cows :

penalty

Also the similar punishment is suggested for even stealing her milk :

penalty 1

In accordance with the spirit of these mantras, Manu, the law giver, has said :

penalty 2

The Vedic Age tries to reconcile the epithet “Aghnya” used for cows with the eating of bullock’s beef saying that (I) the flesh of the ox, rather than that of the cow, was eaten. (ii) the flesh of the cow (if at all) was eaten on special occasions like a sacrifice or at a reception of guests. (m) only barren cows ( वशा:) were sacrificed.

But this explanation given by them is unacceptable. We must make it clear that the epithet aghnya (अघ्न्या) repeatedly used for cows is also used for the oxen.

For instance Aghnya has been used for the oxen in the following mantras :

yajurveda 12.73

(While commenting on this Sayanacharya has written in his Kanvasamhita (chapter-13) :

atharvaveda 9.4.17

(In this mantra an ox has been described as “not to be killed” (अघ्न्य:).

The suggestion that the flesh of the cow was eaten on special occasions is also ridiculous.

We have earlier shown that in the entire Vedic literature the word “Adhvara” (non-violent) has been used for the Yajnas. To imagine that meat eating was pennitted on such occasions is beyond our apprehension.

The Brahmanas have clearly stated that meat eating is one of the things which renders the Y ajnas ineffective and, therefore, should be avoided at least during their performance :

brahman 1

(Eat not the meat nor thou indulge in sexual gratification during the performance of the Yajna.)

Similar injunction has been given in Tandaya Maha Brahmana :

brahman 2

(A person performing Yajna should neither eat meat nor indulge in sexual intercouse. lf he does, Yajna becomes fruitless and yields no results.)

lt has also been stated in Vedic Age that the cows were killed and their flesh served to please the guests. The following mantra is quoted to prove this practice :

vedic age 1

It is also stated in the Vedic Age that the beef was served to guests on the occasion of marriages.

Late K.L. Munshi in his book “Lopamudra” says that guests अतिथिग्व (atithigva) was considered a respectable term which stood for a person who served beef to his guests. It is important to remove the misconception about such words as अतिथिग्व (atithigva) and  अतिथिनिर्गा: (atithi-nirga) for गा: in Rigveda

(10.86.3) has been explained by commentators like Sayanacharya as सततं गच्छन्ती: (the root: अत-सातत्य) i.e., ever on the move.

Even the word गा: has been defined as water (साधुनयनादिगुणयुक्ता: अप:). Even if we take the word अतिथि instead of (अतिथिनी ) it means the cows which are brought near to the guests (अतिथिभ्यो नीयन्ते)and are finally offered to them. There is no reference to their killing which would be in direct violation of the

spirit of the Vedas in which the words Agnya अघ्न्या, and Aditi अदिति have been used. The word अतिथिग्न Atithi-gna does not mean a person who offers beef to the guests as wrongly misunderstood by K.L. Munshi. It stands for a person who goes close to the guests for their service as pointed by Saynacharya and Maharshi Dayanand. Even the famous Sanskrit English Dictionary by Monior Williams gives the meaning of this word अतिथिग्न (atithigna) as: “To whom guests should go.”

Bloomfield has also defined this word as “presenting cows to the guests”

It is pointed by some authors that the word “गोघ्न (Goghna) is used for guests in accordance with the aphorism of Astadhyayi “दाशगोघ्नौ सप्रदाने”. Actually, the word ` गोघ्न (goghna) is nowhere used in the Vedas for guests. When it is used as in the following mantra from Rigveda, it is used in the sense of “keep off ”:

rig 1

( The killer of the cow is a mean fellow; keep away from him.)

Even in ancient literature, when this word occurs in regard to a guest, it means “A person to whom a cow is offered” and “for whom sweet words are spoken.”

The word गोघ्न’goghna’ is derived from the हन्(Han) which means ‘हिंसा (violence) and गति (movement). The word Stands for ज्ञान (knowledge) `गमन (movement) and (acceptance). Thus goghna  गोघ्न is one who is requested to accept the cow. In Atharvaveda, husband is given the instruction :-

atharvaveda 5

(Strengthing your body with the semen, O husband, go to your Wife.)

In this Saynacharya and other Vedic commentators have interpreted the word जा as गच्छ because no sane person can take it to mean to kill.

In Shatpath (1.4.1.2.1) it is stated :-

In this also, the performer of the Yajnas is stated to be desirous of meeting or accepting God and not killing Him.

Therefore Sayanacharya has rightly explained the word “जिघान्सति’ ‘ as ‘प्राप्तुमिच्छति ” _ Many such examples can be multiplied.

Therefore, the word गोघ्न means गौ: हन्यते प्राप्यते यस्मै’. (who is made to accept the cow.)

It is also wrong to say that there is a provision for the killing of the barren cows vasa( वशा: ) in the Vedas.

The word उक्षा and वशा in the following mantra, in particular, stand for oxen and barren cows :-

rig 8.43.11

Actually उक्षा stands for the medicinal herb which is also known as सोम, or “सूर्य`ऋषममetc.

Famous Vedic commentator Sayanacharya has at several places used the word उक्षा to denote सोम. For instance while commenting on Rigveda’srig 2 he writes :

rig 3

Monior Williams has given the similar meaning in his Sanskrit- English Dictionary :-

Uksa, name of Soma (as sprinkling or scattering small drops) name of the Maruts-of the sun and Agni-one of eight medicaments Risbhak.” Some scholars hold the view that the word ETSTT (vasa) in the Vedas stands for the barren cow who was sacrifised in the Yajnas. lt is a very erroneous and misleading statement. Actually this word, used in wider context, means the controlling power of God, the controlling power of the soul which holds under its sway the mind, the intellect and the senses. There are many other meanings of this word, but surely it cannot be interpreted as “barren cows`. We thoroughly studies the hymn where this word occurs but nowhere did we find anything to support the above contention, It is, therefore, quite ridiculous to hold the view that in Atharvaveda 10/10, there is

a reference to the sacrifice of the barren cows. Take for instance the following mantra from this hymn :

atharvaveda 10.10.4

The word  सहस्त्रधारांcannot be used in regard to a barren cow or any cow, for that matter.

The word apparently applies to the controlling power of God about whom, it is said in the Atharvaveda (10.190) :

atharvaveda 10.190

वशा has been used here in the following mantra from the Atharvaveda as the “law of God” or “the controlling power” :

atharvaveda 1.10.1

Besides the controlling power of God, the word also stands for earth or a piece of land as in :

atharvaveda 6

In both the hymns (10.10.2 and 10.10.30) of Athaiyaverda, there is reference to giving or taking of “वशा” :

atharvaveda 7

atharvaveda 8

This word also means a good housewife who keeps her children well under control:-

atharvaveda 20.103.15

Though the Word has been thus used in different contexts, its principal usage is in medicine. lt is also called “भेदा”.

bheda 1

The benefits of taking this medicament have been described thus in ‘गुणनिघंटु” :

nighantu

(It means that Meda is useful for cold, bite, heat, pain, cough etc.)

In Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monior Williams also the words like एकड, वशा, अष्टपदिका, भेद been used for herbs or drugs :-

वशा-Premna Spinosa and Lorgibolia

अष्टपादिका-The plant Vallaiis Dichotoman Wall.

भेद:-A species of Medicinal plant.

Thus we have seen that it is incongrous and ridiculous to see in Atharvaveda hymns any reference to the barren cows and their sacrifice in the fire. About the word Go-megha गोमेघ it may be said that the word गौ has many meanings. When it is used in the context of speech गो मेघ will mean application of mind with speech, i.e. uttering words with great discretion or using words with accuracy in accordance with the rules of the grammar etc.)

In one of the passages Vedic Age wrongly assumes that there is an instruction to the couple to eat rice mixed with meat or the meat of oxen if they desired the birth of a child well-versed in the scriptures. As shown earlier, the word has been defined in the Sanskrit English Dictionary by Apte and Monior Williams, both as सोम and ऋषभक as the Tishabha. Thus the couple here have been instructed to take medicaments like सोम and ऋषभक and not meat of the oxen etc. as misunderstood.

In सुश्रुत (Chapter two) meat has been totally prohibited for a pregnant woman. It is even believed that its consumption may lead to abortion :

sushrut 2

When meat has been thus prohibited for a pregnant woman, it appears to be highly improbable that there could be any such instruction as supposedly given to the couple.

There is also a reference in the Vedas to consumption of क्षीरौदन,दध्योदन,उदौदन etc for the pregnant woman. Therefore the view expressed by some scholars that an instruction for the couple to take rice mixed with a particular variety of pulse known as UN, seems quite in harmony with the spirit of the Vedas.

There is also a suggestion for taking this particular variety of pulse for women in the following passage from शुश्रुत:

sushrut 1

( Here husband has been advised to take ghee and rice with a glass of milk and the wife to take the above mentioned variety of ‘माष (pulse) (before going to bed.)

At another place it is written :-

sushrut 4

For healthy child the husband should take ghee with milk and the wife oil and माष (a variety of pulse)

lt is clear from the above that the correct reading in the text is `मांषौदनम Some self-interested persons wrongly misspelt it as  and it became popular that way gradually.

However, if one insists on its correct reading as ` मांषौदनम  may be mentioned that, according to the derivation of the word given in Nirukat, it means anything which one likes to take with relish and taste :

nirukt 1

Thus it will be seen that any milk preparation like “kheer”, “rabaree` etc. will also fall in the category of the word’मांस.

In Charak Samhita, a standard book of Aurvedic medicines, the pith of a mango has been described as HTH and its stone as अस्थि.

The soft eatable portion of date has been named at some places in this ancient book as खर्जूरमांस Therefore it is erroneous to interpret the word मांस as “meat” wherever it occurs because of its wider usage as shown above. ‘

In Shatpat Brahmana the word ‘मांस orपरमान्न for instance, has been used for milk and rice preparation called ‘खीर.

shatpat 2

Taitteriya Samhita indicates wider usage of the word मांस to cover curd, honey and com etc. (see 232.8)

In Taitteriya Samhita मांस has been used even for गुग्गुलु(which has been prescribed in the Vedas for killing germs of such fatal diseases as tuberculois.

tatreiya sahinta

In the mantra given below, the word `मांस should be taken as “milk” and not meat :-

hymn 7

In this mantra, it is stated the couple should not take cow’s milk and delicious things like खीर until and the unless venerable guest has been served first.

A reputed scholar of Sanskrit Sampurand has said in his Commentary on Rigveda’s Purush Sukta that Yajna is not complete without a sacrifice but this sacrifice is to be not of animals but animal passions like falsehood, greed, sex ego, attachment etc. We full agree with him.

 

 

 

WHEN WERE THE VEDAS WRITTEN ?

WHEN WERE THE VEDAS WRITTEN ?

From Book : Vedas-The Myth and Reality ( A reply to Vedic Age )

Author : Pt Dharmadev Vidyamartand

We have tried to establish in the preceding chapters that Vedas contain Divine knowledge and were revealed by God through four Risis-Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angira.

This traditional belief is quite logical and there is nothing superstitious when we realise that man would have remained Completely ignorant if such a knowledge had not been revealed to him through the Vedas.

The knowledge of the Vedas was revealed to man at the time of creation and to the question how old are the Vedas, our answer is: “as old as the human creation.”

The scholars from the East and the West have expressed contradictory statements about the time when Vedas were handed down to the humanity.

There is hardly any substance in their arguments in favour of different dates which are all purely conjectural.

We will, in the following pages give a bird’s-eye view of their conjectures.

Prof. Max Muller comes first and foremost among the Western scholars who tried to determine the age of the Vedas.

In his book “History ofAncient Sanskrit Literature ” (1859) he writes :-

“Buddhism is nothing else than a reaction against Brahmanism, and it presupposes the existence of the entire Veda i.e., of the literature emodied in the Samhitas, the Brahmnas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. The whole of this literature must have, therefore, been Pre-Budhistic i.e., it must have arisen before 500 B.C. The Vedanga and the Sutra literature could be approximately simultaneous with the origin and the expansion of Buddhism in its initial stages. These Sutra works, whose origin might be attributed to the period from 600 to 200 B.C., are, however, so constructed that, they, of necessity, presuppose all Brahmana literature. The Brahmanas, however, of which there are older and new ones,

containing as they do, long lists of preceptors who handed down the more ancient Brahmanas, could not possibly be compressed within less than two hundred years. We must, therefore, regard the period 800 to 600 B.C. as that required for the growth of these prose works. The Brahmanas, however, presuppose, further in their turn, the Vedic Samhitas. At least two hundred years were now necessary in order that all these collections of songs and prayers could be put together. Therefore, the period circa 1000 to 800 B.C. would be regarded as the period in which these samhitas (or collections) which were already regarded as holy sacrificial songs and authoritative prayer-books, must have been made and they must have preceded a time in which the hymns and the songs contained in them should have arisen as popular or religious compositions. This period must lie before 1000 B.C. Two hundred years more e and we arrive at 1200 to 1000 B.C. as the initial period of the Vedic poetry.”

 

lt should be stressed here that period of 200 years which Prof. Maxmuller has set apart for various epochs for development of the Vedic literature is the minimum in his view. He never wanted this period to be treated as final.

 

In his “Gifford Lectures”(1 890), he clearly stated : “We could not hope to be able to lay down any terminus a quo. Whether the Vedic hymns were composed in 1000 or 1500 or 2000 or 3000 years B.C.-no power on earth could ever fix.”

 

It is very unfortunate that despite his above statement, the Western scholars thought that Prof. Max Muller scientifically fixed the date of the composition of the Vedas as 1200 to 1000 B.C. Some German scholars, however, showed the courage to oppose this view. When Schroeder and Heiman extended the date of the Vedas to 2000 B.C. and 4,500 B.C. respectively, they had to face a lot of criticism for holding their conjecture against MaxMuller’s approved date of 1500 to 1000 B.C. (which in reality he had not.)

 

Another German scholar Winternitz has also contradicted Prof Max Muller’s view in his book “Geshcikte Indischen Literamre”.

 

He says, “It is now evident that the presumption of exactly two hundred years for the various literary epochs in the development of the Veda is purely arbitrary. And MaxMuller himself would not properly say such period and that our Rigveda Samhita had indeed been completed at least about 1000 B.C. He had always understood his date for Vedas of 1200 to 1000 B.C. only as the terminus a quo and in his lectures on Physical Religion that appeared in 1890, he had distinctively said, “We could not hope to be able to lay down any terminus a quo. Whether the Vedic hymns were composed in 1000 or 1500 or 2000 or 3000 years B.C., no power on earth could ever fix.”

 

“This purely hypothetical-and in itself entirely arbitrary- chronological fixing ofthe Vedic epochs by MaxMuller, attained in course of years, the respectability of a scientifically proved fact and everybody said that no arguments or substantial proofs were thought necessary on the score.

 

W.D. Whitney in his book “Oriental and Linguistic Studies” (1872) has, however, reproved this habit of thinking that Max Muller had proved the period 1200 to 1000 B.C. as the date of the Rigveda.

“Only with timidity could some scholars like Von Schroeder go back to 1500 or at most to 2000 years B.C.”

 

Dr. Winternitz, while quoting Weber’s words in this regard that “Any such attempt of defining the Vedic antiquity is absolutely fruitless”, goes on to add:- “In reality nothing more has been known

than that the Vedic period extends from an altogether undefined past to the Fifth century before Christ. Neither the figures 1200 to 500 nor 1500 to S00 nor 2000 to 500 which are often met with approval in the popular account about the age of the Vedic literature, have any justification. The only date justifiable is X to 500 B.C.; and as a result of the investigation of the last ten years, it could be said that it was more probable in place of 500 B.C. …… ..” We must however, guard against giving any definite figures, Where such a possibility is, by the nature of the case, excluded.”

 

Morris Bloomfield, the author of “ Vedic Concordance ” after making some conjectures about the age of Vedas, candidly admits: “More frankly, we do not know’

 

He further explains : “l, for my part, am and-l think I voice many scholars-are now much more inclined to listen to an early date-say 2,000 B.C. for the beginning of Vedic literary production, and to a much earlier date for the beginning of the institution, and of the religious concepts which the Veda has derived from those pre-historic times-which cast their shadows forward into the records that are in our hands. Anyhow, we must not be beguiled by that kind of conservatism which merely shoves Conscience into thinking that there is better proof for any later date such as 1500, 1,200 or 1,000 B.C. rather than their earlier date of 2000 B.C. “Once mere frankly, we do not know.”

 

Clayton, in his book “The Rígveda and Vedic Religion “- writes “From what has already been said, it will be evident that no dates can be assigned to the origin of the hymns that make up the Vedas. lndeed it is necessary to go further and to say that there is not sufficient evidence to show with any precision when the four Vedas were collected together and the Vedas themselves, as we have them, formed.

We are very much surprised to see the self-contradictory statements of the authors of the “Vedic Age” on this subject.

On the one hand, they admit that the date of the Vedas cannot be fixed and, on the other, they fix up the date as about 1000 B.C. For instance, they write at one place in their book,” The Age of the Rigveda is not known with even an approximate degree of certainty.” (Vedic Age)

 

“And at another place (Tenth chapter), they say :-

From a purely linguistic point of view, the Rigveda in its present form cannot be dated much earlier than 1000 B.C. The language of the Rigveda is certainly no more different from that of the Avestan Gathas than is old English from old High German and, therefore, they must be assigned to approximately the same age ……. ..Thus from general linguistic considerations, we get (for the Rigvedic language, as known to us,) an approximate date of 1000 B.C. Although the culture represented by it must be considerably older, it can hardly be pushed back considerably before 1500 B.C.” (Vedic Age)

 

“On linguistic grounds, the language of the Rigveda, the oldest Veda-may be said to be about 1000 B.C; but its contents may be and are certainly in the oldest parts of a much more ancient date and, its latest parts, resembling Atharvanic charms, are as surely of much later origin.” (Vedic Age)

 

One of the greatest Indian scholars, who wrote about the age of the Vedas, is Bal GangadharTilak.

In his book “Orion”, he has collected astronomical data in the Vedas and adduced evidence of recollection “of the Vernal Equinox falling at a time when the sun was in Orion.”

 

That must have been about 5000 years prior to the time when the present Indian calendar was fixed with the Venial Equinox falling at the time when the sun was in Aries, and this was in the beginning of the Christian Era. So, according to Tilak, the Vedas must be assigned to about 5,000 B.C.

 

Later however, Tilak noted that there were recollections traceable in the Vedas to a period when the Vernal Equinox fell at a time when the Sun in the Tisya grah. On this basis he concluded that the Vedas may be pushed back even to about 10,000 B.C. This was not generally accepted by scholars who did not believe that the calculations of these positions of the Sun could be accurate enough in these primitive times to form a basis for fixing dates.

 

In fact at the end of his book, Tilak himself observed :-

“Though I have ventured to write on the subject, I cannot claim to have finally solved this important problem in its bearings.”

Another Indian scholar, Dina Nath Shastri, has on the basis of the astronomical dates, expressed the view that Vedas are about 300,000 years old.

 

MAHABHARATA AND THE VEDAS

Not only there is a reference to the four Vedas in the Mahabharat but also to its Angas and Upangas.

 

In the Sabha Parva for instance, Bhishma Pitamaha says about Shri Krishan that he was well-versed in the Vedas and the Vedangas:-

vedangas

In Adiparva there is another shloka in which there is again a reference to the Vedas and its upangas:-

upangas

(i.e. that person can not be considered areal Scholar who may have the knowledge of the Vedas and Angas and Upanishad; but is ignorant of Mahabharata.)

The following verse gives clear evidence of the existence of the Vedas and its Angus and Upanishads at the time of Mahabharata:-

mahabharat

In the following lines from Mahabharata, it is statcd that God, through Vedas, gives knowledge to the mankind about different forms and actions of such elements as earth, water, air, fire and light and goads man to acts of goodness :-

mahabharat 1

The authors of the Vedic Age have described the Mahabharata period as Circa 1400 B.C. while they regard the date of composition of Rigveda as 1000 B.C. The fallacy in their conjecture is proved by the reference to the Vedas and their Angas in Mahabharata itself. Well if Vedas were written at that time, they could not have been described as eternal.

 

The authors of the Vedic Age mention the Mahabharat period between 1400 and 1000 BC but put 1400 B.C. in bracket after the caption I “The Bharat War”‘undcrsection 8 (Historical Traditions) At other places also, they have given the same date for the Mahabharata period though the word “Probably” has been unsparingly used.

For example, they write :-

“Though the Mahabharata, in its present form, is a late production, the kernel of the story takes us back to the period between 1400 and 1000 B.C. when, as noted above, the battle was probably fought”

 

The following inscription however of Maharaja Pulakesin (of Chalukyas) family, found in a Jain temple, gives a definite proof that South Indian scholars believed that Mahabharata war took place around 3,000 years B.C. :-

brihat sahinta

In his book entitled Brihat-Sanhita, Varamihira, a well-known Indian astrologer, writes (13 .3) :-

“At the time of the reign of Maharaja Yudhisther, Saptarishis were in the Magha planet and by adding 2,526 years to Yudhistra`s period, there is beginning of the Shak era “.(13.3)

 

Al-Beruni, an Arabian historian, writes on the subject :

“According to Brahmagupta and other astronomers 4,131 years have elapsed since the commencement of Kalyuga upto 1,031 A.D. and the Mahabharata war took place about 3,479 years upto 1,03 1 A.D.

This means, according to the thought held by Indian scholars at the time of al-Beruni, the Mahabharata war took place about 2,448 B.C.

 

Acharya Rama Deva writes in Bharatavarsa ka itihas (1991) that in 1999 (Vikrama Era) all the Indian astrologers had unanimously calculated that Mahabharata war took place 5000 years ago. Magesthenes, who travelled India during the period of Chandragupta, writes :

“From the time of Dionysuis to Sandrokottos the lndians count 153 kings and a period of 6042 years. (When among them a republic had been thrice established.) Then these lndians also tell us that Dionysuis had been here earlier than Heracles by  15 generations.”

 

“This Heracles is held in special honour by the Saurasent, Indian tribe, who possesses two large cities, Mothora and Cleisobra.” and Mothora. (Mc Crinde’s Ancient India)

 

REFERENCE TO VEDAS IN THE RAMAYANA

Shri Rama was born in “Treta`s end ” and Mahabharata was written at the end of Dwapar. The Mahabharata war took place at the end of Dwapar. Now if it is proved that there are references to

Vedas and their Angas in Ramayanas their antiquity is antomatically

established.

While writing about Rama Balmiki says in his Ramayana :

ramayan 1

(Rama was well-versed in the Vedas and Vedangas and also in the Dhanurveda (the science of archery).

Again in the Ayodhya Kand (1.20), it is written :-

ayodha khand

Shri Ram was steeped in the knowledge of the Vedas etc.

In Kiskíndha Kanda (3.28.29) of Balmiki Ramayana, Rama says about Hanuman: One who has not studied Rigveda, Yajurveda and Samveda, cannot speak such fluent and flawless language :-

kishkinda khand

These references clearly show that Vedas, Upvedas and Vedangas  existed much before the Ramayana period.

Bloomfield, in his introduction to the “Hymns of the Atharvaveda,” writes :-

“In the Ramayana, the Vedas in general, are mentioned very frequently; special Vedic names appear to be rare in the Sama Veda(सामगा:) being mentioned at IV. 27.10; The Taitteriya (आचार्य:तैतिरियानाम)

at 11-32-7; the Atharvaveda ( मन्त्राश्चाथवरणा:) at 11.32,26.21.

The authors of “The Vedic age” have described 2,350-1,950 B.C. as the period of Rama. This whole attempt has been made to put the whole Indian history within a compass of 5000 or 6000 years as the Christians generally do.

 

Describing Vaivatsava Manu as the first King, they say about his age :- “The year 3102 B.C. thus represents the age of Manu, the first traditional King in India.”

 

They have futher said :- “The flood in Mesopotamia is generally held to have occurred about 3100 B.C. The flood in India probably also occurred at the same time, and the date 3102 B.C. supposed to be the beginning of the Kali era, may therefore, commemorate this event.”

 

This is all pure fabrication of the mind of the authors. There is nothing to support the view that the deluge in Mesopotania coincided with a diluge in India.It is wrong to accept year 3,100 B.C _ which they regard to be the beginning of the Kalyug as the age of Satyug Era (of Vaivasvata Manu.)

 

Elaborating their point of view, the authors add :-

“Yayati who is fifth in descent from Manu and figures also in the Rigveda, thus flourished (18*5)=90 years after Manu or in  (3100-90 3010 B.C.) ……….. Rama flourished 65 generations after Manu, i.e. 3100-652×18-1930 B.C. These dates will, of course, have to be lowered by 400 years if the Bharata war is placed in 1000 B.C.”

 

It is apparent from the close look at their Writings that they have no definite knowledge about the date of the Mahabharata war.

At time they say it occurred in 1,400 B.C. and at other places, they say it was 1000 years ago.

 

They base their assumption about Yayati as the fifth in descent from Manu on the basis of following mantra of the Rigveda :-

rigveda 20

In this mantra Yayati has been taken to mean by the authors of the Vedic Age as a king who Was fifth in descent from Manu. But in reality it is not a proper noun but a common noun as discussed earlier in case of such characters.

The deravative meaning of the word Yayati (ययाति)is industrious. The word “ययाति” is derived from the root यति प्रयत्ने.

The mantra, as explained by Swami Dayanand, is as follows :-

dayanand 1

i.e. A leader should emulate the deeds of an industrious person,

About Rigveda period, Dr. Avinash Chandra Das writes in his book “Rigvedic India” :-

“The Rigveda must be held to be as old as the Miocine or the Pliocene Epoch whose age is to be computed by some hundreds of thousands, if not Millions of years. This at first sight would seem

to be extremely incredible. But it may be mentioned here in passing that the lndo-Aiyans believe the Rigveda to be as old as the creation of man, in other words, to have emanated fiom Brahman, the Creator Himself, and is regarded as Apauruseya i.e, not ascribable to any human agency, though the Risis or seers might have clothed the revealed truths and etemal ven`ties in language of their own from

time to time. This bereft of all exaggerations, would mean that the Rigveda has existed from time immemorial. To this belief of the Indo-Aryans, however, absured it might seem, the results of geological investigations, undoubtedly lend some strong colour.”

 

The three yugas-Sat, Dwapar and Treta, cover a period of four million three hundred twenty thousand years-(i.e. reckoned as one cycle.) Seventy one such cycles make up a period of time called mavantar( मन्वंतर” ) “Fourteen such manwantaras make up the life of a universe. Uptil now six manvantras have passed. And of the present Age, which is “Kaliyug“ only about 5,068 years have elapsed. That brings the age of this universe to about one hundred eighty six million two hundred thousand years.

 

According to the “Surya Siddhanta “, a famous work on astronomy and Manusmriti etc. in the seventh mantra it is said near 27 chaturyugis have passed and 28th  is in progress.

 

The years of each of the yuga are described thus:

SATYUGA      = 1726000

TRETAYUGA = 1296000

DWAPAR          = 864000

KALIYUGA     =  432000

This calculation is corroborated by the “Sankalpa” read out by the priests at the commencement of every Yagna :-

sankalp path

Works on modem science almost corroborate this oriental view about the age of the earth :-

 

“Some good evidence that the real age of the earth is two or three thousand million years has, been supplied by the study of the traces of Uranium and an isotope of lead (into which it slowly changes) in the layers of rocks.

 

The weight of scientific evidence is against an infinitely extended past, but the past which we formerly reckoned as six thousand years, cannot be shorter than 1800 million years and may be far longer”

 

In “The Outline of Modem knowledge” edited by William Rose, it is stated :-

“Our globe must be about two thousand million years old and can in no case be much older”.

 

H.G. Wells writes in the “Outline of History”:-

“Astronomers and Mathematicians give us 200 million years as the age of the earth (as a body separate from the sun.)”

We would like to conclude this chapter with a quotation from one of the Nobel Prize Winner Scientists in his book “Great Secret“:-

 

“As for the source of the primary source, it is almost impossible to re-discover them. Here we have only the assertions of the occultist tradition, which seem, here and there, to be confirmed by historical discoveries. This tradition attributes to the vast reservoir of the Wisdom that somewhere took shape simultaneously with the origin of man ….. .., entities, to beings less entangled in matter”

 

It is regrettable that ignoring all this latest scientific evidence of corroborating the age of the earth and the Vedas, the authors of the Vedic age have tried to compass the whole history of ancient India within a period of above 6000 years in accordance with the general Christian belief.

As we have shown earlier, the Vedas were revealed in the beginning of human Creation and, therefore, their age is the same as that of this earth.

 

 

 

RISHIS : AUTHORS OR SEERS?

RISHIS: AUTHORS OR SEERS?

FROM BOOK : Veda-The Myth and Reality ( A reply to Vedic Age )

Author : Pt Dharmdev Vidyamartand

We have tried in the earlier chapter to establish that Vedas, which are eternal, have been revealed by God Himself. We have also stressed their importance from different points of view. But Western scholars like Prof. Max Muller, Weber and Macdonell hold the view that Risis were the authors of Vedas. The mantras contained in the Vedas had been written by them from time to time, How can the Vedas then be etemal and Divinely revealed? Some of these scholars and authors even quote from Vedas and Sutras to support their contention. They say that Vasishtha, Jaamdagni, Angira, Kava, Bharadwaj, Gautam, Atri (whose names occur in the Vedas) were some of these authors. They also attempt to

reinforce their view by showing names of some countries and their kings extant in the Vedic “ballads”. Their detailed list is compiled by Prof. Macdonell and Dr. Keith. This list is entitled “ Vedic Index of Names and Subjects. ”

But the fact is that Risis are “seers’ and not the “authors” of the Vedas. The following is the definition of Risis given by Yaskacharya in Nirukta :

nirukta

Also Acharya Upmanyu has stated that, those who have  realised the true meaning and import of the mantras, are regarded as Risis. They were called Risis because they came to such realisation during the course of meditation and through penance. The realisation of the true meaning of the mantras, with all their mysteries, constitutes their seerhood.

Something similar to Acharya Upumanyu”s assertion is also found in Taittiríya Aranyaka (2.9.l):-

aryanak

The following from the Satpath Brahman also denotes the similar meaning: –

shatpat brahman

In Taittiriya Samhita, Aitareya Brahmana, Kanva Samhita,Satpatha Brahmana and Sarvanukramni etc, seers have been described as the Risis. lt is specified which mantras, suktas and the mandals were revealed to each :-

taitriya sanhinta

Though it is true that such names as Viswamitra, Jamadagni, Bharadwaja, Atri, Angiras, Priyamedha occur in the Vedas but it might be stressed here that they are epithets cannoting certain attributes and not proper nouns standing for particular individuals.

Again it is stated in Aitereya Brahmana that words like Grtsamada, Vísvamitra, Vamdeva, Atri, Bharadwaja, Vasistha, Pragatha, generally denote vital energy :

aitreya

As these words denote common attributes in accordance with the derivations given in the above passages, they can be used for men and places having such attributes. For example, one who considers everyone as his friend and whom everyone considers his friend, will be called “Visvamitra” ; One who prevents others from committing sins, will be known as Atri.

A man endowed with strength and knowledge will be called “Bharadawaja”. One who is well-versed in the science of respiration (प्राणविद्या)and is a true devotee of God will be named “Vasistha”. A person, who keeps his senses and intellect under control, will also be known by the same name.

One who develops good qualities or lives in God and is shining through His glory, is “ Vamadeva”. The same is true of other words occurring elsewhere in the Vedas.

In Satpath Brahmana, which is an authentic exposition of Yajurveda, it is said, that Vasishta stands for vital energy Bharadwaja for intellect, Vishwamítra means ears, Angirasa for spiritual energy, and Visvarkamian for speech.

satpath brahman

In Brhadaranyaka also, the words like “Gautam”, “Bharadwaja” are meant to denote senses :-

brihadaranayak

Here the two ears, two eyes, two nostrils and one speech have been called respectively Gautama, Bharadwaja, Jamadagní, Vasistha etc.

Words including Vasístha, Viswamitra, Jamadagni are not proper nouns denoting certain attributes as evident from the following:

vashshishta

Words like Kathaka, Kalapaka, Paippalada are- (missionaries of style) ( ).

Those who try to prove history in the Vedas are mistaken. For instance, when “Bhoj” occurs in Rigveda :-

rigveda 10.107.1

Surely it is not a particular name of the King bom in 11th or 12th  century A D, but refers to any king or any person who is charitable or who protects others.

In mantras like :

rigveda 8.2.16

Kanva” is not the name of a Risi or his progeny, but according to Nighantu, refers to all those who are endowed with sublime wisdom.

In the following mantra from Atharvaveda (18-3-16)

atharvaveda 18.13.16

Viswamitra ” is not the son of Gadhi; Jamadagni‘ is not the father of Parasurama, “Vasistha” is not the priest of he Suryavansis, as erroneously understood by a few scholars.

As pointed out earlier, Viswamitra stands for a man who looks upon everyone as his friend, Jamadagni for one who sees through the reality by his intellect or whose sight is pure; Vasistha is one who is Well-versed in the science of breath or who is the noblest of all by virtue of his inherent qualities; Bharawaja is one who is endowed with knowledge or purity of mind. One who is agile is Gautama, one who is constantly occupied in the devotion of God is Vamdeva. Atri is one who is free from all sufferings-spiritual, or material.

Sayanacharya has asserted that not only in the Vedas but even in Brahmanas, there is no human history. We, however, do not  are the living expositions of the Vedas by Risis. So, there is human history even in the Brahmans as evident from the following from Taittiriya

Aranyaka (2.9):

aryanak 2.9

But what can be more regrettable than this that the same Sayanacharya, who asserts that there is no human history even in the Brahmanas, gives historical interpretation of the following mantras from Rigveda (1-126-6) :

rigveda 1.126.6

“When seduced for an intercourse by his child-wife Romasa, Rishi Bhavahavya said to her jokingly: “And you are most worthy of enjoyment! You embrace me with arms outwardly and join your reproductive organ inwardly. What a wonderful woman you are! You’re so much attached to me! You’re like Nakuli, who never deserted her husband. There is a lot of vital energy in you. You are capable of providing one with sexual delight in more than hundred and one ways”

In fact, there is not a single word in the mantra denoting request by Romasa for an intercourse; nor is there any indication of any ridicule by Risi Bhavahavya.

ln his commentary Swami Dayanand has given the following explanation of the above mantra :-

mantra

i.e. (A man should follow that policy which gives manifold pleasures).

Thoughtful readers can compare the two explanations (given by Sayanacharya and Swami Dayananda respectively) objectively and decide for themselves which of them is more in keeping with the spirit of the Vedas as a whole and which is only strained and forced and based on fantasy. The next mantra of the same hymn is as follows (Rig. 1-126-7) :-

rigveda 1.126.7

Commenting on it says Sayanacharya :

sayancharya

Replying to Risi Bhavayaya, Romasa, daughter of Brihaspati and herself, a Brahmavadini, says :-

“Don’t think that I”m not fully matured and, therefore, not ripe for your enjoyment.

“My hair have fully grown. If you have any doubt, touch my hidden reproductive organ and discover it for yourself if I can give you pleasures of a paradise or not.”

Thus we see self-contradiction in Sayanacharya ‘s commentary : on the one hand he denies existence of any human history in the Vedas, nay even in Brahmanas, and on the other, he does not hesitate in giving obscene meaning of the so-called narration in the vedas relating to Bhavavaya-Romasa, Agastya

Lopamudra, Pururavas-Urvasi, Indra-Indrani etc.

Those who regard Risis to be authors of the mantras will have to face very strong objections which they will find difficult to rebut.

There are many mantras which are supposed to have more than hundred Risis. as for example in the following mantra from the Rigveda :-

rigveda 9.66.19

Are we going to believe that this mantra in Gayatri  Chhanda (containin g only 24 letters), was written jointly by 100 Risis? Can any impartial scholar accept this absurd assumption?

In fact, instead of writing the mantra, the 100 Risis only realized the true spirit of the mantra and revealed its secret to others. There is nothing incongruous or absurd in this interpretation.

There are supposed to be 1,000 Risis of the three mantras of the 34th hymn of Rigveda’s 8th  Mandal :

rigveda 8.34

It would be highly absurd and ridiculous to believe that 1,000 Risis authored these three mantras.But there is nothing irrational in believing that they were the interpreters of the same. Another objection that can be raised against believing that Risis were the authors of the Vedas is: how is it that there are different Risis of not only the same mantras in different Vedas but of the

same mantras at different places in the same Vedas? For example :-

(1) In Rigvedas (4.4.83) the Risi of the mantra

rig 4.4.83

is Vamadeva, but in Yajurveda (17-91), it is Sadhyah.

The Risi of the following mantra is “Bharadwaja“ when it occurs in Atharveda (1.20.4)

atharva 1.20.4

but not so in Rigveda.

The Risi of the following mantra is Yakasma-Nasana Prajapati  in Rigveda (l0.l6l.l) and Brahman in Atharvaveda (3.11.1)

rig 10.161.1

In Rigveda, the Risi of the following mantra is Agastya but when it occurs again in the Sama Veda (40.l6), its Rishi is Dadhyan Atharvana.

samveda 40.16

We can produce hundreds of examples in which Risis of the same mantras differ from mandala to mandala in a particular Veda.

lt is very difficult to explain away the change in the names of the Risi if we attribute to them their authorship. while no such difficulty arises if we take these Risis as only their seers and not their authors. How can we, otherwise, save these Risis from the allegation of plagiarism. But such a charge becomes incongiuous with the concept of the Risi as defined in the Scriptures.

WHO ARE RISIS?

In Yajurveda’s 34-49 Rishis have been described as follows-

yajurveda 34.49

(Those who study together the religious yore, who read together the Vedas and enjoy happiness, who retum from the Gurukula after observing Brahmacharya and completing their studies, who are together advanced in knowledge, who are masters of seven Divine forces, are veritable Risis, the knowers of the Vedas. Such calm, wise persons, viewing the path of ancient sages, take up the reins of noble deeds, as on a highway, a chariot driver does.

Defining Risis, it is stated in Mundaka :-

mundak

(i.e. Risis are those who, realising the Omniscience of God, are filled with knowledge and lead a contented, satisfied and peaceful life.)

Yaskaracharya in Nirukta defines Risis as :

 साक्षात्कृतधर्माण ऋषयो बभूवु: |

(Risis are those who realise the true religion)

It is unfortunate that the late Kanhaya Lal Munshí attributed to them the authority of mantras (which he did not even understand) and wrote thus about them in the preface to “Lopamudra “ :-“Risis who had flat noses were black in colour and lived on the charity of presents of Das and Dasis. They were usually intoxicated throughout the day and night and often betrayed a fit of anger. They praised those who made the offering of cows. They were sometimes extremely jealous of each other and in anger, tried to invoke the gods for their wrath on their adversaries.

“The young among them tried to attraet the opposite sex by their gesticulations and exhibitionism. They wrote mantras with a motive to captivate the hearts of the young maidens.”

When our readers compare the description of the Risis given in Lopamudra with that which emerges from the Vedas, Upanishads and Nirukta, they will themselves know the reality. lt will be evident then that the Risis, as described in the Vedas and the Upanishads cannot be “greedy, full of anger, and lustful” as depicted in Lopamudra. The picture of the Risis delineated in this book is highly condemnable.

The allegation that “the Risis used to compose mantras to allure the beautiful women is highly insulting, particularly as it has not been substantiated by the text of the Scriptures. How can the allegation be accepted when it is not in harmony with the true concept of the Risis?

We have already given a number of quotations from ancient literature defining the true character of the Rishis. The Risis picked up such names from the Vedas as appealed to them because of their deravative meaning. lt was just like followers of a religious faith choosing from their Scriptures, names for their spiritual heads. Or their new borns as being witnessed at all times. Besides, there are hundreds of examples to show that these names are generally imaginative or are just nick names.

It is generally observed that if a person is devoted to some

cause or a mission he becomes so much indentified with it that he

is sometimes named after it. For example, Mahatma Munshi Ram ji, who sacrificed his life for the Gurukula Kangri (which he had founded), had come to be known as Gurukula himself. “Here comes

the Gurukula”, people used to say when he arrived at any place.

A man had come to be known as .JayantiPrasad for he was working for the golden jubilee celebrations of the Gurukula.

The same is true of how the Risis came to be known by the names occurring in the Vedas.

The names ofthe Risis also had similar origin in many cases. Hundreds of examples can be given to prove the above contention leaving no scope for any misunderstanding.

Rigveda’s 10.90 is called “Purush Sukta “ which begins with:-

rig 10.90

This sukta, which gives a description of God and his creation has appropriately “Narayana ” as its Risi.

The word Naryan is synonym for God. The root of this word has been given thus in Manusmriti :–

manusmriti 2

Rigveda’s 10.97 is devoted to praise of medical science and its Risi accordingly is “Bhishaq ” (i.e. a doctor)

Rigveda”s 10.101 has its theme as विश्वे देवा ऋत्विजो वा I lt is, therefore, quite appropriate, that its Risi is बुध: सौम्य: (an intellectual and sober person).

The risi of Rigveda`s 10.106 is दिव्यो दक्षिणा वा (giver of charity) which is quite in keeping with the spirit of its content which deals with the importance of donations.

Rigvedafs 10.117 is in praise of charity of money and food grains and its Risi is भिक्षु:I

It is quite logical that Rigveda’s 10-121 which has Hiranyagarbha as its Risi, should deal with God, the Giver of happiness.

Likewise अग्नि: (Fire) is both the theme and the Risi of RigVeda’s l0-124.

In Rigveda’s 10-125 also, the subject matter and Rishi are the same. ( वागामभ्रूणी )

The famous hymn of Rigveda`s 10.190 which begins with ऋतं च सत्यं चाभीध्दात तपसोSध्यजायत | gives an account of the creation and its order and teaches us to refrain from committing sins. Its Rishi is अघमर्षण’ because the way to save oneself from sins is meditation on God.

Another well-known hymn of Ri gveda’ s 10.191 contains such mantras as संगच्छध्वं, संवद्ध्वम सं वो मनांसि जानताम  etc, calling for unity and friendship among all. The Rishi of this hymn is संवनन: ‘(one who is friendly to all).

In his introduction to Rigveda’s commentary, Swami Dayanand raises the question : Why should we not believe that Rishis, whose names occur at the top of mantras, or hymns in the Vedas, were their authors and replies :

rig commentary

(lt is not correct to believe so. Even Brahma listened to the Vedas and studied them. Brahma possessed the Vedas even before the Rishis were born.

Swami Dayanand’s view, given above, has been endorsed by Svetasvatra upanishad(6-18) :

upnishad 6.18

||इति||

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-