Chapter 3,The Origin Of The Vedas

The Rigveda, the YajurVeda, the Samaveda and the Atharveda were produced by the

Supreme and perfect Being, Parabrahman, who possesses the attributes of self-existence, consciousness and bliss, who is Omnipotent and universally adored. The meaning is that the four Vedas were revealed by God alone.

[The word ‘sarvahuta’ can also be taken as an adjective qualifying the Vedas because they also are worthy of acceptance to all].

“(Tasmat) from (sarvahutah) the universally adored Being the (Yajna) Vishnu – the all-pervading were produced the Riks and the Samans. (Tasmat) from Him (jajnire) were produced (Chhandansi) the Atharvaveda (tasmat) from Him (ajayata) was produced (Yajus) the Yajurveda (Tr) The Yajur Veda.

In the mantra the verbs ‘Jagnire’ and ‘Ajayata’ both meaning ‘produced’ are used to show that the Vedas contain numerous sciences. *
Similarly the pronoun ‘tasmat’ (from him) is used twice for the purpose of laying stress on the fact that God alone is the author of the Vedas.

The Vedas contain various meters – Gayatri, etc., but notwithstanding this, the word chhandansi meters – is used to indicate that the Atharvaveda also was revealed by God.

The word ‘Yajna’ means ‘Vishnu’ according to Shatapatha I:1:1. (Yasho vai Vishnu) where it is said ‘verily Vishnu is Yajna.’ Now Vishnu means God. See Yajurveda V:15 (Edam Vishnu virchakrame tredadhe padam). The attribute of creating the universe can be applicable to God alone.

[He is called Vishnu because He pervades the animate and the inanimate world].

Tell me who is that Divine Being, the Almighty and Supreme Brahman by whom was produced the Rigveda, by whom was brought to light the Yajurveda and by whom were made the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda; or metaphorically,
who is He whose mouth – the foremost par – is the Atharvaveda; the hair, the Samaveda; the heart, the Yajurveda and the breath, the Rigveda? This is a question. The answer to it is: know thou that that Being is the Skambha – the all sustaining God.

The meaning is that no other Deva than the all-sustaining God is the author of the Vedas. Yajnavalkya addressing Maitreyi! The four Vedas – Rik and others – came out of God who transcends even space easily and naturally like the breath. As the breath comes out of the body and is again taken into it, so the Vedas revealed by God and are again withdrawn (at the time of dissolution).
Some might here object; How could the Vedas, consisting as they do of words, be produced by God who has no bodily organs? Our reply to this is that such an objection cannot rise in connection with the Almighty.

He has always the power of acting without the help of such instruments as the mouth, the breath, etc. Besides this, as at the time of thinking we pronounce words, ask and answer questions mentally so we may believe that the same is true of God also. Verily the almighty can never require the help of any body or thing in His work.

It is true, we cannot do anything without aids and helps, but such is not the case with God. When the incorporeal God has fashioned the entire cosmos what objection can possibly be raised to his having made the Vedas? God had created extremely wonderful objects in the world, whose composition is as fine as that of the Vedas.

(The objector may retort that the analogy is not true) because in the case of the creation of the world no one except God could have done it, but in the case of the composition of the Vedas men might have had the power to compose.
Them just as they got the power to write other books. As to this we have to observe that men have been able to write books after studying the Vedas of Divine authorship and not otherwise. Even now we see that no one can become learned without self-study and receiving instruction from others.

Men acquire knowledge by reading books, receiving oral instruction from others and observing the course of events. Suppose you were able to keep a human child up to his death in a lonely place, taking care, of course, to provide him with food, drink, etc., but never holding the slightest intercourse with him by means of speech, etc. Now as that child would not acquire the smallest knowledge worth the name and as the wild dwellers of the great forests behave like beasts until they receive instruction others, so men too, would have continued to behave like beasts from the beginning of creation to the present day if they had not received instruction through the Vedas. What to say then of their composing books?

The objector might further say that our position was untenable because God has given man innate knowledge which was superior to
all book-learning and without which even the knowledge of the revelation of Vedic words and their meanings would have been impossible to acquire. Men would write books by improving that knowledge and it was not necessary to believe in the Divine authorship of the Vedas.

Having arrived at this point we ask:-
Did not God give this innate knowledge to the child who was kept in a solitary place without receiving any instruction, as described above, or to the dwellers of the great forests?

Also how is it that we do not become learned without receiving instruction from others and without studying the Vedas? It is, therefore, proved that mere innate knowledge is of little avail to man without instruction and study.

As men write books after learning many things from their teachers and by studying the works of the learned and by associating with them so all men have ultimately to depend on Divine knowledge.

Now, in the beginning of creation there was no system to teaching and learning, nor was there any book to read; consequently, it was not possible for any man to have acquired knowledge without receiving instructions
from God. Men not being independent in the matter of empirical knowledge and innate knowledge alone being insufficient for the acquisition of knowledge in general, how could men have written books (without extraneous help)?

The position that innate knowledge is self-sufficient is absurd, because like the eye it falls under the category of instruments. As the eye is unable to do anything without the co-operation of the mind so innate knowledge also cannot accomplish anything without the help of Divine knowledge and the learning of learned men.

The question, ‘what was God’s object in revealing the Vedas? – should be met by the counter question, ‘what could be His object in not revealing them? To this the objector can only say: ‘No one knows how to answer this question.’ We shall now describe God’s object in revealing the Vedas.

Q. – Is God’s knowledge infinite or is it not?
A. ~ It is.
Q. – Of what use is it to Him?
A. ~ It is for His own benefit.
Q. – But, does not God do good to others?
A. ~ He does, but what of that?
This shows that knowledge has for its object the interests of self as well as of others. If God were not to employ His knowledge for our instruction it would become useless in one respect. By employing His knowledge in the shape of the Vedas for the instructional purposes He only rendered it useful for others.

God is most merciful like a father. As a father always show kindness to his children so did God in His great mercy reveal the Vedas for the benefit of all men. If He had done so gross ignorance would have been perpetuated and men could not have achieved righteousness, worldly prosperity, enjoyment and emancipation and would have been deprived of the highest bliss.

When the most merciful God created bulbous roots, fruits and herbs, etc., for the good of His creatures, why should He not have revealed the Vedic knowledge which brings to light all kinds of happiness and contains all sciences.

The pleasure one experiences in enjoying the best things of the world does not equal the one thousandth part of the pleasure one feels after acquiring knowledge.

It is, therefore, certain that the Vedas were revealed by God.
Q. – Whence did God get the writing materials such as a pen, ink, paper, etc., for writing the books of the Vedas?

A. ~ Ha! Ha! This is, indeed, a formidable objection, you have made. As God created the world without the help of bodily organs, the hands, the feet, etc., and without the aid of such materials as wood, clay, etc., so He made the Vedas also. You do not raise such a doubt in connection with the composition of the Vedas by God Almighty. He did not, however, produce the Vedas in the form of books in the beginning.

Q. – In what form then (did He produce them)?

A. ~ He revealed them to the consciousness of Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angirasa.

Q. – But they (fire, air, sun, light) are inanimate objects devoid of consciousness?

A. ~ No, they were human beings in human bodies in the beginning of creation. No inanimate object can be capable of doing an intellectual act. When it is not possible to
take word in its literal sense, it is taken in its indirect or secondary sense, e.g., if a trustworthy gentleman were to tell another that the bedsteads were shouting then others would understand that men sitting on the bedsteads were shouting.

The same course should be adopted here also (i.e., in taking Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angirasa as names of human beings and not as names of inanimate objects, fire, air, sun and light); for, the light of knowledge can shine in man alone. On this point there is the authority of the Shatapatha XI. 5-8-3 where it is said that from them, when they meditated, were produced the three Vedas, viz., from Agni was produced the Rigveda, from Vayu, the Yajurveda, and from Surya the Samaveda. God inspired their consciousness and produced the Vedas through them.

Q. – That’s all right. God gave them knowledge, and with that knowledge they composed the Vedas.

A. ~ No, you should not take it in this sense. God gave them knowledge in the shape of the Vedas.
Q.- Was that God’s knowledge or was it theirs?

A. ~ God’s no doubt.

Q. – Then who composed the Vedas, God or they?

A. ~ God because He is the real author of the Vedas, they being His own knowledge.

[We have introduced the objection that the Vedas were composed by them i.e., Agni, etc., for making the argument convincing].

Q. – Is God just or is He partial?

A. ~ He is just.

Q. – Why then did He reveal the Vedas to the minds of four men only and why not to the minds of all?

A. ~ This does not make God partial in the least. On the contrary, it brings into clear light the justice of a just God. Justice means to award one fruits according to one’s actions. The (four rishis, Agni, etc.,) possessed
previous merit and it was but proper that the Vedas should have been revealed to their minds.

Q. – But they were born in the beginning of creation, whence did they get previous merit?

A. ~ All Jivas (great souls) are without a beginning in their nature; and their actions and this great effect – the universe (with and without spherical bodies) also, are without a beginning. They are like the members of a series which has not beginning and which flows on continually. We shall adduce proofs in support of their having no beginning later on.

Q. – Were the meters – the Gayatri (mantras) and others also composed by God?

A. ~ Whence arose this doubt? God know all the sciences and He has, therefore, knowledge requisite for composing the meters – the Gayatri and others. This doubt is consequently groundless.

Q. – Does not the tradition say that the Vedas were composed by the four-faced Brahma?

A. ~ Don’t say so. Tradition is included in the proof called ‘oral testimony’ which has
been defined by Gotamacharya in the Nyaya Shastra I:7, as the saying of a trustworthy person (Apta). The commentary of Vatsyayana on the above aphorism is to the following effect. “An Apta is he who has realized the truth (about a thing) and who, actuated by a desire to instruct others, represents to them the facts exactly as they have fallen under his own observation. Apti is the realization of truth about a thing and a person who possesses it is called an Apta.

That tradition alone is, therefore, authoritative which is true and not that which is false. Consequently, that tradition is Aitihya and worthy of acceptance which stands the tests of truth and is the saying of a trustworthy person and not that which is false and (unworthy of credit) like the ravings of a mad man.

The saying that the Vedas were composed by Vyasa or the Rishis is also false. The modern Puranas and the Tantric books (which contain such stories) are worthless and of no use whatever.
Q. – Why can it not be the case that the Mantras and Suktas were composed by the Rishis whose names are written over them?

A. ~ Do not say so, because Brahma and others themselves studied the Vedas and learnt them from others. There is a passage in the Shvetashvataropanishad 6:18., which says: ‘He (God) who first creates Brahman and then gives the Vedas to him!’ Manu also bear testimony to the fact that the Vedas were known to Brahma when the Rishis had not been even born. For, says Manu in 1:13 ‘for the purpose of the success of the Yajna He (God) milked (caused to be revealed) from Agni, Vayu, Ravi the three eternal Vedas, the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, and the Samveda’,
and again in 2:153: ‘Kavi, the young son of Angiras, taught his fathers (elders)’. Brahma himself learnt the Vedas from Agni, etc. what then should we say of Vyasa and others?

Q. – Why are the Rik and the others Samhitas given two names, viz., Vedas and Shruti?

A. ~ Because each of these names connotes qualities. The world ‘Veda’ is formed by adding the suffix ‘ghan’ to the roots ‘vida’ to know, ‘Vida’ to exist, ‘Vidalri’ to get, obtain and ‘Vida’ to think, in accordance with the rule ‘halashcaha’ in the instrumental ad locative (Karaka) noun-relations.

Similarly the word ‘Shruti’ is formed by adding the suffix ‘ktin’ to the root ‘Shru’ to hear in the instrumental noun-relation. The Samhitas are called Veda because all men know all true sciences in or through them, or because all true sciences exist in them, or because men become learned by studying them. The Samhitas are called
‘Shruti’ because from the beginning of creation to the present day Brahma and others have heard all true sciences read out of them. The Vedas having been revealed by God who has no bodily organs, no one ever saw them being composed by a being having a corporeal body. God used Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angirasa as His instruments only for revealing the Vedas.

The Vedas are not the products of their minds. God being possessed of perfect knowledge the relations between the Vedic words and their meanings also were established by Him.

It is, therefore, established that God revealed the Vedas through Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angirasa who were Jivas in human bodies.

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