VEDAS – Holy Revelation

Posted by on Aug-29-2009

When you ask a question, what is the greatest contribution of Indian culture and heritage? We can say beyond doubt, it is the ancient texts – the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranaas, the Ithihaasas , texts that analyse human life and  secrets of humans existence , as if one peels and onion.

The texts are self explanatory about the foresight of Ancient Indians and their judicious approach to human life.

Out of these ancient religious texts , the Vedas form the base on which all the others are reckoned. Four in number- namely Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atherva- Vedas are the oldest religious texts.

The Vedas are the ancient scriptures or revelation of the Hindu teachings. They manifest the Divine Word in human speech. They reflect into human language the language of the Gods, the Divine powers that have created us and which rule over us.

Each of the four Vedas consists of four parts. The primary portion is the mantra or hymn section . To this are appended ritualistic teachings and theological sections . Finally philosophical sections are included. The hymn sections are the oldest. The others were added at a later date and each explains some aspect of the hymns or follows one line of interpreting them.

The compilation of the Vedas started around 3500 B.C. and even at that time were hardly understood and only in recent times has their spiritual import, like that of the other mystery teachings of the ancient world, begun to be rediscovered or appreciated even in India. Like the Egyptian teachings, Vedas are veiled, symbolic and subtle and require a special vision to understand and use properly.

As a body of writing, the Rig-Veda is nothing short of remarkable. It contains 1028 hymns dedicated to thirty-three different gods; these gods were, quite expectedly, nature gods. The most often addressed gods are Indra (rain god; king of heavens), Agni (fire god) and Rudra (storm god).

The Yajur-Veda or the wisdom of sacrifices lays down various sacred invocations (yajurs) which were chanted by a particular sect of priests called adhvaryu. They performed the sacrificial rites. This is very much a ritual based Veda for although there are a few hymns to various Gods the main stress is on the theory of the ritual. The Veda also outlines various chants which should be sung to pray and pay respects to the various instruments which are involved in the sacrifice.

The Sama-Veda or the wisdom of chants is basically a collection of samans or chants, derived from the eighth and ninth books of the ‘original Veda’, the Rig-Veda. These were meant for the priests who officiated at the rituals of the soma ceremonies in full sway there could have as many as seventeen full rituals. As time went along rituals and ceremonies of worship became increasingly intricate and the simplicity of the original Rig-Vedic age was slowly forgotten. Thus a need arose to compile all the rituals and their chants in a book, as a sort of reference point for the priests whose functions this Veda clearly puts down.

The Atharva-Veda (the wisdom of the Atharvans) is called so because the families of the atharvan sect of the Brahmins have traditionally been credited with the composition of the Vedas. It is a compilation of hymns but lacks the awesome grandeur which makes the Rig-Veda such a breathtaking spiritual experience. It is roughly equivalent to the western magic spells and has incantations for everything, from success in love to the realization of otherworldly ambitions.

The Rig Veda is considered as the oldest religious text traditional date goes back to 3500BC, something which the German scholar Max Mueller accepted. However, modern historians, especially the Western ones, have now reached a consensus that its oldest parts were written around a more cautious 1200BC.

Little do they realize that a book as great as Rig Veda, cannot be written in a day, a week or in a year. It takes thousands of years and millions of man hours to conceive and reproduce the thoughts as divine as those in Rig Veda and a work like it which might have started around 3500 BC may have been over by around 1200 BC.

I think it’s the prejudice of the Western world which is speaking and not the historians. The greatness of the contents are however unchallengeable, so left option less, they challenge the time of their origin , to prove they are not the first form of religious teachings.

Jealousy has no boundaries!!!!!!

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