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English Translation of “Bharathiya Samskruthi” (2019) | Page 68

Chapter 4 Part - I Vedic Culture अनन्था वै वेदा : | नावे दववन्मनुते तम्ब्रुहन्तम् || (तैत्तरिया संवहथा) Veda denotes knowledge. This ethereal knowledge helps us to achieve salvation. The Veda teaches us the mystical and extra sensory universal truths in a subtle manner. The four Purusharthas – Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are four important stages in a man’s life. The two aspects Artha (commerce) and Kama (desire for worldly things) can be understood through general day to day transactions. But to learn about Dharma (righteous living) and Moksha (salvation) we have to study Veda. The mundane experiences of daily life and from study of other disciplines, a scientific knowledge can be acquired. But the attainment of Moksha (enlightenment), which is the ultimate knowledge to be gained on this Earth is beyond logic and reason. This can be realised only through the Veda, as they are books of revelations. The supra-natural visions of the great seers, which are ensconced in the Vedic hymns can alone give us the key to this wisdom. This ancient and eternal knowledge, which is not of human creation will help us to realise the Godhead to achieve a universal knowledge and it empowers our mind and heart. The humanly contrived logic does not help us in this great endeavour, because of its obvious limitations1. The Theistic schools of Philosophy believe that though Vedas are divine creation, but still they are visions revealed to seers for the benefit of humanity. But spokespersons for the Mimamsa school of Philosophy state that whether we accept the existence of God or not, the performance of Yagna is of utmost importance. The worship of divine Goddess is not that important, because the Yagna Karma gives us the fruits of our action. ___________________________ Footnotes 1.

Quotation from Shankara Bhasya Brahmasutra 1, 1.3

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English Translation of “Bharathiya Samskruthi” (2019) | Page 69

Hence, the hymns of Veda are blemish-less and pure, as they are revelations made to Rishis by a divine force. Even if you concede that Vedas are a divine creation and though it does contain a vocabulary of common usage, still it is acknowledged as containing universal wisdom. To comprehend the true meaning of Vedic hymns, one must master these disciplines – “Shadanga” [the six different disciplines: 1) Shikhsa 2) Vyakarna 3) Chandas 4) Nirukta 5) Jyotisha 6) Kalpa], a study of “History” and “Puranas” etc are essential requirements. The true meaning of Vedic hymns cannot be comprehended through a loose and free interpretation of the same. A mere historical and contextual analysis will not help. Through scientific analysis or by linguistic analysis it cannot be probed. The Vedic hymns do not lend themselves for interpretation through the ideological pedagogy of different schools of Philosophy. Neither a single narrow myopic vision nor by examining it through coloured glasses of individual biases will assist us in grasping the quintessential mysteries of Vedic hymns. A proper preparation and training through an enlightened Guru alone can open the mystical nature of Vedic hymns. The number of disciplines employed to understand the true meaning of Vedas is termed as “Veda Vagmaya” (the Vedic Corpus of allied subjects). So to understand the Vedic culture we have to wade through Brahmanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads, Shadangas, Sutras and Sastras. Then only a critical analysis of Vedic hymns is possible. The Date of Veda: According to thinkers of Mimamsa School, Veda is eternal and endless. In other words it has no beginning and no end and ageless. It is believed that at the end of an age, the Earth experiences a doomsday. Everything on Earth is destroyed. When a new age dawns, Brahma creates everything afresh. The four Vedas, which have disappeared again takes a new birth through visionary seers. It is believed the same four Vedas are cycled and recycled after every age. But the adherents of Purva-Mimamsa School of Philosophy do not endorse this theory of creation and destruction. They do not believe in the existence of an ancient age.

___________________________ Footnotes 1.

Quotation from Vedanta Paribhasa

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English Translation of “Bharathiya Samskruthi” (2019) | Page 70

All the created verbal expressions are endless and deathless. (Nahikadachidapi Anidrusham Jagat). The Vocals are eternal. These sounds may acquire different shades of meaning in due course like sarcasm, irony or ridicule. But these sounds cannot beget new words with independent meanings. Therefore sound is eternal and it becomes a pramana (proof – Shabda Pramana). Some Western scholars have evolved various arguments to substantiate their theory with regard to the date of Vedas. Schlegel and Albrecht Weber feel that the exact date for the composition of Veda cannot be fixed. The Vedic scholarship is the most ancient form of knowledge of mankind. According to them this is the most ancient record of human history. Max Mueller and few other scholars have concluded that Rigveda mandals were composed in this order – 4, 5 and 6 appeared first. Later 2, 3, 7, 8 and 9 appeared lastly the first and tenth mandalas were composed. They determined that each mandala must have taken 200 years. They concluded that Vedas were composed between 1500 – 1200 B. C.1 Recently Walther Wanst came to conclusion on the basis of a study of grammar of various Mandalas that 9th Mandala is the oldest (1500 B. C.). According to him the remaining Mandalas appeared in this order – 4, 3, 7, 2, 6, 5, 8, 1 and 10th Mandala. In his considered opinion the 10th Mandala was composed in 1000 B. C.2 All these speculations with regard to the age of Mandalas based on linguistic analysis are unreliable and lacks proof or evidence. The Vedic scholar Simmermann opines that an intensive study of Rigveda Mandalas does not show any stylistic differentiation in it’s composition. The 9th Mandala is dedicated to the worship of God Soma. These hymns are culled from 2nd and 7th Mandalas. Though 2nd and 7th Mandalas may have been composed at different periods, but when it was collected and reproduced in the 9th Mandala, we do not see any changes in its content or style. According to Western scholars the passage of time has left its imprint on mandalas. But in fact there is no evidence to show any stylistic variation has taken place over centuries.

___________________________ Footnotes 1.

S. Srikantha Sastri; Proto – Indic Religion

2.

Walther Wanst: Vergleichendes Worter buch des Alt – Indoarischen (Alt – Indischen), 1934 Munich

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Hermann Georg Jacobi and Lokamanya Tilak fixed the date of Rigveda between 4500 B. C. and 6000 B. C. The historian A. C. Das fixes the date at 25,000 B. C. and Prof S. V. Venkateswara fixes it at 10,000 B. C.1 In the famous inscription of Bokhazkoi and Tell – Al – Amarna manuscripts Vedic Gods are mentioned along with Babylonian Gods. “(Ilani) Mitar Ash sheel (Ilani) (Mitra), urvan ash sheel (arun ashsheel), (Ilu) [Indar (Varun) - transcription] (Indra) (Ilani) Nsa – Tathi e A ) N. – N (na – sha – ath – thi – e – a – a – Aan – N) (Nsathya)”. Here the Indian Vedic Gods Mitra, Varuna and Nasathya are mentioned. In the opinion of Lesni, the Mittani language employed in the Boghazkoi inscription of Turkey is a unknown Indo-Aryan dialect. Hermann Oldenberg, Arthur Berridale Keith, Arthur Anthony Macdonald looks upon this language as Indo-Iranian. But scholars such as Hermann George Jacobi and Sten Konow consider it as a purely Indian language. We have stated already that Indo-Hatti and Hieroglyphic Hattili are Aryan languages. We can deduce from this study that Mittani, Luilee language, Hurrily, Nasili, Palumnili and other languages originated in Anatolia region around 3000 B. C. Later in Iran the sound ‘sa’ came to be pronounced as ‘ha’ for example Simalia – Himalaya, Asura – ahura, Soma – Homa etc. Around 1000 B. C. the Avesta language got separated from this group. Rigveda is definitely older than 3000 B. C. from the standpoint of linguistics. The Taitteriya Samhita, Shatapatha Brahmana and Taitteriya Brahmana were perhaps composed in 11,000 B. C. I have come to this conclusion on the basis of astrological evidences found in these texts. We can say Brahmanas were composed around 3000 B. C.2 We can decide the age of Vedas from a history of cultural practices. It has been mentioned in Rigveda Samhita that such yagna as “Ashvamedha Yagna” was also performed in olden times. The Proliski horse had been tamed and thoroughbred in Asian prairies, by Sumerian people around 3000 B. C. Any reference to horse in Rigveda does not mean it is of recent origin; because, we have the assumption that horses came to Indian sub-continent quite late. ___________________________ Footnotes 1. 2.

S. Srikantha Sastri – Proto Indic Religion. P 59 – 60. S. V. Venkateswara – 10, 000 B. C.; A. C. Das – 25, 000 B. C.

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Even today the implements and tools used in the performance of Yagna such as, Spya, Kapala, Agnihotrahavani, Shurpa, Krishnajina (thee deer skin), Shamya, Ulukhala, Musala. Dhrushath, Upala and Arani etc are manufactured from stone, wood, bones and skins goes to show that this ritualistic practise originated in stone age. Amongst metals – Copper and Gold are considered sacred. This shows that the practise of Yagna began in Copper – Stone age. I have considered the hymns of Rigveda to have been collated in 10,000 B. C., because they were enjoined in a particular sequence, so as to enable the Hotri to perform Yagna in a systematic manner.

Part II The Faculty of Vedic Scholarship

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8. Chapter 4 - English Translation of "Bharathiya Samskruthi" (2019)  

Dr S. Srikanta Sastri's Famous Kannada Work on Indian Culture & Tradition titled "Bharathiya Samskruthi" was first published in 1953 and has...

8. Chapter 4 - English Translation of "Bharathiya Samskruthi" (2019)  

Dr S. Srikanta Sastri's Famous Kannada Work on Indian Culture & Tradition titled "Bharathiya Samskruthi" was first published in 1953 and has...

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