WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FOUR VEDAS,UPANISHADS SRUTI & SMRTI ?ARE VEDAS IN CODE LAGUAGE?-PILL
MEANING OF VEDAS;- 05 FACTS;- 1- Veda is a Sanskrit word from the root, vid, meaning “to know." Thus, veda means "knowledge" or "wisdom." or vision, and it serves to manifest the language of the gods in human speech. The laws of the Vedas have regulated the social, legal, domestic and religious customs of Hindus up to the present day. All the obligatory duties of Hindus at birth, marriage, death etc. are guided by Vedic rituals. 2-The Vedas are considered the earliest literary record of Indo-Aryan civilization and the most sacred books of India. They are the original scriptures of Hindu teachings, containing spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of life. The philosophical maxims of Vedic literature have stood the test of time, and the Vedas form the highest religious authority for all aspects of Hinduism and are a respected source of wisdom for mankind in general. 3-The Vedas are the oldest Hindu sacred texts, considered by many to be the most authoritative of all the texts. They are also the oldest known texts that contain yogic teachings. The Vedas are written in Sanskrit and originated in ancient India. There are four Vedas, or books, which make up the collection of Vedic literature. 4-The Sanskrit word, veda, means "knowledge." The Vedas are also referred to by some as sruti literature, meaning “what is heard,” as opposed to other sacred smrti texts, meaning “what is remembered." In this way, they are considered to be the direct word of the Divine. 5-Orthodox schools of Indian philosophy take the Vedas as their spiritual authority. Other schools may not accept them as the authority, but still teach ideas that are expressed in the Vedas, such as the concept of karma. ORIGIN OF THE VEDAS;- 04 FACTS;- 1-It is difficult to say when the earliest portions of the Vedas came into existence, but it seems clear they are among the very earliest written wisdom documents produced humans. As the ancient Hindus seldom kept any historical record of their religious, literary and political realization, it is difficult to determine the period of the Vedas with precision. 2-Historians provide us many guesses but none are guaranteed to be precise. It is thought, though, that the earliest Vegas may date back to roughly 1700 BCE—the late Bronze Age. 3-The Vedas were written down thousands of years ago, but it is believed that they contain knowledge and wisdom that originated even long before then, passed down orally. Very little is known about the writers of the texts. 4-In fact, Hindus regard the Vedas to be authorless, or not of man. Instead, they believe that they were originally revealed to ancient sages through divine inspiration.Yoga that derives from the Vedas is known as Vedic yoga. WHO WROTE THE VEDAS?- 02 FACTS;- 1-Tradition has it that humans did not compose the revered compositions of the Vedas, but that God taught the Vedic hymns to the sages, who then handed them down through generations by word of mouth. 2-Another tradition suggests that the hymns were "revealed," to the sages, who were known as the seers or “mantradrasta” of the hymns. The formal documentation of Vedas was done mainly by Vyasa Krishna Dwaipayana around the time of Lord Krishna (c. 1500 BC) FOUR CLASSIFICATION OF THE VEDAS;- 1-The Vedas are classified into four volumes ;- A-"Rig Veda" > The most important Veda. It contains mantras and hymns for happiness, health and wisdom, including the famous Gayatri mantra. B-"Sama Veda" > A collection of musical hymns and mantras that form the basis for kirtan, the devotional chanting of Bhakti yoga. C-"Yajur Veda" > The instructional handbook for the technical aspects of ceremonies, sacrificial acts and worship of the deities. This is used by Vedic priests. D-"Atharva Veda" > A collection of magical rites and spells to dispel demons and disease, as well as hymns for marriage and cremation. NOTE;-The four Vedas are collectively known as “Chathurveda, ” of which the first three Vedas--Rig Veda, Sama Veda, and Yajur Veda--agree with one another in form, language and content.Rig Veda serving as the principal text. STRUCTURE OF THE VEDAS;- 04 FACTS;- 1-Each Veda consists of four parts;-- A-The Samhitas (hymns) >Mantras and hymns for chanting B-The Brahmanas (rituals)> Commentaries on rituals and ceremonies C-The Aranyakas (theologies >Details of rituals and ceremonies for liturgy D-The Upanishads (philosophies)> Discussion of meditation, philosophy and spiritual knowledge.The underlying philosophy, or teaching, of the Vedas is the concept that the individual is not an independent entity, but, rather, a part of the Universal Conscious. 2-The collection of mantras or hymns is called the Samhita.The Brahmanas are ritualistic texts that include precepts and religious duties. Each Veda has several Brahmanas attached to it. 3-The Aryanyakas (forest texts) intend to serve as objects of meditation for ascetics who live in forests and deal with mysticism and symbolism. 4-The Upanishads form the concluding portions of the Veda and is therefore called the “Vedanta” or the end of the Veda. The Upanishads contain the essence of Vedic teachings. THE MOTHER OF ALL SCRIPTURES;- 03 FACTS;- 1-Although the Vedas are seldom read or understood today, even by the devout, they no doubt form the bedrock of the universal religion or “Sanatana Dharma” that all Hindus follow. 2-The Upanishads, however, are read by serious students of religious tradition and spirituality in all cultures and are regarded as principle texts within the body of mankind's wisdom traditions. 3-The Vedas have guided our religious direction for ages and will continue to do so for generations to come. And they will forever remain the most comprehensive and universal of all ancient Hindu scriptures. Next, let's look at the four Vedas individually;- THE RIG VEDA: THE BOOK OF MANTRA;- 06 FACTS;- 1-“The One Truth the sages call by many names.”Rig Veda...The "Rig Veda" is an ancient Indian text collection that compiles 1,028 Vedic Sanskrit hymns and 10,600 verses dedicated to Rigvedic deities. It is organized into 10 books, called mandalas. Together with "Yajur Veda," "Sama Veda" and "Atharva Veda," "Rig Veda" is one of the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism, known collectively as the Vedas. "Rig Veda" is the oldest of the Vedas, and one of the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language. 2-The "Rig Veda" outlines one of the most ancient forms of yoga, and provides information about the practice of yoga and other spiritual disciplines. There is some discussion about the age of the "Rig Veda." While modern Western scholars tend to date its creation around 1500 B.C.E., other great yogis and scholars date it to before 4000 B.C.E., perhaps as early as 12,000 B.C.E. 3-Many of the mantras in the "Rig Veda" are hymns to the gods, asking them for help and benefits like health, wealth and long life. Besides hymns of praise, the mantras contain blessings and curses. Originally, the mantras were meant to be chanted as part of religious rituals and this was the main way in which the people communicated with the gods. 4-The "Rig Veda" is said to be the Veda of mantra. Mantra is the foundation of Vedic yoga, the oldest form of yoga. The "Rig Veda" contains the oldest iterations of many Sanskrit mantras. Many aspects of Vedic science -- like the practice of yoga, meditation, mantra and Ayurveda -- can be found in the "Rig Veda," and many of its teachings are still being used in these practices today. 5-The Rig-Vedic ‘samhita’ or collection of mantras consists of 1,017 hymns or ‘suktas’, covering about 10,600 stanzas, divided into eight ‘astakas,’ each having eight ‘adhayayas’ or chapters, which are sub-divided into various groups. The hymns are the work of many authors, or seers, called ‘rishis.’ 6-There are seven primary seers identified: Atri, Kanwa, Vashistha, Vishwamitra, Jamadagni, Gotama and Bharadwaja. The rig Veda accounts in detail the social, religious, political and economic background of the Rig-Vedic civilization. Even though monotheism characterizes some of the hymns of Rig Veda, naturalistic polytheism and monism can be discerned in the religion of the hymns of the Rig Veda. NOTE;- The Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda were compiled after the age of the Rig Veda and are ascribed to the Vedic period. THE SAMA VEDA: THE BOOK OF SONG;- 05 FACTS;- 1-"Sama Veda" is an ancient Hindu scripture and one of the four main Vedas of Hinduism. It is a collection of melodies and chants, and is also called the "Book of Song," "Sama Veda" represents the mind and heaven. "Veda of Chants" or even "Yoga of Song." It is basically the words of the "Rig Veda" put to music. 2-"Sama Veda" should not be read or recited, but sung. It contains about 1,900 verses, almost all of them taken from the "Rig Veda." Vedic scholar, David Frawley, describes "Sama Veda" as follows: "If 'Rig Veda' is the word, 'Sama Veda' is the song; if 'Rig Veda' is the knowledge, 'Sama Veda' is the realization; if 'Rig Veda' is the wife, 'Sama Veda' is the husband." 3-Differing from the ordinary prose, the Sama-Veda is a collection of chants used by the priests of the faith. For those who have ever sat in on a Catholic mass, this idea of chanting or singing of words may seem a bit familiar. Using our alliteration tool, we can probably get away with calling the Sama-Veda our 'singing Sama-Veda.' 4-The Sama Veda is purely a liturgical collection of melodies (‘saman’). The hymns in the Sama Veda, used as musical notes, were almost completely drawn from the Rig Veda and have no distinctive lessons of their own. 5-Hence, its text is a reduced version of the Rig Veda. As Vedic Scholar David Frawley puts it, if the Rig Veda is the word, Sama Veda is the song or the meaning; if Rig Veda is the knowledge, Sama Veda is its realization; if Rig Veda is the wife, the Sama Veda is her husband. THE YAJUR VEDA: THE BOOK OF RITUAL;- 06 FACTS;- 1-Yajur-Veda"Yajur Veda" is an ancient Hindu scripture devoted to the worship of the gods. It describes the way in which religious rituals and sacred ceremonies should be performed. The name comes from Sanskrit word, yajus, meaning "worship" or "sacrifice," and veda, meaning "knowledge." 2-The "Yajur Veda" is divided into two parts - the white "Yajur Veda" (shukla) and the black "Yajur Veda" (krsna). The white "Yajur Veda" deals with prayers and specific instructions for devotional sacrifices. The black "Yajur Veda" deals with instructions for sacrificial rituals. 3-"Yajur Veda" is the third of the four Vedas based mostly on the "Rig Veda." The scripture describes the technical mechanics of sacred rituals and ceremonies. Parts of the text are devoted to ritual instruments and offerings that symbolize certain aspects of Brahman (God). It also contains the principles of pranayama and asana practice. Yoga teachings found in the "Yajur Veda" and in the Vedic scriptures in general are referred to as Vedic yoga. 4-There are several translations of parts of the "Yajur Veda" which include books of formulas, explanations of prose mantras and insights into the sacrificial rites. The Yajur Veda is also a liturgical collection and was made to meet the demands of a ceremonial religion. 5-The Yajur Veda served as a practical guidebook for the priests who execute sacrificial acts while muttering simultaneously the prose prayers and the sacrificial formulae (‘yajus’). It is similar to ancient Egypt’s “Book of the Dead.” 6-There are no less than six complete recessions of Yajur Veda--Madyandina, Kanva, Taittiriya, Kathaka, Maitrayani and Kapishthala. THE ATHARVA VEDA: THE BOOK OF SPELL;- 04 FACTS;- 1-The last of the Vedas, this is completely different from the other three Vedas and is next in importance to the Rig Veda with regard to history and sociology. A different spirit pervades this Veda. Its hymns are of a more diverse character than the Rig Veda and are also simpler in language. In fact, many scholars do not consider it part of the Vedas at all. The Atharva Veda consists of spells and charms prevalent at its time, and portrays a clearer picture of the Vedic society. 2-The "Atharva Veda" is an ancient Hindu scripture and is one of the four Vedas commonly known as the fourth Veda. Sometimes it is called the "Veda of Magical Formulas," although this name is not approved by scholars. It is a collection of 20 books containing hymns, chants, spells and prayers; and involves issues such as healing of illnesses, prolonging life, black magic and rituals for removing maladies and anxieties. 3-Unlike the other three Vedas, the "Atharva Veda" is not as concerned with sacred rituals, but addresses the daily problems of Vedic people. The hymns in the "Atharva Veda" are dedicated to prolonging life and healing illnesses, seeking cures from herbs, gaining a lover or partner, or world peace and the nature of good and evil. 4-Originally, only the first three Vedas were recognized and accepted, with the "Atharva Veda" eventually being accepted later on. Some sources state that this Veda is the origin of medicine, Tantra and yoga, containing one of the earliest references to breathing techniques and the practice of yoga. WHAT DOES THE GANDHARVA VEDA MEAN?- 05 FACTS;- 1-Gandharva veda is one of the four main upavedas, which are derived from the four Vedas - "Rig Veda," "Yajur Veda," "Sama Veda" and "Atharva Veda." From Sanskrit, gandharva means "skilled singer" or "master of music"; and veda means "knowledge" or "wisdom." 2-Upavedas, meaning "applied knowledge," are specific applications of Vedic teachings. Gandharva veda is a Vedic science on the influence of sound and music in all, including the body and soul of the yogi. Ayurveda, which is one of the upavedas, uses gandharva veda to promote physical and mental health. 3-Gandharva veda, the upaveda of the "Sama Veda," is the study of all art forms including music, dance and poetry. This Vedic text contains information about the laws and ways to practice music as well as how music works as a therapy to heal the body and soul. Gandharva veda uses the music of nature to restore balance of body and mind. 4-Gandharva veda also offers a detailed account on the the association of music with various aspects of creation and the positive impact of music on the body and mind. It also gives insight on the association of different sounds and rhythms with different species on Earth. 5-Gandharva veda is effectively used in meditation as it helps the yogi transcend to the innermost level of the mind.
WHAT DOES THE SRUTI & SMRTI MEAN?-