Quotes from Swami on Veda chanting
- Sai Ram,
Does someone have extracts or quotes from Swami's discourse where He
mentions the importance of veda chantings and learning vedas? If so,
can you please post it? I searched around but could only find couple
of them - I am sure there are quite a few. I am looking to compile
these Swami quotes/extracts.
Here is one of them:
"On this auspicious occasion of Sankranti, children aged 5 years are
initiated into the process of learning with the chanting of sacred
Vedic Mantras. Our ancient sages declared, Vedahametham Purusham
Mahantham Adityavarnam Thamasah Parasthath (I have visualised the
Supreme Being who shines with the effulgence of a billion suns and
who is beyond Thamas - the darkness of ignorance). The Vedas have
extolled the Supreme Being in manifold ways. The Rig Veda contains
Mantras extolling God and His blissful form which attracts one and
- Jan 12, 2004 discourse
- Sai Ram
Here follows a number of Swami's quotations on Vedas/Vedanta
extracted from Divine Discourses and taken from:
The Vedha teaches man lessons that take him beyond the ken of the
three gunas - the dull, the active, and the calm; the black, the red
and the white.
The Vedhas have shaped India and India shaped, is shaping and will
shape, the rest of the world. The Vedhas are without begining or
end; they are eternal messages caught by developed consciousness
in the silence of meditation. The present suffering is mainly due to
the lapses in discipline among the professed followers of the
Vedhic path, their disregard for the morality laid down in the
Shaasthras and their absence of faith in the ancient scriptures.
Shaasthras guide you to the truth and leed you to it, in easy stages.
The Vedhas tell you those things that cannot be known by
anyhtingelse. The word Vedha means `knowledge', knowledge that
cannot be acquired by the senses or the intellect or even by unguided
intution. The Vedhas endeavour to open the eyes of man to the
falsity of dualistic experience, the reality of the only One.
Adhwaitha (the non-dual One). They proclaim it, loudly and with
The Vedhas lay down the lines of conduct, the method of living, the
ideals to be followed.
All knowledge is derived from the Vedhas.
Of the hundred parts of the Vedhas, 80 will be karma, 16 Upaasana
and 4 jnaana. Karma has to be done for educating the impulses and
training the feelings. Then, you develop the attitude of upaasana, of
humility before the great unknown, and finally, you realise that the
only reality is you, which is the same as He.
Nothing ever is born without the will of God, nothing ever happens
without His will; that is the message of the Vedhas; understand the
Vedhas well and this lesson will be installed into you. Flees
drink only the blood of the cow; but men draw from her the sweet and
nourishing milk. So, learn from the Vedhas the potence of the Will
of the Lord. Once you are fixed in that faith, you will be able to
brave all dangers.
The Vedas have three sections: Karma, Upaasana and Jnana. Karma is
the section dealing with the activities that strengthen and purify
faith and devotion; Upaasana is the section ddealing with worship
of the personal God, the dedication of all acts to the Highest, the
Inner Witness, the surrender of all skills and experiences unto the
Innermost Power - these two endow man with one-pointedness. As a
result of these two, consciousness is able to recognise in a flash
jnaana - the of its being Divinity itself. All these three stages
have to be gone through.
The scriptures lay down various stages of spiritual development and
the rigour of the discipline for each stage is tuned to the level
reached by the aspirant. As a child is fed on breast milk for some
months, then on cow's milk and later given bread and crisp bitable
bits when the teeth have grown - so too, man is given by the Vedas
spiritual food to digestive development. In the early stages, the
jnaana of the Unity cannot be grasped. So bhakthi or upaasana is
recommended. Bhakthi comes naturally for it is only the expansion of
the love that is inherent in man. To get grounded in bhakthi, good
activity, good company, good likening and good behaviour are
The two injunctions of Vedas are: Sathyam Vada, Dharmam chara -
Speak the Truth, practise righteousness. Sath-karma (good deed) is
the tree, sad-bhaava (good intention) is the root. The sadbhaava is
that which serves your best interests, viz, lasting happiness, final
liberation form the cycle of birth and death. Take the mind off the
sensory pleasures and fix it upon God; then bhava gets pure;
whatever you think or say or feel will be for the good of yourself
The four ideals of man as laid down in the Vedhas are Dharma, Artha,
Kaama and Moksha. Dharma is the very base. If that is given up or
disregarded, sorrow will persist.
The Puraanas and the epics teach the path of devotion and surrender.
They ask that man should do every deed in a spirit of ddedication.
Allow the wind of doubt or the Sun of despair to affect the pot of
aanandha you have filled, and it will evapourate quickly. But keep
the pot in the cool waters of good company and good deeds; it can be
preserved undiminished for ever. Aanandha too grows when you
dwell on it in silence and recipitulate the circumstances which
yielded it. That is why manana is held important a part of spiritual
The Vedas and Shaasthras, since they were won by penance and travail
by sages and seers who were interested only in the welfare of
humanity and the liberation of man and the greatest repositories of
hitha (beneficial). They advice that Man must regulated his `out
look' and develop the `in look'; the inner reality is the foundation
on which the outer reality is built. It is like the inner wheel in
the car, which drives the outer wheels. Know that the basic reality
is God, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent. become aware of it and
stay in that awareness always. Whatever the stress and storm, do
not waver from that Faith.
The most valuable message the scriptures convey is this: carry on
your legitimate duties; discharge your obligations; live up to your
rights; but do not allow attachment to grow. be like a trustee so
far as family, riches, reputation, knowledge and skills are
concerned. Leave them gladly aside, when the call of death come.
Forbearance is the best saadhana, fortitude is the foremost
saadhana. That is the greatest lesson of the Shaasthras.
The Vedas are for all mankind; they have prayers for peace,
subjugating the anger of the elements and of human communities; they
invoke the forces of nature to be calm and beneficient, so the
recitation of the Vedas promotes world peace and human welfare.
Any balance of Karma-consequence will invoke some years of
imprisonment in the body. The Shaasthrs advise man to wipe off the
balances by four steps: by scotching all sparks from the fire, by
getting rid of all signs, symptoms and causes of fever; by paying
off all balance of debt; and by suffering off all consequences of
The Vedas are inspired by the holy spirit of Divine Mercy; they seek
to transmit to humanity the secrets of a happy life here and of
liberation for ever. Thee reveal the essence of the Divine Glory.
They are the source of spiritual knowledge over the millenia for all
mankind. The Vedas declare that it is only by renunciation,
surrender, submission that immortality can be acquired.
The Vedas teach that man must earn wealth through the path of
Dharma, that is not taken to heart; wealth is accumulated any how!
The Vedas teach that men should have only one Kaama (desire),
namely, for moksha (liberation)
Vedha is said to be the breath of God, for word or voice is breath;
the Vedha is Akshara, the indestructible, the letter, the symbol for
the vibration that spreads and affects the Universe for ever. The
word is valid for all times; it has become the Akshara, the visual
The Rig Vedha is the Vedha full of prayers to God for the
realisation of the aims of life; the Yajur Vedha describes the
cereminial and ritual aspects of worship; the Sama Vedha extols the
Gods through song and poetry; the Atharva Vedha gives the secret
formulae for preserving health and security of body and community.
The Vedhas have prescribed five steps, to enable the individual to
cultivate the spirit of Yajna. Dhava yajna (adoring God in the
domestic altar) ; Pithru yajna (keeping in mind the debt one owes to
the parents who endowed this body and fed the lamp of life);
Manushya yajna (feeding guests and those who come seeking shelter
and food); Brahma yajna (the study of the sacred scriptures and the
initiation into the spiritual path) and Bhautha yajna ( the feeding
and fostering of pet animals, of cattle of horses and sheep and dog
which are the helpmates and comrades of man). The Vedhas insist on
every householder to attend to these five rites, everyday and thus,
he is encouraged along the path of dedicated living to reach the
goal of total surrender to God.
The flower is karma, the tender fruit is dharma and the taste which
gratifies is Brahman. The bud blossoms through devotion and the
fruit emerges into virtue and ripens by the acquisition of the
awareness of one. The three are inevitable ingredients.
Sleep is a short death: death is a long sleep. You, the `I' in you,
endow the inert material vehicle called body with consciousness. You
are the Cosmic Consciousness, God, temporarily in the role of `I'.
The body-mind-complex is the instrument to be utilised for that
role. Use it for furthering God's purpose, executing God's Will.
This is the message of Rig Vedha. When the boy is initiated into
Vedhic studies or the recitation of the Gayathri and other manthras,
when some one has to be blessed on some happy occassion, when a
wedding has to be ceremoniouly performed with the invocation of God,
and when the body is buried or burnt after the soul has left, the
Rig Vedhic hymns are chanted. They have great potency and arouse
beneficial thoughts on reciters and listeners. Rig Vedha is entirely
the product of the insight of sages such as Viswamitra. Every name
you use for God, every illustration we imagine of His Glory, are in
the Rig Vedha. Rig Vedha teaches the lesson of serenity. Praise is
like rose water; when it is sprinkled on you, suffer it but dont
drink it - that is to say, accept it and thrive on it. Blame is like
a medicine. Examine yourselves whether you have the illness and if
you have, accept the blame and benefit by it. Serenity is a divine
virtue. All the Vedhas are intent on helping man to become aware of
Divinity in him and all around him. Piucture for yourselves the
peace that seers gained by that awareness and yearn to learn the
lessons the Vedhas treasure, for all mankind irrespective of caste,
creed, race or nationality.
The present socialist ideal of the unity of mankind is a Vedhic
concept; in fact the Vedhic ideal was even wider and more
comprehensive. `Let all the world be happy and prosperous'. `The
world is one family', the Vedhas proclaimed. It is wrongly assumed
that the Vedhas had only the one section of the population, one
caste, one race, one community in view. This is the result of
misreading and mistaken inference. They are concerned, it was said,
only with Brahmins and with the Pandiths among them. This too is a
wrong conclusion. Every Vedhic ritual had as its goal the prosperity
and peace of the world. The Vedhas yearn to establish the welfare of
the three worlds - the nether regions, the earth and heaven. It is a
pity that a narrow outlook is foisted by short - sighted people on
such profound texts. The Vedhas do not allow scope for distinctions
on the basis of caste or creed. They assert, `I shall save whoever
keeps me in memory'. `I shall be beside whoever is beside
me'. `Whoever adores me in whatever form and through whichever
name, I shall manifest myself before them with that form, becoming
that name'. Each hymn of the Vedhas is called a Rig which
means `praise'. And the word `Vedha' is derived from the root,
Vidh, `to know'. And what exactly should we strive to know? We must
know the One, which has no second, no another, no other. So, every
word, every statement in the Vedhas, every manthra or Rig in them,
counts only the one,. Though out of insufficient or wrong
undewrstanding people mistake the lesson and ascribe the words and
indicate the Many. The yajur vedha describes the flames of the
sacred fires as the Tongues of God. When the offering is
dropped into fire, in the name of the God, the proper name and
address have to be uttered at the same time. It is like the post
box. When a letter is properly addresses and dropped into the box at
Prashanthi Nilayam, it will reach any place even as far as Japan or
Russia. It the address indicates Prashanthi nilayam, it will be
delivered to the person at prashnthi Nilayam. The address has to be
full and correct, that is all, And, the stamp has to be of the
correct value. The Vedha mentions many specific items that are to be
used as offerings to Gods, conveyable through the emissary, fire.
They are milk, curds, ghee, grains, the juice of the plant named
Soma and what is designated as `Vapa', a term wrongly taken as
meaning the diaphragm of a lamb or other sacrificial animal. It is
necessary to clarify the real meaning and significance of offering
the Vapa. The Vapa of a young lamb is preferable, it is said. The
mind, the heart of the human child, is pure, tender, unsoiled by
greed or pride. And the lamb is much more so. The Vedhic texts
describe such a heart as serene, unattached, abode of good, eternal,
stable, unblemished, alert, free, unaffected, pure. Offering the vapa
of the lamb means, therefore, dedicating ones heart, after rendering
it soft and sweet, and not casting into the flames the diaphragm of
a slaughtered kid! The Vedhas desire man to give up the animalist
ego, and its complement, anger. The evils of envy, pride and spite
belong to the same brood. These are all `bestial' though human in
appearance. They declare that love, tolerance, compassion, non-
attachment, and adherence to truth are the genuine human
traits. Every rite laid down in the Vedha has thin air only - to
promote selflessness and universal love. Concentration on sensual
gratification, anger, fury, hatred - these are bestial
characteristices. Man must be ashamed to have even a trace of such
traits. The characteristics of human nature are, and ought to be,
love, forebearance, detachment, renunciation and truth.
The Yajur Vedha elaborates the importance of Yajnas. These promote
the peace and prosperity of the world, as that is the primary aim of
all the Vedhas. The Yajur Vedha hymns extol the glory of the gods
and propitiate the Divine Forces. As a result, gold and grain wealth
and welfare, plenty and progress are secured by mankind.
The Yajur Vedha has a name for Agni, Tiger! When Agni is treated
without faith and reverence, it destroys the very perosn who feeds
it, just as the tiger which tears its own cubs with its deadly claws.
Another characteristic of Agni is its presence everywhere.
Scientists and technologists ttoday are proud that they have grasped
the secrets of the five elements - sky, wind, fire, water and earth.
But, they are still unaware of the intimate kinship each of them has
with man and his ddaily life. The sages of the past have delved into
the mystery and revealed it to the world. Notice, for example, that
birds do not rest on the ground at night. They prefer tree tops. Why?
The rishis of Vedhic times explain that they seek to avoid the heat
latent in the earth but patent to them. Man is unaware of this foet
but the birds know it. Living is in fact a real Vedhic yajna,
whether one knows it or not. In the yajna that is being performed
here (Prashanthi Nilayam) every formula that is uttered and every
offering made has to be suffered with renunciatory feelings and the
awareness of the Divine. We have here Suryanamaskaar (Salutations to
Sun God) on one side, Rudrahoma (Fire offering to God Rudra)
nearby, worship of Shakthi (Divine mother) at the end, and Pandiths
reciting Devi Bhaagavatham, Raamayana etc. Why are these varied
items gone through? Among these priests, the chief is termed Brahma.
One of them will be reciting the Rig Vedha, another will be reciting
musically the Saama Vedha, and the third person will be reciting the
Yajur Vedha. The Atharva Vedha includes the very essence of the three
Vedhas and it is recited by the person designated as Brahma. The
deities extolled in the Vedhas are here invoked and invited to
shower Grace on all mankind. The Chief priest, designated as
Adhwaryu, watches the activity and sets right any fault or failing.
His is the overall supervision of the Sacrificial Fire, its upkeep
and worship and his is the responsibility for meticulous performance.
The Yajur Vedha deals with Yajna or Ritual Adoration of fire, as the
medium of communication with the Gods.
The Vedhas are known as the voice of the rishis. The rishis
intuitively perceive the truth. They can see the past, the present
and the future. They are free from attachments. It is because of
such high souled seers that the voice of God was revealed to the
world. This revelation demonstrates the truth about the divine.
The Yajur vedhas has enjoyed protection of the cow as a supreme
duty, as it is an animal which lives on saathwick food and has
virtuous qualities. Our life is bound up with the Vdhas. We must
regard everyday in our life as a yagna. Every word that we utter
must become a manthra. The Rig vedha, the first among the four, has
come down to us in exactly the same way that it was recited in the
past. It is a far spreading tree, with many branches. Of the 25 that
once existed, only two are now available. But these have been
preserved intact by means of an elaborate system of memorisation, by
which while one set of pupils recite seratim, another does so back
for forth, a third with alterate syllables omitted, etc. The
technigues have distinct names like Jada, Maala, Shitha, Dhandha,
Ratha, Dhwaja, Geetha etc. The Rig Vedha speaks of 3 bonds that
encumber man - Adhyaathmic - where Aathma means the person and
adhyaathmic bond refers to the illness and diseases that affect the
person, physically and mentally. Adhibouthic bonds bring about pain
and suffering through involvement with other living beings,
especially poisonous insects, scorpions, wild animals etc.
Adhidaivik bonds causes terror and loss by what can be called `acts
of God', against which man is helpless, such as floods and draught,
volcanic erruptions, earthquakes, avalanches, thunderbolts and
meteors. The Rig Vedha prescribes means to overcome or modify the
consequences of these calamities, by achieving progress in physical,
mental and spiritual fields of activity. The Rig Vedha is primarily
concerned with karma and is part of the karma kaanda. There are three
stages in the soul's journey to its source: Karma, Dharma and Brahma.
It should be noted that every vedha is intended to enable man to
make his daily life holy and good. Although human life is transient,
the allotted span must be used for sacred purposes and to realise the
divine. The Vedhas have the power to enable man to transmute his
life and make it sublime. Whether consciously or otherwise, from
morning till night, man carries out the duties laid down by the
Vedhas. Every act is governed by the dictates of the Vedhas, but it
is only when these acts are done with an understanding of their
purpose will their true character be known. Similarly every
sacrificial act, yagna is intended to propitiate the Divine.
The Vedhas declare:
`Poornam adhah Poornam idham
Poormaath Poornam udhachyathe
Poornasya Poornam Aadhaaya
Poornam eva avashishyathe'
`That is wholly Divine. This is wholly Divine. From the totally
Divine arose the totally Divine. When the totally Divine is taken
from the totally Divine, the total Divine remains! `That' means `the
thing after, apart', `the entity that is beyond the reach of the
human instruments of perception'. `This' means the visible world,
the objective world, cognisable with the senses and amendable to
experience. This too is as divine as the rest. Aasthi (existence, Is-
ness), bhakthi (shining) and priyam (endearing), (Sath, Chith and
Aanandha) are the characteristics of Divinity and these three are
found in everything. Only the form and the name are transitory,
subject to change.
The Vedhas, Upanishadhs, Sastras and Puranas - all serve as sign -
posts. They indicate the direction one should take. They show to
goal that should be sought, but the journey has to be made by
Vedantha reveals four categories of wakefulness: the fully awake,
the wakefulness of the mind only, as while dreaming, the wakefulness
of the self alone, as in deep sleep, and the illumination of the self
awakening into the Overself. These are named Sthoola, Sookshma,
Kaarana and Maha Kaarana, the Gross, the subtle, the Casual and the
Super Casual. The gross body that is activated in the waking stage
is the composite of many items - the five senses of perception, the
five senses of action, the five inner instruments, the five elements
in creation, the five vital airs and the self - 26 in all. This is
the Jagrat stage, wakefulness. The subtle body that dreams has only
the five vital airs, the five senses of perception and the five
fundamental elements - 15 items all as the Sookshama, the Yaathana
vehicle which, according to Vedaantha, undergoes the consequences of
good deeds and bad. Casual or Kaarana body is the third. It
possesses only one nature, namely, Prajjna, Consciousness, pure
and unmixed with the subjective and objective worlds. Since the
Sthoola body is fully involved with the objective world, the Viswa,
it is called Viswa; the Sookshma body or the dream body illumined by
the mind and the inner light (Tejas) and so it is called Tejas; the
body in the deep sleep stage, when it is latent in the cause,
subsumed in the Consciousness, is called Prajna. The truth, namely,
Brahman, eludes all these three bodies. They are involved
in `brahme' (illusion), not in Brahman, the Absolute. What appears
true in the dream is falsified when one awakes; what one
experiences while awake is distorted and devalued in dreams; sleep
wipes out of memory both the dream-world and the wakefulness-world.
The awareness that survives these three passing stages is the
Maha Kaarana, the Superconscious. The Super or Supreme Consciousness
is the Thought that becomes all this, the Hiranyagarbha, the
Golden Womb, theprimal urge, the foirst concretisation, Easwara.
When Being `thought', it became the Many, or rather, it put on the
appearance of Many. The Maha Kaarana, is beyond Consciousness; the
Sthoola, Sookshma and the Kaarana bodies into which it proliferated
are beneath Consciousness. The former is true knowledge (eruka) the
latter is illusony experience (marupa). God is the Lord of eruka,
the Jivis the slave of marupa (forgetting). The Maha Kaarana, the
Cosmic Consciousness, is often denoted as `Param', `beyond', in
Vedantha; since the concept is obviously contentless, it does not
arise and fade; nor does it originate and disappear. It has no name
and form, for it cannot be defined or limited or identified as
separate. It is understood as Brahman - the unmoving, immovable
Totality (Poorna), the Eternal, the True, the Pure, the
Attributeless. Just as the unmoving road enables the car to move
along it, the Brahma principle is the basis for the existence and
activities of the Jivi. In fact, there is only One. The One appears
to be split vision as two. Look outward, It is Jivi. Look
inward, It is God. The outer vision makes you forget; the inner
makes you remember. When man seeks to rise to the divinity which is
his reality, he is remembering, struggling to know and
experience. When he gravels in the lower levels of consciousness and
is entangled in dis-ease, he is caught in the coils of
forgetfulness. Removing selfish desires and expanding one's urge to
love and serve are the most effective means to succeed in merging
with Supreme Consciousness, the Primal Cause, the Cosmic Thought,
the Maha Kaarana.
The truth, that the Vedas teach man is: `Soham: That is I; the
Principle that is Immanent in the Universe is the Principle that is
immanent in Me, too'. Meditation on thisgrand thought gradually
leads man to know that there is no dictinction between That and I,
that both are One, that there is no separate Sah and Aham and so
there is only Om. The Vedas also teach three other basic beliefs:
1) Karmapala - every act has an inevitable consequence. Every cause
has an effect. If you act with an eye on the conssequence, you have
to suffer the consequence. 2) Punner-janma - Rebirth according to
result of action and 3) the unique birth of the Lord as Avathar to
save humaniyt from the fall.
The Vedas are infinite and human life is limited. How to master the
infinite within the short span of one's life? Keeping this option in
view, Sage Vyaasa codified the Vedas into four major divisions and
named them RIG, YAJUR, SAAMA and ATHARVA Vedas. Rig Veda is manthra-
swaroopa (consisting of mantras). The Yajur Veda is a compilation of
rituals or Yajnas and the Saama Veda is a compilation of rits set to
music. In order to maintain the health of the individual and ensure
the protection of the country, the `Atharva Veda' was compiled.
Trust everything as God's work, whatever your vocation or
profession. By dedicating all actions to God, you sanctify every act
in daily life. That is the message of the Vedhas.
The Vedhas have declared that sacrifice is the only means to achieve
immortality. It is necessary to devise means to ensure that the
resources of ashrams and temples are used solely for the public good.
The principal teaching of the Vedhas is that all men should strive
together in amity. Through unity humanity can achieve purity,
leading to divinity. The three great enemies of man are: lust or
desire, anger and greed. These have to be eliminated. The greatest
quality in man is love. Love is God. Live in Love.
The Vedhas, together with the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the
Upanishadha, provide the guidelines for the proper conduct of the
four stages (Ashramas) in life - Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha
and Sanyaasa. In addition, they serve also as essential guides to
the pursuit of the four Purusharthas (the basic goals of human
life) - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha (Righteousness, material weel-
being, desire realisation and Liberation). Vedha means that which
demonstrates the Divine principle. The Veda permeates the universe.
It is the embodiment of Truth. It flows in eight streams:
Sabdabrahmamayee (manifesting as all-pervading Cosmic sound);
Charracharamayee (pervading all moving and unmoving objects);
Jyotimayee (all-pervading effulgence);
Vaangmayee (sacred speach);
Paraatparamayee (embodiment of the Omniwill);
Mayamayee (manifestation as Maya);
Srimayee (the embodiment of all prosperity).
Man has to be guided by the directives of the Vedas. Of the three
Vedas - Rig, Yajur and Sama - the Rig Veda contains the essence of
all the three. Its principal teaching is humility and duty. The Yajur
Veda enjoys the quality of Dharma. This means that whatever hardship
you experience, you should fulfil your duty with fortitude and
forbearance. Through both these means you can develop your human
qualities to the highest extent. The essential teaching of the Sama
Veda is Propriety. This tells you how to conduct yourself with any
person, how to behave towards elders and supervisors, how to treat
guests, how to approach God and what is the right behaviour in any
situation. These three Vedas provide the basic rules for right
living: Devotion to duty; steadfastness; and Propriety. The Love
principle integrates all those guidelines laid down by the Vedas.
Om Sri Sai Ram
- Jai SairamSairam,I found this in the following link
Sathya Sai Vahini
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
The Veda is the Mother of all the Sastras. The Veda emanated from God Himself as inhalation and exhalation. The great sages, who were the embodiments of the treasure gained by long ascetic practices, received Veda as a series of sounds and spread it over the world by word of mouth from preceptor to pupil. Since it was 'heard' and preserved by generations, the Veda is known as Sruthi, 'that which was heard or listened to.' The Veda is endless. Who composed the Vedas? Until today, it has not been possible to unveil their names. Those who recited it had perhaps no desire to earn renown, for the names are nowhere seen mentioned in the Veda. May be they had attached no importance to their names, or clans or sects, or it is likely they had no kith or kin or clan. Whoever he or they may be, the sages were sure they were masters of all knowledge, for the sense of equality and equanimity found in the Veda is the innate quality of only such wise persons. So it is very appropriate to infer that the Veda was given to the world only by persons endowed with all powers.
The word 'Veda' originated from the root 'Vid', meaning 'to know', "Vidana thu anena ithi Vedah", "That which reveals and makes clear all knowledge is Veda". The Veda can be mastered neither by limited intellect nor by limited experience. The sacred Veda instructs all that one requires for his spiritual advancement. It instructs one the means and methods to overcome all sorrows and grief. It instructs one in all the spiritual disciplines which can give unshaken peace. No one has understood correctly the beginning of the Veda or its end. So, it is hailed as Anaadi (Beginningless) and Sanathana (Eternal). Since the first and the last of the Veda are not known, it is Nitya, Everlasting. The intelligence of humans is tainted but since the Veda has no trace of taint, it is concluded that it cannot be a human product. So the Veda is also characterised as A-pourusheya (Non-personal).
The Veda is its own authority. Each Vedic sound is sacred because it is part of the Veda. Those who have faith in the Veda and its authority can personally experience this. The great sages were enriched by such experiences and they have extolled it as the source of wisdom. These experiences are not bound by time or space. Their validity and value can be recognised not only in India but by people of all lands. They lay down basic truths, it can be asserted.
The Vedic religion originated, we do not know when; others came later. This is the difference. So, if the Absolute has to be known, it is not possible to succeed with the help of the skill and strength that man has. Human intelligence can operate only within certain limits. Buddhigrahyam atheendriyam. But the Veda is beyond the reach of intelligence. Intelligence is restricted. It can deal only with facts discoverable by the senses and experiences related to these. It can act only in the area of the visible, the viable.
Mother Veda has been kind to her children - the human race. To sanctify its cravings and to uplift the race, she has posited the concept of Time - and its components, the years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds. Even gods were declared to be bound by Time. The individual or Jiva is caught in the wheel of Time and Space and rotates with it, unaware of any means of escape. But, really he is beyond the reach of Time and Space. The Veda is bent upon the task of making him know this Truth, and liberating him from this narrowness. Mother Veda is compassionate; she longs to liberate her children from doubt and discontent. She has no desire to inflame or confuse; wise men know this well.
Gravitation has existed on earth since we do not know when. It had its origin along with the Creation of the Earth. The Earth and the Force of Gravitation are both inseparable, indistinguishable. Just because it is not recognised by a few or because it is not visible as such, it will be foolish to deny its existence in the Earth. But the fact is, no one knew the existence of this universal force, though it was there along with the Earth! The force was operating even when man was unaware of it. At last, after analysing various principles and observing various experiments, the Western physicist Newton announced that the Earth had the force of gravitation. The world accepted his statement and placed faith in its truth. But, the force was operating all the time, even before the announcement by Newton. It did not start operating all of a sudden, when the experiments demonstrated it.
The Vedas are Eternal Truths; they existed even before the people of this land discovered, practised and experienced them. Just as Western physicists announced the existence of gravitation after their experiments, the ancients of this land demonstrated the innate authenticity of the Vedas through their own experience. Here too, the Veda existed long before it was discovered and put into practice. Newton's Laws of Gravitation benefited the whole world; they express universal truths applicable to all places and times. They are not confined to Western countries only. So too, the Veda is Truth, not merely for Bharath but for all people on earth.
It is not correct to claim that Bharath or India is the birthplace of the Vedas. The utmost that can be said is that they were discovered by the people of Bharath. To ask why a happening in one place did not take place in another place also is the sign of a confused mind. The Divine Author decides what should happen when and where. As He decides, so it takes place. The atmosphere in India was congenial for the revelation and the growth of the Vedas. The Vedas were drawn towards the hearts of the sages of this land, this Karma-bhoomi, this Yoga-bhoomi and this Tyaga-bhoomi. Other lands pursued Bhoga and so their atmosphere was overcharged with worldly aspirations and achievements. The Vedic message could not therefore be easily understood there. Since in India, the spiritual quest was sincerely pursued, along with material objectives, people here had the good fortune of the Veda Matha, Mother Veda, incarnating.
Of course, this does not mean that the Veda Matha has not blessed other lands or is absent therein. It is like the force of gravitation present everywhere. The Veda is omnipresent. The heroic sages of Bharath were able to receive the Vedic Message as a result of their Sadhana of denial and detachment as well as their capacity to concentrate, and to experience the Bliss resulting from practising it. They were so selfless and full of compassion and love that they shared with those who approached them what they had heard and enjoyed. They are therefore called "Manthra Drshta". Through the long line of their disciples, the message has come down the ages and spread all over the land. Like a continuing flood, the mysterious Veda was 'visualised' by the Sages as Drshtas. The Bharathiyas, people of this country, are well aware of this debt.
The scriptural texts of India - the Vedas, Vedangas, Upanishads, Smrthis, Puranas and Ithihasas - are repositories of profound wisdom. Each of them is an ocean of sweet sustaining milk. Each is sacred and sanctifying. The waters of the Ocean can never be diminished in volume however many pumps you ply to drain them. Enormous quantities of water are turned into steam by the hot rays of the sun, bundled into clouds, and returned to the earth as rain. This helps the harvesting of grain and renders the land green with vegetation. The wonder is that in spite of this tremendous uptake and downpour, the level of the ocean does not go down even by an inch. Furthermore, even though thousands of live rivers pour their waters into the seas; the level is not seen to increase. Similarly, the persons who have supplemented their knowledge of the scriptural texts with the awareness of their validity acquired by practising the lessons contained in them, are not affected by praise or blame, whatever the source and quantity. Their hearts will stay pure, unaffected and calm. The holy scriptures of India are strongholds of such sustaining lessons.
However, one can imbibe those lessons only to the extent of one's patience and intelligent skill. After mastering the texts and gaining experience in putting the lessons into actual practice, one can share the light and the joy with others. The texts of India insist on the value of actual practice and the need to confirm the truths by experiencing their impact.
If a person desires to understand clearly the sacred books and scriptural texts of India, to imbibe their message, he must learn the Sanskrit language; he cannot avoid that responsibility and that duty. The very mention of Sanskrit immediately arouses in many among us a prejudicial attitude. "It is the dead language of a dying culture; it is boosted by the fanatic attachment of antiquated conservatives", contemporary moderns declaim. They condemn the language as surviving only in meaningless formulae, in fast vanishing rituals and ceremonies, in wedding rites and other futile exercises. It is a very difficult language to learn, it is said. Such beliefs have dug themselves deep into the minds of moderns. These banal opinions and false attitudes have to be exorcised from the minds of men.
Sanskrit is an immortal language; its voice is eternal; its call is through the centuries. It has imbedded in it the basic sustenance from all the languages of the world. Revere Sanskrit as the Mother of languages. Do not ignore its greatness or talk disparagingly about it. When you yearn to slake the thirst for nectar offered by the Vedas, you have to learn Sanskrit. In order to interpret the Vedas and elaborate their inner meanings and mysteries, the sages have left behind text books of complementary sciences like grammar, poetics, philosophy and astrology. Their researches and books range over several fields of knowledge like astronomy, geography, jurisprudence, ethics, epistemology, music, psychology and rhetoric. Western scientists are struck with admiration at the wonders of astronomy they have unveiled and the truths they have unravelled in other sciences; they have benefited by the clues provided by these sages and they are engaged in further research encouraged by the discoveries of these ancient seers. They have acknowledged that these rshis had advanced far more than the Greeks in their astronomical knowledge. In the Vedas and the supplementary literature they produced, we can find already revealed many secrets of nature, hailed as revolutionary discoveries by modern science, like the existence and explosive possibilities of the atom. Many sections of the Atharvana Veda are found to be mines of such important information when examined by westerners. The Germans established special institutes and universities in order to conduct research on the contents of the tons of palm-leaf manuscripts of the Naadi texts and horoscopes, and on astronomy, medicine, chemistry, toxicology, mathematics, etc. They are learning Sanskrit so that this work may proceed successfully. In America, Russia and even in Afghanistan, the Universities are not only themselves eager to introduce Sanskrit as a subject of study but they are being pressed by scholars to do so! Foreigners are revering these texts from India as gems of lucky discovery.
The science of Yoga was assigned great prominence in the past by Indians. Even now, in many countries of the world this science is being studied and practised. Institutions where yogasanas are taught exist in great numbers throughout America and Russia. In India, however, when the practice of Yoga or Meditation is mentioned, people respond with the feeling that it is a spiritual path related to the Vedantic school of thought. As soon as Yoga is referred to many who hear the word get pictures before their minds of lone hermits in the depths of thick forests, wearing the ochre robe of monks and living on fruits, tubers and roots. Their opinion is that Yoga-sadhana is the ancient discipline practised by such homeless ascetics. This is an ignorant guess; it is not true at all. The Yoga science is today being probed by physicists and others in Western countries.
In this era of technology, it is becoming increasingly difficult to lead peaceful lives. Men are becoming the targets of various types of mental ailments. In countries on the frontline of civilisation like America and England, people have lost the delight of natural sleep at night. They experience only artificial sleep induced by the tablets they swallow. As a consequence of these and many other drugs taken to ward off other ills, they suffer more and more from diseases of the heart and blood pressure. In the end, they render themselves unhealthy wrecks. Such lives are highly artificial. People are sunk in fear and anxiety; mentally on one side and physically on the other, they have no rest. Drugs, tablets, capsules and pills are produced in millions but the general health has not improved. Besides, new varieties of illness have emerged and are developing fast. A few intelligent westerners have realised that their only refuge is Yoga; they have confirmed their conclusion by means of experiments; they have taken to Yoga with increasing faith.
The Vedas are the oldest literary creations of man. Now the word 'literature' is used to connote writings scribbled while eager to find something to spend the time hanging on hand. They have no inner worth or significance; they destroy the traits of good character in the reader and implant bad attitudes and habits; they do not adhere to the path of Truth. But, Literature is a term that cannot be applied to writings or poems that reel off tales that are false. It should not emerge from the egotistic fancies of the individual.
The Vedas are the soul that sustains the spiritual life of Bharath; they are the breath that keeps the people alive. They possess a divine power, amazing in its effects. They are charged with the vibrations of mantras, which can be experienced by those who go through the process scientifically. They can impart also the strength derivable through symbols and formulae of Tantric nature. 'Tantra' means 'the means and methods of utilising the mantras for one's own good'. Man has physical and material power only. His Karma becomes holy and sacred when the mechanics (yantra) of life are ruled by Mantra and Tantra. The technique of this Sadhana is in the Karma Kanda of the Vedas. The ancient sages became aware of this and have preserved it for mankind in the Four Vedas.
Unable to grasp these truths, those who pride themselves as 'moderns' proclaim that the Vedas contain only verses and mantras which are learnt by rote and repeated by aged cronies. Not only 'moderns' but even those who earned distinction as "the foremost Pundits", those who expound to the people gathering fame, use the Vedas for promoting their material well-being and not for helping them on the spiritual path. They are unable to discover the sacred task for which the Vedas exist. Whenever the chance arises, they benefit by the scholarship, but they are not eager or able to use the Vedas to purify their daily lives.
As a result, 'moderns' find it impossible to develop faith in the Vedas. When the Pundits do not seek to practise the Vedas they have learned and parade their lack of faith by not instructing their own children on the glory of the Vedas, they naturally cause lack of faith in the entire society.
Many others, in spite of their ignorance of the meaning of the Vedic hymns, walk through busy places reciting the sacred texts in mechanical orthodoxy. Foreigners, - especially German scholars - though they have not learnt the Vedas by rote, have realised that the mantras possess and transmit profound power. They have during the centuries carried to their own country, portions of the Vedas and conducted patient and painstaking research on them. Consequently, they have unravelled strange mysteries. They found that the Vedas contain the secrets of all the arts which confer progress on man.
As adjuncts to the Vedas, many scriptural texts emerged. The Veda (knowledge) of Archery, the Veda of Ayu or Maintenance, Prolongation and Preservation of Life (medicine), the Veda of Planets and Stars (Jyotir Veda) - many such texts were composed and promulgated. Sage Viswamitra discovered the mantra named Gayathri, which is addressed to the energy of the Sun, Surya. This mantra has infinite potentiality. It is a vibrant formula. It has immense powers, powers that are truly amazing. For, the Sun is its presiding deity. Students of the Ramayana know hat the same sage, Viswamitra, initiated Rama into the mysteries of Sun-worship, through the mantra Aditya Hrdayam. The Gayathri enabled Viswamitra to use rare weapons which bowed to his will when the mantra was repeated with faith. Through the powers he attained in this way, Viswamitra was able to become a great scientist and create a counterpart of this cosmos. A person who is able to increase the capabilities of his hands and his senses is now considered a 'scientist', but, the term (Vijnani) was correctly applied in the past only to those who developed spiritual power and discovered the formulae for delving into the Divine within, those imbued with faith and devotion who could spontaneously demonstrate that power in actual day to day living. On the other hand, the 'scientists' of today know only a bit here and a bit there; they exaggerate and boast of what they have managed to learn. They are fond of pomp and proud display. They rise skyhigh on the fumes of praise. Such absurdities are quite contrary to the true behaviour of a scientist. For he is humble and meek. He is aware that, however much he knows, there is a far vaster field which he has yet to know. He is conscious that Divine Grace is responsible for what little he knows.
Viswamitra was a scientist who had recognised this truth. So, there is no scientist yet greater than he was. But, though a sage of such immense eminence and with so expansive a heart lived in India, he is not remembered by the people of this land. They honour foreigners who have glimpsed his greatness; they have placed their faith in those researchers who have elicited valuable lessons from the Vedas. The Veda is the Mother of Bharat. But the children do not revere the mother any more. They revere the stepmother and believe in her! This is the result of anglicised educational system.
Probing further and further into the scientific attainments of the sages of ancient India, the construction of Vimanas, vehicles capable of flying in space, is described by Sage Bharadwaja. Mental Science had advanced so much that they could reproduce what had happened or predict what would happen. The Science of Medicine was highly developed in India. It was Sage Bharadwaja who taught this science for the benefit of mankind. Sage Atreya took up the task of propagating this science and technique of healing. Saint Charaka compiled all the discoveries into a Samhitha or 'Collection', named after him. It deals elaborately with the diagnosis of diseases, methods of healing and cure, foetal development and other essential but not easily discoverable facts of medical science. The doctors proficient in that science could, in those ancient years, surgically remove or correct various diseased parts of body when the illness could not be cured by drugs. Saint Susruta has written in his compendium on many surgical processes. This text has been discovered and is available for study. Dhanvanthari, Nagarjuna and other sages have brought to light many other medical discoveries of Ancient India, made by adherents of the Vedic tradition of scientific reasearch. There are also many valuable texts on ethics, jurisprudence and other social sciences which are invaluable treasures for all time, like the Dharma Sastra of Manu and the Nyaya Sastra of Gautama.
Vedanta is the legitimate property of every section, every caste, every community, and every race, of the followers of any faith and persons of both sexes. Vedanta means Wisdom or Jnana. 'Wisdom' relating to which field of knowledge? It is wisdom based on the knowledge of the Atma. This wisdom is the supremest gain that can be earned in life. What greater gain can there be for man than becoming aware of his Self, himself knowing himself. Faith in the possibility of knowing oneself is necessary for every student of Sruthi (the Vedas) and Smrthi (the Moral Codes).
The object seen is clearly separate from the subject who sees. This is a universally accepted Truth. Who is this I that sees? All things that have Form are recognised and seen by the sense organ, the eye. The eye sees the physical body, other individuals, even insects, worms and things. It sees everything that is within its range. The body too is a thing that the eye sees, along with the rest. So, how can we conclude that the body is the I?
Then, who really is this I? Fire burns and also brightens. It burns things by heat and brightens them by the light it sheds. Fire is different from the things it acts upon. Now, who is it that knows this truth - the truth that 'fire' and the 'things that it burns' are different? It is the Atma. When a log burns, the fire is present and active in all of it. Similarly, the Atma pervades the entire body, and enables it to perform deeds and to move itself and its limbs.
The light shed by the lamp is the instrument that informs us at night: "This is the cup", "This is the plate". The eye is similar instrument which informs us "This is a house", "This is a thorn", "This is a stone". The eye is not the Atma. In the absence of the lamp, the eye, or, in the absence of the eye, the lamp cannot cognise the house, the thorn, the stone, the cup or the plate. Both the lamp and the eye are media or instruments of 'illumination'.
The instrument, eye, sees the body, where it is situated. The body that is seen cannot therefore be other than a similar instrument. The senses are the experiencers of hearing, tasting, seeing, touching and smelling. When the eye is known as an instrument, the other four senses too have to be recognised as tools. All these senses are under the control of the mind which is their master. Even this mind is being controlled and conditioned by some other master. The mind cannot be the core of man.
The intellect or buddhi examines the information materials offered by the mind. It is the instrument that judges and decides. For example, imagine a sharp knife. However sharp, it cannot cut a fruit on its own initiative. Nor can it cut the thinnest thread by itself. It can do so only when it is held by the hand of some one. The intellect is similar to the knife. It is helpless without the 'I', the Atma which has to wield it.
Then, we have to consider another equipment of man - the Prana or the vital air. Let us consider whether we can nominate it as the 'I'? During deep sleep, man is not conscious that he is breathing and that the 'vital airs' are alert! Of the three states - the waking (Jagrat), the dreaming (Swapna) and the sleeping (Sushupti), though the Prana is existent in all, the man is not aware of the experiences of the waking state while dreaming, nor of the experiences of the dreaming state while in the wakeful state. During sleep, the Pranas do not activate the intellect or the memory. They appear to be quiescent. When the boss is active, the dependents cannot keep quiet. Since thy are not uniformly active always, Pranas or the Prana principle cannot be considered as the 'I' or Atma.
Now about the Ego. There are two fields in which it operates and so, it has two meanings:
- Self-love, Ahamkara, the 'Dehatma', Body-consciousness, the Exterior I and
- the Inner 'I', the Pratyag-Atma.
As a result of this inquiry, it has become plain that the senses, the mind, the intellect, the vital airs - not one of these can be accepted as Atma and accorded that validity. Therefore, the question arises: What else, who else, is Atma?
It has no entry or exit, no hands and feet, no organs and limbs, no blot or blemish. It is the minutest among the minute, the hugest among the huge. Like space, it is everywhere. It is all and so it is free from 'I' and 'mine'. It is consciousness, as fire is heat, and the sun is light - it has no affinity with distress or delusion; it is supreme everlasting ecstasy, Param-ananda. It is the core, the heart of all beings; it is the awareness in all. It is the see-er of everything 'seen'; it sees all objects seen. Everyone, whatever his nature or stature, who declares, after being served by the senses, "I see", "I hear", "I taste" etc., is really only talking of lamps, of tools and not of the Atma. The Atma is not a part-see-er, a series-see-er, a non-see-er or a pseudo-see-er.
The Buddhi, like the moon, has no light in itself. Like the moon it reflects light from another source adjacent to it, namely the Atma. Buddhi can operate only by reflecting the Cosmos Intelligence, represented by the Atma.
The Sun is designated the Cosmic Eye, Jagat Chakshu, a name based on the Sun's involvement with and proximity to other objects. The Sun has no ego-sense or a sense of possession and property, and no will or want or wish. By His very presence darkness disappears and light envelopes the world. So, He is called the Enlightener. But He is not consciously doing so, as if in duty bound. The Atma too has neither obligation nor application. If asked how the Atma becomes a 'doer', the reply is - is the magnet a 'doer', simply because the needle which is in its neighbourhood moves?
The basic question may now be raised. Does the Atma exist? If it does, how and with what proof can it be established? There is no need to prove that the Atma exists, for, if the Atma is capable of being proved by certain arguments and lines of reasoning, the existence of a person, who uses those arguments and follows those lines of reasoning, has to be posited. That person will again be the Atma!
Of course, some men may reply that the Vedas are the authority for the existence of the Atma and that the Atma can be experienced and validated through the Vedas. The Vedas do prohibit certain activities as Un-atmic or opposed to the norms expected from a believer in the Atma; they do recommend certain other activities like charity, moral behaviour, as Atmic. But, the Atma is its own proof, its own witness. Its existence cannot be established by other facts, or things.
The Sastras, which are texts supplementary to the Vedas, declare that God resides wherever six excellences are evident: Enthusiasm (utsaha), determination (sahasam), courage (dhairya), good-sense (sad-buddhi), strength (sakti) and adventure (parakrama). The inaugural prayer of man has to be directed to God (Ganapathi) to gain these six gifts which can purify consciousness and reveal the Atma. One has to undertake the discovery of one's Atmic core, with bravery in the heart; this is no exercise for cowards. Wicked persons, waverers in faith, doubting hearts, woeful countenances, are destined to go through life as rogis (sick persons) and not yogis (dwellers in Atma).
This is the distinguishing mark that separates the 'wise' (jnani) from the 'unwise' (ajnani). Krishna spoke, laughing with an outburst of joy; Arjuna listened while over-powered by sorrow. The jnani is always full of joy; he laughs. The ajnani is afflicted with sorrow; he weeps.
In order to achieve victory while inquiring into the nature of the Atma, one has to pass through the Asramas - the Four Stages of Life recognised and recommended by the scriptural texts of Sanathana Dharma. Each one while passing through each stage, aware of the duties and responsibilities prescribed in the texts, learns for himself a quantum of the knowledge that leads to Atmic awareness.
It is only after the childhood years that the Asram routine will have an impact on man. Until then, he cannot gather any special knowledge about his duties and responsibilities. Man has boyhood, adolescence, youth, middle age and senescence, as stages of growth; there are also corresponding stages in the growth of wisdom in him.
In the first stage of boyhood, he is led from ignorance and 'innocence' into the world of knowledge, when he is accepted as a pupil by a Guru (Preceptor). After that, he has to serve the Guru and obey him, without feeling burdened and bound. In the second stage of youth, he has to share with society the means and measures for its progress and security; he has to start earning for his livelihood and spending his income with intelligent care; he has also the duty of providing examples to those younger than himself and guide them into socially useful paths. At the same time, he must follow the footsteps of elders and learn from them lessons for his own advancement.
In the third stage of adult-hood, intelligent attention has to be paid not only to one's own advancement and the advancement of the family and society but also to the advancement of the people generally. That too is the responsibility of the grown-ups and they must acquire the skills necessary. They must have wider visions of the peace and prosperity of all mankind, and try to contribute to both, within the limits of their capacity and resources.
Old age is the fourth stage. By the time one reaches this stage of his journey, he must have discovered that the joys available in this world are trivial and fleeting. He must be equipped with the higher knowledge of spiritual joy, available through delving into the inner spring of Bliss. Through his experiences, his heart must have softened and be filled with compassion. He has to be engrossed in promoting the progress of all beings without distinction. And he must be eager to share with others the knowledge he has accumulated and the benefit of his experiences.
Thus, occupations and resultant attitudes have been assigned to the various stages of human life. Practice is as important for confirming one in wisdom as reading is important for confirming one in knowledge. Alongside of knowledge, youth has to cultivate the good qualities of humility, reverence, devotion to God and steadfast faith. He has to engage himself in good works and enjoy them for the sheer elation they confer. During adult-hood, along with the earning of wealth and involvement in the improvement of Society, attention must be paid to the promotion and preservation of virtues and to the observance of moral codes. Steps should be taken for improving one's righteous behaviour and spiritual Sadhana. All levels of consciousness have to be purified and then directed to holy tasks.
During middle age, besides fostering the family and society, man has to live an exemplary life to inspire his children and hold forth before society, elevating ideals worth practising. No attempt should be made to belittle Society and benefit only the family, for, it is bound to fail. The Brahmam principle can be realised only by purifying one's activity and utilising that activity to serve oneself in all. It can never be realised so long as one relies on the caste into which he is born, or the intellectual equipment he has added unto himself or the mastery of the Vedas.
He who is born cannot escape death, some time, somewhere. Every moment, many are born and many die. But man has to discover how to 'avoid' death. Now, the Atma which is the core of man, is not born; since it does not take birth, it does not meet death. Death happens to the body with which it is associated, with which it mixes. The delusion that the body is the core, that the body is real, that verily is the death. Affliction by that falsehood is the act of dying. To be free from that delusion is to attain Immortality. The body it is that disintegrates, not the Atma, the Soul, the Self. The body is undergoing change every moment and the final change is death, when the Self, changeless, remains. When one believes that the changing body is oneself and starts referring to it as 'I', that 'I' dies, but the real 'I' is deathless.
As intense elevating activity and fearless inquiry into one's Truth are practised more and more, the consciousness that the 'body is oneself' can be overcome and negated. Consider the fruit of the tamarind tree. When unripe, it is not easy to separate the rind, the pulp and the seed. So too, those who have stuck to sensual desires and to fondling and feeding the body, cannot earn the awareness of the Atma. When the tamarind fruit becomes ripe, the rind can be broken off, the pulp gets detached from the seed and the seed can be isolated without effort. Inquiry and unselfish activity ripen the consciousness and the Atma can be isolated from the body, clear and pure.
The body has five encasements which hide the Atma. There are grouped under three categories - the gross, the subtle and the causal. The physical case (flesh, blood, bone etc) and the vital case (breath) form the gross body. When these two sheaths, the sthoola body (the gross body) fall or disintegrate, the body too falls and cannot rise.
The word 'sukshma' which is generally translated as 'subtle' means in Sanskrit 'small'; it has another meaning too, "that which expands." Air expands more than water; space is more expansive than air. Compared with the expanse of the liberated soul, even space has to be considered 'gross'! Steam is more expansive (subtle) than water. Though a block of ice or a lump of camphor appear 'gross' they become subtle when heated or lit.
The rule of the world is that the seen causes the unseen, the manifested explains the unmanifested. But, the rule in the realm of the Spirit is different. The latent Atma causes the patent world. Being is behind Becoming, and finally, Becoming merges in Being; the patent is absorbed into the latent. As milk from the cow, from the Supreme Person flows the Power of Maya or Relativity as the Five-element constituted Cosmos (Prakrithi), the patent manifestation. The Cosmos is cognised as a composite, just as milk is a composite of cream, curd, and butter, which can be got out of it by the action of heat and cold, and the addition of sour drops, and the process of churning thereafter. The churning separates the butter from the milk. In the same manner, through cosmic processes and upheavals of heat and cold, the Five Fundamental Elements (earth, water, fire, air, and space) were separated and Earth, this Ball of Butter, emerged as the product of the churning. If any person or thing has one of the three character-traits (balanced, passionate, dull) predominant in the makeup, we denote him as having that trait. So also the Element, which is predominant in any created entity, gives its name to it. This is the reason why the world on which we live is called Bhoomi, the Earth. The realms in space where the element of water predominates are known as Bhuvarloka and Suvarloka. The materials therein flow in currents and streams.
In short, what appears as the Five Element-Constituted Cosmos is only the superimposition on God, of the non-real Individual Self and the Five Elements. God seen in and through the non-real appears as Nature. This is but a distorted picture of Reality, this everchanging multiplicity. The fault is in the mirror that reflects, the mind that perceives, the brain that infers. What the mirror presents as true has no authenticity. The mirror is coated with dust and its face is not plain at all. God has no maya; He has no intention or need to delude, nor does He will that it should happen. But man in his ignorance sees things which do not exist and believes that they do exist just as he sees them. This weakness of his is named Adhyasa.
When God is reflected as Nature, the reflection becomes Maya. As milk curdles into yoghurt, God becomes Jagath or the World of incessant transformation, or Maya or the Image of the Unchanging Divine. His Will causes this unreal multiplicity on the One that He is; He can by His will end it. He is the Master of Maya.
God is omnipresent, omnipotent. Of the three entities, the Overself, the Self and Nature, Nature has, as its purpose, the fulfilment of the wants of man. God has no wants or wishes. He is the fullest and highest Attainment. The Ananda of every Being and for every Being flows spontaneously from God; His words to Arjuna in the Geetha are, "I have no duty to discharge, O Partha, in the three worlds." He has created duties only to foster the consciousness of all living beings. He has no activity and no obligation. He brings about the result for every activity. Without Him, no activity can yield result! He decides which result should accrue from which act.
"Vetthi ithi Vedah"; Knowing, knowledge is Veda. That is to say, man can know from the Vedas, the Code of Right Activity and the Body of Right Knowledge. The Vedas teach man his duties from birth to death. They describe his rights and duties, obligations and responsibilities in all stages of life - as a student, householder, recluse and monk. In order to make plain the Vedic dicta and axioms and enable all to understand the meaning and purpose of the do's and don'ts, the Vedangas, Puranas and Epic texts appeared, in course of time. Therefore, if man is eager to grasp his own significance and true reality, he has to understand the importance of these later explanatory compositions also.
This is the reason why the ancients taught the Vedangas and other related texts even before the pupils learnt the Vedas. This was a must in the Gurukulas or Hermitage Schools of the past. In those days, the Bharathiyas studied the 'Fourteen Vidyas', or 'Subjects'. The Vedas were learnt by rote. The master of the Vedas, who had learnt the Vedas in this manner was called Jada, or Inert! But, the word did not convey the meaning that he had not known anything. It only meant that he had nothing more to learn and was therefore 'inactive' and 'content'. Through the study of the Vedas, he had become the master of all knowledge. In order to make this human career worth while, the study of the Vedas was considered very essentialSincerely yours,Sibi Sukumar,Mobile: 91 - 9819328720" Learning derived from the scriptures is of no avail if it does not help you to reach the feet of the Lord. Love is God "
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail - Helps protect you from nasty viruses.