www.vjsingh.info
  
Books
His Life and Teachings
The Light of Truth
Introduction to the Vedas

Questions frequently asked
Natural Laws

Past dialogues a must read! Warning! Readers' discretion is advised, in some areas opinions and language might be offensive.

Guestbook
Sign Guestbook
View Guestbook
Guestbook archive II
Discussion Forum
Vedic: Five tests of true religion
Do all paths lead to God
Dogmas: Can a fool, fool God?
LINKS
Being Indian abroad
Nathuram Godse
Satyameva Jayate
Subhas C. Bose
Mdme Blavatsky Archives
Vedas
India Time History
Aryan invasion:A Myth
FreeIndia
Dayananda
Dayanand Saraswati
Wonders of Rig Veda
The origin of Mysticism
Mysticism-Vedic Legacy
Vedavid
Sardar Bhagat Singh
Aditya Dhama
Harappa Digest
New science paradigms
Contact me
E-mail
Back to
Search contents
Home Page
One True Religion
The ten principles
Gayatri Mantra
A tribute
Bawa C. Singh's
Life and Teachings
Part 12

of Swami Dayanand Saraswati's
Yoga
Sandhya (Prayer)
Homa (Agnihotra)
    To understand the true meaning of this book you must apply the
    The four subsidiary means of reasoning:

  1. Listening or reading most attentively with a calm mind to the lectures of a learned man, and more so if the subjects are a divine Science, because it is the most abstruse and the subtlest of all the sciences.
  2. Thinking over what one has heard or read in retirement, and in removing doubts if there be any by questioning the speaker. Questions may sometimes be asked even in the middle of a discourse if the speaker and the audience think proper.
  3. Rationalizing is the next step. When all doubts are cleared after hearing or reading a discourse and thinking over it, let the enquirer enter into the superior condition and see for himself by the help of yoga (self-realization through meditation) whether it is the same as he had heard and reasoned out or not.
  4. The result is the correct knowledge of the nature, properties and characteristics of the desired object.


Up | Down | Top | Bottom
The Veda Bhashya, or the Commentary
Back to contents

The Satyarth Prakash and the Veda Bhashya Bhumika are, undoubtedly, the two most popular works of Swami, but his greatest work, unquestionably, is the Bhashya or the Commentary. The Introduction to the Commentary (as has been already observed) contains a goodly number of pages, showing how the Commentaries in favor with the modern world, are spurious and misleading compositions, and how it is necessary, in the interests of truth, that a true and genuine interpretation of the Vedas for the benefit of the learned and unlearned alike be available. The Swami, certainly

PAGE 126

the greatest master of the Vedic Literature in modern times undertook to writes such commentary, and but for his premature death, a correct translation of all the four Vedas, elucidated with copious notes, would now be available. But the great scholar could not complete his self-imposed task. The Commentary embraces only the major portion of the Rigveda and the whole of the Yajurveda. But even the imperfect work is of the highest value.

it is more than sufficient to show the grandeur, the purity, and the absolute truthfulness of the Vedic Teaching, and to vindicate the genuineness, and unapproachable superiority of the ancient etymological system of interpretation to the confusion of the arbitrary and false method of interpretation introduced by Sayana, Ravana and Mahidhar, and adopted by the European scholars.

In order that the reader may be in a position to see the comparative merits of the two systems we shall take leave to quote at length from the Terminology of the Vedas (Part II), by the late lamented Pandit Gurudatta, M.A., the little work embodying the substance of what Swami Dayanand says on the "Necessity of the present commentary in the Bhumika, and in diverse other places in the Bhashya itself:-

The first canon for the interpretation of Vedic terms, which is laid down by Yaska, the author of Nirukta, is that the Vedic terms are all Yaugika.* The fourth section of the first chapter of Nirukta opens with a discussion of this very subject, in which Yaska, Gargya Shakatayana, and all other Grammarians and Etymologists, unanimously maintain that Vedic terms are all yaugika. But Yaska and Shatkatayana also maintain that rurhi** terms are also yaugika, inasmuch as they were originally framed from the roots: whereas Gargya maintains that only the rurhi terms are not yaugika. The section concludes with a refutation of the opinion of Gargya, establishing it as true that all terms, whether Vedic or rurhi, are yaugika. It is on this authority of Nirukta that Pantanjali expresses, in his Mahabhashya, Chap. III., Sec. iii., Aph. I, the same opinion, and distinguishes the Vedic terms from rurhi terms by the designation of naigama. The sense of all this is, that all the Rishis and Munis, ancient authors and commentators, without exception, regarded all Vedic terms to be yaugika, whereas some loukika terms are regarded by some as rurhi also. This principle the European scholars have entirely ignored, and hence have flooded their interpretations of the Vedas with forged or borrowed tales of mythology, with stories and anecdotes of historic or pre-historic personages.


*A yaugika term is one that has a derivative meaning, that is, one that only signifies the meaning of its root together with the modifications effected by the affixes. In fact, the structural elements, out of which the word is compounded, afford the whole and the only clue to the true signification of the word. The word is purely commentating.
**A rurhi term is the name of a definite concrete object, where the connotation of the word (as structurally determined) gives no clue to the object denoted by the word. Hence, it means a word of arbitrary significance.

PAGE 127

Thus, according to Dr. Muir, (Muir's Sanskrit Texts, III, pp. 232, 34) the following historical personages are mentioned in the Rig Veda, viz. " The Rishis Kanvas, in 1.47.2; Gotamas, in 1.79.10; Gritsamadas, in II.39, 8. Bhrigavas, in IV 16. 23; and Vrihaduktha, in x. 54. 6. But what is the truth? The words kanva and Gritsa only signify learned men in general (see Nighantu, iii. 13); the word Bhrigavah only signifies men of intellect (see Nighantu, v.5). The word Gotama signifies one who praises; and Vrihadukthat is simply one whose ukthas, or knowledge of natural properties or objects, is vrihat or complete.

It is clear, then, that if this principle is ignored, one is easily landed into anecdotes of historical or prehistoric personages. The same might be said of Max Muller discovering the story of Shunahshepa in the Rig. Veda, Shepa, which means "contact" (Nirukta iii, 2. SHEPAH SHAPATE SPRISHATI KARMMANOH: being suffixed to SHUNAH or SVAN which means, knowledge, (SHVAA SHVATEH SHAVATE SARVAA GATIKARMMANAH SYAAT), means one has come into contact with knowledge, i.e., a learned person. It shall appear, in the progress of this article, how mantra after mantra is misinterpreted by simply falsifying the law of Nirukta.

To an unprejudiced mind, the correctness of this law will never be doubtful. For, independently of the authority of Nirukta, the very antiquity of the Vedas is a clear proof of its words being yaugika.

Professor Max Muller on Sanskrit and the Vedas.
Back to contents

And even Professor Max Muller, in his mythological moods, is compelled to confess, at least concerning certain portions of the Vedas, that their words are yaugika. Says he:-
"But there is a charm in these primitive strains discoverable in no other class of poetry. Every word retains something of its radical meaning; every epithet tells; every thought, in spite of the most intricate and abrupt expressions, is, if we once disentangle it, true, correct and complete." (Page 533, Max Muller's History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature.)
Further, again, says Max Muller:-
"Names" are to be found in the Vedas, as it were, in a still fluid State. They never appear as appellatives, nor yet as proper names; they are organic, not yet broken or smoothed down." Page 755. ibid)
Can there be anything clearer than this? The terms occurring in the Vedas are yaugika, because "they never appear as appellatives, nor yet as proper names." It is strange to find that the self-same Mac Muller, who has perceived the yaugika character of words in some mantras of the Vedas, should deny the same characteristic in other portions of the Vedas. Having said that words are yaugika in these "primitive strains," the Vedas, he proceeds to say:-
"But this is not the case with all poems of the Vedas. It would be tedious to translate many specimens of what I consider the poetry of the secondary age, the mantra period. These songs are generally intended for sacrificial purposes, they are loaded with technicalities, their imagery is sometimes more brilliant, but always less perspicuous, and many thoughts and expressions are clearly borrowed from earlier hymns." Page 558, ibid)
PAGE 128

This he calls the Mantra period. The "primitive strains" belong to what is called Chhandas period. He describes the characteristics of the Chhandas period, as distinguished from the Mantra period that had been above described, thus:-

"There is no very deep wisdom in their teaching, their laws are simple, their poetry shows no very high flights of fancy, and their religion might be told in a few words. But whatever there is of their language, poetry and religion has a charm which no other period of Indian literature possesses; it is spontaneous, original and truthful." Page 526, ibid)
Prof. Max Muller quotes Rigveda, vii, 77, as a specimen hymn of the Chhandas period. Says he:-
"This hymn, addressed to dawn, is a fair specimen of the original simple poetry of the Veda. It has no reference to any special sacrifice; it contains no technical expressions; it can hardly be called a hymn, in our sense of the word. It is simply a poem, expressing without any effort, without any display of a far-fetched thought or brilliant imager, the feelings of a man who has watched the approach of the dawn with mingled delight and awe, and who was moved to give utterance to what he felt in measured language." (Pages 552, ibid)
From these quotations it will be clear that Professor Max Muller regards different portions of the Vedas belonging to different periods. There are some earlier portions (according to Max Muller's highly accurate calculations, the very exactness and infallibility of which Goldstuker bears ample testimony to), which he calls as belonging to the chhandas period. The word chhandas, laukika Sanskrit, means spontaneity. Hence he regards Chhandas period to be the one the hymns of which period only teach common things, are free from the flight of fancy, and are the spontaneous utterances of a simple (foolish!) mind.

The mantra period (2,900 years older) is full of technicalities and descriptions of elaborate ceremonies. Now we ask what proof has Max Muller given to show that the different portions of the Vedas belong to different periods. His proofs are only two. Firstly, the ill-conceived, confused idea of the difference between Chhandas and Mantra; and secondly, the different phases of thought represented by the two portions.
We will consider each of these reasons in detail. Says Yaska

MANTRAH MANNAAT CHHANDAASI CHHADNAAT STOMAH STAVANAAT YAJURJATE SAAM SAMITAMRICHAA Nirukta 7,12.
It means that there is no difference in the meaning of Mantra and Chhandas. The Veda called the Mantra, as through it one learns the true knowledge of all existences. The Veda is also called the Chhandas, as it removes all ignorance and brings one under the protection of true knowledge and happiness. Or more explicitly still we read in Shatapatha, viii, 2,
CHANDAASI VAI DEVAA VAYONAADHAASHCHHANDO BHIRHODAN SARVA VAYUNAM NADHHAM
PAGE 129

"The Mantras (deva) are called Chhandas, for a knowledge of all human conduct is bound up with them. It is through them that we learn all righteous conduct." The yaugika sense of the words will also lead to the same conclusion. Mantra may be derived from the root man to think, or mantri to reveal the secret knowledge. Panini thus derives the word Chhandas; CHANDO RAADESHCHA CHHAH (Unadi Kosha, iv, 219) Chhandas is that derived from the root chadi to delight or illumine. Chhandas is that the knowledge of which produces all delights, or which illumines everything, i.e., reveals its true nature.

The second reason Max Muller for assigning different periods to different portions of the Vedas is that there are two different phases of though discoverable in the Vedas. The one is the truthful and the simple phase of thought which corresponds to his chhandas period. The other is the elaborate and technical phase of thought that corresponds to the Mantra period. But what proof has Max Muller to show that the hymns of his secondary period are full of elaborate and technical thought?

Evidently this, that he interprets them thus. If his interpretations were proved to be wrong, his distinction between the two periods will also fall to the ground. Now, why does he interpret the hymns of the Mantra period thus? Evidently because, on the authority of Sayana and Mahidhara, he takes these words not objects and ceremonies, or, in other words, he takes these words not in their yaugika, but in their rurhi sense. It is clear, then, that if Max Muller had kept in view, the canon of the interpretation given in Nirukta, that all Vedic words are yaugika, he would not have fallen into the fallacious anachronism of assigning different periods to different parts of the Vedas.

Laws of nature little known.
Back to contents

But there is another prejudice which is cherished by many scholars evidently under the impression of its being a well-recognized scientific doctrine. It is that in the ruder stages of civilization, when laws of nature are little known and but little understood, when mankind has not enough of the experience of the world, strict methods of correct reasoning are very seldom observed.

On the other hand, analogy plays a most important part in the performances of intellectual functions of man. The slightest semblance or visage of semblance is enough to justify the exercise of analogy. The most palpable of the forces of nature impress the human mind in such a period of rude beginnings of human experience, by motions mainly.

The wind blowing, the fire burning, a stone rolling, or a fruit dropping, affects the senses essentially as moving. Now throughout the range of conscious exertion of muscular power, will precedes motion, and since even the most grotesque experience of a savage in this world assumes this knowledge, it is no great stretch of intellectual power to argue that these natural forces also, to which the sensible motions are due, are endowed with the faculty of will.

The personification of the forces of nature being thus affected, their deifications soon follows. The over-whelming potency, the unobstructible might, and often the violence, with which, in the sight of a savage, these forces operate, strike him with terror, awe and reverence.

PAGE 130

A sense of his own weakness, humility and inferiority creeps over the savage mind, and, what was intellectually personified, becomes emotionally deified. According to this view, the Vedas undoubtedly books of primitive times, consist of prayers from such an emotional character addressed to the forces of nature including wind and rain � prayers breathing passions of the savage for vengeance or for propitiation, or, in moments of poetic exaltation, hymns simply portraying the simple phenomena of nature in the personified language of mythology.

It is, therefore, more agreeable for these scholars to believe that the Vedas, no doubt books of primitive times, are records of the mythological ore of the ancient Aryans.

And since, even according to the confessions of Max Muller, higher truths of philosophy and monotheism are to found there and there in the Vedas, it has become difficult to reconcile the mythological interpretation of the main part of the Vedas with the philosophical portions. Says Max Muller:-
"I add only one more hymn [Rig. x. 121], in which the idea of one God is expressed with such power and decision that it will make us hesitate before we deny to the Aryan nations an instinctive monotheism." Max. Muller's History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 568.
It is, therefore, argued by some that the mythological portions are earlier than philosophical ones; for, the primitive faith, as already indicated, is always mythology.

The fundamental error of this supposition lies in regarding a contingent conclusion as a necessary one; for, although mythology may be the result of barbarous intellect and analogical reasoning, it is not necessarily always so. It may even grow up as a degenerate, deformed and petrified remnant of a purer and truer region. The history of religious practices, primarily designed to meet certain real wants, degenerating, after a lapse of time, on the cessation of those wants, into mere ceremonies and customs, is an ample testimony of the above remarks.

Had the European Scholars never come across the mythological commentaries of Sayana and Mahidhara, or the puranic literature of post-Vedic (nay anti-Vedic) period, it would have been impossible for them, from the mere grounds of comparative mythology or Sanskrit philology, to alight on such interpretations of the Vedas as are at present current among them. May it not be, that the whole mythological fabric of the puranas, later as they are, was raised long after the vitality of true Vedic philosophy had departed from their words in the sight of the ignorant pedants?

Indeed, when one considers that the Upanishats inculcate that philosophical monotheism, the parallel of which does not exist in the world a monotheism that can only be conceived after a full conviction in the uniformity of nature, - and that they, together with the philosophical Darshanas, all preceded the puranas; when one considers all this he can hardly resist the conclusion that, at least in India, mythology rose as a rotten remnant of the old philosophical living religion of the Vedas. When, through the ignorance of men, the yaugika meanings of the Vedic words were forgotten, and proper names interpreted instead, there

PAGE 131

grew up a morbid mythology, the curse of modern idolatrous India. That mythology may thus arise on account of the decay of the primitive meaning of old words, even Professor Max Muller admits, when speaking of the degeneration of truth into mythology by a process, be styles dialectic growth and decay,or dialectic life of religion. He says:-

"It is well-known that ancient languages are particularly rich in synonyms, or, to speak more correctly, that in them the same object is called by many names is, in face, polygamous. While in modern languages most objects have one name, only, we find in ancient the same object. This is perfectly natural. Each name could express one side only of whatever had to be named, and not satisfied with one partial name, the early framers of language produced one name after the other, and after a time retained those which seemed most useful for a special purpose. Thus the sky might be called not only the brilliant, but the dark, the covering, the thundering, the rain-giving. This is the polytomy in language, and it is what we are accustomed to call polytheism in religion." Max Muller's History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature (pp. 276-7).
To return to the subject. Yaska lays down a canon for the interpretation of Vedic terms. Ti is that the Vedic terms are yaugika. Mahabhashya repeats the same. We have seen how this law is set aside and ignored by the European scholars in the interpretations of the Vedas, whence have arise serious mistakes in their translation of the Vedas. We have also seen how Dr. Muir, falling in the same mistake, interprets general terms as proper nouns; and how Mac Muller, also led by the same error, wrongly divides the Vedas into two parts, the prior Chhandas and Mantra.

We have also seen how, due to the ignorance of the same law, mantras upon mantras have been interpreted as mythological in meaning; whereas some few mantras could only e interpreted philosophically, thus giving rise to the question of reconciling philosophy with mythology. To further illustrate the importance of the proposition, that all Vedic terms are yaugika, I herewith subjoin the true translation of the fourth mantra of the fifitieth Sukta of Rigveda with my comments thereon, and the translation of the same by Monier Williams for comparison. Surya, as a yaugika word, means both the sun and the Divinity. Monier Williams takes it to represent the sun only. Other terms will become explicit in the course of exposition. The mantra runs as follows:-

TARRANIVISHAVADARSHATO JYOTISHDRIDASI SOORYYA VISHVAMAABHAASI ROCHANAM.
The subject is the gorgeous wonders of the solar and the electric worlds. A grand problem I here propounded in this mantra. Who is there that is not struck with the multiplicity of objects and appearances? Who that has not lost thought itself in contemplation of the infinite varieties that inhabit even our own planet? Even the varieties of plant life have not yet been counted. The number of animal and plant species, together with the vast number of mineral compounds, may truly be called infinite. But why confine ourselves to this earth alone? Who has counted the host of heavens and the

PAGE 132

infinity of stars, the innumerable number of worlds yet made and still remaining to be made? What mortal eye can measure and scan the depths of space? Light travels at the rate of 186,000 miles per second. There are stars from which rays of light have started on their journey ever since the day of creation, hundreds of millions of years ago, the rays have sped on and on with the unearthly velocity of 186,000 per second through space, and have only now penetrated into the atmosphere of our earth. Imagine the infinite depth of space with which we are on all sides surrounded. Are we not stuck with variety and diversity in every direction? Is not differentiation the universal formula?

Whence have these manifold and different objects of the universe proceeded? How is it that the same Universal-Father-Spirit, permeating in all and acting on all, produced those heterogeneous items of the universe? Where lies the cause of difference? A difference was so striking and so beautiful! How can the same God acting upon the universe produce and earth here and a dry land there, any a Swami here and an idiot there? The answer to this question is impressed in the very solar constitution.

Scientific philosophers assure us that color is not an intrinsic property of matter as popular belief would have it. But it is an accident of matter. A red object appears red, not because it is essentially so but because of an extraneous cause. Red and violet would appear equally back when placed in the dark. It is the magic of sunbeams which imparts to them this special influence, this chromatic beauty, this congenial coloration.

In a lonely forest, mid gloom and wilderness, a weary traveller, who had betaken himself to the alluring shadow of a pompous tree, lay down to rest and there sank in deep slumber. He awoke and found himself enveloped in gloom and dismal darkness on all sides. No earthly object was visible on either side. A thick black firmament on high, so beclouded as to inspire with the conviction that the sun had never shone there, a heavy gloom on the right, a gloom on the left, a gloom before and a gloom behind. Thus labored the traveler under the ghastly, frightful wind-spell of frozen darkness.

Immediately the heat-carrying rays of the sun struck upon the massive cloud, and, as if by a magic touch, the frozen gloom began to melt, a heavy shower of rain fell down. It cleared the atmosphere of suspended shower of rain fell down. It cleared the atmosphere of suspended dust particles, , and in a twinkling of an eye, fled the moisture-laden sheet of darkness, resigning its realm to awakened vision entire. The traveller turned his eyes in ecstatic wonder from one direction to the other, and beheld a dirty gutter flowing there, a crystalline pond reposing there, a green grass meadow more beautiful than velvet plain on one side, and a cluster of variegated fragrant flowers on the other.

The feathery creation with peacock's train, and deer with slender legs, and chirping birds with plumage lent from Heaven, all, in fact all, darted into vision. Was there naught before the sun had shone? Has verdant forests, rich with luxuriant vegetation, and filled with the music of birds, all grown in a moment? Where lay the crystalline waters; where the blue canopy; where the fragrant flower? Has they been transported there by some magical power in the twinkling of an eye from dark dim, distant region of chaos?

PAGE 133

No! they did not spring up in a moment. They were already there. But the sunbeams had not shed their lustre on them. It required the magic of the lustrous sun to shine, before scenes of exquisite beauty could dart in vision. It required the luminous rays of the resplendent orb to shed their influence, ere the eyes could roll in the beautiful, charming, harmonious, reposeful and refreshing scenes of fragrant green.

Yes, thus, even thus, is this sublimely attractive universe , ROCHANAM DISHAVA, illuminated by a sun SOORYA AABHAASI, the Sun that knows no setting, the Sun that caused our planets and the solar orb to appear JYOTISHDRIDA , the Sun that evolves the panorama of this grand creation, VISHVADARSHATIH the eternal Sun ever existing through eternity in perpetual action for the good of all.

He sheds the rays of His Wisdom all around; the deeply thirsty, parching and blast-dried atoms of matter drink, to satiation, from the ever-flowing, ever-gushing, every-illuminating rays of Divine wisdom, their appropriate elements and essences of phenomenal existence and panoramic display. Thus in this Universe sustained, One central Sun producing an infinity of colors. One central Divinity producing infinity of worlds and objects. Compare with this Monier William's translation:-

"With speed beyond the ken of mortals, thou, o sun,
Dost every travel on, conspicuous to all.
Thou dost create the light, and with it illumine
The entire universe."
We have shown why we regard Chhandas and Mantra as synonymous. We have also seen how Max Muller distinguishes between Chhandas and Mantra, regarding the latter as belonging to the perspicuous than the former. He points out its chief character to be that these songs are generally intended for sacrificial purposes. Concerning this Mantra period, he says: "One specimen may suffice, a hymn describing the sacrifice of the horse with the full detail of a superstitious ceremonial (Rigveda, I; 162).

We shall, therefore, quote the 162nd Sukta of Rigveda, as it is the specimen hymn of Max Muller, with his translation, and show how, due to a defective knowledge of Vedic literature and to the rejection of the principle that Vedic terms are all yaugika, Professor Max Muller translates a purely scientific hymn, distinguishable in no characteristic from the Chhandas of the Vedas, as representative of an artificial and cumbersome and highly superstitious ritual or ceremonial.

To our thinking, Muller"s interpretation is so very incongruous, unintelligible and superficial, that was the interpretation even regarded as possible, it could never be conceived as the description of an actual ceremonial. And now the hymn. The first mantra runs thus:-

MAA NO MITRO VARUNO ARYAMA AYUINDRA RIGBHUSHAA MARUTAH PARI KHYAN
YADVAAJINO DEDAJAATASYA SAPTEH PRAVASHYAAMO VIDATHE VIDHYARNI
Max Muller translates it: May Mitra, Varuna, Aryaman,

PAGE 134

Ayu, Indra, the Lord of Ribhus, and the Maruts not rebuke us, because we shall proclaim at the sacrifice the virtue of the swift horse sprung from the gods. Max Muller's History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 553.)

That the above interpretation may be regarded as real or as true, let Professor Max Muller prove hat Aryans of the Vedic times entertained the superstition that at least one swift horse had sprung from the gods: also that the gods Mitra, Varuna, Aryaman, Ayu, Indra, the Lord of Ribhus, and the Maruts did not like to hear the virtues of the swift horse proclaimed at the sacrifice: for, if otherwise, they would have no reasons to rebuke the poet.

Not one of these positions it is ever possible to entertain with validity. Even the most diseased conception of a savage shrinks from such a superstition as the swift horse sprung from the gods. It is also in vain to refer for the verification of this position to the ashwamdedha of the so-called Puranas. The whole truth is that this mythology of ashwamedha arose the same way in which originates Max Muller"s translation. It originates from an ignorance of the dialectic laws of the Vedas when words having a yaugika sense are taken for proper nouns, and an imaginary mythology started.

To take, for instance the mantra quoted above, Max Muller is evidently under the impression that Mitra is the "God of the day"; Varuna is the "God of the investing sky"; Aryaman the "God of death"; Ayu the "God of the wind"; Indra the "God of the watery atmosphere"; Ribhus the "celestial artists"; and that Maruts are the storm-gods". But why these gods? Because he ignores the yaugika sense of these words and takes them as proper nouns.

Literally speaking, mitra means friend; varuna, a man of noble qualities; aryaman, a judge or an administrator of justice; ayu, a learned man; indra a governor; ribuksha, a wise man; marutahs, those who practically observe the laws of seasons. The word ashwa which occurs in the mantra, does not mean horse only, but it also means the group of three forces heat, electricity and magnetism. It, in fact, means anything that can carry soon through a distance. Hence writes Swami Dayanand at the beginning of this Sukta. (Rigveda Bhashyam Vol. XI p.533.)

ATHASHVASYA VIDHYUDROOPENAA VYAAPTASAYAAGNESHCHA VIDHYAA MAHI.
"This sukta is an expostion of ashwavidya which means the science of training horses and the science of heat which pervades everywhere in the shape of electricity."
That "ashwa" means heat will be clear from the following quotations:- (Rv. I, 27, 1)>
ASHVAM NA TVAA VAARAVANTAM VIDADHYAA AGNI NAMOBHI:
The words ashwam agnim show that ashwa means agni or heat.
And further:-
BRISHO AGNIAH SAMICHYATEAASHVO NA DEVAVAAHANAH TAM HA VISHMAN EEDATE
which means: "Agni;" the ashwa, carry, like an animal of conveyance, the learned who thus recognize its distance carrying properties; Or, further Shatapatha Br. I, III 3. 2930.)

PAGE 135

VRISHO AGNIH ASHVO HA VAA ESHA BHOOTVAA DEVEBHYO YAJNAM VAHATI
The above quotations are deemed sufficient to show both meanings of ashwa as above indicated.
Professor Max Muller translates the "devajata" of the mantra as "sprung from the gods." This is again wrong, for he again takes deva in its popular (laukika) sense, God; whereas devajata means "with brilliant qualities manifested, or evoked to work by learned men": the word deva meaning both brilliant qualities and learned men. Again Max Muller translates "virye" merely into virtues, instead of "power-generating virtues". The true meaning of the mantra, therefore is:
"We will describe the power-generating virtues of the energetic horses endowed with brilliant properties or the virtues of the vigorous force of heat which learned or scientific men can evoke to work for purposes of appliances (not sacrifice). Let not philanthropists, noblemen, judges, learned men, rulers, wise men and practical mechanics ever disregard these properties."
With this compare Max Muller's translation:-
May Mitra, Varuna, Aryaman, Ayu, Indra, the Lord of Ribhus and the Maruts not rebuke us, because we shall proclaim at the sacrifice the virtues or the swift horse sprung from the gods."
YANNI NIRJAA REKNASAA PRAAVRITASYA RAATI GRI BHEETAAM MUKHATO NAYANTI
SUPRAANAJO MEMYADVISHVAROOPA INDRAAPOOSHNOH PRIYAMAPYETI PAAPTHAH
Max Muller translates it thus:-
"When they lead before the horse, which is decked with pure gold ornaments, the offering, firmly grasped, the spotted goat bleats while walking onward; it goes the path beloved by Indra and Pushan."

Here, again, there is no sense in the passage. The bleating of the goat has no connection with the leading of the offering before the horse, nor any with it's walking onward. Nor is the path of Indra and Pushan in any way defined. In fact, it is very clear that there is no definite, specific relation between the first mantra and this, according to Muller's translation, unless a far-fetched connection be forced by the imagination bent to discover or invent some curious, inconceivable mythology.

And now to the application of the principle that all Vedic terms are yaugika, Max Muller translates REKNASAS into "gold ornaments", whereas it only means "wealth" (see Nighantu, ii. 10). RATI which signifies the mere act of "giving". Is converted into an "offering"; VISHVARUPA, which only means "one having an idea of all forms" is converted into "spotted"; AJA, which means a man once born in wisdom being never born again, is converted into a "goat"; MEMYAT, from root prachh to question, "one who is able enough to put questions elegantly", is translated as, "walking onward"; PATHAH, which only means drink or food, is translated into path; and lastly, the words INDRA and PUSHAN instead of meaning the governing people and the strong, are again made to signify two deities

PAGE 136

with their proper names "Indra" and "Pushan". Concerning the word PATHAH, writes Yaska, vi. 7:-

PAATHO AANTARISHAM UDADAMAMAPI PAATHA UCHYATE PAANAAT
ANNAMAPI PAATHA UCHYATE PAA NAADEVA
Mukhato nayanti, which means, "they bring out, of the organ of speech", or "they explain or preach", is translated by Max Muller into "they lead before".

It is clear that, in the one mantra alone, there are nine words that have been wrongly translated by Max Muller, which all is due to this, that the yaugika sense of the words has been ignored, the rurhi or the laukika sense being everywhere forced in the translation. The translation of the Mantra, according to the sense of the words we have given, will be:-

"They who preach that only wealth earned by righteous means should be appropriated and spent, and those born in wisdom. Who are well-versed in questioning others elegantly, in the science of form and in correcting the universe, these and such alone drink the potion of strength and of power to govern."
The connection of the this mantra with the foregoing is that the ashwavidya, spoken of in the first mantra, should be practiced only by those who are possessed of righteous means, are wise and have the capacity to govern and control.
We come now to the 3rd mantra of 162nd Sukta: -
AYSHACHCHHAAJAH PURO ASHVENA VAAJINAA POOSHANO BHAAGO NIYATE VISHAVADEVYAH
ABHIPRIYAM YATPURODAASHAMARVATAA TVASHTEDENAM SOWTRAVASAAYA JINVATI
Max Muller translated it thus:-
"This goat destined for all the gods, is led first with the quick horse, as Pushan/s share; for Tvashtri himself raises glory this offering which is brought with the horse."

Here, again, we find the same artificial stretch of imagination which is the characteristic of this translation. How can the goat be "destined for all gods", and at the same time be "Pushan's share" alone? Here Max Muller gives a reason for the goat being led first as Pushan's share; the reason is that "Tvashtri himself raises to glory this pleasant offering". Now who is this Tvashtri, and how is he related to Pushan? How does Tvashtri himself raise to glory this pleasant offering? All these are questions left to be answered by the blank imagination of the reader. Such a translation can only do one service. It is that of making fools of the Vedic Rishis whom Max Muller supposes to be the authors of the Vedas!

The word viswadevyas, which Max Muller translates as "destined for all the gods". Can never grammatically mean so. The utmost that one can make for Max Muller on this word is that vishwdevyas should mean "for all the devas", but "destined" is a pure addition unwarranted by grammar. Vishwadevya is formed from Vishwadeva by the addition fo the suffix yat in the sense of tatra sadhu. (See Ashtadhyayi, iv, 4, 98). The meaning is:-

PAGE 137

VISHVESHU DEVESHU DIVYAHUNESHE SAADHUVISHVADEVYAH
or vishwadevyas is whatsoever is par excellence fit to produce useful properties. We have spoken of Max Muller translating pushan, which means strength into a proper noun. Tvashtri, which simply means one who befits things or a skillful hand, is again converted into a proper noun. Purodasha, which means food well-cooked, is translated into "offering". The words "which is brought with" are, of course, Mac Muller's addition to putting sense into what would otherwise be without any sense.

Arvat which, no doubt, sometimes "means a horse", here means "knowledge". For, if "horse" were intended, some adjectives of significance could have so changed the meaning. Saushravasaya Jinvati, which means "obtains for purpose of a good food" (Shravas, in Vedic Sanskrit, meaning food or anna), is translated by Max Muller into "raises to glory". The true meaning would be:-

"The goat possessed of useful properties yields milk as a strengthening food for horses. The best cereal is useful when mde into pleasant food well-prepared by an apt cook according to the modes dictated by specific knowledge of the properties of foods."
SAYANA FATHER OF EUROPEAN VEDIC SCHOLARSHIP.
Back to contents

We leave now Max Muller and his interpretations, and come to another commentator of the Vedas, Sayana. Sayana may truly be called the father of European Vedic scholarship. Sayana is the author from whose voluminous commentaries the Europeans have drunk in the deep wells of mythology. It is upon the interpretation of Madhava Sayana that the translations of Wilson, Benfey and Langlois are based. It is Sayana whose commentaries are appealed to in all doubtful cases.
"If a dwarf on the shoulders of a giant can see farther than the giant, he is no less a dwarf in comparison with the giant."
If modern exegetes and lexicographers, standing at the top of Sayana, i.e., with their main knowledge of the Vedas borrowed from Sayana, should now exclaim: "Sayana intimates only that sense of the Vedas which was current in India some centuries ago, but comparative philology gives us that meaning which the poets themselves gave to their songs and phrases"; or, if the should exclaim that they have the great advantage of putting together ten or twenty passages for examining the sense of a word which occurs in them, which Sayana had not, nothing is to be wondered at.

Madhava Sayana, the voluminous commentator of all the Vedas, of the most important Brahmanas and a Kalpa work, the renowned Mimasist, - he, the great grammarian, who wrote the learned commentary on Sanskrit radicals: yes, he is still a model of learning and a colossal giant of memory, in comparison to our modern, in comparison to our modern philologists and scholars.

Let modern scholars, therefore always bear in mind that Sayana is the life of their scholarship, their comparative philology, and their so much boasted interpretation of the Vedas. And if Sayana was himself diseased - whatsoever the value of the efforts of modern scholars their comparative philology, their new interpretations, and their so-called marvelous achievements cannot but be diseased. Doubt not that the vitality of modern comparative philology and Vedic scholarship is wholly derived from the diseased and defective victuals of Sayana's learning. Sooner or later, the disease will develop its final symptoms and sap

PAGE 138

the foundation of the very vitality it seemed to produce. No branch of a tree can live or flourish when separated from the living stock. No interpretations of the Vedas will, in the end, ever succeed unless they are in accord with the living sense of the Vedas in the Nirukta and the Brahmanas.

I quote here a mantra from Rigveda, and will show how Sayana's interpretations radically differ from the exposition of Nirukta. The mantra is from Rigveda, ix, 96. It runs thus:-

BRAHMA DEVAANAAM PADAVEEH KAVINAAM RISHIVEE PRAANAAM MAHISHO MRIGAANAAM
SHYENO GRIDHRANAAM SVADHITIRVAHAANAAM SOMAH PAVITRAMATYETI REBHAN
Says Sayana:
"God himself appears as Brahma among the gods, Indra, Agni etc.: He appears as Vaishtha, etc., among the Brahmans; He appears as a buffalo among quadrupeds; He appears as an eagle among the birds; He appears as an ax in the forest; He appears as the soma juice purified by mantras, excelling in its power of purification the sacred waters of the Ganges, etc., etc."

The translation bears the stamp of the time when it was produced. It is the effort of a Pandit to establish his name by appealing to popular prejudice and feeling. Evidently, when Sayana wrote, the religion of India was "pantheism." Or, everything is God; evidently superstition has so far increased that the waters of the Ganges were regarded as sacred; incarnations were believed in; the worship of Brahma, Vasistha and other rishis was at its acme.

It was probably the age of the dramatists and poets. Sayana was himself a resident of some city or town. He was not a villager. He was familiar with the ax as an instrument of the destruction of forests, etc., but not the lightning or fire as a similar but more powerful agent. His translation does not mirror the sense of the Vedas but that of his own age. His interpretation of Brahma, kavi, deva, rishi, vipra, mahisha, mriga, shyen, gridhara, vana, soma, pavitra - of all these words, without one exception, is purely rurhi or laukika.

Now follows the exposition of Yaska in his Nirukta, xiv. 13. There is not a single word that is not taken its yaugika sense. We will not speak of the spiritual sense of the mantra as Yaska

PAGE 139

gives it. It is his object to explain that the human spirit is the central conscious being that enjoys all experience. The external world as, revealed by the senses, finds its purpose and object, and, therefore, absorption in this central being. The indriyas or the senses are called the devas, because they have their play in the external phenomenal world, and because it is by them that the external world is revealed to us.

Hence Atama, the human spirit, is the brahma devanam, the conscious entity that presents to its consciousness all that the senses reveal. Similarly, the senses are called the kavayah, because one learns by their means. The Atma, then, is padavi kavinam or the true sentient being that understands the working of the senses.

Further, the Atma is isrishir vipranam, the cognizor of sensations; vipra meaning the senses as the feelings excited by them pervade the whole body. The senses are also called the mrigas, for they hunt about their proper aliment in the external world. Atma is mahisho mriganam, i.e., the great of all the hunters. The meaning is, that it is really through the power of Atma that the senses are enabled to find out their proper objects. The Atma is called shyena, as to it belongs the power of realization; and gridhras are the indras, for they provide material for such realization.

The Atma, then, pervades these senses. Further, this Atma is swadhitir vananam, or the master whom all indriyas serve. Swadhitt means Atma, for the activity of Atma is all for itself, man being an end unto himself. "The senses are called vana, for they serve their master, the human spirit. It is this Atma that, being pure in its nature, enjoys all." Such, then, is the yaugika sense which Yaska attaches to the mantra.

Not only is it all consistent and intelligible unlike Sayana's, which conveys no actual sense; not only is each word clearly defined in its yaugika meaning, in contradistinction with Sayana who knows no other sense of the word than the popular one, but there is also to be found that simplicity, naturalness and truthfulness of meaning, rendering it independent of all time and space, which contrasted with the artificiality, burdensomeness and localization of Sayana's sense, can only proclaim Sayana's complete ignorance of the principles of Vedic interpretation.

It is Sayana upon whose commentaries of the Vedas are based the translations of European scholars.

We leave now Max Muller and Ayana with their rurhi translations, and come to anther question, which, though remotely connected with the one just mentioned, is yet important enough to be separately treated. It is the question concerning the religion of the Vedas.European scholars and idolatrous superstitious Hindus are of the opinion that the Vedas inculcate the worship of innumerable gods and goddesses (devatas).

The word devata is a most fruitful source of error, and it is very necessary that its exact meaning and application should be determined. Not understanding the Vedic sense of the word devata, and easily admitting the popular superstitious interpretation of a belief in mythological gods and goddesses, crumbling into wretched idolatry, European scholars have imagined the Vedas to be full of the worship of such materials, and have gone so far in their reverence for the Vedas as to degrade its religion even below polytheism, and perhaps at par with atheism. In their fit of benevolence,

PAGE 140

the European scholars have been gracious enough to endow this religion with a title, a name, and that is Henotheism!

After classifying religions into polytheistic, dualistic, monotheistic, remarks Max Muller:-

"It would certainly be necessary to add two other classes" the henotheistic and the atheistic. Henotheistic religions differ from polytheistic, because, although they recognize the existence of various deities or names of deities, they represent each deity as independent of all the rest, as the only deity present in the mind of the worshipper at the time of his worship and prayer. This character is very prominent in the religion of the Vedic poets.

Although many gods are invoked in different hymns, sometimes also in the same hymn, yet there is no rule of precedence established among them; and, according to the varying aspects of the nature, and the varying cravings of the human heart, it is sometimes Indra, the God of the blue sky, sometimes Agni, the God of fire, sometimes Varuna, the ancient God of the firmament, who are praised as supreme without any suspicion of rivalry, or any idea of subordination. This peculiar phase of religion, this worship of single gods forms probably everywhere the first stage in the growth of polytheism, and deserves, therefore, a separate name. ( Lectures of the Science of Religion, London 1873, pp.112.)

To further illustrate the principles of this new religion, henotheism, says Max Muller:-

"When these individual gods are invoked, they are not conceived as limited by the power of others as superior or inferior in rank. Each god is to the mind of the supplicant as good as all the gods. He is felt, at the time, as a real divinity, as supreme and absolute, in spite of the necessary limitations which, to our mind, a plurality of gods must entail on every single god.

All the rest disappear for a moment from the vision of the poet, and he is only who is to fulfill their desires stands in full light before the eyes of the worshippers among you, O gods, there is none that is small, none that is young; you are all great indeed", is a sentiment which, though perhaps not so distinctly expressed as by Manu Vaivasvata, nevertheless, underlies all the poetry of the Veda. Although the gods are sometimes distinctly invoked as the great and the small, the young and the old (Rv.,i. 27, 13), this is only an attempt to find out the most comprehensive expression for the divine powers, and nowhere is any of the gods represented as the salve of others." (History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature. P;532-3)

As an illustration:-
"When Agni, the lord of fire, addressed by the poet, he is spoken of as the first god not inferior even to Indra. When Agni is invoked, Indra is forgotten; there is no competition between the two, nor any rivalry between them and other gods. This is a most important feature in the religion of the Veda and has never been taken into consideration by those who have written on the history of ancient polytheism."

PAGE 141

We have seen what Max Muller's view of the Religion of the Vedas is. We may be sure that the review of other European scholars also cannot be otherwise. Is henotheism really, then, the religion of the Vedas? Is the worship of devatas an essential feature of Vedic worship? Are we to believe Max Muller ans assert that the far uprooted its instincts as to fall down to an acquired belief in henotheism? No, not so. The Vedas, the sacred books of the primitive Aryans, are the purest record of the highest form of monotheism possibly conceive. Scholars cannot long continue to misconstrue the Vedas, and ignore the laws of their interpretation. Says Yaska:-

ATHAATO DAIFATAM TADHYAANI NAAMAANI PRADHANYASTUTINAAM DEVATAANAAM TADTAIVATA-MITYAACHASHATE SAISHA DEVATOPAPARISHAA
YATKAAMAA SHRIDSHIRYASYAAM DEVATAAYAAMAARTHAPATYA-MIXHCHHAN STUTI PRAYUNATKE TADTAIVATAH SA MANDTRO BHAVATI
"Devata is a general term applied to those substances whose attributes are explained in mantra." The sense of the above is that when it is known which substance it is that forms the subject of exposition in the mantra, the term signifying that substance is called the devata of the mantra. Take, for instance, the mantra:-
AGNIM DOOTAM PURODADHE JAVYAVAAHAMUPABRUVE
DEVAAM TWO AA SAADAYAADIHA

"I present to your considerationagni which is fruitful source of worldly enjoyments, which is capable of working as though it were a messenger, and endowed with the property of preparing all our foods, hear ye and do the same."

Since it is agni that forms the subject-matter of this mantra; agni would be called the devata of this mantra. Hence says Yaska, "a mantra is of that devata, with the object of expressing whose properties, God, the Omniscient, revealed the mantra."

We find an analogous sense of the word devata in another part of Nirukta. Says Yaska:-

KARMMASAMPATTIRMANTRO VEDE Nirukta,I,2.

"Whenever the process of an art is described, mantra that completely describes that process is called the devata (or the index) of that process."

It is in this sense that the devata of a mantra is the index, the essential key-note of the meaning of the mantra. There is in this analysis of the word no reference to any gods or goddesses, no mythology, no element-worship, no henotheism. If this plain and simple meaning of devata were understood, no more will the mantras having marut or agni for their devatas be regarded as hymns addressed to "the storm god" or "the god of fire;" but it will be perceived that these mantras treat, respectively, of the properties of marut and of the properties of agni. It will then, be regarded, as said elsewhere in Nirukta:-
DEVO DAANAADVAA YCHHOTANADVAA DIPANAADVAA YCHHUSTHAANO BHAVATEE TIVA Nirukta vii. 15,
PAGE 142

that whatsoever or whosoever is capable of conferring some advantage upon us, capable of illuminating things, or capable of explaining them to us, and lastly, the Light of all lights, these are the fit objects to be called devatas. This not in any way inconsistent with what has gone before. For, the devata of a mantra, being the key-note of the sense of the mantra, is a word capable of rendering an explanation of the mantras, and hence is called the devata of that mantra. Speaking of these devatas, Yaska writes something which even goes to show that people of his time had not even the slightest notion of the gods and goddesses of Max Muller and superstitious Hindus - gods and goddesses that are now forced upon us under the Vedic designation, devata. Says Yaska:-

ASTI HYAACHAARO BAHUMAM LOKE DEVADEVATYAMATI THIDEVATYAM PITRIDEVATYAM. Nirukta vii.46.

"We of often find, in common practice of the world at large, that learned men, parents, and atithis (those guest-missionaries who have no fixed residence, but wander about place to place benefiting the world by their religious instructions), are regarded as cevatas, or called by the names of devatas."

It is clear from the above quotation, that religious teacher, parents and learned men, these alone, or the like, were called devatas and no other, in Yaska's time.

Had Yaska known of any such idolatry or henotheism or devata-worship, which superstitious Hindus are so fond of, and which Professor Max Muller is so intent to find in the Vedas, or had any such worship prevailed in his time, even though he himself did not share in this worship, it is impossible that he should not have made any mention of it at all, especially when speaking of the common practice among men in general. There can be no doubt that element-worship, or nature-worship, is not only foreign to the Vedas and the ages of Yaska and Panini and Vedic Rishis and munis, but that idolatry and its parent mythology, at least in so far as Aryavarta is concerned, are the products of recent times.

to return to the subject. We have seen that Yaska regards the names of that substance whose properties are treated of in the mantra, as the devatas. What substances, then are the devatas? They are all that can form the subject of human knowledge.

All human knowledge is limited by two conditions, i.e., time and space. Our knowledge of causation is mainly that of the succession of events. And succession is nothing but order in time. Again, our knowledge must be a knowledge of something, and that something must be somewhere. It must have a locality for its existence and occurrence. Thus far, the circumstances of our knowledge time and locality. Now to the essentials of knowledge.

The most exhaustive division of human knowledge is between objective and subjective. Objective knowledge is the knowledge of all that passes without the human body. It is the knowledge of the phenomena of the external universe.

Scientific men have arrived at the conclusion that natural philosophy, i.e. philosophy of the material universe, reveals the presence of two things, matter and force. Matter as matter is not known to us. It is only the play of forces in matter producing effects sensible that is known to us. Hence the knowledge of external world is resolved

PAGE 143
into the knowledge of force with its modifications. We come next to subjective knowledge. In speaking of subjective knowledge, there is firstly the ego, the human spirits, the conscious entity; secondly, the internal phenomena of which the human spirit is conscious. The internal phenomena are of two kinds. They are either the voluntary, intelligent, self-conscious activities of the mind, which may hence be designated deliberate activities: or the passive modifications effected in the function of the body by the presence of the human spirit. These may, therefore, be called the vital activities.

An a priori analysis, therefore, of the knowable leads us to six things: time, locality, force, human spirits, deliberate activities and vital activities. These things, then, are fit to be called devatas.

The conclusion to be derived from the above enumeration is, that if the account of Nirukta concerning Vedic devatas, as we have given, be really true, we should find Vedas inculcation these six things time, locality, force, human spirit, deliberate activities and vital activities as devatas, an no other. Let us apply the crucial test.

THE THIRTY-THREE DEVATAS.
Back to contents

We find, however, the mention of thirty-three devatas in such mantras as these>
TRAYASTRIM SHATAASTUVATA BHOOTAANYASHAAMYAN PRAJAAPATIH PARAMESHTHYAADHIPATHI RAASEET. Yajur, xiv, 31.

"The Lord of all, the ruler of the universe, the Sustainer of all, holds all things by thirty-three devatas."

YASYA TRAYASTRIMSHAHDEVA ANGA JAATRAA VIBHE JIRE
TAANVAI TRAYASTRIMSHAHDEVANEKE BRAHMA VIDO VIDUH. Atharva, xii 4 27.

"The knowers of true theology recognize the 33 devatas performing their proper organic functions as existing in and by Him, the One and Only."

Let us, therefore, see what these thirty-three devatas are, so that we may be able to compare them with our priori deductions and settle the question.

We read in Shatapatha Brahmanan xiv, 19 vide p. 66 (Veda Bhashy Bhumika by Swami Dayanand Saraswati :-

PAGE 144

The meaning is, - says Yajnavalya to Shakalya: �There are thirty-three devatas which manifest the glory of God:

  • 8 vasus.
  • 11 rudras.
  • 12 adityas.
  • indra.
  • prajpati
33 on the whole. The eight vasus are:
  1. Heated cosmic bodies.
  2. Planets.
  3. Atmospheres.
  4. Super terrestrial spaces.
  5. Suns.
  6. Rays of ethereal space.
  7. satellites.
  8. stars.
these are called vasus (abodes), for the whole group of existences resides in them, viz., they are the abode of all that lives, moves or exists. The eleven rudras are the ten pranas (nervauric forces) enlivening the human frame, and eleventh is the atma (the human spirit). These are called the rudras (from root rud, to weep), because when they desert the body, it becomes dead, and the relations of the dead, in consequence of this desertion, begin to weep. The twelve adityas are the twelve solar months, marking he course of time. They are called adityas as, by their cyclic motion, they produce changes in all objects, and hence the laps of the terms of existence for each object. Adityas means that which causes such a lapse. Indra is the all pervading electricity or force. Prajapati is yajna (an active voluntary association of objects on the part of man for the purpose of art, or association with other men for the purposes of teaching or learning).

It also means pashus (the useful animals). Yajna and useful animals are called prajapati, as it is by such actions and by such animals that the world at large derives its material of sustenance. "What, then, are the three devatas?" asks Shakalya. "They are" replies Yajnavalkaa, "the 3 lokas (viz., locality, name and birth." What are the two devatas? Aksed he. Yajanvalkya replied, "pranas (the positive substances) and anna (the negative substances). What is Adhyardha?" He asks. Yajnavalkya replies: "Adhayardha is universal electricity, the sustainer of the universe, known as sutratma." Lastly he inquired: "Who is the one devata?" Yajanvalkya replied; "God the adorable."

These, then, are the thirty-three devatas mentioned in the Vedas. Let us see how far this analysis agrees with our a priori deduction. The eight vasus enumerated in Shatapatha Brahmana, are clearly the localities; the eleven rudras include, firstly the ego, the human spirit, and secondly, the ten nervauric forces which may be approximately taken for the vital activity ofhte mind; the twelve adityas comprise time; electricity is the all-pervading force, whereas prajapati (yajna or pashus) may be roughly regarded as comprising the object of intelligent, deliberate activities of the mind.

When thus understood, the 34 devatas will correspond with the six elements* of our rough analysis. Since the object here is not so


*The six elements are: (1) Time (12 adityas); (2) Locality (8 vasus): (3) Force (10 rudras); (4) Human Spirit (Atam (soul), the eleventh rudra); (5) the deliberate, intelligent activities of the mind; (6) Vital activities of the mind." Ed.

PAGE 145

much as to show exactness of detail as general coincidences, partial differences may be left out of account.

It is clear, that the interpretation of the word devatas, which Yaska gives, is the only interpretation that is consistent with the Vedas and the Brahamanas. That no doubt my be let concerning the pure monotheistic worship of the ancient Aryas.

"Leaving off all other devatas it is only the Supreme Soul that is worshipped only on account of His omnipotence. Other devatas are but the pratyangas of this Supernal Soul, i.e., they but partially manifest the glory of God. All these devatas owe their birth and power to Him. In Him they have their play. Through Him they exercise their beneficial influences by attracting properties, useful, and repelling properties, injurious. He alone is the all-in-All of all the devatas." Nirukta, vii.
OTHER WORKS OF Swami Dayanand
Back to contents

The Panchmaha Yajnavidhi.
The little book deals with the five great daily duties of every householder.
These are:-
  • ~ Brahma Yajna, or the contemplation of, and holding communion with, the Supreme Being, twice daily, morning and evening. After having purified the body, one should seek a clean spot, free from all disturbing influences, and there curbing the wandering tendencies of the mind by means of pranayam (controlling of the in-going and out-going breath) should engage in meditation.
  • ~ The Deva Yajna, or the burning of odoriferous, nutritive, sweet, curative, and similar other substances, with clarified butter, in the fire. This Yajna is also called homa, or the Agnihotra. We quote a dialogue from the Satyarth Prakash on the subject of homa.

    Q.- What good does the homa lead to?

    A. ~ Everybody is aware that impure air and water give rise to disease which is productive of pain. The air and water, when impregnated with the articles of odoriferous, and similar substances, destroy disease, and thus conduce to the health and pleasure of sentient beings.

    Q.- If the sandal-wood were applied to an individual's body in powdered form, and the clarified butter was given to some person (to be consumed by him), the act would be productive of much good. It does not become a wise man to waste things by burning them in the fire.

PAGE 146
    A ~ If you were conversant with physical science, you would not raise such an objection, for nothing in the world is ever annihilated. Did you ever mark what a delicious odor is wafted into adjacent localities from the place where a homa is being performed? But foul and offensive smell only assails the nose when something dirty is near.

    Q- If you argue in this way, then I maintain that if musk, saffron, fragrant flowers, attar, etc., are kept in a house, they will impregnate the surrounding air with a pleasant odor, and will thus be productive of pleasure and cheerfulness.

    A. ~ The fragrance thus diffused cannot destroy or expel the foul air in, or from, the house and replace it by pure and healthy air for it does not possess the power of penetrating and breaking up. Ti is only the heat that can penetrate and break up the foul atmosphere, - rarely and expel it, and replace it by pure air.

    Q.- Well, but why should the homa be performed with the repetition of mantras?

    A. ~ The mantras point out the advantages of homa, and their repetition brings the same vividly before the mind. The act also keeps up the reciter's interests in the study of the Vedas, which is thus, as it were, "protected".

    Q.- Is the non-performance of homa, a sin?

    A. ~ Yes; for, in proportion a man's body, by throwing out the effluvium, renders the air and water impure and water impure, and thereby becomes a source of suffering to others, in the same proportion does he incur sin. Hence, as an atonement for this sin, fragrance, equal in amount to the offensive smell emitted, or in a larger degree, should be diffused in the atmosphere. Thus it is evident, that while the giving away of the clarified butter, etc., to a person can do good to that person alone, it will, if rightly combusted in the fire, do good to numerous creatures. Of course, nourishing substance ought to be made available for consumption to individuals in the interests of their physical and spiritual advancement, but the gifts should not be made at the expense of homa.

  • A. ~ The Pitri Yajna is of two kinds, the tarpan and shraddha. Ministering to the comfort of the wise and learned, the seers into the meaning of the Veda (rishis) and the elders, is called tarpan. And serving the same individuals with Shraddha (love and faith), is called shraddha. Such service, it must be remembered, can only be rendered to the living, and not the dead, because of their being no longer in contact with us. This is why the Veda speaks of tarpan and shraddha as institutions for the benefit of the living.
  • ~ The Balivaishva Yajna which consistsof feeding the poor and destitute people.
    "Let food be given to dogs, to unfortunates, to low people, to people afflicted with sin and diseases, and to crows and insects" - Manu, Chapter III.
  • The Atithi Yajna, which consists in discharging the obligations of hospitality, especially towards individuals who are wise and learned, whose time of arrival and departure is unknown.
PAGE 147

THE SIXTEEN PRINCIPAL ARYA SANSKARS.
Back to contents

This is a treatise on Ritual, and speaks of the sixteen principal Arya Sanskars (ceremonies).
  1. - The Garbhadhan Sanskar, or the festal rites performed to announce a conception.
  2. - Punsavan, or the festal rites performed in the second or third month of pregnancy.
  3. - Simantonnayan , or the festal, purificatory rites performed in the fourth, sixth or eight month of pregnancy.
  4. - jat karma, or the festal rites performed when the child is born.
  5. - Nam Karana, or the fetal rites performed on the naming of the child.
  6. - Nishkraman, or the festal rites performed when the child is taken out of the house in the fourth month after its birth.
  7. - Anna Prashan, or the festal rites performed in connection with the feeding of the child when six months old.
  8. - Chura Karma, or the festal rites in connection with the tonsure of the child at thee age of one to three years.
  9. - Karna Vedh, or the festal rites performed in connection with the boring of the ear or the nose of the child at the age of three or five years.
  10. - Upanayan or Vearambh, or the festal rites performed when the child is invested with the "sacred thread" (in his eight year if a Brahman, in his eleventh if a Kshatriya, and in his twelfth if a Vaishya), the investiture commemorating his commencement of the study of the Vedas, or his second birth.
  11. - Samavartan, or the festal rites performed on the return of the student from his preceptor's house (academy) on the completion of his/her studies.
  12. - Vivah, or marriage ceremony, which should take place at the minimum age of sixteen in the case of a female, and twenty-five in the case of a male.
  13. - Grihastashram, celebration of entrance into the life of a householder and the adoption of a profession.
  14. - Vanprasthashram, or retiring from the world (on the birth of a grand-child or the coming on of the old age.
  15. - Sannyas, or the renunciation of everything in favor of a whole-hearted devotion to the preaching of truth and the diffusion of Divine knowledge.
  16. - Anteshti, or the ceremony in connection with the cremation of the individual remains.
THE VEDANGA PRAKASH
Back to contents

This is an illustrated grammatical work, mainly founded on the Panini. It consists of the following sixteen parts:-

PAGE 148

1. Varnochcharan ShikshaOrthoepy
2. Sanskrit Vakya Pradodh Easy dialogues in Sanskrit.
3. Vyavahar A primer.
4. Sandhi Vishaya Coalescence of letters, and orthography
5. NamikaDeclensions
6. KarikaCases
7. SamasikaCompound words
8. Strain TaddhitaGenders
9. AnyayaIndeclinables
10. AkhyatikaThe Verb
11. SwarAcentuation & Prosody
12. ParibhashikaTechnicalities
13. DhatupathaRoots
14. GanapathaConjugation
15. UnadikoshWord-making
16. NighantuVedic vocabulary

The Swami also commenced a translation of the Ashtadhyai but could not finish it.

to show the reader how original classical words have come to bear, in the latter ages, interpretations which nobody ever dreamt of assigning to them in the non-mythological period.

The Aryoddeshya Ratnamala
It is a vocabulary of one hundred religious words, many of them of disputable signification. It is a highly useful little book, embodying the essence of much of the Shastric teaching.

PAGE 149

The Aryabhivinaya
It is a collection of Vedic hymns, with free translation, for prayer.

Gokarunaanidhi
This is small book, demonstrating the absolute necessity of protecting the cow especially, and the other lower animals, - goats, etc., generally.

The name of some other pamphlets by the Swami may be mentioned:-

  1. - Pakhand Khandan (the exposer of hypocrisy). A pamphlet exposing the Bhagwat.
  2. - Satyadharma Vichar or kashi Shastrarth
  3. - Adwitmat khandan or a refutation of Pantheism.
  4. - Pratima Pujan, or the Shastrarth with Pandit Tara Charan at Hooghly.
  5. - Ballahacharyamat Khandan, or a refutation of the Ballabhacharya creed, in Gujarati and Sanskrit.
  6. - Vedant Dhwanti Niwaran, another pamphlet on Pantheism.
  7. - Bhranti Niwaran, or the objections of the Brahmans answered.
SWAMI DAYANAND ON EDUCATION.
Back to contents

"When the boys and girls," says Swami Dayanand, "have attained their eighth year, they should be sent to their respective schools. The parents should never permit them to be taught by an immoral instructor (be this instructor a man or a woman). For those alone have the right to teach and instruct children who are themselves profoundly learned and virtuous. The twice-born having performed the Yajnopavit Sanskar of their sons, and has also performed a suitable ceremony in relation to their girls, should send them to the seminary of a preceptor who is adorned with the aforesaid qualities and virtues of a teacher.

The schools should be situated away from towns and cities and in localities which are entirely free from every kind of bustle and noise. The schools designed for the girls should be at a distance of four miles (2 koses) from those meant for boys. The teachers in the Girls Schools should be females, and the servants of the same sex also: while the teachers, etc. of boys should be males. Boys, who are more than five years old, should not be permitted to enter a Girls' School, and girls above that age also should not be allowed to set foot in Boys' School.

As long as they are Brahmacharis and Brahmacharinis, they should rigidly and scrupulously avoid indulging in any of the eight kinds of sexual connection, - namely, they should not see each other, should not be alone with each other, should not talk with each other, should not play with each other, should not harbor lust-exciting thoughts, and should not share each other's embraces. It is the duty of the teacher to keep them from indulging in any of these things so that having obtained the highest kind of education and training, they be adorned with pleasing manners, and, having acquired bodily and moral strength

PAGE 150

constantly grow in felicity and happiness. The schools should be at a distance of 8 miles (4koses) from cities and towns. The students as regards their dress, their food and drink, and their accommodation, whether they are the sons of kings or of poor men they should be perfectly self-controlled so that being free from all worldly cares, they may be in a position to think of acquiring learning and knowledge only.

The parents should not see their children, nor should the latter be permitted to see the former. They should not correspond with each other in any way. When they go out for a walk, the teacher should accompany them, so that they may have no chance of misbehaving in any way, and should not be guilty of negligence and idleness.

"The Government, as well as National rule regarding education, should be, that no householder should have the power to keep boys and girls above five years of age at home; it should be compulsory for him to send them to school, and if he fails to do it, he should be punished. (Satyarth Prakash, Chapter III

The full course of study, according to Swami Dayanand, extends over thirty or thirty-one years:-

  • Ashtadhyayi to be finished in 1 year six months.
  • Mahabhashy 1 year six months.
  • Nirukta of Yaska six or eight months
  • Pingal Chhanda Sutra four months
  • Manu Smriti, Ramayana
    Mahabharata, Vidurniti 1 year.
  • The Six Darshanas and the ten Upanishads in 2 years
  • All the four Brahmanas and four Vedas in 6 years.
After this the student is to complete his study of Medical Science in four years, and that of Military and Political Science in two. The Gandharva Veda of the Science of Music, the Artha Veda, or Mechanics, and other Arts and Sciences are then to be acquired and mastered in 3 or 4 years.

The works whose study is to be eschewed are:- Katantra, Saraswata, Chandrika, Mugdhabodha, Kaumudi, Shekhar, Manorama, etc. (Grammar); Amarkosha, etc. (books of Reference); Vrittaratnakar, etc. (Prosody); Shikshas, as Panini teaches: Shigrabodha, Muhurtta Chintamani, etc. (Astronomy) Nayikbheda, Kuvalayanand, Raghuvansha, magh, Kiratarjuniya, etc., (Poetry); Dharma Sindhu, Vratark, etc. (Mimansa); Take Sangrah, (Viashashik); Jagdishi, etc. (Nyaya Logic); Hathpridipika, etc. (Yoga); Sankhyatattva Kaumudi, etc. (Sankya); Yogavisisth, Panchdashi, etc., (Vedanta); Sharangdhar (Medicine).

With the exception of Manu Smriti (minus the spurious shalokas),

PAGE 151

all the Smritis, all the Tantras, the Puranas, the Upa-puranas and works like Tulsi Da's Ramayana are to be entirely ignored."

The Swami shows, on the authority of the Vedas, that women and Shudras, and even those that are below the Shudras, have every right to study the Vedas.

COW PROTECTION
Back to contents

A society of this name was founded by Swami Dayanand in 1882, having for its object the protection of animals, especially the cow. The rules of the Sabha:-
  1. - The Society shall strive to promote the well-being and comfort fo entire mankind, and shall do nothing that might be productive of harm to anyone.
  2. - It shall utilize everything in a proper manner, according to the laws of nature, for the good of all.
  3. - The Society shall not undertake anything calculated to yield little profit and cause great loss.
  4. - The society shall honor all men who should spend their time and money, or otherwise assist it in carrying on its beneficent work.
  5. -The society, having the welfare of entire mankind at heart, shall think itself justified in expecting aid from anyone and everyone (in whatever part of the world he may be).
  6. - It shall look upon all Societies, whose object is to further the good of humanity, as its help-meets.
  7. - Society shall have no connection with persons who act against the intent and purport of the law, or do injury to their fellow-beings, who are selfish, the slaves of passion or ignorance, and who do aught detrimental to the interests of the rulers or the ruled.
The Swami was the first who pleaded for protection to the cow on a utilitarian principle. We shall quote from his pamphlet the Gokarunanidhi:-
"If 2 seers or 4 pounds be the minimum, 20 seers or 40 pounds the maximum, quantity of milk of two cows, respectively, the average quantity of milk yielded by one cow daily will be 11 seers or 22 pounds. By calculation, the quantity of milk will, in a lunar month of 30 days, amount to 8 maunds or 660 pounds. If 6 months be shortest and 18 the longest period during which the cows keep giving milk, the average period, during which one cow keeps yielding milk, will be 12 months. The total quantity of milk yielded by one cow, during 12 months, will 660 X 12 = 77, 920 pounds or 99maunds. If rice were boiled in this milk, in the proportion of one chhattak or 2 ounce to one seer, the sugar being 1 chhattaks or 3 ounce per seer, the resulting khir ( a kind of frumenty) will be sufficient to give 1,980 persons a good meal, supposing each individual to consume 2 seers or 4 pounds at a meal.

Again, if a cow breed 8 times at the least during its period of existence, and another, 18 times at the most, no less than 13 times

PAGE 152

will a cow bring forth a young one on the average during her lifetime? Following the calculation, one cow will thus support 25,740 persons during her lifetime. Suppose that of the 13 young ones, which one cow gives birth into her lifetime, 7 are males and 6 females. Suppose further that one of these is cut shot while yet young. There will be still 12 left to assist man. Carrying on our calculations, the 6 females will be able to maintain 154, 440 persons, since one cow can maintain 25, 740 persons.

"Again, of the 6 males, if a pair of oxen till as much land as will produce 200 maunds or 1.600 pounds of grain in the two harvests of the year, the 3 pairs or yokes will raise 600 maunds or 48,000 pounds of corn per annum. Let us suppose that he mean working-period of a pair of oxen is 8 years. At this rate, the three pairs will help to produce 4,800 maunds or 384,000 pounds of corn during their lifetime."

"Supposing a person to consume of a seer or 1 pound of corn at a time, 4,800 maunds, 384,000 pounds will provide 256,000 persons with a meal. Adding up the total number of persons in which milk and corn will feed is 410,000. Similarly, if you proceed to compute the nourishing-power of the progeny of six cows, you will discover that the produce of the descendants of each cow can sustain numerous persons.

"The flesh of one cow, on the other hand, can feed only 80 flesh-eating persons. Now please reflect and say if the slaughter of thousands of animals is not for a trifling gain, and if this starving of numerous people is not one of the greatest of sins? This is the reason why the Aryas regard the cow as the best of all the animals on the planet.

Though the camel yield more milk than either the cow or the buffalo, it is yet not so useful. The chief use of the camel or the dromedary is that it carries burdens, and this with speed too.

"Let 1 seer or 2 pounds be the minimum, and 5 seers or 10 pounds the maximum, quantity of the milk of a goat, then the average yield of one goat is 3 seers or 6 pounds a day. If three months be the shortest, and five months the longest, period during which the supply of milk lasts, the goat's mean milk-giving period will be four months. Thus the quantity of milk which one goat would produce in 4 months of 30 days each will be, at the rate of 3 seers or 6 pounds a day, 720 pounds or 9 maunds.

Since, as taken for granted above, and individual consumes 4 pounds of khir at a meal 9, maunds of milk will feed 180 persons. And, since the goat produces offspring twice a year, its milk could maintain 350 during one year, further, suppose the minimum period of the goat's fecundity to be 4 years, and the maximum 8. then by our calculation one goat will support 2,160 persons. Again while some goats produce one kid at a time, others produce 3. hence on the average a goat will produce young ones 24 times during 6 years".

Let us take for granted that 2 of the 24 young ones die early. If of the remaining 22, 12 females, they can fee 25, 920 persons. Of course, these will multiply in their turn, and their offspring can feed an immense number.

PAGE 153

"As for he-goats, they are employed for transport purposes. At the same time, the fleece of goats, sheep and the cloth made thereof, proves serviceable to a man in may ways."

"Though the sheep yields less than the goat, yet the milk yields more butter and is more nutritious than that of the goat. In the same manner the milk of other lower animals is useful in numerous ways".

The Swami proceeds to argue his case out on the authority of Medical Science, on that of the Scriptures, etc., and the conclusion he arrives at is, that the cow in particular, and other similar animals in general, deserve protection and should not be destroyed.

The first practical step towards securing the end in view in the Swami�s opinion (as he wrote to several gentlemen of influence and position in his letters) was that a memorial should be submitted to the government on the subject. But before the requisite member of signatures could be secured (the Swami was of opinion that the petition should be signed by no less than two crores of people), the great worker was no longer in the land of the living.

THE END

<<< Prev---------------------Next >>>
Return to contents of Book

"The man who resolves, to stick to the truth at all costs, steadily rises in virtues. When his virtues raise his reputation and prestige, he becomes all the more a devotee of truth. This devotion to truth becomes an unerring source of power and greatness." Swami Dayanand

Back to top of Page