Part I
Part II

Part III
Part IV

An introdcution to the Vedas
The Light of Truth
Dayanand's Life Teachings

Questions frequently asked
Natural Laws

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

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?
Being Indian abroad
Nathuram Godse
Satyameva Jayate
Subhas C. Bose
Mdme Blavatsky Archives
India Time History
Aryan invasion:A Myth
Dayanand Saraswati
Wonders of Rig Veda
The origin of Mysticism
Mysticism-Vedic Legacy
Sardar Bhagat Singh
Aditya Dhama
Harappa Digest
New science paradigms
Contact me
Back to
Search contents
Home Page
One True Religion
The ten principles
Gayatri Mantra
A tribute
Swami Dayanand Saraswati's
Introduction to theVedas
Part 5

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 Authoritativeness or Otherwise of the Books.
Back to contents

We shall now speak of the books which have been held to have an authority of their
  • Page 381
    own from the beginning of creation to this day, and also those which have been held to depend for t heir authority on others by the learned Aryas-free from partiality, likes and dislikes, conducting themselves according to the dictates of truth and religion, of amiable character and devoted to the good of all.

    The books which are the word of God possess an inherent authority of their own, but those composed by men can have only an indirect authority. The four Vedas have an inherent authority in as much as being the word of God, who is omniscient, omnipotent and the possessor of universal learning, there can be no error or other shortcoming in them. The Vedas are to be considered their own authority like the sun and the lamp. As the sun and the lamp shining with their own light make all other physical objects visible so the Vedas, too, shining with their own light make all other physical objects visible so the Vedas, too, shining with their on light make the other books of knowledge shine.

    The books which are opposed to the Vedas ought never to be accepted as authoritative. But the Vedas do not lose their authority even if they are opposed to other books because they are self-authoritative and other books.

  • Page 382
    depend for their authority on them. The Mantra or the Samhita portion alone or the four Vedas is self-authoritative. The Brahmanas, being only the commentaries on the Vedas, are authoritative only in so far as t hey are in agreement with them. Similarly, 1127 branches of the Vedas also re of authority only in so far as they agree with them because they too are only the glosses of the Vedas. The same may be said of the Angas (limbs) of the Vedas, viz., orthopy, rituals, grammar, etymology, prosody an astronomy. The four Upavedas viz. the Ayurveda, the science of life i.e. the medical science, the Dhanurveda, the science of weapons and politics, the Gandharvaveda, the science of music and the Arthaveda, the science of mechanics, physics, etc. are in the same category.

    The Charaka, the Sushrata, the Nighantu, etc. are included in the Ayurveda. The works on Dhanurveda have for the most part disappeared, but as this science is based on the practical application of the other sciences it is possible to compose books on it. There were many books on the Dhanurveda composed by Angira etc. and on the science of music. The Samaveda is the basis of Gandharvaveda.

  • Page 383
    On the Arthaveda we have the four works composed by Vishvakarma, Tvashta, Devagna and Maya.

    We recommend the works of Panini muni on orthoepy, the Manava Kalpa Sutras on rituals, the Ashtadhyayi, the Mahabhasya, the Dhatupatha, the Unadipatha, the Ganapatha, the Pratipadika; the Nirukta or Yaska muni together with the Nighantu on etymology which is the fourth limb of the Vedas, the Sutrabhashya of Pingalacharya on prosody, the works of Vashistha and other rishis on geometry, algebra, arithmetic and astronomy. These are the six limbs of the Vedas.

    Besides these there are six secondary limbs also. Of them the first is the Purvamimansa Shastra of Jaimini muni, together with the commentaries of Yaska muni and others on the rules of action-portion, dealing with the duties and those who are to perform them. The second is the Vaisheshika shastra of Kanada muni together with the commentary of Gotama called the Prashastapada dealing in amore detailed manner with substances and their attributes. The third is the Nyayashastra

  • Page 384
    of Gotama together with the commentary of Vatsyayana dealing with physics. The fourth is the Yoga shastra of Patanjali together with the science of worship and meditation which lays down the means whereby to realize the inferential knowledge about all objects reached through the study and consideration of the subjects discussed in the Mimansa, Vaisheshika and Nyaya shastras.

    The fifth is the Samkhya shastra of Kapila muni together with the commentary of the Bhaguri muni enumerating the elementary substances in order that one amy have specific knowledge of them. The sixth is the Vedaantaashastra of Vyasa muni together with the gloss and commentary of Baudhayana.

    The ten Upanishads, the Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Chhandogya and Vrihadaranyaka also ought to be included among the secondary limbs. In this way the four Vedas together with their branches and commentaries, the four Upavedas, the six Vedangas together with the six Upangas

  • Page 385
    of the Vedas make the fourteen sciences which ought to be studied by all men.

    It is certain that one will become a highly learned man by studying and knowing them thoroughly and bey obtaining a complete knowledge of the mental and material sciences and of the action-portion. The Vedas are the word of God. The Brahmanas are their commentaries written by the rishis. They are to be accepted only in so far as they are in agreement with the Vedas, (which are full of true religious knowledge) and in consonance with the dictates of reason and proofs. But no one should ever admit the authority of other books which are composed by anaptas (men who are not apta i.e. good, holy and learned), countenance, the practice of vice, are full of partiality and low ideas, display very shallow knowledge, are opposed to the teachings of the Vedas and are devoid of the support of reason and proofs. We shall give a brief list of such books. All tantric books such as Rudrayamala, etc., the Paranas such as the Brahma Vaivarta, etc., the interpolated verses of the Manusmriti

  • Page 386
    and of the other smritis; works suchas Sarvasvata, Chandrika, Kaumudi, etc. pretending to be works on grammar; books such as Nirnaya Sindhu, etc. which are opposed to the Mimansa shastra; Tarkasangrah up to Jagadishi which are opposed to the Vaisheshika and Nyaya Shastras; books opposed to the Yoga shastra, such as Hatha Pradipika, etc., books opposed to the Sankhya Shastra, such as Sankhya Tatwa Kaumudi; books opposed to the Vedanta Shastra, such as Vedantasara, Parnchadashi, Yogavasthishtha; books opposed to the Jyotish Shastra, such as Muhurta Chintamani, et., which treat of auspicious moments, horoscopes, the influences of the stars; all books opposed to the Shrouta Sutras, such as Trikandika, Snana Sutra, Parishishta, etc. which lay down that salvation can be obtained and sins destroyed by simply fasting in the month of Margashirsha or on the 11th day of each half of a month, by residing at Kashi or on the banks of water (a river or tank), by visiting places, by seeing the idols, by repeating the name of a God, by bathing and by worshipping lifeless idols;
  • Page 387
    all books written by hypocritical sects and all books and teachings inculcating atheism. Good men should reject all such books because they are opposed to the Shastras, Vedas, etc. and are not supported by reason, proofs and tests.

    Q. - "Should the small amount of truth which is to be found in these books of much falsehood be rejected?"

    A. ~ "Yes, like poisoned food. As analyst reject poisoned food even if it might be otherwise nectar-like, so these false books should be at once rejected, because if they become current the true purport of the Vedas would not be widely known and the darkness of not allow the true view of things to come into existence."

    Now we shall give some examples of he pernicious teachings of the Tantric books. They believe that salvation can be obtained by observing the five things whose names begin with and em but not otherwise. We quote the following Shlokas.

    "Wine (madyam) flesh, (mansam), fish

  • Page 388
    (minam), hidden signs (mudra) and fornication (maithaunam) these five things beginning with an em give salvation age after age. Let one drink and drink and drink again till one reels and falls on the ground. Let one rises up and drink again. Such a one will have no rebirth. Persons of all Varnas become twice-born no sooner than they enter the circle of Bhairava i.e. the Bhairavei bhakra but no sooner than they come out of it each man recovers his own varna.

    A man avoiding cohabitation with is own mother may cohabit with all women and making his organ enter into the female organ let him repeat the Mantram with out sloth. A man may have intercourse even with his own mother."

    Such are the many teachings of the Tantras which enjoin the doing of practices characterized by stupidity, vice and perniciousness, worthy of Anaryas, devoid of reason and proofs, altogether opposed to the Vedas unrishi-like, and obscene. These practices should never be adopted by good men. It is very well known and easy to understand that wine drinking spoils the brain and therefore can never

  • Page 389
    lead to salvation, rather it lead to baneful consequences. Similarly, in the so-called "Ancient Histories," the Puranas, the Brahma Vaivarta and others which are really of a recent date, are written very false stories of a sample as one takes out a grain of rice from the boiling pot in order to see if it has been cooked or not. In it there occurs a story that Brahma, the Lord of creatures, in flesh and blood, having four faces, seized his own daughter Sarasvati for committing rape upon here. This story is false because in reality it is an allegory.

    The Sun or the Sun's sphere is called Savitur (the begetter) and Prajapati (the Lord of creatures). Light and Dawn are like his two daughters. Metaphorically speaking the one which is produced from the other is like the offspring of the latter which is like the parent of the former. The Sun follows fast with his rays his daughter Dawn of a reddish complexion. Having seized her he begets upon her the Day which is like his sun. The Dawn is like the mother and the Sun like the father of this son,

  • Page 390
    because the Sun with his rays, which are like hs semen, begets the Day, his son, upon her, the Dawn. The Dawn is the reddish light on the horizon in the 2 and half hours of night before morning. By the intercourse of the father and the daughter is born a son, the full light of the day. As a son is born by the intercourse of his father and mother, similarly, here (the Day is born by the intercourse of the Sun with the Dawn).

    Similarly, the rain-cloud and the earth stand to each other in the relation of the father and the daughter. The earth is produced from the waters, hence, the earth is the daughter of the rain-cloud. The rain-cloud by pouring rain water upon her makes her conceive. That conception results in the production of vegetables, etc. as their offspring. This also is an allegory.

  • Page 391
    This borne out by Vedic texts. Light of day is my father- protector and begetter - the producer of all activities. There is a mutual relation between the two. This extended or venerable earth is my mother. The rain-cloud and the earth are like two armies arrayed against each other or like the awning and the floor. The father rain-cloud pours the waters upon his daughter - the earth and makes her conceive. This is merely an allegory. Rigveda i. 164. 33.

    The same allegory is described in the following Mantra.

    The sun which is called Vahni makes his daughter, the said dawn, conceive by making his semen, the rays, flow into her and begets a son - the Day. Rig III. 31. 1.

  • Page 392
    In spite of the fact that this most excellent allegory was explained in the Nirukta and the Brahmanas, the Brahma Vaivarta and other books have described it and other stories other wise on account of misapprehension. No one should every believe them.

    There are other false stories like the following in the Puranas which in reality are mere allegories, e.g. there is a story that there was a real person named Indra, the king of the devas, who committed adultery with the wife of Gotama. Gotama pronounced a curse upon Indra, "Thou shalt have 1000 female organs of generation" and another course upon his wife Ahilya, "Thou shalt become a rock of stone; thy curse will be removed when thou shalt come into contact with the dust of Rama's feet." This allegory is as follows:-

    Indra is the sun which burns and illumines the terrestrial objects. The sun is called Indra on account of his possessing glory and luster. He is the fornicator of ahilya(night) who is the wife of Soma (moon) also called Gotama (the fastest mover). Gotama is the moon. The

  • Page 393
    moon and the night stand to each other in the relation of husband and wife. Night is called Ahily because in it the day (ahah) is absorbed (liyate. The moon pleases all beings with his wife Ahilya. The Sun is called the fornicator (jara) of Ahilya (night), the wife of Gotama (the moon), because he causes the night to grow old, lose her beauty. The word jara comes from the root jrish, 'to grow old, to shorten the age'. Now the destroyer of the age of the night is the sun.

    No one should ever believe the above mentioned false story related in these modern books in the face of this beautiful allegory described

  • Page 394
    in the true books for the purpose of giving instruction in respect of areal natural phenomenon. The same is the case with other similar stories.

    Of a similar nature is the story that the there was a real person Indra, the king of the devas. He had a fight with Vritrasura, the son of Tvashta. Vritrasura swallowed Indra which caused great fear to the devas. They sought out the protection of Vishnu who suggested a way out of the difficulty. He said that Vritrasura would be killed by his entering into the sea-foam. Good and learned men should regard these stories described in the so called Puranas, ancient in name only but really modern books, as false like the ravings of a maniac. In reality they are allegories.

    I shall now describe the deeds of valor which Indra, the sun or God, who is the Vajri (thunderbolt-holder) wrought in days of yore. Vajra, according to the Shatapatha VII. 5, means light, pranas or valor. Vajri is the possessor or holder of vajra. he having killed the

  • Page 395
    ahi (cloud), caused him to stretch on the earth, that is, caused the waters to spread. By these waters he caused the rivers to overflow and burst their banks. The rivers are produced by the clouds. The water which falls from the upper regions is like the lifeless corpse of Vritra. Rig I. 32. 1.

    Hence forward we shall give the meaning of the verse in brief.

    The sun killed the cloud. He killed it by launching upon it the vajra the bright lightning produced by his rays which were hidden behind the cloud. With the lightning he pounded the body of Vritra into atoms and felled it to the ground and having reduced the water which had fallen on the ground into atoms made it again ascend into the sky. The waters spread over the earth and began to flow towards the ocean as the cows run after their calves. The waters are the body of Vritrasura. 'The causing of the body of Vritra, viz. the waters, to fall

  • Page 396
    on the ground is a praise-worthy act of the sun. Rig I. 32.2.

    Indra, the sun, with his sharp and potent electrical rays cut the shoulders of the mighty Vritra, the rain-cloud, and killed him i.e. cause him to pour down rain and made him lie down on earth. Rig I.32.5

    As a man, when his limbs are cut off with a sword, etc. falls to the ground so the rain-cloud with his shoulders, hands and feet cut off by Indra (the sun) with his vajra (electrical rays), falls down to the ground and lies there. ['In the Vedas the past tenses lung, lang and lit are used to denote the present tense "made to lie" - is used to denote the present tense].Rig I. 32. 7

  • Page 397
    According to the Nighantu, Vritra is the name is the name of the rain-cloud. Nighantu I. 10.

    Indra (the sun) is the enemy (the destroyer) of the rain-cloud. The rain-cloud is the son, of Tvashta (the sun) because after the juices and waters are transformed into small particles and carried up into the air they again unite and take the form of a cloud which is called Asura.

    The sun again destroys it and fells it to the ground (in the shape of rain). It enters the earth and causes the rivers to flow. In this way it goes to the ocean and again ascends intothe sky. Indra again removes it. The rain-cloud is called Vritra because it is agreeable to men, or because it hides the light of the sun or because it grows in size. Nirukta II.17

  • Page 398
    The watery body of Vritra casts a long shadow or produces a deep darkness, hence it is said that vritra is sleeping on the ground. Rig I.32. 10.

    Vritra which can assume any form at will cannot hold Indra in check even with his thunder and lightning. A battle rages between Vritra and Indra. When Vritra gains an upper had he cuts off the light of the sun, when the forces (i.e. heat) of the sun prevail he puts Vritra to flight and conquers him. In the end victory remains with the sun and not with

  • Page 399
    Vritra Rig !. 32. 13.

    This Vritra sleeps covering the whole world. Hence he is called Vritra - the enveloper. Indra (the sun) killed Vritra (the rain-cloud). Having been killed he fell to the ground and there being mixed with vegetation produced a stench. When he was in the sky he fell all around in the shape of rain. After death he went down to the ocean and looked fearful. Hence the waters of the ocean inspire fear. In this way the waters of the rivers, seas and lands, through the sun, ascend into the sky and fall as rain, and grass, etc. is produced by rain. Shatapatha I.1. 3.5.

  • Page 400
    The air and the sun are the bright denizens of the intermediary space. The sun being luminous is the denizen of the bright firmament. Nirukta VII. 5.

    There are many mantras in the Vedas bearing on this subject.

    Good me should never place faith in the false stories narrated in the so-called ancient books, the Puranas, the Brhamvaivarta, etc. - but which are really modern, in face of these beautiful and excellent allegories existing in the true Shastras.

    Similarly, in modern books the various stories of the wars between the Devas and the Asuras have been perverted altogether. The wise or for the matter of that, others also, should never believe them, because they are not stories but allegories.

    The Devas and the Asuras were engaged

  • Page 401
    in fighting wit one another.
    Now who are called the Devas and the Asuras. 'The learned are the Devas' Shat. III.7.6.10. Verily the learned shine forth with the light of knowledge, and the ignorant are enveloped in the darkness of ignorance. There is always a war (opposition) going on between them. This is the war between the Devas and the Asuras.

    Those who speak the truth, believe the truth and act the truth are the Devas. Those who tell lies, believe lies and act lies are the Asuras or men. There is an opposition or war between these two. The mind of man is the deva, the pranas are the asuras. There is a conflict between these two also. Mind with strength of knowledge keeps the pranas in check, and the mind is restrained with power of the Pranas. This is the war between these two. God created the devas i.e. the mind and the five organs of knowledge from the particles of light. Hence they

  • Page 402
    possess the property of illumining. From the particles of darkness God created the earth, etc. the five organs of action and the pranas. These also are warring with each other because there is a conflict between light and darkness. Shat.I.1.1.4,5 & 7.

    God, having mind to create t he world, created from the cause, through His principal attributes and actions, the atoms of tire, the luminous orbs, the sun and others. These devas resorting to the light created by God, made possible the activities requiring light. The deva hood of the devas is that they take delight in light. After that God created the pranas, the air and the opacious globes, the earth, etc. They resorting to the earth produced medicines, vegetables, etc. All these are effects and devoid of light. There is a conflict between

  • Page 403
    these shining and opaque substances. This also is a war between the devas and the asuras. Similarly, the virtuous-minded men are the Devas, the vicious-minded men are the Asuras. There is always a war going on between them. This again is the war of the Devas and the Asuras. Once more, the day is a deva and the night an Asura. There is a conflict between day and night. Both the Devas and the Asuras are the progeny of God. Hence they are entitled to God's objects or (heritage). Nirukta II. 8 and XZ 34. Shat XI I. 6, 7 to 12, and I 7.5. 22.
  • Page 404
    Of these the Asuras, the pranas, etc. are elder because air was created before light and the pranas are a form of air, and also because all men are born ignorant and become learned afterwards, and because fire was produced from air and the organs of sense were produced from Prakriti. the Asuras are therefore elder and the Devas younger. In one sense the Devas, the sun, etc. are elder and the Asuras, the earth and others, are younger. As all of them
  • Page 405
    were created by Prajapati, hence, they are like His children. There is a war between them also. Those men, who pamper their own bodies, are engaged in furthering their self-interest and, are crafty and deceitful, are the Asuras. And those who do good to others, alleviate the sufferings of others, are without guile and virtuous, are to be considered Devas. There is a war between the devas and the asuras is these and similar kinds.

    The learned should never believe in the truth of these false stories described in the Puranas (Old books) which are wrongly so called and in other modern books, the Tantras, etc., in face of this most excellent allegory related in the

  • Page 406
    true Shastras for the purpose of imparting instruction.

    Similarly, the stories of Kashyapa, and of the places of pilgrimage (Tirthas), such as Gaya, etc. contained in the books, Brahmavaivarta, etc. are opposed to t he true Shastras, the Vedas and others. For example, there is a story that there was a rishi named Kashyapa, the son of Marichi. To him Prajapati Daksha gave his 13 daughters in marriage according to law. He begot the Daityas (demons) on Diti, the Adityas (suns) on Aditi, the Danavas (giants) on Danus, the serpents on Kaddru, the birds on Vinata, and the monkeys, bears, trees, grasses, etc. on others. All such stories are false inasmuch as they are full of darkness, opposed to reason, proof and knowledge and are impossible.

    God makes this whole universe. Hence He is called Kurma which is synonymous with Kasyapa. God is therefore, called Kashyapa also. He has create all living beings. They are therefore, called the progeny of Kashyapa. God is so called because etymologically the

  • Page 407
    word kashayapa means 'one who sees'. As God, on account of His omniscience, knows even the minutest thing thoroughly without a mistake He is called Pashyaka, 'the Seer'. By interchanging the first and the last letters Pashyaka becomes Kashyapa as hinsa becomes sinha and kratu becomes tarku according to the authority of the Mahabhashya. The living beings are therefore the progeny of Kashyapa. Shat. VII. 5. 1.1.

    Now as to performing a Shraddha at Gaya. Prana is power and prowess. In it resides the knowledge of Self. God also resides in Prana, because Prana is a name for God. The knowledge of Brahma self resides in Gayatri. it is also called Gaya. Pranas are also called Gaya. That one should perform shraddha at Gaya means that men should endeavor to realize God through the Pranas, controlling them by means of Samadhi (meditation) and having

  • Page 408
    profound faith in God. Gayatri is so called because it rescues them from deterioration Gaya is also the name of home, progeny and living beings. All men should have a faith in them. It is necessary that house-hold duties should be faithfully performed.

    Gaya Shraddha means rendering faithful service to the father, the mother and preceptor, the uninvited learned guests and other persons worthy of honor. One should also faithfully provide for the instruction of one's own children and do good to other living beings.

    It is certain that by a faithful performance of these acts and by the acquisition of knowledge one attains to the station of (Moksha) salvation (called) Vishnupada 'the station of Vishnu'. Mistaking the meaning of these two words Vishnu and Gaya, some self-seeking gourmands have caused the form of man's feet engraved on a rock in the country of Magadha (modern Bihara) and have given it the name of Vishnupada - Vishnu's feet, and have named that place Gaya.

    All this is false because Vishnupada is the name of Moksha and Gaya, the name of Prana, home and living beings. That they have fallen into an

  • Page 409
    error is evident from the following authority.

    Having mistaken the true meaning of this verse of the Rigveda they have given currency to the above story. The meaning is, 'God, the Creator of the whole universe, is called Vishnu because He is All-pervading. He is called Pusha also'. The author of the Nirukta says that this verse of the Rigveda means that God being without form or a body pervades the

  • Page 410
    moveable and the immoveable creation. He traversed the whole of this three fold, creation [Vichakrame means 'traversed with the feet' because the root Kramu means 'to walk with feet.'] This world and all created things were brought into reality with the atoms of prakriti and His own power by God and He assigned them three regions, viz. all the heavy and opaque substances were assigned to earth, the light substances composed of the atoms of air, etc. were placed in the intermediary space and the bright objects the sun, the organs of knowledge, Jiva, etc. were given habitation in the bright firmament or in fire.

    God made the world threefold. That portion of it which is without consciousness and knowledge he has placed in the intermediary space in the form of atoms. All the globes are stationed in the intermediary space. This act of God is praiseworthy for which we should render Him thanks. Yaju V. 15

    Yaskacharya explains this verse a under: The whole world that exists has been created

  • Page 411
    by the all-pervading Vishnu. He appointed three regions for the creation of the three-fold world. The station of Vishnu called Moksha can be reached by means of Gaya the pranas - because the best part of the material body of beings and the material abode of the pranas is head. Similarly, the power of God transcends the beings and the pranas.

    This pervaded universe exists in the pervading God. The world which is still in the atomic state exists in the intermediary space. It is not visible to the human eye. When the atoms of different substances unite together the become visible and continue to exist in God. Nirukta XII. 18.

  • Page 412
    The false pandits not knowing this meaning have given the currency to false stories.

    The Tirthas are those which, keeping the jivas away from all sufferings, make all kinds of happiness accessible to them. The tirthas, which were observed by the Aryas according to the injunctions laid down in the Vedas, were quite different from the modern tirthas. The so called tirthas, consisting of places and rivers, etc., described in the books composed by misguided men, find no sanction in the Vedas. To bathe after completing the vow called the Atiratra which is a part of the Prayaniya Yajna is a tirtha. By bathing in this tirtha men become pure.

    Similarly, the bath at the end of the all-beneficial yajna named Udayaniya is also a tirtha. It is to be taken as a tirtha because it helps one to cross the sea of troubles. It is laid down that a man should so conduct himself that he might not give pain to and entertain inimical thoughts towards any living being. But in matters which are opposed to the teachings of the Shastras, the Vedas and others, the giving of pain becomes a duty. One should give pain only where it

  • Page 413
    permitted, e.g. the punishment of the offenders. Those who are hypocrites and enemies of the observance of the injunctions of the Vedas and true religion, such as thieves, etc., ought to be punished according to their guilt.

    In such places the name tirtha is given to the true Shastras, the Vedas, etc., because by reading and teaching them, performing the acts and duties laid down therein and assimilating the knowledge imparted by them man crosses the sea of troubles, and by bathing properly in them he becomes pure.

    When two Brahmacharis study the same Shastra under one and the same preceptor the word tirtha denotes the preceptor as well as the Shastra. Again, men cross the sea of troubles by rendering proper service to their fathers, mothers and uninvited learned men and by obtaining good education, learning and culture.

    Men should purify themselves by bathing in a tirtha. he who regularly prosecutes his studies to their completion and bathes in the tirtha of learning, even though he might not finish the vow of Brahmacharya, becomes pure. He is called a Vidyasnataka, (i.e., 'bathed in learning'.) The second is called the Vratasnataka

  • Page 414
    (i.e. he who has completed the vow of Brahmacharya according to the rules, but, returns to the household without completing his education). The third is called the Vidyavratasnataka (i.e. he who has properly observed the rules of Brahmacharya and acquired a knowledge of the Vedas and Shastras, etc. before becoming a householder.) Such a man, having bathed properly in this excellent tirtha becomes pure in mind had thought, acts according to truth and law, acquires vast learning and devotes himself to the good of all.

    "Obeisance to God! Who can be realized by means of the tirthas - the Pranas, and the knowledge of the Vedas described above. The learned who observed the above-mentioned Tirthas - the study of the Vedas, the speaking of truth, and the above-named observers of the vow of Brahmacharya, acquire great power.

    They have knowledge and philosophy in their hands. They have the doubt-cutting sword of true instruction and are true instructors. They tell us of the Purusha, the way of whose realization and are true instructors. They tell us of the Purusha, the way of whose realization is described in the Upanishats. God is the greatest tirtha, because He is, as it were, the

  • Page 415
    very self of all the devices for carrying men across the sea of troubles and because He at once comes to the rescue of His virtuous devotees. Thus have the tirthas been explained.

    Q. - Why are not the tracts of land and water tirthas when men cross themover?

    A. ~ The tracts of land and water do not help men to cross over. They do not possess this power. The things which are the subject of the act of crossing over cannot be the means of crossing over. Men go across the tracts of land and water by means of boats, etc. or by means of conveyances or hands and feet. They are the subject of the act and the boats, etc. are the instruments.

    If men do not walk with their feet or use their hands or mount in boats, etc. it is certain they would be drowned and come to great grief. For this reason, Kashi, Prayaga, Pushhkara, the Ganges, the Jumna and other rivers, the oceans and seas cannot claim to the name of tirtha in the opinion of the Aryas who follow the teaching of the Vedas. They have been called and proclaimed as tirthas in the books written for their livelihood

  • Page 415
    by persons devoid of the knowledge of the Vedas, pamperers of their bodies, sectarians, caring for their living alone, the opponents of the way of the Vedas, and ignoramuses.

    Q. - But, the Vedas recognize the rivers - the Ganges, the Jumna, etc. in the verse. Rigveda VIII. 3. 6. Why don't you believe in them?

    A. ~ I do believe in them. I believe that they i.e. the Ganges, etc. are rivers. I recognized them in so far as they are useful in virtue of the purifying qualities of their waters, etc. But I do not believe that they possess the property of destroying sins and carrying us across our sufferings.

    The tracts of land and water cannot have this power. This power can be found in the above-mentioned tirthas only. Besides this, Ganga, Yamuna, etc. are the names of the veins Ida, Pingala, Sushumna, and Kurma, etc. Mind can be concentrated on God in the state of Yoga Samadhi by their help. The meditation of God destroys suffering and enables one to reach the station of Moksha. The Ida, etc. are necessary for

  • Page 417
    concentrating and fixing the mind in meditation. In this Mantra reference is to God, because He is the subject of the foregoing verses. Similarly, we have Sitasite yatra sangathe, etc. This occurs in the Parishishtha (supplementary portion). Some take Sitasite (white and black) in the sense of the Ganges, and the Jamuna and by the expression sangathe (join) understand Prayaga, the place of the confluence of the Ganges, and the Jumna.

    It is not correct, because men by bathing therein do not go to the self-effulgent God or soar into the region of the sun, but return to their respective homes. The word sita (white) denotes here Ida and asita (black) Pingala. These veins meet with Sushumua.

    The great yogis by bathing at the place where they meet with Sushumna go to the bright region of Moksha and God and acquire true knowledge. Hence by Ganga and Yamuna in this verse are meant Ida, Pingala and not the Ganges and the Jumna. In this we are supported by the authority of the Nirukta IX. 2

  • Page 418
    Sita means white and asita its opposite. The yogis by bathing at the place where the bright and the opaque objects, such as the sun and the earth, etc., meet in God's power acquire true knowledge and reach the above - mentioned bright region.

    Similarly, the injunctions about idol-worship and the muttering of names etc, laid down in the books, called the Tantras and the Puranas, etc., are false, because there is no sanction for these in the true books, the Vedas and others; on the contrary, there is a clear prohibition about them.
    For example we read in Yaju XXXII. 3.

    "God is all-perfect, unborn and without form. The repetition of His name is to do His will which is productive of the greatest renown, to do the right and speak the truth. He is the truth. He is the birthplace of the luminaries, the sun, etc. All men pray to Him 'Mayest Thou

  • Page 419
    never punish us'. He is not born from any cause and He never assumes a physical body. He has not Pratima i.e. a representative, proxy, picture, measure, weight, size or image, because He is without an example, a figure, measure or form and is all-pervading." The following text also prohibits the worship of idols.

    "God is omniscient, the witness of all, presides over all, and has no beginning. He being the indwelling ruler of all, gives to His eternal subjects what is their due and imparts to them the exact knowledge of objects through the Vedas. He is all-pervading, the most powerful, free from physical form and taking birth. He cannot be divided or cut up into parts. He cannot be bound by means of arteries an veins. He is free from defects and shortcomings. He is sinless. He alone ought to be worshipped by all." Yaju XL. 8.

    This verse also describes God as free from

  • Page 420
    birth and death. God can never be worshipped by means of idols and images.

    Q. - Does the word Pratima (image) occur in the Vedas or not?

    A. ~ It does occur.

    Q. - Why do you the prohibit idol-worshipping?

    A. ~ The word Pratima does not mean an idol. It means measure, etc.

    We are supported by the following authorities which prohibit idolatry, etc.

    "May we adopt the same measure of the year as is adopted by the learned. There are 360 nights in a year. They are called the measure, Pratima, of the year, because they measure it. All men should so act that the nights may bring them longlived children, strong in health and wealth. Atharva III. 10. 3.

    By the word Pratima are also to be understood 10800 Muhurtas (a muhurta =two Ghatikas, i.e. 48 minutes) of a year. Shat X.3.4. 20.

  • Page 421
    "O man! Know that Brahma is not the subject of unpolished speech but he knows the speech. This visible world is not Brahma. Thou shouldst worship as God Him alone who the learned worship and no other. He is endowed with such qualities as described below. He is formless, all-pervading, unborn, the ruler of all, all-existence, all-consciousness and all-bliss." Talvakar I. 4.

    Q. - But, in the Manusmriti we have the following expressions: 'the breaker of idols' (pratima), one ought to go to the devas,' 'the worship of the devas' ' the reviling of the devas,' ' the abodes of the devas,' ' the prohibition against crossing the shadow of the devas,' "one ought to go round the devas keeping them to one's

  • Page 422
    right', 'near the devas and theBrahmanas' and 'the breaker of the house of the devas.' What shall become of these expressions?

    A. ~ The word pratima is some of these expressions should be taken in the sense of 'weight or measure' such as a ratti, a masha, a seer, etc., pratimanam is used in the sense of weight. According to the opinion of Manu the words pratima and pratiman are synonymous with and mean weights for weighing.

    Hence it is said that one who keeps false weights, i.e., either lighter or heavier than the fixed standard, should be punished.

    The word deva is the same as devata. Their abodes are their temples, the daivatas and devayatanas. The learned alone deserve respect. None should ever traduce them, cross their shadow or destroy their dwelling place; all should seek their company and take instructions from them; all should seat the devas to their right and should themselves sit to their left. In other places also where the words, Pratima, deva, devatayatanam, etc., occur they should be taken in the senses given above. We cannot give all the

  • Page 423
    senses of these words here for fear of increasing the bulk of the book. It will suffice to show that idolatry, the wearing of kanthi and the painting of tilak, etc., are prohibited.

    Men of childish understanding employ the verse Yaju XXX. 43, etc., which has already been explained in the chapter on Attraction and Gravitation, Yaju IX, 40 which has been explained in the chapter on Kingly duties, for alleviating the suffering caused by the heavenly goodies, he sun, etc. This is their mistake because these verses do not convey that meaning.

    "God or terrestrial fire is the protector of both the luminous and the opaque orbs, and on account of ubiquity is the projector of all things in all directions.

    [In Kakutpatih the real word is Kakubha but its final letter bhais changed into ta according to the rule. 'There is anomalous use of words in the Vedas].

    The Lord of the universe as well as the terrestrial fire imparts vigor to the waters and the pranas. The fire in the shape of electricity and the sun protects and strengthens the above

  • Page 424
    mentioned objects." Yaju III. 12.

    "O God! Shine forth in our heart and keeping all jivas away from the darkness of ignorance and sleep awaken them in the light of the sun of knowledge. O Lord! May the jiva, embodied as man, acquire the things and means necessary for virtue, riches, fulfillment of desire and emancipation. Do Thou bless him with all the happiness he desires. May he be able to fulfill his heart's desire through Thy help and his own exertion.

    May the learned and the yajamana, who serves them, continue to exist, through Thy favor, in the present as well as in the other world and birth, so that all sciences may shine among us forever."
    [Here according to the rule, 'There is anomalous use of words in the Vedas', the second person is used for the third.]
    Yaju XV. 54

  • Page 425
    "O Lord and protector of the Vedas! O Lord of the universe proclaimed in the Vedic lore! Give unto us, through Thy grace, that wealth which supplies the means of true dealings, and is the worthy subject of gift, and the giver of strength. It is wonderful and endowed with it and with knowledge the king or the merchant shines among the virtuous performers of yajnas or in the various worlds." The mantra lays down the prayer one should address to God. Yaju XXVI. 3.

    When the officers of the king or a Kshatriya (the President of the Assembly), whose mind is stored with knowledge, through the favor of God, the glorious and the all-pervading ruler, drinks with the learned the nectar-like juice of the medicines soma, etc., the giver of such good qualities as intellect, joy, valor, prowess, fortitude, strength, and high emprise, obtains worldly happiness and the happiness of the

  • Page 426
    other world and becomes able to perform rightly his kingly duties by means of the exact knowledge of the Vedas. His mind becomes calm and is filled with pure knowledge and he is able to do the various duties connected with his kingly office, and the performance of those kingly office, and performance of those duties brings him prompt happiness. He then desires pure grain, is filled with the knowledge of the essence of all things, is endowed with sweet, true and right conduct and acquires the means of attaining Moksha

    God commands that a Kshatriya, entrusted with the charge of governing the subjects should govern them in the way laid down above and he should eat the nectar-like juice with his food. A Kshatriya, entrusted with the charge of governing the subjects should govern them in way laid down above and he should eat the nectar-like juice with his food. A Kshatriya should act that the greatest happiness may be ensured to the subjects." Yaju XIX. 75

    [The word apa come from the root aplri 'to pervade'. It is always used in the plural number and feminine gender. The word

  • Page 427
    Devi come from the root Divu ' to sport, etc.]

    May the all-pervading, all-illumining Lord, the dispenser of happiness to all, bring us joy and well-being so that we may be able to obtain the joys of our heart and complete happiness to our hearts' content. May the Lord be gracious unto us, and may the self-effulgent Ruler shower happiness upon us from all sides." Yaju XXXVI. 12.

    The following Mantra of the Vedas is an authority for taking the word Apah in the sense of God.

    "The learned know that Apah is the name of Brahma in whom. They know that all the worlds and treasures, the perishable effect (viz. the universe) and its eternal cause have their abode. O learned man! Tell us who is that sustainer of the universe among all these objects? you may know that as the Lord of the universe who resides within all substances, the

  • Page 428
    Jiva, etc. as their indewelling ruler." Atharva Veda X. 4. 22. 10.

    "May the Supreme Lord, possessed of wonderful power and bliss, the augmenter of happiness, be our friend by making Himself manifest to us through worship and through by the performance of good acts in the highest degree and by good qualities, and are adorned with most excellent characteristics. May the Lord of the universe, through His grace, protect us by always succoring us and may we also serve Him with true love and devotion." Yaju XXVII. 39.

    O men God proclaims Himself by creating knowledge among you and by creating the happiness-producing riches of a world wide empire, by destroying ignorance and poverty through your contact with the leaned who

  • Page 429
    always desire Him and obey His will. Yaju XXIX. 37.

    On Qualification and Disqualification.
    Back to contents

    Q. - Are all men entitled to study the Shastras, the Vedas, etc., or are they not?

    A. ~ All men entitles to study the Vedas, because they are the word of God, are meant for the benefit of all and bring to light true knowledge. We know it as a fact that whatever things have been created by God they are for our use of all. On this point we have the following authority in which God commands all to study and teach the Vedas.

    "As I have spoken this word - the beneficent Vedas, the Rig, etc., - for the good of all men creatures, so all learned men should preach it to all men. If here some one were to say that the word 'twice-born' is understood before the word 'men' and, therefore, the twice-born alone are entitled to study and teach the

  • Page 430
    Vedas, it would not do, because it would be against the meaning of the last portion of the Mantra. In anticipation of the question; 'who are entitled to study and teach the Vedas', it is said, ' the four Vedas should be read out by all to a Brahmana, a Kshatriya, a Vaishyana, a Shudra, and Atishrudra (antyaya) and one's own relations and dependants, such as son and servant.'

    As I (God) doing good to al without any favor and partiality am dear to the learned and charitable persons, who give their all in charity, so all of you, O learned men! Considering that the teaching of the Vedas is a universally beneficial and pleasing act, should read out the Vedic word to all. You should so act that this desire of Mine may be fulfilled and by acting in this way your desire for the happiness you may have set your heart upon will be fulfilled.

    As I possess all desired bliss so you will have all happiness which might be the object of your desire. I give you this blessing. Beat assured of it. As I have revealed the Vedic lore for the benefit of all, so you also should use it for the good of all, so you also should use it for the good of all without making any distinction or difference. My

  • Page 431
    disposition is free from partiality an bias and directed to the doing of that which is dear to all. I can, consequently, be pleased only when you act in accordance with My disposition and not otherwise." This alone is the meaning of this mantra because in the mantra just preceding this one God alone is spoken of. Yaju XXVI. 2.

    The Varnas and Ashramas also depend on the merits, actions and conduct.

    Manu says that a Shudra attains the status of a Brahmana and becomes entitled to his privileges if he possess qualities of the latter such as complete knowledge and learning and a calm and good temperament, etc. In the same way, a Brahmana descends to the status of a Shudra and becomes liable to all the duties imposed on a Shudra if he has the disqualifications of the latter such as dullness of intellect,

  • Page 432
    stupidity, dependence on the service of others, etc. The same rule is applicable to persons born of Kshatriya and of Vaishya parents, i.e. one gets the status of that varna whose characteristics one possesses. Manu X. 65.

    Similarly, in the Apastamba Sutras also. 'By acting according to truth and virtue a Shudra becomes fully entitled by degrees to the rights of a Vaishyas,, Kshatriyas and a Brahmana and becomes fully entitled to do the acts prescribed for those varnas. similarly, a Brahmana belonging to the highest varna by acting against Dharma falls to the status of the varnas below him i.e. the Kshatriay, Vaishya and Shudra classes and has to observe the duties laid down for them. That conduct which is according to the Dharma is the only means of acquiring the rights of a higher varna and conduct which is opposed to Dharma causes a man to fall to

  • Page 433
    the status of a lower varna. Apastamba. II. 2. 10 &11.

    Wherever we come across such expressions as, 'a Shudra should not be taught and allowed to hear the Vedas reas out', the meaning is that as a Shudra is deficient in intellect and is incapable of learning, remembering and thinking upon what he has read, it is useless and of no avail to teach him and make him learn the Vedas.

    On The Method of Teaching How to Read and of Reading.
    Back to contents

    When a child begins to reas he should be taught to pronounce the letters according to the methods of the science of orthepy so that he may have knowledge of the modulation of voice and of the organs used in and the method of pronouncing different letters, so that he may know correctly the way of pronouncing
  • Page 434
    vowels and consonants. e.g. in pronouncing 'p' both the lips should be joined. Here the lips are the organs of pronunciation and bringing the lips together is the method of pronouncing it and so on. The great Muni Patanjali - the author of the Mahabhashya says on this subject:-

    'The letters are not clearly and distinctly audible and the expressions do not appear beautiful unless the pronunciation is made with due regard to the organs and methods of pronuciation, e.g., if a singer were to sing without paying attention to the tone, such as Shadaja, etc. or to it pitch or were he to sing in a false tone he would be to blame. In the same manner it is incumbent that in reciting the Vedas the vowels and the consonants should be pronounced with due regard to the organs and methods of pronunciation otherwise the pronounced word would be unpleasant and meaningless.

    If a man were to pronounce a word transgressing the correct methods of pronunciation it would be his own fault and he would be censured; 'Thou has made a wrong use of the words.' A word used wrongly does not express the meaning which

  • Page 435
    one wants to express thereby, i.e., in pronouncing Sakala (whole, Shakala (part), Sakrit (once) and Shakrit (ordure) if one were to pronounce 's' as 'sh' or 'sh' as 's' the words would not convey their true meaning and would destroy speech, i.e., would destroy the meaning to express which they were pronounced by the speaker.

    They would injure the speaker or the Yajamana, i.e., would deprive him of the meaning he wanted to express thereby. Take, for instance, the compound Indrashatruh. By the change of accent it would express opposite meanings. If it be taken as a Tat-purusha the accent should be placed on the last syllable of both the words Indra and Shatru.

    On the other hand, if it be taken as a 'Bahubrihi' the accent should be placed in the first syllable of both words. This compound employs the figure of speech called Tulya Yogita and describes the sun and the cloud. Hence by a change of accent it expresses two opposite meanings. In a Tatpurusha compound the chief member the last word and in a Bahubrihi compound the main thing is a third and a different thing. Therefore he who wants the

  • Page 436
    the compound Indrashatruh to denote the sun he should pronounce it with the accent on the last syllable and take it as a Karmadaharaya but he who wants it to signify the cloud he should pronounce it with the accent on the first syllable and take it as a Bahubrihi. It will be his own fault if he does otherwise. Consequently, vowels and consonants should be pronounced correctly. Maha I. I.1.

    A child should also be taught the manner of speech, hearing, sitting, walking, eating, reading, thinking and interpreting, etc. The best results are obtained when a thing is read with a knowledge of its sense, but in comparison to a man who does not read at all even he is to be preferred who reads only without understanding the meaning. He who reads and understands the meanings of words is decidedly superior to a mere reader. And he who having read the Vedas and understood their meaning acquires good qualities and acts

  • Page 437
    rightly and thereby does good to all, is the best of all. The following texts condemn reading without understanding the sense.

    "Brahma is imperishable, the highest and the best and all-pervading like Akasha. in Him are established the four Vedas, the Rig., etc. [Here the word Rig is used as a class name for the four Vedas.] In Him are stationed all the learned, the organs of cognition and action, all the globes, the sun, etc. What will he, who does not know Him and does not obey His will which ordains the doing of universal good, do with the Vedic mantras he has read.

    He can never reap the fruit born of the knowledge of the meaning of the Vedas. But they, who know that Brahma, obtain fully the fruit called virtue, worldly riches, desires and salvation. It is, therefore, imperative that the Vedas, etc. should be intelligently reas." Rig I. 164. 39.

  • Page 438
    "The man, who has simply read the Vedas and having read them does not know their meaning and the man, who having known their meaning does not act according to their teaching, are like logs of wood (i.e. lifeless) and the carriers of burden. As a man or an animal carrying a burden does not use it and ghi, sugar, musk, saffron, etc., which he is carrying, are enjoyed by some other lucky man, so a man, who reads (a book) without understanding its meaning is like the carrier of a burden.

    He who having read the Vedas acquires a knowledge of words and their meaning and acts righteously, becomes purged of sin by virtue of the knowledge of the meaning of the Vedas, and obtains complete bliss even before death and after leaving the body attains to the station of Brahma, called Moksha, which is free from all pain." The Vedas should, therefore, be read with a knowledge of their meaning and one should act according to them.

    "A man, who reads the Vedas without understanding their sense and simply recites them, gets no illumination. Just as in a place devoid of fire even dry fuel, ready to catch

  • Page 439
    fire, does not burn and produce heat and light, so the mere reading without understanding the meaning does not produce the light of knowledge." Nirukta. I. 18.

    There are men who hear words but do not understand them and also those who pronounce them without understanding their sense. As the words spoken and heard by such men remain unknown to them, so reading without knowing the import of words is of no use.

    [This hemistich describes the characteristics of the ignorant].

    But to the man who studies the Vedas and understands their meaning, speech (learning) reveals her form in various ways. As a wife desiring the favor of her husband puts on beautiful garments and displays the beauty of her person to her lord, similarly, the learning i.e., the knowledge of things from God to earth, reveals her form to the man who reads the Vedas with a full grasp

  • Page 440
    of their meaning. Rig X. 71.4

    "The man, who is a master of learning, who instructs others in entertaining friendly feelings and doing friendly actions towards all creatures, who by righteous conduct obtains Moksha i.e. the realization of God, and who brings the highest happiness to all, is called the friend of all. No one injures such a learned man in any act or transaction because he always does what is pleasing to all.

    No carpings, criticisms and objections of unfriendly and adverse critics can harm the man who studies the Vedas with a knowledge of their meaning. His speech is united with true knowledge and is the bringer of desired objects and he is endowed with the good qualities of true knowledge.

    [The first hemistich of this verse is in the praise of a learned man. The second hemistich describes the characteristics of an ignorant man.]

    An ignorant man who speaks words which are devoid of a knowledge of the science of conduct,

  • Page 441
    worship and manners and of the knowledge of God roams about in this world accompanies with his deceitful, meaningless and erroneous speech. He is unable to do good either to his own self or to others in his life as a human being. Consequently that study alone is the best which is accompanied with the knowledge of the sense of the thing studied. Rig. X. 71. 5.

    For a complete understanding of the Vedas men should first read grammar, the Ashtadhyayi and the Mahabhashya, then the limbs of the Vedas, the Nighantu (lexicology) and the Nirukta (etymology), prosody and astronomy; after them the six subsidiary limbs, viz., Mimansa, Vaisheshika, Nyaha, Yoga, Samkhya and Vedanta and lastly, having studied the Brahmanas, the Aitareya, the Shatapatha, the Sama and the Gopatha, they should take up the study of the Vedas. Or, men in general should know the teachings of the Vedas by reading the Vedic commentaries written by those who have

  • Page 442
    studied the former after having studied all the above books and subjects. No one can know God, Dharma and the sciences without knowing the meaning of the Vedas, because , the Vedas are the basis of all the sciences. Without knowing the Vedas no one can acquire true knowledge.

    Whatever knowledge of true sciences was, is or will be found in the books or minds of men on the earth has its source in the Vedas, for, all exact and true knowledge has been placed by God in them.

    The light of truth, wherever and in what ever quantity it has shone, has issued from the Vedas. For this reason, al men should endeavor to know their meaning and teachings.

    On some Objections Answered and Doubts Removed on the Present Commentary.
    Back to contents

    Q. - Do you mean to write an absolutely new commentary or are you going to bring to light only what has been written by the old masters? In the latter case, it would be to grind what has been once through the mill and no one would accept it.
  • Page 443
    A. ~ I shall bring to light what has been written by the old masters, e.g., the commentaries by the learned men of antiquity, viz., Aitareya and Shatapatha, etc. written by the rishis from Brahma to Yajnavalkya, Vatsyayana and iJaimine; the limbs of the Vedas written by the Maharishis Panini, Patanjali and Yaska, etc.; the six subsidiary limbs written by Jaimini, etc.; the books called the Upavedas and the works names the branches of the Vedas. I shall bring to light the true interpretation by basing it on the authority of all of them. I shall not write any thing new according to what pleases me and nothing which has not an authority behind it.

    Q. - What shall be the use of your doing so?

    A. ~ The commentaries written by Ravana, Uvata, Sayana, Mahidhara, etc., are oppose to the real meaning of the Vedas. Similarly, the partial translations in their own languages made by Englishmen, Germans, etc. following the above and also the translations that have been or are being made by Indians into vernaculars in accordance with them are all full of

  • Page 444
    ,mistakes and wrong interpretations. By my commentary the hearts of good men will be illumined and the wrong commentaries and translations, on their errors and faults being fully exposed, will fall into desuetude and will be rejected and condemned.

    On account of want of space I shall expose a few faults and errors of these commentaries by way of specimen according to the maxim of a rice from the dish. For example, Sayana, not knowing the real meaning of the Vedas, has expressed the opinion that all of them deal with the action portion only. This opinion is wrong.

    We have already shown that the Vedas contain all the sciences and this in itself proves the falsity of Sayana's opinion. He has misinterpreted the mantra, 'Indram Mitram Varunam, etc. 'In this mantra he has taken the word Indra, etc. as adjectives qualifying Indra.

    In reality the words Indra, etc. are adjectives qualifying the word Agni, which again together with its other adjectives signifies the eternal Brahma. it is a rule that the thing qualified is repeated again and again, but not the adjectives qualifying it. For example, where a

  • Page 445
    thing has a hundred or a thousand qualities the name of that thing is repeated, but not the words used to qualify it. In the same way, in this mantra the word Agni being the word qualified has been spoken twice by God. Sayaacharya did not understand this and hence he fell into error. The author of the Nirukta also has taken the word Agni as a substantive. 'he learned speak of the Great self, which is only one, by many names such as, Indra, Mitra, Varuna, etc.' Nirukta VII. 18.

    (Agni) is the name of the reality, viz., Brahama. We should, therefore, know that words Agni, etc are the names of God. Again, Sayana says that God all the mantras invoke God just as a royal priest always does what is beneficial to the king's interests, or, that God is represented by Agni which has been kindled in the Vedi at the time of Yajana. This is self-contradictory.

    If all are the names for invoking God, why does he invoke Agni, material fire, which is necessary for performing homa? This opinion of his, therefore, has its root in error. If it

  • Page 446
    be said that there is no contradiction because although Sayana invokes Indra, etc., still they are simply the various forms of God, we reply that if by them God alone is invoked it is improper to treat them as forms of God.

    He is wrong is saying this, because such mantras as Atharva Veda XIX, 2. 11. and Yajur Veda XL. 8.say that God is unborn, has no form and does not assume a body. There are many such errors in the commentary of Sayanacharya. We shall point them out in the body of our commentary on the individual mantras.

    In the same manner Mahidhara in his commentary called the Vedadipa in his commentary called the Vedadipa has grossly misinterpreted the Vedas and has greatly calumniated them. Here we expose a few of his faults and errors by way of specimen. Yajurveda XXIII.

  • Page 447
    In his commentary on this mantra he takes the word Ganapati to mean a horse. He says:
    The true meaning of the mantra is as follows:-

    We invoke and accept Thee O God who are the Lord and Protector of the numerous orders, species and geniuses of objects, of all that is dear and near to us, i.e. our friends and relations and Moksha, etc., and of all the treasures and precious objects such as knowledge, jewels, etc. Thou pervadest this world and he whole universe lives,, moves and has its being in Thee. May we by Thy favor know Thee who keepest all the words and acts in Thy power a mother holds a child in her womb. Thou holdest the Prakriti and the atoms, etc. in Thy womb. There is no one else than Thou who Thee alone as such. Thou knowest all completely.

    In the Aitareya and the Shatapatha, the word Ganapati has been explained as below:- In this mantra reference is to the Lord of the Vedas, Vrihaspati, for it is written that Brahma (Veda) means Vrihaspati A learned

  • Page 448
    ,man and a preacher of truth frees the giver, the Yajamana, from disease by the preaching of the Vedas. The Yajamana loves the healer God is called both Pratha and Sapratha. He is Pratha because He pervades every thing and Sapratha because He co-exists with the prakriti, akasha, etc. and His powers which are spread far and wide. Aitareya I. 20.

    God the Lord of creatures is called Jamadagni according to the following text. 'He is so called because the luminous objects the sun, etc. shine through His power alone. Such created objects as the sun, etc. and the laws which they obey proclaim God as their origin and as object of adoration.' Nirukta VII. 24.

    God is Jamadagni i.e. Ashvamedha. An empire is like a horse and the subjects like other inferior animals. As other animals, the

  • Page 449
    strength, so the subjects are weaker than the sate assembly. The glory and splendor of an empire consists in wealth, gold, etc. and in administration of justice. Shat XIII 2.2. 14, 15, 16 & 17.

    In the above extract the relation of the kingly power and the subjects has been described by means of an allegory. The next extract describes the relation between soul and God. That relation is that of the servant and the master.

    Man cannot easily know the blissful heaven i.e. God by his own unaided strength. He can know it through the favor of God alone. Shat. XIII2. 3. 1.

    God.s name is Ashva also, because, He pervades the whole universe (Ashva comes

  • Page 450
    from the root 'Ash' to pervade). Shat XIII. 3.8.8.

    Ashvamedha is the name of the empire. The ruling power of the state makes it shine with splendor and it redounds to the glory of the ruling power. It makes the subjects obey its will. Hence the empire is called by the name Ashvamedha.

    Wealth and splendor is the very soul of the empire. It conduces to the power and grandeur of the empire but not to that of the subjects. The subjects become prosperous and progressive only when they enjoy liberty. Where there is an absolute monarchy the subjects are oppressed. The government of the state should, therefore, be vested in the people. Shat. XIII. 2. 11. 15, 16 & 17.

    Women also should perform the Yajna of knowledge, viz., the rearing and training of children for the stability and protection of the

  • Page 451
    empire and if they should neglect this duty, the learned ought to provide remedies. They should also punish those who might instigate women to deviate from the path of duty. Thus they should afford it three-fold protection in every way. They should by daily instruction increase the stock of physical and spiritual strength.

    Those men, who know God, who holds all things in His womb, never lack vigor of mind and body and vital force. Men should, therefore, entertain the desire to possess the fullest knowledge of God, the holder of all things in His womb. All things were born of the womb of Divine power. He, who excels in knowledge among the subjects to whom the name of Pashu is given, firmly believes that all subjects live in the all pervading God. Shat. XIII. 2.2. 4 & 5.

  • Page 452
    We have thus given in brief the meaning of the above Mantra, viz., Yaju XXIII. 19.
    It is clearly conceivable that the interpretation of Mahidhara is altogether opposed to this interpretation.

    Yajur Veda. XXIII. 20
    The true interpretation

    The true interpretation according to the Shatapatha: - "May we the king and the subject obtain the four objects, viz., virtue, wealth, desire and emancipation, in unison with each other in order that there may dwell permanent happiness in the beautiful and enjoyable world for clothing all beings with happiness.

    That country is heaven itself i.e. happy, in which men of brutalized nature, who unjustly misappropriate the property of others, are reformed by means of instruction, learning and punishment. Both i.e. the king and the subjects, should, therefore, for the sake of mutual happiness,

  • Page 453
    help and support men of learning and wisdom, who freely impart knowledge and other good qualities, and acquire from them learning and strength without interruption. This is the meaning of the Mantra. Shat XIII, 2. 8. 5.

    Yajurveda XXII.22
    The true interpretation

    As smaller birds are weak in presence of

  • Page 454
    the hawk so the subjects are weak in presence of the king. The kings, to be sure, always oppress the subjects for their own pleasure. The subjects are called gabha (to be seized), kingly power called pasa (to be penetrated). The king coming into contact with the subjects torments them in every way. Whenever the kingly power is vested in one individual the subjects are oppressed.

    One individual should not, therefore, be acknowledged as king. Only the president of the state of assembly, virtuous, endowed with good attributes and learned, should be acknowledged as king. Mahidhara's interpretation is altogether erroneous in comparison with this true interpretation. Shata. XIII. 2. 3. 6.

    YajurvedaXXIII 24
    The true interpretation according to Shatapahta

  • Page 455

    O man! This earth and knowledge are like thy mother, because, the one on account of its gifts of medicine and other innumerable objects, and the other by reason of its causing the birth of wisdom in thee, are deserving of respect.The bright firmament, learned men and God, are like thy father, because, they, being the cause of all thy activities and of the gift of happiness, protect thee.

    A learned man enables the jiva to reach heaven, the world of bliss, by these means. Glory, i.e. learning and wealth consisting of good qualities, jewels, etc. take the jiva to glory and the greatest happiness and they are the best and the foremost ingredients of an empire.

    The subjects are called gabha because they are the producers of all kinds of wealth and grandeur. The act of government is called Mushti (fist), because, as a man takes hold of money in his

  • Page 456
    fist so a single absolute monarch unjustly lays his hand on the best and the costliest possessions of his subjects for his own pleasure. The king is called the oppressor of the subjects because he pierces them with darts of oppression. The interpretation of Mahidhara is altogether opposed to this interpretation. It should not, therefore, be believed by anyone Shat. XIII. 2. 3. 7.

    Yajur Veda XXII. 26
    True interpretation

  • Page 457
    O man! Raise the glory of the empire to a high pitch by serving it to the best of thy ability. The empire is the Ashvamedha Yajna. When a kingdom is governed by the state assembly it rises in glory and all the highest qualities as a man does, who carries and places a heavy object on the summit of a mountain.

    Glory is the burden of the empire. The subjects should make the empire prosperous by bringing it glory by means of the parliamentary government. In this way the subjects keep the glorious empire raised aloft. Glory is the middle portion (i.e. stomach) of the empire. By good parliamentary government the empire becomes great and is filled with edible commodities and objects of comfort and enjoyment. Protection of the empire is called Shita. a good state assembly should protect the empire. Mahidhara's interpretation is opposed to this true interpretation also.

  • Page 458
    Yajur Veda XXIII. 28
    True interpretation

    When a king, who is himself free from guilt and defects, personally attends to and keeps an eye over all the acts, small and great, of his subjects, the thieves and the officials and other selfish men, who injure the property of the subjects like rats, remain as restless as two fish writhing in a water-filled hole made

  • Page 459
    in the ground by the foot of a cow*.

    Yajur Veda XXIII 9
    True interpretation

    as the learned having realized and assimilated true knowledge are permanently filled with the pleasure of knowledge, which brings all kinds of happiness and various good qualities

    The author does no translate this mantra. We have, therefore, translated it from his commentary on the Yajur Veda to show what its true interpretation would be according to the author.
  • Page 460
    in its train, so the subjects also, by their advice and company are filled with all kinds of happiness and as a woman covers her lower parts with garments so the learned cover the subjects with happiness.

    Yajur Veda XXIII. 30
    True interpretation

    The subjects are like barley and an absolute monarch like a deer. He is the snatcher of good things. As a deer having eaten corn growing in a field feels happy so an absolute monarch always seeks his own pleasure. consequently

  • Page 461
    he always makes the subjects cater for his own pleasure i.e., he regards them as his meal. As a meat eater seeing a well-fed animal desires to eat its flesh and never entertains a thought about its welfare or life so an absolute monarch is always distressed with the fear of any of his subjects becoming stronger than he and for this reason he does not protect them.

    As a Shudra woman commits adultery with a Vaishaya her husband does not feel strong and happy so the subjects also do not become strong and happy when they are ruled over by an absolute monarch.

    For this reason the son of a Vaishya woman who is of a cowardly nature and the son of a Shudra woman who is an ignorant fellow are never fit to be installed as kings. The interpretation of Mahidhara is altogether opposed to this interpretation given by the Shatapatha Brahmana. Shat. XIII. 2. 3. 8.

  • Page 462
    Yajur Veda XXIII. 31
    The true interpretation.

    O Learned President of the Assembly! Thou art the fulfiller of all desires. Do thou shed the light of knowledge, happiness and justice over these subjects. Make him hang his head down who through avarice or lust destroys the property or chastity of others and throw him into prison. Similarly, award condign punishment to her who among women may be an adulteress. An adulterer is called Jivobhojana of women because he destroys their life force. Punish such a miscreant.

    All men will consider this much criticism enough to demolish the whole of the Veda Dipa written by Mahidhara. When I shall write

  • Page 463
    the commentary I shall expose other errors also of Mahidhara's commentary. If this be the miserable condition and false position of the commentaries of Sayana, Mahidhara, etc. what would be the state of the erroneous position of Europeans who following them have made the translations of the Vedas in their own tongues.

    Good readers will consider what value should be attached to our own countrymen who following the Europeans have written commentaries in the Vernaculars and English.

    The Aryas should not place the least reliance on such commentaries, for, by doing so, the true interpretation and error would prosper. No one should, therefore, regard such commentaries as true.

    That the Vedas are full of all the sciences and that there is nothing in them which is false will become known to all men when the complete commentary of the four Vedas will be printed and placed before the wise and be read by them.

    All men will then know that there is no knowledge equal to the divine knowledge contained in the Vedas.

  • Page 464
    On Pratijna (General Principles).
    Back to contents

    In the Vedic commentary we shall refer to the action portion only in so far as it will be deducible directly from the meaning of the words. We shall not, however, give a detailed description of the acts which ought to be performed in the various yajnas, from the Agnihotra to the Ashvamedha, according to the mantras which have been applied to the action portion.

    The reason is that the true application of the mantras to the action portion and the details of the observances are given in the Aitareya and Shatapatha Brahmanas, the Purvamimanxa, and the Shrouta Sutras, etc. Their repetition will disfigure this commentary with the faults of tautological repetition and the grinding of a ground meal which disfigure the books not written by Rishis.

    Only so much application of the mantras to the action portion is to be accepted as has the authority of the Vedas at its back, is deducible from the meaning of the mantras and is contained in the above named works. In the same way we shall describe the worship portion also only

  • Page 465
    in so far as it would be consistent with the context and the meanings of word. The reason being that it has been dealt with in detail in the Pantanjali's Yoga Shastra. We shall adopt the same method in dealing with the (spiritual) knowledge portion because it has been fully treated of in Sankhaya, Vedanta and the Upanishads, etc.

    The knowledge and its application to practical ends for utilitarian purposes obtained from a knowledge of the three portions is called the Philosophy portion. The fourth portion has been fully dealt with in the books, but only so much of it should be accepted as is found on examination to be consistent and in agreement with the Vedas, for, there can be no branches in the absence of a root.

    A knowledge of the Svara (tone and pitch) of the Vedic words and of their correct pronunciation should be acquired from the study of the limbs of the Vedas, grammar, etc.

    It has been correctly described in the books and hence we hall not touch upon it in this commentary. Metres should be learnt from the aphorisms of Pingala. The Svaras are Shadja, Rishabha, Gandhara, Madhyama, Panchama

  • Page 466
    Dhaivata,, and Nishada. Pingala III. 94. We shall give the Svara of every mantra according to this sutra of Pingalcharya, because at the present time the practice of singing the mantras according to their particular svara in accompaniment with musical instruments is not in vogue.

    The special sciences such as medical, etc. should be learnt with the help of the Upavedas such as the Ayurveda, etc. We shall refer to the special sciences in the commentary on the interpretation of the Vedic mantras only in the general way.

    Doubts of men will be removed only by bringing to light the meaning of the Vedas supported by strong and valid reasons..

    We shall give the meaning of each word of the Vedic mantras in both Sanskrit and the Vernacular and quote our authority for our interpretation. We shall quote the rules of grammar also wherever we shall consider it necessary to do so in order that by the removal of the perverted commentaries of modern writers which are opposed to the meaning of the Vedas and also to the ancient interpretations, all men, on seeing

  • Page 467
    the true interpretation of the Vedas, may come to love them greatly. A great mischief has been done by the commentaries of Sayanacharya, etc which they have written according to their own bent of mind and the trend of public opinion from motives of obtaining renown. Through their agency Europeans also have fallen into errors about the Vedas.

    We shall bring to light the true interpretation of the Samhitas of the Vedas according to the ancient books and the dictates of our own reason.

    When by God's favor our commentary, supported as it will be by the authority of the Vedic commentaries such as the Aitareya, the Shatapatha, etc. written by the Aryan Munis, Mahamunis, Rishis and Maharishis, will be completed, great happiness will result to al men.

    Wherever a verse will be capable of yielding two meanings i.e. (1) physical and (2) spiritual in accordance with authority we shall give both them. But in not a single mantra can the reference to God be entirely absent, because He is the efficient cause of this effect, the world, and pervades every portion of it, and, also, because an effect is always

  • Page 468
    connected with its cause. Where the physical interpretation alone is possible there also it must be remembered that all the substances, the earth, etc., exist in the manner in which they have been created by God. Similarly, when a mantra bears a spiritual meaning only the physical also comes in through the relation of cause and effect.

    Some Questions and Answers Relating to the Vedas.
    Back to contents

    Q. - Why are the Vedas divided into 4 parts?

    A. ~ In order to impart knowledge of different sciences.

    Q. - What are those sciences?

    A. ~ The sciences of music and pronunciation recognize three distinctions. In music we distinguish between a short note, and intermediate not and a long note and in pronunciation between a short vowel, a long vowel and an extra-long vowel. To pronounce a long vowel takes double the time of that which is spent in pronouncing a short vowel and thrice as much time is required to pronounce an extra-long

  • Page 469
    vowel as is required for pronouncing a short vowel. It is for this reason that one and the same mantra is read in all the four Samhitas. Again, by the Rig verses we define objects, by the Saman verse we sing them.

    The properties of objects have been explained in the Rig Veda . In the Yajur Veda is laid down the way of practical application of the objects of known properties to different arts and acts of utility. In the Sama Veda we are required to bestow deep thought on the mutual relations of knowledge and action in order to arrive at their final results. The Atharva Veda lays down the ways of preserving and improving the science of the final results of knowledge imparted in the three Vedas by giving it final and finishing touches. These are some of the reasons for the division of the Vedas into 4 parts.

    Q. -What is the object of arranging the Vedas into four Samhitas?

    A. ~ The object is to arrange the mantras dealing with the same class of subjects according to the context and their relation with the mantras that precede and follow them so that

  • Page 470
    the information contained in them may be grasped easily.

    Q. -What for have the Vedas been divided into Ashtakas, Mandalas, Adhyayas, Suktas, Shatkas, Kandas, Vargas, Dashatis, Trikas, Prapathakas, Anuvakas?

    A. ~ For this reason that the Vedas may be conveniently read and taught, that the mantras may be easily counted and that the context of each subject may be easily known.

    Q. - Why is the Rig Veda counted as the first, the Yajur Veda as the 2nd, the Sama Veda as the third and the Atharva Veda as the fourth?

    A. ~ Unless and until one acquires direct knowledge of the relation of a substance with its qualities it is not impressed on the mind, nor does one acquire a liking for it. Without these two no one can have a desire to possess a thing. Without desire there can be no happiness..

    The Rig Veda outht to be counted s the first Veda as it deals with the above mentioned subject. The Yajur Veda ought to be counted as the first Veda as it deals with the above mentioned subject. The Yajur Veda ought to be counted as the second Veda inasmuch as it deals with the subject of doing good to the whole world

  • Page 471
    by bringing the objects into practical use and deriving benefits there from after knowing their qualities. The Sama Veda is counted as the third Veda because it deals with such questions as how far the knowledge, action and worship portions can be improved, and what is their ultimate result? The Atharva Veda is counted as the fourth Veda because it teaches to preserve and complete the knowledge contained in the other three Vedas.

    The order of enumeration of the Vedas as the Rig, Yajus, Saman and Atharvan is due to the fact that the knowledge of the qualities of things, their application to practical ends, spiritual knowledge, and their progress and preservation are related with one another in the same order, the one following depending on the one preceding it.

    The reason why they are so called is also the same because Rik means to define and Yaj to respect the learned, to associate with them, and to combine objects and to make a gift, Sama comes from 'sho" to do a final act' and means to console. Atharva comes from 'Atharva' to doubt and means the absence of doubt because 'a' (not) is added to it. The

  • Page 472
    Vedas are counted in this order according to the meanings of the roots from which their names are derived. Nirukta. XI. 18.

    Q. - Why are rishi, devata, chhanda and svara written over ever mantra?

    A. ~The name of that rishi is written over a mantra, who subsequently to the revelation of the Vedas by God discovered its real meaning. It is but proper that the names of the rishis who through the meditation of God, His favor and with great labor and effort published the meaning of particular mantras. Should be written over them to perpetuate their memory. That this is so is supported by the authority of the Nirukta. ' A man who reads the Vedas or hears them read out with out knowing their meaning reaps no fruits.'

    The end of speech is knowledge and the performance of action in consonance with knowledge. Those who act according to their knowledge and realize the Dharma (law or duty) are ranked as rishis. Those who acquired

  • Page 473
    the knowledge of all sciences became rishis. They, in order to propagate continuously the Vedic teachings, revealed through instruction, the meaning of the Vedic mantras to others who had not realized it. With a view to impart a knowledge of the meaning of the oral instruction in them, the rishis composed the Nighantu and the Nirukta so that all men might acquire a correct knowledge of them and their limbs.

    The Nighantu is a glossary which explains the roots having the same meaning and denoting the same action, and collects together all the synonyms signifying the same object and all the words having different meanings.

    There are many names for one and the same thing and one name for many objects. The devata of a mantra specially explains a thing or a meaning requiring explanation that thing or meaning is said to be its devata. To clear an allusion to another subject not directly dealth with in the mantra is the province of

  • Page 474
    the Nighantu. Nirukta I.20.

    It should be understood that no human being is the author of the Vedic mantras. The rishis, whose names are written over them are only those who discovered and published their meanings. Similarly, the subject of which a mantra treats is called its devata so that its so that its purport may be known easily.

    This is the reason why the devata of a mantra is written for the purpose of denoting the metres of the mantras in accompaniment of musical instruments.

  • Page 475
    Q. - Why do the words Agni, Vaya, Indra, Ashvi, Saraswati, etc. occur in the Vedas in certain order?

    A. ~ They are arranged in a certain order with a view to show the inter-dependence and inter-relation of the sciences and also to describe the primary and essential and the secondary and incidental effects of each individual science. The word Agni is taken in two senses, viz., God and material fire. It signifies the attributes of knowledge and pervasion, etc. of God

    Fire is created by God and is of primary importance and use in mechanics, etc. and hence it is given the first place in the order of enumeration.

    The word Vayu denotes the divine attributes of all-sustainingness and infinite power. As in the physical and mechanical sciences we find air helping fire and as it affords support to all embodied objects and is connected with them we take the word Vayu in the sense of air, and as God is the sustainer even of air we take it to mean Him also.

    The word Indra connotes the quality of gloriousness of God, and as men derive great power with the help of air we take in that sense

  • Page 476
    also. In mechanics water, fire, metals and light are necessary for the knowledge of the theory and practice of moving cars, they being direct and indirect causes thereof.

    The word Ashvi has been used in the Vedas for these things after Agni and Vayu. by the word Saraswati the Vedas signify such attributes of God as His possession of infinite wisdom, the instruction of the relation between the words and their meaning by means of the Vedas.

    It also means the manifestations and uses of speech. For these reasons the words Agni, Vayu, Indra, Ashvi and Saraswati have been used in the above order in the Vedas. In a similar manner, all men should understand the meaning and application of the Vedic words in all other places also.

    Q. - In the Vedas we find words Agni, Vayu, Indra, etc. used in the beginning. This shows that these words are used for physical objects only; for, we do not find the word Ishvara (God) used in the beginning.

    A. ~ The great Muni Patanjali commenting on the Sutra 'lan' of the Ashtadhyayi says

  • Page 477
    explanation brings to light particular meanings of words and, therefore, there remains no obscurity. According to this principle all doubts are removed. In the Vedas, the Vedangas and the Brahmanas the word Agni has been explained in the sense of both God and fire.

    Moreover, if the word Ishvara also had been used all doubts would not have been removed because he word Ishvara signifies God, but it signifies a powerful king also and it is often the name of a man as well. Under these circumstances a doubt would arise as to what signification ought to be attached to it.

    Explanation alone could remove it and make it clear that in such and such places it ought to be taken to mean God and in such and such places to mean a king or man.

    There is, therefore, no harm in taking the word Agni in the dual sense of God and fire. Otherwise, it would be absolutely impossible to reduce all knowledge to writing even in billions of Shlokas and thousands of books. For this reason, God, considering that by employing the words Agni, etc. in the sense of both the spiritual and the physical objects it would

  • Page 478
    be possible to use a limited number of words and books of a small size, has used the words Agni, etc. Men will thus be able to know all the sciences by devoting a comparatively shorter time and a smaller effort to the acts of reading and teaching. You should understand that the most merciful God has explained knowledge and its objects in easy words.

    Again, the meanings of the words Agni, etc. which are prevalent in the world also point to God's glory, because all things are so many witnesses of the fact that God exists. We have referred to some of the sciences contained in the Vedas in this introduction.

    We shall now proceed to write the commentary on the mantras. We shall explain the particular the particular science contained in an individual mantra in the course of commenting on it as occasion will demand.

    On the special rules of the Vedic words mentioned by the author of the Nirukta.
    Back to contents

    The rules laid down by the author of the Nirukta apply to every part of the Vedas. All the mantras treat of three classes of subjects.
  • Page 479
    Some of them treat of Paroksha (not sense-cognized), some of Pratyaksha (sense-cognized) and others of Adhyatmika subjects (pertaining to the self).

    In mantras belonging to the first category the third person is used, in the second, the second and in the third, the first. But there are two rules for the use of the second person, viz. that the second person is used when inanimate objects are Pratyaksha.

    The purpose is to treat inanimate objects as Pratyaksha for the sake of emphasizing their utility. Not knowing this rule the Vedic commentators Sayana and others and their followers the European scholars who have translated the Vedas in their own tongues misinterpreted them as sanctioning the worship of inanimate objects, Nirukta. VII. I & 2.

  • Page 480
    Rules and Svaras which are also of Use in the interpretation of the Vedic mantras.
    Back to contents

    The svaras are of two kinds and each of them is again subdivided into seven classes as Udatta, Shadja, etc. We shall now give their definitions according to the grammarian Patanjali, the author of the Mahabhashya. The svaras are those which can be pronounced by themselves. In speaking loudly the bodily organs are strained, the throat is contracted and the voice becomes harsh. In speaking softly the bodily organs are relaxed, the throat is expanded and the voice becomes soft and smooth. In speaking we pronounce the svaras in three ways, viz., either as Udatta (high) or as Unudatta (low) or as Udatta-undatta (neither high nor low).

    As a thing having the white color is called white, and one having a black color is called black and a third one which partakes of the characteristics of both white and black is called gray so a Svara which has the quality of Udatta is called Udatta, that having quality of Unudatta, Unudatta, and that which has the qualities of both, Svarita.These become seven when they are raised to

  • Page 481
    a higher or softened down to a lower tone as Udatta, Udatta-tara, Unudatta, Unudatta-tara, Udatta-svarita and EkashrutiMaha I.2.

    This is the commentary on the Ashtadhyayi I. 2. 29. The Svaras are seven, Viz.,Shadja, Rishabha, Gandhaara, Madhyama, Panchama, Dhiavata and Nishada. Pingala III. 64. For their definition and rules governing them.

  • Page 482
    One should consult the books on the musical science.

    We have now completed this brief Introduction which brings to light the meaning and the purpose of the Vedas in a clear, lucid and beautiful manner. It will fulfill the desire of, those who will peruse it. It is a treasure-house in which are contained the explanations of purifying subjects.

    It is supported by the quotations of the Satyashastras. After this we take in hand the writing of the Vedic Commentary which is supported by good proofs with intelligent devotion to the Lord.

    Let the wise take note that we shall observe the following order in the commentary. First we shall give a brief introduction to explain the meaning of the mantra, then the mantra itself, and then its component words. This will be followed by the meaning of the words arranged in the prose order and the last of all will come the purport of the mantra.

    O Radiant Divinity, Creator of the universe remove all evil from us and endow us with all that is noble.

    Finish is the introduction to the four Vedas, the Rig, etc., by the Paramahansa Parivra jakacharya Shri Swami Dayanand Saraswati, which is adorned with Sanskrit and Aryabhaasha and is supported by good proofs.

    <<< Prev---------------------Next >>>

    Back 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