Hari Om! Namaste!!
We had many references to the Vedas in many of our articles. The Vedas are the most fundamental Scriptures of Sanatana Dharma(a.k.a Hinduism). Our Great Master Shri Shankara Bhagavatpadah commands us–“Vedo Nityam adheeyatam”, i.e. study and practice the Vedas daily. So, it is important to know about the Vedas clearly.
But, how? It is very simple! Through a reality fiction in which great truths are packaged in a beautiful story. In this article, our Great realized Master Shri Sujnan Giri explains about the Vedas to Jnana Hariputra. OK. Let us listen to their discussion attentively. Are you ready?
Convinced by the last discussion on worshiping several Gods in Hinduism, Jnana Hariputra again approaches Shri Sujnan Giri to get the authoritative answers for his questions.
Hariputra: “Namaste, Bhagawan! I have some intriguing questions on the Holy Vedas. May I request you to Grace your kind answers, Sir?”
Shri Sujnan Giri: “Namaste, Jnana! Sure. Go ahead!”
Hariputra: “What are the Holy Vedas?”
Hariputra: “Sir, Could you please elaborate on sound form of the Absolute?”
Shri Sujnan Giri: “Fine. The Vedas consist of mantras. The mantras are powerful phrases usually set as a poem in a particular metre. Since they are sounds and are heard, they are also called Shrutis(those which are heard). These eternal mantras were revealed to our highly enlightened sages(Rishis) in deep meditation. The Rishi who first experienced the mantra is called the Seer (Rishi) of that mantra. ”
Hariputra: “Sir, you said the Vedic mantras are heard. But, you also mentioned about Seer of the mantra. I am confused. Whether mantras were heard or seen?”
Shri Sujnan Giri: “Both or neither! The Vedic mantras were experienced in deep meditation. In a deep state of meditation, only one sense like ear or eye may not be able to provide the complete picture of the total experience of the mantra. So, both would give a snapshot of the experience to provide a complete understanding of the mantra.
Since meditational experience is something beyond the senses like ear or eye, whatever reported by the senses may not give the accurate picture of the experience.
Hence, the Seer is an approximate conventional term for the Great Master who is the first to experience the mantra. Got it?”
Hariputra: “Sir, this is becoming abstract for me. I am unable to understand. Could you please illustrate this with some analogy?”
Shri Sujnan Giri: “Sure. Let us take an example of a movie. When you say ‘ I saw a movie’, you are refering to only seeing aspect of the movie. In reality, movie is an experience filled with dialogues(hearing), emotions(mind) and the images(seeing). So, seeing is the conventional term used to describe an experience. On the same token, when we say Vedic mantras were seen, we really mean that the mantras were experienced. So, our Great Rishis who experienced the mantras first time are called the Seers. Is it clear to you, now?”
Hariputra: “Absolutely clear. Fantastic explanation, Gurudev! Who is the author of these Vedic mantras?”
Shri Sujnan Giri: “Why are you bothered about the authorship, when we already told you that they are the Eternal Truths? This question itself is superfluous and does not make any sense!
Finding out – who wrote the Vedas and when they were written etc. – are left as an exercise for academic researchers to discover! It makes a good topic for them to write some long theses for whatever worth. Let us leave it at that.
They are defined to be Eternal(i.e. timeless). Then, what is the logic in finding out when they were written? We don’t understand. Similarly, when we know that the Vedas themselves are the Absolute Truth, the question of who wrote them is simply not valid, since we human beings cannot write the Eternal Truths.
How can you convey the experience fully by writing? It is practically impossible. When we consider the Vedas as a form of the Absolute which is eternal, it implies that they cannot be written or created. So, they are called Apaurusheya, i.e. not authored by humans. The Vedic mantras were transmitted by Great Masters to their disciples without resorting to writing at all. This is to preserve their original phonetics intact, by imparting them orally to the worthy disciples.
The Vedas exist on their own always. As an analogy, gravitational force existed, even before Newton discovered it. Just like the Universal Self, they are Anadi(without a beginning) and Ananta(without an end). In other words, they are an infinite background beyond time and space. Moreover, we cannot go and discover a new mantra doing some meditation. The mantras reveal themselves to Great Masters of their choice; not to everybody.”
Hariputra: “Sir, now clearly understood that Holy Vedas are nothing but God. So, it is meaningless to discuss on its time of creation or authorship. Am I correct if I say that the Vedas are eternal and of divine origin not bound by time and space? ”
Shri Sujnan Giri: “Absolutely. The Supreme eternal power Goddess Gayathri is the Mother of the Vedas. It has been said:
Gayatrim chandasam mata … | – Maha Narayana Upanishat
Meaning: “(I pray) Goddess Gayathri who is the Mother of the Vedas”
Omnipotent Mother Gayathri is nothing but the Universal Self(a.k.a Brahman). Her sound form is the famous Gayathri Mantra. Great Sage Shri Vidyaranya says:
Tasya nishswasitam Vedah |
Meaning: “The Vedas were exhaled by That. i.e. the Brahman.
To summarize, the Vedas are the God, from the God. They are just like water in the ocean of God. Did you understand it? ”
Hariputra: “Yes, Sir. Thanks. Can we experience these mantras even today?”
Shri Sujnan Giri: “Yes! Of course. The effect of mantras are independent of time and space. To feel the right effect, one has to chant the Vedic mantras clearly with proper tone, pitch and intonation. If the intonations are not correct, the Vedic mantras may not yield any desired effect.
On the other hand, they can even be harmful if pronounced wrongly. This has been clearly stated in the Vedas itself. There is a separate branch of learning called Shiksha that deals with details of pronunciation.
One more important thing: mantras are effective only when you learn them from a Master(Guru). Also, one has to chant mantras with faith and devotion following the instructions of the Guru.”
Hariputra: “How can I learn chanting of the Vedic mantras?”
Shri Sujnan Giri: ” The chanting of Vedic mantras must be learnt from a Master. The chanting of the Vedas is not a right of everybody; But, it is a privilege.”
Hariputra: “Sir, What does it really mean? Could you please elaborate?”
Shri Sujnan Giri: “Sure. Only some privileged people can learn chanting of the Vedas after proper initiation and rituals. So, conditions apply! However, anybody can read(rather, should understand) the translations or commentaries on the Vedas, except chanting. This purifies the person. We are not going into further details.”
Hariputra: “Sir, Could you please tell me more on the Vedas?”
Sure. Why not? But, it is time for a break now!🙂 Let us continue to learn on the Vedas in the next posts. Stay tuned to Rudraksha Yoga!
(…To be continued)
Om Namah Shivaya ||