Sanjay Rath Friday 30 March 2006,
om gurave namah
BAVA Conference, 2006
All Vedic literature is divided into two categories- the sruti (heard) and the smriti (remembered). • Veda is from ‘vid’ meaning to know and symbolizes perfect knowledge. • The four Vedas including the Åk, Yajur, Sama and Atharva are the sruti and were originally ‘heard by the Mahäåñi or Vedic seers’, perhaps during meditation from the mouth of Brahma.
• This was originally only one book. With the passage of time, the quality of the human mind deteriorated and so did the longevity of man as the Yuga changed from Satya to Dväpara, Treta and finally Kali. The maximum longevity also declined from 1000 to 500, 250 and finally 125 years during these four Yuga.
• Incompetent and unable to process the vast knowledge of the Veda, they were divided into three parts called Åk, Yajur and Sama Veda and later into four including the Atharva Veda at the start of Kali Yuga.
Just before the advent of Kali Yuga, the Brahmaëas realized that the knowledge could undergo destruction or corruption due to complete deterioration of the human intelligence and it was necessary to have the Vedas recorded. The best among them was normally accepted as the Veda Vyäsa and given the task of
dividing the Veda into books and this time around, Kåñëa Dvaipäyana the son of Mahäåñi Paräçara and great grandson of Vasiñöha, was chosen as the Veda Vyäsa who added the fourth Veda called the Atharva Veda. This Veda included large portions of Ayurveda and such other branches of learning.
The Veda is a sruti and there can be various commentaries on it based on the way it is interpreted by each human mind. • Every being that tries to understand the Veda shall be using the six limbs or vedäïga and is limited by the extent it is trained in these vedäïga and shall also bring in the limitations of its own existence in the body.
• There can be no translation as every translator will be grossly limited by his understanding of the vedäïga and ability or skill in using them as well as suffer language problems as none of the languages can match the perfection of Sanskrit.
• The smriti includes the Upaniñad, Epics, Puräëa etc. These were remembered as the teachings of the seers and form a crucial part of understanding aids for the Vedas. Unlike the sruti which have to be heard and felt, the smriti have to be read and understood to obtain the blessings of the knowledge they contain.
A lady who heard the Måtyunjaya mantra (Åk Veda VII maëòala) repeatedly recovered from Cancer to live for four more years when the doctors had given her a maximum of one month! She never heard of the Veda nor was ever exposed to any Vedic learning prior to this. The sruti have to be heard and once they are
heard, they will have a transforming effect of the one who hears – even if it is an animal. How can we hear the Veda if we do not recite them or play recorded versions? Silent recitations are meaningful if they are still being heard by the mind that is fully focused on them and is not straying. Of course, understanding of the Vedas will come when we get an understanding of the smriti literature and are sufficiently adept with perfect vedäïga.
Memory of stimuli or perceptions is the language of knowledge. • The faculties (indriya) are divided into two groups of motor faculty (karmendriya) and sensory faculty (jïänendriya). Karmendriya /Jïänendriya Tattva Motor Faculty /Sensory Faculty Speaking Hear Äkäça Sky Vacuum (magnetic field) Grasping Touch Väyu Air Gaseous state Walking See Agni Fire Energy (all forms) Ejaculate Taste Jala Water Liquid state Evacuate Smell Påthvé Earth Solid state
• Just as the vowels are the most basic elements of all sounds and without which the other alphabets cannot exist independently, so also the body is most useless if without the sensory organs (indriyas) and the mind (mana).
Vedäëga Jyotiña is the eye of the Veda and would rank second only to Kalpa (the head of the Veda symbolizing the Mind). Any attempt to study the Veda without the Vedic eye or Jyotiña would be akin to the ‘five blind men trying to define the elephant!’ The scope of Jyotiña should be learnt and understood from standard texts and our lectures including the three wings of Gaëita (Mathematics), Horä Çästra (Astrology) and Saàhita (Allied subjects), before undertaking the study of this vast subject.
and which bridges the great divide between the material and spiritual worlds. • As a sädhanä, Jyotiña has the objective of mastering the knowledge associated with the ordering of the sapta loka (seven worlds) and sapta tala (seven netherworlds) including understanding of the quality of time through
This is no simple task and among the six vedäïga, this is the most difficult to master and is figuratively called the ocean of knowledge. Even the ‘most learned’ vedänta scholars sometimes look for an escape route when it comes to jyotiña - be aware that there is no escape from learning and knowledge. You
can either restart now or defer it to another incarnation. The objective of jyotiña sädhanä is to develop that supreme ability of sight in the individual that he can see God - both in the complete manifested physical universe as well as the spiritual worlds, and perhaps even beyond. Jyotiña provides the tools and means to open the third eye that enables this comprehensive sight. Such a person rises to the level of a Vedic seer and becomes a ‘trikälajïa.’
Every Vedic seer, be he Paräsara, Atri, Vasiñöha or any other seer, had comprehensive knowledge of each of the vedäïga including jyotiña. This task seems impossible for one lifetime and that is because of its present stage of disorganization where we have considerable confusion about
(3) definitions, nomenclature, methodology,
(4) and lack of global coordination.
• The objective of any Jyotiña sädhanä or spiritual practice would be to ‘open the three eyes’ to perfect vision and be able to see beyond the limits of the seven colors of the rainbow which is symbolized by the ‘sight of the seven planets – Sun to Saturn’.