To understand the true meaning of this book you must apply the
The four subsidiary means of reasoning:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The result is the correct
knowledge of the nature, properties and characteristics of the desired
| Translator's Preface
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It is with great misgivings that I am sending out this Translation of Swami Dayanand's great work 'An Introduction to the Commentary on the Vedas' into the world. I am fully cognisant of the defects of this translation and it is in the hope that is shortcomings might prove an incentive to some abler worker to bring out a better translation that I have consented to publish mine.
Swami Dayanand wrote the Introduction to his commentary on the Vedas in Sanskrit and left the work of its vernacular rendering to his Assistant Pandits. it is a pity that the latter did not perform their duty faithfully, therefore, translated the Sanskrit portion only and have paid no attention to the vernacular rendering except in one place where the original itself referred to it.
A considerable portion of this translation appeared sometime ago in the Vedic Magazine edited by Principal Ramadeva of the Gurukul, Hardwar, and it has been reproduced here with his kind permission.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE ON SAHU NAND RAM
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Sahu Nand Ram was born at Sarai Tarin, a suburb of Sambhal in the District of Moradabad in the United Provinces on Vaishakha Badi 4 Samvat 1907. his father's name was Sahu Munna Lal. He was of a religious turn of mind and zealous devotee of Shiva and had more than once carried the Ganges water from Hardwar to goal Gokaran Nath on foot to bathe the idol of that deity installed there.
Once some one gave him swami Dayanad's booklet on the 'Five Great Duties of the Aryans' to read and asked him to follow its instructions. He took it to his orthodox and requested him to teach it. On seeing the name of Dayanand on its title page the guru prohibited his disciple to read it and abused Dayanand. The disciple did not like this. He found an Arya Samajist to teach it and liked it so much that he began to perform his morning and evening prayers according to its instructions.
He soon became a zealous Arya Samajist and established an Arya Samaj at his own house and afterwards erected a decent building for it. He also founded a Girls' school and endowed it. He gave Rs. 900/- for publishing this Translation. He died in Samvat 1976. This tradition of Sahu Nandram was maintained by both of his sons, late Sahu Shivchandra and late Sahu Jairamji during all their life course. Sahu Shivchandraji donated Rs 15,000/- for the translation of Vedas through U.P.A.P. Sabha and constructed a fine Yagyashala at local Arya Samaj. Also donate large sums to various Gurukuls. While Sahu Jairam donated Rs 2,000/- for the purchase of A.P. Sabha Bhawan at Lucknow and Rs 7,000/- to local Arya Samaj for construction of shops, etc. this tradition is still maintained by their family members.
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The movement of religious and social reform inaugurated by Swami Dayanad Sarasvati to which he gave the name of the Arya Samaj has spread fast and far and wide. It counts its adherents by the thousands and the hundreds of thousands. It is an India-wide movement. Its activities are varied and wide-spread.INTRODUCTORY STANZAS.
Look to the unique institution, the Gurukulas near Hardwar and at Brindaban, the bold and great attempts to spiritualize and nationalize education, and you will be surprised to see how much the Arya Samaj ha accomplished in the domain of education.
There is, in fact no movement for the amelioration and regeneration of the great Aryan people in Upper India in which you do not find the Arya Samajists in the fore-front. It has established and is running many orphanages, it has studded the country with Aryan boys' and Girls' Schools. It has got a well equipped Women's college at Jullundhar and has recently started a Kanya Gurukula at Delhi. It has its own depressed
classes mission and has raised thousands of down-trodden social pariahs to the status of the higher classes without ostentation and advertising. The caste-ridden and priest-ridden Hindus have been knocked out of their sleep of centuries and have been amazed beyond description to see its onslaughts on their hoary institutions of caste and priest-craft.
It has emancipated women and brought comfort and happiness to the child-widows or which they were deprived by a cruel custom. But the greatest of its triumphs lies in the renovation and rejuvenation of the Vedic Dharma. Its educational and social reforms are only a corollary of the great problem of religious reform.
The chief mission of Dayanand was neither to established colleges and schools, orphanages and homes for the widows, nor to initiate movements for bettering the lot of the unfortunate Shoodras (low caste), nor yet to abolish the present caste-system and to uproot the concomitant evils. His great work was to give back to the world the Vedas, that ancient treasure-house of the Divine wisdom. Like the Vedic Indra - the sun - for he was an Aditya Brahmachari,
and aditya means the sun - he chased the clouds of ignorance and superstition which for centuries upon centuries had concealed the light of true religion, and once more killed the great demon of darkness, Vritra.
He had taken a long and deep draught at the perennial spring-head which had quenched his thirst and filled his soul with indescribable peace. He had wandered long and far in the gloom before he received the light - the light of true and pure Dharma, the religion of the Vedas.
With insight born of this light he saw clearly through the vast and enveloping mist of error, delusion and superstition which was bedimming the vision of the inhabitants of India and of other parts of the globe.
He did not hug this new-found treasure to his bosom like a miser lest others might come to know of it and snatch it away from him; but, like a generous prince he made a free gift of it to his people. He was a Pari-Vrakaka - a preacher king - and the whole humanity was his congregation.
Though an Indian by birth and parentage he was not of India alone but of the world. And, therefore, what he preached was for the good of mankind
and not of mankind alone but of the entire sentient creation. In him there was no sectarian bigotry, no narrow and selfish patriotism, which aims at the exaltation of one's own people or country at the expense of others.
He had brought a message of peace and good will for everything that breathes and feels. The Vedas were for the lowliest of the low and for the highest of the high. They were the fountain-head, the source, from which flowed the nectar of virtue and knowledge in a steady and never-drying steam to slake the thirst of all the children - the babes and the grownups - of the Divine Mother.
To this source of purity and truth he guided the misguided children of God and bade them drink deep at it. That was the mission of Dayanand and that is the mission of the Arya Samaj.
Dayanand's one endeavor, the supreme effort of his life, was to give the world this Divine knowledge in all its pristine purity. There is no doubt that whatever was true and grand and good in the world was traceable to the Vedas, but, as a translucent stream descending
from the white snows gets mixed in its downward course with muddy streamlet of human error. Dayanand saw this and saw even more than this. He saw that human error had not only polluted the Divine stream, but, it had also blasphemously attempted to pollute even its source.
There had arisen commentators and interpreters who had grossly misinterpreted the Vedas and fathered their own unholy ideas on them. His task was therefore two-fold. He had not only to act as a guide but also to do the work of sappers and miners. He, therefore, undertook to preach the word of God throughout the length and breadth of the country as well as to write a commentary on the Vedas.
Dayanand's position as an interpreter of the Vedas was in some respects unique and it requires some explanation to make the general reader understand it.
Vedic scholarship in India, in the true sense of the term, seems to have stopped with the
great work of Yaska - the Nirukta. In fact, among the ancient Vedic commentaries only the Brahmanas and the Nirukta have come down to us. That there were other works is abundantly proved by the fact that Yaska refers to several of them.
The works of Sayana, Mahidhara, Uvata, Ravana, Bhaskara Misra are of a comparatively recent date. None of them is more than a few centuries old and all of them are much later than the Nirukta. During the long centuries that separate Sayana and other from Yaska the field of Vedic Scholarship lay barren and uncultivated. We see no workers in it.
The ancient scriptures were lying unread and uncared for. The only sue to which they seem to have been put during long ages was to recite them at the performances of Yajnas. The priests were paid for reciting them and had, therefore, a vital interest in committing them to memory.
But for them these ancient documents would surely have been lost to the world which would have been one of the greatest calamities. Thanks to them we still possess the Vedas without the loss of a single syllable or a single
accent. They performed the wonderful feat of committing to memory the whole of the four Vedas - a feat the like of which was never attempted, much less accomplished, in any other country of the world than India.
Dayanand discarded all the latter-day commentaries which according to him were libelous and gross misinterpretations. He would acknowledge the authority of no other work than the Brahmanas and the Nirukta. And the authority of these too he did not acknowledge completely and unreservedly.
If he found that they went against the spirit of the mantras he would have no hesitation in discarding them too. And he was justified in doing so. It is a fact admitted by most scholars that no work in Sanskrit literature except the Vedas has come down to us in an uncorrupted form. The interpolator had been busy in the field.
Whenever an author aspired to give currency to his views he adopted the most convenient course of composing a work of his own and sending it out into the world in the name of Vyasa or some other person whose authority was acknowledged by all and sundry. Or, if
he dared not do this he quietly interpolated his views into an authoritative work. The manuscript so tampered with was copied and the circulated in places far and wide and thus gained currency in the country and came to be regarded as an authentic copy of the original.
This explains the fact why we find views diametrically opposed to one another advocated in one and the same work. In this state of affairs it was not and could not be safe to have relied absolutely on any work, however ancient and bearing the name of however a great author on its title page.
Dayanand, therefore, refused to be bound by the authority of names, he took his stand on principles and not an persons. It was for this reason that he rejected the latter-day commentaries as worthless. He did so not because they did not fall in with his views but because they violated the very principles of interpretation which had been followed by the ancient commentators.
These principles have been clearly formulated by Yaska in his Nirukta and by Jaimini in his Purva Mimansa. Yaska, as is well known, belongs to the Etymological school of interpreters.
According to him all the words in the Vedas have been used in their Yougika derivative or sense and consequently there can be no proper names or historical references in them. And herein lies the difference between Dayanand and other Vedic exegists who take such words as Indra, Agni, Vayu, Ashivinau, etc., to mean particular deities presiding over different departments of nature.
Dayanand interpreted them tomean either God or physical objects and forces according to the context. The other Indian commentators of the Vedas were obsessed with the mythology of the Puranas and tried to read into the Vedas their stories. If they came across the world Vasishtha they could not think that it could mean anything other than the great preceptor of Rama. They forgot that the Shatapatha Brahamana under stood it to mean 'speech'.
Dayanand had not such ideas to fetter him. He discarded the interpretations of Sayana andothers and went back to the ancient commentators. This gives to his interpretation a freshness and a freedom which are so conspicuously lacking in other commentaries.
Dayanand's commentary when it made its first appearance was pooh-poohed among
persons who thought themselves to hold the keys of Vedic interpretation. The Punjab Government was appealed to for financial help. It referred its specimen pages to its Pandits and invite their opinion. And the result was that they all with one voice condemned it as being no commentary of the Vedas but a product of the author's own imagination. But nothing daunted Dayanand, who continued his self-imposed task.
He had completed his commentary on the Yajur Veda and on about three-quarter fo the Rig Veda when the cruel hand of death snatched him away from us.
Before writing the commentary of the Vedas he wrote an Introduction to it which is now presented to the public in an English garb for the first time.
In it he showed that the origin of knowledge could not be explained except on the basis of revelation. The unaided human intellect was powerless to advance even an inch from the instinctive knowledge.
The need for revelation is acknowledged by almost all the religions which believe in God. That belief in fact, in a way necessitates a belief in revelation. The great Semitic religions also refer to God as the first Teacher of Man when they say that he taught Adam the names of things.
Dayanand taught that God revealed the Vedas in the beginning, i.e., the Vedic revelation was synchronous with man's first appearance on earth. He was a believer in plenary revelation for, otherwise possibility of error would not be eliminated. The Vedas were Divine knowledge and were eternal. To hold otherwise would mean that God's knowledge was not eternal.
The Introduction contains a long and elaborate discussion on the subject in which the author quotes the authority of the Vedas themselves and of the six Darshanas in support of his position. He then explains the subject matter of the Vedas which is four-fold, viz., Knowledge, Philosophy, Worship and Action and illustrates and fortifies his position by quoting the Vedic verses.
Dayanand believed that the Vedas contained the germs of all the Sciences. And to prove this he has quoted by way of illustration Vedic verses in the Introduction which teach the principles of Attraction, and Gravitation, of Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry, of Astronomy, of Ship-building, Aerial-cars, Telegraphy, etc.
Dayanand has been severely criticized and even ridiculed for advancing such a proud claim on behalf of the Vedas; be we believe, without sufficient
grounds. His critics have criticized him with out reading his commentary and without understanding his methods of interpretation. We are sure, this adverse criticism will give place to warm appreciation as soon as people will understand him. And we are beginning to see the signs of this welcome change. Vedic scholars are coming around to Dayanand's ways of Vedic interpretation. Shriyut Arbindo Ghosh has already acknowledged the great merits of his commentary.
Even Max Muller felt his influence. The interpretation of the word deva s 'bright' contained in one of his latest works, 'India, what can it teach us', was, we believe, the result of his having read Dayanand's commentary.
There are several Indian scholars who have interpreted the Vedic Mantras in the spirit of Dayanand. It is our hope and prayer that people may shake off their prejudices and prepossessions and read the Introduction with a dispassionate mind; and we have no doubt that they will find the Vedas replete with gems of Divine wisdom and not the babblings of primitive shepherds as some European scholars would have us believe.
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INTRODUCTION TO THE COMMENTARY
THE RIG & OTHER VEDASPage 1
May God protect us both (the author and the reader), may he send us enjoyments, may we acquire strength together, may our learning be full of luster and glory, may we never hate each other.
SAHANAA VAVATU SAHANOU BHUNAKTU SAHA VEERYYA KARAVAA VAHAI
TE JASVINA VADHI TAMAS TU MAA VIDDHI SHAAVAHAI
Taittiriyopanishat, II Valli. I. Anuvaka
- Having bowed to Brahma, who is without beginning or end, who is the universal creator unborn, eternal, the true and the highest reality, and whose ancient knowledge, called the Veda, is the upholder of law, the destroyer of unlawfulness, pure, beneficial to the world and bestower of prosperity on all men, I, with a mind to explain and interpret the Vedas, undertake to write this commentary.
- I commenced this commentary on Sunday, the first day of the bright half of the month of Bhadra in the (Samvat) year 1933 (1876 A.D).
- Let the virtuous know that this work ahs been composed by one whose name (Dayananda Sarasvati) is synonymous with noble qualities and Vedic study. The delight (ananda) realized by one's consciousness shines forth as the greatest joy and in its presence dwells learning (Sarasvati), under the Divine protection, doing good to all (men).
- May I write this Vedic commentary, with the favor of God, for the good of all men, giving the correct interpretation supported by valid proof.
- Herein I shall give the exposition of the meaning of the mantras in elegant Sanskrit and the Vernacular which will satisfy all desires.
- In explaining the mantras I shall follow the ancient method of interpretation of the Aryan sages and seers and shall not swerve from it.
- May, this attempt of mine, to destroy the blemishes of modern commentaries and glosses which cast a slur upon and grossly misinterpret the Vedas and bring to light their ancient and correct interpretation, be successful through the help of God.
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O Lord! Thou art all-existence, all-consciousness, and all-bliss, most merciful, infinite, possessed of knowledge and of the whole universe - the sun, etc, bestower of all happiness and maker of the entire universe. Do thou chase far away from us all ills and evil qualities and surround us and provide us and provide us, through Thy grace, with that good in which there is no admixture of pain, and which, through the acquisition of true knowledge, leads to exaltation in this and to final beatitude in the next state. Do Thou remove all untoward obstacles from this work of writing a commentary on the Vedas even before they have time to occur.
O Supreme Brahma! Be gracious unto us and give us all good things such as bodily health, mental vigor, helpful co-operation of others, skill ad the light of true knowledge, etc. May we so compose, through Thy favor, this true commentary on Thy work - the Vedas, that i shine forth with the light of true knowledge and have the support of proofs such as direct perception, etc. Make it, by Thy grace, conducive to the good of all mankind. Do Thou ordain O Lord! That all men may have the
greatest faith in and the utmost respect for this commentary.
Om! (Yajurveda, XXX,3)*
*VISHWAANI DEVA SAVITAR DURITAANI PARAA-SUVA
YAD BHADRAM TAN-NA AASUVA.
We offer our profoundest reverence to God , the greatest ant most high, who presides over the whole universe and over all times, past, present and future, who is the Lord of all and whose glory transcends Time, in whom there is neither change, nor the slightest trace of pain and who is the sum total of bliss. We offer our highest reverence to God, the greatest and the most high, whose feet are the earth, living on which we acquire true knowledge, whose abdomen is the space, intervening between the sun and the earth and who has formed the uppermost region, illumined by solar rays, as the head.Page 6
We offer our deepest homage to God, the greatest and the most high, whose eyes are the sun and the moon which are renewed again and again in the beginning of creation and who has formed fire as the mouth.
We offer continuous worship to that greatest Being of infinite, wisdom whose in-breathings and out-breathings are the atmospheric air, whose eyes are the illuminating rays and who ahs formed the directions of space, which are the seat of all activities, as the organ of hearing.
[The word angirasah according to Nirukta III. 17 means illuminating rays]
May we perpetually adore, with offerings of love and devotion, blissful Deity, the Lord of Creatures, who is the giver of knowledge and wisdom, who imparts strength, nourishment, energy, prowess and firmness to the body and bodilyPage 7
organs, the breath, the soul and the mind, whom the learned worship and whose commandments they obey, whose protection is salvation and whose disfavor and want of protection is the causer of birth and death.
YA AAT-MADAA BALA-DAA YASYA VISHWA UPAASATE PRASHISHAM YASYA DEVAAH.
YASYA CHHAAYAA 'MRITAM YASYA MRITYUH KASMAI DEVAAYA HAVISHAA VIDHEMA. (Yajur Veda)
[according to Shatapatha VIII.3, the word Kah means the Lord of Creatures].
O Almighty Lord! May the earth, the shining firmament, the intermediate region between the sun and the earth, water, the annual plants, the learned, the Vedas and the whole universe, through Thy favor and our devotion to Thee, be full of peace, free from disturbance and productive of happiness to us for ever and ever and may they be agreeable to us so that we may be able to write this Vedic commentary with ease and comfort. O Lord! Advance us as well as the whole world in every way by means of this universal peace
and by affording us the best helps of knowledge, wisdom, intellect and health.
O Lord! May we have no fear from any of the regions in which it may be Thy will to plant an maintain a world, so that we may have no cause of fear from any quarter in any way whatsoever. O Lord! May we have no fear from men and animals inhabiting any regions. O Lord! Make all regions as well as their men and animals and source of peace to us and endow us, through thy grace, with the bliss of righteousness, worldly prosperity, enjoyment and emancipation.
O Lord! Ocean of mercy! May the mind in which are firmly established the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda, and the true knowledge
of emancipation and by which men's faculty of memory is held together like pearls by the thread or spokes by the hub - may that mind of mine, through Thy grace, love only what is good and shine with the light of truth so that the correct interpretation of the Vedas may come to light. O Lord! Thou art possessed of every kind of knowledge and thou knowest everything. Let thy grace descend upon us so that we may be able to make this Vedic commentary, correct and complete, without disturbance and to proclaim the glory and the true interpretation of the Vedas.
May all of us acquire noble qualities of the highest order by reading it. Do thou bestow on us this favor O Lord! With this end in view I offer this prayer to thee. Give me thy blessing without delay so that this work, which will conduce to the good of all, may be brought to a successful termination.
THE ORIGIN OF THE VEDAS.
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The Rigveda, the YajurVeda, the Samaveda and the Atharveda were produced by the
Supreme and perfect Being, Parabrahman, who possesses the attributes of self-existence, consciousness and bliss, who is Omnipotent and universally adored. The meaning is that the four Vedas were revealed by God alone.
[The word 'sarvahuta' can also be taken as an adjective qualifying the Vedas because they also are worthy of acceptance to all].
"(Tasmat) from (sarvahutah) the universally adored Being the (Yajna) Vishnu - the all-pervading were produced the Riks and the Samans. (Tasmat) from Him (jajnire) were produced (Chhandansi) the Atharvaveda (tasmat) from Him (ajayata) was produced (Yajus) the Yajurveda (Tr) The Yajur Veda.
In the mantra the verbs 'Jagnire' and 'Ajayata' both meaning 'produced' are used to show that the Vedas contain numerous sciences. *Page 11
Similarly the pronoun 'tasmat' (from him) is used twice for the purpose of laying stress on the fact that God alone is the author of the Vedas.
The Vedas contain various meters - Gayatri, etc., but notwithstanding this, the word chhandansi meters - is used to indicate that the Atharvaveda also was revealed by God.
The word 'Yajna' means 'Vishnu' according to Shatapatha I:1:1. (Yasho vai Vishnu) where it is said 'verily Vishnu is Yajna.' Now Vishnu means God. See Yajurveda V:15 (Edam Vishnu virchakrame tredadhe padam). The attribute of creating the universe can be applicable to God alone.
[He is called Vishnu because He pervades the animate and the inanimate world].
Tell me who is that Divine Being, the Almighty and Supreme Brahman by whom was produced the Rigveda, by whom was brought to light the Yajurveda and by whom were made the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda; or metaphorically,
who is He whose mouth - the foremost par - is the Atharvaveda; the hair, the Samaveda; the heart, the Yajurveda and the breath, the Rigveda? This a question. The answer to it is: know thou that that Being is the Skambha - the all sustaining God.
The meaning is that no other Deva than the all-sustaining God is the author of the Vedas. Yajnavalkya addressing Maitreyi! The four Vedas - Rik and others - came out of God who transcends even space easily and naturally like the breath. As the breath comes out of the body and is again taken into it, so the Vedas revealed by God and are again withdrawn (at the time of dissolution).
Some might here object; How could the Vedas, consisting as they do of words, be produced by God who has no bodily organs? Our reply to this is that such an objection can not raise in connection with the Almighty.
He has always the power of acting without the help of such instruments as the mouth, the breath, etc. Besides this, as at the time of thinking we pronounce words, ask and answer questions mentally so we may believe that the same is true of God also. Verily the almighty can never require the help of any body or thing in His work.
It is true, we cannot do anything without aids and helps, but such is not the case with God. When the incorporeal God has fashioned the entire cosmos what objection can possibly be raised to his having made the Vedas? God had created extremely wonderful objects in the world, whose composition is as fine as that of the Vedas.
(The objector may retort that the analogy is not true) because in the case of the creation of the world no one except God could have done it, but in the case of the composition of the Vedas men might have had the power to compose.
Them just as they got the power to write other books. As to this we have to ob serve that men have been able to write books after studying the Vedas of Divine authorship and not otherwise. Even now we see that no one can become learned without self-study and receiving instruction from others.
Men acquire knowledge by reading books, receiving oral instruction from others and observing the course of events. Suppose you were able to keep a human child up to his death in a lonely place, taking care, of course, to provide him with food, drink, etc., but never holding the slightest intercourse with him by means of speech, etc. Now as that child would not acquire the smallest knowledge worth the name and as the wild dwellers of the great forests behave like beasts until they receive instruction others, so men too, would have continued to behave like beasts from the beginning of creation to the present day if they had not received instruction through the Vedas. What to say then of their composing books?
The objector might further say that our position was untenable because God has given man innate knowledge which was superior to
all book-learning and without which even the knowledge of the revelation of Vedic words and their meanings would have been impossible to acquire. Men would write books by improving that knowledge and it was not necessary to believe in the Divine authorship of the Vedas.
Having arrived at this point we ask:-
Did not God give this innate knowledge to the child who was kept in a solitary place without receiving any instruction, as described above, or to the dwellers of the great forests?
Also how is it that we do not become learned with out receiving instruction from others and without studying the Vedas? It is, therefore, proved that mere innate knowledge is of little avail to man without instruction and study.
As men write books after learning many things from their teachers and by studying the works of the learned and by associating with them so all men have ultimately to depend on Divine knowledge.
Now, in the beginning of creation there was no system to teaching and learning, nor was there any book to read; consequently, it was not possible for any man to have acquired knowledge without receiving instructions
from God. Men not being independent in the matter of empirical knowledge and innate knowledge alone being insufficient for the acquisition of knowledge in general, how could men have written books (without extraneous help)?
The position that innate knowledge is self-sufficient is absurd, because like the eye it falls under the category of instruments. As the eye is unable to do anything without the co-operation of the mind so innate knowledge also cannot accomplish anything without the help of Divine knowledge and the learning of learned men.
The question, 'what was God's object in revealing the Vedas - should be met by the counter question, 'what could be His object in not revealing them? To this the objector can only say: 'No one know how to answer this question.' We shall now describe God's object in revealing the Vedas.
Q. - Is God's knowledge infinite or is it not?
A. ~ It is.
Q. - Of what use is it to Him?
A. ~ It is for His own benefit.
Q. - But, does not God do good to others?
A. ~ He does, but what of that?
This shows that knowledge has for its object the interests of self as well as of others. If God were not to employ His knowledge for our instruction it would become useless in one respect. By employing His knowledge in the shape of the Vedas for the instructional purposes He only rendered it useful for others.
God is most merciful like a father. As a father always show kindness to his children so did God in His great mercy reveal the Vedas for the benefit of all men. If He had done so gross ignorance would have been perpetuated and men could not have achieved righteousness, worldly prosperity, enjoyment and emancipation and would have been deprived of the highest bliss.
When the most merciful God created bulbous roots, fruits and herbs, etc., for the good of His creatures, why should He not have revealed the Vedic knowledge which brings to light all kinds of happiness and contains all sciences.
The pleasure one experiences in enjoying the best things of the world does not equal the one thousandth part of the pleasure one feels after acquiring knowledge. It is, therefore, certain that the Vedas were revealed by God.
Q. - Whence did God get the writing materials such as a pen, ink, paper, etc., for writing the books of the Vedas?
A. ~ Ha! Ha! This is, indeed, a formidable objection, you have made. As God created the world without the help of bodily organs, the hands, the feet, etc., and without the aid of such materials as wood, clay, etc., so He made the Vedas also. You do not raise such a doubt in connection with the composition of the Vedas by God Almighty. He did not, however, produce the Vedas in the form of books in the beginning.
Q. - In what form then (did He produce them)?
A. ~ He revealed them to the consciousness of Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angirasa.
Q.- But they (fire, air, sun, light) are inanimate objects devoid of consciousness?
A. ~ No, they were human beings in human bodies in the beginning of creation. No inanimate object can be capable of doing an intellectual act. When it is not possible to Page 19
take word in its literal sense, it is taken in its indirect or secondary sense, e.g., if a trustworthy gentleman were to tell another that the bedsteads were shouting then others would understand that men sitting on the bedsteads were shouting.
The same course should be adopted here also (i.e., in taking Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angirasa as names of human beings and not as names of inanimate objects, fire, air, sun and light); for, the light of knowledge can shine in man alone. On this point there is the authority of the Shatapatha XI. 5-8-3 where it is said that from them, when they meditated, were produced the three Vedas, viz., from Agni was produced the Rigveda, from Vayu, the Yajurveda, and from Surya the Samaveda. God inspired their consciousness and produced the Vedas through them.
Q.- That's all right. God gave them knowledge, and with that knowledge they composed the Vedas.
A. ~ No, you should not take it in this sense. God gave them knowledge in the shape of the Vedas.
Q.- Was that God's knowledge or was it theirs?
A. ~ God's no doubt.
Q. - Then who composed the Vedas, God or they?
A. ~ God because He is the real author of the Vedas, they being His own knowledge.
[We have introduced the objection that the Vedas were composed by them i.e., Agni, etc., for making the argument convincing].
Q. - Is God just or is He partial?
A. ~ He is just.
Q. - Why then did He reveal the Vedas to the minds of four men only and why not to the minds of all?
A. ~ This does not make God partial in the least. On the contrary, it brings into clear light the justice of a just God. Justice means to award one fruits according to one's actions. The (four rishis, Agni, etc.,) possessedPage 21
previous merit and it was but proper that the Vedas should have been revealed to their minds.
Q. - But they were born in the beginning of creation, whence did they get previous merit?
A. ~ All Jivas (great souls) are without a beginning in their nature; and their actions and this great effect - the universe (with and without spherical bodies) also, are without a beginning. They are like the members of a series which has not beginning and which flows on continually. We shall adduce proofs in support of their having no beginning later on.
Q. - Were the meters - the Gayatri (mantras) and others also composed by God?
A. ~ Whence arose this doubt? God know all the sciences and He has, therefore, knowledge requisite for composing the meters - the Gayatri and others. This doubt is consequently groundless.
Q. - Does not the tradition say that the Vedas were composed by the four-faced Brahma?
A. ~ Don't say so. Tradition is included in the proof called 'oral testimony' which hasPage 22
been defined by Gotamacharya in the Nyaya Shastra I:7, as the saying of a trustworthy person (Apta). The commentary of Vatsyayana on the above aphorism is to the following effect. "An Apta is he who has realized the truth (about a thing) and who, actuated by a desire to instruct others, represents to them the facts exactly as they have fallen under his own observation. Apti is the realization of truth about a thing and a person who possesses it is called an Apta.
That tradition alone is, therefore, authoritative which is true and not that which is false. Consequently, that tradition is Aitihya and worthy of acceptance which stands the tests of truth and is the saying of a trustworthy person and not that which is false and (unworthy of credit) like the ravings of a mad man.
The saying that the Vedas were composed by Vyasa or the Rishis is also false. The modern Puranas and the Tantric books (which contain such stories) are worthless and of no use whatever.Page 23
Q. - Why can it not be the case that the Mantras and Suktas were composed by the Rishis whose names are written over them?
A. ~ Do not say so, because Brahma and others themselves studied the Vedas and learnt them from others. There is a passage in the Shvetashvataropanishad 6:18., which says: 'He (God) who first creates Brahman and then gives the Vedas to him!' Manu also bear testimony to the fact that the Vedas were known to Brahma when the Rishis had not been even born. For, says Manu in 1:13 'for the purpose of the success of the Yajna He (God) milked (caused to be revealed) from Agni, Vayu, Ravi the three eternal Vedas, the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, and the Samveda', Page 24
and again in 2:153: 'Kavi, the young son of Angiras, taught his fathers (elders)'. Brahma himself learnt the Vedas from Agni, etc. what then should we say of Vyasa and others?
Q. - Why are the Rik and the others Samhitas given two names, viz., Vedas and Shruti?
A. ~ Because each of these names connotes qualities. The world 'Veda' is formed by adding the suffix 'ghan' to t he roots 'vida' to know, 'Vida' to exist, 'Vidalri' to get, obtain and 'Vida' to think, in accordance with the rule 'halashcaha' in the instrumental ad locative (Karaka) noun-relations.
Similarly the word 'Shruti' is formed by adding the suffix 'ktin' to the root 'Shru' to hear in the instrumental noun-relation. The Samhitas are called Veda because all men know all true sciences in or through them, or because all true sciences exist in them, or because all true sciences exist in them, or because men become learned by studying them. The Samhitas are calledPage 25
'Shruti' because from the beginning of creation to the present day Brahma and others have heard all true sciences read out of them. The Vedas having been revealed by God who has no bodily organs, no one ever saw them being composed by a being having a corporeal body. God used Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angirasa as His instruments only for revealing the Vedas.
The Vedas are not the products of their minds. God being possessed of perfect knowledge the relations between the Vedic words and their meanings also were established by Him.
It is, therefore, established that God revealed the Vedas through Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angirasa who were Jivas in human bodies.
Age of creation
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Q. - How many years have elapsed since the revelation of the Vedas?
A. ~ 1,960,852,976 years and the current year is the 1,960,852,977th. The same number of years has elapsed since the creation in the present Kalpa.Page 26
Q. - How do you know that only so many years have elapsed and not more.?
A. ~ Because in the present creation it is the seventh manvantra called vaivasvata which is now running, six manvantaras having run their course before it. The names of these seven manvantaras are Svayambhava, Svarochisha, Auttanmi, Tamasa, Raivata, Chakshusha And Vaivasvata. These together with the seven, the savarni, etc., that are yet to come, make fourteen manvantaras.
The length of a Manavantara is 71 Chaturyugis (4 yugas). One thousand Chaturyugis have to run their course to make a day of Brahma. The duration of the night of Brahma also is the same. The time during which a cosmos lasts is called the day and the time occupied by dissolution is named the night.
In the present day of Brahma six manvantaras have already rolled by the and the 28th Kaliyuga is running in the 7th ilel, the present manvantara called Vaivasvata. Of this Kaliyuga also 4796 years have already passed and the present year is the 4797th, which the Aryas call the Samvat 1933 (1876 A.D.) of King Vikrama's reign. We quote Manu in our report,Page27
'But hear now the brief description of the duration of a night and day of Brahma and of the several ages (of the world) according to their order.
'They declare that the Krita age (consists of ) 4,000 years (of the Devas): the twilight preceding it consists of as many hundreds and the twilight following it of the same number.
' In the other three ages (the Treta, the Dvapara, and the Kali) wit their preceding and following twilights, the thousands and the hundreds are diminished by one in each.
'These 12,000 years which thus have been just enumerated as the total of 4 (human) ages are called one age of the Devas.
"But know that the sum of 1,000 years of the Devas makes one day of Brahma and that his night has the same length.
'Those only who know that he holy day of Brahma indeed ends after the completion of 1,000 ages of the Devas and that his night lastsPage 28
as long, are really men acquainted with the length of days and nights.
' the before-mentioned age of the Devas or 12,000 (of their years) being multiplied by 71 (constitutes what) is here named the period of a Manu-Manavantara.'
the Manvantaras, the creations and the destructions (of the world) are numberless.Page 29
sportings, as it were, of Parameshthin (God) who repeats this again and again!
The terms, 'Day of Brahma, Night of Brahma, etc.,' being of easy comprehension have been adopted for measuring time, so that it may be easy to calculate the age of the creation and the dissolution of the world and also of the Vedic revelation. A Manvantara is so called because on the change of amanvantara some modifications occur in the external arrangements of creation. The system of numeration to be followed in counting the years should be the following, as given in the Surya Siddhanata viz.,
'Eka = 1, dasha = 10, shata = 100, sahasra = 1,000, ayuta = 10,000, laksha = 100,000, niyuta = 1,000,000, koti = 10,000,000, arbuda = 100,000,000, vrinda = 1,000,000,000, kharva = 10,000,000, 000,Page 30
nikharva = 100,000,000,000, Shankha - 1,000,000,0000, 000, padma = 10, 000, 000, 000, 000, sagara = 100,000,000,000,000, antya = 1,000,000,000,000,000, Madhya = 10,000,000,000,000,000, parardhya = 100,000,000,000,000,000,, and so on multiplying by 10 in succession.
According to the Shatpatha 7:5, 2, 13. the word "Sahasra' means "Sarva' (all). It says: 'Sahasra' means Sarva; thou art the giver of 'Sarva', and the Yajurveda 15:65 says: O God thou art the measurer of Sahasra, the reckoner of Sahasra.' Thus 'Sarva' means the universe as well as time because this Mantra occurs, in a general sense and its meaning is that God is the measurer of the universe, 'Brahmanda' whose periods of Page 31
existence and dissolution, (technically called) Day and Night, consist of 1000, Mahayugas (aeons) each.
Works astronomical science lay down daily observances. The Aryas have clearly reckon even to-day, according to the rules of arithmetic, the divisions of time from a Kshana (= 4/5ths of a second) up to the Kalpa and the Kalpana and they pronounce them daily and are familiar with them.
All men, should, therefore, accept this firmly established doctrine (of the age of the world and the Vedic revelation). They should accept none else. It has been embodied in formula which is as follows: Om tat sat! I did this in the second quarter of the day of Brahma, in the first quarter of the 28th Kaliyuga of Vaivasavata Manvantra, in such and such year, Solstice, season, month and fortnight (Paksha), on such and such day when the moon occupies or occupied such and such mansion NAJYATR zodiacal sign and at suchPage 32
an hour.* This formula is a matter of everyday knowledge to every Arya, young or old, and it is prevalent in the whole of Aryavarta in an identical form. It is, therefore, not possible for any man to disturb it.
We shall explain the Yugas further at a later stage, qui vid.
From these observations it is evident that the opinion of European Profs. Max Muller, Wilson, etc., that the Vedas are of human and not of divine origin, as well as, their verdict that the Vedas were compose 2,400, 2,900, 3,000 or 3,100 years ago is rooted in error. The like views of those writers, who have written Vedic commentaries in the vernaculars ar also erroneous.
*I think it is advisable to give here the duration of the day of Brahma according to the calculation of Manu.
1 year of the Deva = 360 human years.Page 34
Krita Yuga (Satya) = 4,000 Daiva years or (4,000 x 360) = 1,440,000
Twilight preceding = 400 Daiva years or (400 x 360 yrs) = ….14, 400.
Twilight following = Ditto………………………………=…...14,400
………………………………….Duration of Krita Yuga = 1,728,000
Treta Yuga……….= 3,000 Daiva years or (3000 x 360).. = 1,080,000
Twilight preceding= 300 ….Daiva years or (300 x 360)…=…108,000
Twilight following= 300…………Ditto………………......=...108,000
…………………………………..Duration of Treta Yuga =.1,296,000
Dvapara Yuga…..= 2,000 Daiva years or (2000 x 360).…= ...720,000
Twilight preceding= ..200 Daiva years or (200 x 360)…...=…..72,000
Twilight following=.…………….Ditto……………..……= …72,000
……………………………….Duration of Dvapara Yuga =...864,000
Kaliyuga…………= 1000 Daiva years or (1000 x 360)….=...360,000
Twilight preceding= 100. Daiva years or ...(100 x 360)….=…..36,000
Twilight following=……………….Ditto………………...= ….l36,000
………………………………...Duration of Kali Yuga…..=….432,000
…………………………………Total of four Yugas……..= .4,320,000
1 Manvantara… = 71 four-Yugas or 4,320,000 x 71) = ….306,720,000
14 Manvantaras = 306,720,000 x 14 (a day of Brahma) = 4,294,080,000
To this must be added 15 twilights i.e., one at the
beginning of each Manvantara and one at the end
of the last Manvantaras, and as eachTwilight is equal
to a Krita Yuga, we should add
15 x 1,728,000 years……………………………………..= 25, 920,000
Total duration of a day of Brahma…………………...= 4,320,000,000
Fifteen twilights = 1,728,000 x 15 ………………….=…..25,920,000
Six four-Yugas..= 4,320,000 x 8 …………………...=…..25,920,000
15 twilights of Manvantaras are equal to 6 four-Yugas.
A day of Brahma consists of 1000 four-Yugas because 71 x 14 = 994. to this if we add the 6 four-Yugas - the duration of fifteen twilights, we get 1000
The Eternity of the Vedas
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The Vedas having been produced by God, and all powers of God being eternal, their eternity is self-evident.
Here some one might say that the Vedas could not be eternal, because they consisted of words, and words, like a jar, were effects i.e., things made or fashioned. The words being non-eternal, the Vedas should necessarily be admitted to be so. No, they cannot be admitted to be non-eternal, because words are eternal as well as effects, (i.e., not-eternal).
The relations of words and meanings which exist in the knowledge of God must be eternal, but, those, which exist in ours, are effects (i.e., non-eternal). All powers of Him must be eternal whose knowledge and acts are eternal, without a beginning and innate and inherent in Him. The Vedas being the knowledge of such a being can never be called non-eternal.
Q. - But, there were no books in existence and consequently no acts of learning and teaching the Vedas were possible at the time when all this universe lay dissolved and disintegrated
in its causal state and when all gross effects were non-existent. How, then, do you admit the Vedas to be eternal?
A. ~ This objection can be raised in respect of books, ink, paper, etc., and acts of man, but not in respect of the acts and powers of God. We believe the Vedas to be eternal because they are co-eval with and a part of God's knowledge.
It follows, therefore, that the Vedas cannot be non-eternal simply because the acts of teaching and learning and the books are non-eternal. The knowledge of God is eternal and infallible and, therefore, the relations between the letters, words and meanings in the Vedas subsist for all times. They are the same in the present kalpa as they were in the past and shall remain the same in the future also.
Hence it is said in the Rigveda 8:8, 48. 'The great Creator, made the sun and the moon just as He had made them before! The 'words the sun and the moon' in the verse are class names and their meaning is that the plan of the names and their meaning is that the plan of the creation of the sun and the moon in the present
kalpa is the same as that which existed in God's knowledge in the previous kalpa, because His knowledge is not liable to increase or decrease or variation. The same is true of the Vedas, for, they too, are the products of His knowledge.
We shall now give some quotations from the works on the science of grammar, etc., which go to prove the eternalness of the Vedas. Sage Patanjali, the author of the Mahabhashya, says, 'The words are eternal. Eternal words must needs consist of unchangeable and immoveable letters which are not subject to elision, augmentation or substitution.
This remark occurs in may places in the Mahabhashya from the 1st anhika onwards. There is also the following observation which occurs in the commentary on the aphorism ANEUN, ' A word is that which is perceived with ear, understood by the intellect, rendered perceptible by being pronounced and which inheres in space.Page 38
The meaning is that all words are eternal whether they be Vedic (peculiar to the Vedas) or Loukika (used by the generality of mankind), because they are composed of letters which are imperishable and immoveable and are not subject to elisions, augmentation and substitution. Words are eternal because in them there is neither apaya = elisions, disappearance, nor, upajana = augmentation, nor vikaraa = substitution.
The author of the Mahabhashya anticipates the objection that words cannot be eternal because there are rules for their elision, etc., in the Ganapatha, Ashtadhyayi and the Mahabhashya.
In the commentary on the aphorism 'DAADHAADHVADAADOU', he observes as follows:- 'In the opinion of Panini, the son of Dakshi, complete words are substituted for complete words, because if the change had taken place in one portion only the eternalness (of words) would not be established. It means that whole groups are substituted for other whole group of letters, i.e., specified groups arePage 39
substituted for other specified groups, e.g., the place of the word-group VEDAPAAR + GAM = U + SU + BHOO + SHAP + TIP. They are mistaken who thing that in this group AM of GAM, U of U, U of SU OO of BHOO, SHA, PA of TIP are elided because it ahs been said that the change does not occur in a portion only.
In the opinion of Acharya Panini, the son of Dakshi, the eternalness of a word would not be established if elision, augmentation and substitution were to be confined to a portion of a world only. When it is said that AT is added or BHOO is changed into BHAA the meaning is as explained above.
A word is as defined as that which is perceived with the organ of hearing, is understood by means of intellect, becomes manifest on being pronounced and inheres in space. This definition of word also shows that it is eternal. The effort used in pronouncing (a letter) and the act of hearing it cease to exist after a moment. The author of the Mahabhashya says that 'speech resides in one letter at a time. The action of speech terminates with the pronunciation of eachPage 40
letter. We should, therefore, conclude that it is the act of speech and not the word itself that is non-eteral.
Q - But the word also like the action of speech comes into existence when it is pronounced. How can it, then, be eternal?
A. ~ A word, like space (Akasha), remains unmanifested in the absence of means, although it is pre-existent. It becomes manifest through the action of breath (prana) and speech. For example, in pronouncing the word GOU: so long as speech is engaged with the letter G it has nothing to do with the letter OU and when it is engaged with the letter OU it has no concern with the visargah.
It is therefore, the act of speech and pronunciation which is subject to elision and augmentation and not the word itself which is indivisible, uniform and available everywhere. Where there are no acts of speech and air, words can neither be pronounced nor heard. We, therefore, conclude that words are eternal like space. According to the grammatical science all words are eternal, what to say of the Vedic words.Page 41
The sage Jaimini also has established the eternalness of words. Says he, in his Purvamimansa I.1;18. "It (the word) is surely eternal because it is manifested for the sake of others. The meaning of the aphorism is this.
[The word 'surely' is used with a view to remove doubts about the non-eternalness of words.]
A word being imperishable is eternal. Since the purpose of pronouncing a word is the conveying of information to another it cannot be non-eternal. If it were so, the information that such and such was the connotation of the word "cow' would be incapable of being conveyed by means of a non-eternal word.
This can be possible only when the words are eternal, for, in that case alone can there be a constant relation between the signifier and the thing signified. This is also the reason why many speakers are able to pronounce simultaneously the same word 'cow' at different places and also to pronounce it at different times. Jaimini has adduced several arguments in support of the eternalness of words.Page 42
Again, sage Kanada, the author of the Vaisheshika aphorisms also says : 'The Vedas are authoritative because they are His word and because they contain an exposition of Dharma.
Vaisheshika I.1:8 . The meaning of the aphorism is that all men should acknowledge the eternal authority of the four Vedas, because they enjoin the performance of Dharma as a duty and are the word of God.
Similarly, the sage Goutama also says in his Nyaya Shastra; 'The authoritativeness of verbal proof is like that of the Veda and the medical science (ayurveda) and it has been declared by the Aptas (trustworthy persons)'.
Nyaya II, 1:67. Its purport is that all men should acknowledge the authoritativeness of the Vedas which are eternal and are the word of God, because all the great Yogis, Brahma, etc., who were righteous, free from deceit, treachery and other similar defects, merciful, preachers ofPage 43
truth, and masters of learning have admitted the authoritativeness of the Vedas to be of the same nature as that of the Mantra and the Ayurveda. Just as one considers a mantra, which reveals a scientific principle to be true and authoritative when its truth is experimentally established, and, just as one, on observing that the use of medicines prescribed in one portion of the Ayurveda cures disease, comes to have faith in the medicines prescribed as the other portions of the same, so, on being satisfied, by direct cognition of the truth of a proposition mentioned in one portion of the Vedas, one ought to believe in the truth of the contents of their remaining portions which deal with subjects that are incapable of direct proof.
Sage Vatsyayana also deliver himself to the same effect in his commentary on this aphorism. Says he, 'Thus inference is drawn from the fact that the seers and the expositors were one and the same. The same trustworthy persons who were the expositors of the Vedas were also the expositors of he medical science. From this fact we infer that the Vedas are as much authoritative as the medical science. Hence the argument, that the words of thePage 44
Vedas are of eternal authority, because they have been acknowledged to be such by trustworthy persons. Its purport is that as the word of a trustworthy person is authoritative so the Vedas also should be admitted to possess authority because they also are the word of the perfectly trustworthy God and their authoritativeness has been acknowledged by all trustworthy persons. Consequently the Vedas, being God's knowledge, their eternalness follows as a matter of course.
Sage Patanjali also observes as follows on this subject:-
'He is the teacher of the ancients also, because He is not limited by time,' Yoga I.1:26.
God is the teacher of all - of the ancients such as Agni, Vayu, Aditya, Angiras, Brahma, etc. who were born in the beginning of creation, of the moderns such as ourselvesPage 45
and of those also, who are to be born in future. God is called the teacher because He imparts knowledge of true substances by means of the Vedas. He is eternal because He is not affected by the action of time.
The afflictions born of ignorance, etc. sinful acts or their impressions touch Him not. In Him there is highest knowledge and wisdom, innate and eternal. The Vedas are His word. They are, therefore, necessarily eternal and full of truth.
The remarks of Acharya Kapila also, on this subject, which occur in the 5th Chapter of his Sankhya Shastra, are the same effect. Says he; ' (The Vedas), having been produced by His own power, carry their authority within themselves, Sankhya V. 51.
The meaning of this is that as the Vedas have been brought to light by the chief inherent power of God, one must needs acknowledge their self-authoritative and eternal character.
Sage Krishandwaipayana Vyasa also makes the following observations on this subject in his Vedanta - Shastra:- 'He is the source of the Page 46
Shastra Veda).' Vedanta I.1:34.
It means that Brahma is the source and cause of the Rig and the other Vedas which are the seat and repository of numerous sciences, illumine all subjects like a lamp and deal with all knowable things.
It is impossible that the author of such Shastras as the Rigveda and others which are encyclopedias of universal knowledge should be any but an omniscient being. It is evident that he who expounds a subject knows more than what he writes as Panini did in the domain of the science of grammar.
Shankarcharya, in his commentary on this aphorism says that a person, who writes upon it, is so well known in the world that it is not necessary to labor the point further.
This goes to show that the Shastra of the Omniscient God must needs be eternal and must contain a knowledge of all things. In the same chapter of the Vedanta Shastra occurs another aphorism, viz, And 'forPage 48
purport of which is as follows:- God, is Omnipresent, etc., and pervades all things on all sides. There is not a single atom (paramanu) in which He is not present. He is the maker of the whole universe. He is mighty and possessed of the threefold body, the gross, the subtle and the causal. Even an atom (paramanu) cannot penetrate Him. Being impenetrable, He is incapable of receiving of receiving a wound.
He is not bound by the bonds of arteries, etc., and hence nothing can bind or throw a veil over him. He always remains away and aloof from such defects as ignorance, etc. He s never touched by sin, nor does He ever commit a sinful act. He is Omniscient, He bears witness to and is the knower of the minds of all. He is without the three causes, the efficient, the material and the general.
He is the universal father, but of Him the generator there is none. He always exists by His own might, God, the supreme Self, is all existence, all consciousness and all bliss. He imparted the true knowledge of things to his eternal subjects in the beginning of creation by revealing the Vedas. Whenever he creates the world He vouchsafes the Vedas, the respositoriesPage 49
of all knowledge, to His creatures for their benefit.
Every one should, therefore, believe that the Vedas are eternal. They are God's knowledge always remains uniform and unchanged.
The Vedas can, with a s great certainty be shown to be eternal on reason as on authority. One should acknowledge the eternalness of the Vedas according to the maxim that something cannot come out of nothing and nothing cannot produce something. That alone will exist in future which exists at present.
It is impossible that a thing which has no root should have branches. To hold the contrary opinion would be like seeing the marriage of the son of a sterile woman. If she have a son she cannot be sterile and if she have no son no one can see his marriage. Those very considerations apply to the case in hand. If God be devoid of infinite knowledge, He would not be able to impart it to others, no one would be able to acquire knowledge and experience; for, nothing can grow whichPage 50
has no root. Nothing is seen in the world which has been produced without a cause. We shall now state what is the actual experience of all men. We retain the impressions of that only which has been the subject of our direct cognition and we remember and know that only of which we retain the impressions.
This knowledge alone supplies us with the motives of action and inaction. (attraction and repulsion). It cannot be otherwise. Whosoever reads Sanskrit gets the impressions of that language only and of no other.
In this way if God had not instructed and taught men in the beginning of creation no one would have been able to come by experience that is requisite for acquisition of knowledge.
Without such experience there would have been no impressions and without impressions there would have been no remembrance and without remembrance there would have been no knowledge, not even the semblance of it.
Q. - But why? Men have a natural bent to act and in their activities they experiencePage 52
pleasure and pain. So, gradually and in course to time they must increase their stock of knowledge. Why should it then be believed that the Vedas were produced by God?
A. ~ We refuted this objection while treating of the origin of the Vedas. We proved there that even now no one acquires knowledge and is able to increase it without receiving instruction from others; so, man could not have made progress in learning and knowledge without having received instruction from God in the beginning through the Vedas.
There we illustrated our meaning by the case of children kept in a wilderness without instruction and also by the cause of the dwellers of forests. We sat that such children and dwellers of forest so could neither acquire knowledge, nor, learn the use of human speech, without instruction - let alone the question of the origin of knowledge (through experience).
Therefore, the knowledge contained in the Vedas, which has proceeded from God, must needs to be eternal like all of His attributes. The name, the attributes and the actions of an eternal substance must themselves be eternal, because their substratum itself is eternal.Page 52
The name, the attributes and the actions depend on something else; they cannot, therefore, exist independently without a seat or support. If their substratum be non-eternal they also would be non-eternal. That which is eternal is not subject to production and dissolution.
Production means a special combination of separate elements. Dissolution takes place when the caused products are separated (into their component parts) on account of the combination ceasing to exist. Dissolution is the state of being unperceived. God, being uniform in His essence, is not touched by combination and disjunction.
The following aphorism of sage Kanada is our authority for this proposition. 'Eternal is that which exists and is uncaused' - Vaisheshika 4,4:1.
The meaning of this is that an effect which comes into existence on being produced from a cause is non-eternal, because it was non-existent before its production. That, however, is said to be eternal which is not the effect of nay but is always the cause of others. Whatever is the product of combination postulates thePage 53
existence of producer and if the producer itself happens to be the result of combination it will have its own producer and so on ad infinitum. That which itself is the product of combination cannot have the power of combining prakriti or the atoms (paramanus); for, the latter will be subtler than itself. The subtler is the Atma (pervader) of the grosser; for, the former is capable of penetrating into the latter as fire penetrates into iron.
As fire, on account of its subtle composition can enter into the hard and gross iron and separate its particles from one another, so, water, being subtler than earth, can enter into its particles and combine them into a ball or separate them from one another.
God is above conjunction and disjunction and is all-pervading. He is, consequently, able to bring about conjunction and disjunction according to law. It cannot be otherwise.
We being ourselves within the sphere of combination and disjunction, are unable to combine or separate prakriti or paramanus. If God also were within that sphere He would be, like us, incapable of bringing about combination and disjunction proceed, beingPage 54
the first cause of the things coming into existence by means of combination and disjunction, is not under their sway. Without the first cause there would be no beginning of combination and disjunction. The Vedas having been revealed by, and having always existed in, the knowledge of God who is the first cause of combination and separation, who remains ever unchanged in His essence, who is without a beginning, eternal, unborn, and whose might endures for ever, their eternalness and the truthfulness of the knowledge contained in them are established.
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"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 DayanandTranslation
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