Veda means knowledge, or the knowledge that gives access to all worldly things and spiritual activities. Veda is divine knowledge. The knowledge of the Vedas is eternal and equally beneficial for mankind. Due to this divine knowledge, Vedic knowledge is the basic knowledge. The Vedas is the soul of Vedic religion. There are four main subjects of the four Vedas – the subject of Rigveda is Knowledge, Yajurveda’s Karma, Samaveda’s Worship and Atharva’s subject is Science.
In the Vedas, man has been inspired to reach the pinnacle of development. All Vedas are the basic mantra of complete knowledge. ‘Vedokhilo Dharmamoolam’ (Manu 2:6)
There is no other method better than Vedas and Vedic religion for the welfare of human beings. ‘Nasti Vedatparam Shastram’ means there is no other scripture greater than the Vedas.
Composition period of Vedas
According to the belief of Sunatan Dharma, God created the Vedas along with the creation of creation i.e. living beings and on the basis of Vedic period calculation, the Vedas were composed in 1,96,08,53,124 (one billion ninety-six crore eight lakh fifty-three thousand one hundred twenty-four )It’s been years.
Modern science and philosophy also consistently believes human creation to be the same. Therefore, with the creation of man, God revealed knowledge as valid for him.
There is evidence of this even in the world’s first written text, Rigveda –
ऋतऽच सत्यऽचाभिदताहसोद्यजयत (Rigveda. 10.190.1)
That is, God, with the power of His knowledge, created the entire legal system in the name of Right and Truth.
Regarding the period of composition of these Vedas, Nobel Prize winner Menterlink comments in his book Great Secret that – The ancient Vedas are at least 70,00,000 (seventy lakh) years old. It is impossible to rediscover the Adi Stotra (fundamental source) of the Veda. The emergence of vast stores of knowledge coincided with the emergence of human beings on innumerable individuals who were more spiritual and more spiritual in nature.
Rishi, creator of Vedas and mantras
According to the belief of Hindu (sanatan) religion, basic knowledge is required for the all-round development of a human being. Such basic knowledge cannot be created by a human being. Only the creator of the world, the omniscient God, can establish it, man can develop and make the basic knowledge clear. This knowledge is free from descriptions of human history, stories of kings and queens and political wars etc., not as we see history in Ramayana, Mahabharata, Quran and Bible. This Vedic knowledge is true, rational, concentric to human welfare and free from any kind of bias (gender, caste, colour). Vedic knowledge is a scientific creation, consistent with rules and completely humanistic, free from contradictions.
Yasmadricho, Prapatakshan Yajuryasmad Nyakashan. Samaani Yasya Loma Nyatharvavadigarso Mukham. (Artharv. 10.7.20). That is, from the mouth of the Almighty God, Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda have originated. In Swami Vivekananda Granthmala Volume 2, page 239, Swami ji wrote considering Vedic knowledge as eternal that:Vedas are the words of God. This is the expression of divine knowledge because God is eternal; hence Vedic knowledge is also eternal.
In the present versions of the Veda, four special characteristics of each Veda mantra or mantra groups are given. These are- sage(rishi), deity, voice, and verse.
The meaning of the Rishi of the mantra is the one who clarifies the secret of the mantra, the deity is the main idea and the central point of the mantra, the voice Is the method of pronunciation of the mantra, the verse is the method of composition of the mantra in prose verse.
According to Vedic tradition, the sage of a mantra is not the creator of that mantra but the one who realises the mystery of that mantra. The name of the sage written along with the mantras is not the author of that mantra, but is the seer and first propagator of its truth.
Vedic pantheism and meaning
In the Vedas, each mantra, group of mantras, and sutra have their deity written in them. Here, deity means the central point or theme of the mantra. The sages have written the deity along with the mantra so that the readers and commentators can understand the meaning of that mantra according to the main topic, and not by making any word the focal point.
In the Vedas, the deities of mantra have been expressed by the words Agni, Vayu, Indra, Marut, Vishnu, Surya etc. Such gods are said to be from 1 to 6000. But the main deities of the Vedas are thirty-three. These are 33 including 8 Vasus, 11 Rudra, 12 Aditya, Indra and Prajapati (God).
According to Nirukta, Devo Danad Va Deepanad Va Dyotanad Va Dyusthano Bhavatiti Va. (Nirukta 7:15)
That is, everything that gives knowledge, light, peace, joy and happiness can be called in the name of God or Goddess.
According to Indian tradition, the meanings of Vedic words are at least threefold: metaphysical, metadivine, and spiritual. According to Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, God has given the Vedas to man for his welfare and to bring behaviour in daily life.
God is one – names are many
Max Muller, seeing the words of gods written along with the Veda mantras – Agni, Vayu, Indra, Prithvi etc. as well as the name of the sage, propagated that the authors of the Vedas were not only polytheists, but they were also dependents or worshippers of physical inanimate powers like Sun, Moon, Earth etc.
But in reality the mention of God element in those is different from Max Muller’s explanation:
1. In all four Vedas, it has been advised to worship and pray to only one God.
2. God has been called immortal, immortal, fearless, incomparable, infinite, eternal, provider of results, formless, almighty, omnipresent, omniscient, all-pervading, creator etc.
3. The same God has many names. The same God is known by the names Varun, Agni, Yam, Mahadev etc.
Vedas clearly say-
1. Devo Devamsi (Rigveda.1.94.13) means you are the god of gods.
2. Ajayak Paat (Yajurveda 34.53) means that God is unborn.
In the compositions of the Vedas, many names of the same God have been sung, which have been used with the intention of showcasing the many qualities and powers of that God.
Human history and evolution in the Vedas
According to Manusmriti (1.21), in fact the words of the Vedas are compounds and the names of humans, rivers etc. of the world have been taken from the Vedas only.
The roots of eternal and true knowledge are present in all the Vedas. On the basis of these, Vedic culture and Vedic science have progressed. Also, on the basis of this knowledge in the Vedas, inspiration has been given for the development of ministers, techniques, and philosophies that provide all kinds of worldly pleasures so that not only humans but all living beings can benefit.
But Max Muller has repeatedly seen history and evolution in the Vedas. Max Muller writes about the antiquity, development and history of the Vedas in his book India on page 114.
1. Vedic religion is not influenced by any foreign religion or culture because it is the ancient culture of mankind.
2. Vedic poets are ancient, Vedic language is ancient, Vedic religion is ancient. The Vedic religion is the most ancient of any subject of mankind.
Therefore, Max Muller considers the knowledge of Vedas as the early history of mankind, which is not present in any other scripture or culture. Without being able to understand the deep secrets of the Vedas, he criticizes them and says – Most of the compositions of the Vedas are very difficult and of low level and whenever he looks at the last chapter of the Rigveda, in which the philosophy is based on the spirit of world welfare, unity and equality. It is clear that the mind writes considering that some of the writings are philosophical.
Main messages of Vedas-
1. There is no one small or big in human beings, all are equal brothers (Rigveda 5.60.5)
2. All people in the society should eat, drink, worship together and live in a friendly manner. (Atharvaveda 3.30.6)
The world’s oldest eternal culture, which inspires ideas like Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam and brotherhood, is a culture which considers selfless charity as a great donation, opposes any kind of discrimination, and establishes harmony by uniting everyone together. There is no history and evolution in the Vedas. Rather, an ideal system has been described, which man has not yet been able to reach. That human welfare state can be reached only through Vedic knowledge.