We have already dealt this issue in sufficient details in past. However as mentioned in previous article of this series (http://agniveer.com/5166/textual-corruption-in-vedas/) those who believe in death for apostates and hell for everyone except their own gang members have been creating frivolous articles to counter Agniveer. While their frustration is justified (because of reduced dominance in cyberspace), their methods are not.
In this brief article we shall share our views on yet another attempt to attack Vedas simply because they cannot defend their own fanaticism in a logical manner. You can type “Origin of Vedas, Their Inspiration, and Authority” and google out the different versions of said attempt.
As usual, we shall provide a brief of allegation and our response.
Allegation 1: There are conflicting reports on who created the Vedas. There are multiple views and there is no unanimity.
1. The origin of Vedas is not as simple as a human-like God sitting on some throne sending some angel to narrate divine message to some human being. Vedas represent eternal knowledge that is already within us. Its origin and dissemination is critically linked with creation of universe and propagation of intelligent life. This is one of the most complex subjects. And hence various analogies are used to explain it in a way we can understand.
In reality truth is beyond what we see today. And yet we have to find our way through what we know today to understand what we don’t know yet. This is called Thought-Experiment.
Newton used a thought-experiment to deduce that moon is a falling projectile that does not hit the earth due to its curvature. Now in reality Newton never did such an experiment, nor one can prove if this is indeed historically true. All we know is that this analogy helps us understand laws of motion in universe better.
In same vein, Vedas, Upanishads, Geeta and even Purans use a variety of analogies to explain different aspects of origin of Vedas.
2. Some say that they were first revealed to sages called Agni, Vayu and Aditya. Note that these names are titles and not names printed on their ration cards. Others say that for all practical purpose, Brahma was first person to master the 4 Vedas and propagate to next generation. Again Brahma is a title.
3. Shatpath Brahman gaves a beautiful analogy – That just as exhalation and inhalation happen, all forms of knowledge – Vedas, Upanishads, Formulae, History etc – get manifested and get submerged in Supreme Being. Thus like breathing, this is a cyclical process.
On this analogy, skeptics raise several questions.
First they raise doubt that this shows that God is human like. However this is a silly doubt because this is only an analogy. Knowledge cannot come out from nostrils!
Second, they say that Vedas are not exclusively mentioned. Hence either every knowledge is divine or nothing is divine. This is also shallow logic. Because:
– divinity of Vedas is not same as divinity of Bible or Quran. Divinity in context of Vedas only means that eternal laws of nature as represented in language is unchangeable.
– mention of various fields of knowledge shows a process. First the Vedas are mentioned and then other fields. This means that first wisdom of Vedas is imbibed and then other fields of knowledge emanate from the Vedic wisdom.
– there are other references in scriptures that focus only on Vedas. The objective in this particular shloka was to show a process of knowledge propagation. For more on this refer http://agniveer.com/1553/origin-of-vedas/ and http://agniveer.com/1566/eternity-of-vedas/
Allegation 2: Agniveer claims that Brahma learned the four Vedas from the Rishis. However, according to references from Svetashvatara and Mundak Upanishads, Brahma was directly taught by God and he in turn taught the other Rishis. An interesting point to be noted here is that in the same Kanda, verse 5, Angiras calls the four Vedas as ‘lower knowledge’ (Apra) and says that God cannot be known through the Vedas.
1. All that the alleged verses state is that Brahma was the first person to master the 4 Vedas and propagate an integrated view to rest of the civilization. Some texts state that 4 other Rishis first had one Vedas each inspired within them and then they together taught Brahma. So there is nothing conflicting here.
2. Even if Brahma mastered Vedas directly and the 4 Rishis mentioned were actually something else, how does that change the reality? Vedas still remain the oldest text and unchanged as per best available evidences. They also contain nothing objectionable to our understanding and further themselves ask us to think logically rather than accept things blindly. What else do we need as a better foundation?
3. Angiras is completely correct in stating that God cannot be known though the Vedas. That is exactly what Agniveer also says. Here what the author means is rote memorization of Vedas or interpretation of Vedas literally without applying mind and implementing them blindly.
Mugging up Vedas verbatim and expecting recitation of mantras to give salvation would be completely fruitless. God – or whatever label you give it – can be known only though activation of Vedas that is within each of us. Please refer our previous 3 articles for more on this:
Allegation 3: There are several references of Rishis being writers of Vedic mantras and not researchers. So Vedas are manmade.
We shall not comment on who actually created the Vedas. We leave that to individual’s introspection. But we would like to assert that there is no documentary or historical evidence so far for creation of Vedas by any human. For more on this allegation, please refer http://agniveer.com/3937/who-wrote-vedas/ that summarily thrashes this vague allegation.
Allegation 4: Many Rishis even have names similar to words of the mantras attributed to them. Hence they were the creators of those mantras.
As we mentioned earlier, no Rishi was identified as per his ration card or passport. Legendary persons are known more by deeds or choice than birth name. Thus Subhash Chandra Bose got the name ‘Netaji’. Moolshankar is known as Swami Dayanand Saraswati. Mohandas is more popular has Mahatma Gandhi. Hardly anyone would know what are the real names of people known as Agniveer. Thus Vedic Rishis came to be known by the names exemplifying their researches. Hence we see that Narayana is Rishi of Purusha Sukta, Bhishaq (meaning doctor) is Rishi of Rigveda 10.97 focusing on medicines, Rigveda 10.101 has Rishi Budha Saumya (intellectual and sober person) because the sukta deals with related themes. There are countless such examples.
The point is the Vedic Rishis were not working with agenda of marketing their birth certificates. They were Yogis who were devoted to discovering the nectar of Vedas and rise beyond the cycles of death and birth. Thus name is just a matter of social convenience for them. So, no wonder, names of most Vedic rishis are related to subject of their specializations regardless of their birth name and even gender.
Allegation 5: Panini said that Brahmans are new and old and hence Vedas are not divine.
When did we claim Brahmans to be divine or eternal? Only the Vedic mantras are eternal as per our traditional knowledge and wisdom. Brahmans are explanations of Vedas by putting them in contemporary contexts. For more, refer http://agniveer.com/1596/vedas/
Allegation 6: Some mantras talk of creation of new verses and being worshipped by new and old Rishis. Hence Vedas are not eternal.
Which verse talks of creation of new Vedic mantras by human beings? I never heard one. But yes, humanity has always created new verses, new songs, new articles, new poems etc in all creations. There is difference between creation of mantras of Vedas and creation of other verses inspired by Vedas.
Same goes for Rishis – they keep emerging in society. So if a mantras says so, it is eternally true. Vedas are the seeds, but you need to create a tree out of the seed for benefit of self and society.
Allegation 7: Many verses talk of fights with aborigines and drinking alcohol. Hence Vedas are not divine.
If you read translations by western indologists and those translations that are based on such translations, you are bound to discover similar stupid things. The alcohol myth has been summarily dealt with in http://agniveer.com/3965/soma-alcohol-and-vedas/. Vedas do not believe in aborigines concept. It does talk of fighting out the militants and terrorists. That is what all right-minded governments and armies have been doing since ages. That is what led to death of Osama. So this is a reason to celebrate and not crib over, unless you yourself are a militant. Are you?
This ends the quota of allegations at least for this time. We hope next time we would have something more refined and intellectual to scrutinize. We are tired of dealing with such utterly frivolous works. We pray to the Supreme that He may provide us a break so that we can share something more meaningful and useful with our visitors without further distractions.