Vedas The Way of Life


The Vedas are the most important treatise to the humanity.  They are in classical Sanskrit language that was widely used in ancient Aryan times.  The Vedic verses can be interpreted from various angles like literature, spiritual, religious, grammar, philosophy etc.  Though there are interpretations on Vedas available today, the authenticity of interpretations is questionable.  This is not because of defective interpretations or lack of efficiency of the interpreters, but mainly due to the abilities of Vedas to communicate both gross and subtle renditions.  Vedas originated from divine commune.  For a long time, they were not penned down as the verses were channeled from a master to his disciples.  The sages have chosen the oral path for communication as these verses relied more on orthoepy to prevent any distortions.   Most of the texts of Vedas are in the form of verses.  These are called mantra verses and their oral delivery largely depends on phonics and rhythm.   There are portions of prose as well and they are known as brahmana passages.  These passages explain the procedures for rituals and dwell more on the practical side. 

There are four Vedas Rik(it is also pronounced as Rigveda). Yajur, Sama and Atharva.  The first three are known as Trayividya (literal translation – three types of knowledge).  Atharva Veda is not included here because of its late origin.  The origin of the other three Vedas is not known.  But the fact remains that they defied Nature's fury and continued to guide even in this contemporary world.  Vedas are also known as srutis.  Vedas in their original form is too difficult to comprehend as they are considered to have been delivered by God Himself to the ancient sages and saints.  The sages conglomerated the speech of God, by colligating their highest level of cosmic intelligence with the Supreme Consciousness.  They memorized these verses and imparted them to their disciples orally.  If the sages had chosen to contrive the Vedas into manuscripts, they could have been destroyed or modified unable to stand the vagaries of the Mother Nature.  It is beyond the human power to decrypt the speech of God.  To make it possible to some extent, the study of Vedas were divided into various categories and each category was analyzed by the experts in the respective fields.  This study is known as vedangas that integrates study of phonetics, ritual injunctions, linguistics, grammar, etymology, lexicography, prosody, astronomy and astrology.

Why Vedas

The elaborate study of Vedas would not have been initiated, had it been easier to understand them.  Vedanga attempted to corroborate various expert interpretations, thereby making it possible to first understand the gross interpretation and later its subtle conveyance.    It was concluded that Vedas discuss about every act of a human being, from birth to death.  This conclusion was divided into three broad categories known as jnana, karma and upasana.  Jnana means wisdom.  It is not the knowledge of literacy.  This knowledge is known as wisdom.  Knowledge is of mundane type, the psychological result of perception of learning and reasoning.   Wisdom has the ability to apply knowledge gained for the purpose of practical judgment, discrimination and insight.  This is the reason why wisdom is considered superior to knowledge.  The Vedas both directly and indirectly advocates acquiring of wisdom.  As wisdom can be acquired only through experience, they prescribe karmas.  Karmas mean actions.  By repeated actions, experience is gained and by such experience, one is able to discriminate between good and bad.  Next is upasana which means performance, performance of rituals.  Upasana differs from karma.  Karma means actions for sustenance.  Upasana means actions performed to realize God.  The Vedas give innumerable interpretations to the concept of God.  The basic idea of the Vedas is to make one realize God, which they call as the Brahman.  To realize the Brahman, the Vedas insist that one should be proficient in all the three categories.  Therefore, it is made imperative to understand the Vedas, in their archetypical form, as the verses of Vedas have deeper implications. 

The Creator

Vedas do not recognize the universe as different from God, the Creator.  Except the Eternal self-illuminating Brahman, all other objects get reflected by That supreme light.  The simple philosophy of Vedas is that the universe originates from Him, sustained by Him and dissolves unto Him. This logical presentation of Vedas prompted Upanishads to postulate"By whose will is the mind drawn towards its objects?  Who makes the vital breath, the first sign of life, function?  Ordained by whom do people utter words?"   Vedas describe creation as an act of God.  A new living being is created by the combination of two factors that augurs well with the theory that for a creation two energies are required.  Vedas described these energies as ‘purusha' and ‘prakriti'.   They are known as soul and Mother Nature, a primordial substance.  Soul is described as static energy and the primordial substance is known as the kinetic energy.  Though soul and Nature are assigned with different types of energy for better discernment, they continue to be the reflectivity of God.  Vedas categorically emphasize this factor without any ambiguity. 

At the same time, they do not fail to take cognizance of different attributes of God for His three acts of creation, sustenance and dissolution.  Each of His attributes is given an objective name such as lord of fire, lord of water, lord of wealth, lord of death, lord of light, lord of darkness, etc.  Even for the act of conjugal bliss, there is a lord.  Every aspect of human life is considered as divine, based on the fact that every object, be it movable or immovable, is His reflection.  Therefore, it is not surprising that every act of humanity is made as reverent.  Rgveda (X.110.9) says "He is the one who has decked the parental heaven and earth, and all the worlds with living forms".  After the great dissolution, the creation again begins and this process goes in a cyclic manner, one after another.  During the great dissolution, when water engulfs the entire universe annihilating all living non-living beings, the Brahman alone exists along with His kinetic energy.  The kinetic energy alone survives because; it forms a part of the potentiality of the Brahman.  Every object dissolves unto Him during the great dissolution.   There is a contextual explanation in Atharva Veda (XI.7.2) which says "In the remnant heaven and earth, all existence is set together; in the remnant waters, the ocean, the moon, the wind is set".  The verse proceeds to delineate on these lines.  Again, another cycle of creation begins from Him.

The Creation

The creation is the act of the Creator.  The process of creation is the will of God executed as cognitive operation in a multi dimensional and conceptual platform.  Vedas accentuate the importance of breath and call this as prana or vital force or life.  Like other attributes of the Lord, prana is also worshipped.  The formation of the human body is beautifully explained in Vedas.  The human body is formed out of many sheaths or coverings.  They are called sheaths because they from a protective covering to the soul, which is also known as purusha or atman.  Soul's association with prakriti emanates a new life that commences its activities due to the unfolding effects of karma engrafted in the soul.  It is widely misconceived that soul is a representative of the Lord.  If this theory is to be espoused, the omnipresent nature of the Brahman is lost.  When Vedas unwaveringly corroborate that, the existence of universe is the manifestation of the Brahman, there is no question of His representative.  Vedas say that there is no second to the Brahman.  He is the One and the only One.  That is why He is not only ubiquitous, but also omnipotent, the perfect ratiocination for being called as Almighty.   Rgveda says (X.121.1) "The sustainer Lord of illuminant celestial cosmos has been present from the very beginning.  He has ever been the sole Lord of all the created beings.  He upholds this earth and heaven".

When Vedas explicate about creation, they also discourse on sins, karmas, rebirths, bondage and all the requisite evils of existence.  They point out that sin need not necessarily arise out of a wrong doing, but surely accrues by mere thought of an evil act. Atharvaveda Veda VI.45.1 says "Go far away evil mind.  Why utter something that is not worthy.  I do not desire you".  Vedas prescribe high moral standards of living by accentuating the importance to the mind that eventually leads to virtuous deeds.


Vedas reposed a strong fundament for noble inhabitancy.  They interpret the Brahman in a complicated manner and common man could not understand their subtle conveyances.  This situation led to Upanishads, where God as a concept has been elucidated in a way that can be understood by common man.  Upanishads do not dwell on ritualistic rites, but explicate by negations and avouchment to realise the Creator.  The imparting of Upanishads is considered as mystic doctrine, from the angle of rational approach to philosophical renditions.  This process of understanding the Creator is called self-realization.  They prescribe certain tools called meditation to establish ones consciousness with the Creator.  Both science and philosophy believe that the Absolute can be realized only by that pure form of consciousness.  The precepts of Upanishads got transubstantiated into a condensed form called kundalini meditation that is widely prevalent now.  But any type of meditation without understanding the logic of creation and the Creator may not yield the desired results. 


It appears that the stupendous darkness, the supra mental nescience in our scramble, nerve gives it up to man, the genial existence.  The struggle is incessant and would ever go on in our inner spheres with fresh vigor.  This nescience has not merely to be cut away from us, but broken up into and made to yield up the enigma of light, good and infinity.  Hushed up behind this cognitive content, is the great light of self-illuminating Absolute.  Vedas, being the voice of the Absolute himself elucidate the ways and means to realize the Creator by inferring the process of creation.  Technological explorations, scientific inventions and psychological perceptions of modern times have already been expounded by the Vedas time immemorial.