18 September 2014

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Riddles in Hinduism the origin of the Vedas Riddle No. Two

Riddles in Hinduism the origin of the Vedas Riddle No. Two

Riddles in Hinduism
Riddle No. 2 - The Origin of the Vedas
The Brahminic explanation or an exercise in the art of circumlocution

There  is  hardly  any  Hindu  who  does  not  regard  the  Vedas  as  the  most  sacred  Book  of  his religion. And yet ask any Hindu what is the origin of the Vedas and it would be difficult to find one who can give a clear and a definite answer to the simple question.

Of course, if the question was addressed to a Vedic Brahmin he would say that the Vedas are Sanatan.
But this is no answer to the question.

For first of all what does the word Sanatan means?

The best explanation of the word Sanatan is to be found in the Commentary by Kalluka Bhatt on
Chapter I Shiokas 22-23 of the Manu Smriti.
This is what Kulluka Bhatt defines the word Sanatan*.
[1 Muir Sanskrit Texts Vol. III. p. 6.]

"The word Sanatana he says, means ‘eternally pre-existing'.
The  doctrine  of  the  superhuman origin  of  the  Vedas  is  maintained  by  Manu.

The same Vedas which (existed) in the previous mundane era (Kalpa) were preserved in the memory of the omniscient Brahma, who was one with the supreme spirit.

It was those same Vedas that, in the beginning of the present Kalpa, he drew  forth from Agni,  Vayu and Surya; and this dogma, which is founded upon the Veda, is not to  be questioned,  for  the  Veda says,  'the  Rig-Veda  comes  from  Agni,  the  Yajur-Veda  from  Vayu,  and the Sama-Veda from Surya. "

To understand the explanation by Kulluka Bhatt it is necessary to explain what Kalpa means.

A  Kalpa is a reckoning of time adopted by the Vedic Brahmins.
The    Brahmanic reckoning of time divides time into
(1) Varsha
(2) Yuga
(3) Mahayuga
(4) Man vantara
(5) Kalpa.

Varsha is easy enough to understand. It corresponds to the term year.

What exactly the period of time covered by the term Yuga covers there is no unanimity.

A Mahayuga is a period covered by a group of four Yugas:
(1) Krita Yuga
(2) Treta Yuga
(3) Dwapar Yuga
(4) Kali Yuga

The  four  Yugas  follow  one  another  in a  cycle,  when  the  period of  the  first  Yuga  is spent  it  is followed by the second and so on in the order given.

When the cycle is complete one Mahayuga is completed and a new Mahayuga opens.

Every Mahayuga begins with the Krita Yuga and ends with Kali Yuga.

There is no uncertainty as to the time relation of a Mahayuga and a Kalpa.

71 Mahayugas make One Kalpa.

There is  however  some  uncertainty  as  to  the  time  relation  between  Mahayuga  and

A Manvantara is equal to 71 Mahayugas "and something more"'.

What exact period of  time  that  'something  more'  means,  the  Brahmins  have  not  been  able  to  state  categorically.

Consequently the time relation between Manvantara and Kalpa is uncertain.
But  this  does  not  matter  very  much  for  our  present  purposes.
For the present it is enough to confine our attention to Kalpa.
The  idea  underlying  '  Kalpa  '  is  closely  connected  with  the  creation  and  dissolution  of  the Universe.

The creation of the world is called Srashti.

The dissolution of the universe is called Pralaya.

Time between Srashti and Pralaya is called Kalpa.

The idea of the origin of the Vedas is thus more intimately connected with the idea of Kalpa.
 According  to  this scheme  of  things, what  is supposed  to  happen is  that when  a  Kalpa begins creation begins.

With the beginning of the creation there comes into being a new series of Vedas.

What Kulluka Bhatt wants to convey is that though in a sense every new Kalpa has a new series
Of Vedas the same old Vedas are reproduced by Brahma from his memory.
That is why he says the Vedas are Sanatan i.e., eternally pre-existing.

What Kalluka Bhatt says is that the Vedas are reproduced from memory.

The real question is who made them and not who reproduced them.

Even  if  one  accepts  the  theory  of reproduction at the beginning of each Kalpa the question still remains who made the Vedas when the  First  Kalpa  began.

The Vedas could not have come into being ex-nihilo.

They must have a beginning though they may have   no end.

Why don’t the Brahmins say openly?
Why this circumlocution?

Suggested Reading –

Riddles in Hinduism Riddle No. 1 - The Difficulty of Knowing Why One is a Hindu

From Book - Riddles in Hinduism
Bharat Ratna Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

Reality views by sm –

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tags – Riddles in Hinduism Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar


Destination Infinity September 18, 2014  

These are big questions that has perplexed humanity all this while. We are trying to understand these things using logic, but logic can never give the answer to when time began. So, there are certain things that are beyond logic, and beyond our understanding.

Destination Infinity

Unknown September 19, 2014  

Wow this is so interesting. Very culturally educating.

Kirtivasan Ganesan September 19, 2014  

Music dies. Vedas rise. Yes for me.
Music also rise. Vedas also rise. No.
But yes to greedy looser. They realise they loose. But they live because of greedy pig behaviour.

rudraprayaga September 21, 2014  

Even the Science which is believed to be the ultimate reality cannot explain what scriptures(all religions'-not only Hinduism's) about time factor or the beginning of creation.Various religions have different says which may be some of the aspects.Hinduism has more number of scriptures and hence more theories. If anyone criticizes, that one should give a pointed solution.