Most practitioners don't understand that it is impossible to separate the Vedic Deities from yoga. The deities are as important as the concept of Brahman, failing to recognize this is failing to see the richness of eastern religions. Due to our double standards of placing western academic education on a higher ground than the knowledge of the Acharayas we have done a great national loss and have forgotten the Vedic science or the occult which is often seen with contempt eyes by the academicians.
But most academic scholars are not aware of the intellectual history and the traditions from which such pagan ideas come from and they are often rejected knowledge in the current academia.
"From the eastern viewpoint and especially the yoga traditions, it is impossible to separate yoga from the deities as they represent the universal forces of creation and transformation."
When I perform yoga and some intense breathing exercises I am directly worshipping the divine light rays that emanate from the deities, this is the esoteric view and the very basis of Vedas and Vedic knowledge.
What are these divine light rays that I frequently speak of?
These divine light rays are emanated from the body of the deities and they are the sources of all Vedic knowledge and the psychological and the physiological transformations in the microcosm as well as in the macrocosm.Agni is a Hindu and Vedic deity depicted in three forms: fire, lightning and the sun. In Hindu art, Agni is depicted with two or seven hands, two heads, and three legs. In each head, he has seven fiery tongues with which he licks sacrificial butter. He rides a ram or a chariot harnessed by fiery horses. His attributes are an axe, a torch, prayer beads and a flaming spear. Agni is represented as red and two-faced, suggesting both his destructive and his beneficent qualities, and with black eyes and hair. Seven rays of light emanate from his body.
In the Gayatri prayer from the Vedas, the seven rays are described as the emanations of the Sun, identified with the creator of life, "Because the being who shines with seven rays, assuming the forms of time and illumines all... naturally shines with seven rays is called light or the effulgent power; the light of the Generator or Sun - the light is the sun, the sun is the light, they are identical."
The Vishnu Purana, a post-vedic scripture, describes how Vishnu "enters into the seven solar rays which dilate into seven suns." These are the "seven principal solar rays," the source of heat even to the planet Jupiter, and the "seven suns into which the seven solar rays dilate at the consummation of all things..."
20th century Hindu scholar, poet and mystic, Sri Aurobindo, described the Vedic seven rays of knowledge, or Agni, as "the seven forms of the Thought-principle" and wrote that "the seven brilliant horses of the sun and their full union constitutes the seven-headed Thought of Ayasya by which the lost sun of Truth is recovered. That thought is again established in the seven rivers, the seven principles of being divine and human, the totality of which founds the perfect spiritual existence."
Maha-Prana(the vital force) is not just an air that we breathe but he himself is a deity and the different forms of him which are Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana, Vyana are the different manifested light rays of this Maha-Prana. One can view him as a whole as a single form of light ray or as individual rays of five Prana.
The words unreal in the Upanishads doesn't mean that the Vedic deities and the sheaths does not exist as thought by many but instead that it doesn't have an independent existence or they have dependent existence with Brahman and they are the emanations of Brahman.
There has never been an immense pressure to study the Vedas than any time before in the history of humanity.http://www.sreedattavibhavam.org/gurucharitra_26.html
The pride and concept of the two foolish pundits.
Siddhamuni continued the narrative.
Sri Narasimha Saraswati told the pundits that it was wrong, presumptuous and childish on their part to believe that they had mastered all the Vedas and gained all knowledge. It is indeed beyond the ken and capacity of anybody, even of gods, to have full and proper understanding of the Vedas.
The Vedas are indeed countless and endless - "Ananta Vai Vedah", it is said. Even Brahmadeva could not gauge the extent of the Vedas. The Lord Himself had to incarnate on earth as Badarayana, .ie, Vyasa, and he collated a small portion of them into the four Vedas, which we have heard of. It is indeed a very very tiny portion of the original Vedic lore abstracted for the purpose of making a beginning and for paving the way for Dharmic life. Even Badarayana, in truth, could not find the beginning and end of the Vedas. As even these four Vedas, tiny portions from the original which is limitless, cannot all be studied and understood by anyone, even if he is allotted aeons of life. Vyasa Bhagvan taught each one of the Vedas (some little portion of each) to one student each, each of whom was specially blessed with the full extent of a Kalpa for their study, Paila learnt a small portion which goes under the name of Rig Veda, Vaisampayana learnt another small portion which goes under the name of Yajur Veda; Jamini learnt Sama Veda and Sumanta learnt Atharva Veda. These at least they could learn, only because of the special grace of their Guru, Vyasa Bhagwan. That being the case, how ridiculous it was for any man, whoose life span was so short to claim and boast that he had mastered the Vedas!
In ancient times, Bharadwaja Rishi resolved himself that he should learn and master all the Vedas. As he proceeded with his study, he found that although decades and centuries were rolling by, the progress he could make was too little. He undertook penance to propitiate Brahma and when Brahma appeared before him, he prayed "Grant me as much life span as would suffice for my completing the study of the Vedas". Brahmadeva smiled, as if in derision, and said, "My child! I can make you Chiranjeevi (an immortal), but alas, it is beyond all my powers to help you to make a complete study of all Vedas. See there are infinite heights of the Vedas". As he said this, Bharadwaja Rishi could see the splendorous mountains of the Vedas, their peaks hardly visible, and penetrating into the highest skies. Their effulgence was like that of a million suns. Bharadwaja instantly realised his folly in hoping that he could master all the Vedas, which would never be possible even if he granted millions and millions of aeons as his lifespan. He was crest fallen and fell at the feet of Brahma, that he should somehow bless him with the Vedic wisdom. Brahma gave him three handful of material from the infinite mountain peaks and told him "If you can study and understand this much, you will be most blessed indeed." Bradwaja strove for all his life and he could not complete that much study even, of the three handfuls of material that Brahmadeva gave him. Guru Nath again said, that being the case, how fallacious it is for a mere mortal of he Kali age to claim that he has mastered all the Vedas, alas!
Guru Nath now started speaking of the glory of the Vedas and their structure, which was unheard of before by any. Guru Nath said that this was what had been told Vyasa Bhagwan to each of his disciples regarding the respective Vedas he had taught them. Briefly it is as under;
Rig Veda has its auxiliary Ayurveda, the Science of Life. It is presiding deity is Brahma. Its Gotra is Atryasa. Its chandas is Gayatri. The Rig Veda Purusha has red lotus like broad eyes, and a three feet long shapely neck. He has beautiful flowing locks of hair. Rig Veda has all in all 12 sections or divisions. It's systematic recital, with the correct inontation, endows greatest merit. Much of the portion of Rig Veda is not known to any in the Kali Age.
Sri Narasimha Saraswati told the pundits that the Vedas are most profound. They are sole protection for mankind both in the world here and worlds thereafter. They are to be worshipped as Mother. Humility is the true mark of scholarship. He again emphasised that the knowledge, if at all anyone can gain and profess about the Veda, will be just no more than a grain of sand while the Vedic lore is like the unending stretch of the sandy shores of all seas of the earth.
The pundits, in their pride, could not grasp the wise counsel of Sri Narasimha Saraswati and still kept up the air of arrogance.
Thus ends the Twenty-sixth Chapter of Sri Guru Charitra giving "A brief account of the four Vedas and their infinite glory".
Glory to the All merciful, the OmniPresent and the ever responsive Guru Nath.
"I seek not science, not religion, not Theosophy, but Veda, the truth about Brahman, not only about His essentiality, but about His manifestation, not a lamp on the way to the forest, but a light and a guide to joy and action in the world. I. believe that the future of India and the world to depend on its discovery and on its application, not to the renunciation of life, but to life and the world and among men. .. The Veda was the beginning of our spiritual knowledge; the Veda will remain its end. These compositions of an unknown antiquity are as the many breasts of eternal Mother of knowledge from which our succeeding ages have all been fed. The recovery of the perfect truth of the Veda is therefore not merely a desideratum for our modern intellectual curiosity, but a practical necessity for the future of the human race. For I believe firmly that the secret concealed in the Veda, when entirely discovered, will be found to formulate perfectly that knowledge and practice of a divine life to which the march of humanity, after long wanderings in the satisfaction of the intellect and senses, must inevitably return."
- Sri Aurobindo