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Thread: Concepts & Words of the Ved - some baseline thought

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    Concepts & Words of the Ved - some baseline thought

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Namaste,
    This post comes from conversations started on Puranas and Nilakantha, and a desire to better understand the words/phrases found in the Ved.
    This may be one of the monthly subjects proposed by satya, so I will just do an entry writing for now and pursue this in-depth when this comes part of the monthy subject matter.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First it must be agreed upon that the valli's, sutras and mantra's of the Rk Ved has more then just face value to them.
    Insight, interpretation and understanding of the meaning behind the words are key. The risi's continually used words and concepts that have multiple meanings (slesa). Fundamentally, the rishi's intent is to lead every human ( that desires this) to higher levels of consciousness. Its though the collaboration of the devata and humans via the yajya to raise one's consciousness beyond its present limits.

    Many looked to the Ved as ritual only, ( modern scholars, and some Mimamsaka or the school of Jaimini) that is, the yajya and agnihomam. This is a very good thing, but is only half of the total yajya. That is , the outward expression of the homam is the inward-conscious experience to create kavikratuh or truth consciousness for the sadhu. Many scholars have interpreted the Ved ( and Upanishads) and the interpretations have fall short of the fullness the rishi's wished to express. This is the due to the level of consciousness that the scholar's possess viewing the Ved and the Upanishads for its word-value and perhaps symbolism, yet not functioning from that level of consciousness that knows only the truth ( ritambhara prajna). This is why it is desirable to have srotriya brahmanishtha guru's and swami's in our society. They 'see' the yatha-rthanu-bhava [ true presentational knowledge] some call prama or true knowledge. Where is this idea supported in any of the shastra's?
    Richo akshare parame vyoman yasmin deva adhi vishve nisheduh,
    Yastanna veda kim richa karishyatiya it tad vidus ta ime samasate.
    (Rk Veda, 1.164.39)
    The Veda or rks, reside in the transcendental field or akshara, of the highest (parame) etheral Being (vyoman) in which reside all the adhi vishve deva's (or impulses of creative intelligence, the laws of Nature), responsible for the whole manifest universe. He whose awareness is not open (na veda) to this field, what can the verses accomplish for him? Those who know this level of reality are established in evenness (samasate or rest contented) , in That ( Tat or Bhuma, fullness-wholeness of life)."
    What does this say in short? Of what use is the ved, for he whom is not becoming established in the Absolute? Where will be the value of this great knowledge other then words... it says, become established in atman, the avyayam (undecaying), the even-ness to reap the full value of the knowledge.

    Let me stop here, and list out the various resources I have had the opportunity to access, and may be used in further conversations: points:
    • Secrets of the Rig Veda - R.L. Kashypa
    • Krishna Yajur Veda Taittitiya Samhita - R.L. Kashyap
    • The Secret of the Veda - Sri Aruobindo
    • The Essence of the Veda - Swami Sivananda
    • Rk Ved 9th and 10th Mandala's - the translations are Sayanachara's ( dating from ~ 1500's) and interprets the Rk Ved from the ritualistic ( outword yajya) point of view; Most start with Sayanachara's work for interpretation. He is a noted Mimamsaka
    • Brihadaranyaka - Swami Sivananda
    • The Principle Upanishads - Swami Sivananda
    • Chhandogya Upanishads and commentaries - Swami Krishnananda
    • Lights on the Upanishads - T.V. Kapali Sastry
    • Upanishads - Alistair Shearer , Peter Russel
    • The Works of T.V. Kapali Sastry
    • 112 Upanishads ( more achidemic) K.L. Joshi, O.N. Bimali, Bindia Trivedi
    • Bhagavad Gita from multiple authors - Srila Prabhapada, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, S.Radhakrishnan, Sri Janandeva
    Ekam sad; vipra bahudha vadanti Rig Veda I.164.46 rsi dirghatamas

    pranams,



    Last edited by yajvan; 19 August 2008 at 05:41 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Concepts & Words of the Ved - some baseline thought

    Namaste Yajvan,

    Thanks for the enlightening post.

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    First it must be agreed upon that the valli's, sutras and mantra's of the Rk Ved has more then just face value to them.
    Insight, interpretation and understanding of the meaning behind the words are key. The risi's continually used words and concepts that have multiple meanings (slesa). Fundamentally, the rishi's intent is to lead every human ( that desires this) to higher levels of consciousness.
    There is a new post by Varoon in the Vedas and Brahmanas subforum about the multiple layers of meanings in Vedic verses as explained by Maharshi Dayanand of Arya Samaj. I think your post ties in well with that.

    The Veda or rks, reside in the transcendental field or akshara, of the highest (parame) etheral Being (vyoman) in which reside all the adhi vishve deva's (or impulses of creative intelligence, the laws of Nature), responsible for the whole manifest universe. Those who know this level of reality are established in evenness (samasate or rest contented) , in That ( Tat or Bhuma, fullness-wholeness of life)."
    Makes a lot of sense Yajvan. This is why it is said that creation began with the Veda, isn't it? It must be then that the term Veda, as used here, does not indicate the spoken/written words (vaikhari), but the potential form, the para-vak. The Rishi, the mantra drshta (the one who "sees" the mantra), as one who is established in the evenness, becomes a medium to bring the transcendental knowledge into spoken form in the language of nature. So essentially we have shabda-srishti: para-vak going to pashyanti to madhyama to vaikhari.

    Of what use is the ved, for he whom is not becoming established in the Absolute? Where will be the value of this great knowledge other then words... it says, become established in atman, the avyayam (undecaying), the even-ness to reap the full value of the knowledge.
    Certainly even those of us who are not yet established in the absolute can reap some knowledge that is more than just words, could we not?

    Regards,
    A.



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    Re: Concepts & Words of the Ved - some baseline thought

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~
    Quote Originally Posted by Agnideva View Post
    Namaste Yajvan,

    There is a new post by Varoon in the Vedas and Brahmanas subforum about the multiple layers of meanings in Vedic verses as explained by Maharshi Dayanand of Arya Samaj. I think your post ties in well with that.

    ... This is why it is said that creation began with the Veda, isn't it? It must be then that the term Veda, as used here, does not indicate the spoken/written words (vaikhari), but the potential form, the para-vak. The Rishi, the mantra drshta (the one who "sees" the mantra), as one who is established in the evenness, becomes a medium to bring the transcendental knowledge into spoken form in the language of nature.

    Certainly even those of us who are not yet established in the absolute can reap some knowledge that is more than just words, could we not?
    A.
    Namaste Agnideva,
    Yes, I have read Varoon's post and it is insightful. Again, it points out to the robust knowledge of the Ved.
    What is key as my teacher has instructed me, is "Knowledge is different in different states of consciousness" - which makes sense ( to me).
    When one reads the Ved, there are concepts that ring true to one in his/her state of awareness. For the jivanmukti, the Ved says something different.

    Yes, what you say is true...for us, not established in turiya consciousness, the ved is still rich. Yet having a mukti help us with the knowledge is a boon. Now, that said, we also can 'listen and learn' via the soma ved; this is the Rk ved sung with specific chandas (meter) and this cultures the mind ( enlivens neurons, synaps that are perhaps dormant, etc)... I consider the Sama Ved (9th Mandala, Rk Ved) as part of my sadhana.

    Another thing we can do, is what we are doing now... dicussion (vada) of this great knowledge . I am just an infant within this vast array of knowledge and have much to learn. Talking with others of this brings out the wisdom contained in the rks.
    There's is one instruction given by Vasistha. He submits to Sri Ram and says ' there are 4 gate keepers at the entrance to Moksha - self control, spirit of enquiry, contentment and good company ( some call satsang). The wise seeker (sadhu) should cultivate the friendship of these, if not all, then at least one'.

    This forum allows us to entertain the spirit of enquiry and good company. We then can help with the knowledge, that may contribute to one's self control ( that is a balanced mind) and contentment that blossom's from that balanced mind. It's my orientation to contribute to this and I hope you too.

    pranams,
    Satyanna pramaditavyam
    Dharmanna pramaditavyam
    Kusalanna pramaditavyam
    Never swerve away from Truth
    never swerve away from duty
    never neglect your welfare; swerve
    not from any act for the protection of yourself
    Taittiriya Uanishad 1.11.1
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Concepts & Words of the Ved - some baseline thought

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~

    Namaste,

    There is a nice section in the Rig Veda that praises Usa (some write Usha). The suktas are written for several layers of understanding.
    This is the rishi's way of offering knowledge - by sanketa, or symbols. So if one reads the following sloka and took it for its literal sense, one meaning is apparent. Yet if we look a little deeper another meaning comes out. And with the chanting of the mantra by qualified pundits other levels of appreciation are available, offered directly to the intellect of the listener, by-passing the need for comprehension and cogitation.

    So the offer of the post is the different levels one can appreciate the mantras of the veda. On a literal level , and down to the conscious levels that change the listener and the yajyamana ( the sacrificer or sadhu).

    Rig Ved 1.49.3
    vayash chit te patatrino
    dvipach chatushpad arjuni
    usha prarann rtunr anu
    divo antebhyas pari

    This says, in general:
    The sacrificer, which is capable of going up swiftly with/like high-soaring birds who is twin-stationed and has 4 steps, following the timings of your (Usha's) divine advents; He ( the sacrificer or yajamana) moves swiftly, behold the border of the heavenly regions, O fair Usha.

    A literal view, what does this say?
    It offers that birds (soaring) , humans (two legged) and 4 footed (pada) animals are activated/awakened by the dawn ( Usha). In layman's terms, Usha is the celestial alarm clock for these beings. That is one level, now is there something more?

    Who is this Usha that the hymn is addressed to? When we think of the dawn, we are going from dark to light. This is from nakta , night or regular consciousness to the dawn of Divine Consciousness (Usha). The flood of light brought from Usha opens the doors for light to arrive i.e inviting other devata, into human consciousness.

    So Usha as a symbol is the physical dawn we see, and the internal experience of Spiritual Consciousness/Divine Consciousness on the horizon of ones experience.

    Lets continue - what of these birds (vayah) soaring? This is the symbol for thoughts. Think of how a bird flies and our thoughts. Sometimes gliding, sometimes flapping their wings and sometimes resting say on a branch. Birds have often been used to symbolize the notion of thinking and at times intelligence and waves of intelligence ( birds vs. a bird).

    And this dvipade or twin (two) footed (pade). For one view it is the human identified by two feet. Yet it is the two that is of interest. As we go from one level of consciousness (nakta) to that of light. This altering (two) of experience of consciousness.

    And where is this alteration from one to another? That is found in chatushpad - 4 stepped or 4 footed. What are these? Bhu ( matter, we just say earth) + bhuvah (or mid-region) and these are life energy level + the suvah , higher levels of mind-consciousness, an then to the vast to maha. These are the 4 levels the yajamana is open to. This Maha is of great import. For those that wish to understand/comprehend this a bit deeper you can review the Taittitiya Upanishad (fifth anuvaka). A nice overview is there and Maha is called out as Brahman.

    So, in this mantras we have gone from Usha being a 'wake up' element for those that are birds, two-footed and four footed beings, that that of how Usha brings in the light, so one can journey up though regular consciousness to that of Maha ( Brahman).

    There is also one subtler point that is offered... that alteration from nakta to divine consciousness. That is, we have this experience of the divine or of spiritual nature and fall back to regular levels of consciousness. This mantra recognizes this, and one can understand this as progress. It is the notion of bringing more light daily (Usha and the devata) that stabilizes this spiritual advancement. That is, many dawns need to occur - prarann rtunr anu as it says in the mantra, the season or divine timing of Usha's advents coming to the sadhu.

    Why does this happen? Why the vascillation from one state to a glimpse of the Divine, then back again. Some say it comes from the clamoring of the various koshas that demand their feeding, that they have not been calmed or made passive , that is stress levels and our natural propetual motion. Some say its pranamaya kosha looking for activity/excitement/input and has yet to appreciate the sama (same and even-ness) of this spiritual state. Others say that the human condition is that of doubt, and wishes to return back to this state of being. All boil down to the knots in the heart that are discussed in the Upanishads.

    All-in-all it takes multiple 'dips into the Divine' ( some call this pure consciousness, that which is experienced during transcending) to stablise this level of Being, Brahman.

    So , the wisdom of the ages holds "withdraw, then withdraw from the withdrawal". That is, transcend, experience the silence, then come back and act within your daily chores. This stablizes this silence ( Brahman) to co-exist with activity, and also modifies, grooms and cultures the koshas ( the 5 coverings some call sheaths) to stop the revolt to the silence.

    pranams,
    Last edited by yajvan; 17 September 2007 at 09:20 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Concepts & Words of the Ved - some baseline thought

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~~~

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    Why does this happen? Why the vascillation from one state to a glimpse of the Divine, then back again. Some say it comes from the clamoring of the various koshas that demand their feeding, that they have not been calmed or made passive , that is stress levels and our natural propetual motion. Some say its pranamaya kosha looking for ctivity/excitement/input and has yet to appreciate the sama (same and even-ness) of this spiritual state. Others say that the human condition is that of doubt, and wishes to return back to this state of being. All boil down to the knots in the heart that are discussed in the Upanishads.
    Namaste,
    In the previous post, Usha was discussed as the Dawn. I also referred to some knots that limit or inhibit our forward progress as for some we are not going as fast as a sadhu may want to proceed ( that would be me). So this post is about the knots ( called bonds here).

    Varuna , a very import figure in the Rig Veda, plays a role, as called out by the rishi Shunahshepah Ajigartih. Shunah = delightful + shepah= ray, so the rishi that is a ray of delight.

    Who is this Varuna? Some say वरुण is "all enveloping sky" and from Varun ~ wind. Yet a common term for Varuna is uru, which means wide. Some say His nature is brhat, or vastness. He is the widest of the wide, infinity and master of the skies that are most wide , that is akasha (all enveloping sky definition).

    He is also associated with the oceans , or cosmic oceans, that of consciousness. He dwells in uru+kshaya or wide/vastness + reduction or limit , so, without reduction , without constraint, or the infinite(RV1.2.9).

    This Varuna then grants us broader vision (without constraints) ands removes narrowness of vision ( ignorance). We also know he is most often associated with Mitra. For know we will stay with Varuna and bring Mitra in at another time. Also Varuna increases and touches the truth, satyam. Some define this as sat-yam, truth in Being, pure existence.

    Now a key word in the Veda is rta (short for ritam) and this is Truth in movement, in use, in consciousness, or manifest satyam . We have discussed this before as Ritambhara prajana ( Or pure unalloyed Truth that one can experience themselves).

    This rta and satya are mentioned as Varuna is touching the truth or rtavrdha an increaser of the truth (satyam) as mentioned in the RV 1.2.8 sukta.

    Enter rishi Shunahshepah as kavi ( seer or poet) of the Rig Veda hymns 1.24.1 to 1.30.22
    These riks deal with liberating the rishi from the 3 bonds or 3 cords. The 3 are the lower cord that is animal-natured and the impulses that manifest from this; the middle cord which is attached to life-force energy that may be lethargic or misdirected (rajasic and tamasic) and the 3rd cord within the mental sphere i.e. limited consciousness that perhaps revels in doubts, constraints of the 3 phases (wake , dream and sleep).

    If one were of Tantric orientation, the Lalita sahasra nama strotra or the 1000 names of the Divine Mother, calls out these 3 cords or bonds Brahma granthi, Vishnu granthi and Rudra granthi [ muladhara, manipura , and ajna chakra centered knots or bonds ].

    This is mentioned because in the riks that we proceed to, the rishi wants to find which deity he can call on, so he can return to Mother Aditi. This is the beautiful connection to his name 'delightful ray of light' - returning to Mother Aditi.

    We associate Aditi with sun, with vastness or a= not + di = to decay or Aditi = without decay. So lets look at this. The rishi wishes to return to Mother, then he is one of her sons, an Aditya, a ray of light.

    The rishi asks in RV 1.24.1 manamahe charu devasya nama - who may we utter (call on) with an auspicious name, shall we call?
    The next few suktas then calls Agni, who is always first among the devata, then there is praise of Savitr. Starting with RV 1.24.6 Varuna is the devata being addressed. In RV 1.24.13 the hymn is thus:
    Shunahshepah, who was held captive and bound to the tree ( of life) in 3 places Invoked the son of Aditi (Varuna); My He the king ( or raja) Varuna, who knows deliver him; May the unassailable Varuna release him from bonds ( or ropes i.e.pashan)

    So how does this happen? RV 1.14.14 suggests the following:
    O Varuna, we avert your disregard [ I read this to mean if Varuna is indifferent to the request being made] by homage, by yajya and by offerings'; O Supreme Knower and Mighty One dwelling in us, loosen for us the bonds of our sins done by us.

    So this hymn suggests a few things here. A 3 step process to remove the 3 bonds/ropes/pasha that keeps us bound to ignorance (sins).

    The rishi suggests homage ( namas) - the notion there are higher powers with greater intelligence then us; the next one is offerings (havan) to the Divine and the 3rd is yajya - that of the relationship and collaboration between the human and the devata that works for each others benefit.

    What does this mean and is there another reference point ? For me the surrender = the instructions given to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita chapt 2.45, 2.48. Be without the 3 gunas. The yajamana ( sacrificer/sadhu) is visiting and becvoming nourished pure consciousness, the SELF. The 'surrender' is all of the relative field of activity is given up.

    The next is offerings of havan and homan this is called out in the Bhagavad-Gita 3.9 to 3.15, which is yajya. Krsna says 'through yajya you sustain the gods (devata) and they will sustain you. By sustaining each other you will attain the highest good' . What is this highest good? Liberation or Moksha.

    Its of great interest to note that in the Rig Veda life is seen as yajya and the exchange of support from humans to the devata. And it is this notion of winning their favor.

    Many of us do this today, this homage is japa ( both verbal or mental), offerings via puja and yajya via agnihomam that one participates in. This is the notion of homage overall - the orientation of adoration.

    The principle is , what one adores and admires one becomes. So with the adoration of Varuna, one becomes the rishi (delightful ray of light), one becomes uru+kshaya - one without limit, the Infinite. And one becomes established in satyam, with the practical use of ritam.



    Om vam rtavrdha namaha ( rtavrdha is the increaser of Truth, Varuna)

    pranams,
    Last edited by yajvan; 18 September 2007 at 07:46 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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