Saturday, 28 May 2016

Talk About Vedas & Asato ma (peaceful vedic chant )

Little Talk About Vedas 

Vedas are also called Shruti or Samhita. The Vedas are composed of Mantras. The mantra, composed in a metre, bears a concept and teaching worth contemplation and adoption. It contains true knowledge and inspires noble thought and action. Although they were finally written down around 1,500 BC, they are actually much much older. They were passed down orally from one generation to the next, perhaps over thousands of years. The Vedas have stories about the Hindu gods, instructions for rituals, hymns, poetry, and prayers. The word "Vedic" means something about the Vedas. The language of the Vedas is called Vedic Sanskrit.

The Four Veda

The following four Vedas are the most important and the ancient Vedic Granth:-

Rig Veda (Rig; Rik; Rg; Rug; Rk; Richah Veda)

Yajur Veda (Yajur; Yaju; Yajuh; Veda)

Sam Veda (Sam; Saam; Saamaani Veda)

Atharva Veda (Atharva; Atharv; Athrv; Chanddashi; Aangirash Veda)

The word Veda means knowledge, derived from the root "vid" from which four meanings can be described 'knowledge', 'existing', 'beneficial' and 'thought'. They were revealed to four Rishis (Rsis) named 'Agni', 'Vaayu', 'Aaditya' and 'Angiraa' by the God at the onset of the God's best creation - the Mankind. Patanjali, the author of Yoga-Darshana declares that God is the original teacher for the mankind - "sa purvesamapi guruh kalenanavacchedat". Badarayana says "tattu samanvayat"; that is to say, Vedas must be God's revelations because all they contain tally well with the creation. 

Traditionally rigid / orthodox  Indian Theologians people considered  it's Revelation and Dieties  work .  Vedas  as "Language  of God "  Even Mahabharata comes from Brahma's mouth ( one of among three in trinity ) and Ramayna comes from Ganesha ( Siva son and lord of welfare and wisdom) The Brahma  provide narration / commentary  for ritual  ceremonies  and sacrifices as rule and regulations for human society . Upanishad's narration - for  meditation philosophy  and   spiritual knowledge .Some wise scholars added the fifth category is Upasna (worship). 

In Indian Philosophy   two Current flows  one is  traditional Orthodox (astika) another they  are best critic  they are out of beleaving system  named  heterodox (nastika) In India  some are in sraman traditions  such as  Carvaka / Ajivika / Buddhism / Jainism ;  they does not regard  vedas  as authority . Despite  of  Philosophical  minor differences  A Indian Tradition  dwell on , express and teach similar Ideas of karma (retributive action ) and moksha (libaration).

In fourth layer of Vedas are - Upanishad ..

More than 200 Upanishads are known, of which the first dozen or so are the oldest and most important and are referred to as the principal or main (mukhya) Upanishads

The Upanishads are a continuation of the Vedic philosophy, and were written between 800 and 400 B.C. They elaborate on how the soul (Atman) can be united with the ultimate truth (Brahman) through contemplation and mediation, as well as the doctrine of Karma-- the cumulative effects of a persons' actions.

Below few for example ;

 The Upanishads (Sacred Books of the East, vols. 1 and 15):

 The Upanishads, Part I (SBE 1)

Max Müller, translator [1879]

The Chandogya, Talavakara, Aitreya-Aranyaka, the Kaushitaki-Brahmana, and the Vajasaneyi Samhita Upanishads 


The Upanishads, Part II (SBE 15)

Max Müller, translator [1884]

Katha, Mundaka, Taittirîyaka, Brihadâranyaka, Svetâsvatara, Prasña, and Maitrâyana Brâhmana Upanishads.

 Thirty Minor Upanishads

by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar [1914]

Thirty shorter Upanishads, principally dealing with Yogic thought and practice.

 From the Upanishads

Charles Johnston, translator [1889]

Translations from the Katha, Prasna and Chhandogya Upanishads.


The Puranas are post-Vedic texts which typically contain a complete narrative of the history of the Universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of the kings, heroes and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology and geography. There are 17 or 18 canonical Puranas, divided into three categories, each named after a deity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. There are also many other works termed Purana, known as 'Upapuranas.'

ex: Vishnu puran , Garud puran , Shiva purana (vigyan bhairav) , Srimad devi bhagvatam , Devi geeta , Premsagar , Transmigrtaion of seven brahman , Kundalini 

 The Vishnu Purana

by H.H. Wilson [1840]

A primary text of the Vaishnava branch of Hinduism, and one of the canonical Puranas of the Vishnu category. Among the portions of interest are a cycle of legends of the boyhood deeds of Krishna and Rama. H.H. Wilson was one of the first Europeans to translate a Hindu sacred text from the original Sanskrit. His style and annotations are exceptional and very readable. 

 The Garuda Purana

translated by Ernest Wood and S.V. Subrahmanyam [1911]

A Vishnu Purana with Dantesque descriptions of the afterlife, and details of Hindu funeral rites.

 The S'rimad Devî Bhâgawatam

translated by Swami Vijnanananda (Hari Prasanna Chatterji) [1921]

One of the Upapuranas, devoted to the Devi (Goddess). 

The Devî Gita

translated by Swami Vijnanananda (Hari Prasanna Chatterji) [1921]

The Song of the Goddess. An excerpt from the S'rimad Devî Bhâgawatam (above) 

 The Prem Sagur

(Prem Sagar) by Lallu Lal, translated by W. Hollings [1848]

English translation of a popular Hindi retelling of the Krishna cycle, based on the tenth book of the Bhagavata Purana. 

The Transmigration of the Seven Brahmans

translated by Henry David Thoreau [1931]

An excerpt from the Harivamsa, a Puranic text, translated by the American transcendentalist philosopher. 

Kundalini: The Mother of the Universe

by Rishi Singh Gherwal [1930]

Includes an English translation of the Lalita Sahasranama, the 'Thousand Names of the Goddess,' from the Brahmanda Purana.

 The Epics

The Mahabharata and Ramayana are the national epics of India. They are probably the longest poems in any language. The Mahabharata, attributed to the sage Vyasa, was written down from 540 to 300 B.C. The Mahabharata tells the legends of the Bharatas, a Vedic Aryan group. The Ramayana, attributed to the poet Valmiki, was written down during the first century A.D., although it is based on oral traditions that go back six or seven centuries earlier. The Ramayana is a moving love story with moral and spiritual themes that has deep appeal in India to this day.

In addition, a key Hindu sacred text, the Bhagavad Gita, is embedded in Book Six of the Mahabharata.

 Other's :

Law of manu , Sacred law of Aryas ( l & ll ),Institue of Vishnu , Minor Law's Book , Satpath of brahma . 

Vedanta :

There is nothing in the Vedas that is contrary to what is seen in nature. Over and beyond what we know today, the Vedas may contain many more revelations that we might not be even aware of today. Vedas contain knowledge about both matter and spirit. The knowledge about matter is in seed form leaving ample room for man to discover further and create his own body of literature. On the other hand, the knowledge pertaining to spirit is at its pinnacle that man will never be able to add anything to that body of knowledge.

 The Vedântâ-Sûtras (SBE 48)

with commentary by Râmânuja, translated by George Thibaut; (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 48) [1904] 

The Vedântâ-Sûtras Part I (SBE 34)

with commentary by Sankarâkârya, translated by George Thibaut; (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 34) [1890] 

The Vedântâ-Sûtras Part II (SBE 38)

with commentary by Sankarâkârya, translated by George Thibaut; (Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 38) [1896] 

 The Crest-Jewel of Wisdom

and other writings of Śankarâchârya; translation and commentaries by Charles Johnston [1946] 


by L.D. Barnett [1911]

A short exposition of the Hindu Vedanta philosophy. 

Select Works of Sri Sankaracharya

tr. by S. Venkataramanan [1921]

A selection of works by the non-dualist Vedanta philosopher.

Vedas contain knowledge of all disciplines that man may ever get interested in, such as humanities and economics, political and social sciences, earth sciences and astronomy, chemistry and biology, physics and mathematics, technology and engineering sciences, etc and the spiritual sciences about the individual soul and the infinite soul called God. 

A list of such sciences with examples is given in RigVedaDiBhasyaBhumika authored in 18xx by Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati.

"Asatoma Sadgamaya" is a Shanti Mantra (Mantra of peace), 

Verse took from Brihadaranyaka Upanishads (1.3.28). It is used as a #prayer in Indian schools, during spiritual/ religious gatherings , social events and other times; it is believed that the recitation of these verses bring peace. 

Sanskrit Lyrics:

Lyrics transliterated in english

असतोमा सद्गमय ।

तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमय ।

मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥

ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ।।

Phonetic :- 

asato mā sadgamaya

tamasomā jyotir gamaya

mrityormāamritam gamaya

Oṁ śhānti śhānti śhāntiḥ

Meaning in English :

From ignorance, lead me to truth;

From darkness, lead me to light;

From death, lead me to immortality

Om peace, peace, peace

From ignorance, lead me to truth;

From darkness, lead me to light;

From death, lead me to immortality

Om peace, peace, peace

* Words and their Word by Word Meaning :-

Asat: Unreal, non-existence, untruth, ignorance

Ma: me

Sat (sad): Reality, truth, 

Gamaya: gam means movement, gamaya means move or lead

Tam (tamas): darkness, ignorance

Jyoti (jyotir): Light, clarity, purity

Mrityu (mrityor) : Death

Amrita (amritam): Deathlessness, ambrosia

Om : holy ghost as in Christian trinity, holy word, word of creation, holy vibration, god

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