The Vedas, are considered by almost all schools of Hinduism, including the secular schools to be authoritative and repositeries of great knowledge. The school of Atharva Veda in particular is credited to be the foundation and the source of Ayurveda. The Vedas are held in such high esteem, that they are thought to be the storehouse of all knowledge. In these Vedas, you can find the secrets of nature, the purpose of man, the paths to libreation, the secrets of creation, all of the sciences and directions on how to build devices/machines for the betterment of man. As well a whole assortment of medicines to cure all kinds of maladies, among verses on marriage, on military science, on music etc Yet, why is it that if I read the popular and academic translations of the Vedas by Western translators, I see nothing but primitive references to cows, ox, horses, bulls and a worship of a whole pantheon of gods who regularly war in the heavens. It doesn't compute. Understandably, many Hindus today do not read the Vedas, other than the Hindu priests who perform the Yajna rituals. I've seen so many Hindus denounce the Atharva Veda in particular, calling it witchcraft. And I actually understand their sentiments. When I read Maurice Bloomfield's translations of the Atharva Veda, I was quite repulsed by it. It was just a book of incoherent spells and incantations Yet, the legitimate and very healthy science of Ayur Veda is based on it. So what are they seeing, that I cannot see in them? How does one reconcile them with the Vedas. There are two possibilities: 1. The Vedas are written in encrypted language, a code if you will, that must be unlocked before they reveal their secrets. 2. The Vedas are horribly mistranslated and misinterpreted by early Western Sanskritists to fit their worldview of a nomadic Aryan tribe conquering the tree dwelling primitive Dravidians of India. The former cannot be the case, simply because while Vedic Sanskrit is very complicated, the language is translatable and there are hundreds of thousands who still speak Sanskrit today, even lay Sanskritist can make out words and sentences in the Vedas. Vedic Sanskrit is simply very lucid Sanskrit. The latter is very likely, as we know that the early European Sanskritis did distort Indian history considerably and had definite agendas against Indian literature. Moreover, the knowledge of Sanskrit of these early Sanskritists was horrendously poor. These translations are ridden with all kinds of errors and grammatically they are very incoherent. They also did not understand what a Deva was. Everthing, was turned into a god or a demon and a power struggles. Any monothestic references were downplayed, so it is not surprising that even to date Hinduism is considered a polytheistic religion with a pantheon of gods. Take for example, a verse in the Atharva Veda which says O Agni, helps us strike down our enemies with these fiery missiles(I am recalling it from memory, but it is similar to this) Maurice Bloomfield has translated it as a spell to Agni to rain down missiles on the enemy. Maurice Bloomfield, has no idea what Agni is, and assumes some magical deity is being summoned from the heavens. Agni, is the Sanskrit word for the power of fire, and this verse is simply saying; O, fire, helps us strike down our enemies with these fiery missiles. We know that this has to be correct, as Dhurvidya(the science of war) is largely based on Atharva Veda, and missiles tipped with fire are mentioned widely in the Mahabharata, Ramayana and other texts. We thus have definite proof of a bad and ignorant translation already. The rest of Bloomfields translations of the AB are all some kind of charm to ward away evil demons. They are not, and we will see this later. Similarily, there is a verse to Agni in the Rig Veda(again from memory) O Agni, with thy power, we can traverse the seas in our ships. It is clear, that the RV is stating that by the powers of Agni(fire/energy) the ships can traverse the seas. The Western scholars of this time would have translated this as another absurd incantation or spell to Agni, to magically whisk us off in a ship across the sea. But if that was the case, why would we even need a ship? There is great evidence of sea voyages throughout Indian literature, as well as records or trade with distant lands such as Egypt, Far East Asia, Sumeria, Mesopotamia even before the common era. So it computes. The greatest confusion over the Vedas, are the roles of the Devas; Indra, Agni, Vayu, Surya, Adiya, Usha, Brahma, Vishu, Shiva, Prajpati, Rudas, Maruts etc etc They are automatically assumed to be separate deity beings or nature gods and nothing more. If this was true that these were separate gods, how could be there be multiple gods of the same name? For example, 12 Adityas, 40 Maruts, 11 Rudras? This would indicate that the "gods" or Devas actually have another meaning in the context of the Vedas. This becomes further clear when you see that the Surya has Vayu and Agni inside him. If these are separate gods, they cannot be within each other. This would indicate that the gods are actually aspects or natural principles. I The Sun has 12 sons(Adtiyas) and 1 daughter(Usha) Without the knowledge of what Aditya and Usha are, one could assume that the sun really does have sons and daughters. With the knowledge of what Adiya and Usha are, we know that this verse is really saying that the Sun has 12 brightness/brilliances(Aditya) and his daughter is the dawn(Usha) The word Deva, means power or governing principle. All of these Devas have specific roles, and they emerge from one another. Before the universe was created, they did not exist, they formed as the universe evolved, each are seen as aspects of Brahman. Nor are they just natural phenomena, in the subtle and spiritual realms, they're believed to be highly evolved spiritual beings. If we look at the above examples again: The Surya has two aspects fire/energy/(Agni) and force(Vayu) The light coming from the Sun has energy/fire(Agni) It will become even more clear with the following verse from RV, that states the sun's chariot is driven by 7 white horses, tied by crooked snakes. Rays of light in vedic yore were called Sarpa(wavy/serpentine) and this is clarified in the Brahmanas.. The above verse is just a very metaphorical way of saying that the sun's white light is composed of 7 rays. This is clarified in the AV where it says exactly the same thing, without the metaphor, "there are seven types of sun's rays" In another verse in the RV it says "There are Suryas in all directions in the universe" this clearly recognizes that the sun, is not some singular deity, but one of many stars in the universe. Again supported by AV, where it says that when one Surya(sun) sets, a thousand others take it's place in the sky. Therefore, it is indeed true that the Deva do represent natural phenomena and principles in this universe and the lack of knowledge about what those phenomena and principles are, have lead to some extremely bad translations by early western scholars and general ignorance about the Vedas. From the evidences presented above, one can clearly see that scientitic truths are indeed in the Vedas, and this would explain why they are considered so authoritative. If one reads modern translations of the Vedas, particularly those done by Indian scholars, you often find translations of scientific material. However, without being able to read the original Sanskrit yourself, you cannot ascertain how accurate the translations are. The only way to properly examine the Vedas, is to consult multiple translations(even the bad ones) and contrast particular verses. Hence I propose that we start up a project to rediscover the Vedas, by analysing the English translations and Sanskrit verses and reconciling it with other Sanskrit and Indian literature, particularly the Darsanas that ascribe to it. I am going to post this up at several forums. I am hoping for people well versed in Hinduism, that own or can obtain multiple translations of the Vedas and it would be most beneficial to know how to read Sanskrit. It would be a mammoth task to translate every single verse in the Vedas, so I propose we only examine particular verses of the Vedas from all the areas/subjects the Vedas covers. I've already singled out a few verses: The Following translations are from a book called the "The Holy Vedas" which contains an assortment of verses from all the Vedas on various subjects: TECHNOLOGY: The skilled mechanic should utilize fire in making automobiles that travel for 3339 miles. Fire and water should be employed in making them cover the atmosphere - YV.33.7 O Artisan and master, ye both, the bestowers of happiness like the sun and air, harness electricity in this aeroplane possessing the speed of fire and water and us taking us afar - YV.16.61 O Masters of Sciences of electricity and air, for ye are all these substances prepared - YV.33.56 Let the Wind protect you with food. Let electricity and air be of great service to you, though electric machines MEDICINE: O Patient, we control thy Jaundice with the seeds of the Shuka tree and other strong healing medicines. We cure thy Jaundice through the use of efficacious mixtures - AV.1.22.4 Let Disease germs in water, be washed down, just as a stream, filled with water flows down fast. Five medicines are helpful in dislodging them: (1)Gulgulu (2) Pila (3)Naladi (4) Auksha (5) Agandhi - AV.4.37.3 A list of various medicines are given, which the AV specifies for various ailments and troubles: Wind trouble - AV.II.9 Fevers - AV.II.27 Killing vaginal germs - AV.II.25 Fracture of bones - AV.IV.12 General tonic for the eye - AV.IV.20 Ear disease - AV.IV.16 The use of lead in medicines is also prescribed in YV.XVIII,13 - it says amount of lead are mentioned as a general tonic to kill the germs known as Atri, Pishacha, Yayu Rakshaas. The AV.V.22 mentions various fevers and their cures. It mentions three types of fevers: The Daily(regular) (i) that which occurs daily (ii) that which occurs every third day (ii) that which occurs on the fourth day The Seasonal (i) That which occurs in Summer due to excessive heat (ii) That which occurs in the rain season (iii) That which is malarial (iv) that which arises due too much phlegm (v) That which arises due to Bronchitis (vi) That which arises due to both Bronchitis and Phlegm The fever that arise due to body types (i) Too thin, weak and lean (ii) Obese (iii) Over-indulgent and voluptary AV.V.22.9 then mentions that fevers do not attack those who are self-controlled. It then goes onto mention, that conducing Yajnas(fire sacrifices) purifies the air around, and the fumes kill the airborne germs. It mentions various ways of killing germs: through fumes, through fire, or throught sunlight. Agni and the sun's rays in particular are seen as the most effective way of killing them. Hydrotherapy AV I.4, I.5 and I.6 state that water contains medicinal properties and the nectar of life O Waters, teem with medicines to keep my body safe from harm - RV I..23.21 The AV.V.29 mentions the qualities a good physician should have: (1) One who knows the preparation of medicines (2) One who understands the diagnosis and prescribes the remedy readily A good physician has the power, though medicine, to increase the longetivity of a person who is debilitated by age. RV.X.97.12 mentions an injection of solution into the blood stream with a needle YOGA It is very interesting to note that the science of Yoga, which some believe was discovered by Krishna in the BG and then later expounded by Patanjali is actually as old as the Vedas: How does splendouer surround the soul, possessing the threefold qualities of Satva, Rajas and Tamas - AV.8.9.20 The pure soul, cleansed through the control of breath and meditation, soon attains the salvation and becomes one with god through yogic Samadhi - AV.6.51.1 Reincarnation: O soul, blazing like the sun after cremation, having reached the fire and Earth for rebirth and residing in the belly of the mother, thou are born again and again. ASTRONOMY AND GEOLOGY: The Earth, with all it's waters, revolves around the sun - YV.III.6 The Earth's core contains magnetic filings - RV.VII.15.14 This verse is corroborated by the Aitareya Brahama(1.23) and the Taittriya Brahmana(3.9,6,5) The Brahmanas also hold that the Earth's core is very hot. This is also stated in the YV.XI.57 which says the Earth holds fire, just as the mother holds the child(in her belly) PHYSICS: The RV.V.61.2 and RV.1.38.12 states That the Sun contains Vayu(force) Apah and Agni(fire/energy), which are known as it's primary contents. The Shatapatha Brahmana states the sun contains electricity. Then says that the Sun is virtually Apah and Apah is the sun in X.6,5,2 Apah is the first gross element, and is believed to be hydrogen. It would be interesting to note that Apas is the Sanskrit word for water, and it is a modification of Apah! The word Vayu, is usually misinterpreted to mean wind or even air. It really means "force" it is born of Agni and Agni's dyanmic form is Rudra and Ruda is the power of electricity. So Vayu itself has energy. In the Vedas, this Vayu is thought to be pervading space. The YV.1.24 states that the Vayu has a penetrating lustre. This is further stated in the Jaimini Brahmana 1.192 and the Shatapath Brahmana, where it says that the Vayu is born of Agni, and it due to Agni, that it has a lustre. The Vayu is of various kinds. The Vayu emanating from the sun is called Vayansi, or heat waves and they move in groups(the translator calls it fields) There is another type of Vayu, that according to the Shatapatha Brahmana has woven the solar systems and galaxies in a string. The sun's vayu is said to keep the spheres(the planets) in their orbits revolving around him. The Vayus, like everything in Hinduism, including light, is composed of particles. These particles are called Maruts and are born of Agni. The RV.11.34.2 calls these "the shining ones" and their aura shines like gold. RV.I.88 also says these Maruts have magnetic powers and RV.V.57.4 states they have an electric charge. The Jaimini Brahmana(1.45) says they are born of Agni and hence emit light and heat. It becomes very clear that these Maruts are electromagnetic fields carried by energy waves(Vayu) There are 40 kinds of Maruts and in the Vedas they are depicted to be thrashing the Earth all the time - just like cosmic radiation is constantly bombarding the Earth. Gravity is alluded to be just another Vayu(force) and it too is composed of particles(Maruts) and is propogated in particle-wave form. Maruts, have been identified as particles in another book called "Vedas - for the layman." They are called the particles of sound.