Rediscovering the Vedas

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by Suraj, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. Suraj

    Suraj New Member

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    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.
     
  2. Suraj

    Suraj New Member

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    CONT.

    These translations make a lot of sense to me and correspond directly to Sage Kannada's Vaeshishka school(the Darsana of the study of the physical universe) which makes very similar postulates e.g. energy being made up of particle-waves. To the school of Ayurveda, which is also based on the same system the Atharva indicates, particularly the herbology and using trace metals in medicines. The Yoga verses, likewise, correspond to the Yoga Darsanas.

    The verses of technology, advising construction of aeroplanes, and electric machines are fantastic, but the fact that aeroplanes, automobiles and machines are mentioned thoughout the epics of the vedic times is undeniable and there are even severals texts on their consturction thatwould corroborate the authenticity of these translations.

    So this translation is reconcilable with all other texts. I find it very compelling.


    It is very interesting that this is not the only translation that I've encountered that reveals high scientific knowledge in the Vedas.


    In an e-book published online called the 'Glimpses of Vedic Metaphysics', there are claims of many verses in the Veda that contain scientific or high knowledge:

    Some excerpts from it:

    TECHNOLOGY

    Rig Veda 1-62-2 advises the scientists to use solar heat energy for conveyance.

    Rig-Veda 1-116-4 mentions a speed, which can enable a ship to cross one main ocean to the other in 3 days and 3 nights. For going around the entire globe by sea and crossing all the oceans, the duration of 11 days and 11 nights is mentioned (R.V 1-34-11). Four boats should be tied to the ships for safety (R.V 1-82-6).

    (R.V 1-82-6). Aero planes could fly in the firmament and acquire a speed to go across the world in four hours i.e. thrice a day (R.V 1-43-2).

    The need to study the properties of water, air and fire for discovering and manufacturing aircrafts, ships and other vehicles capable of moving in the firmament, land and water are mentioned in Rig Veda 1-3-1,2, 1-34-1, 1-140-1

    MEDICINE
    Solar radiations are invoked to kill the disease producing germs (A.V., 2-32-1 and 2-31-1). Sun is mainly referred in he Vedas as the source of light, knowledge, fire, heat energy, seven colours of light, killer of harmful diseases affecting plants, human beings, animals etc., Sun is a source of knowledge both for the physical scientists and metaphysicists.

    ASTRONOMY

    The Sun never sets or rises and it is the earth, which rotates (Sama Veda121).

    The gravitational effect of solar system makes the earth stable (R.V.1-103-2, 1-115-4 and 5-81-2).

    It is the sun which upholds the earth, which rotates very fast all the time owing to Sun’s gravitational force and it makes the earth stable (R.V., 1-103-2).

    Savitar is the alter Ego of the Sun (Surya) that controls and provides energy to the earth by itself remaining stationary. It makes the earth move, provides light and even its rays are the cause of lightening in the clouds apart from providing gravitational force to the earth (R.V. 5-81-2).

    The earth revolving and going round the Sun like a calf following the mother is mentioned in R.V 1-169-9 and 1-190-7.

    Earth surrounded by air on all sides, revolved on its axle and measures the set path. Lightening and energy are its main manifestation; its axle does not get rusted. R.V 1-164-

    The axle of the earth does not get rusted and the earth continues to revolve on its axle (R.V. 1-164-29).

    Sama Veda 121 says that the earth which revolves round itself with a great speed and also around the solar system does all this peacefully without giving any jerks to all animate and inanimate life and thus links physical sciences with metaphysics.

    PHYSICS

    Atharva Veda 2-5-12 refers to two kinds of electricity i.e. positive and negative along with its friendly and destructive use.

    The electricity is hidden in water and when it comes out, it spreads light and provides energy(R.V 1-16-5). Its use in weapons and telegraphy are also mentioned (R.V. 1-85-5 and 188-1). Because of heat energy in the electricity, there is need to have various precautions against electricity. For electricity the words used in Vedic bhasha (language) are "Viduat Raksha ." Viduat in Sanskrit is electricity and Raksha is protection. Agni (holy fire) also contains energy and electricity (R.V 1-45-5).

    Rig Veda 1-81-5 and 1-83-2 mention about the subtle cause of this vast Universe in the form of various kinds of atoms and particles. The atoms follow the eternal laws described as Rta in the Vedas. Rig Veda 1-22-18 says, " HE ordains these laws". Vedas even refer to subtle particles (tan matras), which are more powerful and fast moving than gross atoms, and particles. Such subtle atoms and particles are found in ether, light, Time and Space in the outer phenomenal world and also exist in the inner world of divine instruments. Thus such subtle particles are found in manas - the inward looking mind, buddhi - intellect etc. These finer atoms and particles are not seen through sense organs, or any material instruments.



    These translations of the Vedas are interpretative scientific translations. So instead of using the construction of Vayu stringing the solar system together as the translator of 'The Holy Vedas' did, which would allude gravity. It has simply just substituted it as the sun's gravitational force.

    But it says almost exactly the same things the other translator said. Most notable of all is the solar radiation to kill disease producing germs, the 7 seven rays/colours of light, the sun as a source of fire and energy. The fact that Agni contains electricity and the heliocentric model of the solar system.

    I have read dozens of books and articles on Hinduism, and see that these references are very common. But at the same time, without not being able to read Sanskrit myself, I cannot know how accurate they are. Hence, why I propose this project.
     
  3. lucius

    lucius New Member

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    Sri Aurobindo said he had rediscovered a truer interpretation of the Rig Veda. His insights are recorded in his 'Secret of the Veda'. He rejects both traditional and modern interpretations. I'm afraid his thinking is beyond my capacity to summarize here briefly.
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The Frenchman René Guénon authored a number of books on the subject of the Vedas, and in his time was acknowledged as the foremost spokesperson in the west on the subject.

    I can recommend:

    Books by René Guénon:

    'Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines'

    'Man and His Becoming According to the Vedanta'

    'The Multiple States of the Being'

    'Studies in Hinduism'

    There is a list of titles at:
    http://www.sophiaperennis.com/guenon.html

    What you highlight is the importance of orthodox commentary on any scripture. I wish people would approach the bible in the same spirit.

    Thomas
     
  5. Agnideva

    Agnideva Member

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    This is something I have heard of and read about as well. Apart from their ordinary meanings that we see in most places, Vedic verses have deeper esoteric meanings, as well. I think it is worth mentioning here that there was a certain commentator on the Vedas called Sage Yâska. Sage Yâska is believed to have lived long before the Buddha. His work is called Nirukta (etymology), and forms one of the six branches of the Vedas (Vedângas). Sage Yâska explains that there are three layers of meaning to every Vedic verse: materialistic, ritualistic, and philosophic. Most of the English translations done in the 19th and early 20th centuries bring out only the materialistic and ritualistic meanings. However, more recently, many scholars and authors have published better translations. Some of the best philosophic translations of the Vedas I've found on the internet are: Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture (http://www.vedah.com) and in the book The Vedic Experience: Hinduism's Contemporary Holy Bible (
    http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/vedic_experience/VEIndex.html) by Raimundo Panikkar. Neither site is exhaustive, but their translations are very good.

    Sounds quite laborious Suraj. Have you thought about starting a website? Seriously, I think the internet could use some good Vedic translations.

    One thing that Sri Aurobindo rediscovered is the meaning of the term ‘go’ as used in the Rigveda. Apparently, ‘go’ means light in the Rigveda, but later the same root means cow. So, it is said that references to light became interpreted as references to cows, and holy light became holy cow. One of Aurobindo’s disciples, T. V. Kapali Sastry was a Vedic scholar, and has translated some of the Vedas per Aurobindo’s re-discoveries. I’ve given a link to their website above, but their site provides only a few selected hymns.

    OM Shanti,
    A.
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Most of the English translations done in the 19th and early 20th centuries bring out only the materialistic and ritualistic meanings.

    This is true, and a problem. Traditional metaphysics and esoterism has been largely derided in 'scholarly' circles,whilst subject to the free range of fantasy in many of the New Age-type interpretations.

    Of Sri Aurobindo I know nothing,but Raimundo Panikkar is a Catholic priest from Hindu and Catholic parentage.

    There is of course Rene Guenon, but his texts are extremely exacting, but his metaphysic of the Vedas is founded on the teachings of Shankara,and his authority stretches to Islam (Tariqah of Sheikh Elish El Kebir, the Alkbariana line), and Taoism (through the spiritual son of Tong I am Luat, eminent Taoist master).

    In the West, the Platonism of Plotinus and Proclus correspond to the metaphysics of Advaita Vedanta.

    Thomas
     
  7. Suraj

    Suraj New Member

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    Thank you everybody, especially for all those links.

    Agni Deva, I really do agree with you that there should be more Vedic websites online. I hope that after I have completed my research, that I could start one on it. It's no suprise that in Kaliyuga, so few read the Vedas now :D

    I am of the opinion that these Sanskrit verses can only have one meaning, but many interpretations.

    For E.g. The Earth revolves around the Sun. This sentence is made up of six words, that are in a particular order and produce a single literal meaning. It could be interpreted to mean anything to somebody else, but grammatically, it can only mean one thing.

    If something is written in prose form, then in addition to it's gramatical meaning, there is also a logical meaning. "The Earth holds fire, just as the mother holds the child in her belly"

    As the mother holds the child inside her likewise the Earth holds fire inside her.

    If something is written in metaphoric language, there is still a grammatical and logical meaning, but it also has ambiguity e.g. RV: The sun's chariot is driven by seven horses tied by crooked snakes.

    The logical meaning here, would be that the sun's vehicle has 7 x's. But that is open to interpretation. It could be that this is referring to the sun having 7 rays of light, it could also be that the sun really does have a chariot that is driven by 7 horses tied by crooked snakes(which is absurd) This is not as cut and dry as the former examples, there are two hypothesis here that need to be tested.

    This is where other Sanskrit Texts come in, that could give clues to what the verse really means. It turns out that the Atharva Veda explains it succiently, "The Sun has seven prinpal rays of light" so the interpretation of the RV meaning the same is most likely.

    This is how I would like the Vedas to be retranslated. I make a distinction between interpretation and translation. If you translate something, all you do is move it from one place to another, without changing it. Whereas, interpretation, implies the possibility of change.

    The Sanskrit language is probably the most grammatically advanced and purely phonetic language ever to be spoken. Every syllable has a meaning; every word has a meaning. Take this sentence:

    Tat Tvam Asi

    Tat - That
    Tvam - Thou
    Asi - Are

    It'S grammatical meaning can only be one. We can only learn it's logical meaning in the context it's spoken. Which in this case is referring to the Atman and the Brahman being the same. Thus this has a single grammatical and logical meaning.

    If this Sanskrit string of words can have a single meaning, then so can the Vedic verses. The confusion is caused by the "Devas" which as discussed before, actually denote real phenomena and principles. Agni is fire, Vayu is force, Surya is Sun.

    Another thing, I suspect, but cannot verify because of my inablity to speak Sanskrit, is that translators sometimes get the order of the words wrong. If you pick up modern translations of the Vedas and compare to the 19th and early 20th century ones, you can sometimes( or most of the time) see that the order of the words have been changed.

    For example, when it says that the gods are Soma drinkers and we prepare for it them to come and drink. Another translation actually says it is the gods(the physical and natural principles) that help us prepare Soma for us, which is seen as a panacea for all ailments. I am more inclined to believe the latter.

    I think there is reason to believe this, because Soma was prepared by humans and it was used as a general healing medicine. It was a tall plant found in the mountains and it had many branches. In the Vedas it says it could be taken with curds, cow milk or with barley.

    Given that, I think it's reasonable to believe that it wasn't the Deva's who we prepared the Soma for, but it was the Deva who helped us prepare it, using their physical principles. Just like above, Maurice Bloomfield translation of the verse where it says "Oh Agni, strikes down our enemies with his fiery missiles" is where we are summoning Agni Deva to destroy our enemies. When really we are using the physical principles of Agni deva(fire) to construct the missiles to be used on our enemies.

    Similarily, the verse that Agni helps us traverse the seas with his power, would again be translated as an incantation to Agni, when once again it means using the physical principles of Agni we can propell our sea going ships.


    Reading Sri Aurbindo's translation, well some of those verses recorded on the site, I noted that he wasn't translating, but interpreting. That is not to say his interpretations are wrong.

    You know it is very spooky how you posted up the link to the "Vedic Experience" because I was just reading that book before I came onto this site! I noted some corroborating verses in it that support the above translations:

    4. These Waters be to us for drink;
    divine are they for aid and joy.
    May they impart to us health and strength!

    5. You Waters who rule over precious things
    and have supreme control of men,
    we beg you, give us healing balm.

    6. Within the Waters, Soma has told me,
    remedies exist of every sort
    and Agni who brings blessing to all.

    7. O Waters, stored with healing balm
    through which my body safe will be,
    come, that I long may see the sun.

    So that's three different translations that say the same thing regarding that. It's also interesting how Agni is said to be in these waters, because above there were also translations talking about how electricity can be derived from water.


    I am particularly interested in these verses, mainly because of the implications they have:

    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

    Rig-Veda 1-116-4 mentions a speed, which can enable a ship to cross one main ocean to the other in 3 days and 3 nights. For going around the entire globe by sea and crossing all the oceans, the duration of 11 days and 11 nights is mentioned (R.V 1-34-11). Four boats should be tied to the ships for safety (R.V 1-82-6).

    (R.V 1-82-6). Aero planes could fly in the firmament and acquire a speed to go across the world in four hours i.e. thrice a day (R.V 1-43-2).

    The need to study the properties of water, air and fire for discovering and manufacturing aircrafts, ships and other vehicles capable of moving in the firmament, land and water are mentioned in Rig Veda 1-3-1,2, 1-34-1, 1-140-1


    The electricity is hidden in water and when it comes out, it spreads light and provides energy(R.V 1-16-5). Its use in weapons and telegraphy are also mentioned (R.V. 1-85-5 and 188-1).


    If these translations are indeed correct, it means that Vedas know about electricity and aerodynamics etc I would most grateful, if anybody here could corrobrate these and post up other translations of these verses, or that say similar things, and perhaps even the original Sanskrit(not essential)

    On that note, I am going to post up translations by Devi Chand, that were posted up on Swords Of Truth.com on electricity in the Atharva Vedas. Which I have to admit, I am very skeptical of. But at least they have the original Sanskrit verses to scutantize.

    CONT.
     
  8. Suraj

    Suraj New Member

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    Verse 2: Nav Yo Navati Puro bibhed bahvotjasaa
    Ahi Cha vritrahaavadheet

    Electricity , which breaks, by the energy of its arms the 99 cities, destroys the cloud, which covers the rays of the sun, the source of all energy and power.

    Purpot: This initial description describes the inherent properties of of electrical energy. Here the "arms of electricity" refers to positive and negative currents. The 99 cities refers to the 99 elements, as known to modern day scientists. In Vedic terminology, these essential elements were known as "Bhogas".

    Comments: This is no doubt referring to the vedic story of how Indra slays the demon Vritra, the demon that has imprisoned all the waters and is causing droughts on Earth with his Vajra(electric bolt) causing the water to release.

    I've always thought that this verse is simply referring to something more mundane such as how Indra(the god of weather) causes rain on earth by an electric discharge in the clouds. The fact that a Sanskrit text exists that talks about weather phenomena and electric disharges in the clouds would support that.

    However, this translator, is suggesting some kind of atomic fission phenomena, that doesn't seem apparent at all to me.

    From my very limited knowledge of Sanskrit, I can make out Nav Yo Navati(99) Puro(cities) bibhed(breaks) bahvotjasaa(by power of arms) Ahi(?) Cha(and) vritrahaavadheet(slays Vritra)
    Verse 3: Sa na Indrah Shivah sakhashwavad gomadvavama
    Urudhaarev dohate

    Purport: That very electric power may be our peaceful friend, providing us with the horse-power to drive our machines, light to light up our houses, and power to produce grains in the fields. Let it bring on prosperity and well-being for us by flowing into numerous currents.

    Comment: I didn't actually know Go means light, I always thought it meant cow. So it makes sense how the translator has translated Go to mean light.

    The rest I can make out to be: Indrah(Indra/thunder) Shivah(Shiva/power) sakhashwavad(peaceful friend) gomadvavama(light - advavama?)
    Urudhaarev(?) dohate(?)

    Verse 4: Indra Kratuvidang sutang somang harya purushtut
    Piba vrishaswa taatripim

    Let electricity, so highly spoken of by many learned people, help extract the essence of medicines, thus produced by those, who are well-versed in manufacturing things. Let it keep safe and shower, on us the rain, satisfying all.

    Comments: This one I particular find interesting, because it is saying that Indra helps extract Soma, rather than the opposite that Indra drinks Soma. The translator has taken Soma to mean medicine.

    Indra(thunder) Katuvigdang(gives power) sutang(to extract) somang(essence of Soma) harya(to have/take) purushut,(spoken of by many) Piba(drink) vrishaswa(rains/showers) taatripim(delight)

    I managed to find the western translation to compare:

    May the bright God drink glorious Soma-mingled meath, giving
    the sacrifices lord unbroken life He who, wind-urged, in person guards our offspring well, nourishes them with food and shines o'er many a land.

    This confirms my suspicision. The verse clearly says that is is Indra who helps to extract Soma, and drinking it showers on delight. It is NOT saying that it is Indra who drinks the Soma, and the words "the sacrifices lord unbroken life" "offspring" "wind-urged" is not even in the verse. An example of a really bad translation; most of it's made up.


    Verse 3: Asmay Bheemaaya namasaa samadhwara usho na shubhra aa bharaa paneeyase
    Yasya dhaam shravase naamendriyam jyotirkaari harito naayase

    O well-versed engineer make use of this terrible electric power fit to be utilized for useful purposes by controlling it, for non-violent, brilliant light like the dawn. It has the potentiality to help hearing, control energy and spread light in all quarters.

    MILITARY USAGE OF ELECTRICITY:



    Chapter 2: Hymn XV

    Verse 6: Twam tamindra parvatam mahaamurum vajrena vajrinparvshashchakartitha
    Avaasrijo nivritaah satarvaa apah satraa vishwam dadhishe kevalam sahah

    Just as the thundering electricity reduces the vast cloud to nothing by its thunderbolt, so do you, O King, equipped with piercing weapons like the thunderbolt, smash into pieces the vast armies of the enemy, consisting of various units, by your striking power like the thunderbolt. Just as the waters of the cloud released by the electricity, fall down and flow over the earth, similarly the well-equipped armies of the enemy; being subdued by the might of the king are duly regulated by him. Truly do you alone, O King, hold all the power to subdue the foes.

    Purport: The inference is quite obviously to weapons utilizing electricity. "Piercing weapons like the thunderbolt" is a clear pointer to surges of exceedingly high voltage. The lethal electric weapons are used to counter various units of the army. This is another clue, for as discussed above, the EMP effect can be used to advantage for a number of targets ranging from computers, to communication systems. Apparently electricity was employed as one of the primary weapons in military combat during the Vedic era.

    Chapter 4: Hymn XXXVIII

    Verse 5: Indra Idhyorah sacha sangmishal aa vachoyuja
    Indro vajri Hiranyah

    Electricity is well mixed up with Prana and Apana, the 2 horsepowers, yoked to power of speech. Electric power has the striking power of a deadly weapon and is full of brilliance.

    Purport: Here we find it stated starkly that electricity has the striking power of a deadly weapon. There can be no greater proof of the deployment of electrical weaponry during the Vedic era. An interesting suggestion is also made in the first line of this verse, that electrical energy is also present in the form of Prana and Apana, within the human body. "Prana" means "breath " according to Tantra Yoga, wheras "Apana" is the Prana that exists in the area below the navel. According to Tantric thought Prana is charged with negative ions while Apana is charged with positive ions. When Prana is forced to enter through the central canal (Sushuma or Brahma Nadi) in the spinal column, the result is fusion of the negative and positive ions. This fusion generates an immense amount of energy, which awakens the dormant energy called Kundalini that lies at the base of the spine. Once Kundalini or the vital life force is awakened, it destroys the ignorance of the mind and results in enlightenment.

    We know now of course, that the cerebrospinal system is a great generator of electrical energy and has a fantastic network of nerves that serve as connectors. The cerebrum as it is called keeps on providing electrical energy. Through fine nerves, this energy is constantly supplied to the organism, providing life force. Thus we can see how these and other type of systems described in the Atharvaveda have a purely scientific basis.

    Chapter 3: Hymn XXX

    Verse 1: Pra te mahe vidathe shansisham hari pra te vanve vanusho haryatam madam
    Dhritam na yo haribhishcharu sechat aa tva vishantu harivparsang girah

    O electricity, I fully praise thy two forces of protection and destruction in this great universe, which is a great sacrificial place or battlefield of life. I highly cherish your beautiful exhilaration, destroying the evil forces of the enemy. You shower various forms of fortunes through your blessing powers of speedy action, like waters from the clouds. Let all praises find their abode in you of charming splendor.

    Verse 3: So asya vajro harito ya aayso harinirkaamo harira gabhastyoh
    Dhumni sushipro harimanyusayaka indre ni roopa harita mimikshire

    Here is the blue-green colored thunderbolt of iron of the king. There is also the beautiful horse of iron of high speed. Here is also the horsepower of the rays of electricity. There is also the shining arrow, capable of destroying the pride of the enemy and having a very high speed. In short many kinds of weapons have been made through electric power for the king.

    Verse 4: Divi na keturadhi dhaayi haryato vivayachadvajro harito na ranghaya
    Tudadahi harishipro ya aayasah sahastrashokaa abhavadharibharah

    Like a radiant spot, it is well placed in the heavens, then with a high speed, the terribly destructive missile, made of iron, possessing speed of electric power, crushing the serpent natured enemy, becomes lit up with thousands of lights and loaded with destructive ray of various kinds.

    This makes the previous verse even more apparent. The missile being described seems to generate immense power and would be exceptionally destructive. It is possible that the electric weapons used by Vedic society may have been equivalent in destructive power to nuclear weapons, or perhaps even more lethal. They may also have been used for preliminary strikes before the actual use of nuclear weapons. A conventional electronic combat campaign, or intensive electronic combat operations, would initially concentrate on saturating the opponent's electronic defences, denying information and inflicting maximum attrition upon electronic assets. The massed application of electromagnetic bombs in the opening phase of an electronic battle would allow much faster attainment of command as it would destroy electronic assets at a much faster rate than possible with conventional means. After this phase, it would be child's play to completely destroy the enemy.

    Chapter 3: Hymn:XXI

    Verse 7: Yudha yudhmup ghedeshi dhrishnuya pura puram samidam hansyojasa
    Namya yadindra sakhya paraavati nibrahyo namuchi naam maayinam

    O mighty King, you can easily get at the striking power of the enemy by your overwhelming striking force. Being well-entrenched in your sheltered place of defense, you can thoroughly break the defenses of the enemy to smithereens. Completely crush the deceitful enemy, unfit to be left alive, through your faithful ally, although stationed at a distance.

    This particular reference is apparently to a remotely controlled electronic weapon system. This verse directly points to unleashing a tremendously high voltage surge that can blast into the defensive electrical equipment belonging to the enemy. The last sentence describes remote initiation of the bombing sequence, while the controller is stationed at a safe distance.

    Verse 8: Tvam karnyajmut parnayam vadhistejisthayaatithigvasya vartani
    Tvam shata vaddagridasyaabhintpuronaanudah parishuta rijishvana

    O mighty electricity, you kill the violent enemy, equipped with speedy means of communication like cars or airships, a hindrance in the way of people who are worthy of respect, cows or land by your consuming and splendorous power. You shatter the 100 forts of the adversary who obstructs your communications or breaks your regulations and does not pay tribute to you established by straightforward negotiations.

    Verse 9: Tvametam janrajyo dwidarshaabandhuna sushrvasopajagmushah
    Pashisht sahastra navati nava shruto ni chakrena rathya dushpadavrinak

    O electricity, you can by your circular motion like the wheel of a chariot, which is too powerful to be checked, well keep under control all these 20 basic elements, 6099 organic and inorganic bodies, by a single transmitter of high quality, with no other force to help it.

    Chapter 4: Hymn XXXVII

    Verse 4: Tvam nibhinirmano devavitao bhooreeni vritraa haryashava hansi
    Tvam ni dasyum chumuri dhuni chasvaapyo dabhitaye suhantu

    O electrical currents of high voltage, safely carried by electric wires, you kill many enemies in the war, waged by learned persons or through the help of natural forces. To keep all the evil forces under control, you, being well-equipped with good means of destruction completely lay down to lasting sleep (death) the evil forces that rob and harass the general public.



    The Atharva Veda (Sanskrit Text with English Translation) translated by Devi Chand and published by Mushiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd.
     
  9. lucius

    lucius New Member

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    That is quite correct. As well as the term 'go', he also rediscovered the true meaning of many other terms used in the Rig Veda.
    Sri Aurobindo's basic premise is that the Veda is a record of the experiences of the Rishis, expressed in a highly symbolic language, which draws it's symbolism from the everyday world. This is because the Veda was composed at a time prior to the later development of sophisticated philosophical concepts etc.
    The language itself is an archaic Sanskrit, knowledge of which was lost during later periods.

    The test of any system of interpretation must be partly it's consistency. In other words, can we apply the same keys throughout the Veda and derive from this a consistent meaning. Sri Aurobindo's system does seem to show such a consistency, in marked contrast to the traditional interpretations, or those of modern western scholars, in which he points out major inconsistencies and other problems.

    Sri Aurobindo only translated selected hymns, they are given in the book, but don't seem to be anywhere online.

    Here anyway are a couple of links to some extracts from 'Secret of the Veda'

    http://www.miraura.org/lit/sa/sv/sv-sel.html

    http://intyoga.online.fr/veda05.htm

    To give a taste of his translations, here are a few brief extracts:

    Vanished the darkness, shaken in its foundation; Heaven shone out ; upward rose the light of the Divine Dawn; the sun entered the vast fields of the Truth beholding the straight things and the crooked in mortals. Thereafter indeed they awoke and saw utterly by the sun's separation of the straight from the crooked, the truth from the falsehood; then indeed they held in them the bliss that is enjoyed in heaven

    Rig Veda IV.I. I7



    May he the knower discern perfectly the Knowledge and the Ignorance, the wide levels and the crooked that shut in mortals; and, oh God, for a bliss fruitful in offspring , lavish on us Diti, and protect Aditi.

    Rig Veda IV.2.1



    Now as the seven seers of Dawn, the Mother, the supreme disposers of the sacrifice, may we beget for ourselves the Gods; may we become the Angirasas, sons of Heaven, breaking open the wealth-filled hill, shining in purity.

    Rig Veda IV.2.15



    We have done the work for thee, we have become perfect in works, the wide-shining Dawns have taken up their home in the Truth, in the fullness of Agni and His manifold delight, in the shining eye of the God in all His brightness.

    Rig Veda 1V.2.19



    __________________
     
  10. Agnideva

    Agnideva Member

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    Namaste Suraj,


    The best thing would probably be to provide translation of each term in a verse, and then give the interpretive meaning. This has been done for some texts like the BG, but you’ll notice that even these word-per-word translations are interpretive. Translations always carry with them the biases of the translator, and I don’t see how this can be avoided. Besides, in many contexts literal translations may make no sense. Therefore, interpretive translations become necessary. Since we believe that the Vedic sages were themselves mystics and composed the hymns as part of their mystical experiences, I tend to favor the interpretations of modern mystics.


    I am not so certain that knowledge of classical Sanskrit is the only thing needed to understand the Veda. The Vedic hymns, I’m told, are written in a language that pre-dates Sanskrit, which is a “perfected” version of the Vedic language.


    To be honest, I do not know anything of the validity of the claims of advanced sciences in the Vedas. My interest in the Vedas thus far has been primarily to examine whether the philosophical and theological positions characteristic of later Hinduism are actually found within the hymn collections. On the internet, I’ve come across all sort of claims about the Vedas … there are websites out there that claim that Vedas contain references to space travel and others that claim that string theory can be found in them ;).

    OM Shanti,
    A.
     
  11. Suraj

    Suraj New Member

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    Hi all,

    I feel, given how tricky it is to find translations of random verses, we should just compare and study the translations of popular verses/suktas to see which are the most accurate and comprehensive.

    I am comparing the most famous Nasadiya Sukta(RV.10.129) which discusses creation:

    The Holy Vedas

    1. The existent was not then
    Nor was the existent
    The Earth was not, nor the Firament
    Nor that which is Beyond
    (When there was nothing then) what could cover what?
    And where and in whose care did the waters and bottomless deep
    then exist?

    2. There was no death nor immortality then;
    There was no sign of night, nor of day
    That one breathed without extraneous breath
    with his own nature
    Other than him there was nothing beyond

    3. In the beginning there was darkness, Intensified darkness, indistinguishable darkness
    All this visible world was reduced to it's primordial nature.
    This primordial world which was enveloped by the all pervading power of One
    Before whom the world of matter is a trifle became one(came into existence)
    Though the force of his intense activity and spiritual fervour

    4. In the beginning the Divine will(love) arose
    This was the first seed of the mind of the creator
    Those who can see beyond by putting their mind and heart together
    Found the binding link of the existent in the non existent
    The non existent existing in the existent

    5. The rays of the Divine will(love) spread across the whole world
    They spread below and above
    And the result was that small and big organisms bearing seeds
    were born.

    As the existence of Earth was dependent on the Divine will of the creator
    The position of matter was lower than the spirit
    Which acted with the divine will(love)

    6. Who truly knows, and who can declare whence it cometh
    And whither it vanishtheth?
    The divine people who know were born
    Much after creation came into being
    Who then knows whence it has come about?

    7. Whence this creation has come;
    Who holds or does not hold
    He who is it surveyor in the highest heaven
    He alone knoweth
    And yet doth he knows?

    The Vedic Experience: An Anthology

    Nasadiya Sukta

    RV X, 129

    1. At first was neither Being nor Nonbeing.
    There was not air nor yet sky beyond.
    What was its wrapping? Where? In whose protection?
    Was Water there, unfathomable and deep?

    2. There was no death then, nor yet deathlessness;
    of night or day there was not any sign.
    The One breathed without breath, by its own impulse.
    Other than that was nothing else at all.

    3. Darkness was there, all wrapped around by darkness,
    and all was Water indiscriminate. Then
    that which was hidden by the Void, that One, emerging,
    stirring, through power of Ardor, came to be.

    4. In the beginning Love arose,
    which was the primal germ cell of the mind.
    The Seers, searching in their hearts with wisdom,
    discovered the connection of Being in Nonbeing.

    5. A crosswise line cut Being from Nonbeing.
    What was described above it, what below?
    Bearers of seed there were and mighty forces,
    thrust from below and forward move above.

    6. Who really knows? Who can presume to tell it?
    Whence was it born? Whence issued this creation?
    Even the Gods came after its emergence.
    Then who can tell from whence it came to be?

    7. That out of which creation has arisen,
    whether it held it firm or it did not,
    He who surveys it in the highest heaven,
    He surely knows or maybe He does not

    The Rig Veda: Translation by Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty. From the Book "The Rig Veda - Anthology"


    1. There was neither non-existence nor existence then.
    There was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond.
    What stirred?
    Where?
    In whose protection?
    Was there water, bottlemlessly deep?

    2. There was neither death nor immortality then.
    There was no distinguishing sign of night nor of day.
    That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse.
    Other than that there was nothing beyond.

    Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning,
    with no distinguishing sign, all this was water.
    The life force that was covered with emptiness,
    that One arose through the power of heat.

    Desire came upon that One in the beginning,
    that was the first seed of mind.
    Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom
    found the bond of existence and non-existence.

    Their cord was extended across.
    Was there below?
    Was there above?
    There were seed-placers, there were powers.
    There was impulse beneath, there was giving forth above.

    Who really knows?
    Who will here proclaim it?
    Whence was it produced?
    Whence is this creation?
    The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
    Who then knows whence it has arisen?

    Whence this creation has arisen
    – perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not –
    the One who looks down on it, in the highest heaven
    only He knows or perhaps He does not know.

    Swami Vivekananda


    Existence was not then, nor non-existence,
    The world was not, the sky beyond was neither.
    What covered the mist? Of whom was that?
    What was in the depths of darkness thick?
    Death was not then, nor immortality,
    The night was neither separate from day,
    But motionless did That vibrate
    Alone, with Its own glory one--
    Beyond That nothing did exist.
    At first in darkness hidden darkness lay,
    Undistinguished as one mass of water,
    Than That which lay in void thus covered
    A glory did put forth by Tapah! [12]

    The first two lines of the Hymn, "Existence was not then, nor non-existence / The world was not, the sky beyond was neither", may be explained in the following way: the Reality is beyond being and non--being---these two, like any other pair of opposites belong to maya . It may be interesting to also quote Shri Ramakrishna's opinion: "This existence and non-existence are attributes of Prakriti. The Reality is beyond both." [13] The text of the third stanza, "But motionless did That vibrate" is translated and elucidated by Swami Vivekananda in the following way:
    "It then existed without vibration." This Prâna (primal energy) existed then, but there was no motion in it; Anidavâtam means "existed without vibration". Vibration had stopped. Then when the Kalpa begins, after an immense interval, the Anidavâtam (unvibrating atom) commences to vibrate, and blow after blow is given by Prâna to Akâsha. The atoms become condensed, and as they are condensed different elements are formed". [14]

    Ralph T.H. Griffith, Translator [1896]


    1. THEN was not non-existent nor existent: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it.
    What covered in, and where? and what gave shelter? Was water there, unfathomed depth of water?

    2 Death was not then, nor was there aught immortal: no sign was there, the day's and night's divider.

    That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever.

    3 Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness this All was indiscriminated chaos.

    All that existed then was void and form less: by the great power of Warmth was born that Unit.

    4 Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit.

    Sages who searched with their heart's thought discovered the existent's kinship in the non-existent.

    5 Transversely was their severing line extended: what was above it then, and what below it?
    There were begetters, there were mighty forces, free action here and energy up yonder

    6 Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this creation?

    The Gods are later than this world's production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?

    7 He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it,

    Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.

    This concludes all different translations I can find for this Sukta, they all seem to be very similar. To make it easy compare I will break it down further:

    1.

    Holy Vedas:

    The existent was not then
    Nor was the existent
    The Earth was not, nor the Firament
    Nor that which is Beyond
    (When there was nothing then) what could cover what?
    And where and in whose care did the waters and bottomless deep
    then exist?

    The Vedic Experience

    At first was neither Being nor Nonbeing.
    There was not air nor yet sky beyond.
    What was its wrapping? Where? In whose protection?
    Was Water there, unfathomable and deep

    The Rig Veda Anthogy:

    There was neither non-existence nor existence then.
    There was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond.
    What stirred?
    Where?
    In whose protection?
    Was there water, bottlemlessly deep?

    Swami Vivekanada

    Existence was not then, nor non-existence,
    The world was not, the sky beyond was neither.
    What covered the mist? Of whom was that?
    What was in the depths of darkness thick?

    Ralph T.H Grffith

    THEN was not non-existent nor existent: there was no realm of air, no sky beyond it.
    What covered in, and where? and what gave shelter? Was water there, unfathomed depth of water?

    2.
    Holy Vedas

    There was no death nor immortality then;
    There was no sign of night, nor of day
    That one breathed without extraneous breath
    with his own nature
    Other than him there was nothing beyond

    The Vedic experience:

    There was no death then, nor yet deathlessness;
    of night or day there was not any sign.
    The One breathed without breath, by its own impulse.
    Other than that was nothing else at all.

    The Rig Veda Anthology:

    here was neither death nor immortality then.
    There was no distinguishing sign of night nor of day.
    That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse.
    Other than that there was nothing beyond.

    Swami Vivekanada:

    Death was not then, nor immortality,
    The night was neither separate from day,
    But motionless did That vibrate
    Alone, with Its own glory one--
    Beyond That nothing did exist.

    Ralpth T.H Griffith:

    Death was not then, nor was there aught immortal: no sign was there, the day's and night's divider.
    That One Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever.

    3.

    The Holy Vedas:

    In the beginning there was darkness, Intensified darkness, indistinguishable darkness
    All this visible world was reduced to it's primordial nature.
    This primordial world which was enveloped by the all pervading power of One
    Before whom the world of matter is a trifle became one(came into existence)
    Though the force of his intense activity and spiritual fervour

    The Vedic experience:

    Darkness was there, all wrapped around by darkness,
    and all was Water indiscriminate. Then
    that which was hidden by the Void, that One, emerging,
    stirring, through power of Ardor, came to be.

    The Rig Veda anthology:

    Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning,
    with no distinguishing sign, all this was water.
    The life force that was covered with emptiness,
    that One arose through the power of heat.

    Swami Vivekanada:

    At first in darkness hidden darkness lay,
    Undistinguished as one mass of water,
    Than That which lay in void thus covered
    A glory did put forth by Tapah! [12]

    Ralpth TH Griffith:

    Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness this All was indiscriminated chaos.
    All that existed then was void and form less: by the great power of Warmth was born that Unit.

    4.

    The Holy Vedas:

    In the beginning the Divine will(love) arose
    This was the first seed of the mind of the creator
    Those who can see beyond by putting their mind and heart together
    Found the binding link of the existent in the non existent
    The non existent existing in the existent

    The Vedic perspective:

    In the beginning Love arose,
    which was the primal germ cell of the mind.
    The Seers, searching in their hearts with wisdom,
    discovered the connection of Being in Nonbeing.

    The Rig Veda anthology:

    Desire came upon that One in the beginning,
    that was the first seed of mind.
    Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom
    found the bond of existence and non-existence.

    Ralth T.H Griffith:

    Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire, the primal seed and germ of Spirit. Sages who searched with their heart's thought discovered the existent's kinship in the non-existent.

    5.

    The Holy Vedas:

    The rays of the Divine will(love) spread across the whole world
    They spread below and above
    And the result was that small and big organisms bearing seeds
    were born.

    As the existence of Earth was dependent on the Divine will of the creator
    The position of matter was lower than the spirit
    Which acted with the divine will(love)

    The Vedic perspective:

    A crosswise line cut Being from Nonbeing.
    What was described above it, what below?
    Bearers of seed there were and mighty forces,
    thrust from below and forward move above.

    The Rig Veda anthology:

    Their cord was extended across.
    Was there below?
    Was there above?
    There were seed-placers, there were powers.
    There was impulse beneath, there was giving forth above.

    Ralpth T.H Griffith:

    Transversely was their severing line extended: what was above it then, and what below it?
    There were begetters, there were mighty forces, free action here and energy up yonder

    6.

    The Holy Vedas:

    Who truly knows, and who can declare whence it cometh
    And whither it vanishtheth?
    The divine people who know were born
    Much after creation came into being
    Who then knows whence it has come about?

    The Vedic perspective:

    Who really knows? Who can presume to tell it?
    Whence was it born? Whence issued this creation?
    Even the Gods came after its emergence.
    Then who can tell from whence it came to be?

    The Rig Veda anthology:

    Who really knows?
    Who will here proclaim it?
    Whence was it produced?
    Whence is this creation?
    The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
    Who then knows whence it has arisen?

    Ralpth T.H Griffith:

    Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this creation?
    The Gods are later than this world's production. Who knows then whence it first came into being?

    CONT.
     
  12. Suraj

    Suraj New Member

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    7.

    The Holy Vedas:

    Whence this creation has come;
    Who holds or does not hold
    He who is it surveyor in the highest heaven
    He alone knoweth
    And yet doth he knows?

    The Vedic perspective:

    That out of which creation has arisen,
    whether it held it firm or it did not,
    He who surveys it in the highest heaven,
    He surely knows or maybe He does not

    The Rig Veda anthology:


    Whence this creation has arisen
    – perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not –
    the One who looks down on it, in the highest heaven
    only He knows or perhaps He does not know.

    Ralpth T.H Griffith:

    He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it,
    Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.


    I do not have access to the transliterated Sanskirit verses(1-7) So I would be really greatful if somebody can post them up, so we can compare the Sanskrit words to the translated words word per word.

    A few observations I've already made and know to be correct. And this is where Superstring theory comes in Agni deva ;)

    The bottomless deep waters is Prakriti, that is the undifferentiated(Avyaktam) state of the universe. A sort of invisible and infinite material, made of parmanus(subtle atoms) This is discussed in great detail in Samkhya and the Bhagvad Gita. The material it is made up of is called akasa, which Swami Vivekanada also explains in the purport. When Purush(the supreme spirit) vibrates these parmanus, they start to take various forms, the first of which is energy, then light(also explained in the Upanishads).
    This is what is means that the ONE breathes with his own impulse, which has been translated much more precisely by Swami Vivekanada as "vibration" or "svara" which means current which is synonymous with breath.

    In the Shiva Purana, a discourse between Shiva and Pavatri this is discussed in great detail(I found it while searching)

    The Shiva Purna:

    1. The goddess said: My Lord Mahadeva, the god of gods, be kind to me, and tell me the wisdom that comprehends everything.
    2. How did the universe come out? How does it go on? How does it disappear? Tell me, O Lord, the philosophy of the universe.
    3. Said the god: The universe came out of tatwa or the tatwas; it goes on by the instrumentality of the tatwas; it disappears in the tatwas; by the tatwas is known the nature of the universe.
    4. Said the goddess: The Knowers of the tatwas have ascertained the tatwa to be the highest root; what, O God, is the nature of the tatwas? Throw light upon the tatwas.
    5. Said the god: Unmanifested, formless, one giver of light is the great Power; from that appeared the soniferous ether (akasa); from that had birth the tangiferous ether.
    6. From the tangiferous ether, the luminiferous ether, and from this the gustiferous ether; from thence was the birth of the odiferous ether. These are the five ethers and they have five-fold extension.
    7. Of these the universe came out; by these it goes on; into these it disappears; even among these it shows itself again
    8. The body is made of the five tatwas; the five tatwas, O Fair One, exist therein in the subtle form; they are known by the learned who devote themselves to the tatwas.
    9. On this account shall I speak of the rise of breath in the body; by knowing the nature of inspiration and expiration comes into being the knowledge of the three times.
    10. This science of the rise of breath, the hidden of the hidden, the shower of the true Good, is a pearl on the head of the wise.
    11. This knowledge is the subtle of the subtle; it is easily understood; it causes the belief of truth; it excites wonder in the world of unbelievers; it is the support among unskeptical people.
    12. The science of the rise of breath is to be given to the calm, the pure, the virtuous, the firm and the grateful, single-minded devote of the guru.
    13. It is not to be given to the vicious, the impure, the angry, the untruthful, the adulterer, and him who has wasted his substance.
    14. Hear, thou goddess, the wisdom which is found in the body; omniscience is caused by it, if well understood.
    15. In the swara are the Vedas and the shastras; in the swara the highest gandharva; in the swara are all the three worlds; the swara is the reflection of the parabrahma.
    16. Without a knowledge of the breath (swara), the astrologer is a hose without its lord, a speaker without learning, a trunk without a head.
    17. Whoever knows the analysis of the Nadis, and the Prana, the analysis of the tatwa, and the analysis of the conjunctive susumna gets salvation.
    18. It is always auspicious in the seen or the unseen universe, when the power of breath is mastered; they, O Fair One, that the knowledge of the science of breath is somewhat auspicious.
    19. The parts and the first accumulations of the universe were made by the swara, and the swara is visible as the great Power, the Creator, and the Destroyer.
    20. A knowledge more secret than the science of Breath, wealth more useful than the science of Breath, a friend more true than the science of breath, was never seen or heard of.

    Basically what this is saying that all matter is just the modification of this single life current that vibrates the Akasa. And as I promised you superstring, superstring theory is based on exactly the same theory of infinitesimal strings vibrating to produce matter.

    In the Secret Doctrine(theosophy) which is largely based on Hinduism, the Svara has been defined as a "current of life wave"

    The Tattvas... are the modifications of Svara... The proper translation of the word Svara is the current of the life-wave. It is that wavy motion which is the cause of the evolution of cosmic undifferentiated matter into the differentiated universe, and the involution of this into the primary state of non-differentiation, and so on, in and out, for ever and ever. Whence does this motion come? This motion is the spirit itself...

    This is why the principe of Akasa is called sound(vibrations)

    So you indeed have found superstring theory in the Vedas ;)
     
  13. Suraj

    Suraj New Member

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    It is astonishing how uncanningly similar to Big Bang theory and modern cosmogeny is to this vedic account of creation, explained in the Nasadivya and Purusa Sukta in Rig Veda. In fact it seems almost exactly the same and it even explains the stages prior to it, which no scientists have been able to yet. You can even divide into stages:

    1. There is infinite and undifferentiated darkness - The forces of Rajas, Tamas and Sattva are in balance. Rajas is the attractice force, Tamas is the repulsive force and Sattva is the neutral and unifying force.

    2. The forces become unbalanced(it breaks out of sattvic quality) and Hiryangarbh is formed or Bindu, containing within it the unmanifest universe i.e. The entire universe is contained within a single point/primordial source. The Hiryangarbh is known both as the the womb of light and the golden womb.

    3. In the Hiryangarbh, an intense heat begins to generate, which generates light(vayu)(which is electromagentic radiation) note how above it was shown that Vayansai were shown to be radiation. Then in turns into an extremely hot vapour(apas)

    4. A great-point explosion occurs, and the extremely hot vapors are released and expand in all directions. This is called Virat, the dynamic universe, and as this expands Brahmands(solar system) begin to take form, in which sun, planets, moons etc take form

    5. Finally the elements begin to take form, then plants/vegetation and finally life. First in the form of a germ and then into progressively more complex evolutes until the appearance of man.

    6. The final stage is Prayala, this is when the universe will revert back into it orignal point state(the Big Crunch)

    The above today is scientific fact, and it's revealed in the Vedas. This would prove that a higher intelligence has authored the Vedas or it proves that just like modern man, the ancient Risi's had also arrived at this through scientific research.

    I think that is compelling evidence that the Vedas do contain science. What do you think?

    I'll get back to you on space travel :D
     
  14. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I'm curious about the earlier translation which specifically mentions "automobiles", "aeroplanes" and "electricity" - isn't this simply an attempt to relate to the materialist, rather than esoteric nature, of the scriptures?

    From an outside perspective, trying to insert words for modern technology into any scriptures reads like a forced attempt to elevate the scriptures for a contemporary audience.

    In what way would that be different here?
     
  15. lucius

    lucius New Member

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    Dear Suraj,

    Two things I'd say here. Firstly, I don't think there is any likelyhood and ceratinly there is no evidence that the Rishis were egaged in anything that we today would regard as scientific research. It seems more likely that the truths they represented in the Vedas were got by them through some revelation or ascension to a higher level of consciousness. In many ways, their method may have been scientific in a broad sense of systematic, but without the high-tech apparatus of modern scientific research it's hard to see how any empirical process could have led them to this knowledge.

    Second, the big bang is only a theory. It may be highly likely, but is not proven, and new scientific discoveries, such as the size of the physical universe as revealed by the Hubble telescope etc have led to problems with the theory. Furthermore, science has no way of reconciling Quantum mechanics on one hand, and relativity on the other into a 'unified theory'.

    Myself, I think the knowledge of the Rishis was of a different order than that of modern science. But of course thats not to say there is any basic incompatability between the two. One can view the cosmos from many different angles and still arrive at some valid conclusions.

    Science is only really interested in the material universe. The Rishis were interested too in what is beyond the cosmic manifestation.
     
  16. Suraj

    Suraj New Member

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    Lucius,

    What you are saying makes sense, but I would like to add; The Hindu view on the physical and the spiritual, is that they reflect one another. It is held that every atom in this universe is pervaded by the spirit and that man himself is the personification of the universe(microcosm) which is what Astrology is based on. There are two phenomenas in the universe, matter and soul(consciousness) and they bear testimant to one another.

    As you said, viewing the universe from different perspective. If you view it from a completely spiritual perspective, you get spirituality and religion. If you view it from a completely material perspective, you get the physical sciences. But what I have learnt from Hinduism, and particularly the schools of Samkhya, Nyaya, Vaiseshika and the Upaveda of Ayurveda, that the spiritual and material are united, because they believe that the observer and the reality are entangled.

    All of these rationalist schools had spirituality. Vaiseshika was not just concerned with the physical universe, but also the mental universe. In the Bhagvad Gita, the Sattva, Rajas and Tamas qualities were not just physical principles of Prakriti, but also spiritual principles of the soul.

    I really like this worldview of uniting science with spirituality, because as you said, they are not incompatible. I think they compliment one another and give a much more complete picture of reality and being. Astrology is based on astronomical observations and complex calculations, but that are related directly to consciousness. Vaastu Shastra is based on precise arrangement(and measurements?) but is directled related to consciousness. Ayurveda is based on using observations to diagnose, then treating with medicines, surgery and exercise, but it is directly related to consciousness.

    Almost all of the arts and sciences of India are related directly to consciousness. There is great proof, therefore, that ancient India did have a developed science of studying material phenomena through empirical research.

    Hence, why I believe that there is good reason to believe that the ancient Vedic Risis were not just mystics, but also had a grasp of the sciences and the fact that there exists a rationalist scientific method which itself extends into vedic antiquity.

    After all if they can arrive at theories like superstring theory, big bang theory, the theory of evolution, quantum theory, the theory of light just through meditation, then such enlightened Risi should also be able to make use of these theories for society.

    When you say there is no evidence to support these theories having a technological use, I am going to disagree. I have found evidence of technology in ancient India, but the evidence is so fanatastic, that it's difficult to believe.

    There were many Yantras in ancient Indian, and Yantra means "machine" These are physical devices that operate on physical principles. I have seen an entire list of ancient machines, from the very ordinary to the absolutely fanastic.

    I will begin with the ordinary. In Kautilya's Arthasastra(his text on statemanship) he mentions a basic machine called yantrabaddha talabaptami, it was a platform that used a mechanical mechanism(a pulley system) to go down from the royal chamber to the underground chamber in a case of emergency. Basically it's a lift. He also mentions automatic doors.

    The above sound believable, because they could be just primitive devices, which no doubt show ancient Indian ingenuity.

    But this when they begin to become fanastic. In a very important Vaastu Shastra text(architecture/engineering) called the Samararigana Sutradhara. This is from a translation on this web site dedicated to ancient hi-tech civilisations http://www.atlantisquest.com/Samar.html

    Strong and durable must the machine's body be made of light material, having wings joined smoothly with invisible seams. It can carry passengers, it can be made small and compact, it can move in silence. If sound is to be used successfully, there must be great flexibility in the driving mechanism, and all must be put together faultlessly. In order for it to accomplish its intended purpose, it must last a long time, it must be well covered in . . . it must not become too hot, too stiff, nor too soft, and its sharp-pointed battering ram must also be long lasting. Indeed, the machine's main qualities, which are remembered by one and all, include unending motion, which is to say perpetual motion. Smoothness is one of the machines supreme qualities, thus, the workings of the machines is versatile, complete, not given to expansion, not complaining, and always suitable. . .

    At this point the text becomes most interesting . . . but also the most difficult. It is evident that essential elements in the propulsion system are deliberately vague--or completely left out. The reason for this is explained later in the text. I can see why this has never appeared in any of the English translations. (The hiatus indicated by ". . ." involves about five Sanskrit words, and "expanding" is one of them, and "wished for" is another. I wish I could offer a more complete translation.)

    At the critical time the beam of fire must be released, which will make the action possible. The time-beam expands, accompanied by sound . . . the expansion performs work like an elephant in an endless cycle.

    Further along in the text is a paragraph which mentions using wood as a potential building material in the construction of a yantra; then jumps into a description of a propulsion system which may use a fuel similar to gasoline.

    The manufacturing of a conquering yantra is greatly desired . . . using light-weight wood to build a great air-going machine of a strong-bodied type. In the central container is the liquid consumed by the engine, which gradually burns away during complete combustion.

    Fully renown is the conquering of the following motions: Vertical ascent; Vertical descent; Forwards; Backwards; Normal ascent; Normal descent; Slanting; Progressing over long distances, through proper adjustment of the working parts . . . And its musical sound and throbbing thunder can easily drown out the trumpeting of the elephant in panic. It can be moved by musical tones.

    Shining in every direction, their machine (yantra) could travel wherever the imagination dictated. From their great height they saw stimulating dances, drama plays, and pristine dance ceremonies. The machine gained renown among Royal dynasties and various nations. In such a manner the High-Souled ones flew, while the lower classes walked. All those friends succeeded in their much-deserved acquisition of a yantra, by means of which human beings can fly in the air, and non-earthling, Celestial Beings, can come down to mortals in their visits to Earth.

    Some of the aircraft seemed to be winged like a modern aeroplane, but such a craft could not go backwards, nor could it ascend or descend vertically. No doubt, the term "dual-winged" appears in the following text in conjunction with some sort of air, or jet, propulsion.

    . . .Thus inside one must place the Mercury-engine; and properly mounted beneath it, the iron heating apparatus. Men thusly set the dual-winged, driving whirlwind in motion. The concealed pilot, by means of the mercury-power, may travel a great distance in the sky.

    What follows is the description of a much larger, more complex vimana (Note: this is the only place the word "vimana" is actually used in the text), which is powered by four mercury-engines.

    An extremely swift and nimble vimana can be built, as large as the temple of the God-in-motion. Into the interior structure four strong mercury containers must be installed. When these have been heated by a controlled fire from iron containers, the flying machine develops thunder-power through the mercury, becoming a machine much to be desired. Moreover, if this iron engine with properly welded joints be filled with fluid (mercury?), when ascending or descending over land it develops power with the roar of a lion.



    I think this naturally leads to Brians question:

    Brian I don't really know whether these planes existed or not, but it is actually true that the Vedas, Mahabharata, Puranas, Ramayana and many many other texts(some that are secular) do talk about aeroplanes, automobiles. So these are not being forced into these texts.

    As for electricity, I want to get back to you on that one, because I got to go now.

    This is exactly why I think the Vedas need to be retranslated. There is no question about it that early translations of the Vedas have been errornous and badly translated and the roles of the "gods" not understand properly. I was just reading about the Maruts in Ralpth T.H Girriths 19th century translation of the Rig Veda.

    It says they are the shing ones, and golden, fierce and fast and move in groups and the chidren of Rudra. Rudra is electricity(the deva of lightening and storms) but then it says they are the children of the cow. It no longer made sense, but now that it's been shown by Sri Aurbindo that go means light, it makes sense now. It's saying children of light.

    Rudra/Agni/light a are being used synonymously to describe their source, and they are all sources of energy. In the first post, I showed how the book I was reading explained how Maruts were particles of energy - photons if you will. It makes a lot of sense.

    If it does, it has great implications for the Vedas. It proves that the Vedas really do contain science, and this isn't just wishfull thinking,and most of us have completely misunderstood them. But again, I think while a compelling theory already, that we need to anaylse the original Sanskrit and rediscover it's meaning,
     
  17. redindica

    redindica New Member

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    Hi All

    sorry for being away for so long off this thread. Thank you for all the post's I've learnt a lot through this discussion.

    Peace
    redindica
     
  18. yrsane

    yrsane New Member

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    I am not a Sanskrit scholar ,but I am a Practioner of Spiritual 'sadhana'.I feel that there is a lot of misunderstanding about the real import of Vedas.I would recommend reading "Secrets in Vedas"by Aurobindo ,who was educated in England and Passed I.C.S. examination. Unless we understand and appreciate the Real Cosmology and purpose of life on Earth, in which we live and differnciate clearly from the exclusive materialist earthly understanding of this Universe,this misunderstandings cannot be resolved. The 'unmanifest' world, from which the 'manifest' world devolves ,is the real abode of all life on this Earth.'Vedas' were discovered and conveyed to our life by the the Yogi Sages Visionariesor Rishis, who had a unique transcendental vision of these cosmic Spiritual Laws of the World.and which alone gives this integral understanding of the Universe ,in its real spiritual meanings of the manifest and unmanifest world and the parameters of Life ,death,Individuality,mortal nature of Human Body etc. on Earth ,as distinct from the materialistic Scientific understanding and interpretations. But,such understading is not amenable to Human Intelect in its present state, but can be had only in a transcendental Yogic capacity by Integral Yoga Practice and sadhna.Weare all captives of a contemporary Science Paradigm and reject this true but direct advice,hence the confusion and debates.I would be interested in subscibing to the ongoing debate on this(my claimed ) perception,which I have also undertaken to lay out in "Sulekha.com" in my blog as "Dialectical Spirituality".I humbly seek and welcom any comment.Y.R.Sane /E:Mail:yrsane@eth.net
    18-4-2006 Res Telephone :91-022-25368450
    Sonal apartment,Agiary lane,Thane-India -400601
     

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