Veda is the source of all Dharma, declares Manusmṛti 2.6. As we shall see this statement is no overstatement. There is no major religion on this planet, which has not been influenced by the Vedas. The creation stories of all major religions are based on the Vedas. Though all other religions have forgotten their Vedic root or have been forgotten, there is one religion, Hinduism, which has kept the flame of the Vedic wisdom burning continuously.
Many scholars tried to evaluate the age of the Vedas but no one could give a certain conclusive age. It is quite possible that Vedas wrote on paper during Indus Valley civilization and reason could be the Mahabharat War which was destructing everything during that time. It made scholars worried about the future of Vedas. That was the time when memorized knowledge started converting in the sacred document.
But before that Vedas were transferring verbally generation to generation. However, when, the first time humans received this knowledge or, we humans own created this treasure?. Vedas tells about this when Vedas transferred to humans. Let’s try to find out the answer.
What are the Vedas about?
Are Vedas the product of primitive minds, who were expressing the natural phenomena of rain, clouds, and thunder as medieval commentators describe? Why did the Hindus have so much respect for a book that is seemingly about cows and horses, about rain and clouds? What is that extra-ordinary knowledge in the Vedas, so that the Indians for thousands of years have considered it as the source of all knowledge? In Manusmṛti 2.7, the Vedas are told to be the books of all fields of knowledge. Manusmṛti 2.11 declares that “nāstiko vedanindakaḥ” meaning one who criticizes the Vedas is a non-believer. One may not believe in God and can still be a believer.
Manu Smriti 2.6
|“वेदोऽखिलो धर्ममूलं स्मृतिशीले च तद्विदाम् । आचारश्चैव साधूनामात्मनस्तुष्टिरेव च ॥ ६ ॥”|
|The entire Veda is the root-source of Dharma; also the Conscientious Recollection of righteous persons versed in the Veda, the Practice of Good (and learned) Men, and their self-satisfaction.—(6)|
Manu Smriti 2.7
|यः कश्चित् कस्य चिद् धर्मो मनुना परिकीर्तितः । स सर्वोऽभिहितो वेदे सर्वज्ञानमयो हि सः ॥ ७ ॥|
|Whatever Dharma for whatever person has been described by Manu,—all this is declared in the Veda; since the Veda embodies all knowledge.—(7)|
Manu Smriti 2.11
|योऽवमन्येत ते मूले हेतुशास्त्राश्रयाद् द्विजः । स साधुभिर्बहिष्कार्यो नास्तिको वेदनिन्दकः ॥ ११ ॥|
|If a twice-born person, relying upon the science of dialectics, should disregard these two sources, he should be cast out by good men,—the detractor of the Veda being an infidel.—(11)|
Meanings of the Vedas
At first glance, it looks like Ved is a book about cows, horses and otherworldly matters without any kind of meaning. Why would such a book be considered as the book of all knowledge from time immemorial? The only explanation is that there is a hidden meaning of Rigveda. Every information is in the coded form in the Rigveda and one needs to have extraordinary knowledge about every element of the Universe to decode this. There will be information, which humanity has not been encountered. At that time it looks given information pointless.
For instance, in the RigVed Ushas hymns, there is clearly mentioned about 30 days sunrise. But if one doesn’t aware of the poles phenomenon then this information is useless for him. Read my article on arctic life as per Vedas. There might be hundreds/thousands of instances which yet to encountered by humanity Rigveda clearly mentions that in the following verse Ṛgveda 1.164.39 it has a secret meaning.
|Original Translation||Upon what syllable of holy praise-song, as twere their highest heaven, the Gods repose them,– Who knows not this, what will he do with praise-song? But they who know it well sit here assembled.|
|Translation in More Understandable Form||The Vedic mantras are in the never-decaying remotest sky, where all the gods reside. One who does not know that, what will he do with Vedic mantras? One who knows that the gods stay with him.|
Creation Story In RigVeda
The creation is only a manifestation of the Supreme Being. Before creation, the Supreme Being existed in an unmanifested form. This form is called a golden womb, a womb because the whole universe originated from it. Why the womb is considered golden? Gold has a special color. Materials turn golden at very high temperatures. The womb from which sun, stars, and galaxies are formed, golden is an appropriate adjective for that. Gold is thus the color of energy in the Vedic literature.
|Original Translation||In the beginning, rose Hiranyagarbha, born Only Lord of all created beings. He fixed and holdeth up this earth and heaven. What God shall we adore with our oblation?|
|Translation in More Understandable Form||Before creation there existed a golden womb, he was the only lord of everything born. He holds earth and this heaven. Ṛgveda 10.121.1.|
There are two complete hymns 10.129 and 10.130 for creation. These both hymns contain 7-7 sloks respectively which tells us more about the universe creation. These hymns’ translation is so easy to understand that we can easily relate it with Big Bang theory with little imagination. Although it tells us far more than the Big Bang. Reading these hymns are so interesting. Below hymns, translation is done by Ralph T.H. Griffith
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?
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.
Darkness there was: at first concealed in darkness this All was indiscriminate chaos. All that existed then was void and formless: by the great power of Warmth was born that Unit.
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.
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
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?
He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it, Whose eye controls this world in the highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not.
This hymn is very deep in meaning. By reading the translation it doesn’t look so complex but one should keep in mind that this hymn is thousands of years old. How someone with a very primitive mindset can write such a complex theory which science justified a few decades back. It itself proves that our ancestors or whoever transferred this knowledge to humans had a good Idea of every element of the Universe. This hymn particularly focused on the condition which occurred before the Big Bang as per Science. But this hymn can give a good idea about the creation who is trying to discover the same fact by science.
How the Universe was Born?
The Universe creation is described in these hymns. What happened in those initial moments during the creation of the Universe. In Science, we know that in the name of Big Bang theory.
LET US with tuneful skill proclaim these generations of the Gods, That one may see them when these hymns are chanted in a future age.
These Brahmanaspati produced with blast and smelting, like a Smith, Existence, in an earlier age of Gods, from Non-existence sprang.
Existence, in the earliest age of Gods, from Non-existence sprang. Thereafter were the regions born. This sprang from the Productive Power.
Earth sprang from the Productive Power the regions from the earth were born. Daksa was born of Aditi, and Aditi was Daksa’s Child.
For Aditi, O Daksa, she who is thy Daughter, was brought forth. After she was the blessed God’s born sharers of immortal life.
When ye, O Gods, in yonder deep close clasping one another stood, Thence, as of dancers, from your feet a thickening cloud of dust arose.
When, O ye Gods, like Yatis, ye caused all existing things to grow, Then ye brought Surya forward who was lying hidden in the sea.
Eight are the Sons of Aditi who from her body sprang to life. With seven she went to meet the Gods she cast Martanda far away.
So with her Seven Sons, Aditi went forth to meet the earlier age. She brought Martanda thitherward to spring to life and die again.
This hymn is short of telling the fact of creation and about after the creation. But RigVed clearly differentiates between God and Humans. Aditi’s seven’s went to God with Aditi and 8th son which is not God and not immortal become the immortal universe.
The last two verses tell us about Mārtaṇḍa. Mārtaṇḍa means a dead egg. The egg is the universe itself, so dead egg means a universe that had no life. In the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, there is an interesting story about Mārtaṇḍa. “Aditi had eight sons. Only seven out of them were called Ādityas. Eighth Mārtaṇḍa a did not have differentiated organs.
Ādityas saw that he did not match with them, so they divided his organs. Then he turned into a man. He was named Vivasvāna and all people were born from him. It is important to note that Vivasvāna is the universe and he could not possibly give birth to human beings. The sage of hymns 8.27-31 in the Ṛgveda is Vaivasvata Manu. Vaivasvata means son of Vivasvāna. In Indian scriptures, Vivasvāna is the father of Manu, the first king (One of the Vishnu’s incarnations “Matsya Avatar” came to earth to save king Manu from a severe catastrophe ancient flood).
Once the creation of human beings was accepted soon after the creation of the universe in post-Vedic literature, the Vedas were assumed to be delivered to human beings in the beginning. But there it is very “human beings was accepted” subjective term. In whose eyes human beings were accepted or where human beings were accepted. In my view might be the creator first wanted to evolve humans up to a certain level and after that knowledge was given.
Vedas is the true source of knowledge whether it is about Universe creation, Earth Creation, Human creation and evolution. But our ancestors were very well aware of the misusage of knowledge so they wrote Vedas purposefully in a coded way. So only interested people decode information. Information in the Vedas is so much coded that sometimes it can take years to decoded appropriate meaning out of hymns.
Due to this, the number of genuine users becomes very less by the time. There is always a complaint about Vedas that after a scientific discovery only we start saying that it is present in Vedas. In my view, as I already mentioned above that one who wants to decode the message, needs to have extraordinary knowledge about each element of the Universe which is not possible. The people who pursue advance science is not pursuing Vedas. People who pursue Vedas not pursuing science extensively.
If somehow these two streams can come together then decoding of the Vedas and discovery in science can be accelerated. All the views in this article are solely my understanding of Vedas. It might need more accuracy in some places.
Many elements of this article taken from Book Vedic physics by Raja Ram Mohan Roy