Did You Know – What is Veda and Vedic Literature
Veda, an age-old Indian scripture is a blueprint for a happier life, an encyclopedia of Consciousness covering what it is, how it manifests and expresses in different forms, how things emerge from nothing, transformed in different things and then merges back into nothing. Vedic paradigm states that “Consciousness is all there is”, a message that many other age-old religions and advanced civilizations in the past have reiterated in their own style and manner.
The application of Vedic Knowledge in different walks of life is embedded in Vedic literature in the form of stories in epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. ‘Ayurveda’, a section of Veda that deals with ‘Ayur’ meaning age or life and has lately gained popularity, is just a subset of Vedic literature. It is a profound timeless knowledge of how to optimize health and longevity. It is the original owner’s manual for the human body. It explains our individual differences and how to harmonize with them to maintain balance, improve vitality, and resist disease, primarily through choices of diet, lifestyle and most importantly thinking.
Ayurvedic knowledge as in the Ayurveda flowed from the cognition by ancient seers who discovered the Vedas within the settled state of their own self-referral awareness. Unlike modern medicine, Ayurveda is not man-made. It is a fundamental truth of life open to reaffirmation.
Ṛk ( ॠक़्) Veda is the main or apex of the scriptures. Ṛk (there is no word with exactly the same pronunciation in English. Refer to the youtube video on its pronunciation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKBKymO_RLE. Veda, as the name suggests and explained in the diagram below, expresses the knowledge of Ṛk – the infinite dynamism found in the infinite silence of Consciousness (Ṛ) knowing itself in all its point values (k). The magic of Sanskrit is that the very sound of the name Ṛk expresses what it is. The field of Consciousness is both the source of life and the goal of its evolution. Thus, even if one may not be aware of it, every human being at the very core is living, walking, and talking Veda.
The figure below shows a whirlpool of dynamism—a transformation involving the collapse of Infinity (ॠ Rrr, pronunciation of which requires to open full mouth and rolling of the tongue) to silence (क़् K(pronunciation of which requires closing of mouth and stillness of the tongue) in 8 spiral movements of Consciousness on one side while the collapse of silence to dynamism on the other side. This process of transformation is the source of creation in nature as well as its destruction. The two transformations occur simultaneously, thereby, maintaining the balance in nature.
Veda and Vedic Literature
Maharishi in 1975 cognized wholeness hidden behind the scattered parts of Vedic literature. He placed the various scriptures in the structure displaying the dynamics inherent in its structure. According to him, Vedic literature consists of four Vedas and thirty-six Vedic scriptures.
Rk Veda is the main and is a blueprint of creation. It represents total knowledge of Consciousness. The hymns of Ṛk Veda are found reverberating beyond space, time and change in the field of absolute pure Consciousness. Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda are expressions of Rk Veda from perspectives of the observer, object, and process of observing (these three terms are explained in section dealing with what is Vedic Science). Other famous scriptures like Upanishad, Puranas, Mahabharat are part of the Vedic literature enumerating different aspects of Consciousness in different forms.
Many may be pleasantly surprised to know that the Upanishads don’t teach renunciation, they teach a life of fulfilment. Bhagavad-Gita is the essence of Vedic literature and a complete guide to practical life, an encyclopedia, and an administrative gospel to deal with a constant battlefield of mind and body, head and intellect, reason and feeling, good and evil, right and wrong. It provides “all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level”.
The figure above shows a recursive cycle of life as a journey of seed to tree and back to seed.
Vedic terms and their meaning:
Purusha, a Vedic term signifying a state of the human mind in complete silence, an absence of vibrations similar to an ocean without waves.
Prakriti is the thoughts and images of real or imaginary world imprint on the screen of the human mind or various active states of the mind.
Shruti means sound while Smriti means memory.
Brahman means real physical world while
Atman is the human Consciousness.
Human Consciousness takes various forms, unmanifest to manifest to unmanifest. It transforms and expresses in various forms and shapes simultaneously. The cycle starts with a mental image in the mind, draws intelligence already existing in the vacuum state in the form of Shruti and Smriti. Shruti is what is being heard while Smriti is what is being said or recalled from the memory, the vacuum. Shruti is what is recorded and compiled as Veda. It is the sound of nature during the steps of creation.
This same concept, the cycle of life is depicted by Yin Yang in Chinese philosophy. The symbol for Yin Yang is called the Taijitu. Most people just call it the Yin Yang symbol in the west. The Taijitu symbol has been found in more than one culture and over the years has come to represent Taoism.
Yin- Yang is a concept of dualism describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate and transform into one another.
Yin Yang is a fundamental aspect of Taoist thought. The word Yin comes out to mean “shady side” and Yang “sunny side”.
Yin Yang is the concept of duality forming a whole. For example, night (Yin) and day (Yang), female (Yin) and male (Yang). Over thousands of years, quite a bit has been sorted and grouped under various Yin Yang classification systems.
It is a need of the time to share this knowledge of life in an amenable language with examples that are easy to comprehend by people from different walks of life.