What are Vedas? History and Significance

The Vedas are sacred books that guide Hinduism (also known as Sanatan Dharma, which means "Eternal Order" or "Eternal Path"). Veda means "knowledge" in the sense that it is supposed to include fundamental knowledge about the underlying cause, function, and personal reaction to existence. They are regarded as one of the world's oldest, if not the oldest, religious works. They are usually referred to as "scripture," which is correct in that they are holy writings about the essence of God. The Vedas are supposed to be a transcription of the exact sounds of the universe from the moment of creation and forward, and hence take the form of hymns and chants. Reciting the Vedas is said to be like singing together with the universe's creative melody, which gave birth to all things visible and invisible from the beginning of time.

Understanding The Vedas: History And Significance

The Vedas, unlike other religious scriptures, are not thought to have been revealed to a specific person or persons at a specific historical moment; instead, they are thought to have always existed and were discovered by sages in deep meditative states sometime before c. 1500 BCE, though the exact date is unknown.

Between c. 1500 and c. 500 BCE (the Vedic

Period) in India, the Vedas existed in oral form and were passed down from guru to disciple for generations until they were committed to writing. They were carefully preserved verbally, with masters having students remember them forwards and backwards, with an emphasis on precise pronunciation to preserve what was initially heard.

The Vedas are recognised as a key spiritual authority by Orthodox Hindu groups. 

Beginning in the 19th century CE, reform movements have emphasized personal religious experience over scriptural authority and tradition, and as a result, some sects or offshoots of Hinduism reject the Vedas totally as superstition. Despite this, the writings are still recited, studied, and revered today, and they are a vital part of Hindu religious observances, festivals, and ceremonies.

The Vedas are thus regarded as Shruti in Hinduism, which means "heard," as opposed to Smritis, which are stories of great heroes and their conflicts found in works such as the Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Bhagavad Gita. 

The Four Vedas are made up of the following texts:

  • Sama Veda
  • Rig Veda
  • Yajur Veda
  • Atharva Veda

Each of them is further subdivided into the following sorts of text:

  • Upanishads
  • Aranyakas
  • Brahmanas
  • Samhitas

Is Jyotish a Part Of Vedas?

The Vedas are a representation of eternal knowledge that already exists inside us. Its emergence and

spread are intrinsically related to the formation of the universe and the spread of intelligent life. As a result, many analogies are employed to explain it in a manner that we can comprehend. Truth, in actuality, lies beyond what we can see now. Nonetheless, we must navigate our way through what we know now in order to comprehend what we don't know yet.

The jyotish is related to vedas and to the below mentioned points demonstrates that Jyotish is deeply rooted in Indian culture and is also a vital aspect of Vedic lore, which can be seen in the form of integrated relevance of planets and their references in astrology and vedas.

1) The Chakra (Zodiac) is discussed in the 4th Mantra of the 8th Sookta of the 10th Kanda, which has 12 Pradhayas (Spokes or the 12 Parts - Signs) and 360 Nails ( Degrees of the Zodiac). It also mentions the three Nabhies, which are the ellipse's points.

2) The 10th Mantra of the Atharva Veda's 19th Kanda mentions receiving favor from the Moon, the Sun, as well as Rahu and Ketu.

3) The 11th Mantra of the 51st Sookta of the first Mandal of the Rig Veda discusses the link between Heart Disease and the Sun. This Mantra asks the Sun to remove any native's heart problems.

4) The 13th Mantra from the same Sookta as above refers to "Strength and Prowess" being linked to the Sun, and asks the Sun to bestow power so that one can destroy one's foes.

5) The Sun is referred to as the Atma in the Rigveda's 115th Sookta's first mantra.

6) The Moon is linked to a Watery core in Mantra 89 of the 4th Sookta of the 18th Kanda of the Atharvaveda.

7) Chapter 15 Shloka 13 of the Bhagavad Gita mentions the Moon as being watery and sustaining all the planets.

8) In the Yajurveda, Chapter 15 and Mantra 54, Budh is linked to consciousness.

9) In Yajurveda Chapter 19 Shloka 75, the planet Venus is discussed in relation to sperm storage in the body.

10) The Rig Veda's fundamental structure incorporates knowledge of the Nakshatra system through symbolism of the number 27.

Prevention Of Vedas: Protection Of Our Culture

  • Swara Protection of Vedas

The established standards to ensure that not a single syllable while chanting, not even a Swara, was changed. In this way, it was ensured that the full advantages of invoking the mantras were realized. The designated  time it took to pronounce each syllable of a word as "matra," a unit of time or time interval, was observed and recorded  .

This science is presented in the Vedanga called SHIKSHA, which explains how we must regulate our breathing to produce the desired vibration in a certain portion of our body so that the sound of the enunciated syllable is produced in its purest form.

  • Patha Protection of Vedas

To ensure that words and syllables are not changed, a unique method was invented. The words of a mantra are strung together in diverse patterns, such as "vakya," "pada," "karma," "jata," "mala," "sikha," "rekha," "dhvaja," "danda," "ratha," and "ghana," according to this. These are many variations of chanting a Vedic Mantras words.