For centuries aspersions have been cast upon the Vedas; ts of the Hindus of having unholy contents. If one really started believing in those aspersions, the entire Hindu philosophy, culture, and traditions would reduce to nothing but savagery, barbarism and cannibalism.
The Vedas – the very roots of Hinduism, rather the first source of knowledge on earth – are meant for guiding the actions of human being in order to lead a blissful life.
This slanderous campaign has been unleashed by different vested interests to embarrass Hindus around the world citing specific references from the Vedas.
This also comes handy in convincing poor and illiterate Indians to give up their faith on the grounds that their fundamental holy books – the Vedas – contain all the inhuman elements like denigration of women, meat-eating, polygamy, casteism and above all – beef eating.
The Vedas are also accused of animal sacrifice in sacrificial ceremonies popularly known as the YAJNA. Interestingly a section of home-bred intellectuals claiming to have deep study of ancient India has also come up, who cite references from works of western indologists to prove such unholy content in the Vedas.
Saying that the Vedas permit beef-eating and cow-slaughter amounts to striking a lethal blow to a Hindu’s soul. Respect for cow forms a core tenet of Hinduism. Once you are able to convince him of flaws in the foundation of this core tenet and make him feel guilty, he becomes an easy prey for the predator faiths. There are millions of ill-informed Hindus who are not empowered to counter argue and hence quietly surrender.
The vested interests that malign the Vedas are not confined to foreign and home-bred indologists alone. A certain class among Hindus exploited the rest of the population including the socially and economically weaker sections by forcing them to believe and follow what they said in the name of Vedas or else face the wrath.
All the slanders heaped upon the Vedas can be attributed mainly to the interpretations of commentaries written by Mahidhar, Uvat and Saayan in the medieval times; and to what Vam-margis or the Tantra cult propagated in their books in the name of the Vedas.
In due course the falsehood spread far and wide and they became even more deep rooted when western scholars with their half baked knowledge of Sanskrit transliterated (and not translated from the original text) these interpretations of commentaries of Sayan and Mahidhar, in the name of translating the Vedas.
However, they lacked the pre-requisite understanding of Shiksha (Phonetics), Vyakarana (Grammar), Nirukta (Philology), Nighantu (Vocabulary), Chhanda (Prosody), Jyotish (Astronomy), Kalpa and so on that are critical for correct interpretation of the Vedas.
To give a ready example on how Vedas has been misinterpreted by Sayan, Mahidhar, Bhattacharya, Prof. Max Muller, Ralph TGH Griffith, Monier Williams, Maurice Bloomfield and other like minded scholars, the following verse of of RigVeda (8.48.3) is presented:-
“a ápāma sómam amŕtā abhūmâganma jyótir ávidāma devân c kíṃ nūnám asmân kṛṇavad árātiḥ kím u dhūrtír amṛta mártyasya”
Griffith translates thus “We have drunk Soma and become immortal; we have attained the light, the Gods discovered. Now what may foeman’s malice do to harm us? What, O Immortal, mortal man’s deception? The Ninth Mandala of the Rigveda is known as the Soma Mandala. It consists entirely of hymns addressed to Soma Pavamana (“purified Soma”).”
Let’s see the correct translation as per the Rishis:
Nirukta (the greatest authority on the translation of the Vedas) 4/3/13/44 has described the Soma as medicine promoting long life and youthful strength. The colour of Soma has been said of Harit Varna or green colour (yellow or tawny as per Wikipedia).
Sushrut (termed as father of Ayurveda medicine and surgery) in his Chikitsa Sthanvarti Chapter 8 has given 24 divisions of Soma. He has also termed Soma as the destroyer of old age and death (etymologically meaning promoting long life and youthful strength).
Nirukta Bhashya 5/1/3/13 and Rig Veda 10/89/6 have described Soma as a peaceful natured Soul.
Nirukta Bhashya 5/1/3/13 and Rig Veda 9/107/9 have described Soma as cow’s milk.
Similarly, Nirukta Bhashya 11/1/10/7 describes Soma as moon.
Now let’s see the translation of the above mantra as per Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in line with Nirukta Bhashya. This mantra describes the advantages of grain eating.
“(Soma) Oh Lord! (apam) We drink the juice of the grain. (amritah abhum) We become amrit i.e. have long life; (jyotih aganm) we strive to achieve bodily strength and eternal glow; (avidaam) may we achieve (devaan) the strength of our senses; (kin krinvat) what can (asman) our (aratih) internal enemies do to us (noonam) in this condition? (amrit) Oh deathless Ish or God! (kim) what can (dhurtih) violent and (martasya) murderous people do to me?”
The ninth Mandala of Rig Veda describes the peaceful qualities of the almighty and not as stated by Griffith.
The first misconception is about the origin of the Vedas. The following arguments have been placed by the ignorants:-
In summary, all the reasons provided to date Vedas are based on making the conclusion first (that Vedas are of recent origin) and then trying to cook up reasons. Similar to many corporates deciding to fix the profit numbers first and then preparing the accounts accordingly.
The fact however remains that no one ever could date Vedas. All ancient texts claim Vedas to be ever-present since inception.
Rishis are those people who through their deep meditation found meanings of these verses. The suktas on which a particular Rishi meditated is referred with that Rishi’s name. So Rishi are Mantra-Drashta and not Mantra-Rachayita (They are seers and not creators of Mantras)
Many mantras in Vedas have more than one rishis. Some have even thousand rishis. How can thousand rishis together make one verse?
The same Mantra in Vedas occurring at different sections have different Rishis. How can that be possible if Rishis were creators of mantras?
All ancient aarsh texts and even new Purans consider Vedas as revealed knowledge. Even Vedas claim so. Further there is no evidence whatsoever to make a claim that Vedas are written by Rishis.
A) Rigveda (10/85/13) declares, “On the occasion of a girl’s marriage oxen and cows are slaughtered.”
Fact: The mantra states that in winter, the rays of sun get weakened and then get strong again in spring. The word used for sun-rays in ‘Go’ which also means cow and hence the mantra can also be translated by making ‘cow’ and not ‘sun-rays’ as the subject. The word used for ‘weakened’ is ‘Hanyate’ which can also mean killing. But if that be so, why would the mantra go further and state in next line (which is deliberately not translated) that in spring, they start regaining their original form. How can a cow killed in winter regain its health in spring? This amply proves how ignorant and biased communists malign Vedas.
B) Rigveda (6/17/1) states that “Indra used to eat the meat of cow, calf, horse and buffalo.” (translation by Avatar Gill and group)
Fact: The mantra states that brilliant scholars enlighten the world in the manner that wood enhances the fire of Yajna. We fail to understand from where did Avtar Gill and his friends discover Indra, cow, calf, horse and buffalo in this mantra! Also, there is a word “Gavyam”, which are five in numbers according to Aayurved-cow’s milk, curd, butter, Mutra and Apashisht. Where does the flesh come into the picture? Mantra clearly says that the king should be well built through Saatvik bhojan like Ghrit, so that he can defend his country and kill the monsters.
C) Manusmriti contains violence against animals
Fact:- Unfortunately, most of the vedic texts in the last 1000 years have been adulterated. Though much work has been done in cleansing these texts in the last 100 years, still the adulterated ones remain in circulation. These adulterated texts are great source of misconceptions. Purana and Bhaagvat (not bhagvad geeta) is perhaps the most adulterated (we doubt even its basic writing as many portions of it are Avedic), which is beyond repair. Any reference to such cannot be taken as proof of Vedic Granth containing barbarism.
Example, you would come accross some reference from adulterated Manusmriti, containing Violence against animals like:-
Manusmriti (Chapter 5 / Verse 30) says, “It is not sinful to eat meat of eatable animals, for Brahma has created both the eaters and the eatables.”
Manusmriti (5 / 35) states: When a man who is properly engaged in a ritual does not eat meat, after his death he will become a sacrificial animal during twenty-one rebirths.
These are additional shlokas are either from adulterated Manu Smriti or misinterpreted by twisting of words. We recommend them to read Manu Smriti by Dr Surendra Kumar which is available from http://vedicbooks.com
D) Ramayan contains Violence in Ashwamedha
Fact:- The Ramayan we get today is a much interpolated text. Many verses have been added later on and that can be checked with a close scrutiny. The Uttar Ramayan, which contains the reference to Ashwamedha, can be proved to be a later addition by even a layman. No mantra in Vedas refer to any form of animal sacrifice. All those mantras which are alleged to have animal sacrifice, can be easily proved to mean something else, if we look at context and root meanings of the words, as used in ancient texts of grammar and vocabulary. Many of these come from misinterpretation from translations of Sayana and Mahidhar who were born in around 15th century. These translations were then publicized by western indologists. But if you look at ancient translations, and references in other books like Shatpath, Nirukta, Nighantu etc, one can easily understand the truth. Infact, Ashwamedha means efforts to make nation better and has nothing to do with horse.
E) Some Hindu Philosophers have told that Hinduism permit meat eating
Fact:- Many people quote those, who may be good though one subject (like Yoga) but may not have credible understanding of the Vedas. These quotations are widely used to prove that Vedas prescribe barbaric things like Violence against animals and women, etc but the users of these quotations are unable to provide real proofs (directly from the Vedas and Vedic Granth). Also, we are not sure that these people have really made such comments or not:-
• Swami Vivekanand said: “You will be surprised to know that according to ancient Hindu rites and rituals, a man cannot be a good Hindu who does not eat beef”. (The Complete Works of Swami Vivekanand, vol.3, p. 536).
• Mukandilal writes in his book ‘Cow Slaughter – Horns of a Dilemma’, page 18: “In ancient India, cow-slaughter was considered auspicious on the occasions of some ceremonies. Bride and groom used to sit on the hide of a red ox in front of the ‘Vedi’ (alter).”
• A scholar of scriptures Dr. Pandurang Vaman Kane says, “Bajsancyi Samhita sanctifies beef-eating because of its purity”. (Dharmashastra Vichar Marathi, page 180)
• Adi Shankaracharya’ commentary on Brihdaranyakopanishad 6/4/18 says : ‘Odan’ (rice) mixed with meat is called ‘Mansodan’. On being asked whose meat it should be, he answers ‘Uksha’. ‘Uksha’ is used for an ox, which is capable to produce semen.
• The book ‘The History and Culture of the Indian People’, published by Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Bombay and edited by renowned historian R.C.Majumdar (Vol.2, page 578) says: “this is said in the Mahabharat that King Rantidev used to kill two thousand other animals in addition to two thousand cows daily in order to give their meat in charity”.
Some translators have fallen prey to wrong interpretation of the language. A typical example of foul play by some hell-bent on justifying their obsession with beef in ancient texts, is to translate Mansa as ‘meat’. In reality, ‘Mansa’ is a generic word used to denote pulp. Meat is called ‘Mansa’ because it is pulpy. So mere presence of ‘Mansa’ does not mean it refers to meat.
Now, lets see, how a pure mind would read the following lines from Shatpath Brahmin (3/1/2/21) by Maharishi Yagyavalkya:-
“I eat Mansa because it is very soft and delicious.” Infact, reading the whole passage containing this verse, one would know that the passage is factually opposing meat eating.
Similar injustice can be found, after reading with a pure mind and correct reference, on the following misconceptions:-
Apastamb Grihsutram (1/3/10) says, “The cow should be slaughtered on the arrival of a guest, on the occasion of ‘Shraddha’ of ancestors and on the occasion of a marriage.”
Vashistha Dharmasutra (11/34) writes, “If a Brahmin refuses to eat the meat offered to him on the occasion of ‘Shraddha’ or worship, he goes to hell.”
F) Ashwa Medha, Gomedha Yajna and Naramedha Yajna are example of violence
Fact:- One of the biggest accusation of cattle and cow slaughter comes in the context of the Yajnas that derived their names from different cattle like the Ashwamedh Yajna, the Gomedha Yajna and the Nar-medh Yajna. Even by the wildest stretch of the imagination the word Medha would not mean slaughter in this context.
It’s interesting to note what Yajurveda says about a horse.
Imam ma himsirekashafam pashum kanikradam vaajinam vaajineshu
Yajurveda 13.48. Do not slaughter this one hoofed animal that neighs and who goes with a speed faster than most of the animals.
Aswamedha does not mean horse sacrifice at Yajna. Instead the Yajurveda clearly mentions that a horse ought not to be slaughtered. In Shathapatha, Ashwa is a word for the nation or empire. The word medha does not mean slaughter. It denotes an act done in accordance to the intellect Alternatively it could mean consolidation, as evident from the root meaning of medha i.e. medhru san-ga-me
Raashtram vaa ashwamedhah
Annam hi gau
Swami Dayananda Saraswati wrote in his Light of Truth:A Yajna dedicated to the glory, wellbeing and prosperity of the Rashtra the nation or empire is known as the Ashwamedh yajna. “To keep the food pure or to keep the senses under conor to make the food pure or to make a good use of the rays of Sun or keep the earth free from impurities[clean] is called Gomedha Yajna”. “The word Gau also means the Earth and the yajna dedicated to keep the Earth the environment clean is called Gomedha Yajna”. “The cremation of the body of a dead person in accordance with the principles laid down in the Vedas is called Naramedha Yajna”.
G) Honey and Milk are animal products, so why not meat?
Another type of misconception has aroused because of change in the technique of doing things. For example, it is common to see violence on Cows (injection, etc) whilst extracting milk. This experience read with Vedas saying that “Milk is good” will create confusion in the minds of the ignorant. Vedas not only suggests on extracting the milk from Cow, but also suggests to do so with love and care. Another example would be honey. Extracting honey is like snatching away bees’ food. But that’s not the intent. Honey can be extracted without harming the bees [For large scale production, honey is collected in a smart way. There are wooden boxes of certain height and bees collect their honey inside it. As soon as level of honey reaches the height of box, it starts flowing down through the outer wall of box and is collected. So only extra honey, which was not essential for bees is collected and thus it can be consumed.]
Meat on the other hand cannot be obtained by love and care from living animals. Moreover, according to the ayurveda, human body is suitable for only vegetarian food.
Logics given by believers of this myth are as follows:
Logic 1: Vedas contain names of many Gods and Goddesses
(a). Paramatma is omnipotent and limited human mind cannot comprehend all attributes of Paramatma at same time. So vedas contain prayers to same one Paramatma. Different mantras however focus on different attributes of Paramatma and hence use different adjectives for Paramatma.
(b). Even Vedas claim that there is only one Ishwar and not more than that.
Logic 2: Vedic suktas have names of Devatas associated with them. These are the various Gods and Goddesses.
The name of Devata associated with Vedic mantras refer to the subject of that particular sukta. That has nothing to do with various Gods and Goddesses in conventional sense. There are 33 devatas referred in Vedic texts, but this is also clearly elucidated that these refer to inanimate objects and not worth being worshipped. Vedas clearly proclaim that Paramatma is One and He alone is to be worshipped.
The whole confusion comes because ignorants assume Devata to be synonym of Paramatma. Devata means something or someone that gives, enlighten or illuminates. So in many contexts, Paramatma is also Devata. But so is soul/ Atman and all other animate and inanimate objects which satisfies this meaning of Devata. Thus parents, teacher, scholars, spouse are also devatas. Devatas deserve respect because they give us selfless benefits.
But Devata is not the goal of Worship, only Paramatma is, and Vedas are extremely clear on this.
Vedas are for every human being. But to be able to decipher meanings of vedic mantras in scholarly manner, several requirements are must:
a. Understanding of roots of vedic words, grammar and usages
b. A scientific and rational temper of mind
c. And most importantly, being a yogi.
Just as you do not get admitted to IIT or IIM without passing the entrance test, one cannot be eligible to comment on Vedas unless he or she is a yogi.
In other words, one cannot be taken seriously on vedic matters if he or she is say a drunkard, meat-eater, prone to anger, egoist, frustrated, hedonist, etc etc. Simply put he or she has to be a yogi to be a rishi (one who can understand the true meaning of vedas).
Thus Vedas is not a text which every Tom, Dick or Harry can start commenting upon merely by studying some basic conventional sanskrit grammar and reading few sanskrit books. The mantras of vedas are to be unlocked through process of deep meditation and contemplation. More one progresses on yogic path, more clearly is he or she able to understand Vedas. But for a non-yogi with stone mind, only stones can be obtained from Vedas.
Most western scholars, based upon their PhDs from universities based on and equipped for non-vedic studies start assuming that they have a preferential superiority over analysing Vedas. They simply ignore the eligibility conditions for entering into vedic arena.
This is not a blanket statement against all foreigners, but simply on basis of works of most prominent western indologists. This is also not to say that these problems are not infecting those native of India. In fact the problem is much more severe because of their inferiority complex coupled with prejudiced mindsets – likes of Romila Thapar, DN Jha etc are ready examples.
Rig Veda says “Krunvanto Vishwam Aryam”. ( 9.63.5). I did a simple exercise. I checked translation of this by Griffith and Wilson:
“Performing every noble work, active, augmenting Indra’s strength,
Driving away the godless ones.” (Griffith’s translation)
Now the phrase is not even typical Vedic Sanskrit. It is a very simple phrase to translate.But to Griffith the words “Krunvanto” and “Vishwam” do not exist. To Wilson, all three words do not exist in the verse. The cardinal mimansa rule of interpreation is “Yatha Vachanam Tatha vachanikam” (Read it as it is without adding anything or subtracting anything).Messrs.Wilson and Griffith discard this rule. Probably, the motive is to paint the word “Aryan” as racist. Translating the words as “Ennoble the whole world” would mean they cannot attribute racist connotations to the word.
Thus all those who claim to have superior claim on Vedas because of their so-called scientific studies need to be analysed more in detail. People who turn out to be non-yogis (as per Paatanjal Yoga Sutra) have to rejected outrightly.
Misconception based translation: If a husband is not capable to produce sperms (i.e. Impotent) ,then he have the right to order his wife. To copulate with other man to beget a child [RigVed Mantra 10 Sutra 10)
Questions raised basis the above translations and the Refuting answers are as below:-
Answer: This is not true.
First there is no concept of order in marital relations in Vedas.
Second, Niyog was a social custom for an emergency situation which was applicable only when all other options of getting a child – including adoption – had been exhausted and getting a child was necessary for couple for any valid reason.
Third, it could happen only if the society permits this. This cannot be independent decision of couple alone.
Fourth, this is exactly that was practiced in all societies of world including Islam. For example, Hazrat Ismail was born when Hazrat Ibrahim impregnated his slave. Hazrat Muhammad got his son from Maria who was his slave and not one of his multiple wives.
Answer: No, the mantra only says that if someone does not consider himself to be able to perform his duties in a dual relation, he should allow the other person to seek other partner. This is a very broad principle that can apply in all situations of life – business partnership, master-servant, king-subject or marital relationship etc. Earlier people have tried to interpret this to justify Niyog and avoid prostitution. But Vedas do not get into such details.
Answer: Vedas do not have any word like Niyog. Niyog was a social custom invented for those times where people wanted a child to protect their property, have safety in old age etc but were unable to get a child due to some reason. Niyog literally means a union. It is understood to mean a temporary appointment. This is social custom and not a word from Vedas. In any case, even the social custom of Niyog was to PROHIBIT wife exchanging and hence means exactly opposite of what seem to perceived. In today’s society, when variety of new methods of fertility as well as options for adoption exists and the concept of patriarchal kingdoms has vanished, Niyog is not more applicable even as a social concept, in same manner as one need not wear dress of hide-skins when you live near a tailor shop and have money to by dresses.
Besides , the Rik Veda also say that if at all the women has taken a second man as the new husband(under the condition of first husband being impotent), her first husband cannot have any physical relation with her and he acts as her brother in relation.
Coming to current mantra 10.10.10 of Rigveda, it says:
Anyam – someone else
Ichhasva – desire
Subhage – one desiring happiness
Patim – Leader
Mat – Apart from me
Now Pati is a broad term – king is a pati, general is a pati, employer is a pati, parents are pati. Anyone who is supposed to take responsibility is a Pati.
The mantra says that if one is not able to assure happiness for his dependent, he should voluntarily allow the person to seek someone else as responsibility-taker. This mantra forms the reason why in Bharat, kings, when they got old, used to appoint a new ruler. Dont you think its the most ideal and noble concept?
The Supreme Knowledge called Vedas are like water flowing in a river . They are ever since creation of mankind on the earth and have remained intact even after many “pralay(s)”. They at the beginning of the human kind were revealed to the most worthy people Agni , Vaayu , Angiraa and Aaditya rishii.
There is not a single reference of history or geography after the evolution of the human kind in the Vedas. And to say that Vedas contain history because of words like Pururuva, Ram, Tutvasu is like saying Bhagvad Puran and poems of Soordas are stories of BJP because it contains mention of Lal Krishna, Murli Manohar, Swaraj, Arun, Atal, etc.
Vedas do not contain any reference of any other book, scripture or person. However, other books, scriptures, etc do contain the reference of Vedas.
Due to the flawless sciencetific methodology used in the literature of the Vedas (please see http://satyavidya.org/must-read/unchangeable-vedas), even the slightest of adulteration of the Vedas can be detected by the intelligent mind. So even after lacs of years of evolution, Vedas are the only texts which are unchanged and unadulterated.
Vedas contains reference to the cycles of creation and destruction. However, reference to cyclical definite event does not constitute history. This verse would be applicable in future creations as well, and has been applicable always.
Vedas talk of fundamental laws and principles. Things that remain the same. Human actions are subject to human will for which ishwar has granted us freedom. Vedas will not foretell that. It can at best say that if you do x,y,z then a,b or c will happen. Vedas are books of science and hence do not deal with things that can change based on human will.
For example Vedas will not predict that Kaliyug will be full of problems. Ishwar has given us will and capability to change the present reality and declining trend. If indeed this were impossible, why would Vedas call for Purusharth to change society and self for better? But Vedas will predict that the only way to win over Mrityu is by knowing ishwar the way He is. There is no other way.
If we try to know Him, different kind of human event will happen. If we refuse to do so, a different kind will happen. Collective of this over many people becomes a human historical event.
Its a big misconception that Vedas were written or even compiled by Maharshi Vyaasa ji. However, Some believe that Vedavyasa made Vedas into written form for this age of Kali where memory is short, though there is no evidence to such belief.