- Excellent for those who value wisdom. Profound Vedic thoughts. Primarily suited for nonmurthi upasana.
Om Gum Ganapataye Namah
Introduction to 5 Lessons on Vedic Sarasvati
Our lessons on Vedic Sarasvati is based on 52 verses on Sarasvati from the Rigveda. This course is not intended to cover all 50 verses. We will only be doing somewhere around 10 to 15 verses. Thus the term Pravesika is being used aptly therefore for this course.
Vedic concept of the divine is very unique. The modern Bharatiya's concept of the Divine has its roots here. However, we have modified and complicated it over the many centuries to match the modifications of our minds and our changing ways of living. A few pointers are given below that can help.
The Rgvedic concept of the Divine was spontaneous. This matched their language of communication which was also spontaneous. These concepts are not the result of deliberate planning seen in the later works. This planning is seen however in the other three Vedas that are later in their construction.
The Riks or stanzas of praise are conceptualizations of what the rishis spontaneously felt. The experience of Man, Nature, and Divine has to be reasoned by us. For them, it was a matter of instinctive and instantaneous experience. We are at a stage where we give hands, feet, body, jewelry, clothes, wife, births, events, etc to appreciate and worship Vishnu. They did not need that. Vishnu the pervasiveness Divine was a matter of experience to them. There was no room for dichotomous thinking. It is simply for that reason that modern man finds it hard to understand the Riks as we are approaching it with the magnifying glasses of a distracted mind. So many Western scholars and Indians inspired by the West have dubbed these Riks to be just beautiful hymns or poetry. Sadly enough that is merely MERE-ing them!
Vedic Sanskrit and its manner of expression and usage of words is different from the Itihasic and Pouranik Sanskrit. Often a single word in the Vedas has different meanings that hold good together and separate, but the word always carries with it, its essence which remains the same no matter what is being said. Agni can be the Divinity that is First, it can be the sacrificial fire, it can be the first Eagerness within. Throughout the essence of the word Agni the igniting factor remains the same. Go means cow, rays and light. Asva means horse, power, and speed. Vaaja means food, nourishment, and source. Ritam means water. It can also mean manifested Truth. It also stands for cosmic order and order in style of living, Saagara means ocean and the raw material for the building of creation. These are just a few of the many examples. Gender and Number made no difference when words to suggest the Divine was used. Thus Sarasvati can be the single source or the many streams, the neuter river, the feminine mother, the masculine sarasvantah, the result, or sarasvantam, the phenomenon of movement or flow.
The Riks being rishi-conceptualizations, their creators were not mere poets. Their understanding went beyond normal understanding. They are krannta darsees. Most important of all they are satya shrutah. They could hear the revealed truth. These truths are already there in the Vyoma(space or akasa) before and will continue to be after them. It is as if they went into the inner space or daharaakaasa and caught what is in outer space or mahaakaasa and expressed these truths in outpourings sublime and divine through the medium of speech. What resulted was these Riks that have an automatic parallel value. One that is an outer value baahya and one that is guhya or inner. That is why they became mantras. This double value is instantaneous. It can, therefore, be used to attain what we desire and ward off what we do not want. Its measurement in the outer life can be seen by ordinary man. Its measurement in the inner life is known only to the rishi and falls within the dominion of the "unmentionables". To translate these Rikis word to word would be an act of inadequacy. Paraphrasing them would therefore allow better comprehension.
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