The importance of VEDAS in our culture.

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Vedas are actually a body of knowledge and the scriptures say: “ The Vedas are the breath of God.” They can be rightly called the treasure-trove of Hindu religion, tradition and culture. They contain codes of righteous conduct and are supposed to have been taught by God Himself thousands of years ago. They help build moral integrity and norms that are applicable even today.

    They are classified as exoteric dealing with ceremonial acts and esoteric dealing with acquiring spiritual knowledge. The Vedas are technically termed Sruti, revealed knowledge and explain eternal truths and remain authoritative statements all the time.

    A unique feature of the Vedas is its adoption of humanistic approach to abstract and difficult subjects. Social, political and economic problems of life have been taken into account by the Vedas and a scheme has been framed to attain prosperity in all walks of life. With this, the common man’s mind is fully satisfied.

    According to tradition, they were not the compositions of a human being, arrived at through intellectual and logical reasoning, based on sense perception. They are God’s revelations. They were available in the creation, in the forms of sound waves and Rishis were qualified to receive them. Sru means “ to hear “ and sruti means “ that which is heard.” Hence we can rightly say that Rishis served as a media for reaching the vedas to humanity and Sruti is the “ breath” of the Lord.

    The vedas can be broadly classified into Vedapurva & Vedantha.

    Vedapurva contains the Karma kanda and upasana kanda , which design a lifestyle for a fulfilling life. The purpose of the Karma Kanda is to eliminate the impurities of mind. Upasana Kanda helps us attain single-ponitedness.

    Vedantha consists of jnana kanda and mainly upanishads and are meant to be learnt when one becomes mature and seeks self-knowledge. These revelations, containing indelible rules relating to man’s safe voyage in life are paramount, infinite and have no end.

    The vedic utterances govern all aspects of a man’s life. They are not against material welfare but impose a simple condition that they should be within the constitutional freamework of virtue which is called Dharma.

    Unity in diversity at the world level is the favourite theory of the Vedas and they have kept in mind, man’s needs and aspirations, his quest for peace and the link that ought to be established between God and an individual soul.

    Digging into the mine of Vedic knowledge has resulted in unearthing several secrets which the scientific knowledge has discovered at a later stage.It has even been proven that when one chants Vedic mantras without understanding their meaning, positive effects are produced on the body. This is the power of the Vedic mantras.This only proves that we should be rightly proud of our culture and heritage !

    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
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  2. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    truly enlightening........

    Dear Chitra,

    From explaining the two diff cultures, rituals & symbols to answering simple questions like, why do we go to temples? (the answer was definitely amazing), now we are ready for your latest post on Vedas.
    This post looks a bit tough but truly enlightening.
    I've heard about vedas & vedantha & dharma but this mail helped me put them in the right place & understand them better.
    where do we find the vedic mantras?? If there are some simple mantras, pls do share them here..

    Love & regards,
     
  3. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Meena, it looks a little tough, but it is easy to understand.

    This morning I had asked for an interview with my Vedantha Teacher Swami Paramarthananda. He specifically mentioned to me that we are following many things in our culture based on faith and it is safe to assume that they should be followed without asking too many " why"s & asking for scientific explanations. He says that way, we get " side tracked" unnecessarily ! Major rituals only are veda based, others are tradition based & varies with each community, given the large number in our country.
    Now, coming to a controversial point, there are 2 schools of thought about veda mantras being chanted by ladies. My Guru does not subscribe positively to this. So I chant shlokas & just shanti mantras in Vedas. Veda mantras have to be correctly learnt from a good teacher because pronounciation & meter are more important. One cannot learn it from a book, is what I am given to undestand.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  4. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    dear Chitra,

    That was a good one on vedas...it sounds difficult to understand at first reading...but you have really put it in such simple layman's lang that it is kind of easy to accept....
    But if ladies were not allowed to recite, i am wondering is it really necessary for us to do it? I wonder why this parapaksham? Any specific reasons?Or did the men those days feel that we had enough to do anyway, what with house work and child bearing and rearing etc? um..then they were compassionate i guess!

    And what do u feel about the cassettes available...if they have the correct pronounciation, do u think the effects will be positive to just put them on everyday, ....even if th eindividual does not recite it along....what is ur onion on this...since the market is flooded with such cassettes.....
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thankyou, Sudha, you had the patience to read through !

    I was quite " wary " of posting " vedas", because the very mention of the word makes one think it is complex. But still I went ahead because they are the very breath of our culture. If one honestly decides to understand & makes an attempt, without a preconceived prejudice, it is simple. I personally feel, that i have made it as simple a presentation as possible. Just a little determination & application to understand is necessary.
    When I buy veda casettes, I make sure the person is very learned & his chanting is good. There are many such available in the market. I buy the ones from institutions so that they have a seal of approval by the mutt heads.
    Why do you think, it is " parapaksham" ? We have enough work cooking, looking after the children etc whereas men " have all the time in the world: ( ?!) to do all these to bring in positive energy in the house. Let us interpret it as " division of labour" !
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  6. sumanr

    sumanr Silver IL'ite

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    Thanks for the introduction on Veda. Very helpful.
    Regarding whether it needs to be chanted by ladies or not, I have heard and read that during the Vedic period there were lady scholars who used to chant vedas. May be after the society developed to a stage where women confined themselves to the kitchens, as Chitra said, since they already had enough work, this additional task was not given to them. But these days when the demarkation on what women & men need to do is slowly going away, this 'parapaksham' may also get erased.
    If there is any other reason on why women should not chant, please enlighten me.
     
  7. SuBa

    SuBa Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Mrs.Chithra
    I was really looking forward to your posting today on this thread.Am still trying to take in what i have read on the importance of vedas and its not difficult to understand.You have written so well and so clearly that it really helps me to understand it that much faster.
    I know the word "Vedas" and i know its something ancient but thats as far as it goes.I really do have to thank you for this particular topic for how often do you come across people talking about it?Please do continue to post on subjects thats rich in our culture.

    Love
    Suba
     
  8. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Just a sharing of thoughts, sumanr !

    I have heard that in Pune Lady Vedic Pundits conduct Homa, Yajna etc. There is even a group in Tamil Nadu, I am told. In fact, in Puttaparthi it is very much allowed & veda classes are conducted for women. It is quite popular now to hear ladies chanting Veda. So there is no bar on that.
    When I asked my Guru, he just said to me " When you have so many texts like soundaryalahari, Aditya Hridayam, Vishnu & Lalitha sahasranamams, read them all ". I took the hint, that is all. It is one's own decision, ultimately.
    But one thing is certain - veda mantras should be learnt with the correct pronunciation & meter from qualified teachers only. Self-learning is generally not recommended.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  9. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for your appreciation, Suba.

    When I started this thread itself, my idea was to introduce a slightly " heavy subject" now & then.
    We should not assume that our culture is full of only rituals. There is MUCH beyond that, which, atleast we should make an attempt to understand. If we do not understand it when we read it first, a second attempt will be more helpful.
    When they form the " treasure-chest" of our culture, I think it is our duty for everyone of us to know what they mean at all ! Somehow we always assume, it is all fit for only the older generation ! When I was younger, I had no exposure to all this. Now I regret not having learnt about the deeper and abstract aspects of our culture. Hence I want to share with younger generation people like you, what I lost out in my younger days.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
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  10. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Wonderful Explanation

    Dear Ms. C,

    That was a great explanation. My favorite Veda to listen to is Sama Vedam, it is so melodious and just transports one to another world.

    From what i have gathered, It was Sage Manu, who came up with all this parapaksham for women. Before that, women were on par with men when it came learning vedas, scriptures etc... Please correct me if I am wrong in this ?
    My pattis guru mami, is an example of a lady who is well learned. Even the gayathri matnram which is supposed to be chanted only by men , according to her, can be chanted by women also. Like you said it is ones aptitude for learning and having the proper guru to teach.

    Vandhana
     

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