Posts Tagged Rigveda
Prajapati! thou only comprehendest all these created things, and none beside thee.
Grant us our hearts’ desire when we invoke thee: may we have store of riches in possession.
उ॒तेशि॑षे प्रस॒वस्य॒ त्वमेक॒ इदु॒त पू॒षा भ॑वसि देव॒ याम॑भिः । उ॒तेदं विश्वं॒ भुव॑नं॒ वि रा॑जसि श्या॒वाश्व॑स्ते सवित॒ स्तोम॑मानशे ॥
You are the One Lord over all (your very own) Creation, also you’re like Pusan through your forbearing acts, O God. And this whole world of beings is your reign, Savitr, for you SuryaHorse (also a Rsi) has created the hymn.
हिरण्यपाणिः सविता विचर्षणिरुभे द्यावापृथिवी अन्तरीयते । अपामीवां बाधते वेति सूर्यमभि कृष्णेन रजसा द्यामृणोति ॥
Savitr the golden-handed, busy with both of them, manifests in the inter DyavaPrithvi space. He overpowers sickening limitation, impels Surya (through it), and thus spreads Dyo’s Light out of the dark realm.
Varna, to recapitulate the short but clear exegesis of it in my book Kalicharan’s Veda, is a fourfold work-division of the urban Vedic society, and it corresponds, rather exceptionally, to the present day institutions – The Legislature (Parliament), The Executive (Government), The Judiciary (Court), and The Business – of a sufficiently developed nation and society. This correspondence is no accident, moreover, though how Veda invented Varna will not be discussed here as it is already dealt with in the book. That the Varna devolved into a culture of castes – how the four became respectively the Brahmin, the Kshatriya, the Sudra and the Vaisya castes – is also underscored in the book.
The blanket failure of Indian intellectuals, reformers, saints or leaders – past & present – to understand and spell out this simple historical fact is, however, shockingly beyond amazement, given the reality, the huge bearing, that this issue holds over in relation to the future of India as a country as well as a society. The closest that anyone came to it was Dr. B R Ambedkar, also known as the father of Indian Constitution, as in his essay Who were the Shudras? in which he nearly hit the bull’s eye when surmising that Sudras were something like the Kshatriyas. He was again remarkable in his dead-on remarks and assessment on the failure of the prevalent Indian leadership, not only on this account alone (cf. his critique of Arya Samaj) but on all frontiers, when he exposes the nearsightedness and animal greed of theirs and the venal role of the corporate driven media of that time. And nothing has changed today! Or if there are things that make this nation work, then in retrospect, these were thought out by this great son of Bharati alone, and as if he were to come back to life today, nothing of the current state of affairs would really surprise him, he most certainly would pick up silently from where he left it. (In my mind he scores slightly higher than the other two: Mahatma Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo. These three gentlemen, moreover, didn’t have any common ground at all between them and it is reasonable to believe that they were ill-disposed towards each other).
Coming back to the Rig-Veda, first the word Brahman. This word comes in two accents: the neuter action noun Bráhman meaning prayer, and the agent noun Brahmán which means something or someone related with prayer. So, as is the case with the Rig-Veda, Brahmán word is used, purposely, to have a double meaning of Brahmán the Varna, or Brahmán the God the you-know-who of this esoteric poetry. Brahmán the Varna, moreover, is different from Brahmin (a word appearing only in the latest, and corrupted, chapter of the Rig-Veda) the caste. To adduce an example, the institution of Army (a constituent, & appendage, of the Legislature) was Brahmánical, as evidenced even today by traces of certain Brahmin warrior castes in India (which clearly stayed behind in India). The similar appendages to the Executive and the Judiciary were, respectively, the Militia and the Police.
There is a suspect play, similar to Brahman, of accents in the words दक्ष (Daks) and रुद्र (Rudra) as well, in a Sanskrit and grammar anterior to that of the Rig-Veda. The caste names क्षत्र (Kshatriya) and शूद्र (Sudra) can be seen to have some familial connections with these two. दdenotes power (as in दम) and क्ष denotes action (as in क्षय); so दक्ष means power of action, or skill. In क्षत्र, त्र means place (as in तत्र), so [action+place] means feudal control. A feudal system explains, perfectly, the ruling caste in an agrarian (land based) society, but fails to relate with the institution, the Varna, of Executive : say, to point to a civil-service officer in charge of irrigation department. The import is that, दक्ष, with a proper accent, could be the name for that institution during the times of Rig-Veda.
Again, in रुद्र, रु means “cry” (as in रुद्) and द्र means to run (as in द्राति) or continuation (as in निद्रा, sleep) or the state of . So रुद्र means the state of crying (or anger). Sounds good to be the word for Judiciary which anyway doles out punishment and fear to criminals, including those in Legislature and Executive. On the other hand, in the caste name शूद्र, शू (as in शूभा) could be seen in the light of the replacement of a negative रु of रुद्र with a positive शि (auspiciousness) of the post-Vedic name शिव of रुद्र. So शूद्र was meant to reflect दया (compassion)– towards the weak- more than दण्ड (punishment) part of it. To sum it up, रुद्र, with a distinct accent, looks likely to be the representative of Judiciary and its professionals of the Vedic age.
Finally, the Business Varna, a state unto itself, being the sum (विश्) of the other three, can be related to बृहस्पति, the God who is the sum of दक्ष, रुद्र and ब्रह्मन् (Brahman). And, indeed, the post-Vedic caste वैश्य sounds perilously close to बृहस्पति (compressed from ब्रह्मणस्पति). विश्पति (Head merchant) seems to be phonologically connected to बृहस्पति pronounced normally as वृहस्पति.
Apart from its invention of endogamy, Caste lost the kind of functionality and significance that Varna held; in the post-Vedic agrarian society there were only two classes de facto: the landlords and the landless, quite unmindful of the castes of the constituting peoples. Dasyu Bharat had already arrived!
PS: I will take up this issue again, later, but dear Reader, if you are an Indian, and if you have understood what is meant to be conveyed in these words here, kindly disseminate your knowledge among others.
May we attain that excellent glory of Savitar the God:
So May he stimulate our prayers. <Listen>
Gayatri Mantra is, surely, the most popular rik of Rig Veda. Its ever-growing presence and importance, felt among us, is though more than a matter of mere chance. Kalicharan’s Veda, in its chapter “The Sacred Thread”, undoes the secret coded (by the Rsis) within the Gayatri Mantra, and in doing so shows how the Mantra was purposely made a key to unlock the doors of the understanding of Rig Veda. No doubt, all credit must go to Gayatri Mantra, which by this time has had already gained enough inertia, following and dynamics, so as to be able to start revealing the Rig Veda.
The first line “Om Bhur Bhuvah Svah” is not recorded in Rig Veda (and not discussed in Kalicharan’s Veda). However, by uttering the veiled names of Four Realms it proves itself as a worthy, verbal addition (effected by none other than the Rsis) to the rest of the body of the Mantra and its meaning and purpose.
Panchajana (पञ्चजन), or ‘the five heavenly tribes’, a key concept found in Rig-Veda, paves the way for a practical and continuous realization of the illimitable potentiality in Man. In contrast, the Upanishadic wisdom “Tat Tvam asi” (thou art that/ God) starts from what was already given as established in Rig-Veda, but fails to take off from there, fails to lead to real implementation.
These five tribes are five aspects the exploring of which leads to the rise of Immortality, or Aditi, in us: for how can one die when one already has become everything?
These five tribes are: The Spiritual, The Thinker, The Artist, The Lover, and The Athlete. All five are equally important, and are responsible for the channelization of different realizations. The Vedic Rsis (who looked like witch-doctors of just another tribe in the Indian subcontinent) discovered this formula and framed their education system accordingly. This had had a multiplying effect, a whole race of Aryans rose up, having invented along their way systems of Logic, Language, Politics, Economics, Art, War, etc.
The result was a complete diversity of ideas and ideals on one hand, and surprisingly, a complete unity of the same on the other. There was complete freedom and still they thought and spoke similarly, the same language and thought.
Sacrifice, or Yagna, became the mechanism: the Thinker had to die so that the Spiritual could be born, and so on. This ensured that the products of the system were well-rounded personalities. Further, each of the five domains of knowledge had five sub-domains: The Athletics, for example, had the Spiritual, the Thought, the Art, the Love and the Athletics sub-domains. This ensured that the system produced experts.
Rig-Veda is the only text-book left to us from that age. It belongs to the Thought domain (with Indr getting the highest care), its details are various Gods and their modes of functioning that constitute the whole Creation. So, Rig-Veda explains ideas and terms, but that doesn’t make it into a scientific or a mathematical text: its language, even up to the detail, is naturally applicable to all other branches too, such as Arts, Political Science, and so on. There is no doubt in my mind, as also explained in my book, as to the number system (which has zero), democratic institutions, and the science of music, to name a few, coming out of a thought pattern very similar to that present in the Rig-Veda.
The discipline of mind and body, gained by spiritual methods, today finds a substitute in the ‘factory’ hammering done by schools; free, god-like people have been substituted by brute, titan-like ‘workers’ of Industry. All-understanding and harmonious Suras have been substituted with all-ignorant, egoistic Asuras of today.
The modernist may ask: what would happen to History the subject, when you *begin teaching Love*?
The answer would be: how many ways are there to state History? leftist, rightist, feminist, dalitist, or others. So, knowing the perspectives, or knowing it through a language (such as of Veda) where all perspectives arise and melt away, reside and attain immortality, the rest becomes no more than filling in the facts. Knowing the ways is knowing the ends, the rest is detail which one must only know where to retrieve from.
The traditionalist may ask: isn’t the ability to correctly memorize and recite the Vedic verses central to the whole learning process?
The answer is: this tradition, of recital and of sacred thread, is a vow imposed on society to preserve the Rig-Veda and to let it be revealed again, on its own, at a ripe moment. The moment has indeed arrived, and the efforts and the people behind the preservation of Veda- especially when one finds that everything else had failed fallen and faltered in India- cannot but be lauded.
With mine own heart I commune on the question how Varuna and I may be united.
What gift of mine will he accept unangered? When may I calmly look and find him gracious?
Thou over all, O Varuna, art Sovran, be they Gods, Asura! or be they mortals.
Grant unto us to see a hundred autumns ours be the blest long lives of our forefathers.
Loosen the bonds, O Varuna, that hold me, loosen the bonds above, between, and under.
So in thy holy law may we made sinless belong to Aditi, O thou Aditya.