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Source of sacred wisdom

CHENNAI: Believed to be the very breath of the Supreme Brahman, the Vedas are eternal and regarded as the source of the highest knowledge. They are considered Apaurusheya (not made by man) and are accepted as the authority on the esoteric subject of the entire creation — spanning the physical, metaphysical and even the ultimate levels.

The belief is that the Supreme Brahman, when entrusting Brahma to get engaged in the task of creation, revealed this sacred wisdom to him so that he could get ahead in his work with the guidance of the Vedas.

Their uniqueness lies in their form, sound (Sabda), and in each sound is subsumed the meaning in an inseparable manner. The Vedic mantras have tremendous power and vibrations and, when uttered in the proper manner, become efficacious. They were handed down to the Rishis as revelations, who, in turn have handed their experiences orally through generations.

Though the teachings are subtle and symbolic, their ethical and philosophical value for man is directed at guiding him to seek salvation, said Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a lecture. The term Veda means knowledge or wisdom and is derived from the root Vid to know or to see. The Vedic sounds which imply their meaning as well are the revealed knowledge that has reached human beings in the form of hymns or incantations.

The Vedas provide a valuable guide for ethical living and continuous study, teaching and practice are advocated for upholding the tenets of Dharma that sustains the entire creation. For the followers of the Vedic tradition, practice of the Vedic tenets is not merely a ritual but is exemplified in the way they live.

For instance, in the Ramayana, when Lord Rama left for the forest, the revered priests (whose learning and spiritual calibre were of impeccable quality) followed Him saying that they would carry the Vedas in their hearts as their excellent treasure.

The Vedas prescribe commands to human beings to pursue the righteous path. They also contain recipes for fulfilment of worldly desires through the performance of yagas and yagnas.

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