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सर्वे जनाः सुखिनो भवन्तु

सत्यं वद । धर्मं चर

Vedas and Vedangas – 4th October – Lecture Notes

Date: 4th October 2022

Speaker: Dr. Krishna Murari Tripathi

TopicVedas and Vedangas

Submitted by :Prateeksha Patekar

  • What is vedas?

Ancient Literarure of Sanatana Dharma is Veda.

Oral composition in Sanskrit language that was used for ordinary communication at that time and was handed down by words of mouth by Guru-Shishya, Father-Son Tradition.

  • Adhikari_ Adhikari refers to “one who is competent to understand and study the Sastra”.The Adhikari is one who is of tranquil mind and has the attributes of Sama (quietude), Dama (self-control), etc., is full of faith, is constantly engaged in good thoughts and associates with the knowers of Truth, whose heart is purified by the due discharge of all duties, religious and secular, and without any idea of reward.
  • Who is Pramata?

One who are going to learn vedic traditions.

  • A Brāhmaṇa should perform the Upanayana rite of his disciple and teach him the Vedas along with all its esoteric secrets and the Kalpa. Scholars consider such a Brāhmaṇa an Ācārya.
  • A person who teaches a part of the Śruti or the Aṅgas (ancillary subjects) for the sake of maintenance of his livelihood is considered an Upādhyāya by scholars.
  • A Brāhmaṇa who duly performs the rites of Niṣeka etc. and maintains (disciples) with cooked food is glorified as a Guru.
  • Person is given the title of ‘Ghanapaati’ (Ghanapathi / Ghanapati) if they are well versed in the Ghana Patha form of chanting of at least one of the Vedas.
  • इष्टप्रात्यǓनष्टपǐरहारयोरलौͩककमुपायंवेदयǓतयोग्रन्थोऽसौवेदः’

The great Vedic commentator Sayana has given a definition of the Veda-

Ishtaprapti-anishtapariharyor-alaukikam-u payamyogranthovedayatisavedah


 It means, “The scripture, which describes the divine method for obtaining what is desirable and for giving up what is undesirable, is called Veda.” This definition presents the purpose of the Veda.

  • Bhrigu Valli or the third chapter of the Taittiriya Upanishad has explained the knowledge of the Brahman through a dialogue between a teacher and the student. In this section of the Upanishad the teacher has asked his disciple to concentrate all his energies towards the inquiry of various sheaths that are present. Such an inquiry in turn may lead to the discovery of the Brahman. The student is carefully guided by the guru in every stage so that he is able to go beyond all the Kosas and is competent to reach the transcendental state or gets unified with the Atman. The latter sections of this chapter include mediation on food as it has considered food as the basic for any living being. It is with the help of food that an individual is able to sustain and only if an individual sustains he is able to attain enlightenment. Thus contemplation of food is never desired.

    Bhrigu Valli opens with Bhrigu approaching Varuna to seek knowledge about the Brahman. In order to satiate the query of Bhrigu, Varuna had said that the food or the world of matter, the vital force, the eyes, ears, the mind and the speech all arises from the Brahman and he had said that all these together constitute the Reality. On hearing this Varuna had said that he is eager to learn the nature of the Brahman from whom all these were born, due to which all these sustains and unto which all these gets merged. Hence it can be said that Bhrigu wanted to know more about the Supreme Being and the ultimate reality of life.

    In the second section Bhrigu, the son of Varuna is able to realise food as Brahman because he understands that it is from food that all beings are born, again it is with the help of food that livings beings subsist and ultimately it is again food into which all beings are merged. But still his mind was not satisfied so Bhrigu returned to his father and asked him more about the Supreme Being. His father advised him that concentration will take him towards the knowledge of the Brahman. It has been observed in the Bhrigu Valli that Bhrigu had achieved satisfaction for some time after contemplating but contemplation of the mind had sharpened his intellect and as a result his mind was filled with doubts and he runs to his teacher Lord Varuna again and again.

    The third Anuvaka had said that Bhrigu had understood the vital force or the prana as the Brahman. He understood prana as Brahman because with the help of concentration he had realised that from the vital force all living beings are born, they live with the help of the prana and ultimately they are unified with the prana. But still Bhrigu felt that he had a lot more to learn about the Brahman so he approached his father once again and Varuna advised him to think poignantly and rightfully.

    In the next stage Bhrigu knew mind as the manifestation of the Brahman yet his curiosity was not satisfied and hence he started meditating deeply. He realised that the mind is the source of all creations. It is mind which maintains the continuity of existence and again it is mind which is able to exist independently even when it gets divorced from life. As he completed his meditation in the fifth verse of this Valli, Bhrigu understood that knowledge is also a form of the Brahman. As he realised that knowledge is a form of the Brahman he understood that it is intellect which drives the mind in the necessary direction. Bhrigu after deep contemplation feels that intellect is subtler than mind. With the help of intellect living beings are able to determine what is right and what is wrong and hence he concluded that certainly knowledge can be Brahman.

    In the sixth verse Bhrigu leaves behind the element of intellect far behind and decides that Bliss is the manifestation of the Brahman. Bhrigu the son of Varuna had realised that Bliss-sheath is far worthier than the Bliss-earth. Moreover he had also realised that on experiencing the Bliss-sheath one is able to realise the Supreme Being or the Brahman and in the process fulfils the goal of his life.

    The seventh Anuvaka of the Bhrigu Valli says that one who meditates on the food and the food eater as one and the same he is worthy of the rewards like plenty of food which he will be able to enjoy to the fullest, plenty of children who will look after him in his old age, plenty of cattle and certainly lots of wealth. It has been said that prana or the vital force is the food and the physical body of the man is the food eater and hence the body consumes the prana. At the same time the body is established within the prana and so almost every moment the vital force or the prana is consuming the body. Thus, it can be said that eater and the eaten is the same thing. The deeper implication of this message is that one should not entertain any kind of un-divine idea within his divine Self. Rather it can be said it talks about the synchrony of the outer world and the inner world.

    In the eighth section there has been ample glorification of food. It has been said that one should not reject food because that is disregarding food. By explaining the role of fire and water in our digestive system the teacher here tries to emphasize the fact that the role of the eater and the eaten are the same. This section has said that one should not reject food in any form but the deeper inference of this message for a student like Bhrigu is that one should never reject the world of objects. The manifested world of plurality is not to be rejected as a false and delusory nothingness.

    The ninth Anuvaka says that one should accumulate plenty of food but again for Bhrigu it has a profound meaning. He realises that his teacher advises him not to forget the world around him being maddened by the taste of power instead he feels that the guru encourages him to fill himself with plenty of energy so that he is able to propagate the knowledge of the Brahman. Bhrigu understands that plenty of food is also needed to feed the many who will come to him for the knowledge of the Brahman.

    Last but not the least the tenth section deals with Bhrigu’s understanding of hospitality. According to him a man of realisation should collect around him audiences from all over the world so that he is able to impart the Vedic knowledge and in the process the knowledge of the Brahman. This verse emphasises that one who possess the Vedic knowledge should impart the message of love and peace to the entire world around him. This particular Anuvaka has also said that one should meditate on the Brahman in every form and one should also glorify the world of food or the world of objects.

    Thus the Bhrigu Valli can be called a discourse between a teacher and the taught in search of the Supreme Being or the Brahman. It also glorifies the world of objects and declares that the world of objects cannot be considered equivalent to nothingness.