The Hidden Meanings of Vedas
There are several beliefs regarding the origin or birth of Vedas. One belief is that God, the creator of the whole universe himself, gave this knowledge to human beings. Another belief is that the four vedas came from the four faces of ‘Brahma’, the creator, who originated from the navel of Lord Vishnu. Some scholars also say that the storehouse of knowledge existed from time immemorial, and the sage ‘Krishnadvaipayana’ (Maharshi Vyasa) categorized and classified the knowledge which was in a haphazard manner into four chapters, which were named as Rik, Yaju, Sama and Atharvana Vedas. Thereby sage Vyasa was given the name ‘Veda Vyasa’.
Vedas are in a language, which is slightly different from the language ‘Sanskrit’. This is called ‘veda bhasha’, or the language of the vedas. History says that there existed a language in olden days, called ‘Praakritha’, which was refined at one stage, and called ‘sanskrit’. Infact, the word ‘Samskrita’, means ‘refined’. It is logical to believe that the language Praakritha got refined over a period of time and evolved into ‘samskrita’. Veda bhasha, or the language of vedas appears to be in a completely refined form of sanskrit, and also is in a well advanced poetic form, which are called ‘slokas’.
Although some people strongly believe that the Vedas originated from God himself, it may be logical to believe that some intelligent human beings wrote them, at some time, and passed it on for the benefit of the later generations. Since it is in a very refined language and poetic style, one can also believe that it was written, or recorded, when the language was at its zenith of evolution.
There is a strong belief that each stanza or ‘sloka’ of Vedas, has three types of meaning. The first is ‘Prathi padartha’, or word to word meaning. Or, the face value of the words used in the slokas. The second being the ‘Bhavartha’, or the summary of the whole sloka. The third and the most important meaning is ‘Goodartha’, or the hidden meaning. Every one of the slokas has a hidden meaning which is entirely different from the apparent meaning and purpose. At this stage one starts thinking that the whole of veda is nothing but a coding knowledge, and unless one knows the decoding process of the hymns, one will end up with the first two types of meanings only. Almost all books written so far on the meaning of Vedas cover the first two types of meaning only, leaving the goodartha untouched. The belief is that it is dangerous to the mankind, if the goodartha is made known, because all human beings are not yet capable of receiving the high spirited knowledge, and if it is made known to all, without any discrimination, it may result in some unpleasant consequences.
This leaves one thinking that certain ‘preparation’ is required on the part of the particular human being, who aspires to receive the knowledge of vedas, in depth. I have not come across any book, which openly talks about the hidden meanings of vedas. It is talked in hushed tones, that one has to go through rigorous training with a ‘guru’, who may be willing to impart such knowledge if he is pleased with the nature of the disciple.
Accidentally I came across the elaboration of an of a particular sloka, in an old book, which, I believe, is the hidden meaning. To explain this in a simple manner, I have to say something regarding my line of thinking.
The first and the oldest of vedas called ‘Rigveda’ is full of stanzas, in which the human being worships the various goddesses namely, Varuna, Vayu, Agni, Indra, etc., and requests them to give him boons of good companion (spouse), sincere friends, abundant wealth, family life, good progeny, large number of animals, obedient servants and so on. He performs various acts like ‘homa’s, ‘yagna’s etc., and prays these goddesses for prosperity. It is also a notable point that all the goddesses he worships are representatives of powers of nature. For example, varuna = water, vayu = air, agni = fire or heat energy, indra = ‘dhee’ or intelligence and so forth.
For a very long time, I had been wondering about the manifestations of gods and goddesses, in front of human beings. All of us have read many books and scriptures, heard innumerable stories of the bygone era, wherein the saints and sages used to perform yagnas and yaagas, and the goddesses used to appear in front of them and grant boons. We have also read and heard of long and rigorous penances performed by zealous individuals, when the worshipped deity was pleased, manifested before the individual and held dialogues or discussions, and even granted their wishes.
If this was true, why do not these goddesses appear before human beings in the present era? Does it mean that the human beings of today are lowly beings? I have not come across a single individual who can say that he has seen gods and goddesses. I have not seen a single human being, who has met or heard of another human being who has met any god or goddess. I have come across a good number of people who perform yagas and yagnas and other rituals, but none of them can claim that any god or goddess manifested in front of them. Why are these gods and goddesses reluctant to give ‘darshan’ to the human beings of this era?
Does it mean that the human beings of today are not ‘intelligent’?
Are they non-believers in god? God doesn’t appear before them just because they are non-believers !? ( In fact, he should appear before such non-believers more often !) Are all of us so ‘worthless’ that god doesn’t care for us? Are all these rituals that are supposed to be the paths to god, meaningless and ineffective today? How is it that the same rituals which were effective once upon a time, lost their efficacy now? How is it that we cannot come across a single human being, among the entire 55 billion population of the world, who can genuinely say that he has met god? Why should God make himself so in-accessible?
Coming back to that part of Veda, where human being worships goddesses like Varuna, Vayu, Agni, Indra, etc., and begs for prosperity, good health, progeny etc., can anybody believe that these goddesses really appeared (‘in flesh and blood’, if I may use such expression for goddesses, because I do not know whether goddesses are made of flesh and blood !) before him and granted the boons? There is a very subtle suggestion in the vedas, where it is advised that the ‘man’ should try to understand who these goddesses are. It is very subtly suggested that these goddesses are nothing but various powers or energies one can find in his own body and mind. For example, ‘Varuna’ is nothing but the content of water which is present in the human body. ‘Vayu’ is the breath that goes in and comes out. ‘Agni’ is the temperature or the ‘heat energy’ that constantly keeps the body warm enough to perform all the necessary functions. Goddess ‘Indra’ is said to carry a powerful weapon called ‘Vajrayudha’, or the diamond-edged sword. Indra is nothing but the ‘Dhee’ or the intelligence of the human being. Without these various energies, man cannot live. Unless these capabilities are in optimum efficiency level, human being cannot function properly. So, it is the most important concern of a human being to keep these faculties at the most efficient levels.
In other words, a human being should take very good care of his body, maintain the metabolism (water-air-heat) of the body, exercise the body very well, keep all parts of it very fit and in the most efficient condition, feed it well, love it, nurture it, put to good use, should not abuse it, should not punish it with undesirable activities, should not over-use and so on and so forth.
The intelligence of the human being (the brainpower) is ‘Indra’, who carries a ‘Vajrayudha’. The brainpower is the most effective, strongest and limitless.
So, performing yagas, yagnas, homas, havanas and other forms of worship to goddesses like Varuna, Vayu, Agni, Indra, etc., is nothing but taking excellent care of your body and mind, and keeping them in the top-most condition. If this is done, good education, a good wife, children, riches, cattle, good health all will automatically follow. One may believe that the goddesses have granted the boons!
One may also infer that gods and goddesses did not manifest before human beings even in olden days.
Considering that this was the hidden meaning of the particular sloka in question, the first two meanings namely ‘prathi padartha’ and ‘bhavartha’ sound almost meaningless, where a person may take it as mere instructions to perform the rituals of yaga, yagna, homa etc. If the existence of ‘goodartha’ is true for all slokas of vedas, it is really a great storehouse of immense knowledge. The presence of such a deep pocket of the unprecedented wealth of knowledge is almost unbelievable. But alas, ‘guru’s who can impart this goodartha are not easily available or accessible. Or, maybe, they don’t want to make themselves available easily.
No doubt, if such knowledge is offered easily to everybody, perhaps it loses its importance and sanctity. One may believe in the fact that a person has to be ‘prepared’ to receive such knowledge, lest it may be ridiculed, due to inability in understanding. Electric wire or cable is perhaps the right example of this phenomenon. An ordinary electric wire is capable of allowing a certain intensity of electric current through its strands. If a higher current is passed, the strands may burn and snap. Gradually, if the wire is strengthened by way of adding strands or increasing the thickness of each strand, the same wire will be able to receive a higher current, without burning or fusing. This obviously means that the wire has to be ‘prepared’ to receive a higher current.