ancient sacred scriptures revealed in Sanskrit to Richi sages and on which Brahmanism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were based
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Vedas are scriptures of Hinduism.

The Rig-Veda, the first of the Vedas.

Rigveda edit

(With exception of m. 10 h. CXVII, these are from the 1896 translation by Griffith)

  • His spies are seated round about.
    • m. 1, hymn XXV
  • With Bow let us win kine, with Bow the battle, with Bow be victors in our hot encounters. The Bow brings grief and sorrow to the foeman: armed with the Bow may we subdue all regions.
    • m. 6, hymn LXXV
  • We have drunk Soma and become immortal; we have attained the light, the Gods discovered. Now what may foeman's malice do to harm us? What, O Immortal, mortal man's deception?
    • m. 8, hymn XLIIX
  • Thou leadest as a warrior king thine army's wings what time thou comest in the van of these swift streams."
    • m. 10, hymn LXXV
  • When they divided Purusa how many portions did they make? What do they call his mouth, his arms? What do they call his thighs and feet?
    • m. 10, hymn XC
  • He who nourishes neither God nor man, he who eats alone, gathers sin.

Samaveda edit

  • The people sing reverent praise to Thee (Indra) for strength:
    With terrors trouble Thou the foe
    • (1.1.1)

Quotes about Vedas edit

  • I find that Shankara had grasped much of Vedantic truth, but that much was dark to him. I am bound to admit what he realised; I am not bound to exclude what he failed to realise. Aptavakyam, authority, is one kind of proof; it is not the only kind: pratyaksa [direct knowledge] is more important. (...) It is irrelevant to me what Max Müller thinks of the Veda or what Sayana thinks of the Veda. I should prefer to know what the Veda has to say for itself and, if there is any light there on the unknown or on the infinite, to follow the ray till I come face to face with that which it illumines. Europe has formed certain views about the Veda and the Vedanta, and succeeded in imposing them on the Indian intellect.... When a hundred world-famous scholars cry out, “This is so”, it is hard indeed for the average mind, and even minds above the average but inexpert in these special subjects not to acquiesce.... Nevertheless a time must come when the Indian mind will shake off the darkness that has fallen upon it, cease to think or hold opinions at second and third hand and reassert its right to judge and enquire in a perfect freedom into the meaning of its own Scriptures. When that day comes we shall, I think, discover that the imposing fabric of Vedic theory is based upon nothing more sound or true than a foundation of loosely massed conjectures. We shall question many established philological myths,—the legend, for instance, of an Aryan invasion of India from the north, the artificial and inimical distinction of Aryan and Dravidian which an erroneous philology has driven like a wedge into the unity of the homogenous Indo-Afghan race; the strange dogma of a “henotheistic” Vedic naturalism; the ingenious and brilliant extravagances of the modern sun and star myth weavers. (...) Verification by experience and experiment is the only standard of truth, not antiquity, not modernity. Some of the ideas of the ancients or even of the savage now scouted by us may be lost truths or statements of valid experience from which we have turned or become oblivious; many of the notions of the modern schoolmen will certainly in the future be scouted as erroneous and superstitious. (...) Western Philology has converted it [the word arya] into a racial term, an unknown ethnological quantity on which different speculations fix different values.... [But] in the Veda the Aryan peoples are those who had accepted a particular type of self-culture, of inward and outward practice, of ideality, of aspiration.... Whoever seeks to climb from level to level up the hill of the divine, fearing nothing, deterred by no retardation or defeat, shrinking from no vastness because it is too vast for his intelligence, no height because it is too high for his spirit, no greatness because it is too great for his force and courage, he is the Aryan, the divine fighter and victor, the noble man.
    • Sri Aurobindo,1910-1914, quoted from Sri Aurobindo, ., Nahar, S., Aurobindo, ., & Institut de recherches évolutives (Paris). India's rebirth: A selection from Sri Aurobindo's writing, talks and speeches. Paris: Institut de Recherches Evolutives. 3rd Edition (2000). [1]
  • The Vedas haunt me. In them I have found eternal compensation, unfathomable power, unbroken peace.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson. source: The Commemorative Sanskrit Souvenir, 2003, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • I can venture to affirm, without meaning to pluck a leaf from the never-fading laurels of our immortal Newton, that the whole of his theology, and part of his philosophy, may be found in the Vedas.
    • Sir William Jones, source: Old Diary Laurels 1883–84: The Only Authentic History of the Theosophical Society, Henry Steel Olcott. Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • For the Veda is tainted by three faults of untruth, self-contradiction, and tautology; then again the impostors who call themselves Vaidic pundits are mutually destructive, as the authority of the Jnan-Kanda is overthrown by those who maintain the authority of the Karma-Kanda and those who maintain the authority of the Jnan-Kanda reject that of the Karma-Kanda; and lastly, the three Vedas themselves are only the incoherent rhapsodies of knaves and to this effect runs the popular saying: “The Agnihotra, the three Vedas, the ascetic, three staves, and smearing oneself with ashes,” Brihaspati says, “these are but means of livelihood for those who have no manliness nor sense."
    • Charvaka, Sarva Darshan Sangraha p. 10
  • The whole character of these compositions and the circumstances under which, from internal evidence, they appear to have arisen, are in harmony with the supposition that they were nothing more than the natural expression of the personal hopes and feelings of those ancient bards of whom they were first recited. In these songs the Aryan sages celebrated the praises of their ancestral gods (while at the same time they sought to conciliate their goodwill by a variety of oblations supposed to be acceptable to them), and besought of them all the blessings which men in general desired—health, wealth, long life, cattle, offspring, victory over their enemies, foregiveness of sin, and in some cases also celestial felicity.
    • Muir. Sanskrit Texts. Vol. III
  • Whenever I have read any part of the Vedas, I have felt that some unearthly and unknown light illuminated me. In the great teaching of the Vedas, there is no touch of the sectarianism. It is of ages, climes, and nationalities and is the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge. When I am at it, I feel that I am under the spangled heavens of a summer night.
    • Henry David Thoreau, "Explore Hinduism", P. 21. Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • What extracts from the Vedas I have read fall on me like the light of a higher and purer luminary, which describes a loftier course through a purer stratum. It rises on me like the full moon after the stars have come out, wading through some far stratum in the sky.
  • One sentence of Vedas is worth the State of Massachusetts many times over.
    • The Journal of Henry David Thoreau. Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • In the Rig-Veda we shall have before us more real antiquity than in all the inscriptions of Egypt or Ninevah....the Veda is the oldest book in existence...
  • If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow — in some parts a very paradise on earth — I should point to India. If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed the choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solution of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant-I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we here in Europe, we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thought of Greeks and Romans, and of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw that corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human, a life not for this life only, but a transfigured and eternal life-again I should point to India.
    • Max Muller Vedic Humanism: Path to Peace - Page 73
The Veda was the most precious gift for which the West had ever been indebted to the East. ~ Voltaire
  • The Rig-Veda, the first of the Vedas, is probably the earliest book that humanity possesses. In it we find the first outpourings of the human mind, the glow of poetry, the rapture at nature's loveliness and mystery.
    • Jawaharlal Nehru, "None But India (Bharat) the Cradle of Aryans, Sanskrit, Vedas, & Swastika", p. 30.
  • Whatever may be the date of the Vedic hymns, whether 1500 B.C.E. or 15,000 B.C.E., they have their own unique place and stand by themselves in the literature of the world. They tell us something of the early growth of the human mind of which we find no trace anywhere else.
    • Max Muller, "The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy".
  • “With God, nothing is impossible”, the Christian thinks. But the Indian says: With piety and knowledge of the Veda, nothing is impossible: the gods are submissive and obedient to them. Where is the god who can resist the pious earnestness and prayer of a renouncing ascetic in the forest?
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, quoted from Elst, Koenraad. Manu as a weapon against egalitarianism: Nietzsche and Hindu political philosophy in : Siemens & Vasti Roodt, eds.: Nietzsche, Power and Politics (Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2008).
  • There is a no monument of Greece or Rome more previous than the Rig Veda.
    • Mons Leon Delbios.[3]
  • Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries.
  • The Veda was the most precious gift for which the West had ever been indebted to the East.
    • Francois Voltaire, "A Critical Study of the Contribution of the Arya Samaj to Indian Education", p. 68.

See also edit

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