Vedic Cosmology-2: The Meaning and Nature of Vedas

While spiritually enlightened seekers, seer and sages have revered the Vedas as the origin and ultimate end of human knowledge and culture; these have always been the focus of deep inquisitiveness for the researchers of the Sciences of Self and Nature. For many of us, who are inquisitive, but haven’t had the opportunity to read anything genuine on the Vedas or the Vedic Scriptures, Vedas have been the topic of interest, lying somewhere between ’Mythology’ and ’Treatises of All Knowledge’ encoded in some ancient language. Nevertheless the quest of researchers to decipher the genesis of Nature, Cosmology and Life have also been sources of wonderment for the common people. This series of articles attempts to present authentic information from studies at the interface of these two major subjects pertaining to yet obscure domains of wider curiosity. Although the focus of the series is "Cosmology and Science of Nature in the Vedas", the readers will also be briefly introduced to the meaning, nature and the period of the Vedas, as extracted from indisputable, recognized studies. This is mainly to avoid confusions about these ancient treatises, which are rarely discussed elsewhere with such consolidated information. The commentaries and deeper reviews on Vedas are too vast to be listed in the short essays of this series. We had listed our principal sources of references in the first article ("Akhand Jyoti - The Light Divine" Jan-Feb, 2005) with a condensed overview of what the series would present. These references would provide the interested reader an exhaustive Bibliography of reported works on Vedas across the globe. In the present and successive articles we would cite only the relevant excerpts from those works, wherever necessary. The Vedic scriptures, and the later commentaries and research treatises on the Vedas, discuss in detail on the meaning of the word "Veda". The essence of these implies "Veda" to be sublime knowledge that could be acquired by divine insight and inner light. Some scriptures like Satyashadha Shautrasutra and Apastamb Dharmsutra cite its meaning as -- "That which encompasses the knowledge and guides towards the karmas originated by understanding of the subtle word is called Veda". The sagacious thinkers of modern times have further analyzed this word and explained it in a language comprehensible to the modern-day mind.

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