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1 Vedic Religion Dr. Shashi Tiwari Department of Sanskrit, Maitreyi College, University of Delhi, New Delhi-110021, India

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Presentation on theme: "1 Vedic Religion Dr. Shashi Tiwari Department of Sanskrit, Maitreyi College, University of Delhi, New Delhi-110021, India"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Vedic Religion Dr. Shashi Tiwari Department of Sanskrit, Maitreyi College, University of Delhi, New Delhi , India

2 2 Vedic Religion -Introduction Vedas were not originated or composed by anyone person Revelations = Shabda Brahman For the benefit of humanity & all beings Treasury of spiritual laws/ knowledge Vedic Religion includes ritualistic, philosophical and cultural views of Vedic seers, thinkers= Rishis

3 3 Region of Vedic Aryans Vedic Rivers and area

4 4 Aim of Life (1) Aim of Life -Happiness ‘Human being should be happy physically, mentally and spiritually.’ Vedic Mantras/ prayers for prosperity, long life, wealth, intelligence, family, children and food Good, satisfied and high- quality life

5 5 Aim of Life (2) Highest goal of life is -Moksha / liberation / union with Brahman - Upanishads By achieving knowledge (Jnana) 'Brahmavid Brahmaiva bhavati ' Sacrifices and pious works lead to Svarga

6 6 Belief in One Supreme Entity (1) Atman and Brahman are the same Brahman is supreme power Ultimate Principle which pervades universe Manifested in all beings and every where ‘Tat tvam asi’ - ‘This whole world consists of it, that are you,O Shvetaketu.’ -Chandogya Upanishad

7 7 Belief in One Supreme Entity (2) Isha vasyamidam sarvam yat kinca jadatyam jagat. - Ishavasyopanishad - All this whatever there is changeful in this changing universe is enveloped by the Lord. ‘Aham Brahma asmi’. -'I am Brahman ’ -Brihadaranyaka

8 8 Belief in One Supreme Entity (3) Sahasrashirshah purushah sahasraksha sahasrapat | Sah bhumim vishvato vrittva atyatishthat dashangulam || - Purusha, Rigveda -The Perfect Being has thousands of heads, thousands of eyes and thousands of feet. Having pervaded the whole earth on all sides, He remains ten fingers in surplus (as He is endless ).

9 9 Belief in One Supreme Entity (4) Hiranyagarbha samavartatagre bhutasya jatah patireka asita | -Rigveda -Hiranya-garbha was produced in the beginning of creation. He was the born sole Lord of all beings. Purushaivedam Sarvam.- All this is Purusha. - Rigveda

10 10 Action and Knowledge (1) Along with knowledge actions are important in one’s life Various rituals prescribed in Vedic texts Lead a long life performing actions: ‘Kurvanneveha karmani jijivisheta cchatam samah’ -Ishopanishad - Only by performing actions, one should desire to live a hundred years in this earth.

11 11 Action and Knowledge (2) Story of Katha Upanishad: A ctions are essential for worldly pleasures, but knowledge is necessary for liberation. Rishi Vajashrava performs Sarvamedha Yajna His son Nachiketa says, “To whom are you going to give me?” Yama grants him three boons : 1.Father’s happiness and mental peace 2. Knowledge of the Divine Fire (Karma) 3. Knowledge of Atman ( Atma-jnana )

12 12 Purification of the Mind (1) Vedas emphasize on purity of mind Mind has tremendous power It can go any where, on any object It is illuminator of our senses Good thoughts lead to good actions Auspicious (Shiva) resolution (sankalpa) is important

13 13 Purification of the Mind (2) Shivasankalpa-Sukta of Yajurveda ‘Tanme manah shivasankalpamastu’ ‘May my mind be of good resolution’ Vedas emphasize on cleanliness of mental thoughts and feelings

14 14 Nature Worship Vedic Aryans > children of nature Prayed due to regard, surprise and fear Attributed divinity to nature All powers, aspects or activities are regarded as deities because they are beneficial to us. Rivers, Mountains, Rains, clouds, Sky, Earth, Air, Water, Plants, Trees, Sun, Moon etc…

15 15 Vedic Deities Devata means divine, divinity Which is bright, strong, donor, powerful Natural elements or activities are prayed as Agni, Indra, Vayu, Earth, Soma, Varuna, Vishnu, Aditya, Usha, Aditi, Parjanya, etc. Power of all natural elements is one : Ekam sad vipra bahudha vadanti ' -RV

16 16 Vedic Symbolism Deities are worshiped because: Helpful, essential, & part of our environment Divine qualities should be developed for gains Gayatri Mantra Tatsaviturvarenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi / dhiyo yo nah prachdayat// Savita Deva (Light) can give Intelligence ( hidden meaning)

17 17 Vedic Rituals (1)

18 18 Vedic Rituals ( 2) Vedic rites and rituals have a definite influence Yajna, chanting mantras, and special offerings, based upon scientific principles Vedic rituals provide purity to environment Provide Blessings of the deities 40 or 48 or 25 basic forms of rituals – Vedic text Agnihotra a simple rite to please Agni Devata

19 19 Chanting of Mantra A mantra is a sacred verbal formula Repeated in Vedic prayer or meditation Tatsaviturvarenyam…. –Gayatri Mantra Mantras are powerful & effective when chanted with concentration & understanding of meaning Helps to open mind to consciousness

20 20 Chanting of OM (1) Om is the sacred sound of Brahman

21 21 Chanting of OM (2) Pranava or Om symbol of Hinduism/ Vedic culture Om has been extolled highly in the Vedas and Upanishads Before chanting a mantra Om is pronounced All rites start with chanting of OM

22 22 Chanting of OM (3) Om is Akshara, OM is imperishable syllable Om is Parabrahma, Om is the Absolute Self 'AUM', Vishnu is 'A’, Brahma is 'U', Shiva is 'M'.

23 23 Concept of Social Unity Samjnana Sukta of Rigveda - a unique prayer for social unity and Harmony 'Samjnana' = unity in thoughts = unanimity, harmony Sam gacchadhvam sam vadadhvam sam vo manamsi janatam. -You should move together, speak together and think together.

24 24 Concept of welfare Full span of life but it should be auspicious Prayer in Yajurveda for Goodness among all beings ‘Bhadra’ = goodness =welfare =global peace Bhadram karnebhih s'unuyama devah, Bhadram pas'yemakshabhir yajatrah. -VA.S O Gods ! may we listen with our ears to what is good (Bhadram), may we see with our eyes what is good.

25 25 Wish for Swasti Swasti = auspicious, favorable, good, positive Sanskrit word Swasti = su (good) + asti (being) Swastivachana from Yajurveda: Om Swasti na indro vradhashravaha, Swasti nah pusha vishvavedaha / Swasti nastarkshyo~aristanemih Swasti no brihaspatirdadhatu // Vedic religion gives importance to Swasti

26 26 Symbol of Swastika Swasti developed as Swastika symbol in Hinduism

27 27 Vedic Morals (1) Vedic religion based on ethics and morality ‘What should be done and what should not be done ’ Long list of moral instructions; Values in life cosmic order= Ritam : Satyam = truth ‘ Satyen Adhrita Prithivi.’ -Earth is sustained by Satya ‘ Satyam eva jayate nanritam’ -Truth is always victorious, not untruth

28 28 Vedic Morals- (2) Similarity of all/ unity among all human-beings is the main principle of Vedic religion ‘Satyam vada dharmam cara swadhyayat ma pramada.’ -Always speak truth, do right deeds and don’t leave study. Vedic texts: ‘whole universe is like a nest’ - Yajurveda Vedic prayers are in plural

29 29 Conclusion Vedic religion is eternal and universal Recommends rituals for worldly pleasures Emphasizes Self- Knowledge Aims for the purity of mind Views of Vedic seers on philosophy, ritual, society and culture constitute ‘Vedic Religion.’

30 30 Thank You.


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