Rig Veda, Part 3… By Reader

Rig Veda: Constellatory I; Section II, Hymns 12 to 23; Author: Hrishi Medhaathih Kaanvah

Agni, my urge, my desire, the fire in me is also the envoy, the cause, the offering and the aspirant; the demons and afflictions in me are the fuel; This fire keeps that fire alive.

I strive for the knowledge through days and nights; every moment is sacred. I am the invoker, I am the Seer. This vastness in me espouses revelations,cognition and infinite abilities. I seek to know the universal form. May the giver have the knowledge. The spiritual powers in me rise with the Sun, grow with association (Mitra) and move with the influence (Vayu).

My perceptions and leanings delight in this effort. Each truth (Hritam) is revealed at the right time (Rtu, season). I uphold the laws with discrimination and righteousness for every effort has a proper season.

The earth, this nature, the elements are my wealth. The seasons are my treasures. This body is bound by time alone. A pilgrim’s journey ends in revelations. This body nursed by herbs and food is but a vehicle. I am the devotion, the contemplation and the desires.

A victory is made perfect by conquering the treasures, both the body, the thoughts and the desires.

The divinity of the Intellect is the divinity of the Mantra, the Word and Enlightenment. This divinity is Brahmanaspati, Ganapati. This is the divinity that guards, effects and discerns wisdom. This is the divinity that harmonizes thoughts. None exceeds the will of this divine strength.

This body of four natures is made immortal by the nectar of knowledge. My life is protected by its twenty one planes of consciousness.

My body is the house of the Yadnya. The Ashvins are the moving forces. Savitr, the Sun, the son of water, stirs my life. Bharati, Ila and Saraswati, the infinite, revelations and awareness nurse me like mothers. This is my heaven, this is my earth, this is my liberation.

The sevens worlds of this earth are occupied by Vishnu – the cause of this creation. Nothing is concealed within nor exist without.


Rig Veda: Constellatory I; Section III, Hymns 24 to 30; Author: Shunahshepah Aajiigartih

The placid life that presides over my thoughts and functions is the divinity. I am conscious of the everlasting creativity of the earth. I am aware of the indeterminate vastness of the universe. I am grateful for the share of its destiny ordained in my favor. I call it my wealth and uphold its sanctity.

I am hindered in my efforts by ignorance. I am seized by animal instincts, an inefficient life and limited intelligence; May the infinite and imperishable in form and features liberate me from this bondage.

I am impeded by countless transgressions; Facts are clouded by the wicked. I seek the principles and codes to defeat this evil. I surrender to the good to defend myself from sins. May this comprehensiveness relieve me of the mean and the narrow.
Ignorance is suffering. Ignorance is death. Ignorance is a sin. May the open chariot of knowledge lead me out of ignorance – for this alone do I sacrifice. This law is the divinity. There is none other. This divinity is the radiant, the greatness, the desire, the faith, the vision, the call and the response.

My pursuit, my Yadnya is my urge, my Agni. Wisdom is not the means to an end – it is the end. My urge, this fire in me, is the Father, Companion and the witness. May this bond remain forever. I submit to this urge same as I submit to a universal life-form. This is my devotion. This is my contentment. No one and nothing can over-power a true devotee. I salute this ageless crusade.

My body is the clay that holds my life. The mind and consciousness are the two steeds. The three unite in delight and bliss. Their light and strength steer my actions. I am often disoriented by dualities and discordance. Nonetheless, life prevails.

Indra nourishes the abilities, Ashvins sustain the strength, Usha felicitates me with divine consciousness.


Rig Veda: Constellatory I; Section IV, Hymns 31 to 35; Author: Hiranyastuupah Angirasah

There is but one phenomenal truth – the eternal battle between darkness and light although there is only one existence – one reality.

The good thus exists with the bad. The truth thus exists with falsehood. The right thus exists with the wrong. The correct thus exists with the incorrect. The absolute thus exists with the variable. The independent thus exists with the dependent. The permanent thus exists with the transient. Knowledge thus exists with ignorance. The immortal thus exists with the mortal. Divine wealth thus exists with penury.

Hence, the endeavor, the yadnya, the aspiration, the seer and the Mantra.

This battle is the cause of rains; this battle is the cause of nights and days; this battle is the cause of land and oceans; this battle is the cause of speech and silence; this battle is the cause of the body and illnesses; this battle is the cause of cognition and deception; this is the battle between Indra and Vritra.

I aspire for knowledge; I embark on this journey; I indulge in this battle; I invoke the three worlds in me; I shall conquer the worlds within me with the help of Savitr. I shall not submit to illusions.


Rig Veda: Constellatory I; Section V, Hymns 36 to 43; Author: Kanvah Ghaurah

I struggle to find Words for perfect expression. Ganapati, son of Rudra, is my divinity. This urge, this fire in me is the power, the strength. This is all-pervading. All the laws are within me. Happiness is my state. Words illuminate this state. This calmness, this placidity, is yielded by wisdom. This is my wealth. Brahmanaspati, Ganapati, the son of Rudra, is my non-senescent divinity.

Speech is an unharnessed steed – a weapon of manifest wonders; a flame that can move the heaven, earth and life. It is a human enterprise. It is released by mental energies like water spread by clouds.

Hence, the rituals – like thunder and windless rain.

My father shows me the light. I am the host. I am the one who is lead. I am protected from evil, lightning, darkness and an insatiable spirit – like an embanked stream.

I live in the hills among the trees. I delight in their praise and favor. I find peace in words. I am protected by wisdom. Brahmanspati, Ganapati, the son of Rudra, is my shelter, my divinity, my non-declining inspiration.

The Word is my Mantra.

There are obstacles in this. There are foes. There are deceiving forces. There is evil speech. There is condemnation.

Hence, righteousness.


Rig Veda: Constellatory I; Section VI, Hymns 44 to 50; Author: Praskanvah Kanvah

No sacrifice is greater than the endeavor. My desire is the worship. The worship is the effort. The effort is nourishing. That is all.

This effort enlightens me, not the result. This effort is my message and my messenger. My desire permeates all the thirty three divinities. My urge prevails over my actions, my intellect and my learning. It steers my spiritual experience. It oversees the body, mind and consciousness. It leads me to the world beyond the known.

I delight in reality. Truth is a joy that is easily shared. My happiness is expressed in my speech, in my hearing, in my chants and in my celebration. It is my path to perfection. It is a force that impels the celestial bodies. It is a treasure that is cherished by all. It is the door to my being.

The light of wisdom, like the Sun, rises in all the worlds. It illumines the lives of all on whom it falls. This light is carried by seven principles of existence, like the seven lustres. This light is the cure.


To be continued…


64 Responses to “Rig Veda, Part 3… By Reader”

  1. Wow…So….Opposite attracts and stays together like two sides of a coin is learnt from veda…!?
    Good and bad exist together…yet constant fight between them to outshine the other …and finally evil is to be defeated for the survival of Goodness…
    Is this really applicable in today’s situations…or if we peep into History…how appropriate does that sound …?
    What are the sevens of this world occupied by Vishnu..? Does that mean seven senses..?

    • MonaLisa,

      Opposite attract like lightening, na?! Without the existence of the opposites there would not be any energy in nature. If a magnet was not bi-polar there can be no generator and no electricity!

      For instance, a person is often attracted to things that he cannot manage or does not undertsand.

      Engineers have built a modern city on the shifting sands of this desert – something that thousands of years of nomadic life had not imagined possible!

      Doctors are keeping patients alive. Explorers have moved from deep forests to inter-galactic space.

      I may not owe my birth to science yet, but I certainly owe my survival to it.

      Everything is explicable MonaLisa. Thats why I said yesterday, a phenomenon that is not scientifically evaluated is unapplied philosophy. I believe every student of philosophy must parallelly study conceptual physics and mathematics. The human mind is the structural bridge between the two.

      I too have many questions about some of the verses.

      Right now, I am simply translating what is there in the book without disclosing my feelings. I hope to meet some of the gurus in BLR one day and discuss these with them.

      Vishnu is vishwa-nu. The cause of the vishwa. It can be the seven continents on earth; the seven universes in Bhrigu’s astronomy; the seven planets in solar system (In the nava-graha Rahu and Ketu are not planets, they are shadows – lunar and solar eclpises, while Pluto & Earth are not counted, hence, seven.); Seven chakras in the body;

      Who knows…

  2. Sharmila,

    Thank you. This personalized style works faster and is more efficient. I am able to cover more pages in less space.

  3. And I am enjoying this more.. I think there is more clarity in my understanding. This one is long, will take me a bit of time to savor.

  4. Lol Reader,
    It was just a simple Q…whether it was proved scientifically before,during or after Veda was written..? Not Trapping myself into anything…
    From the very begining ..since childhood we all experienced good & bad prevailing together and always fighting to prove supremacy… and so do the other opposites….No Q or any doubt about that..
    Energy is found on every level in different form and capacity…nothing is possible without energy…source could be anything…
    If all the sources are known to us..we could solve the “Riddle of Life”…as Walt Whitman mentioned in his poem…
    Physics and Math could be helpful to an extent…may be to understand the basics…not beyond that…as that area is still available for exploration for those who have a knack of it..
    There is a posibility..seven spaces or may be more exist…who knows…!?
    But if we consider Human Body as a universe…then seven Chakras seem more appropriate..

    • Well, okay if you are not into those trappings.

      The brahminical politics of Vedic period is horrifying to say the least. I do not suggest anyone who is not a detached reader should read those.

      For instance, there were two famiy lines that wrote the Rig Veda. The Angirasa and the Bhrigu. Vishwamitra, Gautama, Kanvas etc are descendents of Angirasa. They were fire worhippers.

      Agastya, Vasishtha, Parshuram and others are in the Bhrgu lineage.

      There was extreme ethnic violence.

      Bhrigu was banished to what is today Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The place was called Phrygu then. Parshuram established a town called Persha which was later called Persia. Vasishtha commited suicide.

      Vasishtha created a constitution, Dharmasutra, which divided the society into several racist castes and denied liberties like inter-caste marriages etc. He was a warrior priest and used it for increasing dominion. His brother Agastya defeated him finally.

      There was a woman called Lobha-mudra whp played a very key role in the wars. She is famously called ,”Kali” and worshipped in Bengal.

      The history of that period is full of blood and gore. Indo-Aryans were worse than vikings and normans.

      The first sensible era in that region starts with Pythagoras, who migrated to Greece and started a proper school of Mathematics.

      Rest of the development occurred South and East of the river Indus and Saraswati which passed through todays Pakistan and ended in the sea near Kutch in Gujarat.

      Much of the Aryan literature is written on the banks of these rivers.

      There are 9 Vyayas in Bhrigus lineage. Each grandson of one Vyasa was again named Vyasa. The last in that line lived during Mahabharata. He compiled the 3 Vedas and the Atharva Angirasa. (Note: Atharva Veda is not called a Veda in the scriptures of the time. Its called Atharva Angirasa. It was a treatise written by the Atharva family in Persia.)

      All the Avestan deities (Zoroastrian, Iranian) and Vedic deities are the same. Indra, Marut, Brihastpati etc. Avesta believes in one Creator called Ahura Mazda. Yadnya is called Yasnya. Atharvan is the called the same i.e. Atharvan. Sutra is called Sura. Gita is called Gatha. There was an ancient town in Parsha near todays Teheran, called Madras!

      Very complicated anthropology.

      I prefer to stay completely out of that mess. I have 3 volumes of all that research done by the archeologists and historians, mostly by Professors in the University of Pennisylvania.

      It is not relevant to our lives today.

      • Reader…
        History has remained bloody as always…no matter which era you peep into
        Yes..UPenn Arch and proff did a graet job…(I have read their findings before somewhere) finding the origins of it..proves its authentication…However
        What I feel is…The subject matter in the books and The History of its origin..are two separate things and should be kept separate as students..
        Your translation of that Mantra can clarify many doubts…and opens up an avenue to think clearly in new direction to many…Thanks..!
        In my opinion there is something like Rebirth definitely exist..and I am opting in for that …though you opt out…as ususal… 🙂
        But you will be back…! I can see that…! 🙂

      • My father fell into that error many times when he taught me. He would be so annoyed with the politics of that era that he would often forget what he was teaching me! I’d have to wait patiently till he let off his steam and then remind him where he had deviated. One mantra could go on for weeks!!! 🙂

        Its often the case with passionate teachers. They go tangent to the subject!!! 🙂

        Don’t you scare me with the re-birth thingy… I am determined not to get back to this place or any other. You can’t imagine how sick I am of all this!!!

        I love to live. But I don’t want to see this or anything else again!

    • I don’t understand how anything can be beyond understanding.

      Understanding is all there is. There’s nothing beyond that.

      • What I do not still understand is the origin of the soul? Where did it first come from?

      • Reader…
        🙂 🙂 You amaze me many many times…
        What dose understanding has to do with existance of something…!? They do exist though we don’t know or we have limited or no knowledge about them…or we don’t understand why…what and where…related to it…!
        Your undersatnding and my understanding could be different…that doesn’t affect the existance of that particular thing…it is..what is..!

      • I was referring to your own words… MonaLisa

        You said:

        Physics and Math could be helpful to an extent…may be to understand the basics…not beyond that…

        I say there is nothing beyond that… understanding is everything…

        Here are your choices:

        Understanding is:

        Nice to have

        Good to have

        Necessary to have

        Important to have

        Its part of volition. But basically, it is all there is.

    • Curious that you say, the ‘Human body as a universe’. That’s just what Newton said in his rules of reasoning in philosophy!

      I mentioned that somewhere here.

      Rule 3: The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intensification nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.

      In mathematics, its called a measuring “Unit”. Like, Kg, Meters, Hours, Calories etc.

      You can’t avoid Physics and Math in philosophy! 🙂

      • Okk…Dear…Reader… 🙂
        Relate Physics..Math ..and..Soul…with eachother and elaborate

      • Reader..
        I was refering to your words… ! You relate Philosophy wih Math And Physics….so I said that…that it helps to understand some basics…
        Did you mean till we apply those…we understand…and world stops beyond that…!? I don’t think so…

  5. Sharmila,

    The Soul is defined for the first time in I: 115.1 of the Rig Veda. Before that the word Atma is used only once as an adjective in I: 34.7 where the life-force in a living being is called atmaeva vaata, the strength of the soul.

    Before I: 115.1, the words that are commonly used are Life and Consciousness – Jeeva and chetna;

    Mantra I: 115.1 is as follows:

    Chitram devaanaam udagaat aniikam chakshuh mitrasya, varunasya, agneh |

    Aapra dyaavaa prithivi antaraksham surya aatma jagatah tasthushah cha ||

    I picture the divinities before me in forms of my associates, this vastness and the fire |

    The soul resides thus in the earth, the sky, the universe and the suns and all that moves and moves not ||

    (Translation mine.)

    What I notice is:

    The Soul, or Atma, is not far removed in context from Life, Jeeva and Consciousness, Chetna. Yet it is distinct, in that, it exists in all things that move and move not!

    The entire universe and everything in it is considered to have a Soul, Atma. But not everything has Jeeva (Life) and Chetna (Consciousness).

    The Atma is not an object. Hence does not obey any laws that apply to Jeeva and Chetna.

    Although the atma can exist without life, there is no life that does not have an atma.

    My inference is aligned with Tagore and Radhakrishnan.

    There is no difference between my atma or yours or anyone elses living or dead. Upon death, my atma may merge with the earth, the sky, the suns, the space, this universe or any other universe any where.

    The origin of the atma has to be the origin of the universe – The Parmaatma.

    If I can, I would like to merge directly with the Parmaatma. This is called moksha.

    I do not wish to leave with any unfulfilled wishes that’ll bind me at some level in between. I hope there is no such thing as a re-birth.

  6. But, I am unable to understand the constitution of the soul..is it vapor, air? what is it? How does this merger happen? If soul merges with the sea, it is a physical, molecular process??

    • Sharmila,

      There is absolutely NO evidence of the soul as an object, neither in the ancient texts nor in their science nor in any testaments after that.

      Which only means it is neither matter nor energy of any form (because Matter and Energy can be converted into each other. i.e. it is not an atom, or molecule or solid liquid gas or radiation.)

      According to the usage in the Rig Veda, the soul i.e. Atma exists in everything, which is matter, energy and empty space.

      So the Universe has a soul. The soul is the beginning and end of everything. The soul, atma, is the created and it procreates. Atma is created by Parmaatma.

      I am not sure of the logic behind this. I am simply repeating my learning.

      I don’t know. 😦

      • See, this is the point. We are not able to satisfactorily conclude on the soul, which means we do not possess the intellect to know what the soul is. Do even the learned know? IMHO, we humans cannot think in the 4th dimension, if we could, we would know exactly what it is. Can Non Living things create and procreate? Take a mirror for example, the image is the creation, if I keep two mirrors parallel to each other facing each other, I get infinite images.. Is the soul like the image and perhaps the mirror, the creator?

      • Sharmila,

        All philosophy is an hypothesis until justified by reality.

        A Soul and God are synonymous terms. If you have noticed, I am always passive in my expressions about them.

        Quite a few people get annoyed with my ‘If’s and call me faith-less.

        But I just can’t be assertive when I cannot demonstrate something. That includes the Soul and the God.

        Your mirror example the same too. It works, but is it the soul?

        I can narrate a few examples that you can call the soul:

        Here is one: (Ignore the negation)

        I feel, think, behave, emote like my mother in every way you can imagine. As if I was a genetic twin!

        I have suddenly become alert to that. And… also the fact that she is dead.

        So, things that she did, and died for nothing, I don’t do. What a waste of time!

        A scientist might say that this is all genetics, learning, programming etc.

        I can argue that it cannot be genetics because my biological mother died on 28th September 1964 of Cholera in Jabalpur MP, when I was all of 6 months old!

        So where is the question of genetics? There is a connection… Undefined… Call it a Soul…

        I prayed round the clock when she was dying… I didn’t know if there is a volitional God or not…. I just hoped there is…. It didn’t work…. Things don’t work sometimes….

        So the mystery of a soul just remains unsolved… “Who Knows”, says the Rig Veda…

      • Correction: Misplaced pronoun. I was praying in 2000-01 when mother was dying in the hospital. Not the biological one in ’64.

      • Now, you know why I don’t pray… ! It doesn’t work for me!

  7. And just in terms of this multiple image being created, the mirror is not living, yet it creates and procreates multiple images by reflecting off itself. Is this the way the universe was created? Who Knows..

    • Who Knows…

      Who knows from whence this great creation sprang,

      He, from whom all this great creation came,

      Whether His will created or was mute,

      The Most High Seer that is in highest heaven,

      He knows it – or perchance even He knows not.

      … Rig Veda (Translation by F. Max Mueller)

  8. MonaLisa,

    No, life does not stop with understanding. It becomes fun.

    Let me explain.

    An opinion is possible only if one has knowledge. Politics or industry is possible if one has an opinion.

    Now, if follow a strict discipline. I shall not form opinions until I have knowledge. I’ll indulge in industry or politics after I have the knowledge.

    In reality this does not happen because when I have true and tested knowledge, I find that I am unable to have an opinion because I am able to demonstrate my knowledge if I want to. Also, I am not interested in politics because I want to move on and find wisdom. I occupy myself with industry for sustenance.

    Understanding philosophy and the sciences is all there is in this journey. And it is sufficient. I am content.

  9. Sharmila,

    Is it okay if I comment on the hymns in the post? Or will that look silly?

  10. Sharmila,

    I will anyway.

    In Section III, 24-30 there are some interesting subjects addressed:

    Ignorance is suffering. Ignorance is death. Ignorance is a sin. May the open chariot of knowledge lead me out of ignorance – for this alone do I sacrifice. This law is the divinity. There is none other.

    The order of a human being in the nature of things is right on the top. This respect for the human is consistent throught out. Ignorance is recognized as a suffering, death or a sin for humans. It is a barrier for living. And note, a law is called a divinity – which proves my definition of ‘divinity’ as used in the Mantras.

    Let me quote Ayn Rand:

    An animal is equipped for sustaining its life; its senses provide it with an automatic code of action, an automatic knowledge of what is good for it or evil. It has no power to extend its knowledge or to evade it.

    In conditions where its knowledge proves inadequate, it dies. But so long as it lives, it acts on its knowledge, with automatic safety, and no power of choice, it is unable to ignore its own good, unable to decide to choose the evil and act as its own destroyer.

    Man has no automatic code of survival. His particular distinction from all other living species is the necessity to act in the face of alternatives by means of volitional choice.

    He has no automatic knowledge of what is good for him or evil, what values his life depends on, which course of action it requires…

    An instinct of self-preservation is precisely what man does ‘not’ possess.

    An instinct is an unerring and automatic form of knowledge. A desire is not an instinct…

    Man has been called a rational being, but rationality is a matter of choice – and the alternative his nature offers him is: rational being or suicidal animal.

    Man has to be man – by choice; he has to hold his life as a value – by choice; he has to learn to sustain it – by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues – by choice.

    Ayn Rand, Galts Speech in Atlas Shrugged.

  11. And this is what Tagore says:

    Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

    Where knowledge is free;

    Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestice walls;

    Where words come out from the depth of truth;

    Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

    Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;

    Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action –

    Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.

    Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, in Gitanjali

  12. And Mahatma Gandhi says:

    To see the universal and all-pervading Spirit of Truth face to face one must be able to love the meanest of creation as oneself. And a man who aspires after that cannot afford to keep out of any field of life…

    Identification with everything that lives is impossible without self-purification.. God can never be realized by one who is not pure of heart. Self-purification therefore must mean purification in all walks of life. And purification being highly infectious, purification of oneself necessarily leads to purfication of one’s surroundings.

    In bidding farewell to the reader, for the time being at any rate, I ask him to join with me in prayer to the God of Truth, that He may grant me the boon of Ahimsa (Non-violence) in Mind, word and deed.

    Mahatma Gandhi in his autobiography.

    Note: The reader in the last para is obviously not me! Gandhi can never bid farewell to me, neither in form nor spirit! 🙂

  13. S. Radhakrishnan says:

    The end of man is to let the spirit permeate his whole being… Man is not a mere sum of his instincts and desires. He seeks to be a single individual unity or organism. Dissatisfaction and unrest accompany every breach in organic wholeness. There is always a tension between what we are and what we wish to become…

    Integrated lives are the saved ones. They possess the joy unspeakable, the peace that passeth undertsanding. Our earthly joys would pale before that spiritual bliss like electric lamps before the morning sun.

    S. Radhakrishnan, Autobiographical, The Basic Writings


    Note: There is no conflict between Ayn Rand’s statement that “Man does not possess an instinct for survival; a desire is not an instinct” and Radhakrishnans “Man is not a mere sum of his instincts and desires.”

    Ayn Rand does not say that instincts and desires do not exist. In her own words, an instinct is an automatic form of knowledge. However, the one’s required for survival are lost to us as the mind is way too quick or too slow for the body to respond.

    For instance, if I am standing on a road facing a speeding truck coming toward me, I may be too stunned to jump out of the way! Or if I am bullied by the rhetoric of an altruistic club, I may surrender all my hard earned money for some cause and left to beg for my own survival.

    Instincts and desires exist. But those required for survival are lost and must be replaced by the only other means available to us – volitional choice of a rational mind.

    S. Radhakrishnan says it more simply: Man is not a mere sum of his instincts and desires.… which means man is a lot more than mere instincts and desires.

  14. Here is quote of Niels Bohr, one of the 3 scientists who designed the first atom baby, ‘The Little Boy” (The other 2 were Fermi amd Albert Einstein):

    … we shall first stress the typical complimentary relationship between the modes of behavior of living beings characcterized by the words “Instincts” and “Reason”

    It is true that any such words are used in very different senses; thus, instinct may mean motive power or inherited behavior and reason may denote deeper sense as well as conscious argumentation. What we are concerned with however, is only the practical way in which these words are used to discriminate between the different situations in which animals and men find themselves.

    Ofcourse nobody will deny our belonging to the animal world, and it would be even more difficult to find an exhaustive definition characterizing man among the animals… but ofcourse our power of speech places us in this respect in an essentially different situation, not only in the exchange of practical experience, but first of all in the possibility of transmitting to children, through education, the traditions concerning behavior and reasoning which form the basis of any human culture.

    As regards reason compared with instinct, it is, above all, essential to realise that no proper human thinking is imaginable without the use of concepts framed in some language which every generation has to learn new.

    This use of concepts, in fact, not only is to a large extent suppressing instinctive life, but stands even largely in an exclusive relationship of complimentarity to the display of inherited instincts.

    Niels Bohr, in ‘Natural Philosophy and Human Cultures’

    • Correction: First line: Atom Bomb…not baby… Niels Bohr, Fermi and Einstein were commissioned for the design. Bohr is also the one who suggested the structure of the basic Hydrogen Atom, the circle that we draw showing one nucleus and one electron.

  15. From the Avesta, The Hymns of Atharvan Zarathusthustra

    Gatha Ahunavaity,

    Chithra ee hudaahonhe, yathna va edeym nayi mananha |
    Bohu ho khsatha asheym, vachnha dhya othna cha hapti |
    Havo tohi Mazda Ahura, Vajistho Anha iti astish ||

    Evident is all this to the intelligent, as much as to the observant with attention. He pursues good non-chalance in words and deeds. He, O Mazda Ahura, is Thy strongest believer.

    The Hymns of Atharvan Zarathusthra, Yasna 31-22

  16. 🙂 Now…..! Where were we….!??

  17. Pythagoras:

    This passion is various, laborious, and very multi-form. Of desires however, some are acquired and adventitious, but others are connascent… there are three most known species of erroneous and depraved desire, viz. the indecorus, the incommensurate and the unreasonable.

    Iamblichus’ Life of Pythagoras, Ethical Writings

  18. Reader…
    You call it a man or a human…certainly isn’t just the bugle os desires and instincts…they are the instruments…the drives to progress and go furthere in the life…A human is always more than that…how much more…is always disclosed in different situations…when put to test..like you put me very often..many many times…
    Sometimes we pass the test…sometimes we don’t..as the expectation always differ…situation to situation and judge to judge… one has to be one’s own judge many times …
    Everyone do not possess same knowledge in every aspect..thus we all live in our own separate small worlds…
    Here in Veda…is the term “Knowledge” used in the way we perceive or in a different meaning…!?

    • Knowledge in the veda is used the same way as we perceive. There’s no difference.

      The conceptual size of our worlds depends on ‘What’ knowledge, and how we apply it.

      As I said earlier, we deal with facts as we sense them.

      Say your name is MonaLisa – fact 1.

      The US is the name of a nation – fact 2.

      The data is processed as: MonaLisa lives in the US. Processed data is information.

      Processed information is knowledge. It can be done in many ways rationally or randomly.

      Like, good people live in the US or US is a safe place to live or US is habitable or some people in US are good etc

      Processed knowledge becomes wisdom such as in this case we can say, A country is as good as the people that live in it.

      At each stage in the processing, one conceptualizes the parametric variables.

  19. If knowledge is everything…our own worlds…progress depend upon on it then why at the end they left it alone saying…
    “Who Knows…” Why “God” and “soul” are unknown to us..

    • This is best explained by Krishna in Gita when Arjun asks him about the different paths and which is the best.

      We have Karma yoga (Work), Dnyan Yoga (Research) and Sanyaas Yoga (Renunciation)

      Realisation of God or Soul or the Truth about creation may happen accidently or with proper effort. The question is no-where in the Veda is it said that the realisation is ‘necessary’ for living.

      Research, Knowledge and Work are essential aspects of a proper healthy peaceful and happy life.

      After death, who knows…

      Krishna does not support renunciation. He says, Karma yoga is better than Sanyas yoga.

      There are those who have supported the opposite like Osho, Tao, Buddha and Mahavir and many others.

      I go with Krishna on this.

    • Careful about what you call progress.

  20. Where did my post disappear…!?

  21. Is knowledge is everything…why no knowledge about “God” or “Soul” available..the way you described…
    Why at the end in Veda its been said “who knows..” about “God” and “Soul”…

    • MonaLisa,

      I am only a reader. You’ll have to ignore my short-comings!

      In my opinion, understanding is everything. Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom are elements of the process of understanding.

      I am a bit at cross-roads on God and Soul because of my own conflict between Faith and Belief.

      For me, faith is ‘blind’, unjustified and not founded on rational merits.

      Belief is something that is tested, practiced and proven.

      If you notice my choices: All scientists are philosophers but all philosophers are not scientists. I prefer a scientist to a linguist.

      I think the ‘Who Knows…’ is the best part of the Veda.

      It gives a rational and knowable world to live in, instead of quixotic heavens and hell.

  22. Reader,

    Your in-depth understanding of the scriptures certainly deserves all the appreciation, especially because it is very difficult to attain such wisdom while being an active part of the materialistic mainstream.


    • Thank you Melwyn,

      You are very gracious.

      I do believe childhood experiences play a very significant role in this. In those days, I spent most of the time saying, “I don’t know”.

      Everyone around me seemed to know more! And indeed they did. All were well read and practical people. Doctors, Engineers and scholars!

      I miss them today. Most of them have gone. I wish I had the opportunity to say, “Hey, dad, uncle, mom! Look I know it now!”

      Ironical state of affairs! 🙂

  23. Hi! Sharmila,

    I would like to believe that there exists no such thing as ‘soul’. We are just living creatures and all our faculties are designed to function so long as we breathe. The moment we stop breathing all our systems are stalled. There is no other external or internal power that runs our bodies.


  24. Aishwarya Says:

    I feel, what is being discussed is not the existence of God or soul or rebirth. It is suffice that we are conscious of the ‘everlasting creativity’ of the earth and aware of the ‘indeterminate vastness’ of the Universe.

    What is important to find out is what the purpose of our life is. This is where learning comes in. In my understanding, this is possibly the most positive approach towards life. Upholding the elements that sustain us and the laws/divinities within us, channelizing our energies and our urge/desires in this effort/this learning to seek the ultimate – wisdom. The light of Truth shall then dawn on us.

    Note that there is not a single negative line. Even the demons or afflictions within us is considered a fuel to propel us forward in this path of learning.

    • Aishwarya,

      You are absolutely right as usual.

      In fact, if I may add, all the translations or commentaries cannot describe the originality of the original.

      Here is an example:

      Udagaat ayam aadityo vishvena sahasaa saha |

      Dwishantam mahyam randhayan mo aham dwishate radham ||

      The illuminating light of this universal knowledge is all pervading |

      The hateful are destroyed thus by nature, I do not offend them ||

      (Translation mine) I: 50.13

      Sri Ramanujam calls it the ideal of complete surrender to the truth… ignorance is overcome without any effort.

      • Note: The hateful in me is also called the Vritra. As you rightly observed, they are sacrificed as the fuel for the good efforts.

        Ramanujam’s take is “Total Surrender” to the truth (righteousness) eliminates all the defects caused by ignorance.

        Which means, I may not have enough knowledge to seek wisdom, but I can be content in the singleminded pursuit of truth.

        There is no negative energy to hinder this process.

      • Aishwarya Says:


        Thank you. Touched.

        The teachings are inspiring and invaluable, and I wanted to share my understanding of what you have so beautifully translated for us.

        There is liberation in this surrender…

      • 978/1028 to go… its a marathon… 🙂

      • Aishwarya Says:

        OMG… 🙂

        Hopefully this new personalized style will make it easier for you to cover more pages faster…

      • Yes, 🙂 I am going to have Sharmila running for cover with my speed! I sit 2 hours every night these days! 🙂

      • Aishwarya Says:

        Lol…no way…a tigress running for cover…this I’ve gotta see!

      • Never, ever … !!

      • An insult to the cat family that would be..

      • 🙂

        “I like that… hume junglee billiyan pasand hai…”

        Amitabh Bachchan, in and as, ‘Don’


  25. Can you please highlight me on the caste system being written in the Vedas and it’s positive impact on the strengthening of the unity amongst the Indians inside and outside of India.

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