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Scripture

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The Guru’s instructions produce the greatest good

Mahābhārata (śānti parva) 12.123.24 गुरवॊ ऽपि परं धर्मं यद बरूयुस तत तथा कुरु | गुरूणां हि परसादाद धि शरेयः परम अवाप्स्यसि || guravo ‘pi paraṃ dharmaṃ yad brūyus tat tathā kuru | gurūṇāṃ hi prasādād dhi śreyaḥ param avāpsyasi || That which is instructed by the Guru must be acted upon as [the disciple’s] supreme righteous duty. As … Continue reading

The Devil’s Family Tree

upaniṣad – The philosophy

The upaniṣads formulate the final section of the vedas. Unlike the previous sections of the veda, the upaniṣads almost exclusively deal with philosophical and theological subjects with no attention given to rituals. The term upaniṣad can be loosely translated as ‘treatise heard sitting next to a teacher’, thus the knowledge is exposed through conversations between … Continue reading

āraṇyaka – The forest treatise

The āraṇyaka forms the penultimate section of the veda, in style it is similar to that of the brāhmaṇa, however the rituals mentioned seem to be much more secretive and practiced by certain individuals or taught by sages to initiated disciples in an isolated location. Unlike the brāhmaṇa portion, the āraṇyakas are given over to secret explanations … Continue reading

brāhmaṇa – The rituals explained

The brāhmaṇa, forming part of śruti, are voluminous writings that deal with explanations of sacrifices and the symbolism of the priests’ actions, much like the yajur veda, they are practical and ritualistic in nature. Although the brāhmaṇa are commentaries on the vedas, they constitute the oldest historical source for Vedic rituals. They assist in detailing … Continue reading

God and Nature – Atharva Veda 10.7.32-34

yasya bhūmiḥ pramāntarikṣam utodaram | divaṃ yaś cakre mūrdhānaṃ tasmai jyeṣṭhāya brahmaṇe namaḥ AV 10.7.32 I worship that supreme Brahman, whose feet are represented by [Mother] Earth, whose body encapsulates [all] space, whilst his head represents Heaven [his divine abode] yasya sūryaś cakṣuś candramāś ca punarṇavaḥ | agniṃ yaś cakra āsyaṃ tasmai jyeṣṭhāya brahmaṇe namaḥ AV 10.7.33 … Continue reading

atharva veda

The atharva veda found its name from Sage atharvana. Unlike the three previous vedas, the atharva deals mainly with physical reality, it recognises that human society require materialistic possessions in order to satisfy worldly thirst.  Within vedic scriptures the atharva veda is the first to elaborate on socio-economic development and social law. The veda mentions … Continue reading

yajur veda

śukla  yajur veda  (download) kṛṣṇa yajur veda  (download) The yajur veda  is a compilation of ṛg vedic mantras used mainly in external worship, primarily fire sacrifice recited by adhvaryu priests. The word ‘yajus’ derives itself from the sanskrit word ‘yaja’ which means ‘to worship’. A further explanation is also provided in the śatapatha brāhmaṇa[2] where it explains ‘yat‘ means … Continue reading

sāma veda

 (download) The sāma veda is a compilation of ṛk mantras of the ṛg veda set to music. Unlike the hymns of the ṛg veda which are chanted, the hymns of the sāma are sung using certain rules by sāma vedic priests known as udgātri’s. The word ‘sāma’ can loosely be translated as peace or melody. Indian … Continue reading

ṛg veda

(download) The ṛg veda is the oldest veda of all four and contains hymns for divine Gods. The main deities of ṛg veda are agni, indra and soma. Although there are various deities worshipped within the ṛg veda it is important to mention that the sages acknowledged that each deity is just another personification of … Continue reading

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