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Mark: Poetry is the Rigveda?
Swami: Poetry is the Rigveda because it has a specific number of characters with a form and a syntax and it has a rhythm and a rhyme.
Mark: Specific number of syllables?
Swami: Ah. (Telegu for “yes”) It is called “chandis”. So poetry is Rig-veda. “Rig” itself means “a verse”, “a chant”, “a mantra”.
Swami: Rik. Rig. Somebody who chants the Vedas is called a ” rik-trik” in Vedic terminology. “Rik” is the basic word. “Rig-veda”. “Rik” plus “Veda” becomes “Rigveda”.
Swami: In Sanskrit it is called “sandi”. “Sandi” means “joint”. When you join two words, the joining word; its tone; it changes. “Rik” plus “veda” is “rig-veda” Rig-veda as you said is poetry. And “yajus”. “Yajus” means “sentence”. It just means a sentence. It takes the form of a sentence. It doesn’t have the poetic style. But it goes sometimes long, sometimes short.
Mark: So this is prose.
Swami: That is Yajurveda. That you can say is prose. In prose you have sometimes beautiful descriptions, long long sentences. Sometimes you have simple words. A sentence where you have just two or three words. It has no specific syntax or length.
Mark: Or rhythm.
Swami: Or rhythm. So that is prose. Yaju- veda is mostly prose.
Swami: Samurveda. “Samur” in Sanskrit also means “friendship”. “Samur” also means “harmony”.
Swami: So Samurveda is music. It has tone. It has up-beat, low-beat. It has sometimes elongation.
Swami: It has music.
Mark: Mm. Beautiful.
Swami: It has music. It has music. That is Samurveda. And the fourth one is Atharvaveda. Atharvaveda is the name of a rishi; a sage called Atharva. Through his form it came. Atharvavedas are very powerful mantras. Those mantras; they follow the style of Rig-veda.
Swami: Atharvaveda. You can say it is a combination of the Rig-veda and the other three. The mantras are very powerful. Whether to…They affect nature and have natural effects.
Swami: And whether to cure, whether to curse. Whether to bless. They are very powerful mantras. Atharvaveda is the fourth one.
Swami: So these are the four. Vedas were one. Vedas are one. Vedas will always be one! It is in this age of Kali for human beings of limited intellect; they have written a lot; the old rishis have had such powerful (?); such supreme mental intellects. The supreme mental capability wants to hear…the entire Vedas; they used to remember. But how to use what mantras. Their essence. Which god? The entire thing they knew by heart. They were living encyclopedias. They were walking encyclopedias! They were mobile encyclopedias. The old rishis.
Mark: The rishis.
Swami: This was so even till just five thousand years ago. Just five thousand years ago when Lord Krishna came into being, all the rishis were like that and Vedas were one!
Swami: Then came the sage Vyerda-Vyasa. Vyasa-rishi.
Swami: Correct! The author of Bhagavad-gita. The author of Bhagavad-Gita. Mahabharata, Bhagavad-gita and Vishnu……is part of the… Mahabharata…it comes in the war.
Mark: In the middle.
Swami: In the middle somewhere. He is the author of Srimad Bhagavatam, the story of Lord Krishna. And he is the author of the eighteen Puranas. The eighteen Puranas of all the gods. Vishnupurana. Lord Vishnu. Shivapurana. Lord Shiva. Purana. All the Puranas. Eighteen Puranas. And he is the one who classified the Vedas into four.
Swami: (He said) here you; your clan of sages you will practise this veda. This is the Samurveda. And you specialize in this Atharvaveda. And even in these four vedas there are sub-branches. It is called “sherkar”. “Sherkar” is like a tree.
Swami: The Vedas are but the same eternal tree .. and we have the four main branches …the four Vedas… and the sub-branches; you have “sherkars” so this line of rishis; they will practise this part of the of the rig-veda. They will practise this line of Rigveda. They will practise this line of Rig-Veda.They say even this perception; even this calculation, is perhaps erroneous; under-estimated (But!) They say we have today hardly one per cent of the original vedas. The rest have become extinct.
Swami: The rest have become extinct. The Vedas were not put in computer. they were not put on papyrus.
Mark: Not recorded.
Swami: For a long time. Sruti. The other name for vedas is “sruti” the other name for vedas is sruti. “Sruti-mani” means “that which you have heard”. Sruti. Srutum. Sruti-mani. That which is heard. So they used to hear (listen) and the next generation; they catch on so they are chanting and (it is) not recorded anywhere (laughs)
so with the deterioration of the intellect of the human down the ages down lakhs of ages how many years we do not know. Vedas came into being at
Swami: So All this Vidya; all this wisdom has got lost.
Swami: So today they say approximately not more than maybe not more than one per cent; only a fraction of the original vedas are still alive (in existence). And it can be said that what you have even if you make use of that, that is good for every human being on earth to sustain the creation to carry on from now. What is left is much more than what we need today. Even that.
Mark: So the creation is sustained by prayer?