Kumar: Respected Swamiji, What is the difference in Vedas & other hindu sastras? Since God is considered as omnipresent, does it mean HE is present in all things & beings and if so, why we can’t worship all things & beings–even idols? Best regards.
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you.
Vedas are eternal knowledge which emanates direct from Formless, Almighty, Omnipresent God at the time of beginning of creation whereas other Hindu shastras have been written by Rishi-munis based on Vedas’ knowledge. So, Vedas are God made whereas other shastras are man-made (Rishi-made). In 31st chapter of Yajurveda also, God has been defined as Purush i.e., Who has complete knowledge and Himself He is complete in all respects.
So, Vedas which emanates directly from God have complete knowledge. Whereas in man-made (Rishi-made) granths several matters/subjects have not been mentioned and therefore man-made granths are incomplete.
Yes, God is everywhere, i.e., lives/resides in every atom of the universe. Vedas tell to worship only Formless God Who has no shape, that is why, idol worship is not preached in Vedas. Idol means non-alive matter whereas God is alive matter. We’ve to worship alive matter and not non-alive matter in any shape. The worship of God means to control all the senses, and with closed eyes, sitting on any asan, we’ve to do name-jaap and think deeply the pious qualities of Formless God which are mentioned in Vedas. Whereas, in idol worship we’ve to open our eyes and all senses. Formless God is worshipped by practice of Ashtang Yoga Philosophy also and the devotee has to attain Samadhi whereas in idol worship it is not there. If it is not clear, then you may please send your query again.
Anonymous: Aatma or prmaaatma kaya hai
Swami Ram Swarup: In Vedas, somewhere atma is used for God also, based on the divine qualities, however, atma is mostly used for soul. Whereas Parmatma means Formless, almighty, Omnipresent God Who creates, nurses, destroys universe. You see, soul can never create, nurse or destroys the universe. In this connection, I also paste my article below:-
Though at present, according to the views of the present saints, there is – Advaitwad, Vishisht Advaitwad, Dvaitwad but eternal knowledge of Vedas which emanates direct from God only preaches “Traitvad”. In Traitwad, there exist three matters:
(2) Souls( Jeev)
God and souls are alive whereas Prakriti is non-alive matter.
Advaitwad was introduced 1,220 years ago by Shankaracharya. Vishisht Advaitwad about 935 years ago by Ramanujacharya and Dvaitwad was introduced about 809 years ago by Madhvacharya.
However, it will have to be considered deeply that Traitwad mentioned in Vedas is eternal as knowledge of Vedas emanates direct from God and not by any Rishi, Muni, Yogi, man, woman, saint, satguru etc. So Traitwad is not man made but it is God–made.
In the present scenario, certainly it has become a problem to define God so as to worship Him. In this connection, one thing is clear that God creates the universe so His creation cannot imagine or create its own God. God creates living beings’ bodies wherein only human beings are entitled to worship God. The mind of human beings is made of Prakriti. So, mind is creation and human mind cannot make or imagine its own God.
Secondly, if a person goes to an unknown place where nobody knows him then it is necessary that the person will have to introduce himself there. Without his introduction none will be either able to know him or imagine/create his (person’s) name, nature, qualities, identity etc., themselves. I mean to say that to know about the God, the above quoted two points are not applicable then WHO WILL KNOW THE GOD?
Answer is he whom the God, Himself makes able to know, he only can know the God. Now, question arises is there any provision where God introduces Himself and to whom? Answer is Yes, if an aspirant desires to know the God, strives hard in his path and studies all the religious books of the world then it would be revealed that the answer of the above two points (God is not imagined by anyone and not made known by any person) is given in Vedas for example Rigveda Mandal 10, Sukta 181 that in the beginning of every creation, the knowledge of four Vedas is originated in the heart of four Rishis by the God only wherein God Himself introduces Him. The said process is eternal and automatic.
Now, it will be a vast topic to explain about creation which has already been explained several times in my other books and in this book as well. Here, it is stated that God has introduced Himself in Four Vedas about His divine names, deeds, power, nature, worship, qualities, etc.
For example, God in Samveda mantra 265 states- (ANDHASAHA MADESHU) i.e., he who is the reason to generate divine food i.e., spiritualism and divine pleasure. (MAHA) the greatest (VICHETSAM) alive and having unlimited knowledge (SHAKINAM) Almighty (INDRANAM NAAM) whose name is Indra.
God states further in the above mantra that Oh! Man and Woman (GIRA ABHI GAYA) you eulogise and worship the said God with your voice. (YATHA) according to (SHRUTYAM) Vedas’ (VACHAHA) divine voice.
Meaning: He who is the reason to generate divine food i.e., spiritualism and divine pleasure for those who worship Him. Who is the greatest in universe, alive and having unlimited knowledge, who is Almighty and whose name is Indra, Oh! Man and woman, you eulogies and worship the said God with your voice according to Vedas’ divine voice.
Idea: Samveda is considered the greatest Ved amongst the four Vedas. This Ved mainly states about the eternal worship of God wherein Yajyen, name jaap of God, Ashtang Yoga Philosophy has been mentioned. Hence, in this mantra also Almighty God tells the human beings to worship the God whose divine qualities, power and nature has been mentioned in the Vedas.
That is why, God stresses in this mantra that Oh! Human being describe eulogies/chant about the God exactly as has been mentioned in the Vedas.
Though the names and the qualities of Almighty God as per Rigveda mantra 1/164/46 are unlimited but some of His qualities are mentioned below:
(1) He creates, nurses and destroys the universe,
(2) Atharvaveda Kand 13, Sukta 4, Prayaye 6, mantra 16 states that God is one for whole universe. Mantra further states, there are not 2, 3 or 4 Gods, He is only one.
YAJURVEDA MANTRA 40/8:
“SA PRAYYAGAACHHUKRAMKAYAMVRANNAMSNAVIRAM SHUDHAMPAAPVIDHAM.
KAVIRMANISHI PARIBHUHU SWAYAMBHURYATHATATHYATOARTHAN VYADDHACHHSHVATIBHYAHA SAMAABHYAHA”
Yajurveda mantra 40/8 states that God is “SHUKRAM” Almighty, “AKAYAM” i.e., bodiless, so does not take birth, “AVRANNAM” hole less and can not be converted into any part, so soul is also not a part of God, “ASNAVIRAM” i.e., without nervous system, etc., “APAAPVIDHAM” sinless and does not love to those who are sinners, “PARI + AGAAT i.e., omnipresent, “KAVIHI” omniscient, “MANISHIHI” knows thoughts of every soul “PARIBHUHU” who keeps behind the culprits/sinners “SWAYAMBHUHU” who is eternal/beyond death and birth/has no father, mother etc.,
“SHAASHVATIBHYAHA SAMABHYAH” for eternal living beings, “YATHATATHYATAH” with truth, “ARTHAN” gives knowledge of all through Vedas, “VYADADHAAT” preaches, “SAH” He is God.
All Vedas like Yajurveda mantra 31/7 clarify that knowledge of Vedas emanates direct from God at the beginning of universe. So the qualities quoted above in respect of adorable Almighty God are also eternal, unchangeable, and true. Conclusion of the mantra will automatically state that God never takes birth etc. so avtarvad is not possible please. I also paste an article of mine on avtarvad for your knowledge.
As regards karmas Yajurveda mantra 7/48 states that we are free to do pious deeds or sins but result is awarded in happiness or sorrows respectively by God. One must not depend on anybody that somebody will come to give salvation. The dignitaries like Shri Ram, Shri Krishna and Mata Sita etc., did hard deeds without wasting a second. So we must also follow their path to do the hard work towards right path.
“ TADEVAGNISTADADITYASTADVAYUSTADU CHANDRAMAHA,
TADEV SHUKRAM TAD BRAHMA TAAAPAHA SA PRAJAPATIHI.”
(YAJURVEDA MANTRA 32/1)
The God is omniscient, everlasting, source of divine pleasure, immortal, pure, kind, supreme judge, creator of universe, bearer and maintainer of universe. He is (Agni) i.e., omnipresent, (Aditya) form of light and immortal (Vayu) has unlimited divine power and holds the universe, (CHANDRAMA) form of divine pleasure and gives the same to the worshipper (SHUKRAM) alive and Almighty (BRAHMA) most supreme (Aapah) omnipresent (Prajapati) lord of all living beings.
“NA TASYA PRATIMA ASTI YASYA NAAM MAHADYASHAHA
HIRANNYAGARBHA ITYESH MA MA HINSEEDITYESHA YASMAANN JAAT ITYESHAHA.”
(YAJURVEDA MANTRA 32/3)
God can not be measured. So there cannot be His statue because statue is measurable.
God contains the root of everlasting knowledge in all respects. He is supreme that is there is no other who is like God. That is why, all the knowledge observed in the universe emanates from God in the shape of four Vedas.
Rishi Pantanjali writes in Yoga Shastra sutra 1/26 “SA ESHAHA POORVESHAMAPI GURUHU KAALENANVACHCHEDAT” i.e., God is the first Guru (teacher) of the ancient four Rishis named Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angira at the beginning of creation. Sutra 1/24 states “KLESHKARMVIPAKASHYAIRPARAMAISHTAHA PURUSHVISHESH ISHWARAHA.” i.e., God has no concern with any kind of sufferings, sorrows and deeds, the result of deeds. That is why, He is called God who is special amongst souls because souls have to suffer the said sorrows, result of deeds etc.
So based on the knowledge of four Vedas which emanates direct from God there is only one God to be worshipped by the entire universe. It shall not be out of place to mention that all the religions of the world agree about God being one.
Vedas being eternal constitute the culture of the world. We must know that knowledge is gained only when it is imparted by someone. In the beginning of the earth, God gives the knowledge in the form of four Vedas, in which He mainly preaches science i.e., knowledge about every mater of world (Gyan Kand) form of all pious deeds ( Karma Kand) worship (Upasana Kand).
In Vedas the said three matters are called “Trishu”. Every Rishi studied Vedas and became learned. As a result, they wrote Upnishads, Shastras, Valmiki Ramayan, Mahbharat( Bhagwad Geeta), etc.
So here are some views of Rishis about God. As stated in Atharvaveda mantra 10/8/1 (YO BHOOTAM CHA BHAVYAM CHA..JYESHTHAYE BRAMANNEY NAMAHA) i.e., God exists in past, present and future time period i.e., being eternal and He being present forever, knows every happening of the past, present and future . We must bow before the greatest, most supreme Brahma (God) and worship Him. The said God is one, eternal truth that is, will remain forever. The Rishi of Chchandogya Upnishad expresses his similar views as under.
Chchandogya Upnishad Shloka 6/2/1 states:
(AGRE) before the universe (IDAM) this omnipresent (SAD EV) Almighty God (ASEET) was.
Idea: The creation is eternal. When the universe is destroyed, then after a stipulated time, it is again created. Upnishad here states that, God being immortal, exists before every creation.
Again the Upnishad states the qualities of the God that was (EKAM EV) i.e., He was the only one and (ADWITEEYAM) no one was equivalent to Him. The idea is that God is one and unchangeable.
Kathopnishad 5th valli , shloka 9 states that fire (agni) exists in every matter and takes the same form of the matter in which it exists . Similarly, God is omnipresent i.e., is present in every matter of the world and has taken the form of the matters. That is, although God is one but has taken the form of every matter in which He is present.
Here we can also say that fire (Agni) in every matter is separate from the object based on his qualities. Similarly, God is separate and every matter of the world is separate from the God.
Bhagwad Geeta Shloka 2/16 also contains the views of Vedas as mentioned in Atharvaveda mantra 10/8/1. Geeta shloka states “NAABHAVAHA VIDYATE SATAHA”
i.e., there is no lack of truth. Its absence is impossible and therefore truth is everlasting- So God, souls and Prakriti are everlasting being true.
Similarly, “NA ASATAHA VIDYATE BHAVAHA” Untruth /falsehood gets destroyed one day. It can never exist forever. So the entire universe with its matters made of Prakriti is destructible. For example, a plant grows from a seed and becomes a tree then and one day gets destroyed. Similarly, a child takes birth, his body becomes young and then old. Thereafter at a stipulated time, it dies away and gets destroyed.
It is really a wonder that where the God in Yajurveda mantra 40/3 has stated, “NANNUDDEVA AAPNUVAN” i.e., no senses, perceptions or mind can achieve the God, God being beyond description, imagination, calculation etc. So due to lack of knowledge of Vedas mostly the people remain indulged in illusion and apply their entire power of senses, perceptions mind etc. to know the God and preach accordingly. I think all religions agree that we must seek the path of worship where our senses and mind becomes dead and then we will realize God within us.
QUALITIES OF SOULS (JEEVATAMA)
Soul is alive. Soul has to face the result of his deeds. Soul takes body of human beings, animals, birds, trees etc., according to deeds of past lives. Soul feels sorrow, happiness etc., through body. When soul leaves body, it feels nothing but carries all karma to be faced in next birth through his chitta’s (chitta) vritti (vritti).
Souls are innumerable but are constant in number having similar qualities like being pure, immortal, alive etc. Soul is infinitesimally small, is invisible. The bodies of all living beings contain souls.
Not God but soul has desire, hatred/malice, merriment, sufferings, attachment etc. While attracting itself towards materialistic articles made of prakriti soul forgets his original form. As a result, soul recognizes himself as body. This is the stage of soul being unwise.
“NA TAM VIDATH YA IMA JAJAANANYUDYUSHMAKAMANTARAM BABHOOVA,
NEEHAREINN PRAVRITA JALAPYA CHASUTRIP UKTHASHASCHARANTI.”
(RIGVEDA MANTRA 10/82/7)
(TAM) that God (NA) not ( VIDATH) known (YAH) who (EMA) all worlds (JAJANN) creates and (YAT) from you (ANYAT) separate from other souls(YUSHMAKAM) from you (ANTARAM) with in all (BABHOOVA) is (NIHAREINN) fog like smoke (YAT) that God (PRAVARITAHA) covered (JALAPYAHA) baseless discussion (ASUTRIPAHA) satisfied only in Prann [breathing system] (UKTHASHASAHA) only paying lip service (CHARANTI) deals or behaves.
Meaning: Like an invisible matter which is covered with fog similarly dealing in only lip service and indulging in baseless discussion and are satisfied in their breathing system, Oh! Man-woman, you do not know the God who creates the five matters/universe and the God who is separate from other souls and who is within all.