Ashwin: Swamiji, I am new to this website. Of the existing shakhas of Vedas,which are the original Veda Samhitas? i.e.There are two shakhas in Rig Veda namely Shaakal and Bhashkal and in Yajur Veda, Madhyandhin and Kanva and in Sama Veda, Kauthuma and Jaimini and in Atharva Veda, Shaunak and Pippalada etc.Also in this website in one of the q&a,I found that there are 1127 shakhas of Vedas.But the Mahabhashya of Patanjali states that there are 1131 shakhas of Vedas.Which is correct?Also I want the mp3 versions of all the four Vedas. Where can I get it? Thank You.
Swami Ram Swarup: Original ved samhitas are written by Vyas Muniji on Bhojpatra, about 5,300 years ago. But, I do not know about its whereabouts.
I think , 1127 shakhas are correct. I also paste my article below-
Shakhas of Ved
Vedas are the knowledge which emanates direct from God. It is also called Shruti because the knowledge was not given in the shape of books or by preach but the knowledge is originated by the power of God in the heart of four rishis. The knowledge of Vedas thus comes from one generation to another by means of listening. About 5,300 years ago Vyas Muni first time wrote the said knowledge of Vedas on Bhoj patra and thereafter it was printed in the shape of four Vedas i.e., Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda. So the collection of the Ved mantras written and thereafter printed in the shape of books are actually not Vedas but are called Samhita. After studying the Vedas carefully and doing ashtang yoga practice, some rishis wrote the books explaining the Ved mantras.
Such books are called— “SHAKHA” (section) but Shakha is not Ved. In shakha, the preach of rishi or history of any king, public, man or woman etc., has been written whereas in Vedas, there is no history or story. Shakhas are famous by the name of rishis who wrote the Shakha whereas Vedas emanates direct from Almighty God and thus Vedas are famous in the name of God and not rishis. Aiteryo Brahmin (concerned with Rigveda) or Teiteryo Brahmin granth etc., (concerned with Yajurveda) have been written by rishis keeping the base of concerned Vedas but Vedas have not been written keeping any base of any mantra, etc.
As I have explained above that Vedas are not books and the knowledge of the Vedas uptil Mahabharata period was obtained by aspirants by listening only. Actually this is the fundamental of Vedas from a learned acharya. However, nowadays knowledge of Vedas has been printed with explanations etc., in the shape of book which is called samhita. Though it is difficult to understand the Vedas by self study yet one can try for the same and if he feels that he is gaining the knowledge then it is okay. However, I would advise you to read two or three books on Vedas written by me to enable you to enter the knowledge of Vedas and its study, please. But his is up to you whether you need or not, please.
As regards MP3 versions, you may contact M/S Vijaykumar Hassanand, Nai sadak, New Delhi.
However, in my knowledge, MP3 has not yet been made by anyone. If made, then the said firm may tell you the fact.
You are welcome, please.
Deepak: Swamiji charan sparsh please bless me as I want to get aatmsakshatkar thanks
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you. Atmasakshatkar is a subject of Yogi. In this first, knowledge of four Vedas should be listened from an acharya to be followed in life, daily agnihotra, name jaap of God and then hard practice of Ashtang Yog under guidance of a Tapasvi is required. When the Yogi after practicing the said Yoga philosophy, for a long time i.e., for several years as the case may be, then he becomes ascetic first according to Yog Shastra sutra 1/15 then according to 1/16. You see, a Yogi who becomes ascetic according to Yog Shastra sutra 1/16, he takes turn from all kinds of materialistic articles of the world and whole family. At this stage, he still continues his practice of Ashtang Yoga and atlast by the grace of Almighty God and his acharya, when he becomes capable to control his five senses and mind fully, then he attains Dharammegh Samadhi, description of which is also given in Yog Shastra sutra 4/29, 30. So, atmasakshatkar is not an easy task. Yogeshwar Sri Krishna Maharaj also gives hint that after practicing the above quoted worship for several births, the Yogi becomes capable to experience Almighty God.