Radhakrishnan: Namasteji! Many people say the characters in Mahabharat and Ramayan are only literary characters and they did not exist. What is your opinion? Can you list out the descendants of pandavas till the last Hindu emperor? What are the evidences that remain now to establish the existence of Rama, Krishna, Pandavas and Kouravas?
Swami Ram Swarup: Namasteji. No, please. Mahabharat epic and Valmiki Ramayan are not based merely on imagination. The stories are hundred percent true. In this connection I paste my relevant answer as under-
Naradji was a great Yogi and learned of four vedas. He only told the life history of Sri Ram to Valmikiji and as a result, Valmikiji wrote Valmiki Ramayan in Sanskrit which is the authentic Ramayan, say all learned acharyas of past as well as present times.
To state the descendents of Pandavas till last Hindu emperor, is lengthy work which cannot be briefed here. However, last emperor’s name was ‘Janmaijay’.
If a matter is based on proof then it is accepted as true matter otherwise false. As regards proof, Yog Shastra sutra 1/7 states as under-
Five organs (eye, ear, nose, skin and tongue) get the knowledge by seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting from outer materialistic world and pass the same to the Chitta. The Chitta passes the same to the Soul to experience and for disposal. Thus the knowledge collected by the five organs and the faculty which receives and contains the same is called the Prime Vritti of Chitta, which is further defined as Pratyaksh Pramaan i.e., the true knowledge experienced by Soul through the process of five organs and Prime Chitta Vritti is called Pratyaksh Pramaan (direct proof given by five organs). For example: Eye, the organ, sees the snake. The effect of knowledge of the snake is thus received and made on the Chitta. Now the Chitta’s Vritti truthfully decides that it is undoubtedly a snake. This is called Pratyaksh Pramaan Vritti (Direct proof from eye organ which can’t be wrong). Similarly, we have to know about the other four organs viz. nose, ear, tongue and skin on the matter of Pratyaksh Pramaan Vritti.
In this matter there may be some doubt also. For example, far away there is some darkness and little bit light also. We see and determine that there is a snake. But when we go near then we find there a rope instead of snake. The Prime Pratyaksh Pramaan Vritti gave this true knowledge about snake. So in this case to come to the conclusion about truth the Pratyaksh Pramaan (proof) is needed fundamentally and traditionally, which nowadays seems not to be considered. This results in spreading of blind faith. Vedas/Shastras do not depend only on the Pramaan Vritti but anyone of the three: Pratyaksh, Anumaan or Aagam Pramaan is required to discover truth brief of which follows.
When we see the destruction of matter or experience sorrows, and even death before us, this Pramaan Vritti helps to determine that the world, and even our body at one time is liable to be destroyed. In this matter Lord Krishna also says in Bhagwat Geeta 2/27 that death is certain for those who are born. Vyas Muni in Mahabharat says that it is strange that the people daily see the death but the remaining alive people are so busy in their routine that they become oblivious to the fact that even they have to die one day and are so much indulged in their work, as if they will remain alive forever. So if, by virtue of Pramaan Vritti, one learns about the sorrows and death etc. and become an ascetic and starts worship, Yoga practice etc., then this Pramaan Vritti is called “Aklishta” (gives no sorrows). And on the other hand, if somebody is attracted towards materialistic world and is involved in bad deeds/sins then this Pramaan Vritti is called “Klishta” (give rebirth and sorrows etc.)
It is Pratyaksh Pramaan. But see that in the matter of realisation of God the Pratyaksh Pramaan can’t be produced, God being unmanifested. Yajur Ved Mantra 40/8 also says that God is omnipresent and unmanifested. God is beyond description and beyond imagination and is not liable to be realised by means of any organs. Here Vedas arise the necessity of Yoga philosophy to realise God.
Second is Anumaan Pramaan Vritti. When we recognize the true knowledge about the unseen matter by seeing its symbol/symptom then the “Main Vritti” which gets the true knowledge is called Anumaan Vritti. It is Anumaan Pramaan. This type of knowledge of a matter is based on guess, by seeing the symbol of the matter. For example, far away we see the smoke in the sky then we guess that surely the smoke is the result of burning fire. Here we do not see the burning fire, but on the basis of smoke only we come to know the truth that there is fire. Similarly, when we see sun, moon, earth, animals and sky etc., then by virtue of Anumaan Vritti we guess that all the said matter cannot be created by man but certainly God has created the same. This is called Anumaan Pramaan Vritti and this knowledge from Anumaan Pramaan is attained by “Main Vritti”.
In Yoga Shastra the words of Main Vritti has been used specially by Vyas Muni in his comments. The reason behind is that some Vritti may create misunderstanding also but the Vritti which gives knowledge without any doubt that Vritti is called “Main Vritti”. For example it was told above that from a far distance when we see the rope then we have doubt that it may be a snake, so this is the Vritti with doubt. Again when we went near the rope and got the truth about snake then the Vritti which has given the true knowledge of snake is called “Main Vritti”. When the soul realizes with the help of this Vritti that world is destructible and become ascetic and starts studying Vedas and doing yoga practice then this Anumaan Pramaan Vritti is called “Akilshta” (gives no sorrows). On the other hand when we are entangled with illusion and attachment etc., and do sins then this Anumaan Pramaan Vritti becomes “Klishta”(gives sorrows). Description of Aagam Pramaan Vritti will follow.
We have learnt about Pratyaksh and Anumaan Pramaan Vritti.
Now we come to Aagam Pramaan. Actually these Vrittis give proof to know the truth. It is very much clear in our Vedas/Shastras that whatever truth about auspicious deeds or worship is to be set up, we will have to give proof of anyone Vritti out of the said three Vrittis. If our worship/auspicious deeds come under these Vrittis, then it is true and whatever we do if it does not tally with the said Vrittis then it becomes untrue. However, nowadays due to lack of study of Vedas/Shastras, mostly we do not consider the said traditional knowledge of Vedas.
There are two kinds of Aagam Pramaan Vritti:
2. Aapta Purush (the wiser who learnt Vedas and did Yoga)
Suppose we are worshiping/discharging our duties then if the method of our worship etc., is mentioned in Vedas then it is called Aagam Pramaan Vritti.
Similarly, if our said worship and deeds are accepted by an alive wiser who has studied Vedas and got final liberation then it is also called Aagam Pramaan Vritti. In this connection Vyas Muni also says when the Aapta Purush (wiser) delivers the knowledge to any other person i.e., the knowledge, which he himself practised/adopted in his life – like study of Vedas and attaining final liberation then the second person gets the knowledge. Then the faculty, which receives the knowledge from the Aapta Rishi is called Aagam Pramaan Vritti. Vyas Muni further says that basically preacher of the Vedas is Almighty God who is always exempted from doing any deed, impression of bad deeds etc., and false knowledge but the human beings are always indulged in the said three qualities.
Therefore the knowledge of the four Vedas which emanates from Almighty God is self-proof and comes under Aagam Pramaan. It means in the Ved Mantra whatever has been preached requires no proof – Vedas being self proof which come under Aagam Pramaan. The second Aagam Pramaan is the preach given by the alive Aapta Purush (wiser i.e., spiritual master). Vyas Muni here says that who has studied Vedas, done Tapsya and done Ashtang Yoga practice and thus has realized God, he is a true impartial preacher. In Vedas this kind of Aapta Purush (wiser) is called Mantra Drishta Rishi.
Mantra Drishta Rishi is the Rishi who has seen the Ved Mantras with in him during Samadhi/Salvation. So the preach of such Rishi is called Aagam Pramaan. The knower of God and who saw the Ved Mantras were Maharishi Vyas, Patanjali, Vishwamitra etc., they knew the true religion and even false one also. They knew the deepest and true meaning of the Mantras, its knowledge and science properly and that is why they were called Aapta Purush (wiser).
The six Shastras written by the Rishi based on Vedas are also true and comes under “Partah Pramaan”. At present also the matters, knowledge and deeds etc., which comes under Aagam Pramaan are only true. When we follow the preach based on Aagam Pramaan and becomes Ascetic and follow the true path then it is called AKlishta Aagam Pramaan Vritti (gives no sorrows) and everything against this is Klishta Vritti which gives always sorrows.
So we must learn Yoga philosophy which is based on traditional Aagam Pramaan Vritti. When an aspirant studies Yoga philosophy and practices Ashtang Yoga practically then only he attains Samadhi and realizes Almighty God. Therefore mere study, learning by heart thereof and then speaking before public does not come under Aagam Pramaan Vritti and is thus against the Vedas. So we must not praise lectures, especially on spiritualism, which are based on mere study only.
I quote a story here. There was a hunter who had hit a parrot. The wounded parrot fell before a Saint who nursed him. The saint used to preach the parrot that “Oh! Hunter I have understood your tricks and I shall not be caught again in your net.” After few days when the parrot became alright the Saint freed him. Once the Saint saw a hunter in the jungle with broken heart and perplexed face. On inquiring, the hunter told the saint that he (hunter) used to come in the jungle for hunting but today he saw the group of parrots reciting that they have known my tricks and they will not be caught in the net again. Then the Saint was surprised but he still told the hunter to go to the site of parrots and to spread his net as usual. The hunter obeyed and astonished to see that every parrot was speaking the lesson “Oh! Hunter I have understood your tricks and I shall not be caught again in the net”, but all the parrots were flying down and were being caught there. So, it concludes that mere studying of spiritual teaching like parrot will not save us from indulging in sins. The parrot became habitual of reciting the above preach but did not know about the fact that what is net and who is hunter? So preach requires Aagam Pramaan.
It means the statement/preach of a Rishi/Muni is always considered true and views of ordinary human-beings if do not tally with Vedas and that of Rishi-Munis then those are considered false. It is an eternal fundamental law. In this connection, Rigved mantra 7/104/14 states that if a person follows the views of false ordinary person then it generates problems and God punishes. Shatpath Brahmin Granth written by Muni Yagvalkya also states the behave of Rishi-Muni, learned of Vedas is always true and those who behave in falsehood they are called ordinary man. Now, we must understand please that the epic i.e., Mahabharat and Valmiki Ramayan have been written by Maharishi Vyasji and Maharishi Valmikiji respectively. So, there is no doubt that above quoted epics written by the Rishis are hundred percent true. However, learned of Vedas do not accept the authenticity about the Tulsi Ramayan because at some places it differs from Valmiki Ramayan.
I would also like to state about Mahabharat epic that several false shlokas have been added in it. In this regard, I paste my article as under-
There is a statement by King Bhoj in his book “Sanjeevini” about which Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati too states:
“Vyasji wrote 4400 shlokas of mahabharat to which another 5,600 authentic shlokas were added by the disciples of Vyasji. During the reign of Maharaja Vikramaditya another 20,000 shlokas were added. Further Maharaja Bhoj says that during the reign of his father 25,000 and during half of his life time 30,000 more shlokas have been added to the Mahabharat book. If this process of addition of shlokas continues then the time is not far when Mahabharat book would have to be compared to the burden loaded on a camel.”
I would also like to advise you to listen my Audio CD- Ram Katha worth Rs.35/-. It will be sent to you on receipt of your postal address, if you desire.
Sorry, the list of descendents of Pandavas till last Hindu emperor is a lengthy job which cannot be attended to right now. Therefore, cannot be mentioned. However, if you study Valmiki Ramayan and Mahabharat epic commented by Shri Jagdishwaranand Saraswatiji and available with M/S Vijay Kumar Hassanand, Nai Sadak, Delhi-110006, if you desire, then you would be able to get immense knowledge.
Jai: Why does 9th chapter of bhagwat gita mention only 3 vedas? Please send me English translation of Vedas and bhagwad gita?
Swami Ram Swarup: Bhagwad Geeta has been written by Maharishi Vyas Muniji in Dwapur Yug i.e., about 5,300 years ago whereas knowledge of Vedas is eternal and emanates directly from Almighty God in the beginning of every creation. So, knowledge of Vedas’ in this creation has also been generated in the heart of four Rishis at the time of present non-sexual creation i.e., about one Arab, ninety six crores, eight lakhs, fifty three thousand and one hundred fourteen years ago. Traditionally, the knowledge of Vedas is being received orally from Rishis-Munis. I mean to say, Sri Krishna Maharaj also got vedic knowledge from Rishi Sandeepani and others. Yogeshwar Sri Krishna Maharaj was a philosopher of Vedas and Ashtang Yoga. Secondly, the Bhagwad Geeta is an extract from Bheeshma parv of Mahabharat epic, written by Maharishi Vyas muniji.
It is a fundamental law of Vedas that there are four Vedas and not three. So, whenever a Rishi-Muni states about three Vedas, then fourth Ved i.e., Atharvaved is automatically accepted. Whole of Bhagwad Geeta is a preach based on four Vedas. I would also advise you to study my books- Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta I, II, III which shall give you immense knowledge and insight into vedic preach in Bhagwad Geeta. Besides, I also paste my article as under-
God has made universe and blessed us with human body to do pious deeds to attain salvation only. He has not made any heaven or hell. All have to face the result of their deeds, good or bad here only, even by taking rebirth. (Rigveda mantras 10/135/1,2 refer).
God has not only made universe but has also given knowledge of four Vedas where answers to your and everyone’s questions have been given. There are four Vedas:
1. Rig Veda – gives knowledge of science, matter of the universe like sun, moon, air, body etc., etc.
2. Yajurved – gives knowledge of all the deeds and duties to be performed by men, women, students, leaders, king, agriculturist etc., etc., etc.
3. Samved – gives knowledge how to worship God who gives peace and long happy life etc. In this way, details of Yoga philosophy, qualities, supreme deeds and nature of the God are also given.
4. Atharvaved – gives details of God, medical science and details of medicine etc.
Actually in four Vedas there is unlimited knowledge. Yajurveda mantra 40/8 says that God is everywhere, is Almighty, formless, devoid of nervous system, purest, away from sins and does not have to face any result of any karmas (deeds), knows every soul, knows what is in everyone’s mind, no body has made God, but God creates universe, has given the eternal knowledge of four Vedas and always gives the said knowledge at the beginning of every universe to know the science and deeds to all concern. Similarly four Vedas say about God that God is an omnipresent, omniscient, formless, beyond imagination and beyond calculation. Actually God has unlimited qualities. There is only one God who creates, nurses, destroys the universe and recreates. Atharvaved mantra 4/1/1 also says that God gives the knowledge of Vedas at the beginning of the earth to four Rishis of non-sexual creation. And thereafter only public listens Vedas through Rishis- Munis as yet and become learned. Rig-Veda gives knowledge of Almighty, Yajurved gives knowledge of karmas (deeds), Samved tells about worship-Yoga philosophy and Atharvaved about medicines and God. Actually all Vedas commonly says about God also, so this is about Vedas in short. But the knowledge of Vedas is endless.
It is a fundamental law that knowledge is always given by somebody. Otherwise knowledge can’t be gained at any cost. If a new born baby is nursed well in a dense jungle and is not educated then he will not be able to gain any knowledge even if he becomes young or old. So we have to think about the origin of the knowledge prevalent in the world today. In this connection the Vedas themselves say that God gives this knowledge to four Rishis. As said by Rishi Patanjali in Yog shastra sutra 1/26, God is the first Guru of the four Rishis. Yajurved mantra 31/7 also refers. This is all in short about Vedas.
The Vedas are not a book, rather it is a knowledge originated in the heart of Rishis. At the time of beginning of the earth those Rishis preached Vedas by mouth and all others remembered the same orally. At that time there was no pen, pencil, paper, etc. This process of studying Vedas orally remained till Mahabharata time. Muni Vyas too remembered Vedas traditionally by heart. Then Muni Vyas for the first time wrote the Vedas on Bhoj patra about 5300 years ago. In 16th century when printing press came into existence then the Vedas were printed. Still Vedas are not those which have been printed but those which are preached by mouth by an Acharya/yogi and the printed Vedas are called Sanhita.
Now if somebody worships a statue etc., then it is their own creation please but Vedas deny. According to Vedas the best worship of the God is Yajyen for which all Vedas are self-proof. Yajurveda mantra 31/16 says that the learned persons worship God by Yajyen.
So many people have asked me that most of the scholars/preachers of different religion state that their religion incorporates all matters of the world including science. What about Vedas? I wrote so many Ved Mantras describing science matters therein. For example, Yajurved Mantra 3/6 states:
“Ayam Gauhu Swaha Pitram Puraha Prayan Mataram Prishnihi Aakrameet Asadat”
This earth revolves around the Sun in the space and it also rotates on its own axis. Vedas are eternal like God because Vedas emanate from God. Now, according to Vedas, this present creation is about 1 Arab, 96 crores, 8 lakh 53,111 years old. So are the Vedas but as said in Rigveda Mantra 10/191/3 the present creation is same as was the previous one and this process of creation is eternal. So are the Vedas which emanate from eternal God. This all concludes that Vedas are the oldest in this creation also and no other book of science, maths or pertaining to spiritualism is written before Vedas.
Like the above example of rotation and revolution of earth, the significance of whole present science is mentioned in Vedas. We can see that whatever is happening in the universe, is all according to the Vedas. For example, occurance of six seasons, actions of Sun, moon, process of death, birth, worship, yoga philosophy, atomic energy, agriculture, animal husbandry, knowledge of politics, administration, architecture, solar energy, knowledge of home appliances like mixer, grinder, business rules, about men, women, children, marriage, Brahmacharya, education, clothes etc., etc., i.e., knowledge right from a straw to Brahma is all in Vedas. God is Almighty and has unlimited powers. So through His power He is able to originate the knowledge of Vedas in the heart of four Rishis without pencil, paper, help of mouth or any other worldly assistance.
We, i.e., the whole world depends on Almighty God but God is forever independent. That is why, He is God. We are the souls who reside in human bodies. We need assistance of senses, perceptions, mind and body to do deeds but not God.
Nowadays, so many saints are writing books. What is the background to write their books? Background is clear that they have first studied or listened the preach from their Gurus, keeping aside the matter of truth or falsehood. And after studying or listening the same, they became able to write the books. So this is also fundamental law, based on which, the ancient Rishis first listened Vedas and when they became learned then only they wrote the Vedic books like Valmiki Ramayana, six shastras, Mahabharat (Bhagwad Geeta), Upanishads, etc., etc. So, first the knowledge of Vedas is initiated in the universe and afterwards other books come into existence.
Somebody may say that human beings have knowledge by their nature to create anything like books etc., but we see that the newly born baby who is nursed in a jungle, in the absence of knowledge of a learned person, he becomes incapable to do anything. Thus, he can’t be M.A, M.Sc, doctor etc. So there are two types of the words and meanings. First, eternal which are from Almighty God and second, natural made by human beings. Eternal word meanings are always from Vedas i.e., from God. After listening/studying Vedas, human beings become learned and then too based on their own natural knowledge, they make their own words and meanings, literature etc. But it is very much clear that in the absence of knowledge of Vedas, no one can become learned. Nowadays, also people live in dense jungle and do not lead a civilized life because they are not learned as cited above. Vedas are not sects because they emanate direct from God and God is one for all human beings. God creates sun, moon, air, water, food etc., which are meant for the best use of all human beings for their long, happy life, so are the Vedas.
So all human beings must accept Vedas as an eternal knowledge from God, for the benefit of whole creation.