Ajay: Namaste Guruji, Please clarify the allegations put on Upnishad to dememan Veda like this:- The Upanishads reject the Karmakaanda or Salvation by means of sacrifices and other rituals taught in the four Vedas and Brahmanas, and advocate the Gnana-Kanda or the theory of Salvation by knowledge. For example, Mundaka Upanishad 1/1/5 calls the four Vedas as ‘lower knowledge’ (Apra) and says, Tatrapra Rigvedo Yajurvedo, Samvedo athavarved Shiksha kalpo vayakarn niruktam chando jayotishmiti.(Mundaka Upanishad 1/1/5).
“The lower knowledge (Apara) is the Rig-veda, Yajur-veda, Sama-veda, Atharva-veda, Siksha (phonetics), Kalpa (ceremonial), Vyakarana (grammar), Nirukta (etymology), Khandas (metre), Jyotisha (astronomy);” Explaning the word ‘Apara’ Shankaracharya has written in his commentary on verse 4, Apara Vidya is ignorance and that ought to be dispelled. When what is known is Apara Vidya, i.e., the subject of ignorance, nothing can be known as it is. Condemning the Karma-kanda of the four Vedas, the same Upanishad says, Palva hote riprdridha yagrupa astadasoktamvaram yeshu karm aetchhereyo ye-abhinandanti moodha jaramrityu te punrevaapi yanti (Mundaka Upanishad 1/2/7 “But frail, in truth, are those boats, the sacrifices (Yagyas), the eighteen (consisting of the sixteen Ritviks, the sacrificer and his wife), in which this lower ceremonial has been told. Fools who praise this as the highest good, are subject again and again to old age and death.” (Mundaka Upanishad 1/2/7)
Believers in Karma-kaanda are being insulted as fools. This condemnation of ritualism continues in verses 8 and 9.
Swami Ram Swarup: Namasteji. One thing is clear that only eleven upnishads (1. Eeshopnishad 2. Kenopnishad 3. Mundakopnishad 4. Mandukyopnishad 5. Kathopnishad
6. prashnopnishad 7. Eiteryopnishad 8. Taitiriyopnishad 9. Chchandogyopnishad
10. Brihadarannyakopnishad 11. Shwetashvaropnishad) are based on the eternal knowledge of Vedas and are accepted by all the learned acharya of Vedas and Yoga philosophy. Secondly, the knowledge is gained when given by anybody. Based on the said eternal law, all the ancient Rishi-Munis first studied the Vedas and after gaining knowledge from Vedas they become able to write the six shastras and eleven upnishads and other ancient holy book like mahabharat, Valmiki Ramayan, etc The fundamental law is still in practice and will remain in practice ever that knowledge is gained when given by anybody.
Third eternal law is of giving proof to reach the truth. So, any views, articles, book or preach of anybody if tallies with Vedas then it is true otherwise false. In this connection, I would advise you to read my detailed vedic comments on Yog shastra written by Patanajali Rishi. The book can be sent on receipt of your postal address, if you desire. In view of the said truth, if anybody offers comments against the Vedas on above quoted eleven upnishads then those comments will be automatically null and vide. Eternal knowledge of Vedas gives three eternal educations which are as under-
There are three educations/preach about
(i) knowledge – science etc(Gyan) in Rigveda,
At the time of every creation, knowledge of four Vedas emanates direct from God and is originated in the heart of four Rishis in non-sexual creation. In the said process, first of all, the knowledge of Rigveda advents and originates in the heart of Rishi Agni. In this veda though the description of every worldly matter right from straw to God has been mentioned but it speaks especially about matters concerning science of the world. God has described qualities/nature of all materialistic articles of the universe. Therefore, the entire mankind must get the benefit of eternal knowledge of Vedas by knowing about right from straw to Brahma i.e., God. The meaning of “Ric” is that wherein the qualities and nature of all matters have been described and the meaning of veda is knowledge i.e., true knowledge. These words are used in making the pious word “Rigveda”.
(ii) In Yajurveda, the form of true, pious deeds have been preached . So, in the absence of listening of Yajurveda, we can’t know about real moral duties of students, married persons, vanprasthis and sanyasis. Even the moral and social obligations of King, parents, children etc., can’t be known.
(iii) In Samveda there is preach about eternal true worship of God like yajyen, name jaap, practice of ashtang yoga by following which an aspirant realises God/attains salvation.
(iv) Atharvaveda authenticates the above three vedas’ preach. It also contains comprehensive knowledge of medical science.
So, Almighty God who is formless, creates, nurses, destroys and again creates universe. This process is eternal and everlasting. So, at the time of beginning of each non-sexual creation, the knowledge of above four Vedas emanates direct from God and is originated in the heart of four Rishis. The knowledge is given by the God to the human-beings for their welfare/benefit because until the knowledge is given by somebody, no one can attain the knowledge. In the beginning of the creation, no preacher, guru, acharya, teacher is present there to teach. So, God gives the knowledge.
So, the above quoted eleven upnishads can never condemn karma kand. Further Vedas tell about worship (Upasana kand), pious deeds (Karam kand) mentioned in Vedas and knowledge (Gyan Kand) which are to be gained together. So, the above quoted upnishads never deny it. Therefore, the comments on Mundaka Upnishad given by anybody else are not accepted based on the above quoted true explanation. The meaning of Mundaka Upnishad 1/1/5 is wrong, being against the Vedas. Regarding Para and Apara vidya, I paste my article below-
Vedas Contain Apara and Para Vidya
Vedas contain both Apara and Para vidya. It is fact known well by present and ancient rishis that God cannot be realized without Vedas. If one is unknown in any city then he himself will give his identification and only then will the others know him. In the beginning of earth no guru was there as all had left their bodies in previous universe. Then who would give the knowledge of matters and God at that time except God Himself who never dies. That is why God gives knowledge of Vedas in beginning of creation, which is authentic and acceptable by all. So we should never go against the God and Vedas. Study of four Vedas is called “Apara Vidya”. It is a scientific knowledge.
Manusmriti in its shloka 1/23 also states that in the beginning of universe the knowledge of four Vedas emanates from God and is originated in the heart of four rishis. So God is the first guru of the four ancient rishis, says Yog shastra sutra 1/26 too. From four rishis an aspirant named Brahma studied the same. Vedas state that he who has got the knowledge of four Vedas from a learned acharya and is alive should be called “Brahma”. So, the said study of four Vedas is called Apara Vidya which is essential to realize God. From Para Vidya God is realized. In Shanti Parv of Mahabharta, Bheeshma tells to Yudhishthir that he who gets perfection in Apara Vidya by studying four Vedas from an acharya, becomes able to know “Akshar-Braham” i.e., the stage of realization of God. Para Vidya is actual practice of the teaching of Vedas in life. i.e., one will have to observe all the teachings of Vedas in life. For-example -Vedas tell to do Yajyen, to do name-jaap of God which is mentioned in Vedas, to do hard practice of ashtang yoga philosophy etc. All the above statements are according to Vedas which emanate direct from God and are unchangeable. So both Para and Apara, are required to be observed in life and not one.
Relevance of Apara Vidya
At present learned acharya of Vedas chants Ved mantras and gives its explanation and the followers listen to it. This is eternal tradition. On the other hand, present Guru also speaks before his disciples to teach them. From where does the present Guru teach? Definitely from Geeta, Ramayana, shastras, Upnishads and other holy books. He has also to remember number of stories, and then he speaks. I mean to say both acharya and Guru will have to study first then they are able to preach further, either on Vedas or as per Vedas or against the Vedas. It means apara knowledge i.e., knowledge by studying books or by listening from acharya/Guru is necessary.
Everyone says that God is everywhere. Think from where an acharya or Guru is telling such facts. Definitely he has studied or listened from his Guru. So the study of books or listening from learned acharya is Apara Vidya which is necessary.
Para knowledge is attained from present acharya/Guru but see Para knowledge is Akshar knowledge of Vedas and present acharya/Guru should know the apara knowledge first and then the present acharya/Guru will observe the teachings of Apara knowledge in life after that he will be able to experience the Para Vidya i.e., Akshar Gyan or knowledge of God.
Moreover in Vedas, the best name of God is OM. However, God has got unlimited names according to His unlimited divine qualities. For-example – Rigveda mantra 1/164/46 states –
INDRAM MITRAM VARUNNAMAGNIMAAHURATHO DIVYAH SA SUPARNNO GARUTMAAN.
EKAM SADVIPRA BAHUDHA VADANTYAGNIM YAMAM MATRISHVAANMAAHUHU.
i.e., some of the names of God in this mantra are Indra, Mitra, Varunn, Agni, Matrishva etc. God is the first Guru of four rishis and thereafter the Rishis after getting the knowledge from four rishis have been traditionally giving us Para and Apara knowledge of Vedas till date. It will continue forever i.e., after the destruction of this universe too.
So present Guru, if he is learned, always gives the name from Vedas please and he always respects the Vedas, being the knowledge direct from Almighty, omnipresent, omniscient, adorable God. How can a learned, present Guru insult the God?
As regards name of God, it may also be kept in mind that when we open the first page of any Ved mantra of samhita (book), it starts from the holy name of God. So we start Apara Vidya first by chanting the holy name of God, so how can the study of Vedas go in vain? For-example- Rigveda came first on the earth. Its first mantra starts from “AGNI MEEDAY” here the meaning of agni is omnipresent God. Every mantra actually starts from OM which is the best name of God.
So is there any person on the earth who does not agree that God is omnipresent? Yajurveda mantra starts “OM EESHAY TVORJEY……….”, OM is the name of God. Eeshay means food- grains and energy and so we are under the mercy of Almighty God to get food-grains and energy etc. Do all people of universe not require food-grains and energy
And don’t they ask the same from God. If they do not know Vedas then from where did such type of prayer come for the first time in the world? Definitely from God’s Vedas!
So why do we speak against Vedas? It is due to the reason that we do not study Vedas. Guru Nanak Dev Sahib studied Vedas and has beautifully written in Shri Guru Granth Sahib……” VED KATEV KAHO MAT JHOOTHE, JHOOTHA SO JO NA VICHARE”
MEANING- Vedas are not false. On the contrary, he is false who does not study the Vedas.
Third veda i.e., Samveda came on earth. It’s first mantra is “OM AGNA AA YAHI”. OM is the name of God and Agni i.e., Agni is also the name of God.
Fourth Veda is Atharvaveda and its first mantra is “OM YE TRISHAPTAHA” and in this mantra there is a word, “VACHASPATI” and its meaning is God, who is most knowledgeable. So when we chant Vedas we automatically begin with holy name of God.
In the last chapter of Yajurveda, God states: “OM KRITO SMAR”, i.e., Oh man or woman! While performing all moral duties, you do the jaap of OM. Nowadays all the Gurus tell to do name jaap of God. But from where did they get the knowledge to tell the disciple to do name-jaap of God? Definitely from book or from their Guru. But from where did their Guru get it? Definitely from his Guru. So this process goes up to the time of beginning of creation where only one Almighty God was Guru of the four Rishis. So we must accept the Guru of ancient four Rishis i.e., Almighty God and His four Vedas which is learnt from present learned acharya who knows four Vedas. Otherwise traditional knowledge of Vedas which starts always from beginning of earth, will be hidden and false prophets will become able to spread the illusion. For-example – Kapil Muni in his Samkhya Shastra sutra 3/81 states – if the present Gurus will not be getting knowledge of Vedas-Apara and Para both, then new tradition of blind faith will start.
Study of Vedas never goes in vain, please. Shastras state, “SHRUTAM TAPAH”, i.e., mere listening of Vedas is the great (tap) austerity of aspirant.
Mundakopnishad never condemns karma kand of Vedas. In Vedas, any kind of violence is prohibited especially while performing yajyen. Yet, if any query arises in your mind, you can send the same, please.
Anonymous: I am in an abusive relation. the man i am with doesn’t love me and he doesn’t want to marry with me. but i am living with him and he also asks me to leave from here. living with him i have just given birth to a baby. i want to change him. make him to fall deeply for me and marry me. pls. help
Swami Ram Swarup: Really, it is a sad news from you that you have abusive relations with that man. No doubt, that he is not fulfilling his commitment with you. However, my daughter, I would also tell you that you have committed a grave sin by offering yourself to him before marriage. Yajurveda straight away states that opposite sex should never give their heart to each other and should never have bodily contact before marriage. Due to lack of Vedas’ knowledge, our boys and girls mostly get indulged in illusion/sins and have to face the consequences. In your personal case, your loving daughter is also involved, so I would advise you that you should not worry. Done is done. We should leave the past matter and think present pious deeds based on which future becomes bright. First of all, you should try your level best to marry with him keeping in view the future of your loving daughter. In this matter, you may take help of your parents and other elders etc. But in no case, you should lose your temper. You may also consult an experienced advocate explaining all your problems. I think you have right to marry him because you have given birth to a baby. Be brave and never become coward. Keep yourself always away from demoralization. My blessings are always with you and your loving daughter. You are always welcome to send query anytime.