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Respected Guruji , Sat-Sat Pranam and  Namaskar

 

We feel glad ,proud and previliged to have blessing on us and to have a place in your feet .

With Warm regards

Sukhvir Sangwan and Rakesh Kumar from India


By Dr.Satish Prakash


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Aryasamajtoday is under the spiritual leadership of Satish Prakash, PhD., Vyakaranacharya. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Maharishi Dayananda Gurukula, NA, Inc. He can be reached at satishprakash@yahoo.com
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Among All the World’s Religious Books/Scriptures– Why did Swami Dayananda declare that ONLY the Vedas is Divine Revelation? What was his logical basis for such a declaration?   
November 18, 2009 by Shruti Bhushan Prakash

Among All the World’s Religious Books/Scriptures– Why did Swami Dayananda declare that ONLY the Vedas is Divine Revelation? What was his logical basis for such a declaration?

November 18, 2009, By Shruti Bhushan Prakash

Background:

Please review the simple timeline below

 

  

 Period 1860 – 1863 – Authoritative Books VS Spurious Books

During this period, Swami Dayananda learned largely Sanskrit grammar under the tutelage of Swami Virjanand.

At this time, neither Swami Virjanand nor the pupil Dayananda had clear and definitive thoughts on the Vedas and Divine Revelation. 

The student Dayananda was imbibed over the three (3) years of tutelage under Swami Virjanand with the notion that there are certain books which are to be considered authoritative and others to be considered “spurious” – this was a core idea communicated to the pupil Dayananda.

Period 1863 – 1874 – Divine Revelation VS Works of Rishis (Authoritative Books)

After Swami Dayananda left the tutelage of Swami Virjanand, it took another 7 years for Swami Dayananda to formalize his thoughts definitively on Vedic Revelation.

Radical Distinction

As Swamiji continued his research to short list books which were considered “authoritative”, he became more and more aware of the uniqueness of the Four Vedas and made a radical proposal. Swami Dayananda proposed that we needed to make the following distinction and understand the difference between "Divine Revelation" and "man-made composition":

·         Divine Vedic Revelation as contained in the Four Vedas

o   His premise is that the Vedas was not composed but “heard” thru Divine Revelation

·         Secondary works of Authority as ‘composed’ by Rishis - for example the Upanishads.

 This distinction began to position the Vedas as a Divine Source Authority versus other works as man-made (composed works) - secondary authority.

The Fifth Veda – The Concept of Ongoing Revelation Over Time – A Continuous Process

Over the centuries in India, new religious groups were introduced in Hinduism with new saints, religious leaders and ultimately their own/new religious texts – Puranas for example.  The idea was that such texts were also considered Divine Revelation in addition to the Vedas. As a consequence, the Vedas were seen as original revelation but incomplete and needed additional texts, to provide context and additional advice to Mankind, due to changing era and social norms.

Swami Dayananda debunked this notion – declaring that:

·         the Vedas contained, in germinal form, the totality of Truth

·         Its message is universal, definitive, final and true for all time and locations

At the time he made this presentation, India was befuddled with an array of “sacred” texts claiming equivalency in Divine/Scriptural Authority.

 The following is a summary of the logical basis for his conclusion

Any book claiming to be Divine Revelation MUST satisfy the following criteria

·         Propagate monotheism

o   This eliminates the Puranas for example

·         Knowledge acquired thru Divine Revelation must be “universal” in nature – must not be applicable circumstantially or to one group

o   Universality therefore means that Divine Wisdom must not refer to time and space

§  Time: History – events that occurred

§  Space: Location, Geography

·         This eliminates a whole array of texts (Hindu and others) including the Bible and the Koran which are immersed in history and geography

·         Knowledge acquired thru Divine Revelation must not offend reason/logic

o   Myths and miracles are classified by Swami Dayananda as illogical.

·         Knowledge acquired thru Divine Revelation must not offend Morality (Mankind's instinctive sense of Right and Wrong)

·         Knowledge acquired thru Divine Revelation would be given to Mankind at the dawn of human birth – not after centuries/millions of years  of Human Civilization

·         Knowledge acquired thru Divine Revelation would be given in TOTALITY – not in a manner that provided partial knowledge transfer to Mankind

·         Knowledge acquired thru Divine Revelation would be presented in a language that is the language of all Mankind

o   Sanskrit  is the source language of all Mankind – it is not a derivative of any other language - meaning no other language preceded Sanskrit. It is the original language of all Mankind.

I encourage the critical reader to assess the “sacred” texts of World Religions against the above criteria. Swami Dayananda proposed that ONLY the Vedas meet these logical criteria for Divine Revelation

 

Fighting the battle against Traditional/Institutionalized  Hindu Leaders - The Challenge of Communicating this Concept to the Hindu Mind

When Swami Dayananda made this declaration about the Vedas in approx 1874, it was like a bombshell in the midst of Hindu Intelligentsia.

Leaders of Traditional Hinduism at the time saw that Swami Dayananda’s Vedic Revelation removed the authority of many “sacred” texts, dissipating their generic claims to Vedic Authenticity and more importantly minimizing the interpretative authorities of the prevailing Brahmin Intelligentsia

By 1881, the concept of the Vedas as the ONLY source of Divine Revelation was beginning to take hold in Hindu minds.

History is clear on the Great Debate on Jan 22, 1881 where 300 Pandits and approximately 200 members of the audience engaged Swami Dayananda to disprove his declarations of Vedic Revelation. 

Summary:

Among the great contributions Rishi Dayananda has made to Hinduism, the Author is particularly grateful for the clarity that Rishi Dayananda has presented to the world concerning the Originality/Divine Revelation of the Vedas.

Today (125+ years later), it is common place for the Arya/Hindu to accept the notion of the declaration of Vedic Revelation as normal and not contentious.

It is imperative that Hindu Intelligentsia continue the uncompleted work of Swami Dayananda to make available, readable versions of the Vedas, freely available to the World Public

I encourage a discussion on this subject – please post a reply below.

Shruti Bhushan Prakash is a member of the Arya Samaj Community. He is the author of this Blog entry and his views do not necessarily represent the views of MDG NA Inc.

Reference Materials: The Author has used the following resources in writing this Blog entry

  •  Translation of the Satyaarth Prakash by Dr. Satish Prakash 
  • Dayananda Sarasvati - Essay on His Life and Ideas by J.T.F Jordens
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