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The Vedas

According to the Bhavisya Purana, the Vedas includes the original four Vedas-Rig, Atharva, Yajur, and Samveda, the Upanisads, the Mahabharata (which includes the Bhagavad-gita), the Pancharatna, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. Many scholars say that only the original four Vedas: Rig, Atharva, Yajur, and Sama are real Vedic literatures.

This is neither accepted by the Vedas themselves nor by the important Vedic teachers such as Sankara, Ramanuj a, or Madhvacharya. The Chandogya Upanishad says that the Puranas and Itihaas are the fifth Veda.

The main criterion for a literature to be accepted as Vedic is that it must have the same purport as the original Vedic scriptures. Any work that expands on the Vedic conclusion without change of meaning may be accepted as a Vedic writing.

The Vedic scriptures are huge. The Mahabharata has I 10,000 couplets, the Rig-Veda contains 1,017 hymns, and the 18 main Puranas contain hundreds of thousands of verses.

The Vedic literature gives knowledge of self-realization and liberation (moksa) from material bondage and suffering. They teach that the material body is temporary and that one should not resign himself to this temporary and miserable world, but try to get permanent happiness. This is done by serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is known in the Vedas as Krishna or Vishnu.

The Vedas are considered eternal. They do not come from any materially conditioned person, but from the Supreme. They cannot be understood by logic or experimentation, as they are inconceivable. They are termed as apaurusheya ,i.e. they are reavealed texts .they are to be understood by hearing from an authoritative source. The Puranas establish the meaning of the Vedas, as they are the natural commentaries on the Vedas. The highest Purana is the Srimad Bhagavatam. This is the history of various incarnations of Lord Vishnu and His devotees. It also gives the history of Lord Krishna.




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