In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important point of discussion, which is the “Gothra”. We saw how does this “Gothra” originate and how it propagates down to innumerable generations until our present day. For instance, if I should say that I belong to the “Bhaaradwaaja Gothra”, it means that I’m directly coming under the family hereditary generation of Sage Bharadwaaja. This means that the origin of this “Gothra” is Sage Bharadwaaja and from him onwards, this continues for thousands of generations, till us.
Similarly there are many such “Gothras” under the names of various other great sages, from where the lineage originates and transcends until this age! This is the significance of our human birth that we are having currently. If we’re saying that we’re from the lineage of such great Maharishis, isn’t it a huge name and honor for all of us? This is why, whenever we go to temples to perform special prayers like “Archana”, etc. we introduce ourselves with our “Gothra”. Even at home, when we do spiritual practices like our daily Sandhyavandanam, we mention the name of our Gothra as we prostrate in front of Bhagawan. Such is the significance of our “Gothra”.
Thus, if someone introduces himself or herself as a part of such a significant tradition, we feel proud about it! This also means that we should behave in such a way that we do not spoil the name of that great Maharishi, under who’s tradition we have come! The message here is that, by “proclaiming” that we are from a particular “Gothra”, we need to strictly adhere to certain rules and norms of leading a respectable lifestyle, just to safeguard the “brand name” of the great Sage, whose generation we belong to.
Moving on thus, Bhagawan creates the Vedas under four different categories, and He doesn’t stop with this! There are so many “Angas” (Parts) that Bhagawan jointly creates, along with the Vedas. Thus the Vedas, along with its various “Angas” make our Sanaathana Dharma complete with all its glory! What are those “Angas” that came along with the Vedas? Let us discuss in today’s episode. So what are those important “Angas” or “Parts” here? Sage Sukhaachaarya lists them out as follows – “Shiksha”, “Vyaakarnam”, “Chandaha”, “Niruptam”, “Jyotisham” and “Kalpam”. Thus, the enormously huge text called Vedas has these six “Angas”. Each of these “Angas” have “Upa-Angas” or “Sub-Parts” such as “Ayurveda”, “Dhanur-Vedam”, “Artha-Shaastra” and “Gaandharva Vedam”. Only if these four “Upa-Angas” of the Vedas co-exist, will our life in this earth run smoothly.
First of all, if our human body gets some illness or if we fall sick, there should be some solution to make us come out of the sickness, isn’t it? Here is where, the vast Vedic Medical Science called “Ayurveda” plays a very important role. In fact, it is very interesting to note that “Ayurveda” is a very important part of the Vedas text and it contains a huge accord on different diseases that a human being can get and the corresponding cure for each of the diseases. This is an extensive subject and this is why we have “Ayurveda” as a fully recognized medical degree in India, equal in importance of the present-day “MBBS” degree. Beyond this, there are full-fledged post-graduation courses and PhD (Doctoral) research-level courses in Ayurveda today and it is heartening to see that many people are now taking interest in exploring the science of Ayurveda. It might be known to many of our readers that the south-Indian state of Kerala is very famous for Ayurvedic treatments and is a very popular medical science.
Similarly, if we consider the “Gaandharva Veda”, it encompasses all art forms like dance, music, etc. which is required for mankind to enjoy and relinquish different “tastes” in life. When I say “taste” it is not only the food that we eat. There are nine different “Rasas”, which we’ve already discussed during our Ramayana project, and we’ve witnessed how Valmiki Maharishi has employed all the “Nava-Rasas” in his Ramayana text. So, this is about the “Gaandharva-Veda”.
When we look at “Dhanur-Veda”, it talks about various tactics of “Defense”, warfare, etc. In the Ramayana text again, we’ve witnessed how Bhagawan Rama was an expert in “Dhanur-Veda” and the “Raaja Dharma” – Thanks to Sage Vasishta and Sage Vishwaamithra’s extensive training. Similarly, during our next “Vidura Neeti” project we witnessed how Vidura explains the various aspects of “Raaja-Dharma” to King Dhirdiraashtra. All these come under the segment of Vedas called “Dhanur-Veda”. It is very interesting to note that most of the modern-day concepts of “Management” are derived from this “Dhanur-Veda”.
Next, if we’ve to survive in this world, we need to earn money. For obtaining money, we need to work in an organization or you’ve to do some sort of business. For this, the Vedas has a separate section called “Artha-Shaastra”. Here it is again interesting to see that many Management concepts that we read in the modern day are all imbibed from the Vedas, specially from “Artha-Shaastra”. Apart from these segments, we also have “Nyaaya Shaastra”, “Mimaamsa Shaastra”, Ithihhaasas and Puraanas, which together comprise the Sanaathana Dharma literature.
Hence for today, let us understand and appreciate the depth of information and knowledge that the Vedas provide and let us realize this significance. No other text in this whole world would be able to convey such vast amounts of information about almost everything in this world to such perfection! I can guarantee this statement! We shall wait till the next episode to take this discussion forward in-depth. Stay tuned! J