[Advaita-l] Veda is eternal

Raghav Kumar raghavkumar00 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 26 11:42:34 CDT 2011

Subhanu ji
thank you for the detailed reference.  The context of the savitR-cayanaM is
quite clear from your references. That explains why it was said in another
thread that anantA vai vedAH need not be taken as a guNArthavAda for the
word 'ananta'. Rather, the arthavAda is to exalt the savitR-cayanaM as being
both a grand inner upAsanA and not just outer ritual. In which case,  the
exegetical device of arthavAda would not apply separately to the word anantA
whose literal meaning namely endless can be taken as it is.

Thank you
On Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 3:01 PM, subhanu saxena <subhanu at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Raghav Kumar wrote:
> “The taittiriya brAhmaNa apparently has the mantra - "anantA vai vedAH".
> (the
> vedas are infinite/endless). Here the word endless (i.e., they do not end
> in
> time) seems inappropriate and anantAH meaning "infinite" seems truer to the
> context viz., the sage Bharadhwaja requesting Brahmaji for an extension to
> his life, to study more of the Vedas. Whether this statement is only
> arthavAda or the Veda-mantras indeed are infinite, needs sAyana bhAShya
> reference.”
> Namaste the mantra “anantA vai vedAH” [] come from the kAThaka
> portion of Taittiriya Brahmanam, where the story of bharadvAja
> is told. The brahmana portion of the sAvitra-chayanam starts at and
> is a good example of how the brahmanam provides the context and explanation
> for inner yajna as opposed to a superficial external yajna of pure ritual
> which many western scholars mistakenly believe is the sum and substance of
> the karma-kanda portion of the veda.
> We therefore find in this brahmana portion a number of stories relating the
> glory of this yajna (The sAvitra-chayanam is a variant of the agnichayanam.
> TB 3.11 gives another variant, the  nachiketa chayanam, where we find the
> proto story of the kathopanishad given). The stories involve AruNi, Janaka,
> Gautama and Bharadvaja.
> In the story of bharadvAja, this rishi is described as spending 3 lifetimes
> studying the vedas. Whilst resting, Indra asks him what he would do if Indra
> gave him another lifespan. He responds that he would continue studying the
> vedas. Indra then takes 3 handfuls of dirt from 3 mountains in front of
> them, explaining that these mountains represent the vedas and “anantA vai
> vedAh”, that they are endlessly vast , ie without end, too vast to complete.
> He then points to the 3 handfuls of dirt, stating that so far this is all he
> has studied. He should therefore devote is time to a true performance and
> understanding of the sAvitram yajna to obtain complete knowledge, for “ayam
> vai sarva-vidyeti” “this yields knowledge of everything”. Earlier in the
> brahmanam this is explained as AtmAnam veda, knowing the inner self. Having
> mastered this yajna bharadvaja becomes one with the Sun, the symbol for
> atman (see Taittiriya Upanishad Bhrgu Valli, sa yaschAyam puruSe,
> yaschAsAvAditye, se ekaH ; That which is in man is also in the Sun, and is
> One), attaining his true nature in the realm of light (svargam lokam iyAya).
> So you can see that the context here is never-ending/too much to master,
> very much in the spirit of the panchatantra shloka “anantapAram kila
> shabdashAstram”, “The shastras are without limit”
> Regards
> Subhanu
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