Riddles in the Vedas (Post No.3135)


Compiled by London Swaminathan


Date: 8 September 2016


Time uploaded in London: 16-38



Post No.3135


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


Most of the foreign writers who wrote about Vedas, or in general Hindu scriptures, fall under five categories; so one must be careful before reading any foreigner’s book on Hinduism:-

1.Those who came to propagate their religion

2.Those who colonised our territories

3.Those who want to be on headlines by creating controversies

  1. Half-baked researchers; ignoramuses

5.Those who write for international book companies or to anyone who gives money.

So before buying a book use it as the touch stone. Better read books written by Indian authors except Marxists and atheists. There is no need to say anything about the bluffers who are attached to Marxism or Atheism.


Another touch stone is to see whether these trouble makers have written criticizing about any other religion. To my knowledge they did not write anything against other religions. They are cowards! Most of them are morally corrupt and bankrupt. They can’t be the judges of our culture.

Don’t ask questions about anything before you read a scripture in full. You cannot criticise anything before reading and understanding a book.


Hindu Scholar Subash kak has described the symbolism in the Vedic literature. Here is a small excerpt from his book:


Source book:

The Asvamedha, The Rite and its Logic by Subhash Kak, Delhi, 2002


“The central idea behind the Vedic system is the notion of ‘bandhu’ (bindings or connections) between the astronomical, the terrestrial, the physiological and the spiritual. These connections are described in terms of number of characteristics, such as the 360 bones of the infant (which later fuse into the 206 bones of the adult) and the 360 days of the year. In a similar vein, the Garbha Upanishad says that the body has 180 sutures, 900 sinews. The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad takes the number of Nadis to be 72,000. All these numbers are related to 360, the nominal day count of the year.

Modern research has shown that all life comes with its inner clocks. Living organisms have rhythms that are matched to the periods of the Sun or the Moon.


It is reasonable to assume that the Vedic thinkers were aware of these connections, as were the ancient people in other cultures. The uniqueness of the Vedic vision was the extension of the bindings to the body to those in the inner landscape of the spirit.


The Vedic rites were meant to help the participant transform themselves this was accomplished through sacrifice. The place of sacrifice represents cosmos. Three fires are used which stands for the three divisions of space. The course of the sacrifice represents the year, and all such rituals forms part of continuing annual performances.


The riddle of the sacrifice is best expressed in the Asya Vamasya Hymn (Rig Veda 1-164):

I ask you about the farthest end of the earth

I ask you about the navel of the universe

I ask you about the seed end of the bursting horse

I ask you about the final abode of the speech


This altar is the farthest end of the earth

This sacrifice is the navel of the universe

The Soma is the seed of the bursting horse

This voice is the final abode of speech


The mystery of the sacrifice, with its suspension between life and death, reality and magic, logic and mystical experience is communicated in a language which is full of paradox. For example, it is stated that that Prajapati is Agni’s father, but he is also Agni’s son (SB6-1-2-26); also the gods sacrificed to the sacrifice with the sacrifice (RV 1-164-50)


The sacrifice is the drama associated with it, but rather the transformation accruing from it. Says Kena Upanishad 2-3:

“He by whom Brahma is not known, knows it.

He by whom it is known, knows it not. It is not

Known by those who know it; it is known by those who do not now it”.

Vedic ritual is also related to ongoing struggle, between the Devas and Asuras, where the Devas represent the higher cognitive centres in man and the Asuras represent the lower centres associated with the body.



Unfortunately, to a beginner trying to understand the Vedic system, the asuric position appears most natural and this is responsible for much misunderstanding of Vedic rites and their meaning.


Let me add that the Chandogya Upanishad warns us about those who do not understand that the rite is about paradox and regeneration, and not the actual mechanics of the theatre. It compares the ritual of such people, who look only at the outer performance, to the Udgitha of the dogs. That is what Vaka Dalbya (also called Glava Maitreya) saw of the dog udgita (C.U.1-12)


A white dog appeared and other dogs gathering around him, asked, “Sir, sing and get us food, we are hungry”.


The white dog said to them, “come to me tomorrow morning.”


The dogs came on, holding together, each dog keeping the tail of the preceding dog in his mouth, as the priests do when they are going to sing praises with the Vahispavamana hymn. After they had settled down, they began to say Hin.


Om Let us eat! Om, let us drink!”


The dangers of misreading a highly symbolic language were recognised. The Puranas warn that the asuras copy whatever the devas do and do it on a grander scale.


— Subham–







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