9 June 2015

Philosophy of Vedas

The vedas, upanishads, puranas and epics are the sources oto know the ancient Indian philosophy and education. With a view to understand the philosophy of vedas, it is very necessary to understand the meaning of the word  ‘veda‘. Veda is derived from the root of sanskrit word  ‘Vid‘.

 Vid means to :

o        To know {God, soul, nature & mind}
o        To be {one with God}
o        To obtain {salvation}
o        To consider {various relationships}
o        To feel {oneness with God}
o        To tell {glories of God}
o        To dwell {into the mysteries of universe}

Philosophy of Vedas, Characteristic of Vedas, Philosophy of Education, B.ED, M.ED, NET Notes ( Study Material), PDF Notes Free Download.

Vedas believe in:

                     The concept of one God and one world
                     God  is  one  &  only  one    (omniscient,  omnipotent  and  ever present)
                     There  are  three  entities  in  tthis  universe  –  God,  Soul  and Matter.
                     Ultimate aim of life is to obtain salvation (moksha) in union with god
                     Actions are followed by their results. The  ‘Law of Karma‘ is an important teaching of Vedas.
                     This universe is formed by god.
                     The theory of rebirth and immortality of soul
                     Universe is real, universal fraternity should be promoted
                     Knowledge of truth should be acquired and dissipated
                     Justice should be done to all creatures and we should live in peace & harmony.
                     Vedas was the basic education during those days.
                     Each Veda was divided into further three broad sections :

a)    Mantras
b)    Brahmans
c)     Aryanakas

Mantras (Hymns of God)
It contains expressions of wonderments, joy at the visions of beauty in nature around. The dignity of mountains, the majesty of sunrise, the beauty of Moon and such phenomenal powers were worshipped through Mantras.

Brahamans : ( Prose, Rituals, prayers)
It contains detailed scientific description of method of various ritualistic performances and secret methods to invoke the mighty powers.

(Aryanakas (Appendages of Brahamanas)
Aryana means forest. Aryanakas were studied and composed only in the quiet Himalayan valley. This section is also known as Upanishads .. The upanishads are also known as  “ The Ved  anta” as it comes at the end of vedas.

The word Upanishad is derived from the root  ‘sad‘ which means to:
*   Sit down
*   To loose
*   To destroy
                      ‘Upa‘ means nearby
                      ‘Ni‘ means devotedly

The word Upanishads therefore means sitting down of the disciple near his teacher in a devoted manner to receive instruction about the highest Reality which loosens all doubts and destroys all ignorance of the disciple.

There are as many as 1180 Vedic literature, each school has Upanishad . Of about 280 Upanishad unearthed so far 108 have been generally accepted as authentic texts.

All Upanishads have one goal which is Liberation and prescribe techniques of achieving this goal Vedic literature comprising  ‘shruti‘ &  ‘smriti‘ literature is storehouse of knowledge which throws light on the intellectual, economic, political, religious, social and spiritual life. Shruti is that part of vedic literature which acc. To Hindu belief was revealed to certain sages by God and then passed on orally from generation to generation. Smriti was composed by Rishis on the basis of their memory.

                     The Vedic literature consists of:

1)                  Four vedas :
Rigveda (consisting of 1028 hymns), Yajurveda (lays down the procedure of sacrifices), Samveda (history of Indian music), Atharvaveda (deals with medical sciences).

2)                  The Vedangas
Vedangas are sort of help books to pronounce and understand correctly the words contained in the Vedas.
i.                    Shiksha (science of phonetics)
ii.                  Chandas or metres
iii.                Vyakarna
iv.                Nirukta or Etymology
v.                  Jyotish or astronomy
vi.                Kalpa or rituals

3)                  The Upvedas : 
There are four upvedas each deal with four subjects viz
i.                    Ayurveda (deals with medicine)
ii.                  Dhanurveda (Military science)
iii.                Gandharvavea (Music)
iv.                Shilpaveda (Architecture & Arts)

4)                  Brahamana Granthas:
They provide supplememtary matter. Brahamana Granth are written in prose and composed by Rishis and Acharayas. Some of known Brahma granths are Satpath Brahaman, Gopatha Brahman, Sam Brahman, Aitareya Brahmana etc. The Satpath Brahaman is a voluminous prosework and provides valuable information about the Geography, History, Philosophy and Rituals etc of vedic age.

5) The Upanishads:
Deal with the relation of matter , soul and God. Out of 108 upanishad, the following ones are most important:

1)            Isha Upanishad  ( emphasizes on spiritual unity )
2)            Kenya Upanishad ( illumines the nature of knowledge)
3)            Katha Upanishad   ( deals with philosophical Questions put   by Nachiketa, the student and answers given by Yama, his guru.)
4)                  Mundaaka Upanishad (clarifies higher & lower knowledge)
5)                  Mundakya Upanishad (related to the true self of the man)
6)                  Chandougya Upanishad (provides an important account of mans spiritual education)
7)                  Brihadaryanka Upanishad (explains the nature of the divinity of man)

6)                  Six systems of philosophy
I.                   Nyaya system deals with knowledge. It is the science of sciences. According to it knowledge can be acquired through 4 methods:

Pratyaksha (Intuition)
Anumana (Inference)
Upma (comparison)
Shabda (verbal testimony)

II.                Shankhya system of philosophy by Rishi Kapil deals with matter.
III.             Vaisheshika system of philosophy by Rishi Kanad deals with theory of atom.
IV.             Yoga system of philosophy by  Rishi Patanjali is related with self  control through yoga.
V.                Purva-Mimansa system by Rishi Jamini deals with scheme of right living through appropriate action.
VI.             Uttar-Mimansa  or  Vedanta  system  of  philosophy  by  Rishi Vatsayana elucidates the concept of supreme being.

7)                  Bhagwat Geeta :
Bhagwat Geeta is a collections of teachings of Lord Krishna to his disciple Arjuna. The essence of the philosophy as contained in the Gita is with innerconvictions. We should discharge our duties diligently and honestly irrespective of the consequence and leave the rest to Almighty we must fight for Justice and right cause.

8)                  Sutras : 
There are three sutras :
i)                    Ashtadhyayi ( 14 sutras of grammar composed by Panini)
ii)                  Dharma sutras (rules laid down for conduct of both teachers and students)
iv) Grah sutras ( related to art of living)

Characteristic of Vedas :

1.         Vedas are representative of the Indian society and culture and point to a unique socio-economic civilization where all are equal irrespective of status and gender.
2.            Vedic people had simple and pure living.
3.        Worshipped one God whom the wise described as many. It was a religion of nature which held man central.
4.         Vedic outlook is optimistic and positive.
5.          Vedic outlook on life is revealed
6.            profess and practice ideal moral life without seduction and sin.
7.            People were religiously and spiritually simple, kind and honest.
8.        Students were given special attention and treatment by teachers, depending on their interests, aptitude, proficiency and performance, thus acting as a forerunner of the modern theory and practice of education.