Introduction to the Rigveda and the Rgvedaschool

So that everyone has an opportunity to know and follow the Holy Teaching of Heaven, the Rgvedaschool translates and publishes English translations of the first of ten mandalas, books, of the Rigveda to show the way. The Rigveda is the oldest spiritual text in the world, written in the Sacred Language of Sanskrit, but when is speculative since no surviving documents older than six hundred years exist. India’s oldest texts were bound together palm leaves that maintained their structure about that long under perfect conditions. So, praise is due to the monks and devotees of the mountain retreats who rendered a great service to humanity by meticulously copying the Rigveda and countless other spiritual texts from palm leaf to palm leaf for thousands of years. Some believe the Rigveda was first scribed around 1,500 BCE, some say older, and some say younger.

Whatever the case, the Rigveda is of the Oral Tradition and that has existed since the very beginning. Humans have engaged in spiritual activity as long as humans have existed, an innate characteristic of humans, but not necessarily limited to humans as many creatures can be seen meditating in the sunshine. Anatomically modern humans appeared on the earth about 200,000 years ago. The earliest documentation of human spiritual activity appears in cave art, found throughout the world. Some cave art dates to 70,000 BCE, such as that of the San Bushmen of South Africa and the Aboriginal people of Australia. The cave art in France and Spain dates to 20-30,000 BCE. It is the same in India, and there, rock shelters go back 100,000 years. Gobekli Tepe in Turkey was a large religious site around 10,000 BCE, and the many megalithic stone circles unearthed contain exquisite carving. People have engaged in spiritual activity a long time on the earth, but when they engaged in the activity described in this text is speculative because so few clues have survived.

Current archaeological research reveals an urban culture by 6,500 BCE in Eastern Pakistan and Northwestern India, an area some researchers think the text of the Rigveda originated. The settlements of Mehrgarh and Mohenjo-Daro were well-planned cities by 3,000 BCE and of considerable size for the time, populations of twenty to forty thousand inhabitants. People lived in brick houses with running water and bathrooms, with a sewer system constructed under the streets. Because there were no fortifications for safety in Mohenjo-Daro and the largest structure being a public bath, the times were peaceful.

The Indus Valley Culture, as it is called, collapsed after the Sarasvati River partially dried up around 1,900 BCE to partially flow today as the Gagger-Hakra River. The river flowed from the Himalayan Mountains, so earthquakes were the probable cause of that. The Indus Valley Culture was huge, over 2,500 towns and cities have recently been unearthed from the sands of what is now the Great Indian Desert. At the same time the peaceful Indus Valley Culture flourished, an urban culture on the other side of the globe flourished in Peru called Caral. Archeologists believe the culture was peaceful, and because of that, the philosophy of kindness advanced in the Rigveda was still the practice in 3,000 BCE.

Some researchers say the Indus Valley Culture was built upon an older and larger culture known as the Naga Empire and it would have been peaceful as well. The word naga in Sanskrit means serpent, teacher, and the word nagara is the written character. Devanagari is the name of the written script of the Sanskrit alphabet, often translated as City of the Gods but Divine Written Character is closer. Sanskrit is the root of most western languages, including English, and considered a Divine Language with many of the world’s oldest spiritual treasures, such as this one, written in it. Rigveda translates as the Sacred Text of the Sacred Knowledge, and many scholars claim the text is an archaic form of Sanskrit and describe the difficulty in translating it. Their translations reflect the difficulty as they are difficult to read, make little sense, and truthfully, best forgotten. Translating the text is difficult, tricky, nevertheless the mantras can be fully and accurately translated, and when done so, reveal the path to heaven.

Shrila Vyasadeva put the Rigveda into writing before authoring the Shrimad Bhagavatam. The Veda is of the Oral Tradition but written down in Sanskrit before the Kaliyuga to preserve it through the Kaliyuga, the Dark Age of Humanity. The Dark Age began taking effect around 900 BCE. It was an unfortunate and terrible time to be alive because people were horrible and brutal, but around 1700 during a period in Europe known as the Awakening or the Renaissance things began to change for the better. We are now in the early part of Dvaparayuga, the Second Age, where things will be different but ignorance and unruly behavior will stick around a bit. A sad feature of the Dark Age is that no enlightened being appears on the earth to save the people when so desperately needed. During the time, many made the claim, some deemed to be saviors or messengers of heaven, but no, not in the heavenly sense. Fortunately, the Sacred Text written down before the Kaliyuga for preservation worked and the text has already been deciphered.

The earth spins like a top getting ready to fall over and it takes around 26,000 years for a single spin. I should mention that the wobble is getting worse since the Veda says presession is 24,000 years. Nevertheless, in that time the twelve constellations appear one after the other, and the four ages associated with the Veda. During the cycle humanity, spirituality, and well-being of people rise and fall. The Kaliyuga is the worst of times and lasts 1300 years. Kali is the age of vice, discord, and quarrel. Dvaparayuga lasts 2600 years, Tretayuga, the Silver Age, lasts 3900 years, and Satyayuga, the Golden Age, is the best of times and lasts 5200 years. The last Golden Age occurred between 17,700 and 7,300 BCE, as there is an ascending and declining Golden Age. Declining Tretayuga occurred between 7,300 and 3,400 BCE, declining Dvaparayuga between 3,400 and 800 BCE, declining and ascending Kaliyuga between 800 BCE and 1800 CE, and we are now in the early days of ascending Dvaparayuga where things will get better. There is a dawn and twilight of ten percent, so the Dvaparayuga proper will begin in 2060. During the Golden Age, humanity, spirituality, and well-being are at their peak. Satya in Sanskrit means honest, truthful, and virtuous, so during the Golden Age, people live peacefully and abide by the moral teaching of the Veda, the Golden Rule of compassion for all creatures that grasp for the breath and cry.

It seems plausible that the Veda, the Holy Path to heaven, was discovered before the Golden Age, because that is what ushers in the best of times. Interestingly, the Bon religion of Tibet traces its lineage to Buddha Thonpa Shenrab from 18,000 BCE, so about that time. The earth was a Garden of Eden then and was for many thousands of years longer. The knowledge of compassion for others was the practice on the earth until declining Dvaparayuga around 3000 BCE. The time claimed as the birth of civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and elsewhere on the earth, was the time being civil began declining.

Yaska, a Sanskrit scholar, lived about 400 BCE and authored a book on obscure words from the Rigveda. He said the text was meaningless so by then the Sacred Knowledge had disappeared from humans, and quite possibly a thousand years earlier. The commentary on the Rigveda by Sayana, or Sayanacarya, called Vedartha Prakasha dates to the 1400s, and is the foundation of the first English translation of the Rigveda, attributed to H. H. Wilson, which appeared in six volumes between 1849 and 1874. Wilson previously authored a Sanskrit-English Dictionary based upon native scholars published in 1819, and before his death, he gave the reference material for that to Sir Monier-Williams who published a more complete Sanskrit-English Dictionary in 1899. Such is the dictionary the school uses to translate the Sacred Texts.

The Rigveda is connected to three other texts, the Samaveda, Atharvaveda, and Yajurveda. The Samaveda is a collection of songs, and most were original to the Rigveda. The Yajurveda is a collection of rituals and prayers and about a third appear in the Rigveda. The Atharvaveda is a collection of spells with many suktas, hymns, for healing, eventually becoming a system of healing called Ayurvedic medicine. It is still widely practiced with many similarities to traditional Chinese medicine. Of these four books, the Rigveda is the oldest.

The whole of the text is separated into ten mandalas and eight ashtakas, parts. There are 10,589 mantras collected into 1,017 suktas plus eleven supplemental to equal 1,028 suktas that are gathered into anuvakas, chapters. This text is from the first mandala, and in it, one sukta contains one mantra and another fifty-two but the average is about twelve. The first mandala contains 191 suktas and 2006 mantras separated into twenty-four anuvakas and two ashtakas.

The universe begins with a loud expression of surprise, called the Big Bang. An explosive sound that many alphabets around the world begin. It is the first of the three sounds of the Sacred Syllable AUM, the Sacred Syllable of the Shudras. A Shudra is a person of the lowest class in the Hindu class system whose only business is to serve the three higher classes. The Sanskrit alphabet begins with the letter ‘a’ just like many others around the world. It sounds like the ‘a’ in father or the ‘u’ in up. It is the first of the three sounds of the Sacred Syllable AUM, the Sacred Syllable of the Shudras. A Shudra is a person of the lowest class in the Hindu class system whose only business is to serve the three higher classes. Expel a breath with that sound and a little puff of air returns. It is called visarga in Sanskrit and is the final vowel and transliterated to the Roman character h with a dot under. Sarga means a gust of air and vi means to roar. In Sanskrit, ‘a’ is a letter and a syllable although here an h is added for appearance. Ah in Sanskrit means to speak, express, signify, hold, consider, acknowledge, accept, occupy, and to state or declare with reference to. In English ah is an expression of surprise, delight, satisfaction, pain, and so on, so ah has meaning and appears here as AH to separate it from the mundane. Divine AH is the uncreated Sacred Syllable that creates and sustains the universe, and understandably, everyone around the world is familiar with and makes the sound.

AH is the first sound in the universe, emitted from the center of the universe unbroken in the fourth note of the musical scale and everything is derived and sustained by it. The solar winds also produce the sound and inundate the earth although people normally do not hear it, but if you stop and think about it, you might realize that you hear and make the sound often, or the body does, and it is the same for everyone in the world. All breathing creatures make the sound often. The syllable accompanies the first breath of life, often quite loudly. In the very act of creating life, a loving couple might utter the syllable repeatedly. In the act of giving birth, a mother might utter the syllable loudly repeatedly. Take a drink of water on a warm day, miss a nail and hit a finger with a hammer, find a solution to a problem, and the sound of AH just might happen by itself. Creatures make the sound, nature makes the sound, machines make the sound, and chanting the sound in the correct manner is an important practice on the path to heaven. The text says AH is eternal and unbroken, and by mastering the practice, eternal happiness is the result. Yes, AH is a universal phenomenon.

Brahma has many names such as Divine Absolute, Lord, Grandfather, Holy One, Holy Spirit pervading the universe, the universal, one, the highest, the unborn, and so on. In the event known as viraj, the Big Bang, Brahma separates into male and female, Divine Father and Mother, Vishnu and Lakshmi, heaven and earth, and we are the descendants. Everyone upon the earth is related, breathes the same air, and the teaching is to live peacefully together and care for others as family. Heaven and earth are outside for a place to exist and inside of us to rise to heaven. Brahma separates out of love for all beings, separates for comparison, conceptions, and to join to enjoy oneness in heavenly bliss.

Grandfather refers to a person as a descendant, a mortal, mover, coverer, reflection, appearance, and the body as a non-entity. A coverer, the ego, is the defender of the cover, the body, and for those with a body breathing is necessary. Brahma promises a breath for life and the freedom to do whatever, albeit with consequences. The teaching is to live happily, so do what makes you happy, but do not impede the happiness of any other creature that grasps for the breath and cries. Be a kind and caring person happy to help anyone and the breath comes for that. The breath comes to saint and sinner alike and to accommodate everyone, the earth is a garden of delight or a place of misery, the difference being a person’s actions or misfortune. The amount of time spent in selfless giving to others and holding to the teaching makes all the difference in the world. Brahma says favors will come twice as often.

This world with all its wonders and diversity is meant to be enjoyed but unfortunately, mortality brings suffering. Just as our current situation on the earth is a result of past actions, our future is dependent upon actions today. We are the weaver with choices, and the mantras say we will be here upon the earth repeatedly, life after life, until we choose to follow and master the Veda, the Sacred Teaching, and become awakened and a guide of overcoming suffering. A Buddha is the highest state a human can attain, a title for those who go beyond but return to live on the earth as an example of the doctrine of equality. The heavenly state is attained through service to heaven, and service to heaven is served on the earth and benefits all beings.

Devotees memorized the mantras and recited them for others to memorize, and this happened for thousands of years, generation to generation via the spoken word. There are devotees alive today able to recite the whole of the Rigveda. Built into the structure of the text are checks to ensure accuracy for recitation, and such insured the preservation of the Sacred Teaching revealed here. Chanting the Sanskrit mantras is an immensely popular activity for millions of people every day, a righteous activity, yet they have no idea what the mantras say. In fact, it is widely claimed the mantras have no meaning. The claim is that by chanting the mantras, the sound will reveal their meaning, but that has been going on since the knowledge disappeared three thousand years ago, and not one person came upon their meaning.

Atman is the Sanskrit word for the life-giving aspect of the air we breathe. Atman refers to the principle of life and sensation, the transcendent unitary self, a witness, the breath, soul, or spirit. The breath rules the world and fits the definition of God perfectly, every creature on the earth lives because of breathing and the moment it stops, life and sensation fade away. All creatures are family to live together on the earth, breathe the same air, and the Sacred Teaching of heaven is to be kind and helpful to all creatures that grasp for the breath and cry.

The school has translated mantras and verses from all the most important ancient spiritual texts, the root texts to all the major religions, and discovered that the Creator is the author of all of them. The true teaching of the texts is different from the religions they are associated with today but identical to the philosophy presented here. The Rigveda, however, is unique among them because it is a dialogue between Brahma and a Rishi, and the reason no other text is a dialogue, is because the lineage ended before the beginning of the Kaliyuga. Because of that, the way to attain the heavenly state faded and disappeared.

The teaching of heaven has many names, such as the way, the Middle Way, the path, the good path to good fortune, the knowledge of happiness, the Philosophical System of AH, and so on. Philosophy is a theory of the principles regulating the universe and knowledge. A system of forming an arrangement of things into a whole, and for that, a course of conduct is given. The Sacred Text is a call to become a saint, a wonderworker, a tireless promoter of unity among all people, and to go towards to help the disadvantaged and the disturbed of the world is the religious calling. There are many titles for the spiritually enlightened, but the only way to attain a title is to master the philosophical system and abandon the ego. The text says it takes virtue and determination to go beyond, and herein is the same teaching all enlightened beings adhered to for that.

The stillness of heaven is everlasting just as the teaching and opposite to the state of movement upon the earth, so the teacher beckons us to stop and abandon the mortal condition and life after life of suffering for a state of peace. It takes little effort to find suffering in the world since it is everywhere. Listen to the news and find a world in turmoil. Today, people are quick to anger and fight, and carry weapons to kill with little regard for others. A sad affair when killing is not condemned enough by the earthy religions and in some, misguided zealots think killing nonzealots is justifiable. Today the most misguided of the zealots tragically extoll the greatness of God in the very act of killing. Christian Nationalists feel it is justified to kill to support their way of life. Oh, my God! We live in a mixed-up world today, and should you wonder if hell and endless suffering exists, look no further, it is here. If a person does not follow the heavenly path, after death, the destination will be here, the hereafter. An endless cycle of living and dying here until one adheres to the way and abandons the mortal condition. Here on the earth, a precious opportunity exists for cutting the bind for heavenly bliss. The purpose of the teaching is to arise and go beyond, for the wisdom and happiness to serve the lowest.

The Sacred Teaching of heaven disappeared as a recognized religion on the earth long ago but going towards the homeless and disadvantaged to help and care for is recognized as the way. Such is the teaching, and today, those who engage in selfless giving to others are living examples of the oldest philosophy upon the earth. Volunteering in food shelves, clothing distribution centers, or anywhere else that helps people and creatures in need is virtuous and the virtuous are rewarded by extra blessings from the one who blesses all living beings. If you want to see the teaching of heaven in action, avoid the lavish halls of worship and hit the streets, there you will find an illustration of the Holy Path of caring for others in action.

This introduction is meant to give you a foundation to begin your journey on the path to freedom from suffering. Some of the basics have been covered, but the mantras will take you beyond. Let me repeat, this is a beginning, there is much to discover. To come to an understanding of the teaching is important, but more so is acting upon it. In this text is the rationale for making a life change, and for the most profound change, escape worldly existence by mastering the technique of ending. Without that, there is a one-hundred percent chance of being reborn of a mother, not necessarily in a safe place, and not necessarily human. It depends upon what you do now.

The school currently uses its own dictionary to translate the mantras, although ninety-nine percent of the words come from the Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Sir Monier Monier-Williams. The dictionary was published in 1899 and H.H. Wilson, who is credited with the first English translation of the Rigveda, was instrumental in its coming to fruition. He had previously published a Sanskrit dictionary, but before his death, turned over all reference material to Monier-Williams. The dictionary meaning of the Sanskrit word in the translation is used with little alteration and this gives the mantras a certain flavor. The sentence structure of the Author is a little different than English speakers are accustomed too but is similarly understandable.