REV. SWAMI TYAGISHANANDAJI MAHARAJ CLASS TALKS/NOTE
All spiritual knowledge is revealed by the ancient Rishis on the basis of their own spiritualexperiences. They believe that they have come into direct, actual contact with the underlyingreality of themselves and the world in the depths of their Samadhi through spiritual practice.The truths they reveal are felt by them as having been revealed to themselves by thisunderlying reality or Atman or Brahman. Hence it is said in the Purusha Sukta that the realauthor of these Vedas is God himself. Hence they may be called the word of God or Gospel.So these ancient revelations may, therefore, be considered the Gospel of the rishis as they arethe teachings of God himself given to the world by the rishis to whom they were firstrevealed vide. Purushasukta:
iÉxqÉÉiÉç rÉ¥ÉÉiÉç xÉuÉïWÒûiÉÈ
etc., where yajnameans both God, the personification of self-sacrifice as well as the sacrifice itself. The rishisthemselves were embodiments of this sacrifice viz. the distinction of egoism and all its products. The essence of such a Gospel must necessarily be expected to be, the experience of God through the destruction of
and realization of the identitywith God himself.Veda is one of names of God, according to vishnusahasranama
The Gita also says
uÉåSæ¶É xÉuÉæïUWûqÉåuÉ uÉå±ÉåuÉåSÉliÉM×ü²åSÌuÉSåuÉ cÉÉWûqÉç |.
This Veda deals with God and is means for god-realization. God is the goal and Dharma is the means. The latter consist of all thoseactivities which lead to the destruction of egoism, which is the only obstacle to Godrealization. The topic of Brahman or God is the main subject matter of the Upanishads, whichgive the essence of the Vedas as Brahman or Atman. Though the Upanishads deal also withthe spiritual practices which are helpful to the realization of God, they give mainly only theessentials of spiritual practice. The main details of this practice have to be gathered from theritualistic portion of the Srutis (the mantras and brahmanas). Of these mantras and brahmanas, Yajurveda is the most important. It deals with, as its very name indicates, yajnaor Worship of God through self-sacrifice. It has come down to us in books or shakas,Krishna-yajurveda and Shukla-yajurveda. In the former the mantras and their meanings andapplications are all jumbled up together and hence the characterization of it as Krishna or black. Perhaps because the rituals prescribed by it and the ideal placed by it before itsvotaries is of the attainment of worldly and sensual satisfaction. Such karma is called‘Krishna-karma’ or black karma as it leads only to further ignorance or darkness andcontinued entanglement in samsara as distinguished from Shukla-karma which leads to purityof mind and realization of God. Both these karmas are distinguished from one another byPatanjali as
where, Patanjali also notes that, the activity of a realized man is above both Shukla & KrishnaIV.7. In the Shuklayajurvedathe whole thing is more neatly arranged, the mantras beingseparated from the other passages. This was done by the great sage Yajnavalkya. So we mayconsider Yajnavalkya as the rishi of Shuklayajurveda and the Veda itself as the Gospel of Yajnavalkya. (It deals with nishkama karma which leads to purity of mind and realization of God. This gospel is called Shukla for these two reasons).