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We know that the Vedas are authorless or apaurusheya.. At least we believe the Vedas to be so.

The mantras of Vedas are revealed directly by God to some selected Rishis in a trance like state that they obtained by ascesis or tapas.

Question :

Are there any mantras in the Veda Samhitas that confirm this "apaurusheya" nature of the Vedas?

Note that i want mantras only from the Veda Samhitas.

  • Askesis is also correct.. @Keshav – Rickross Apr 5 '17 at 15:59
  • Rigveda 1.164.65, (सत्यश्रुतः कवयो) 5.57.8 and Brihadaranyaka 2.4.10 – Paṇḍyā Apr 6 '17 at 13:55
  • @Pandya You can answer then with the Rig Veda Samhita mantra. As i have stated in the question itself that i don't want verses from Upanishads etc. – Rickross Apr 6 '17 at 16:18
  • Ok, I'll try. Meanwhile take a look at Rigveda 10.125.04 – Paṇḍyā Apr 6 '17 at 17:30
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I am answering for the time being only from Rig Veda. The answer may be updated in future with references from the other Vedas.

First of all, a Rishi is a person to whom is revealed at least one Rik mantra of the Rig Veda. The Rishi literally hears the mantra by super- physical methods in a state like trance, which he has achieved by means of tapas.

Now, the source of all the Rik mantras has already been declared in a Rig Veda Mandala 1 mantra as follows:

Rcho akshare parame vyoman (1) Yasmin devA adhi visve nisheduh (2) yastan na veda kim rchA karishyati (3)

................

Riks exist in a supreme ether, imperishable and immutable (1), in which all the Gods are seated (2) ; One who knows not that, what shall he do with the RIk ? (3)

RV 1.164.39

This clearly indicates that Riks are not products of a human mind. Their source is the higher ether in which all the Gods are seated. This proves the apaureshaya nature of Veda mantras.

However, the full-fledged apaurasheya doctrine would also require that the Rishi seeing the whole or full form of the mantra .

Now, this idea is not validated in Rig Veda. The revelations that are received by the Rishis come from a higher plane alright but the Rishis also transcribe these revelations in their heart.

Eshah vah stomo maruto namsvan (1), hridA tashto manasAdhyAyi devAh (2).

..................

O Maruts, the hymn of your affirmation (stoma), is fraught with my obeisance (1), It was framed by the heart, it was established by the mind, O ye Gods (2).

RV 1.171.2

RV 1.67.4 also states that the mantra is crafted or formed (tashtam) in the heart.

Abbreviations:

RV 1.171.2 ----> Rig Veda Samhita, Mandala 1, Sukta 171, Mantra 2.

  • how did the rishis actually "saw" the mantra? was it written in some symbols? – Rakesh Joshi May 29 '17 at 7:25
  • @RakeshJoshi this vision is not the vision of eyes. The Rishis were in trance. This is called mantra darshana. The seers saw super-physical visions of truth in form of mantras. That's also why they are called drastAra. – Rickross May 29 '17 at 7:44
  • @RakeshJoshi It is an through a non-material sense that they receive mantras. It is called Mantra-Drishti and it is called Shruti, but seeing and hearing are just being used as metaphors for a non-physical sense. – Keshav Srinivasan May 29 '17 at 8:28
  • Which translation are you using for Rigveda mantra? Can you mention the translator name? – Sarvabhouma Aug 13 at 4:47
  • I'm using the book "Essentials of Rig Veda" by R.L.Kashyap @Sarvabhouma – Rickross Aug 14 at 5:57
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At least Adi Shankaracharya thinks the answer is yes. In his commentary on Adhyaya 1 Pada 3 Sutra 29 of the Brahma Sutras, Adi Shankaracharya presents various arguments for the Vedas being eternal:

[T]he eternity of the Veda is founded on the absence of the remembrance of an agent only.... The eternity of the word of the Veda has to be assumed for this very reason, that the world with its definite (eternal) species, such as gods and so on, originates from it.--A mantra also ('By means of the sacrifice they followed the trace of speech; they found it dwelling in the rishis,' Rig-veda Samh. X, 71, 3) shows that the speech found (by the rishis) was permanent.--On this point Vedavyâsa also speaks as follows: 'Formerly the great rishis, being allowed to do so by Svayambhû, obtained, through their penance, the Vedas together with the itihâsas, which had been hidden at the end of the yuga.'

Here is the Rig Veda verse in question:

yajñena vācaḥ padavīyamāyan tāmanvavindannṛṣiṣupraviṣṭām |
tāmābhṛtyā vyadadhuḥ purutrā tāṃ saptarebhā abhi saṃ navante ||

With sacrifice the trace of Vāk they foIlowed, and found her harbouring within the Ṛṣis.
They brought her, dealt her forth in many places: seven singers make her tones resound in concert.

As you can see in the Rig Veda Anukramani in my answer here, this verse was heard during Tapasya by Brihaspati, the guru of the gods, and the subject of the hymn is listed as "Jnanam".

In any case, it's not completely clear to me how this verse would prove the eternality of the Vedas, which is why I posted this question.

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    The mantra given in the answer does not in any way imply that the Vedas are Apaurusheya. So ,this does not answer my question. – Rickross Apr 5 '17 at 14:40
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    @Rickross Adi Shankaracharya thinks it does. He thinks that the fact that speech was found in the Rishis implies that the Vedas were not composed by the Rishis, but rather they were already existent and eternal. You may disagree with Adi Shankaracharya on this, but I'm just conveying his views. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 5 '17 at 14:43
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Apaurusheya ( means "not of a man"), meaning "superhuman".

Rig Veda VIII.6.10 says;

अहमिद धि पितुष परि मेधां रतस्य जग्रभ | अहं सूर्य इवाजनि ||

I from my Father have received deep knowledge of the Holy Law I was born like unto the Sun.


I think, this was the esoteric way of expression of the source of TRUTH.

When One realises the SELF, his wisdom will shine forth like a SUN, dispersing the dark clouds of IGNORANCE.

Here the seer was saying his source of knowledge/wisdom is FATHER, the Almighty God.

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