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The story of Madhu and Kaithabha stealing vedas and Lord Vishnu in the avatar of Hayagriva retrieving them have been mentioned here . However my question is what was the form of vedas.

Mahabharata just states each of the vedas were endued in the most delightful form. Is there a description given elsewhere? I am assuming it is not in form of texts as usually seen in picture representation of Hayagriva

And somewhat related question - why couldn't Lord Brahma get the vedas revealed again ?

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  • This is were proper understanding of scripture and language of sanskrit needed to cleared in sanskrit Agni means the chetana sakthi which drives the fire and its living being not one seen in physical form and all nouns of devatha sakthi refer to god not the jade fire if you ask is sun is god the proper english it's just a star which have no life but if you ask any indian does surya represents a person or non living thing they will answer it as person so the tradition is primary weightage is given to the living entity instead of just the JADa having said this now read the vedas
    – Prasanna R
    May 6 at 3:01
  • It will mean only the living entity behind each sakthi or in other words Gods and goddesses so now madu kaitabha arrested gods and godesses specified in vedas lord hygriva released them this is the story told sri bannaje govindacharya
    – Prasanna R
    May 6 at 3:03
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I answered it from the Gunas perspective since it is clear from the story of Hayagriva

Knowledge is the form of vedas when Madhu and Kaitabha stole them.

It can be understood better from Mahabharata itself.

I am listing the relevant paragraphs from Section 348 of Santi Parva of Mahabharata and the inferences in sequence to understand how do Vedas represent knowledge in this story.

The puissant Narayana, endued with infinity, is the supreme Lord and Creator of the universe. He is the inner Soul of all things, and the giver of boons. Divested of attributes, he is again possessed of them. Listen now, O best of kings, to me as I narrate to thee how the Destruction is brought about of all things. At first, the element of Earth becomes merged in Water and nothing then is seen save one vast expanse of Water on all sides. Water then merges into Heat, and Heat into Wind. Wind then merges into Space, which in its turn, merges into Mind. Mind merges into the Manifest (otherwise called Consciousness or Ego). The Manifest merges into the Unmanifest (or Prakriti). The Unmanifest (or Prakriti) merges into Purusha (Jivatman) and Purusha merges into the Supreme Soul (or Brahman). Then Darkness spreads over the face of the universe, and nothing can be perceived. From that primal Darkness arises Brahma (endued with the principle of Creation). Darkness is primeval and fraught with immortality. Brahma that arises from primeval Darkness develops (by its own potency) into the idea of the universe, and assumes the form of Purusha. Such Purusha is called Aniruddha. Divested of sex, it is called otherwise by the name of Pradhana (Supreme or Primary). That is also known by the name of Manifest, or the combination of the triple attribute, O best of kings. He exists with Knowledge alone for his companion.

Points need to be observed are

  1. Aniruddha is manifested form of Narayana with three gunas(attributes): sattva (goodness), rajas (passion), and tamas (ignorance).

  2. Knowledge is the only companion to Aniruddha

Thus Aniruddha has sattva , rajas, tamas and knowledge.

That illustrious and puissant Being is otherwise called by the name of Viswaksena or Hari. Yielding to Yoga-sleep, he lays himself down on the waters. He then thinks of the Creation of the Universe of diversified phenomena and fraught with immeasurable attributes. While engaged in thinking of Creation, he recollects his own high attributes. From this springs the four-faced Brahma representing the Consciousness of Anirudha. The illustrious Brahma, otherwise called Hiranyagarbha, is the Grandsire of all the worlds. Endued with eyes like lotus petals, he takes birth within the Lotus that springs from (the navel of) Anirudha. Seated on that Lotus, the illustrious, puissant, and eternal Brahma of wonderful aspect saw that the waters were on all sides. Adopting the attribute of Sattwa Brahma, otherwise called Parameshthi, then commenced to create the universe. In the primeval Lotus that was endued with the effulgence of the Sun, two drops of water had been cast by Narayana that were fraught with great merit. The illustrious Narayana, without beginning and without end, and transcending destruction, cast his eyes on those two drops of water. One of those two drops of water, of very beautiful and bright form, looked like a drop of honey. From that drop sprang, at the command of Narayana, a Daitya of the name of Madhu made up of the attribute of Tamas (Dullness). The other drop of water within the Lotus was very hard. From it sprang the Daitya Kaitabha made up of the attribute of Rajas.

Points to be observed are

  1. Brahma exists in conscious form and is an embodiment of sattva guna only
  2. Madhu is tamas and Kaitabha is Rajas.

Thus Aniruddha becomes Brahma , Madhu, Kaitabha and knowledge.

We know that only sattva guna is capable to attain knowledge.

From the mode of goodness arises knowledge, from the mode of passion arises greed, and from the mode of ignorance arise negligence and delusion.

[17, 14, Gita]

But if rajas and tamas are powerful enough, then it is impossible to get knowledge as they prevails over sattva

Sometimes goodness (sattva) prevails over passion (rajas) and ignorance (tamas), O scion of Bharat. Sometimes passion (rajas) dominates goodness (sattva) and ignorance (tamas), and at other times ignorance (tamas) overcomes goodness (sattva) and passion (rajas).

[10, 14, Gita]

In our story, due to the mightiness of Madhu and Kaitabha, knowledge disappears.

Endued thus with the attributes of Tamas and Rajas, the two Daityas possessed of might and armed with maces, immediately after their birth, began to rove within that vast primeval Lotus. They beheld within it Brahma of immeasurable effulgence, engaged in creating the four Vedas, each endued with the most delightful form. Those two foremost of Asuras, possessed of bodies, beholding the four Vedas, suddenly seized them in the very sight of their Creator. The two mighty Danavas, having seized the eternal Vedas, quickly dived into the ocean of waters which they saw and proceeded to its bottom. Seeing the Vedas forcibly taken away from him, Brahma became filled with grief. Robbed of the Vedas in this way, Brahma then addressed the Supreme Lord in these words.

You can notice that Madhu and Kaitabha seized Vedas. But, from where does the Vedas come from? It is the knowledge only. Because Aniruddha has only knowledge as companion along with his three attributes. And Brahma needs knowledge to create universe. If Rajas and Tamas seizes knowledge, then Brahma cannot able to carry on its task. And Brahma alone cannot reveal them again since sattva cannot get knowledge if rajas and tamas are also powerful enough. So, Brahma prayed for its knowledge and got it from Narayana.

Beholding the two foremost of Asuras prepared to do battle with him, he (Hari) also set his mind to gratify that desire of theirs. Thereupon an encounter took place between those two on one side and Narayana on the other. The Asuras Madhu and Kaitabha were embodiments of the attributes of Rajas and Tamas. Narayana slew them both for gratifying Brahma. He thence came to be called by the name of Madhusudana (slayer of Madhu). Having compassed the destruction of the two Asuras and restored the Vedas to Brahma, the Supreme Being dispelled the grief of Brahma. Aided then by Hari and assisted by the Vedas, Brahma created all the worlds with their mobile and immobile creatures. After this, Hari, granting unto the Grandsire intelligence of the foremost order relating to the Creation, disappeared there and then for going to the place he had come from.

Hari killed tamas and rajas and provided knowledge (Vedas) to Brahma to carry on the task of creation.

Note: Brahma in the first paragrah refers to parabrahman (Narayana) and not the creator Brahma.

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