Since Brahma only comes into 'being' during Srushti (creation), and he will cease to be after Pralaya, that means Vedas reference a temporary person at a particular time in the history of the universe.

Even if we leave aside Brahma, still Vedas contain references to Surya, or Chandra. At least the solar system must have been created by Brahma. Which means Vedas were composed AFTER Sun/Moon came into existence.

Some say that Vedas contain eternal truths that transcend 'space and time', and refer this verse as an example :

'अग्निरस्मि जन्मना जातवेदा' - I am Agni by birth omniscient

It is obvious that there was no Agni (the visible portion of fire) prior to the creation of samsara.
If Vedas are really universal and eternal, how can they contain localized reference a particular person or time?

This answer says that the words of Vedas themselves are not eternal, but the truths espoused by them are.

What eternal truth exactly do these non-eternal words illuminate?

  • tagging @RamAbloh since he is OA of linked question
    – mar
    Mar 31, 2021 at 2:51
  • Probably talking to Brahman dwelling inside them. Like Aham Brahmasmi, Tvam Brahmasi
    – Adiyarkku
    Mar 31, 2021 at 3:40
  • @Archit - the word brahman is in sanskrit. people of france do not understand sanskrit. also, sanskrit was created by shiva's dumroo sounds. hence brahman refers to a particular name/person, and is only understood by certain people. hence it is not eternal.
    – mar
    Mar 31, 2021 at 3:42
  • By definition, you are Hindu if you accept the vedas. The vedas say they are eternal. To not accept the eternity of the vedas is to deny the vedas. To deny the vedas is to reject Hinduism. Mar 31, 2021 at 5:27
  • @SwamiVishwananda - some people say that Vedas are not eternal because they refer to North-Indian geography. This post is a satire to counter those arguments.
    – mar
    Mar 31, 2021 at 5:38

5 Answers 5


The spiritual laws revealed in the Vedas is eternal. Not every thing mentioned in the Vedas is eternal.

There was a time when the Vedas themselves were considered eternal in the sense in which the divine truths contained therein were changeless and permanent and were only revealed to man. At a subsequent time, it appears that the utterances of the Vedic hymns with the knowledge of its meaning was important; and it was held that the hymns themselves must have had a divine origin. At a still later period, the meaning of the hymns showed that many of them could not be of divine origin, because they inculcated upon mankind performance of various unholy acts, such as torturing animals; and we can find many ridiculous stories in the Vedas. The correct meaning of the statement "The Vedas are beginningless and eternal" is that the law or truth revealed by them to man is permanent and changeless. Logic, geometry, chemistry, etc., reveal also a law or truth which is permanent and changeless and in that sense they are also beginningless and eternal. But no truth or law is absent from the Vedas, and I ask any one of you to point out to me any truth which is not treated of in them.

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol.5: With the Swami Vivekananda at Madura, pp.205-206

  • You mean to partly eternal and partly non eternal I believe this mutually exclusive question vedas means whole of vedas not parts and piece it cannot be both Swami vivekananda doesn't understand vedas or gita that is the conclusion I'm getting from your answer
    – Prasanna R
    Mar 31, 2021 at 11:57
  • 2
    I agree with Swami V that the Vedas are a mixture of noise and truth. Even Adi Sankaracharya was hinting the same thing when he wrote in his commentary on Gita 18.66 that the idea of infallibility of the Vedas is ill conceived. Mar 31, 2021 at 12:02
  • "But no truth or law is absent from the Vedas, and I ask any one of you to point out to me any truth which is not treated of in them." - Vedas do not talk about moon landing by NASA. If you say moon-landing is not eternal, I will respond with - neither is Brahma (who doesn't exist prior to creation), but Vedas talk about him.
    – mar
    Apr 1, 2021 at 0:41
  • He means spiritual truth. Apr 2, 2021 at 12:30
  • 1
    @PradipGangopadhyay - is Brahma creating earth (Yatha Purvam Akalpayat) spiritual truth or not ? If it is spiritual why does it talk about a temporary created being ? If it is noise, then whole of Vedas is noise because everything it refers to is created after Srushti.
    – mar
    Apr 3, 2021 at 4:31

This exact question has been raised in the Govinda Bhashya of Baladeva Vidyabhushana. (Please note that this translation often uses the word "demigod" in place of "deva." Also, keep in mind that in this bhashya of the Brahma Sutras, Vishnu is revered as Brahman.):

The objector may say: "[...] There remains, however, a contradiction in the description of the words of the Vedas. Before the birth and after the death of each demigod, a period would exist when the name of that demigod would not have any meaning. At that time the words of the Vedas would become meaningless, like the statement ‘the son of a barren woman.’ In this way this idea is refuted. The Mīmāṁsā-Sūtra says: autpattikas tu śabdenārthasya sambandhaḥ: ‘In the Vedas the relation between name and the object named is eternal.’ This idea [that the devas are embodied souls] would then contradict the eternality of the names in the Vedas.” If this objection is raised, then he [Vyāsa] replies:

[If someone objects that this idea is inconsistent with the eternal nature of] the words in the Vedas, then I say no, because of [the description of] the creation [of the world, and also because of the evidence given] in śruti and smṛti. [Sutra 1.3.28]

The creation of the material bodies of the devas and other beings in the universe is done by Lord Brahmā, remembering their eternal, archetypal forms recorded in the statements of the Vedas. These archetypal forms are eternal, and existed before any of the bodies of the living entities were manifested. [...] The Vedic words describing the devas and other kinds of living entities are not names of specific individuals, but of certain classes of living entities, just as the word “cow” is the name of a certain kind of living entity.

“By reciting the words of the Vedas in the beginning, Lord Brahmā created the names and forms of the material elements, the rituals, the devas, and all other living entities.” [Vishnu Purana 1.5.64]

And therefore the eternity [of the Veda is proved]. [Sutra 1.3.29]

The eternity of the Vedas is proved by the fact that the creator Lord Brahmā creates the world by reciting the Vedic words describing the eternal forms and by remembering the previous creation. Kaṭhaka Muni and the other sages should be understood to be merely the speakers and not the authors of the Vedas. It is stated in the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa: “**The Vedas, in their entirety, are eternal, enduring, and present in the mind of Viṣṇu; in creation after creation, they are brought up as they are, with the same order, same characters and the same notes, never otherwise. [...] The objection may be raised: “So be it. The śruti explains that by remembering the words of the Vedas Lord Brahmā creates the forms of the devas and other living entities. This may be in the case after the partial cosmic devastation [naimittika], but how can this method of creation be employed after the complete cosmic devastation [prākṛta], when absolutely everything is destroyed, and how can the Vedas be eternal under the circumstances of such complete destruction?” If this is said, then he replies:

Because the names and forms remain the same even at the beginning of a new creation, there is no contradiction. This is proved by śruti and smṛti. [Sutra 1.3.30]

The core of the meaning is “Because the previously spoken names and forms remain the same.” At the time of the great cosmic devastation, the eternal Vedas and the eternal archetypal forms described by the Vedas enter Lord Hari, the master of transcendental potencies, and rest within Him, becoming one with Him. At the time of the next creation they again become manifested from the Lord. Lord Hari and the four-faced demigod Brahmā both precede their acts of creation with recitation of Vedic mantras, which leads to meditation on the archetypal forms. At the time of a new creation, the Creator remembers what He created in the previous creation, and He again creates as He did before. This is like a potter, who by saying the word “pot” remembers the forms of pots he previously fashioned, and goes on to make another pot just like them. The process of creation after the partial cosmic devastation, and also after the complete cosmic devastation, is performed in this way.

The smṛti says: nyagrodhaḥ su-mahān alpe yathā bīje vyavasthitaḥ samyame viśvam akhilam bīja-bhūte yathā tvayi “O Lord, just as a great banyan tree rests within a tiny seed, in the same way at the time of cosmic devastation the entire universe rests within You, the seed from which it originally sprouted.” [Viṣṇu Purāṇa]

Everything has been explained clearly, so I will not have to really elaborate. In summary, the main idea is that the Vedas are a blueprint for archetypal forms of the devas, so the creation or destruction of individual devas within the universe do not at all contradict the position that the Vedas are eternal.

  • Many Hindus believe Brahma is Supreme Brahman, same as Vishnu and Siva. To many Hindus, to call a member of the trinity a "demigod" would be offensive.The word "demi-god" has entered English translations of Hindu scriptures only in the past 50 years and many Hindus can't relate to what it is supposed to mean @massenquirer
    – S K
    Apr 5, 2021 at 21:27
  • 1
    @SK I am well aware of the ongoing debate about the word "demigod," but that's besides the point. I personally haven't used it in my answer; I only quoted a source that used it. Of course, I can't just go and tamper the original source from which I based my whole argument. Apr 5, 2021 at 22:06
  • 1
    @SK Besides, the same source uses the word 'devas' as well. Also, I am not here to relay the opinions of all Hindus since obviously there will always be disagreement as to the nature of Brahman (if Brahman is the ultimate goal at all). My answer is based on the position that Vishnu alone is Brahman, so hopefully everyone can understand that. After all, we are from a diverse tradition of mutual respect. Apr 5, 2021 at 22:10
  • 1
    @SK I will refrain from debate. However, since the question itself is based on the presupposition that Brahma is a created entity ("Since Brahma only comes into 'being' during Srushti (creation)..."), it would be appropriate to answer based on the same premise. This question in itself would not appeal to many Hindus, let alone my response. Apr 5, 2021 at 22:16
  • 1
    I undownvoted after the reasonable change @massenquirer
    – S K
    Apr 6, 2021 at 2:14

The terms like Surya, Brahma, Agni, Indra etc. in Vedas are used for Supereme God. These all are epithets of god.

Rigveda Mandala 2 Sukta 1

  1. THOU, Agni, shining in thy glory through the days, art brought to life from out the waters, from the stone: From out the forest trees and herbs that grow on ground, thou, Sovran Lord of men art generatad [sic] pure.2. Thine is the Herald's task and Cleanser's duly timed; Leader art thou, and Kindler for the pious man. Thou art Director, thou the ministering Priest: thou art the Brahman, Lord and Master in our home.3. Hero of Heroes, Agni! Thou art Indra, thou art Visnu of the Mighty Stride, adorable: Thou, Brahmanaspati, the Brahman finding wealth: thou, O Sustainer, with thy wisdom tendest us.4. Agni, thou art King Varuna whose laws stand fast; as Mitra, WonderWorker, thou must be implored. Aryaman, heroes' Lord, art thou, enrich ing all, and liberal Amsa in the synod, O thou God.5. Thou givest strength, as Tvastar, to the worshipper: thou wielding Mitra's power hast kinship with the Dames. Thou, urging thy fleet coursers, givest noble steeds: a host of heroes art thou with great store of wealth.6. Rudra art thou, the Asura of mighty heaven: thou art the Maruts' host, thou art the Lord of food, Thou goest with red winds: bliss hast thou in thine home. As Pusan thou thyself protectest worshippers.7. Giver of wealth art thou to him who honours thee; thou art God Savitar, granter of precious things. As Bhaga, Lord of men! thou rulest over wealth, and guardest in his house him who hath served thee well.8. To thee, the people's Lord within the house, the folk press forward to their King most graciously inclined. Lord of the lovely look, all things belong to thee: ten, hundred, yea, a thousand are outweighed by thee.9. Agni, men seek thee as a Father with their prayers, win thee, brightformed, to brotherhood with holy act. Thou art a Son to him who duly worships thee, and as a trusty Friend thou guardest from attack.10. A Rbhu art thou, Agni, near to be adored thou art the Sovran Lord of foodful spoil and wealth. Thou shinest brightly forth, thou burnest to bestow: pervading sacrifice, thou lendest us thine help.11. Thou, God, art Aditi to him who offers gifts: thou, Hotri, Bharati, art strengthened by the song. Thou art the hundred-wintered Ila to give strength, Lord of Wealth! Vrtraslayer and Sarasvati.12. Thou, Agni, cherished well, art highest vital power; in thy delightful hue are glories visible. Thou art the lofty might that furthers each design: thou art wealth manifold, diffused on every side.13. Thee, Agni, have the Adityas taken as their mouth; the Bright Ones have made thee, O Sage, to be their tongue. They who love offerings cling to thee at solemn rites: by thee the Gods devour the duly offered food.

So the words like Agni, Surya and Indra don't refer to fire, sun etc. but they refer to supereme God.

Shwetashwara Upanishad IV-2: That Itself is the Agni, That is the Surya, That is the Vayu, That is the Chandra, That is also the starry firmament, That is the Brahman, That is the waters, That is Prajapati.

  • Even if that is the case, why use the word Agni (fire) to refer to Brahman ? The very fact that Agni is used shows that Vedas were composed AFTER Agni. Since Agni cannot exist prior to creation, Vedas, which refer to Agni, are also created, hence not apaurusheya.
    – mar
    Apr 1, 2021 at 4:33
  • 1
    @mar vedantic school of tought believes in shadha pramana (sound as fact or truth) from sound came the beings not the other way in materialistic world where you create things and name it.
    – Prasanna R
    Apr 1, 2021 at 6:20
  • @PrasannaR - in that case, the presence of North Indian geographic names like Ganga or rishis like Vishvamitra, or battle of 10 kings (Dasharjana) are also shabda pramana, hence they do not 'localize' Vedas in any way i.e. presence of "historical" events or places or times does not reduce their apaurusheya-tvam in any way.
    – mar
    Apr 1, 2021 at 6:22
  • @Ikshvaku - see above
    – mar
    Apr 1, 2021 at 6:23
  • @mar what is history is also future in different kalpa.. Same gods are repeated.. Take matsya avatara of hindu god.. one of the main feet performed is recovering the vedas from Asura, The story goes like this brahma spitted veda Asura stole it. Matsya killed the Asura and retrieved it. If read verbatim Brahma spitted Book from his mouth that book was stolen by Asura.. That book was reterieved. Will Brahma spitt veda in the form of book?
    – Prasanna R
    Apr 1, 2021 at 6:32

B.G. 15.15

सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो मत्त: स्मृतिर्ज्ञानमपोहनं च | वेदैश्च सर्वैरहमेव वेद्यो वेदान्तकृद्वेदविदेव चाहम् || 15||

sarvasya chāhaṁ hṛidi sanniviṣhṭo mattaḥ smṛitir jñānam apohanaṁ cha vedaiśh cha sarvair aham eva vedyo vedānta-kṛid veda-vid eva chāham

I am seated in the hearts of all living beings, and from Me come memory, knowledge, as well as forgetfulness. I alone am to be known by all the Vedas, am the author of the Vedānt, and the knower of the meaning of the Vedas.

From these statement of sri krishna we can easily conclude that the words, letters and sentence mean only Lord Krishna as primary meaning. That is what sri madvacharya states clearly that all words, letters sentence mean only krishna he is the single letter OM. And meaning of all words of vedas. Before creation Vedas do refer only one entity that is God. After dissolution Vedas mean again the same entity. So We can safely conclude Vedas are enternal and meant only Lord sri krishna as main meaning instead of Agni, Indra or other deity. otherwise the above statement is false.


If a text is truly or literally eternal, then it shouldn't make mention of TEMPORAL or HISTORIC occurrences. Otherwise, we can put a time stamp on it.

For example, Rig Veda mentions the Dasharajna battle. This means that those mantras that reference the battle have to be composed after the battle happened by the Rishi of those mantras. OR the Rishi had Bhavishya siddhi and saw the war before it happened, and then composed the verse. But if you read the context of the war in the Vedas, it looks like it was composed after the event happened.

Another analogy is books mentioning world war 2. World war 2 happened in 1940s. So, any book that references WW2 has to logically and chronologically be produced after WW2. So, we can infer that those books were composed AFTER WW2.

Why can't this logic be applied to the Veda? The Veda is another text like the books on WW2, and hence it can be analyzed in the same way.

On the other hand, certain schools like Mimamsa and Vedanta believe that the actual Vedic VAKYAS are eternal themselves. But in reality what "eternal Veda" means is that the primary knowledge within the Vedas is eternal because the purpose of the Vedas is to talk about eternal things like Brahman, dharma, karma, reincarnation, tri-guna, etc. The historic events like Dasharajna battle, etc. are all subsidiary to the primary knowledge and serve as examples for the eternal worship of Devatas and Brahman.


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