As a skilled craftsman makes a car, a singer I, Mighty One! this hymn for thee have fashioned. If thou, O Agni, God, accept it gladly, may we obtain thereby the heavenly Waters". – (Rigveda 5.2.11),

Is this verse saying that vedas are saying that the Vedas are authored by humans(rishies).

I found this translation on quora while I was arguing with someone on the topic, "vedas are divine". That person gave this verse to prove Vedas are authored by humans(enlightened humans)

  • need to reference your source of the translation. Apr 19 at 13:30
  • @SwamiVishwananda I found this translation on quora while I was arguing with someone on the topic that vedas are divine. That person gave this verse to prove Vedas are authored by humans(enlightened humans) Apr 19 at 13:43
  • @SwamiVishwananda en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Rig_Veda/Mandala_5/Hymn_2 this is the source Apr 19 at 13:50
  • this translation is by Ralph T. Griffiths, an early Western orientalist with a limited knowledge of Sanskrit. His translations have proliferated on the internet as they are free - and not accepted by Indian scholars or pundits. They are known for their inaccuracies. Apr 20 at 6:40
  • @SwamiVishwananda so can you give a good translation of this. Apr 20 at 8:23

The Vedas, including Rig Veda 5.2.11, were composed by Rishis. They did not come down from heaven. So the question boils down to how a book written by humans can be considered to be divine. The answer is that the spiritual information contained in the Vedas is not the product of the intellect of the Rishis but have been discovered through deep meditation. It is in this sense that the Vedas are considered to be anadi (eternal) and divine.

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 beginning less 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 beginning less 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.

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

The Hindus have received their religion through revelation, the Vedas. They hold that the Vedas are without beginning and without end. It may sound ludicrous to this audience [in the West] how a book can be without beginning or end. But by the Vedas no books are meant. They mean the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times. Just as the law of gravitation existed before its discovery and would exist if all humanity forgot it, so is it with the laws that govern the spiritual world. The moral, ethical, and spiritual relations between soul and soul and between individual spirits and the Father of all spirits were there before their discovery, and would remain even if we forget them.

(Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol.1: Paper on Hinduism, pp.6-7.)

The Vedas are anadi, eternal. The meaning of the statement is not, as is erroneously supposed by some, that the words of the Vedas are anadi, but that the spiritual laws inculcated by the Vedas are such. These laws, which are immutable and eternal, have been discovered at various times by great men or rishis, though some of them have been forgotten now, while others are preserved.

(Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol.6: Notes Taken Down in Madras, 1892-93, p.103)



This translation of vedas is based on commentary of swami Dayanand Saraswati. What I think is just like you bring material for chariot , the engineer will work on it and make perfect chariot , similarly vedic mantras were revealed to rishis by supreme God and were worked upon and properly assembled by Rishis. Rig veda


Well the original mantra says:

एतं ते स्तोमं तुविजात विप्रो रथं न धीरः स्वपा अतक्षम् । यदीदग्ने प्रति त्वं देव हर्याः स्वर्वतीरप एना जयेम ॥

The Mantra's transliteration in English

etaṁ te stomaṁ tuvijāta vipro rathaṁ na dhīraḥ svapā atakṣam | yadīd agne prati tvaṁ deva haryāḥ svarvatīr apa enā jayema ||

Which means:

O thou of the many births, I the sage, the thinker, the man of perfect works have fashioned for thee this laud like a chariot. If, indeed, O god, thou shouldst take an answering joy in it, by this we could conquer the waters that carry the light of the sun-world.

पदार्थ -

हे (तुविजात) बहुत विद्वानों में प्रसिद्ध (अग्ने) विद्वन् ! जैसे मैं (ते) आपका (स्वपाः) उत्तम कर्म्म करनेवाला (धीरः) क्षमा आदि गुणों से युक्त और ध्यान करनेवाला (विप्रः) बुद्धिमान् जन के (न) सदृश (एतम्) इस श्रेष्ठ गुणों के प्रकाशक (रथम्) सुन्दर वाहन को (अतक्षम्) बनाता हूँ, वैसे (त्वम्) आचरण कीजिये और हे (देव) सम्पूर्ण विद्या के देनेवाले ! (यदि) जो आप वाहन को रचिये तो (इत्) ही (स्तोमम्) प्रशंसित व्यवहार जिसमें ऐसे सुख को प्राप्त हूजिये और जैसे हम लोग (एना) इससे (हर्याः) कामना करने योग्य अर्थात् सुन्दर (स्वर्वतीः) अच्छे सुखों से युक्त (अपः) प्राणों से युक्त (प्रति, जयेम) प्रति जीतें, वैसे आप इनको जीतिये ॥११

Gist of which is:

इस मन्त्र में उपमालङ्कार है । हे मनुष्यो ! जैसे विद्वान् जन धर्म्मयुक्त कामनाओं को करके विजयी होते हैं, वैसे ही आप लोग भी आचरण करो ॥११॥

Which when translated in english means:

There is accessibility in this mantra. O humans just as scholars are victorious by doing religious rituals, likewise you too should conduct yourself.

  • You just quote the translation but you didn't explain this verse Apr 19 at 13:44

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