Viswanath R Swamy

The message of Rig Veda

The message of Rig Veda

The aim of both the rishis and the devas or Gods is to systematically lead EVERY human being to higher and higher levels of perfection. This journey never stops till it culminates in all round perfection of every person, not only at an individual level but also at the level of interaction between human beings and at the level of society. Even to imagine such a condition of all round perfection is hard. Let us try.Each one of us has familiarity with several professions say cooking, computer software, animal handling, health and healing, several physical sciences, electronic gadgets for audio and video etc. The experts in each field can suggest various changes for improvement. We can envision integrating all these changes. This is only a step towards perfection. The Vedic seers realised that such a radical goal of all round perfection cannot be intellectually described. According to them there already exists the plane of "satyam rtam brhat " -- the Truth, the Right , the Vast e which incorporates in itself the seed of the perfect perfection to come. To attain this state, we have to get in touch with the consciousness in that plane. Truth -consciousness (rta chit). Rig Veda Samhita gives detailed hints about the paths to be followed so that each one of us can become perfect and achieve this state of consciousness and the status of a rishi (1.164.40; 7.41.4 ). Such a great task cannot be achieved by human effort only. In every human task the Gods are the collaborators who do actually most of the work.

Every time a human being does a task with some consciousness, he can see or feel the collaboration of the Divine Powers. The human journey towards perfection is compared to climbing a mountain from peak to peak or to a journey in the uncharted waters of the ocean in a boat. After a certain stage, the human being feels that all the work is being done by the Gods themselves.

There are also adverse cosmic powers in nature which pose obstacles in the path of the human seeker after perfection. These are forces of darkness and falsehood called Dasyu. Vrtra, Ahi, Vala etc. The Veda has numerous references to the symbolic battles between the Forces of Light headed by Indra and Agni and the forces of darkness. The victory of the Gods is celebrated by the rishis with hymns to the deities.

Finally Rig Veda has several references to the realisation of the Supreme One which encompasses everything in the universe. Upanishads describe some sadhanas or vidyas some of whose mantras are in the Rig Veda samhita.

Every mantra in the Rig Veda is either a prayer or an adoration addressed to a cosmic power or devata such as Agni or a call for a Cosmic Power to manifest in the rishi or a call for some action by the cosmic power. Many mantras are celebrations of the actions of the devata including the gifts of powers of light and might.