Friday, April 15, 2011

RigBashya of SriMadhvacharya

 Jai VijayaDasaru !!!
Jai Bedi Anjaneya !!!

Alleged Classification of the Vedas and the schools of thoughts

advaitis classified the Vedas into Gynana Kanda (Upanishads and knowledge) and Karma Kanda ( dealing with rituals )
Advaitis pay more importance to Gynana Kanda and ignore Karma Kanda. This way they can skip over the explicitly dualistic parts and pay importance only to a few statements in Upanishads upon which their philosophy is placed.
All other schools agree to this classification and chose their corner.
Purvamimasikas chose Karma Kanda and lay more stress on Karma rather than Gynana
Buddhists reject both sections as they don’t accept the Vedas at all
Nayayika’s accept both but not as the main proof (also accept Vedas)
Foreign authors translating Vedas trying to retrofit it into their “biblical” frame of mind, claim it was written by nomadic poets while being drunk on Soma.
People with no other background, trying to read only Vedas; come to the conclusion that Indra is a Vedic God and Vishnu (Sri Krishna) is a puranic God.
In the face of all these challenges we shall examine Sri Madhvacharyas Rig Bashya and see how it clears all the confusion

I All vedas are sacred there is no classification, wherein we can ignore certain verses.
SriMadacharya questions this classification itself, with the following proofs
Mundaka Upanishad 1.4 -1.5
tasami sa hovaca: dve vidye veditavye iti ha sma yad brahmavido vadanti para caivapara ca.
tatrapara rig-vedo yajur-vedah sama-vedo ‘tharva-vedah shiksha kalpo vyakaranam niruktam chando jyotisham iti. atha para yaya tad aksharam adhigamyate.
The Atharvana(Mundaka) Upanishad states that there are two levels of knowledge viz. paravidya and aparavidya
The primary source of these two levels of knowledge is one and the same. The Vedas and Vedanga constitute this source. The ritual
knowledge obtained from these constitutes Aparavidya while the knowledge of Akshara i.e. the supreme GOD is ParaVidya. The latter is philosophical meaning.
Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, phonetics, ritual, grammar, etymology, meter, and astronomy are all AparaVidya. Superior knowledge is what brings one to the imperishable Supreme.
Mundaka Upanishad 2.1
tad etat satyam mantreshu karmani kavayo
     yany apashyams tani tretayam bahudha santatani
tany acaratha niyatam satya-kama
     esha vah panthah sukritasya loke
The Supreme is eternal and real. The rites that the great mystics saw in mantras are recorded in the three Vedas. Desiring the Supreme, you should perform those rites. That is the path of piety in this world.
Bhagavad Gita 15.15
vEdaischa sarvaihi ahamEva vEdyO
All the Vedas describe Sri Krishna alone
sarve veda yat padamamananti
tapagmsi sarvani ca yad vadanti
That form which all the Vedas indicate, and all the penances they describe to realise it
No where has the vedas have been divided as proposed, all the rituals in the Vedas lead to the Gynana is also confirmed in the second line as well.
Therefore it removes the psuedo sheild created, all the philosophies are now answerable to all statements of the Vedas.

II Summary of all the Vedas is Sri Krishna

The entire Veda has philosophical meaning and conveys the supreme GOD.
Bhagavad Gita 15.15
vEdaischa sarvaihi ahamEva vEdyO
All the Vedas describe Sri Krishna alone
sarve veda yat padamamananti
tapagmsi sarvani ca yad vadanti |
Yadicchanto brahmacharyam charanti
tate padam sangrahena bravimyomityetat ||
Yama said: ‘That word (or place) which all the Vedas record, which all penances proclaim, which men desire when they live as religious students, that word I tell thee briefly, it is Om

III Meaning of Gayatri Mantra

OM      – Ashesha Goona Purana – Narayana
BHUR    – poorana
BHUVAHA – bhuti varaha – bhuti ( Lakshmi ) + varaha ( Husband ) = Sri Lakshmi Narayana
SUVAHA  – su + vaha – Sukha + anata = Ananta Sukha
- Therefore the meaning of the Vyaghratis are Narayan, Poorna, husband of MahaLakshmi and full of Ananta Sukha
TAT     – Gunaihi tataha – tat means Vyapta – Present everywhere with all Gunas
SAVITUR – pra savituhu – jagat savitaha – creator of the Universe
VARENYAM – vareniyaha – bhajaneyah – worshipped by everyone;
BHARGA – bharati gynana roopatva – bha + rati – Gynana roopas
DEVASYA – devaha gunotehe – Filled with Gunas
DEEMAHI – akila janerniya deehaha – Giver of Gynana to everybody
DHEYOYO NAHA PRACHODEAT – asheha buddhi naam preraka – Giver of all budhi and to everyone. (Quantitative and Qualitative)
Purusha – sa poornatva puman nama – there Purusha means Poorna ( Guna Poorna )
Om -> Gayatri ( 3 padas ) -> Purusha Sukta (3 vargas) -> Vedas ( Therefore each word of Veda talks about Sri Narayana )

IV All the words in the Vedas mean Sri Krishna

I Akashat Patitam toyam yata gachati sagaram | sarva deva namaskara keshavam prati gachati ||
vede ramayane caiva purane bharate tatha
adavante ca madhye ca visnu sarvatra giyate |
“In the Vedas, Ramayana, Puranas and the Mahabharata, from the beginning till end, and also in the middle, Visnu is glorified everywhere.”
III In fact all the devatas have kept the name of Sri Hari just we name kids after Gods and great personalities all Gods have taken names of the Supreme God Sri Krishna.
Rig Veda 10.82.3 ( Vishakrama Sukta )
Yo devanam namadha eka eva
tam samprashanam bhuvana yantyanya
The name giver of all God is one; other Gods come to inquire of him
Rig Veda 1.164.46
Indram Mitram Varunamagnimahuratho divyaha sa suparano garutamaan |
Ekam sadvipro bahuda vandyatyagnim yamam maatarishwaanmaahuh ||
‘They (the men of wisdom) call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni, and he is the heavenly, noble-winged Garutman. The God is one, but sages call it by many names; they call it Agni, Yama, Matarishvan (and so on).
* Interestingly maatarishwan is the name of Vayu Devaru  Ref Vayu Stuti – Matarame Maatarishwan
Each verse/word of Vedas have atleast 3 levels of meanings as stated in Skanda Purana
1. Agryadidevataparatvena
2. tadantargatavishnuparatvena
3. adhyatmaparatvena
trayoarthaha sarvavedeshu dasharthah sarvabharate
vishnon sahasranamapi nirantarasatarthakam || Skanda Purana
Vedas have at least three meanings, Mahabharata has atleast ten meanings and Vishnu Sashranama has at least 100 meanings for each word.
* Note SuMadhvaVijaya records that in Kerala, SriMadhacharya demonstrated 100 meanings for the word Vishvam.
For Instance the Agni in the verse agnimile purohitam conveys both Agni and Vishnu; just like the word Ganga is used to indicate Ganga pravaha and Ganga Gatira
Another way of looking at it is, if the definition of Agni is to burn, then Agni has this characterstic but Sri Hari has it infinitness as he can burn the whole brahmanda with just a side glance.
So Agni primarirly means Sri Hari and then Agni devata.
Objections to this method of interpretation
1) Some people may raise objection that that the same word having two different meanings will cause the sentence to have two different meanings hence causing vakhyabehda.
SriMadAcharya clarifies that vakhyabheda arises only if the two meanings are conveyed by the same vritti. For Example the word aksha means chariot wheel and dice play.
In this case two sentences are need to accomodate both the meanings. However Agni etc words are conveyed by two different vrtti. pramamukyavrtti and mukyavrtti therefore does not lead to vakhyabheda
2) If all hymns convey Vishnu then why have separate names as AgniSukta etc, why not name them all as Vishnu Suktas.
This objection does not hold good as Sri Hari has to be meditated upon as being persent or antaryami in these dieties.
Brhadaranyaka Upanisad 6-2-21
Parokshapriya iva hi devaha
Aitareya Upanisad 2-4-3
Srimad Bhagavatam 11-21-35
paroksham mama cha priyam
All the quotes prove that Lord  likes only when referred to in a secret way. Devatas are interested in being referred to, openly but only in a secret way and they like such procedure. To be praised by so much clear words, they may not like.

V Rishis, Devata and Chandas

This is a critical point to understand, because all foreign authors intrepret this as the authors.
Vedas are authorless, then what is the point of Rishis? Rishis are the discoveres of the Vedas, by worshipping Sri Hari Vayu they make their minds pure and Saraswathi Devi blesses them and they are able to “see” the Vedas.
“Drushtva” is a term that has no real translation in English, so seeing is a loose translation.
Most importantly it is not the product of the “fertile imagniation of Aryan poets drunk on Soma” as is popularly believed in the West.
The fact that Vedas reveal themselves to the worthy, explains the importance of Guru. Without a proper Guru, we can never understand the depths of the Vedas. If we try to read only the Vedas without proper initiation we’ll wind up with useless meanings and wind up in misery.
SriMadAcharya gives the Rishi hierarchy.
Hayagriva Rupa Paramatma
ChaturMukha Brahma Vayu – Brahmani Bharati
Rudra Sesha Garuda aitesham patnyaha
Shakradyaha – aitesham patnyaha
This is the overall hierarchy. If there is a mantra for which you don’t know the rishi; just say Narayana Rishih :) simple trick taught by SriMadAcharya.
For the Vedas
RigVeda – Shakra
YajurVeda – Surya
SamaVeda – Soma
Atharvangirasa – Agni
Atharvana – ekarshi
There are Rishis for each of the whole veda, separate Rishis for each hymn. For some hymns more than one Rishi is acceptable; as this means that more than one Rishi discovered that hymn.
SriMadAcharya also states that one who masters a hymn twelve times is also a Rishi for that hymn.
* This discovery concept clears the confusion that may arise that one hymn has many rishis
The greatness has of ChaturMukha Brahma has to be admired in the fact that he was able to grasp the whole Vedas in one shot.
Here, a ticklish question is raised. In certain hymns, the Risi asks for a chariot, etc worldly things. In certain others, an appeal is made to free from the bondage.
For such hymns, Visnu or Brahma cannot be Risis. Therefore, the position that these are the Risis for the entire Veda cannot be justified. This is clarified by pointing out that the
statements in these hymns are seen as the future statements to be made by Sunashyepa etc persons concerned. The supreme GOD knows things that take place in future and are
recorded in Vedas. These are not the statements of GOD himself.
VI Glossary of the Vedas
Sri Veda Vyasa has create a unique glossary of words that needs to used when deciphering the meanings of words in the Vedas called Vyasa Nirukti.
For a detailed view on the 1st Sukta “Agni Mile Purohitam” see “RigBhashya Agni Suktam”

VII SriMadBhagavatam has an entire chapter (10-87) wherein all the Vedas personified go and pray to Sri Vishnu in the ksheera Sagara

Any mistakes are solely mine.

Rig Bashya Introduction on

Sri VijayDasara antargata Bedi Anjaneya antargata Sri Lakshmi Venkatesha Swamy arpanamastu! Sri Krishnarpanamastu,



  1. Dear Sri Hrishikesh

    Excellent post. A small typo. The Mandukya Up. speaks of ParaVidya and AparaVidya but you have typed as parividya and aparividya.

    I'm adding my two cents to your post.

    Acharya Madhva quotes Parama Sruti (probably a Pancaratric work) and says

    रुगाद्या अपरा विद्या यदि विष्णोरन वाचकः|
    ता एव परमा विद्या यदि विष्णोस्तु वाचकः ||

    "The Rg Veda etc when construed as implying other than the Supremacy of Vishnu become Apara Vidya while the same (Rg Veda etc) become Para Vidya when construed as eulogising the Supreme Vishnu". Hence Acharya says that the division of Para and Apara is one of perception and not a physical division (Jnana Kanda and Karma Kanda) as such.

    Mohan Suswaram

  2. Nice, I was listening Sri Prabhanjanacharya-ra pravachana, these notes helped me follow the conversation.

  3. Hare Srinivasa !!!

    @Mohan, Thank you for your learned comments, I've made the corrections as suggested.

    @Satish, even if I can help one person understand Sri Prabahanjanacharya's lecture better. This whole blog is totally worth it. I consider myself extremely fortunate that I have listened to his lectures.

    Jai Bharateesha,

  4. I thought the Garuda was greater than Shesha and Shesha greater than Rudra in the taaratamya given by Srimadachaarya?

  5. Hare Srinivasa !!!

    @Shyamu you are correct; the order is Rudra,Sesha and Garuda is ascending order.

    All three of them are in the same kaksha. Rudra in next kalpa is Sesha. Hence they are grouped together. I think this doubt was aroused because of the ordering in the Brahma Vayu [Ruju] kaksha.

    Hope this clears the doubt.

    Jai Bharateesha,

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