RigVeda and the Indian Systems of Approach to the One

H.B.Dave hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN
Fri Aug 18 05:33:50 CDT 2000

Dear List Members,
Here is a response to a question on posting no. 13.
-- Himanshu
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RigVeda and Indian Systems of Approach to the One :
(notes from selfstudy - svaadhyaaya)

XIII : Addendum

------------------------------------- Himanshu B. Dave

Why is it said in posting no. 13 that mantra (4) of
[RV X-72] should be read with [RV X-71-1] ?

The .r.si and devata of [RV X-71] are b.rhaspati and j~naanam resply.
According to Sayana : the knowledge of Brahman is equivalent to the study of
Vedas. The understanding of Vedas is essential to Knowledge and thus in this
sukta that knowledge of Vedas itself is praised.

Let us see what the mantra under reference says :

b.rhaspate prathama.m vaaco agra.m yat prairata naamadheya.m dadhaanaa.h |
yad e.saa.m "sre.s.tha.m yad aripram aasiit pre.naa tad e.saa.m nihita.m guhaavi.h
|| (1)
[RV X-71-1]

{O Brihaspati! that is the best of speech which those giving a name first
time utter. That which has the best of those [words] and is free from
defect, reveals it due to love, even though secretely hidden.}

Sayanacharya comments : This mantra Brihaspati addresses to himself, a
little bit ammused, considering that children also seem to know the meaning
of Vedas, as the first words they utter, like tata, tata, etc. The phrase
"those giving names first time utter" refers to children's first words. Note
that the word tat refers to Brahman. This is aadhibhautika interpretation.

Sayanacharya's this comment shows his very acute observation that the child
always starts to learn his first speech with names of things -- objects --,
nouns. This is a very important observation. It shows the sequence of
development of speech ability in a human being. It also shows how speech
arises in a human brain -- it gets generated as a bubble containing "name",
a referent. This bubble, which gets generated in the depth of
consciousness, gets developed and becomes "bigger and bigger" as it rises
towards the surface consciousness. This interpretation is aadhidaivika

Noting this observation of Sayanacharya, we take slightly different
interpretation of the mantra :

1. That is the best, most abstract, speech (vaak), which those functions of
   brain, giving a name to an object, first generate, (i.e. brahmaa). The
   best of these words and which are most abstract, reveal It (i.e.
   Brahman), driven by Love (pre.naa or what Yaskacharya calls priti), even
   though that part of speech is at a very deep level of consciousness.

This is aadhyaatmika interpretation.

We note here that this mantra supports the concepts of "name-space"
(aa"saa.h), "knowledge-tree" (uttanapada.h), "world perceptions" (bhuu.h)
used in mantra (4) of [RV X-72].

Sukta [RV X-71] itself is very important, but we shall use other occassion
to eleborate on its interpretation.

-- Himanshu

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