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Vedas
In the Indian tradition, the esoteric wisdom of the universe is called veda, a word coming from the Sanskrit root vid, “knowledge.” India's holy books, which contain the essence of this ancient wisdom, are therefore known as the Vedas.

According to Vaishnava tradition the Vedas "emanate" from God himself. Their knowledge was then carefully passed down from master to disciple. The communities of learning formed by these chains of teachers and their students are called sampradayas.

Vedic teachers sought to maintain the integrity of their oral tradition. When properly received, therefore, in disciplic succession, the Vedas remained devoid of imperfection and interpolation--qualities invariably associated with secular literature.

The verses in each of the thousands of Vedic texts conform to strict rules of poetry and meter and contain information on a wide variety of topics, such as medicine, agriculture, yoga, meditation, nutrition, architecture, military science, chemistry, physics, and politics. The Vedas are also filled with lessons in etiquette, moral values, and history, and complex philosophy and theology.

Most importantly, the Vedas and the body of literature that grew up around them explain our relationship with God, how to realize that relationship through devotional service, and the ultimate fulfillment of the soul.

   
The Sanskrit Alphabet


Sanskrit
The Vedas are written in Sanskrit, the ancient tongue of seers and sages. About Sanskrit Thomas J. Hopkins, Professor of Religious Studies (Emeritus), Franklin & Marshall College (Pennsylvania, USA) writes, “Sanskrit words were not just labels assigned to phenomena; they were the sound forms of objects, actions, and attributes, related to the corresponding reality in the same way as visual forms and different only in being perceived by the ear and not by the eye.” Consequently, the Sanskrit alphabet is called devanagari, the language of the gods.

Sanskrit (lit. “polished,” “refined,” “perfect”) is widely considered one of the oldest languages in the world. It has gone through several stages of development. We find it in its oldest form in the Vedic hymns of the Rig Veda. Classical Sanskrit, which followed, was codified by the grammarian Panini around 500 BCE. Most of the Puranas and epics conform to Panini’s rules. Even as the language developed into regional vernaculars the earlier forms of Sanskrit remained the language of the learned and priestly classes.

Srila Prabhupada translated a number of India’s ancient Sanskrit texts into English, and the BBT has translated these English texts into all the major languages of the world. To give a deeper insight into the complex meaning of the text, Srila Prabhupada also commented on his translations. His commentaries elucidate the text so clearly that it is not necessary to know Sanskrit in order to understand the wisdom of the Vedas.
 

   

A Sanskrit-English Dictionary

A searchable digital edition of "A Sanskrit-English Dictionary" by Sir Monier Monier-Williams is now available on www.krishna.com. An important resource for scholars and students studing Sanskrit.

Order now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




















painting

Jadurani Devi Dasi:

Lord Brama,
the First Created Living Being
1974, oil on canvas

Click image to enlarge









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