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कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्

God and the Vedas (Excerpts from Satyarth Prakash- English Translations)(1)

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"Know him as God - who is charming, whose performances are wonderful, whose nature is pleasing and who is all-knowledge.

Who is all pervading, in whom all celestial bodies like the earth, the sun and the sky are spread.

Who is God of Gods - the supreme self.

He is an atheist, who says, he neither knows Him, nor believes in Him nor meditates upon Him. Athiests are always sunk in sorrow.

Therfore it always happens that a person who knows Him lives in happiness."

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The Vedas say the God is one and one only.

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By the word 'Devta' we mean something brilliant and charming. We hail Prithivi - earth as a 'devta', because it is brilliant and charming. But we don't acclaim it as God. We don't worship it as such.

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Those who call bodies -physical entities- like earth, sun and sky as God commit a Himalyan blunder. 'Parmeshwar' is God of Gods therefore we call Him Maha Deva. He alone creates the world, sustains and destroys it also. He is the judge supreme and the supporter of all.

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In 'Yajur Veda', we find reference to thirty three gods. 'Satpatha' Brahmna has clarified who these 33 gods are. These are - eight Vasus - By Vasu, we mean a dwelling, a place of residence. Since the entire creation lives in them, we call them Vasus. The eight Vasus are earth, water, fire, air, space, sun, moon and stars. Besides these Vasus, we have eleven Rudras - vital airs, including the individual soul. They are so called because, they make the people weap at the time of death.

We have twelve Adityas - representing the twelve months of the year. Each month as it passes away, takes away along with it a part of our span of life. hence they are called Adityas.

We have Indra - electricity - which is a source of energy. Then comes Yagna - the fire ritual. We also call it 'prajapati; as it purifies air, rain, water, and vegetation. Yagna also means 'Sresta Karma' noble deed. These get recognition to the artisans and honour to the learned and thus bring in common weal of the people.

The above thirty three - the Vasus, the Rudras, the Adityas, Indira and Yagna are addressed as gods, not because they are divinities, but because of their specific qualities.

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In the fourteenth chapter of the 'Satpath Brahmana', it has been very clearly stated that the thirty fourth entity is God himself and that He and He alone is the Master and the Supreme Lord of all. We find such references elsewhere also.

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Swamiji quotes from the Yajur Veda -

"know thou ! that all this, whatever moves in this moving world is enveloped by God. Therefore fear Him and don't covet what belongs to others. Find enjoyment in Renunciation and righteous activity."

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(Quoted from - "MAHARSHI DAYANAND's SATYARTH PRAKASH" As translated by Sh Vande Matharam Ramachandra Rao)

(To be continued)