[6u’] How the Vedas Survived over 10,000 Years

<<We take the oldest time of the Vedic language to be approximately 15,000 years ago, but is this to say that the people did not have a language before then? Of course they did…When human beings appeared on earth they certainly brought language with them. The newborn children of those days certainly learned language from their mothers. We do not, however, have in our hands any examples of the language that existed up until 15,000 years ago.>>

The verses of Vedas were composed in the service of spirituality and that was a reason that the Vedic language was committed to memory and thus passed on over thousands of years until they were finally written down. Another reason that the Vedas could be preserved over ages is that strict rigid rules using specific metre and pronunciations were applied to the verses that aided in memorizing them. New verses were added to the Vedas by sages over the course of thousands of years.

<<All types of literature only survive if they possess a richness of idea or feeling. People kept the Vedic language alive orally because it had this imaginative richness. >>

<<Those Vedic Aryans who used to speak in the Vedic language about 15,000 years ago could not write. They learned how to write about 5600 years ago. Their Macrocosmic ideas, supra-mundane ideas, their Supreme aesthetic stances, were all narrated vocally to their followers.>>

<<Old Vedic’s only oral book was the Veda. It has survived till today because it had some relationship with dharma (psycho-spiritual ideas), however what is understood by ‘dharma’ now and what was understood by it during the Vedic era is not exactly the same thing. The intellectuals of those days used to express their realizations for the welfare of the people. Although they were not literate they were certainly intellectuals in terms of erudition and wealth of imagination. These intellectuals used to be known as rśi during the Vedic era. Rśi means ‘cultured person’.>>

<<The level of intelligence of the Aryan mass at that time was so low that it hardly merits any mention. Actually, they were unable to understand these profound discourses, and as a consequence called them veda, meaning ‘knowledge’. They believed that the innovative rśis and intellectual munis were not men of ordinary stuff, but superior beings who heard the words of wisdom directly from the mouths of the gods.>>

<<The journey of the Vedic language began approximately 15, 000 years ago and it attained its full development about 10,000 years ago. In other words, it walked its road for about 5,000 years. In very ancient times the pace of language was very slow so Vedic needed 5,000 years of dedicated vocal effort to attain its maturity. This 5,000 year period is not short in terms of linguistic distortion [evolution to a new language]. A language normally lasts about 1000 years. Hence in modern times five new languages could have evolved in these 5,000 years. Still, by examining the different mańd́alas (chapters) of the Vedas I have seen that the language of the oldest part is not the same as that of the last part. In other words, although it goes by the same name, Vedic, with the passage of time it became noticeably different.>>

Text in brackets <<>> by Shrii PR Sarkar

About Anandaramaa

Neohumanist Education coordinator, meditation teacher, educator
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