The Vedas started their journey about 15,000 years ago and were passed down meticulously from guru to disciple in strict systematic ways. There were attempts to write them down between 6000 and 5000 years ago when the first scripts were invented. But it was only by 3500 years ago that they were properly codified and written down by Veda Vyasa. Needless to say much had been lost by then but nevertheless what remains are the presently existing scriptures of the Vedas. It is only from 1500 BC that the general masses came in contact with the Vedas.
<<In ancient Vedic, the root verb “vid” was widely used in place of the verb “jiṋá”. The word “veda” is derived from the root verb “vid” (to know). “Ved” means “knowledge”. The (Sam’skrta) root verb “jiṋa” came to be used much later.>>
<<This knowledge is of two types. One type is subject to time, space, and person, and the other is the realization of the self, independent of all subjections. The former is called Relative Knowledge or aparájińána, because it is related to objects, and the latter, spiritual Knowledge or parájiṋána. Here the word, Veda, is of course used in the sense of spiritual knowledge.>>
<<The Indians of that time were not conversant with the Vedas till the advent of Veda Vyasa about 3500 years ago. It was Krśńa Dvaepáyańa Vyasa who properly edited the Vedas and reintroduced them to the people at large. Therefore he became popularly known as “Veda Vyasa.” So the author of the Vedas and the Mahábhárata is Krśńa Dvaepayana Vyasa or “Veda Vyasa.”
Krśńa Dvaepáyańa Vyása had divided the Vedas into three separate parts – the oldest portion, the middle-age portion, and the late-era portion. He was born in a fisherman’s family (Kaevarta, a fishing caste) on a blackish island that rose out of the waters of the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna at Prayag (present day Allahabad), and for this reason the people gave him the name Krśńa Dvaepáyańa… The soil of the patch of land where Veda Vyasa was born was blackish ( ‘krśńa’ in Sams’skrta means ‘black’). Due to the black soil, that patch of land was known as Krśńa Dviipa. The boy who was born in Krśńa Dviipa was thus named Krśńa Dvaepáyańa (“one who lives in Krśńa Dviipa”). Because his family title was Vyasa, he was known as Krśńa Dvaepáyańa Vyasa. Krśńa Dvaepáyańa Vyasa was a man of letters. He wrote very many books. He was a great man. . >>
Rg Veda – the oldest portion of the Vedas:
The Rgveda was composed outside India, mainly in Central Asia and Russia between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago. <<It is the oldest scripture in the world.>> It is named after the many verses it contains. Rc + kvip = Rk. The meaning of the verbal root rc is “to glorify” through song or through ordinary language. Rk means “hymn”. <<The sages used to look upon the various manifestations of nature as the play of one God and they composed hymns for that God. >>
<<Although the Rgveda is mainly concerned with hymns, it also contains various tales and anecdotes. While not all of these stories and tales carry equal spiritual value, they are representative of the cultural heritage of those ancient humans. They paint a portrait of the gradual advancement of human thinking and the structure of society. When considered from this point of view, the language, literature and expression of the Rgveda is of special value to the world. While it is true that there was no script during the Rgvedic age, phonemes and phonetic expression as well as the order of the sounds, interpolation and placement (the method of arranging the sounds) were in existence. The different Rgvedic styles of pronunciation for the various letters were in vogue which the followers of the Rgveda would learn orally from the guru in subsequent times.>>