“Eternity of Vēdas and Vēdas as standard” (written by Maharshi Dayananda Saraswathi in his Vēda Bhāshyam) is given below.
Since Vēdas are given by God and His knowledge is eternal, automatically Vēdas also become eternal. In this regard some people doubt the eternity of Vēdas in the following manner.
Q.1.Vēdas are filled with Chanddass, words, and sentences. These are related to sound and sound is not eternal. Because sound has a beginning and an ending, even Vēdas should have a beginning and an ending. Anything which has a beginning and an ending cannot be called eternal. Therefore Vēdas are not eternal.
Ans.1.Sound is of two types. The sounds, meanings and the relations between them which are present in the knowledge of God are eternal. The sounds produced by humans are not eternal. Whose knowledge and work are eternal that one’s entire powers are eternal. Since Vēdas are God’s educational power, we have to declare Vēdas are eternal. God’s educational power can never be temporary.
Q.2.When this Universe is in its final stage (Prallaya) even the books containing Vēdas get destroyed. Then how can we say Vēdas are eternal?
Ans.2.This situation is for books, ink, paper and the letters in them. Also our works are not eternal like any other matter which is produced in the Universe. Vēdas are present in the form of a relation between sound and its meaning in the God’s knowledge. Vēdas are not books, paper or ink. The writings in a book are human’s activity and therefore these are not eternal. Vēdas are always present in the knowledge of God and God’s knowledge is always present just like a bud being present in the seed. Therefore Vēdas are eternal. At the time of creation Vēdas are brought into popularity and at the time of Prallaya Vēdas are not present in the Universe because the Universe itself does not exist. Therefore by nature the Vēdas are eternal. Just like in this Kalpa (Creation) how the relation exists between sound and words in the form of meaning similarly it will exist in the next coming Kalpa and was existed in the previous Kalpa also. The reason is that God’s education is eternal and in one form. It does not have growth or decay. The proof of this is given in Rig Vēd mantra as shown below.
The above mantra is the 3rd mantra (190th Suktham, 10th Chapter) of Rig Vēd. The meaning of this is “God created everything the same way in this Kalpa as He created in the past Kalpa”. Therefore Vēdas are same in every Kalpa because God’s knowledge does not grow or decay. The order in which the words and sentences of Vēdas are present in this Kalpa is the same in the past Kalpa and will be same in the next Kalpa. Therefore we have to agree that Vēdas are eternal.
Also we will give proofs from Vyākarnna Sastra (Grammar) written by Pānnini and Patanjali Rishis. Vyākarnna Sastra is foundation for Shabda Vidya in Samskrutham and other languages.
According to these Rishis, “All sounds are eternal and the letters and their parts are also eternal. They do not get destroyed or disappear. Because these letters neither grow nor decay”. Therefore sounds are eternal in nature. And hence Vēdas are eternal.
Sound is accessed by the ear, grasped by the buddhi, spoken by mouth and exists in the Ākāsam. Listening and speaking are not eternal but sound is eternal. Whatever we speak, in that every syllable gets separated but sound will be in one form and is indivisible. Therefore sound and Vēdas are eternal.
Q.3.Sound also gets destroyed after the word is spoken. Therefore sound and Vēdas are not eternal.
Ans.3.Sound like Ākāsam is in a single form. Until spoken sound is not heard. Speaking is done with the help of Prānna and voice. The syllable of each word is spelt separately and therefore the speaking has starting and ending but not the sound. Therefore sound and Vēdas are eternal. Even Jaimini Rishi has proved that sound is eternal. Similarly the author of Visheshika Darsana, Rishi Kanva has accepted that Vēdas are given by God and that these Vēdas contain true knowledge and everything written in it is impartial. Also he accepted that sound and Vēdas are eternal. In Nyayam Rishi Goutham wrote that sound and Vēdas are eternal. From the beginning of the creation till today all Rishis and Scholars have accepted Vēdas as eternal. And these Rishis have accepted Vēdas as proof or evidence in the case of decisions.
Q.4.Why should one take Vēdas as a standard and as proof for scientific and other decisions? Do we have anything to substantiate this?
Ans.4.Yes we have every reason to accept Vēdas as base for everything we do. Till now many things in the Vēdas have been proved to be true by the Rishis. Not only that, till now nothing has been proved wrong in the Vēdas by any one. Therefore Vēdas stand as base for everything we do or everything that has been invented or discovered. According to Rishi Kapila the author of Sānkhya Darsana, “Vedas are self vouching and are eternal”. In Vēdantha, Rishi Vyasa had written that Vēdas are eternal. Referring to what Rishi Vyasa wrote, Shankarāchārya wrote the following. “The four Vēdas are containing many arts and like self radiating objects, these Vēdas illuminate truth about many things in the Universe. To these Vēdas only God can be the Kartha and not any human being. Rishi Pānnini and others have written different parts of the education and in every manner depended on Vēdas for every proof. Therefore there is no one other than God who has complete knowledge of everything in this Universe. Therefore Vēdas are to be taken as a standard and as proof for scientific and other decisions”.
From this it is clear that every Arya has given witness that Vēdas are eternal and are self vouching. Therefore it is clear that Vēdas are given by God and are to be considered as standard for everything we learn. Since Vēdas are given by God, these are self vouching. To prove that Vēdas are standard, no proof is required from other sastras. Other sastras can only give witness about Vēdas but to prove that Vēdas are eternal only Vēdas are to be taken as evidence. To prove that Sun is shining, Sun is only the proof and nothing else. Similarly only Vēdas are self radiant and through light on every truth in this Universe. God has given about Him in His Vēdas. According to the Yajur Vēda mantra (40th Chapter, 8th mantra) we have the following.
The thing which is all pervading, which is infinitely fast, which is not having any type of form, which cannot be pierced, which does not have any neural bindings, which does not have even an atom of ignorance, which does not do any sin, which is all knowledge full, which knows the mind and work of all souls, which punishes the sinners, and which does not have any beginning or ending has given the extraordinary Vēdas for the sake of souls that are taking birth and that “thing” is called God.
Also we should know that something cannot form from nothing. Without having a root there cannot be branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. Similarly since God has eternal knowledge, He could give to mankind. Otherwise how could He create the Universe? Also no human could have gained knowledge without God’s teachings. Just like a tree grown up from its root, human’s knowledge has grown up from its root Vēdas. If God did not give us Vēdas we could have not got the experience of knowledge in our minds. Without the experience of knowledge, we could have not got the idea of education and we all could have not developed. Therefore it is clear that God has given us Vēdas and these Vēdas are self vouching and are eternal.
All the properties of God are eternal and true. Therefore His Vēdas are also eternal and contain truth and truth only. Eternal body’s properties, karma, name and signs are eternal. The reason for this is foundation. Without foundation properties, karmas and names cannot be stabilized. Properties, karmas and names are always depended on the materials. The one which does not have production and destruction is said to be eternal. Two or more particles combining is called production. The separation of product into its constituent parts is called destruction. The material formed due to combination and destroys due separation cannot be eternal. In God there are no combinations and separations. Therefore God is eternal. He is always indivisible and is in one form. Therefore God is eternal. The one which does not have any reason and which remains as a reason is called eternal. God is the reason and does not have a reason. Therefore God is eternal.
Mater formed from combination always depends on the Kartha. Similarly karma depends on the Kartha and rules depend on the dictator. Similarly result depends on the reasons. Since reason is always smaller in size than the result, the Result can never control the reason. Therefore reason does not depend on the result. Meaning of this is that if a cylinder is formed due to atoms then, the cylinder cannot control these atoms from which it is formed. These atoms are called the soul of the cylinder. Just like heat pervades the metal always reason pervades the result. Water pervades a mud ball and keeps it intact. Similarly the reason can always divide the result. In the same manner God pervades everything in the Universe and is always different from the combination and separation of materials. God is smaller than the smallest. He is a matter which brings motion in the materials. The material which starts combination and separation of materials is always separate from them. That material is called the fundamental reason for the combination and separation. Similarly without fundamental reason there can never be a combination or separation. Therefore the one who never changes, who never gets birth, who is eternal, who is has His powers in truth, who does not have a beginning and who has eternal knowledge is called God and His Vēdas are eternal and contain truth and only truth.