Evils of Written Vedas?

Himanshu Dave hbd at DDIT.ERNET.IN
Mon Feb 21 08:16:12 UTC 2000

Yashwant Malaiya wrote:

> Incidentally, Ojha's text was originally published in 1918.
> He was of the opinion that writing was present in ancient India.
> He writes that the reason written text of the vedas were avoided
> was to preserve the exact sounds, for ensuring that shrotriyas
> got due respect etc.

I do not want to comment on whether  art of writing  was available duirng
Vedic times or not. Indology scholars can invetigate it as they like, but
I would like to point out the following :
1.    Extreme importance is attached to the oral tradition as far as Vedas
is concerned because of its contents and intended  use. In order to
benefit in any way from the text of Vedas (especially the first three), it
is necessary that the mind of the reciter (and listener) should be in
meditative state, what I shall call Alpha state for want of better word in

2.    During such Alpha state EEG would exhibit high value of alpha
rhythm. Normal waking brain exhibits Beta rhythm.

3.    This requires, at least in case of a beginner (Ma.navaka) that
his/her eyes should be closed. But then he/she can not read!

4.    With eyes open, unless you are very advanced meditator, it is very
difficult to achieve Alpha state.
5.    The process of reading (which requires eyes open) and deciphering
the written or printed text is a very complex operation which involves
large parts of Cerebral Cortex. Compared to that the auditory inputs
(either heard or self-spoken) require much less processing at Cerebral
Cortex. If the Vedas are to be understood, the activity at Cerebral Cortex
should be minimized.

6.    Thus if you are studying the text of Vedas for purposes other then
the one for which they were meant, you can go ahead and study from a
written or printed book, but not if you are a beginner and /or want to
derive the benefits as intended.
-- Himanshu

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