Apourusheya Vedas and Vedic Rishis

  1. Many Traditional Hindus believe that apouruSEya means “not by man” and therefore divine. Therefore they believe that the Vedas are directly from God and have no human agency at all.
  2. Some Western writers treat, the Vedas as a monolithic mass and completely ignore the Rishis associated with each mantram.
  3. Each Veda Mantram is associated with one or more Vedic Rshis (Rishis) and one or more Devata.
    • Saunaka and Katyayana are the authors of the Vidhanas for the Rg and the Yajur Vedas. They also worked on the Anukramanis and the pratisakhyas. (Anukramanis tell us about the devatas, rshis, chandas, anuvakas and sukthas of the Vedas.
    • Many Traditional Hindus believe that each Veda Mantram was revealed to a particular Rishi, during meditation, by the divine. Thus they accept for example that Viswamitra विश्वामित्र was the first to receive the Gayatri Mantram from the divine, during meditation and that he then handed it down to us through his children and disciples. In this sense they accept the rishi of the mantra as its author/composer/first recipient.
    • A large number of these Vedic Rishis were of the Tretha Yuga and were connected with Sri Rama in some way. Vasishtha and Viswamitra were directly the Gurus of Sri Rama. Some of them were of the Krutha Yuga (eg Atri), but Sri Rama did meet them. Some were of the late Dwapara/ early kaliyuga for eg Saunaka.
    • Some of the Vedic Rishis were in fact Rishikas or women rishis.

apouruSEeya literally means not of the puruSa.

My Views and Conclusion :

  • The term apouruSEya when applied to Vedas refers to the divine content and need not be a statement about the source.
  • The rishis associated with each mantram , give us clear ideas about the chronology of the mantrams.
  • We may also derive geographical clues about the rishis from the mantras for which they are the author/composer/first recipient.

As always my target audience is the emerging centre who would like to hear both sides of the arguments, look at the data and make up their own mind. And as usual all impolite, irrelevant and belligerent comments will be listed as spam/ and or blacklisted.

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