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The Complete Rig Veda (Sanskrit Text, English Translation and Explanation) - 12 Volumes Paperback – 2009
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Language: (Sanskrit Text, English Translation and Explanation)
About the Author
Dr. R. L. Kashyap is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana in USA. He had his Master's degree from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and obtained Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the recipient of many International awards. In 2003 he has received Vedanga Vidvan award instituted by Maharshi Sandipani Vedavidya Pratishthan (Ujjain), an autonomous body of HRD, Govt. of India and 'Jnana Keerti' award instituted by Harsha Kriya Foundation, Bangalore.
He has authored more than 350 research articles of which 220 are published in scholarly journals and the rest were presented at conferences. He has guided over 50 doctoral students.
He has written extensively on veda. Some of his widely read books on Veda are: 'Krishna Yajur Veda Taittiriya Samhita' (3 Volumes),' Rig Veda Samhita - (12 volumes) 'Why Read Rig Veda', 'Rudra mantras', 'Essentials of Rig Veda', 'Essentials of Yajur Veda', 'Essentials of Sarna Veda', 'Essentials of Atharva Veda', 'Work Enjoyment & Progress'.
He is the Honorary Director of Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture, Bangalore.
I am indeed happy to pen this 'Foreword' to the Rig Veda Samhita: First Mandala (Part One), published by SAKSI.
Many of you all know that Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture (SAKSI) is primarily engaged (among other objectives) in disseminating the Vedic (traditional) knowledge to the common man for harmonizing both the spiritual and worldly aspects of life in a humble way. As of now the number of their publication
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R.L Kashyap is Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, Indiana, USA. He has a Master's degree from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and obtained a PhD. from Harvard University. R.L. Kashyap's translations reflect the spiritual evolutionary teachings of Sri Aurobindo and his theories on the Rig Veda, which have been collected in the book "Secret of the Veda". Aurobindo's teachings are based in his acceptance of human evolution. Thus the translations reflect the idea that through experience and suffering, humans are evolving towards a supra-mental superconscient state -- contrary to the tradition of cyclical time being devolutionary, meaning we begin as the One and move down through the cycles into 'solidification' and inevitable dissolution.
The disciple T.V. Kapali Sastry further expanded Sri Aurobindo's ideas. T.V. Kapali Sastry was considered a `brilliant intellect' and wrote in Sanskrit, English, Tamil and Telugu published in 12 volumes. His magnum opus is said to be `Siddhañjana' (1945), a commentary on the first Ashtaka of the Rig Veda, which explores the spiritual and psychological depths of the ancient hymns. T.V. Kapali Sastry finds astonishing echoes of the Veda in the tantra, in thought and in practice. He holds that the tantra is as old as the Veda and both have a common origin. [From the back cover of "Unveiling the Light in the Veda" by R.L. Kashyap; and "New Light on the Veda" (1952) by T.V. Kapali Sastry].
For those of us who are not Sanskrit scholars, but who have wanted to read the Rig Veda, Kashyap's translation is an excellent source. However, bear in mind that his esoteric translation is not the only possible one. Kasphyap admits this and suggests that more research needs to be done. In `Unveiling the Light in the Veda' Kashyap states that their interpretation of the Rig Veda is esoteric "based on the inner meaning of the hymns." Kashyap says that there are multiple meanings. He does not believe that the outer meanings are the only meanings. However an outer interpretation "could be helpful for drawing conclusions on the environment, age and other conditions of the ancient society of the Rishis or to unearth history and record. Similarly it may be possible to fix upon, following Mr. B.G.Tilak, the Arctic Home of Vedic Rishis..." Even though B.G. Tilak was a freedom fighter and instrumental in liberating India from British rule, sadly his extensive and detailed scholarly research on the Arctic in the Veda was cast aside by Indian politics.
The Hindu recently published an interesting interview with Dr. R.L. Kashyap, July 31, 2014: "Aurobindo points out that Vedic mantras had a symbolic meaning. Kapali Sastri identified 30 key words such as Agni and Gau, which occur more than 500 times in the Rg Veda. These help you arrive at the deeper meaning." But if there are such deeper meanings, does he mean to say that no one had noticed them before Aurobindo did? "The concept is indicated in the Mahabharata. Madhvacharya in his `Rg Veda Bhashya' said that Vedic passages have three meanings - one referring to Gods (Adhidaivika), one referring to rituals (Adhi-Yajna) and the esoteric meaning (Adhyaatmika). Later, Raghavendra Swami looked at the last aspect more elaborately in his work `Mantraartha Manjari.' Aurobindo made a pertinent observation. He said that to understand the Vedas, the Vedas are the only guide."
All the translations of the Rig Veda are remarkably different. I prefer the ones made by Indians. Scholars who translate the Rig Veda cannot agree on the meaning of the words. Indian writers admit that their meaning is `forced' to adapt to preconceived beliefs. B.G. Sidharth: "The Rig Vedic hymns on which current theories have been built are in fact not well understood and contemporary interpretations remain obscure and inconsistent." [Celestial Key to the Vedas] "To this day there is no internally consistent and coherent interpretation of the Vedas."
The other translations I like are also available on amazon: The Four Vedas: Mantras in Sanskrit, translated by Swami Satya Prakash Sarawati and Satyakam Vidyalankar; and the partial translation by Shyam Ghosh RGVEDA for the Layman, A Critical Survey of One Hundred Hymns of the Rigveda, which is an excellent beginning on the 10,552 rik mantras.
"Vedic mantras are in the never-decaying remotest sky, where all the gods reside. One who does not know that, what will he do with Vedic mantras? One who knows that, they (gods) will stay with him." [Rig Veda I.164.39]