Item Code: IDG391
by Swami AmritanandaPaperback (Edition: 2003)
Sri Ramakrishna Math
Size: 8.5" X 5.5"
Price: $11.50 Shipping Free
We have great pleasure in placing before our readers this minutely researched edition of Asya Vamiya Suktas of the Rg. Veda.
Suktas are hymns in praise of diverse deities in the Vedic pantheon. But they are not mere finely crafted literary pieces. They have a double import viz. pragmatic and transcendental. Each Mantra passionately invokes a particular deity of whom favours are sought. This, however, is only a fringe benefit. The profounder gain for the aspirant is the deep insight he gets into the path that leads to the Goal Supreme. Abhyudaya, the material prosperity that the Mantra promises, is but a stepping stone to Nihsreyasa, supreme fulfilment-' obtaining which one is not affected by any sorrow that the world considers grave', as the Gita puts it.
This double-edged play of the Mantras naturally attracts the plentiful use of symbolism. The Nirukta, which offers glossarial explanation of Vedic words, has to be pressed into service to understand the sublime imagery projected by the Mantras. For example, what is 'sun' in plain Sanskrit it has to be inferred as 'cow', 'cloud', 'earth', 'rain', etc. according to the context! In order that one may not miss the wood for the trees the guidance of a safe commentator has to be sought. And none fits the bill better than Sayana, the polymath. Swami Amritanandaji has done well in relying throughout in Sayana in extricating the meaning of the challenging passages.
He gives the text and the meaning in English of each Rk, (mantra), followed by word-by-word explanation of the terms used in the Rk. He cites chapter and verse from other scriptural texts like the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita to pin point the fact that 'all the jackals how! Alike', as Sri Ramakrishna picturesquely puts it. All the texts of our Santana Dharma say the same thing in essence. It is noteworthy that it is in this Sukta that we meet that famous oft-quoted declaration 'Ekam Sat, viprah bahudha vadanti' - Truth is one, the sages speak of it variously. That this is not just a poetic hyperbole has been scientifically demonstrated by Sri Ramakrishna who scrupulously practised all the different paths to the infinite and could declare with unshakable certainty that all faiths sincerely pursued lead to the same Eternal Truth.
Asya Vamiya Sukta is a challenge and an inspiration. The enormous trouble taken by Swami Amritananda in presenting this reader-friendly exposition of the Sukta will be rewarded if the reader, on going through it, feels attuned to the higher values of life.
We are thankful to Shri P. Haridas, Secretary, M. O. P. Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai, whose subsidy has brought down the cost of the book so as to reach a large section of the society.
Sri Ramakrishna math
16, Ramakrishna Math Road,