Stories From Vedas
Comprehensive explanations of the eternal values of life through analogous tales
Stories have a special niche in literature. The art of story telling simplifies even complex and mysterious subjects or situations and adds the juice of entertainment to make them palatable to minds of the common man level. This special effect has made legends essential art of man’s history ever since he evolved into a thinking mind. This relationship is evergreen. The stories have indelible imprint on every civilization, culture, religion or community.
Vedas are eternal. They too are repositories of classic legends, the elementary expression of human feelings and nature. In a way legends and myths are God’s gifts to intelligence.
Generally legends serve two main purposes – one is to impart historic facts of mythological genre and the other is to explain the logical message of a mystery without trying to subject it to critical dissection. The historical information in this format is to avoid the repetitive references to maleficent contents. The legends are created in consideration to the intelligence level of the people of related society. It has scope for variety. The symbolic or analogous legends are generally beyond the comprehension of common level of intelligence. They are meant to explain complex principles or processes.
The aim of our book is to pass on to the readers the knowledge or eternal values and relating them to contemporary social, cultural and political atmosphere. Hence, for this compilation we have selected stories that carry simple and straights forward messages.
Our country has a tradition from ages ago of story telling and hearing. We have a vast treasure of stories like collections of Katha Satrita Sagar, Panchtantra, Simhasana Battisi, Betal Patchisi etc. In ancient literature weaving analogous tales to explain a subject was a popular practice. During rainy seasons the story tellers used to go from place to place to recite stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagwat, Narsi Bhagat, Alha – Udal etc. On colourful musical format in streets and colonies at night. Men, women and children used to hear the recitals for hours for an evening of entertainment plus religious duty. Besides for thousands of years it has been our tradition to come together at night, after meals at village chaupals for long story sessions to pass time. The villagers often sat under a tree during summer nights, or at chaupal or in the courtyard of a prominent person and exchange news, developments and held story sessions. The crowd would sit around a common hookah and narrated stories to the accompaniment of its hubbel – bubble. For comic relief the narration was spaced by jokes or sarcastic comments. The travelers staying overnight were also star attractions who revealed mysteries of the alien lands and episodes of their adventures. During winter story sessions getting warmed up around a bonfire. In every group there always emerged an old story – teller who had inexhaustible bank of stories which made him a local hero whom children adored. Those stories were the real twinkling star of the land of ancient India.
Our ancient books are repositories of episodes and new stories are being added every time by the new age writers. There are collections of the works of famous story weavers. Munshi Premchand is a very famous name in our country. Ancient legends are stories of bygone era, which were doctored by the writer according to his own mindset, prejudice and the narrative style. They have become very popular stage plays. Those story – tellers and drama writers kept the spirit of our history alive and rooted in our civilization and culture.
We have made a small attempt through this book in the same direction. It contains 32 stories gleaned from the Vedas. The stories reveal some incidents during an ancient age in different scenario. With time they got corroded or added layers of alien influence. Our effort has been to make the stories lively and interesting to keep the reader engaged. The tales are inspiring and educative. A careful reading can help one to discern the aim of one’s life and strive with single minded devotion to achieve it.
It appears that during the Vedic era there were three kinds of individuals – one gods, second their faithfuls and third anti – gods or demons who were opponents of faithfuls. The demons were always at devising ways to defeat the faithful and run them down. The gods had divine powers who used to fulfill the wishes of their respective devotees when pleased. The faithful performed yajnas and made penances to propitiate their deity gods. The faithfuls were Aryans and demons were non – Aryans who eventually were converted to Aryan beliefs having been vanquished or won over spiritually.
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