Where were Vedas derived from?
Veda is derived from vid, which means “to know”. So, Veda means and includes all spiritual knowledge (jnana). People are distinguished from other animals by the spiritual wisdom (jnana) with which they are en- dowed. Devoid of spiritual wisdom, they are only beasts.
Veda is the name for a mass of divine knowledge. Veda teaches the truth that cannot be revised or reversed by the passage of time through the three stages —past, present, and future. The Veda ensures welfare and happiness for the three worlds. It confers peace and security on human society. The Veda is the collation of words that are truth, that were visualised by sages who had attained the capacity to receive them into their enlightened awareness. In reality, the Word is the very breath of God, the Supreme Person. The unique importance of the Veda rests on this fact.
Every being that lives in the world strives to possess what it desires and avoid what it dislikes. Know that the Veda instructs how to succeed in both these endeavours. That is to say, it lays down what has to be done and what should not be done. When these prescriptions and prohibitions are followed, one can earn the good and avoid the evil. Veda is concerned with both the material and the spiritual, both this world and the beyond. If the truth must be told, all life is Veda-filled. One cannot but observe its injunctions.
Who Compiled the Vedas?
It was Vyasa, who was a partial manifestation of Narayana (God, Vishnu) Himself and son of Sage Paraasara. He had mastered the scriptures and spiritual treatises. He himself was a great sage. He was a skillful coordinator. In order to promote the welfare of mankind, he compiled the Veda into four parts and facilitated righteous living by all. He divided the Veda into four and prepared five collections (samhithas).
How many branches are there?
The Yajus-samhitha has separated itself into two, the Krishna Yajur-veda collection and the Sukla Yajur- veda collection. So, the total became five. The process didn’t stop there. Each collection developed three separatecomplementary components. These scriptural texts emerged in order to enlighten people in different states ofawareness and different levels of consciousness. The purpose was to enable everyone to benefit by the guidance and thus to cross the sea of suffering. Therefore, there is no trace of conflict in any of these texts.
Excerpts taken from Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Prashanthi Nilayam