Vedas are the ancient scriptures or revelation (Shruti) of the Hindu teachings. They
manifest the Divine Word in human speech. They reflect into human language the language of
the Gods, the Divine powers that have created us and which rule over us.
There are four Vedas, each consisting of four parts. The primary portion is the mantra or
hymn section (samhita). To this are appended ritualistic teachings (brahmana) and
theological sections (aranyaka). Finally philosophical sections (upanishads) are included.
The hymn sections are the oldest. The others were added at a later date and each explains
some aspect of the hymns or follows one line of interpreting them.
The Vedas were compiled around the time of Krishna (c. 3500 B.C.), and even at that time
were hardly understood. Hence they are very ancient and only in recent times has their
spiritual import, like that of the other mystery teachings of the ancient world, begun to
be rediscovered or appreciated even in India. Like the Egyptian teachings they are
veiled, symbolic and subtle and require a special vision to understand and use properly.
The great compiler of the Veda and Puranas was Vyasa Krishna Dwaipayana. He was said to be
the twenty-eighth of the Vyasas or compilers of Vedic knowledge. He was somewhat older
than the Avatar Krishna and his work continued after the death of Krishna. Perhaps he is
symbolic of a whole Vedic school which flourished at that time, as many such Vedic schools
were once prominent all over India and in some places beyond.
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