Vedas has been a very misinterpreted texts. Mostly, because of about 1000 years of foreign rule, who destroyed the texts, imposed their own construction and interpretation.
For centuries aspersions have been cast upon the Vedas; the primary holy scriptures of the Hindus of having unholy contents. If one really started believing in those aspersions, the entire Hindu philosophy, culture, and traditions would reduce to nothing but savagery, barbarism and cannibalism.
The Vedas – the very roots of Hinduism, rather the first source of knowledge on earth – are meant for guiding the actions of human being in order to lead a blissful life.
This slanderous campaign has been unleashed by different vested interests to embarrass Hindus around the world citing specific references from the Vedas.
This also comes handy in convincing poor and illiterate Indians to give up their faith on the grounds that their fundamental holy books – the Vedas – contain all the inhuman elements like denigration of women, meat-eating, polygamy, casteism and above all – beef eating.
The Vedas are also accused of animal sacrifice in sacrificial ceremonies popularly known as the YAJNA. Interestingly a section of home-bred intellectuals claiming to have deep study of ancient India has also come up, who cite references from works of western indologists to prove such unholy content in the Vedas.
Saying that the Vedas permit beef-eating and cow-slaughter amounts to striking a lethal blow to a Hindu’s soul. Respect for cow forms a core tenet of Hinduism. Once you are able to convince him of flaws in the foundation of this core tenet and make him feel guilty, he becomes an easy prey for the predator faiths. There are millions of ill-informed Hindus who are not empowered to counter argue and hence quietly surrender.
The vested interests that malign the Vedas are not confined to foreign and home-bred indologists alone. A certain class among Hindus exploited the rest of the population including the socially and economically weaker sections by forcing them to believe and follow what they said in the name of Vedas or else face the wrath.
All the slanders heaped upon the Vedas can be attributed mainly to the interpretations of commentaries written by Mahidhar, Uvat and Saayan in the medieval times; and to what Vam-margis or the Tantra cult propagated in their books in the name of the Vedas.
In due course the falsehood spread far and wide and they became even more deep rooted when western scholars with their half baked knowledge of Sanskrit transliterated (and not translated from the original text) these interpretations of commentaries of Sayan and Mahidhar, in the name of translating the Vedas.
However, they lacked the pre-requisite understanding of Shiksha (Phonetics), Vyakarana (Grammar), Nirukta (Philology), Nighantu (Vocabulary), Chhanda (Prosody), Jyotish (Astronomy), Kalpa and so on that are critical for correct interpretation of the Vedas.
To give a ready example on how Vedas has been misinterpreted by Sayan, Mahidhar, Bhattacharya, Prof. Max Muller, Ralph TGH Griffith, Monier Williams, Maurice Bloomfield and other like minded scholars, the following verse of of RigVeda (8.48.3) is presented:-
"a ápāma sómam amŕtā abhūmâganma jyótir ávidāma devân c kíṃ nūnám asmân kṛṇavad árātiḥ kím u dhūrtír amṛta mártyasya"
Griffith translates thus "We have drunk Soma and become immortal; we have attained the light, the Gods discovered. Now what may foeman’s malice do to harm us? What, O Immortal, mortal man’s deception? The Ninth Mandala of the Rigveda is known as the Soma Mandala. It consists entirely of hymns addressed to Soma Pavamana (“purified Soma”)."
Let’s see the correct translation as per the Rishis:
Nirukta (the greatest authority on the translation of the Vedas) 4/3/13/44 has described the Soma as medicine promoting long life and youthful strength. The colour of Soma has been said of Harit Varna or green colour (yellow or tawny as per Wikipedia).
Sushrut (termed as father of Ayurveda medicine and surgery) in his Chikitsa Sthanvarti Chapter 8 has given 24 divisions of Soma. He has also termed Soma as the destroyer of old age and death (etymologically meaning promoting long life and youthful strength).
Nirukta Bhashya 5/1/3/13 and Rig Veda 10/89/6 have described Soma as a peaceful natured Soul.
Nirukta Bhashya 5/1/3/13 and Rig Veda 9/107/9 have described Soma as cow’s milk.
Similarly, Nirukta Bhashya 11/1/10/7 describes Soma as moon.
Now let’s see the translation of the above mantra as per Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati in line with Nirukta Bhashya. This mantra describes the advantages of grain eating.
“(Soma) Oh Lord! (apam) We drink the juice of the grain. (amritah abhum) We become amrit i.e. have long life; (jyotih aganm) we strive to achieve bodily strength and eternal glow; (avidaam) may we achieve (devaan) the strength of our senses; (kin krinvat) what can (asman) our (aratih) internal enemies do to us (noonam) in this condition? (amrit) Oh deathless Ish or God! (kim) what can (dhurtih) violent and (martasya) murderous people do to me?”
The ninth Mandala of Rig Veda describes the peaceful qualities of the almighty and not as stated by Griffith.
The following links attempts to refute some of the popular misconceptions on the content of the Vedas:-
5. Misconception 5: Vedas can be interpreted by western scholars better because they are more scientific
6. MISCONCEPTION 6:- VEDAS CONTAIN "NIYOGA" WHICH MEANS EXCHANGING WIVES (MANY MUSLIMS USE THIS MISCONCEPTION TO DEROGATE VEDAS)
7. Misconception 7:- Earlier there where 3 Vedas, later 1 more was added
8. Misconception 8:- Vedas contain history / geography
9. Misconception 9:- Vedas prescribe Caste / Creed
10. Misconceptions 10:- The evils of the Hindu Society emerged from the Vedas
11. Misconception 11:- Vedas contain many Gods
12. Misconception 12:- Vedas prescribe rules of Religion Conversions
It is a very unfortunate situation that even the slightest of finger raised on the quality of the Vedic Granth makes the poor Hindus baffled from the faith on Vedas. We have learned history from the Griffiths and Mullers and prefer to call our ancestors as looters, rapists, and invaders (Aryan Invasion). In fact we like to hate everything belonging to their culture and sometimes refuse to accept the existence of our own ancestors (Ram and Krishna).
After almost every allegation on the Vedic Granth, we put the onus of proof of purity on the Vedas and the Vedic People; rather than countering these allegors with the available instances (Non Violence to Animals ) where the Vedic Literature have quoted clearly against the barbarism.
Does Vedas contain History?
No, Vedas do not contain History. Please read the following link for details Vedas do not contain history
Are Vedas for only particlular Caste / Creed , etc?
Vedas are strongly against any discrimination based on caste, gender or birth. They strongly advocate meritocracy. Please refer the link - xxxx
What are the social evils of the Hindus? Are they not Vedic?
To which region are the Vedas applicable?