The Oldest Book

Did you know that the oldest book in the library of humans is the Rigveda?

The existence of the Vedas go beyond recorded history and are said to be passed down from the Gods to the great seers of Bharat. For many human generations the Vedas were passed on through word of mouth, until finally documented by the great Rishis and Swamis.

'The Vedas are written in Sanskrit, a complex language that Sir William Jones - in 1786 - demonstrated to be related to Greek, Latin, German and Celtic (giving rise to the expression 'Indo-European languages'). And if the Vedas speak of the Sarasvati River, then it would seem clear that they were written before about 2000 BC, and not later than 1500 BC, as scholars originally believed. And if - as seems likely - Sanskrit was the language of the Aryans, then it was also clear that they could not have invaded as late as 1500 BC.

There are four major collections of Vedic hymns - the Rig-Veda, the Samaveda, the Yajurveda and the Atharvaveda, of which the Rigveda is recognized as the oldest and most important.

In the 1980's, a Vedic scholar, David Frawley, observed that the hymns of the Rigveda are full of an oceanic symbolism that seems to argue that they sprang from the maritime culture - which certainly contradicted the assumption that the Aryans came from somewhere in central Europe. He also noted hymns that spoke of the 'ancestors' as coming from across the sea, having been saved from the great flood.

Studying the astronomical references in the Vedic hymns, Frawley concluded that one reference to a summer solstice in Virgo indicated a date of about 4000 BC, while a reference to a summer solstice in Libra pointed to about 6000 BC. He also concluded that the authors of the Vedas were familiar with the precession of the equinoxes. These revolutionary ideas were set out in a book called Gods, Sages and Kings (1991).

First Poetry of the World

Did you know that the Ramayana is the first poetry of the world?

It is a glorious Samskrit epic written by the Divine Sage Valmiki. The Ramayana begins with the author, Sage Valmiki, asking Narada: "O Venerable Rishi, please tell me, is there a perfect man in this world who is virtuous, brave, dutiful, truthful, noble, kind to all beings, and adored by all?" Narada replies: "Rama."

The Ramayana has 24,000 Samkskrit verses. It later translated by Kamban and Tulsi Das.

Longest Poetry of the World

Did you know that the Mahabarata is the longest poetry ever written?

Its 100,000 verses encompass all facets of Dharma or human way of life. It narrates the story about the great Mahabarata war between the noble Pandavas and their evil cousins the Kauravas.

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