Monday 22nd January 2018,
Hindu Human Rights Online News Magazine

A Brief Examination About Vedic Falsity

A Brief Examination About Vedic Falsity

Hinduism itself is a complex field of study.  Requiring an impressive skill set to navigate the prolific amount of texts and teachings.  Traditionally, one might consult with an Acharya or another teacher for clarity and insight. 

It was after the Macaulay era that the traditional Hindu educational system was in tatters.  Through this process, traditional teachings struggled, and Hinduism was guided to look to a new expert–the academic scholar.   Regrettably, academia has what many in the tradition view as false constructs. 

In reality, it has been in the academic arena that some of these greatest falsities and, in my opinion, questionable research was supported by alleged experts in the field.  A glaring example being the Aryan Invasion Theory, which virtually no one believes anymore, yet, it continues to appear in course material globally.  These problems are not limited the Aryan issue; it also becomes painfully obvious when it comes to the Vedas themselves.  

For this article, I would like to examine two examples:

  1. OM is not found within the Vedas itself.
  2. The famed mantra “OM Namah Shivaya” is not found in the Vedas.

One of the most famous and common arguments used against Hindus that I have heard of is the word OM does not appear in the Vedas.  Some ‘experts’ assert that the Upanishads are the earliest appearance of the Pranava sound-OM. 

This claim is NOT true.  A careful examination will reveal that antagonists of Hinduism will often qualify their claim and cite the ‘Rg Veda’ as proof that the OM does not exist in the Vedas.  

This statement is misleading. While the ‘Rg Veda’ is considered the oldest of the 4-Vedas, it is possible that the antagonist hopes that one will ignore that there are three other Vedas.  OM, as a word, is literally found in the ‘Shukla Yajur Veda.’  ‘OM’ appears several times in the last section of the ‘Shukla Yajur Veda,’ disproving the claim that OM, the word, does not appear in the Vedas.  

In addressing antagonist, it is important to note that the legitimacy of a term or reference being Vedic is not solely limited to the ‘Rg Veda,’ its presence within the Sama, Yajur or Atharva Veda validates the claim of being present within the Vedas. 

Claim #2. The famed mantra to Shiva “OM Namah Shivaya” is not Vedic.

This mantra is among the most well-known mantras globally.

 Hindus might recognize this mantra from the writings of Adi Shankaracharya, especially the ‘Paῆchākshara Stotram.’  But does the mantra have a Vedic connection?  Hindu antagonists will say it does not have a link. 

But one must remember that Adi Shankaracharya was reestablishing the study of the Vedic teachings.  There is no doubt he was an expert teacher on the Vedic teachings, and likely he would have aligned his critical teachings with the Vedas and Vedic teachings.  

A simple read of the ‘Rg Veda’ reveals the appearance of the word Shiva on several occasions.  But what of the mantra “Namah Shivaya?” This important mantra appears in the Krishna Yajur Veda Taittiriya Samhita. 

Here we see the appearance of ‘Namah Shivaya’ as an epithet to Rudra/Shiva.  The line begins, “Namah Shivaya cha…” Salutations to the auspicious one. (Shiva/Rudra Krishnan Yajur Veda Taittiriya Samhita

It is likely that the Vedas is the origin of the famed mantra and the source of its famed variation known as the Paῆchākshara mantra (The 5-syllabled mantra) taught by Adi Shankaracharya in the ’Paῆchākshari Stotram.’  Certainly traditional would view the Vedas as the source.  As tradition suggests, everything can be found in the Vedas, directly or indirectly.

These two examples demonstrate that some academics have been incorrect in their claims.  It also illustrates the need for students to study with a teacher that genuinely knows the texts and teachings.  Study with a qualified teacher is important as a growing number of academics appear to want to present themselves as an adhikara for the teachings. 

Not only is this dangerous to preserving the teachings, but it also undermines traditional teachings and helps to establish falsity globally.  And once a falsity becomes established in book form, pseudo-authoritative teachings or through rumor, it becomes challenging to erase despite being repeatedly proven to be false.

By Yogi Baba Prem

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