If you have questions you can ask me. I am still available for half an hour more, if you want. Once you had many questions which I had not answered, I know that. Last time there were so many questions.
Question: “I have one question at Bharat Nivas you told us how the students could memorise the Veda. I would like you to explain it once more. If I take the sentence in English “today is”, “to-day-is, day-to -is-one-way?”
Let me answer this question very briefly. I had once spoken at Bharat Nivas perhaps many of you were not present at that time, but the question was, and I can raise this question in a fresh manner: how are we sure that what is written now in the Veda which is printed, available to us, is exactly what was recited many thousand years ago? How are we sure? I told you in the beginning last time, yesterday, that there is one record of history, that is Veda, about which we are certain that that record is authentic, that what was thought in the ancient times is accurately stated and it is now known to us in the most accurate manner. How are we sure? How are we sure that our forefathers did not change those things, and present them to us saying this was what was done in the ancient times. This is the basic question that we should raise. Because like scientists we want solid evidence. The answer is that a system was organised so that whatever was uttered at that time could not be changed by anybody afterwards. A system was found in such a way that when we utter, it was uttered in such a manner that you cannot change it afterwards. Let me give an example: I spoke to you just now of the Vishwamitra’s Gayatri, tat savitur varenyam bhargo devas ya dhimahi. Let’s take only one sentence. How are we to be sure that Vishwamitra said exactly these words, and in thousands of years there has been no change in it. How can we be sure? The surety comes from the following way: It was laid down that when we recite this, you should recite it in many different ways. One way is: first of all you only say tat, then you say tat savitur, then you say tat savitur varenyam, then tat savitur varenyam bhargo, then tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya — tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi — if you repeat it several times in this way then, you can be quite sure that it can’t be changed, if you are required to recite in this way. But they made it doubly sure that you should repeat forward and backward. Tat savitur, savitur tat, tat savitur varenyam, varenyam savitur tat. Go backward and then you proceed further until the end. It may be a long way of recitation, but then you can be sure that it should read both, backwards and forwards in the same way. Then nobody can change it, nobody can alter it. I have told one of my institutions called Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratisthan to send us one verse recited in this fashion, in which you go backward and forward. I have told them which mantra to take; it is from Yajur Veda, one mantra will be taken and they are going to recite on the tape-recorder and they are going to send it to us here. When it comes I will present it here and you will be able to hear it, as to how, even today there are at least two thousand people in India who recite the whole of the Rig Veda in this manner. The whole of the Rig Veda they can recite in this fashion. Even today they are two thousand people in India. Once I made a survey in India and I called those people at one place in Vijaywada, and they had all come and it was a treat to hear this kind of recitation; not the whole of the Rig Veda because it will take years, but a number of verses were recited in this way. I want to give you one taste of it, so I said that one verse I should get to be recited before you on a tape-recorder. So when it comes I shall present to you.
Question: ”Is the ego not required; when we are saying our opinion, is it not the ego in a way?”
Sri Aurobindo has written “Ego is a helper, ego is a bar.” There is something like a development of ego. If it was absolutely useless, it would have never have been developed, but there is a great use for it. As long as you remain ignorant, as long as you want to remain ignorant, you can’t avoid the ego. So when we say, or when Sri Aurobindo and Mother say: “Now we must give up ego.” It is addressed to those people who have decided: we do not want to remain in ignorance. If you have decided, even in principle, if not fully, but if you have decided now: enough of ignorance, I want to come out of ignorance, I want to enter into knowledge, to such people you should say, you must stop ego. But those who need it, for them it is a helper. So ego is a helper as long as you want to remain in ignorance, but once you want to go out of ignorance then you can say, now give up ego, then it’s a bar, it will hinder you. So as long as you remain egoistic you cannot go out of it. You cannot enter into knowledge.
Question: “Is it enough to read Sri Aurobindo’s Secret of the Veda or should one read more?”
Sri Aurobindo himself has said that that book is incomplete. What Sri Aurobindo has written in The Secret of the Veda is a very brief statement. It is only to begin the establishment of the hypothesis. The Secret of the Veda was supposed to be a commentary upon a number of verses, only by way of illustration. And Sri Aurobindo himself has said that if time permitted he would like to translate and even explain each and every verse of the Rig Veda. Now that is not done in The Secret of the Veda, each and every verse of the Rig Veda has not been commented upon, that is a work for us, if we are interested in carrying out that work, it is a very big work to be carried out. One of the activities in which I am engaged today is to create interest among the people to read the Rig Veda, those who are capable of doing it, to read Sri Aurobindo’s Secret of the Veda and then work upon on a bigger plan in which following Sri Aurobindo’s line they can translate and explain each and every verse of the Rig Veda. Somebody has to do it. But if you really want to understand simply the basics of the Rig Veda and if you want to be convinced of the line that Sri Aurobindo has taken, then that is enough, it is complete.