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Rishis Who Discovered Vedic Mantras In Hinduism

Mahaperiyava, the Sage of Kanchi, explains the greatness and importance of the Rishis who discovered the Vedic mantras in Hinduism.

There is a state in which the macrocosm and the microcosm are perceived as one. Great men there who have reached such a state and are capable of transforming what is subtle in the one into what is gross in the other. I am speaking here to those who believe in such a possibility. When we look at this universe and their complex manner in which it functions, we realise that there must be a Great Wisdom that has created it and sustains it.

It is from this Great Wisdom, that is the Paramatman, that all that we see are born and it is from It that all the sounds that we hear have emanated. First came the universe of sound and then the universe that we observe. Most of the former still exists in space. The space that exists outside us exists also in our heart. The yogins have experience of this hrdayakasa, this heart-sky or this heart-space, when they are in samadhi (absorbed in the Infinite). In this state of theirs all differences between the outward and the inward vanish and the two become one. The yogins can now grasp the sounds of space and bestow the same on mankind. These successions of sounds that bring benefits to the world are indeed the mantras of the Vedas.

These mantras are not the creation of anyone. Though each of them is in the name of a rsi or seer, in reality it is not his creation. When we say that a certain mantra has a certain sage associated with it, all that we mean is that it was he who first "saw" it existing without a beginning in space and revealed it to the world. The very word "rsi" means "mantra-drasta" (one who saw- discovered- the mantra), not "mantra-karta" (one who created the mantra). Our life is dependent on how our breathing functions. In the same way the cosmos functions in accordance with the vibrations of the Vedic sounds- so the Vedic mantras are the very breath of the Supreme Being. We must thus conclude that, without the Vedas, there is no Brahman: To put it differently, the Vedas are self-existent like the Paramatman.