SRI VEDA VYASA NAMAHA.
VEDA RAKSHANA NIDHI TRUST64/31, Subramaniam Street, West Mambalam, Chennai - 600 033
(Sponsored by His Holiness Pujya Sri Maha Swamigal (Paramacharyal) of SRI KANCHI KAMAKOTI PEETAM , KANCHIPURAM.)
"Vedo Vrikshaha Tasya Moolam hi Vip raha A ngas sakhaha Dharma Karmani Patram Tasrnan Moolo Yatnatho Rakshaneeya Chjnne Moolae Naiva Sakha na Vrikshaha"
"The Vedas" is a Vriksha (Tree), whose roots are the Vipras (Brahmins), the repository of the Vedas. The six Angas, the auxiliary sciences, Siksha (phonetics), Vyakaranam (grammar), Chandas (metre), Niruktha (Etymology of words), Jyothisha, (Vedanga Jyotisha) and Kalpa-Sutra (texts dealing with the procedure, etc., for the performance of srouta and smartha karmas, Karmanushtana), are the branches. The Karmanushtanam and the Dharmic way of life are the leaves. All possible efforts, therefore, should be taken to protect and preserve the ROOTS (i.e., give all possible support to the repository of the Vedas) as, once the roots decay, there will be neither the tree nor the branches and leaves.
The Vedas (Sabda-Brahman) are co-existent with God and the Universe. At the beginning of the current Sveta-Varaha-Kalpa, (the present span of the Universe), about 6 million years ago, countless, innumerable Vedas (Ananthaha) were divined by Rishis . At the beginning of Kaliyuga, Bhagwan Veda Vyasa synthesised the Vedas into four, as Rik, Yajus, Sama and Atharva, and entrusted them for preservation to four Rishis, Sumantu, Vaisampayana, Jaimini and Paila, by oral tradition. The persons in their parampara maintained the same by adhyapana and adhyayana and passed them on from Guru to Sishya, holding it as a part of their sacred duty. They also acquired knowledge of the meaning of the Vedas, after an intense study of the ‘Shadangas’ — ‘Siksha’, ‘Vyakaranam’, ‘Chandas’, ‘Niruktham’, ‘Jyotisham’ and ‘Kalpasutra’. Knowledge of the meaning of Vedas (Veda Bhashya) involves a thorough knowledge of Sanskrit and Vedangas.
"Brahmanena Nishkaranam Shadgo Vedo Adhyethavya gneyascha".
The Veda Vriksha, with the branches leaves and roots, is designed to serve as a visual depiction of the state of Vedic studies today in the whole of Bharat — nay, the whole world, as it is only in our country that the Vedic tradition continues to survive.
The acme of Vedic knowledge could be attained only by about 18 years of study of (a) Adhyayana of Vedas (8 years); (b) Study of Sikshas, Pratisakhyas and Chandas which are necessary to preserve the Sound vibrations of Veda aksharas, as it existed at the inception of the present span of Universe: (4 years); and (c) study of four shadangas, i.e., of Vyakarana, Nirukta Kalpasutra and Vedanga Jyotisha ( minimum 6 years ).
The failure to preserve the Vedas by the group of persons who were charged with the Sacred duty therefor, has resulted in 1121 sakhas (recensions) out of 1131 that existed 5000 years ago getting extinct.
Due to the impact of current overwhelming emphasis on material prosperity, the performance of rituals mentioned in Vedas and Grihyasutras ( Srouta and Smartha Karma Anushtanam) has dwindled.
Very few persons nowadays take to the study of Vedas and still fewer persons to the six an gas of Vedas. In one or two recensions, only very few pandits and Vidyarthis continue the adhyayana in Vedic tradition. There are only about 1700 Vedapatins today in the whole of Bharat Varsha and not more than 650 Vidyarthis, who could take the place of the existing pandits in course of time.
It is imperative, therefore, to support this group, give them due respect and economic assistance to ensure their minimum needs in their way of life.
WATERING THE ROOTS OF THE VEDIC TREE IS NECESSARY TO ARREST ITS DECAY AND TO ASSIST MAINTAINING THE VEDA VRIKSHA WITH ALL ITS BRANCHES AND LEAVES.
In the picture, Vedas are conceived as a tree, which can survive only if the branches and leaves are properly maintained and nourished and the roots properly watered. The gradually diminishing thickness of the branches portrays the existence of a lesser number of persons in some of the angas (auxiliary sciences). The decline in the observance of srouta and smartha anushtana i.e., (performance of rituals) is indicated by the falling of leaves. The dwindling number of persons taking to veda adhyayana in certain sakhas is shown by the decline in the thickness of the roots, and a fewer number of ashrams (parnasalas) therein.
VERILY, WATERING THE ROOTS ONLY WILL ARREST THE DECAY OF THE TREE AND ITS BRANCHES.
This Veda Rakshanam by the Grihastas is, therefore, sought to be shown in the picture by the Grihastas' offering the necessities of livelihood to the repositories of the Vedas, namely, the Guru and the disciples, who live in ashrams (parnasalas), in the true Gurukula tradition of Veda adhyapana and adhyayana .
* srouta anushtana -- performance of rituals mentioned in Veda with Veda mantras
** Smartha anushtana -- performance of rituals mentioned in grihyasutras with Veda mantras