The Four Vedas
What are the Vedas? What have been their objectives? Why were they written? These questions are being debated since long. Many commentators have expressed their views on these issues. But the commentary written by Sayan is accepted as most authentic.
He has explained the meaning of Veda in his book entitled Krishna Yajurveda. According to Sayan Veda in his book entities Krishna Yajurveda according to Sayan Veda is a symbol of that thing through which one attains his objective and protects oneself against bad traits, undesirable things and behaviours.
Vedas have their own characteristic features. Through them we are able to know about the culture, civilization, life and philosophy. People in ancient India. Vedas symbolise the chief objective of human life which has been deliverance from this world of births and deaths. This objective always been unchangeable the Indian philosophy was never accepted life as purposeless.
Yajna (Sacred offering or religious sacrifice to Fire) occupied a very important place in human life during the Vedic period. In each and every sacred work some Yajna was performed. It will be wrong to regard Yajna as a tradition of ancient Indians.
In fact, they were purposeful as experimental laboratories of great thinkers, teachers, philosophers, Rishis and Munis of the period. Through these Yajnas the learned saints used to realise the truth of human life.
The great saints like Vashistha, Vishwamitra, Kanva, Narad, Atri and Gautam etc. realised the truth through their penances of which Yajnas were essential parts. The Rigveda, the chief of all the Vedas is the essence of their basic teachings and realizations.
Yajnas were not only experimental laboratories. They may be compared with those successful experiments through which man may obtain knowledge of even many practical spheres of life. The Yajnas were performed under the headship of Brahma.
The Curriculum of Vedic Education
Various subjects were incorporated in the curriculum of Vedic education. Grammar, rhetoric, astrology, logic, Nirukti (etymological interpretation of words) Manan the meanings of Vedic Mantras were developed and preserved was the main subjects. Vedanga was the synonym of all these subjects taken together.
The study of logic occupied a special place, because knowledge of any other subject was tested on its basis. Debates and discussions were organized for training in logic. Logic was regarded as the criterion for finding out truth and untruth. Logical discussion was usually organized between two scholars or two groups of learned persons. The main purpose of this discussion was to find out the truth and untruth and to make as assessment of the same.