Dr. R.L. Kashyap is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana in USA. He had his Master’s degree from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and obtained Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the recipient of many International awards. In 2003 he has received Vedanga Vidvan award instituted by Maharshi Sandipani Vedavidya Pratishthan (Ujjain), an autonomous body of HRID, Govt. of India and ‘Jnana Keerti’ award instituted by Harsha Kriya Foundation, Bangalore.
He has authored more than 350 research articles of which 220 are published in scholarly journals and the rest were presented at conferences. He has guided over 50 doctoral students.
He has written extensively on Veda. Some of his widely read books on Veda are: ‘Krishna Yajur Veda Taittiriya Samhita’ (3 Volumes), ‘Rig Veda Samhita – (12 volumes) ‘Why Read Rig Veda’, ‘Rudra mantras’, ‘Essentials of Rig Veda’, ‘Essentials of Yajur Veda’, ‘Essentials of Sama Veda’, ‘Essentials of Atharva Veda’, ‘Work Enjoyment & Progress’.
He is the Honorary Director of Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture, Bangalore.
The hymns or mantras of the Veda are records of the multiple experiences of the seers and Rishis of the early ages and they touch upon the life of man and Gods at several points of their convergence. In the vision and the journey of these inspired poets, the universe is a cosmos governed by a Law of Truth, executed by the Gods who are the divine functionaries in charge of this manifestation of the Supreme One. The hymns speak of the material prosperity of the society, the dynamic adventures of the heroes, the mental development of the seers who could see beyond time and space. They speak more of the systematic spiritual ascent of the man towards the world of all sided perfection, climbing step by step. The mantras reveal the part played by the various Gods assisting him on the way, opening closed doors on new horizons and breaking down the obstructions with their shining occult weapons.
The present edition has translation of all the 1754 mantras (191 Suktas of tenth Mandala of Rig Veda Samhita. The tenth Mandala has Purusha Sukta. It has also some suktas dealing with the issues of healing, healthy longevity, the issues of death, return to life after dying, the realm of ancient fathers (pitrs) and funeral rites etc.
I am indeed happy to pen this ‘Foreword’ to the Rig Veda Samhita: Ninth Mandala, published by SAKSI.
Many of you all know that Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture (SAKSI) is primarily engaged (among other objectives) in disseminating the Vedic (traditional) knowledge to the common man for harmonizing both the spiritual and worldly aspects of life in a humble way. As of now the number of their publications has crossed 130.
The important aspect to be noted here is that the target reader is the common man and not the well-read scholar. Further the institution has drawn inspiration from the great spiritual savants and scholars like Sri Aurobindo, Sri Kapali Sastry and the like, all of whom were the strong advocates of enabling the most as the must of the hour.
We, at the Academy of Sanskrit Research, Melkote, (which is also engaged in similar tasks and has to its credit of over 75 publications) take pride in associating with the noble task of SAKSI through our contribution in the form of printing the research/translation works of the Professor Emeritus Vedanga Vidwan Dr. R. L. Kashyap related to different ‘Samhitas’ of Rig & Yajur Vedas in English & Kannada to begin with.
Dr. Kashyap has chosen the Ninth Mandala of the Rig Veda Samhita on priority, since all the mantra-s in this book are devoted to a single deity, namely Soma, the deity of the divine delight. Of course deities like Agni, Indra etc., are mentioned to describe their connection to Soma. In particular this Maica1a has many mantra-s describing Soma as the delight released in any work as long it is done consciously as an offering to the divine. I am sure this publication will be well received by the readers who have inclination to join the great spiritual movement individually and collectively.
For the kind information of the readers of the series, we wish to inform that it is our joint endeavour that all the 10 Mandalas will be released one by one. There are several interesting essays in this book dealing with the secrets behind Soma, discovered by Sri Aurobindo.
We are happy to present to our readers the translation of all the 1108 mantras in the 114 suktas of the Ninth Maala of Rig Veda, along with the text and some explanations about the meanings of words. All the mantras of this Mandala are addressed to a single deity Pavamana Soma, the God of Bliss. Several Rishis belonging to different lineages have contributed to the Mandala, each rishis contributing one or two or three suktas. One exception is ‘Asita Kashyapah and Devala Kashyapah with the revelation of 20 suktas. Bhagavad Gita mentions these two rishis Asita and Devala.
With this book, SAKSI has published the English translations of all the Ma4alas of Rig Veda, except for the Eighth Mandala.
Every mantra traditionally is divided into several padas usually four. Sometimes we have divided a mantra into more parts so that the translation of each part is meaningful and fits into a single line of English text. Thus the whole translation has some poetic structure without any rhyme. Since a line of English text corresponds to one pada in Sanskrit, it is helpful for those who are interested in knowing the meanings of words.
As in our earlier SAKSI publications the focus is on spiritual/ psychological message contained in the Veda. The primary aim of our book is to make the translation understandable to all lovers of Veda in all walks of life, not limited to academics or the experts in English language.
The translation follows the paradigm described in detail in our earlier books, ‘Rig Veda Samhita: Tenth Mandala’ and ‘Rig Veda Samhita: Fourth Mandala’.
It is needless to say that the meanings of many words in the mantras, assigned by Sri Aurobindo are quite different from those found in the commentary of the great scholar Sayana or the translations of Indologists. Sri Aurobindo made a deep study of the Sanskrit of the Veda mantras which is very different from the classical Sanskrit. This study coupled with his intuition regarding the secrets in the Veda helped him to reveal the correct meanings of the words given here. For more on this topic of assignment of meanings for words, you may consult the Saksi book, ‘Semantics of Rig Veda’. In the appendix of this book, we mention the meanings of some of the important words in the mantra-s.
Note that our compact book, ‘Essentials of Rig Veda’ gives an excellent overview of several aspects of Veda including mantra, metre, rishis, power of deities and some of the interesting topics in it. The compact book, ‘Soma: The delight of Existence’ is also useful.
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