Volume 15 - Issue 11
November 2017
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Posted on: Nov 18, 2017


Right answer on your 1st attempt
3 Points
Right answer on your 2nd attempt
2 Points
Right answer on your 3rd attempt
1 Point

Quizzes have been a part of Radio Sai journal's offering for over 10 years now. Initially it was Multi-faith quiz and soon we had quizzes based on Bhagawan’s discourses, and later, on His writings. In July 2016 we began this new series wherein we have quizzes on specific themes. 

The theme for the current one is VEDA.

Swami says: Veda is derived from vid, which means “to know”. So Veda means and includes all spiritual knowledge (jnana). People are distinguished from other animals by the spiritual wisdom (jnana) with which they are endowed. Devoid of spiritual wisdom, they are only beasts.

He says: Veda teaches the truth that cannot be revised or reversed by the passage of time through the three stages - past, present, and future. The Veda ensures welfare and happiness for the three worlds. It confers peace and security on human society. It is the collation of words that are truth and that were visualised by sages who had attained the capacity to receive them into their enlightened awareness. In reality, the Word is the very breath of God, the Supreme Person. The unique importance of the Veda rests on this fact.

Let us, through this Quiz, try to understand a little about the limitless ocean of the Vedas. Ready? Let’s go.

Quiz 01 || Quiz 02 || Quiz 03|| Quiz 05 || Quiz 06 || Quiz 07

|| Quiz 08 || Quiz 09 || Quiz 10 || Quiz 11 || Quiz 12 || Quiz 13




1. The Five Collections of the Vedas

Swami says: “The Vedas are infinite (anantho vai vedaha).” But note that, in the beginning, there was just one Veda. Later, it was dealt with as three and subsequently four.

He then goes on to explain: Since the Veda was vast and limitless, it was difficult for ordinary men to study it.

Moreover, it would take endless time to complete the study. So, those who wished to learn were overwhelmed by fear, and very few showed earnestness to study the Veda.

Something had to be done to bring the study within reach of those who sought to learn.

Therefore, the hymns of praise in the Veda were separated from the rest and grouped under the titles Rik-samhitha and Yajus-samhitha. The verses capable of musical rendering (sama verses) were collected under the title Sama-samhitha, and the mantras (formulae and spells) were grouped under Atharva-samhitha (fourth collection).

Who grouped the Vedas into the collections?




2. Complementary Components for the Collections

Swami explains: Each collection developed three separate complementary components. These scriptural texts emerged in order to enlighten people in different states of awareness and different levels of consciousness. The purpose was to enable everyone to benefit by the guidance and thus to cross the sea of suffering. Therefore, there is no trace of conflict in any of these texts.

He goes on to explain each: The Brahmanas are explanatory texts that deal with ritual formulae (mantras). They describe clearly the sacrificial rites and ceremonies that have to be observed while performing them. There are many such texts, for example, Aithareya Brahmana, Taithiriya Brahmana, Sathapatha Brahmana, and Gopatha Brahmana.

The Aranyakas are texts, in verse and prose, to be perused and meditated upon silently in lonely hermitages. They are intended mainly for the guidance of those who, after passing through the stages of spiritual studies (brahmacharya) and family life (grihastha), assume life as recluses in forests (vanaprastha). They deal with the duties and responsibilities of the final stage of active life, the stage preliminary to the totally spiritual stage (Brahma-kanda).

What is the name for the third complementary component that is Vedanta, the highest spirituality?




3. The Latent Veda Collection

Of the four collections of the Vedam (Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva), mantras contained in one of them are called the siddha mantras. Swami in fact has said this Veda is latent in the other three Vedas just as yoga is present in Karma, Upasana and Jnana.

Further He describes: An individual who has gained control over the mind is far stronger than an individual who has gained control over the material world. An individual who has discovered the atom bomb may be able to destroy the world and reduce it to ashes, but he has no weapons with which he can diminish or destroy the Ananda in a place. If one can gain mastery over one’s own senses, then he can get Ananda in an abundant measure.

He says that the contradiction that arises between the internal aspects or feelings and the external aspects or feelings can be removed by the knowledge of this Veda.

Which of the four Vedas does He describe thus?




4. The Nine Names for the Vedas

Swami lists nine names for the Vedas: Sruthi, Anusrava, Thrayee, Amnaya, Namamnaya, Chandas, Swadhyaya, Agama, Nigamagama.

One of these nine was applied to the Vedas because they were handed down from father to son and generation to generation by the process of teaching and learning.

Identify the name:





Swami says: The Vedas originated from the breath of God, and each syllable is sacred. Each word is a mantra. The Vedas are all mantras.

What is a mantra in Vedic parlance?



6. Mantras – Direct and Inferential Evidence of their Power

Swami says:

Today, when we offer different materials into fire we see they are being reduced to ashes. This is what we may call pratyaksha or seeing directly.

But the fact that the material which was reduced to ashes gets conveyed to the person for whom it is intended by the Mantra sakthi is something which we cannot directly see as pratyaksha. It is the paroksha or inferential connection that is responsible for such a transmission.

Swami has narrated a story to underscore the power of mantras:

Once an old man who had faith in the formal ritual was offering something to his dead father on his death anniversary. A somewhat modernised young grandson of this old man approached the grandfather and ridiculed the old man for thinking that the offering would really reach his father and for his having such blind faith.

The wise old man told the grandson that the power of the Mantra was such that it would definitely convey the offering to the dead father and he also told him that this was really beyond the understanding of the common people as only those well-versed in such aspects of Mantras can appreciate this.

This grandson was clever but was lacking in good qualities. He wanted to put his grandfather on the first floor of the house and see if the offering reached him when the Mantra was recited. He asked his grandfather to go to the first floor and related the Mantra while making the offering and asked him if the offering had reached him. When the grandfather said that the offering did not reach him, he began to argue that if with the help of the Mantra, the offering could not even reach the first floor, how could it reach his grandfather’s father who was probably very far away in a distant world?

How do you think the grandfather responded?




7. Importance of Listening, Contemplation and Absorption of the Mantras

Swami says: Amnaya (Veda - see Question no.4) is comprehensive and signifies that there is a continuous and uninterrupted practice consisting of sravana, manana and nididhyasana, that is, to listen, to think over and then to digest or absorb.

He emphasises: The three processes namely sravana, manana and nididhyasana which one has to adopt for reaching the end of the Mantras in the Vedas have already been mentioned. Without going through these three processes, mere recitation can be called just scholarship or knowledge in the context of the world. Such knowledge will not go to the depths of one's heart and will not reveal the aspect of Brahman at all.

The kind of knowledge where one does not follow up the process of listening with the process of thinking it over and digesting it, will at best, be learning without proper background or the requisite culture in it. Any piece of matter or even a living individual that has not been purified and attended to and has not been given the transformation that is necessary, will not be in a proper and natural form.

He uses a beautiful episode from Ramayana as illustration: In the course of his search for Sita in the Ashoka gardens of Ravana, Hanuman spotted a forlorn lady surrounded by fearsome demons.

Swami continues the narration: When Hanuman saw that woman, he came to the conclusion that she was unattended to for several months and also that she had no desire to show her face to anyone. But when he looked at the clothes that she was wearing, he found that they were dark and black. This dark colour did not tally with the description given by Rama. Hanuman was told that Sita would be wearing a light yellow-coloured cloth because that was the cloth she was wearing when she was preparing for the coronation and when they were asked to go to the forest. As he approached that woman, he was sure that the woman looked as if she was a captive in the hands of someone and she also looked as if she was very distant from all her relations. When he went closer and had a close look, he was sure that she was no other than Sita described by Rama.

Swami explains that Hanuman realised that Sita was protected because she was practising two of the three requirements of Sravana (listening), Manana (contemplation) and Nidhidhyasana (absorption) of the Rama mantra.

However, the missing element was what reduced her to an unrecognisable condition.

Which of the three requirements do you think Sita was missing?





8. Mantras and Immortality

Swami says: There are some authorities which tell us that particular Mantra which makes you distant from death and which gives you immortality should be called Chandas. This is the reason why the great rishis who have understood and identified themselves with Brahman, while uttering the Mantras in the three Vedas - Rig, Yajur and Sama - were seeking immortality for themselves.

While offering the Havis (oblation) for the God of Fire, these rishis were uttering the Mantras which were life-giving Mantras; and by uttering such Mantras, they have given a distinctive meaning to the word Chandas.

Here we have to clearly understand the meaning of the words death and immortality.

What do you think immortality means?




9. The Mantra in the body

Swami has said that there is a constant mantra in the body of man from birth to death.

Which of the following produces this mantra?




10. The Origin of the Vedas

Historians have placed various dates to the Vedas.

Which of the following do you think is the correct date for the origin of the Vedas?






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- Radio Sai Team

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