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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Balinese Vedic Heritages (1)

The Balinese Hindus today didn’t have the complete Samhita of Catur Veda. But some palm-leaf manuscripts we called Catur Veda Sirah, The Head of Four Vedas, was available under some hereditary Brahmin’s custody and government library. The Rik, Yajus, and Sama’s “heads” full of clearly Vaishnavite meaning and established Lord Sriman Narayana’s supremacy above other deities. The Atharva Sirah invokes other divine names such as Siva, Brahma, or even Skanda, Kumara, and Ganapati. But from careful analysis, we also can conclude them finally as glorifying hymns for Lord Sriman Narayana. The different names actually don’t refer to various deities but The Supreme Lord Narayana.

This is the text of Balinese Caturveda Sirah (I have tried my best to read the computer scanned leaves with not so clear ancient Balinese scripts. They used to rewriting the manuscripts for preservation, but if you have bad eyesight and bad knowledge about Sanskrit, then there’s always possibility to missed any part of the writing or lost some words)

Atha puruso ha vai narayano kaumayata prajaha srijeyeti| narayanat prano jayate manaha sarvendriyani ca kham vayur jyotir apah pruthvi visvasya dharani| narayanad brahma jayate| narayanad rudra jayate|narayanad indro jayate| narayanat prajapatih prajayate|narayanad dvadasa-aditya rudra vasavah sarvani chandansi| narayanadeva samutpadyante| narayanat pravartante|narayane praliyante| etad rigveda sirodhite||

Then The Supreme Person Narayana fastened the wish: May I create! From Narayana the life force is created. Narayana created mind, all senses, and also the sky, air, light (or fire), water, earth, and Narayana is the sustainer of everything (or the whole universe). From Narayana Brahma is born. Narayana created Rudra, Indra, and Prajapati. From Narayana the twelve Adityas, eleven Rudras, eight Vasus, and all Vedic metres are born. They originate from Narayana, they act by Narayana’s energy, and they finally dissolve in Narayana. Thus the head meaning of Rigveda has been studied.

Note: In this Sirah, we try to comprehend Sriman Narayana by His unlimited opulence. At beginning the Sirah considered many material forces, then their great presiding deities (the abhimani-devatas). Finally, the supremacy of Lord Narayana was established, by identifying Him as the original cause of everything. Remind us with the aphorism janmadhyasya yatah of Brahmasutra. This thought reminds me with the way of Poygai-azhvar presenting the truths (tattvas) in his Mudal Thiruvanthadi.


  1. Nice posting. Do you know about these Samhita texts?

  2. Yes, I know Siva Samhita,we have one translation here in Bahasa Indonesia. The Samhita describes some yoga-sadhana, isn't it?
    But I haven't learn it deeply.
    The Gheranda Samhita, I never read it before. Thank's for your link


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