About the Book
Shri Satyakam Vidyalankar was an eminent Vedic scholar who had the unique distinction of translating the four Vedas into English alongwith Swami Satya Prakashji. Apart from this monumental work, his book entitled The Holy Vedas is considered to be an authoritative work introducing the contents of the Vedas in a simple and lucid language. This book is very attractively printed and is an ideal gift-book. He has also authored more than ten books on Vedic philosophy in English and Hindi.
He was also a Veteran Editor having been Editor of Daily Navyug and Daily Arjun, both published from Delhi. Weekly Dharamyug of Times of India Group and Monthly Navneet, both from Mumbai-all prestigious newspapers and journals.
He was conferred the title of Ved Vachaspati for his scholarly works by the Gurukul Kangri University and Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, Prayag.
It is indeed a matter of satisfaction to present the fourth edition of Wisdom of the Vedas by the late Shri Satyakam Vidyalankar. Its popularity is becasue of the fact that it has fulfilled the long-standing need of a book which offered a selection of inspiring and ennobling Veda-mantras with their translation in simple chaste English. The book has been appreciated by a large cross-section of readers-scholars, students, teachers and others.
Shri Satyakam Vidyalankar was an erudite scholar of the Vedas, having translated the four Vedas into English along with Swami Satya Prakashji. He had also authored a number of books on Vedic themes in English and Hindi. Apart from being a disinguished author, he was a veteran editor, having been the editor of the well-known dailies ‘Navyuga’ and ‘Veer Arjun’. He was the first editor of ‘Dharmayug’ weekly and Navneet monthly, the most prestigious Hindi magazines.
We hope this book will continue to serve the noble purpose for which it is written.
The Vedas have been acclaimed as the foremost book of knowledge in the library of mankind. They have remained a guidebook of humanity since the inception of creation.
The teachings of the Vedas are secular. The fundamental principles of the Vedas have been accepted by all as cosmopolitan in nature. They are equally applicable to all lands and peoples of all times-past, present and future. They contain the quintessence of universal truism.
The Vedas proclaim fundamental truths of all subjects-science, philosophy, ethics, theology-in short all that man endeavours to know.
The four Vedas comprise more than 20,000 hymns. This book has selected hymns from all the four Vedas. They present selected inspirational readings for the people of today, irrespective of their faith or nationality.
The Vedic hymns (richas) are mostly in the form of a prayer or an invocation, yet each and every hymn has a definite message for the guidance of human conduct.
People from different fields of life living in diverse societies and pursuing individual goals can each gain inspiration from these richas towards a harmonious living aimed at both material and spiritual advancement, While translating Vedic richas from Sanskrit to English, I have taken the liberty of overlooking literal translation and have expressed the real meaning of the mantras giving prominence to the message and the moral derived from that particular mantra.
My object in presenting the Vedic hymns in this style is to acquaint the English-knowing people with the principal features of Vedic culture and philosophy which is full of inspiration for everybody.
The Vedas are not a thing of the past to be worshipped or just revered as a religious antique. They have a message for the man of the twentieth century. Though it originates in the past it illuminates the present and can also guide us to a fruitful future.
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