Importance of Vedas

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Excerpts from the translation of The Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Dakshinamnaya Sharada Peetham, Sringeri; Ananta Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji's Anugraha Bhashana

We belong to the Sanaatana Dharma, also called Vaidika Dharma because we follow the Vedas, which is foremost in our religion. There is nothing that is superior to the Vedas - this is an axiom by ancient seers. We should have strong faith that reading even one word of the Vedas will bring us immense benefit and we should respect all Vedic textbooks. The Vedas reveal that which is beyond the comprehension of our intellect. It also tells that respecting Vedic Pundits is a must and the Devas are pleased with that. In the ancient days, it was normal for a Brahmana to learn the Vedas after their Upanayanam. Those were the glorious and happy times.

Today, the benefit of studying Vedas is questioned. The written texts by human beings can have mistakes in it. Veda is apaurusheya (of divine origin), so it is without blemish. There is always happiness where Vedas are taught. If we follow the Vedas, our actions will be along the right path. That is the significance of the Vedas. Reciting the Vedas will provide benefits similar to the performance of a great yaga. Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada has emphasized that nothing can be equated with the importance of the Vedas. Vedas are the final command and unquestionable. Vedas need to be chanted with the correct annotation and accuracy as wrong pronunciation can lead to bad results.