Vedas, -- What they are not.
There is a section of opinion which mistakenly holds the view that the vedas contain everything including certain scientific facts or theories which were discovered or invented only in the last one or two centuries.
Thus this kind of enthusiast looks for references, even remotely, to, say, soaps and safety matches, laser-printing and machine-fast calculation, open-heart surgery and what-have-you, in the Vedas. 'Researches' made in this direction yield some trivial satisfaction to the enthusiasts who hold on to some straws. For instance,one such enthusiasm holds that the 'kasyapa' mentioned in the Sun-worship chapter (= soorya-namskaara-prasna) of the yajur veda is actually a reference to the nuclear turmoil going on inside the physical sun! Then one makes much of such findings to proclaim that the Vedas contain everything that we know of today. This is misguided loyalty.
If the Vedas are divinely revealed scriptures, which is what Hinduism believes, then Man cannot insult the Omniscience of God by presuming He would waste the Vedas on man in teaching what He knows man will learn in due time by himself through his rationale and intellect!
The Vedas are intended for the spiritual uplift of man and that is their only purpose; they point out to him what is beyond the intellect.
This purpose would not be served by any other means of knowledge. If incidentally the Vedas also bring some knowledge about mundane matters like a geometrical theorem through their Sulva-sutras or a miracle cure for some yet unknown disease or a host of Vedic shortcuts for mechanical and arithmetical calculation -- well, these are only incidental; they do not imply that all of modern Science was in the knowledge of the ancients!

Jan.27, 1999
Copyright V. Krishnamurthy