Vedas: Karma-kanda Rituals

                                                                  Q. This is a question on BG 2.45. Sri Krishna advises 'trai-gunya-visaya veda' by asking us to rise above the Vedas; and in some other chapter He says 'shrutis mrutir mamaivagya...', thereby asking us to study the Vedas. Could you please clarify.

                                                                  In BG 2.45 Krishna is advising Arjuna to rase above the three modes as described in the Vedas, not above the Vedas. In the purport, Srila Prabhupada explains that Arjuna is being advised to raise himself to the transcendental position of the Vedanta philosophy.

                                                                  Q. Can you please let me know the meaning of "Om Tat Sat?"

                                                                  In BG 17.23 Krishna states that "From the beginning of creation, the three words om tat sat were used to indicate the Supreme Absolute Truth. These three symbolic representations were used by brahmans while chanting the hymns of the Vedas and during sacrifices for the satisfaction of the Supreme." For further explanation refer to the purport by Srila Prabhupada.

                                                                  Q. I wanted to know about the concept of transmigration of soul which is preached in the Bhagavad-Gita, but this transmigration is no where mentioned in the Vedas. In fact, the Vedas also say that God has no form; please clarify on the same.

                                                                  Bhagavad-gita is integral part of Vedic literature; in fact it is popularly called Gitopanisad, for it summarizes the essence of all Vedas, and has emanated directly from the lotus mouth of the Supreme Lord, as do all of the Vedas.

                                                                  Q. Is there some kind of havan that is performed in the cremation chamber just before the final rites are conducted?

                                                                  What are the mantras recited? What is the source for this?

                                                                  I have very limited experience in these matters, so I consulted a devotee who is knowledgable in performance of rituals. Here is his reply -

                                                                  "My understanding is that funeral pyre is the havan, the fire kindled is call kravya agni. I have attached a simplified procedure we use, for your reference."

                                                                  The attachment is linked here.

                                                                  Q. In Hindu culture, in all pujas we used to pray first for Ganesa but we are not following this. Why?

                                                                  According to Vedic tradition, ceremonial rituals were generally begun by worshiping the demigod Ganesa; the reason for doing so is the fact that Ganapati drives away all impediments in the execution of such rituals. In the Brahma Samhita, prayers by Lord Brahma, it is stated that Ganesa worships the lotus feet of Lord Narasimhadev and has thus become a source of great auspiciousness and is able to clear all impediments. (Text 50)

                                                                  I have heard reference to a "Yoga Ladder" which is taught within Bhagavad-gita and other of the Vedic literatures. Can you explain this concept?

                                                                  Here is a picture of the Yoga Ladder: Yoga Ladder Picture