ओ३म् सह नाववतु। सह नौ भुनक्तु। सह वीर्य्यं करवावहै। तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै। ओ३म् शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥१॥ (तै॰आ॰ ९.१)
ब्राह्मणग्रन्थ वेद नहीं हो सकते, क्योंकि उन्हीं का नाम इतिहास, पुराण, कल्प, गाथा और नाराशंसी भी है। वे ईश्वरोक्त नहीं हैं, किन्तु महर्षि लोगों के किये वेदों के व्याख्यान हैं। एक कात्यायन को छोड़ के किसी अन्य ऋषि ने उनके वेद होने में साक्षी नहीं दी है। और वे देहधारी पुरुषों के बनाये हैं। इन हेतुओं से ब्राह्मणग्रन्थों की वेदसंज्ञा नहीं हो सकती। और मन्त्रसंहिताओं का वेद नाम इसलिये है कि ईश्वररचित और सब विद्याओं का मूल है।इससे यह सिद्ध हुआ कि ‘ब्रह्म’ नाम ब्राह्मण का है, सो ब्रह्मादि जो वेदों के जानने वाले महर्षि लोग थे, उन्हीं के बनाये ऐतरेय, शतपथ आदि वेदों के व्याख्यान हैं। इसी कारण से उनके किये ग्रन्थों का नाम ब्राह्मण हुआ है। इससे निश्चय हुआ कि मन्त्रभाग की ही वेदसंज्ञा है, ब्राह्मणग्रन्थों की नहीं। ब्राह्मणग्रन्थों का प्रमाण वेदों के तुल्य नहीं हो सकता, क्योंकि वे ईश्वरोक्त नहीं हैं। परन्तु वेदों के अनुकूल होने से प्रमाण के योग्य तो हैं। [ऋग्वेदादिभाष्यभूमिका (दयानन्दसरस्वतीविरचिता)-वेदसंज्ञाविचारः-२० अगस्त १८७६]
“चातुर्वेद्य चत्वारोवेदा विज्ञाता भवन्ति ऋग्वेदो-यजुर्वेदः सामवेदोऽथर्ववेदश्चेति तत्र ऋग्वेदस्या- ष्टभेदा भवन्ति चर्चा श्रावकश्चर्चक श्रवर्णायपारः क्रमपारः क्रमजटाः क्रमदण्डश्चेति चतुष्पारायणमेतेषां शाखाः पञ्च भवन्त्याश्वलायनी सांख्यायनी शाकला बाष्कला माण्डूकाश्चेति तेषामध्ययनम् । अध्यायानां चतुःषष्टिर्मण्ड- लानि दशैव तु । वर्गाणां परिसंख्यातं द्वे सहस्रे षडुत्तरे सहस्रमेकं सूक्तानां निर्विशङ्गं विकल्पितम् । दश सप्त च पठ्यन्ते संख्यातं वै पदक्रमात् । एकशतसहस्रं वा द्वि- पञ्चाशत्सहस्रार्द्धमेतानि चतुर्दश वासिष्ठानामितरेषां पञ्चाशीतिः ।
ऋचां दश सहस्राणि ऋचां पञ्चशतानि च । ऋचामशीतिः पादश्च पारायणं प्रकीर्त्तितम् । एकर्च एकवर्गश्च नवकश्च तथा स्मृतः । द्वौ वर्गौ द्विऋचौ ज्ञेयौ ऋक्त्रयं शतं च स्मृतम् । चतुरृचां पञ्च- सप्तत्यघिकञ्च शतं तथा । पञ्चऋचां तु द्विशतं सहस्रं रुद्रसंयुतम् । पञ्चचत्वार्य्यधिकं तु षड् ऋचां च शतत्रयम् । सप्त ऋचां शत ज्ञेयं विंशति- श्चाधिकाः स्मृताः । अष्टऋचां तु पञ्चाशत् पञ्चाधिका- स्तथैव च । दशाघिकद्विसहस्राः पञ्चशाखासु निश्चिताः । वर्ग संज्ञा न सूक्तस्य चत्वारश्चात्र कीर्त्तिताः” चरणव्यूहः । वेदपारायणचतुर्विभागात् चरण उच्यते । [ ऋग्वेद – rigveda – वाचस्पत्यम्-तारानाथ भट्टाचार्य]
Since the Renaissance there has been no event of such world-wide significance in the history of culture as the discovery of Sanskrit literature in the latter part of the eighteenth century. After Alexander’s invasion, the Greeks became to some extent acquainted with the learning of the Indians; the Arabs, in the Middle Ages, introduced the knowledge of Indian science to the West; a few European missionaries, from the sixteenth century onwards, were not only aware of the existence of, but also acquired some familiarity with, the ancient language of India; and Abraham Roger even translated the Sanskrit poet Bhartṛihari into Dutch as early as 1651. Nevertheless, till about a hundred and twenty years ago there was no authentic information in Europe about the existence of Sanskrit literature, but only vague surmise, finding expression in stories about the wisdom of the Indians. The enthusiasm with which Voltaire in his Essai sur les Mœurs et l’Esprit des Nations greeted the lore of the Ezour Vedam, a work brought from India and introduced to his notice in the middle of the last century, was premature. For this work was later proved to be a forgery made in the seventeenth century by a Jesuit missionary. The skepticism justified by this fabrication, and indulged in when the discovery of the genuine Sanskrit literature was announced, survived far into the present century. Thus, Dugald Stewart, the philosopher, wrote an essay in which he endeavored to prove that not only Sanskrit literature, but also the Sanskrit language, was a forgery made by the crafty Brahmans on the model of Greek after Alexander’s conquest. Indeed, this view was elaborately defended by a professor at Dublin as late as the year 1838.
The first impulse to the study of Sanskrit was given by the practical administrative needs of our Indian possessions. Warren Hastings, at that time Governor-General, clearly seeing the advantage of ruling the Hindus as far as possible according to their own laws and customs, caused a number of Brahmans to prepare a digest based on the best ancient Indian legal authorities. An English version of this Sanskrit compilation, made through the medium of a Persian translation, was published in 1776. The introduction to this work, besides giving specimens of the Sanskrit script, for the first time supplied some trustworthy information about the ancient Indian language and literature. The earliest step, however, towards making Europe acquainted with actual Sanskrit writings was taken by Charles Wilkins, who, having, at the instigation of Warren Hastings, acquired a considerable knowledge of Sanskrit at Benares, published in 1785 a translation of the Bhagavad-gītā, or The Song of the Adorable One, and two years later, a version of the well-known collection of fables entitled Hitopadeça, or Friendly Advice.
Sir William Jones (1746-94) was, however, the pioneer of Sanskrit studies in the West. It was this brilliant and many-sided Orientalist who, during his too-brief career of eleven years in India, first aroused a keen interest in the study of Indian antiquity by his unwearied literary activity and by the foundation of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1784. Having rapidly acquired an accurate knowledge of Sanskrit, he published in 1789 a translation of Sakuntalā, the finest Sanskrit drama, which was greeted with enthusiasm by such judges as Herder and Goethe. This was followed by a translation of the Code of Manu, the most important of the Sanskrit law books. To Sir William Jones also belongs the credit of having been the first man who ever printed an edition of a Sanskrit text. This was a short lyrical poem entitled Ṛitusaṃhāra, or Cycle of the Seasons, published in 1792. [A HISTORY OF SANSKRIT LITERATURE-Arthur Anthony Macdonell-1900]