The Vedas are said to be eternal yet the mantras are attributed to some Rishis (wise sages or seers). How can the Vedas be eternal if they have been discovered by the Rishis?
See, Newton’s law is eternal. It has been in existence all the time. But it was Newton who brought it forth. He discovered it (the existence of the law). Similarly the mantras (chants) were always there in the records in Aakash (Space). The Rishis were just the ones who downloaded it from Space. So they brought it (to Earth and to mankind) and recognized the Mantras. That is why it is never said that the Rishis wrote these mantras. It happened through cognition, which means they only saw and heard the mantras. Then they brought them out.
The Rishis do not take any more credit that for bringing it and manifesting them. They do not say that ‘We created the mantras’. Nobody created the mantras.
That is why it is said Apaureshya (that which is achieved without human effort or intervention). Paureshya means that which is done by human beings. So the Mantras were always present in existence. Newton’s laws are not made or created by Newton. They have always been there. These were only discovered by Newton. So mantras were always there. It is the Rishis brought it to light.
Note: The above text is an excerpt of Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji’s discourse in satsang at Art of Living.