From: Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant < >
(Note – The words or lines in italics are inserted by Skanda987.)
VEDAS FOR ALL
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant, VSM
At the beginning of the human creation, God transmitted divine knowledge to mankind for a style of life generating health and happiness. God revealed VEDAS or Divine Knowledge to the Rishis or the sages, and they passed it on without in any way discriminating between man and woman or between man and man on grounds of caste, creed or color. The entire human race is entitled to read the Ved mantras, meditate on them and improve the quality of life. One has just to make an effort to read and meditate on the mantra and the happy results would not be far to find.
One may read the original mantra compilation called samhitaa or go to the translation of the text and explanation or exposition in English or Hindi language. Treatises explaining meaning of the Ved mantras may be available in other languages too. Meditation on mantras leads to bliss. “Vedo Akhilo Dharm Moolam’’ – Vedas are the roots of righteousness. (The Vedas reveal the complete spiritual science.) When one walks on the path of righteousness one is doing one’s Dharma as a good man ought to. (To live per dharma means to live in accordance with, and with consideration of, the spiritual science laws.)
Who is a good man? One who is socially efficient (in a spiritually advanced society) is a good man or a woman. He or she is an achiever of right goals through right means. This Mister Right cares as much for the society as for himself. Should there be a conflict of interests between the self and the society; self must be made subservient to the society. This is what the Vedic way of life is all about.
This path of social efficiency is paved with and illuminated by the Ved Mantras. The Ved Mantras always show light at the end of the tunnel, and bring in optimism, and become a source of inspiration to lift a man or a woman when he or she is d own in the dumps. It may also be understood that the Vedas, being divine knowledge, are considered to be infallible. Other branches of knowledge originate from this pristine source. Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj, has opined that the non-Vedic works conforming to the Vedic Dharma are acceptable, but the ones in conflict with the Vedic precepts are not acceptable. Ved mantras are the touchstone to decide either way. Ved mantras are cornerstones of the edifice of the Vedic Dharma.
The Vedas are four in number: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda. At the beginning of the creation, the Rishis in whose hearts the four Vedas, Rig, Yaju, Sama and Atharva were revealed are Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angira respectively. (Per Srimad Bhagavatam the Supreme Personality of Goadhead revealed the Veda in the heart of Brahmaa- the first created being – who then shared it with his children. The literary Incarnation of VishNu – Vyasdev – systematically divided the original one Veda into the four Vedas.)
Now let us take a close look at them and meditate on Ved mantras relevant to the human scenario today. The Rigveda is the Ved of Sciences. There are 10,589 mantras spread over 10 mandals or major cantos. With a view to understanding the spiritual import of Ved Mantras, quite a few Vedic scholars of yore like Saayan and Mahidhar wrote Ved Bhaashya or Vedic commentaries in simple Sanskrit.
In the 19th century a Vedic renaissance took place in India. Maharshi Swami Dayaanand Saraswati had the distinction of being the first Rishi to write commentaries on the divine Vedas both in Sanskrit and Hindi. The Vedic wisdom was unlocked, and the biggest beneficiary was the common man on the street. It was a religious revolution. Unlocking the Vedic knowledge and letting the deprived segments of society reap the harvest definitely enriched quality of life of an average man.
The Yajurveda comprises 1,975mantras. Its basic emphasis is on Karmakand that correlates mantras with yajna. The mantras inspired men and women to realize God in their inner self. Mantras motivated men and women to banish the evil and imbibe the noble. Making donations for charities is one of the ways to attain nobility on the path to attain Moksha that is liberation of soul from the bondage of repeated cycles of births and deaths.
The Samaveda comprises 1,875 mantras. This is known as Upaasanaa-kaanda or the prayer sung for realization of the Supreme Being in one’s inner self. The word SAAM, inter-alia, means a communion of soul with God. SA means the Almighty and AM is soul or Jeeva, and SAAM word is a synthesis of the two.
The Atharva veda comprises 5,977mantras. It is known as the Jyaan-kaand. The mantras of Atharvaved enlighten men and women in their quest of God and help them seek Him in “Matter or objects of this mundane world.”
The Vedas propound the philosophy of Trinity, i.e. existence of God, soul and matter (param-aatma, aatma or jiva, and prakriti) before the Creation, during the Creation and after the Creation is over. (This trinity is different from the Christian trinity.) The three exist as independent (eternal is a better word) entities with myriad opportunities to interact. God, of course, is the Supreme Being always and every time.
Correlating the Vedic knowledge with the mundane matters of today, one may like to take a look at the scenario of terrorism and what the Vedas have to say on the subject. Does a Vedic sanction (action or duty) exist against wanton killings of human beings and destruction of property with a view to terrorizing human beings? Of course it does. The Rigveda gives a definite direction to punish the killers and eulogize the warrior who wields Vajra. Punishment of the criminal killer is a must. The Rigveda defines a warrior as one who wields the invincible weapon of war, Vajra, for the common good of the society. He fights the battle with self-confidence, high morale and velour against terrorists. A Vedic warrior against terrorists has to keep himself cool, calm and collected. Let the like-minded men and women consolidate the forces of good people against the evil terrorists, and eliminate them once for all. It is high time now for the saints to wield the Vedic Vajra and kill the sinner-killers.
According to the Vedic philosophy God is One. He is without a form or shape (per the advaita Vedic philosophy. Per Srimad Bhagavatam, the spotless Puraana’s verse 1-2-11, God can be realized as brahma (formless), param-aatma within one’s heart, and as Bhagavaan (that possess all the six opulence – namely all fame, all energy, all property, all knowledge, all beauty, and complete detachment.) He is never born in this world and, therefore the question of His death or disappearance does not arise. In other words, Vedas do not subscribe to the theory of AVATAR or God coming to this world in a human form to help man. (The Bhakti yogis do not agree with this because In Srimad Bhagavad Gita verse 4-7 and 4-8 the Supreme God incarnate Krishna says: “Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion–at that time I descend Myself. In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.” The advaitis and the followers of Swami Dayanad Saraswati have hard time acepting this fact.)
God is omnipresent, omniscient and all powerful to run this universe as per the divine laws which He too does not break or infringe. The Vedic Dharma does not subscribe to the theory of God deputing prophets to run His errands. There is a direct communication between God and man and there is no place for a middleman. (However, a serious yogi advances towards God (advances spiritually) if he accepts a bonafide guru who has a bonafide guru. Krishna says in Gita verse 4-34: “Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.”) That is why the treasure of Vedic knowledge made available to man through mantras does not envisage a godman who is different from a common man. (However, all so called common men who die are not at the same spiritual level. Only those on a higher level can guide his/her disciples who are on some lower spiritual level.) It is indeed the divine right of men and women to delve deep into the Vedic realm and live a life of righteousness.
Vedas lay total emphasis on the Truth. “Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara” is the epitome of the path of righteousness. It means: tell the truth and go by the principles of Dharma or the code of conduct aiming at purity in life. One may wonder if that is a pragmatic philosophy of life. Of course, it is. A path strewn with untruth and dishonesty may pay seemingly rich dividends for some time, but in actuality these dividends are ephemeral. A short –term gain may eventually lead one into a dark abyss where one is condemned to live in pain and misery forever (not forever, but till one suffers one’s reaction of bad karma for sometime as punishment, and then turns around to advance spiritually.)
The Vedic way of life takes care of life after death – a rebirth. What samskar a soul acquires when it is embodied has its effects in the soul’s next birth. Vedas prescribe a clean life which pays dividends many times over. The Vedas prescribe a four-fold path to Moksha or liberation of soul from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth.. (The four endeavors in human life are DHARMA (live per dharma), ARTHA (earn living per dharma), KAMA (enjoy with the sense within the bounds of dharma,) and (by doing so attain) MOKSHA.
As we proceed further in subsequent chapters, we shall dwell on the salient aspects of this four-fold path. For the time being one may understand that Dharma takes one on the right course of life, Artha enables one to earn wealth by the sweat of brow, kaama enables one to have a high ideal to be achieved through hard work. Should a man or a woman follow this Vedic path, Moksha or liberation from birth, death and rebirth will not be far to seek.