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 colour, 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 samhita 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. When one walks on the path of righteousness one is doing one’s Dharma as a good man ought to. Who is a good man? One who is socially efficient 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 Dharm 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.
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 ten thousand five hundred eighty nine mantras spread over ten mandals or ten major cantos.
With a view to understanding the spiritual import of Ved Mantras, quite a few vedic scholars of yore like Sayan and Mahidhar wrote Ved Bhashya or Vedic commentaries in simple Sanskrit. In the 19th century India a Vedic renaissance took place. Maharshi Swami Dayanand Saraswati had the distinction of being the first Rishi to write commentaries on the divineVedas 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 one thousand nine hundred seventy five mantras. Its basic emphasis is on Karmakand, correlating mantras and 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 one thousand eight hundred seventy five mantras. This is known as Upasanakand or the prayer sung for realization of the Supreme Being n one’s inner self. The word SA-AM, inter-alia, means a communion of soul with God. SA means the Almighty and AM is soul or Jeeva and SAAM is a synthesis of the two. The Atharvaveda comprises five thousand nine hundred and seventy seven mantras. It is known as the Jynankand. 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 before the Creation, during the Creation and after the Creation is over. The three exist as independent entities with myriad opportunities to interact. God, of course, is supreme being always and everytime. 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 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 valour against terrorists.
A Vedic warrior against terrorist 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 the saints wielded the Vedic Vajra and killed the sinner-killers. According to the Vedic philosophy God is One. He is without a form or shape. 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.
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 Dharm 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. 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. 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 an emphasis on the Truth.”Satyam Vad, Dharmam Char” 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 but in actual fact 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.
The Vedic way of life takes care of life after death which is followed by a rebirth. What Samskar a soul acquires when it is embodied has its effects in the birth after death too. 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..It is DHARMA,ARTHA, KAMA and 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,kama 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.
By Chitranjan Sawant