Fountainhead of all philosophies – Vedas

Fountainhead-of-all-philosophies
There is a famous phrase in Rigveda – Ekam Sadvipra Bahudha Vadanti (एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति) that means – Wise people explain the same truth in different manners.

The objective of this article is to adopt this spirit and reconcile the apparent differences among various philosophies and prepare a ground for their unity. Lack of unity among the wisdom oriented population of the world is one reason why foolish/ wily forces appear to be dominating. And hence, especially in the present turbulent era, it becomes utmost important that we seek commonalities rather than espouse differences.

Bharat (now known as India) has been the birthplace of many a great philosophies. Philosophy seems to be a second nature of this geography. You would find a philosopher in every other Aam Admi on street. So it becomes utmost necessary to differentiate philosophies of the wise from philosophies of the unwise.

Thus this Rigveda message acts as a double-edged sword. If we use it as a ploy to compromise and seek commonality with views of every other person, we may end up having a large pile of garbage without anything substantial. Unfortunately that is what mostly happens. The grounds of compromise are too hollow and sketchy. They are restricted to populist slogans and hence true unity never comes. It remains an opportunistic alliance that breaks down on every other pretext.

What this brief article would attempt to do is to create ground for unity based on truly firm principles. For sake of readability, we would keep the language simple and avoid boring references. This is perhaps the first time that such a holistic view of various philosophies is being considered in this manner. If there are errors, we humbly accept it. As our motto has been always – we don’t attempt to provide the final truth in a capsule. We merely try to show the path for each of us to explore.

Why so many contradictions in different philosophies?

Several obvious and not-so-obvious reasons:

A. All philosophies start with an attempt to model the perceptions of the world in a manner that we can understand them easily and generate lessons for future. Now to model the perceptions and be able to communicate them we need to have the following:

- Certain definitions

- Certain frameworks that establish relationships among entities that have been defined.

- Certain generalized principles based on these frameworks.

Now often the same words are used to define different things in different philosophies. This is first prime source of contradictions.

Often students of philosophy are found fighting over what is God and what is soul.

The reality is that God and soul are definitions. Depending upon how you define these entities, the relationship between soul and God would differ.

Please note that truth is beyond definitions. Definitions are merely means to comprehend the truth better through our bounded intellect by using frameworks and developing principles. An added advantage is that definitions help us exchange each others’ experiences so as to enhance our understanding better.

So when someone says turmeric is good for your teeth, we all understand what is turmeric and what is teeth. And hence we can derive benefits from these definitions. Had there been no such definitions or each of us would have defined ‘teeth’ differently, we might have been suffering from severe tooth-ache even though remedy was simple!

Coming back to definitions in philosophy, while there is rough standardization in definitions of entities like God, soul, salvation etc, there are enough differences to cause disputes.

This is like field of Finance. Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) is a popular ratio used to evaluate efficiency of a company. But there is no unanimity over what Capital would exactly mean. For some companies, Capital includes short-term loans as well. For others, even long-term loans are not included. Thus, different experts come with different numbers of the same ratio. Often there are debates and even PhDs on what should be right definition of Capital for a particular industry. However the point is that Capital still remains a definition. If you apply the same definition of Capital on manufacturing firms as well as a bank, you would have totally meaningless comparative analyses.

But this meaningless debate does carry in field of philosophy. Perhaps because most students of philosophy are not very comfortable with higher mathematics concepts! So they waste time arguing on definitions rather than analyzing the concepts.

B. A second confusion comes when some definitions of Philosophy A are used in framework of Philosophy B and compared with principles of Philosophy C. Any student of algebra would tell us that you cannot use definitions of x and y from one problem, definition of z from another problem and still be able to solve a third problem. Each problem must have its own definitions and equations.

For example, terms like God, soul etc have different definitions in different philosophies. We have to ensure that we use the correct definitions for each philosophy to understand it properly and do not mix them.

C. The third confusion comes out of package deal problem. Each philosophy has certain core tenets. Then there are extensions of the core tenets. Further, after the founder has died, his/ her followers keep adding more concepts to the philosophy. And then even rituals, practices, assumptions are added upon. Now the entire package is sold in market. Either you buy the entire package or nothing. It is impossible for any truly rational person to be in full agreement with the complete package without an element of doubt. So the group of followers largely include people who keep ego above reason, emotions above rationale. Instead of being truth-seekers, they become defenders of the package. Instead of being students of the subject, they become security-guards of the publishing house. Now whole game of conquest and expansion and inter-rivalry among different publishing houses begins and the core purpose as well as core tenets of philosophies are sidelined in more showy aspects of the publishing industry.

D. Fourth confusion comes due to commercialization. Many philosophers become philosophers primarily because they know philosophy sells. They would model their verbose but seductive talks to suit their client needs and harp on emotional pull. They bring further confusion in the business of philosophy and ensure that the common man is eternally confused. Now some students find the dialogues of such philosophers quite enchanting and repeat them to create their own impressions without knowing what they mean. Thus we have a fully developed philosophy market today comprising most hollow philosophies to truly deep ones but converted into publishing houses offering package deals. Too much of variety does not help the consumer in this case. It only adds to his woes by keeping him eternally confused.

E. A fifth and truly genuine cause of confusion comes from the very fact that many of these philosophies emerged in different periods of history to address the needs of their periods. They were also impacted by the competences, inclinations, education and background of their founders. So they have to be understood in their own contexts. Any extension that is out of context would be dangerous and detrimental to interests of society and individual.

If we attempts to clean the major philosophies of these factors of confusion, we would find that most point to the same direction. Let us see how:

Vedic Philosophy

Vedas offer a variety of models to understand the world around and our place in it. When it comes to issues of God, soul etc, it offers a very intuitive model that was equally succinctly presented by Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

It defines ‘I’ who is source of consciousness witnessing everything around as ‘Soul’ (S). There can be no denying its existence because if it is denied, then who is denying it?

It sees the world around which is different from the ‘I’ and defines it as ‘Nature’ (N).

Now it observes that the world around is being managed very smartly as per unchangeable laws. It defines the source of this smartness as Ishwar or ‘God’ (G).

Now it proceeds further to define the various properties of Soul, Nature and God.

For example, variety in life forms and the fact that Soul is beyond physical entities implies that it cannot be destroyed. Hence soul is immortal. Further soul has limited knowledge at a given point in time. Soul seeks happiness and eradication of miseries etc. It has free-will.

Nature is inert and simply puppet of unchangeable laws. Even the mind and source of sense-organs are inert.

God is smart because it is working smartly. Since universe is infinite in scope and complexities, God is also infinitely intelligent. Since God works for our benefits, He is kind. Since He ensures we do not skip our pursuit of happiness through right actions, He also punishes us and hence He is just. You can review more properties of Vedic God in the whole series of Vedic wisdom. Further knowledge can be found through self-introspection. We shall not dwell on it further.

In summary, Vedic Philosophy defines 3 eternal entities – God, Soul and Nature – that always existed and will always exist. This is a very honest model because we all see this directly in our lives.

It further states that creation and dissolution happen in continuous cycles. There comes a state when each soul is no more freely-willed. Either soul becomes unconscious during dissolution phase. Or certain souls act as per will of God after achieving salvation. Nature also comes to its root form and is under full control of God. Thus the three act as one single entity with one single command governing them.

If we talk of present, soul S has a separate Free-Will and nature N is governed by God G as well as Soul S. But in state of dissolution, both S and N act as per will of God G.

Then again creation happens and then once creation is complete, N and S separate out. This goes on and onelike day and night.

Note that all these are definitions and very intuitive from introspection and common observation.

Someone may ask – Does that mean God does not exist and in reality we are only ‘defining’ or ‘creating’ it for our own convenience?

Answer is that this question itself has little relevance. Actually the same question can be raised for each and every entity in world. The chair on which we sit is also defined for our convenience. In reality it is only empty inter-atomic space that our eyes cannot see due to limited vision, but we use it  to sit down.

The reality is simply that we have an aid to sit down and relax. One cannot deny that. Whether you call it chair, or you call each limb of chair by a different name, or you call each atom differently, or you name each point in inter-atomic space by a different x,y,z coordinate matters least. That is only a definition. That does not change reality.

Similarly, God, Soul, Nature are words to define certain concepts. The very fact that we define them from our own observations imply that they are real. But whether you call something as God, or 3 traits of this God as ODG and the rest as GOD or whatever is only a naming convention.

I can define you as one single person or a group of 2 eyes, 2 nostrils, 1 mouth, 2 ears etc or in any other way I choose. But You as a concept exist!

In same vein, no one can deny that God G, Soul S and Nature N of Vedas exist.

Advaita (Vedanta) philosophy

Advaita tackles the same problem differently and uses some different definitions.

It defines, G+S+N = Brahma (B).

Since there is a sufficiently long period when S and N act as per will of G alone, it says that ultimately everything is Brahma.

So it says that whatever exists in world is Brahma. I am Brahma, you are Brahma, table is Brahma, God is Brahma. Note that this is NOT a prediction or claim. It is a DEFINITION.

It further states that Soul S does not realize that it is eventually going to lose its free-will and act as per will of Brahma during phase of dissolution or salvation.

Now this loss of free-will does not mean Soul becomes captive. It is just that it does not act against will of God as it does today because it is smarter then. Suppose I give you a beautiful glass toy. So far you are dumb, you may desire to break it for sake of adventure. But if you are smart and fully understand the futility of breaking it, you would keep it safe. This does not mean that as a smart person you are imprisoned to prevent breaking of the toy. It is just that as a smart person, you don’t have the urge to break the toy.

So Advaita states that we should all attempt to come closer to our most desirable state of being ‘uni’-willed with Brahma. The impediment is Maya or ignorance. And the way to get rid of it is to realize that this world is temporary and Brahma is the reality.

In Vedic philosophy, Maya is called Avidya. And it also appeals to have renunciation from temporary and conduct of actions for achievement of permanent.

So we see that if we replace Maya with Avidya, and Brahma with G+S+N, Advaita and Vedic Philosophy are one and same.

The great Shankaracharya who first gave this Advaita philosophy in this form himself stated that ultimately Brahma again divides into G+S+N and then Soul S again becomes one with Brahma. So there is absolutely no difference in two philosophies.

But as we said, problem comes when we take philosophies as package deals. What happened was that later followers started mistaking Brahma for G, and gave a ridiculous philosophy that we are already God. Only Maya prevents us from believing so. Thus the very philosophy which was supposed to excite us to put worthy efforts to get rid of ignorance made us a passive society. So passive that the era of slavery can be significantly to this Neo-vedantic modification of original Advaita theory.

This error perhaps happened because Vedas clearly state that God G is omnipresent. And hence Brahma being G+S+N also has to be omnipresent. So omnipresence and omnipotence of God started being attributed to each Soul S and each point of Nature N as well.

Now those who could not control their bladders started fooling themselves to believe that they can control the whole universe! And if that was not enough, they started looking at everything and everyone as God. So why fight an enemy who is killing our men and raping our women? Why counter the looters? After all the looter and the looted, the rapist and the raped, the killed and the killer are all one same God!

They forgot that Maya does not get eradicated by being an ostrich. The only way to eradicate Maya is by being proactive in worldly actions for a higher cause and being extra-energetic about countering the nuisances of health, society and world. If that had not been the case, even Acharya Shankar would have lived hiding in a cave chanting ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ rather than taking such arduous journeys across the whole country to establish Vedic religion and in process die a premature death!

During Acharya Shankars’s time, a very defeatist interpretation of Jainism/ Buddhism was getting popular. This was based on assumption that ultimately everything would end in a big zero. So the way out is to deny the Supreme and deny intuitive proactive responses to real-life through passive denial. The country of warriors was turning into land of escapists. Thus he counter-argued that whatever could be proved by considering that everything would end in ZERO can also be explained by considering that ultimately everything would tend towards infinite potential – Brahma.

And such was the impact of his charisma and arguments that Vedic Dharma got established forever and impacted all philosophies of the land.

Thus we see that Vedic Philosophy as propounded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Advaita as propounded by Acharya Shankar, both basically point towards the same concepts from different approaches.

Neo-Advaita that is marketed today is a later day aberration due to package-deal.

Buddhism

Buddhism emerged at a time when mindless rituals were considered ways to reach God or salvation. Vedic verses were stretched out of context to suit ritualistic meanings. This led to great decadence of society and subtler philosophical aspects of Dharma were getting wiped out.

Under such situations, Buddha gave a very practical concept – that the only reality I know 100% is ‘I’. This ‘I’ is impacted by many factors and hence keeps varying from time to time. To understand more subtle concepts, first this ‘I’ should be understood and controlled properly. So he laid stress on moral virtues, meditation and self control. Because all nuisance was happening in name of Vedas, he denied Vedas. Though in spirit he was following exactly the Vedas by teaching that blind mugging up of some scriptures and implementing them literally will only make us dumber. His focus was to end blinded belief and hence his philosophy focused on that.

But its an irony that the same Buddhism later transformed into the most superstitious cult we know today through the package deal phenomena.

But if we look at core philosophy, what Vedas call as God G is defined as ‘Laws of Nature’. Even atheism does exactly the same.

Also Buddhists believe that Soul is NOT eternal and keeps changing every moment. This is also as per Vedas, if we understand that Soul (Buddhist definition) = Soul (Vedas) + Mind.

Vedas state that Mind is attached with Soul and Mind keeps changing as per its experiences and actions. So both philosophies say the same thing but define the terms a bit differently.

Also Nirvana (Buddhism) = Mukti (Vedas)

The Zero philosophy of Buddhism is also in lines with Vedas. Because in Mukti, the uncontrolled fluctuations of mind tend to Zero. Now since Buddhist Soul also includes Mind, it states that ultimately fluctuations or rather the manifest function of mind will become Zero. In other words, the way we see world cannot exist for us when fluctuations of mind are zero. But since the very context in which Buddhism emerged did not allow further exploration of the concept of Soul by its followers, this Zeroism of Buddhism could not be expressed in more clearer framework. This resulted in Buddhism becoming an escapist cult. But if you consider the core essence of stillness of mind from fluctuations, that is exactly in lines of Vedas.

Interestingly, the 10 characteristics of Dharma as defined in Manu Smriti appear almost in same form in Buddhist texts as well as Jainism that we shall discuss next.

To review Buddhism and Vedas in further details, please refer http://agniveer.com/4020/buddhism-and-vedas/

Jainism

The core ideology of Jainism also emphasized on basic tenets of Vedic conduct to de-emphasize focus on blinded rituals in name of Vedas. Like Buddhism, they also define God G of Vedas as ‘Laws of Nature’.

They say that universe in unchanging which is a variation of Vedic principle that universe does not get destroyed permanently and material forming universe is ever-existent.

Jainism defines God as those elated souls that have removed all seeds of ignorance.

So God (Jainism) = Soul of Vedas that has achieved Salvation.

Sikhism

As we have discussed in http://agniveer.com/3985/sikh-gurus-and-vedas/ Sikhism is nothing but Vedic philosophy in action without emphasis on verbatim belief on any particular text.

Atheism

Atheism basically denies the concept of ‘God’ as given by Semitic religion of Church. However it has no basis to refute the God of Vedas. Perhaps the only 2 objections are:

a. The word God evokes different emotions due to its more prominent association with an anthropomorphic (human-like) Emperor of world. This can be eliminated by using a different phrase instead of God. Lets call that ‘Source behind all Laws of Nature’.

b. A second objection is the anathema against the optimistic perception that Laws of Nature are there to help us. But this is only a psychological problem that certain people tend to avoid optimism and yet seek happiness in their own lives indirectly! This pessimism in a very hardcore small group of atheist also emanates from a repulsion against the hype of a merciful forgiving God that is emphasized by Bible.

But if you suggest that Vedic God does not change His laws a bit, then even this objection is taken care of.

If atheism be associated with modern scientists, then scientists like Einstein only objected to the Biblical God. They could not explore the Vedic God due to lack of access to such a philosophy. But whatever views Einstein suggested for God was very much in lines of Vedas – an impartial God who does not change his laws and meddle with our personal lives.

Christianity and Islam

Christianity and Islam emerged in those geographies and those eras where superstitions and ignorance abounded the society. To expect such societies to understand or teach subtle concepts of Eastern Philosophies that emerge only after a very fine control of mind is a bit too much. So Christianity and Islam offered more simplistic philosophies for their target audience.

It was impossible for such a society to conceive of any entity that cannot be seen directly with eyes. So the notion of God being above 7 or 4 skies came up. To prevent people from conducting sins, fear of punishment by such a God was inculcated. To offer carrots, concept of forgiving and mercy were created. To explain and give examples of these properties of God, a lot of stories were created that included God, angels, Satan, miracles, heaven, hell and prophets. Even today, we often tend to use such models to control small children though their long term effects on personality is a matter of great controversy.

As modern science progressed, Christian society gradually gave up its insistence on Biblical superiority. And thus it progressed like anything. Islam could not progress due to political reasons. Hindu society today is a hybrid of liberal concepts, Islamic influence and pre-Islamic distortions. So it stands in middle like Dhritrashtra.

But if you look at core of Christian and Islamic philosophies (and not later day packages), their aim was to define an entity that ensures that all our actions are accounted for and we get rewards for good deeds as well as punishment for bad deeds. So a completely binary version of any Eastern Philosophy would simplify into these philosophies.

Conventional/ Modern Hinduism

Conventional Hinduism comprises a vast mix of a variety of worship methods, rituals, social customs and practices. The core philosophy behind this is that all souls are worth being respected which is sourced from Vedas. Thus Hinduism attempts to incorporate in a ‘non-confronting’ manner every possible ideology that tends to influence it. Its like the river Ganga that emerges as a pure stream of healing water in Gomukh glacier but becomes a carrier of enormous gallons of water by the time it reaches Gangasagar in Bay of Bengal.

Hinduism today embraces Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Atheism, Miracle Stories as well as Vedas that form the origin.

The Vedic philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (Entire world is my own family but extended to ‘entire world’s philosophy is my own philosophy’)  that forms basis of this all-encompassing panorama of Hinduism is indeed a noble concept.

The very name ‘Hinduism’ testifies this.

As per needs of the time, Hinduism gave very relevant models to help societies of that particular era meet the real challenges. So neo-Vedanta and atheistic Buddhism was countered by variety of philosophies that considered God as an entity with form with whom human-like emotions could be evoked. Thus idol worship began. When that started giving rise to too much of casteism and superstitions, and the society was getting directionless in an era of attacks by invaders and lustful lives of rulers in name of emulating Sri Krishna’s fictitious gopi tales, an ideal model of Sri Ram was promoted. Similarly valor of Durga was emphasized. All this led to moral strengthening and preservation of valor preventing us from getting wiped away like Iran and Afghanistan.

The philosophy was simple – keep evolving to address immediate requirements without getting into confrontations.

But in its over-zealousness for embracing the entire world without risk of any potential confrontations, it could not leave out the black-sheep of the family – the villains. The short-sightedness led to much more challenging problems in long term. Also the humility to slow up own speed to keep pace with the laggards to avoid confrontations with them made modern Hinduism lazy and coward. So Hinduism included vices like caste-system, gender discrimination, superstitions, fatalism, servility, ambiguity, grave worship over the course which were not present in its source nor can be justified in any logical manner. Bulk of them were collected in very recent times in order to solve short-term challenges without confrontations or addressing the roots.

Hinduism would fight against any attempt to be cleansed of these to maintain its non-confrontational image. It would rather fight the internal voices that emerge against the AIDS disease that weaken us from within than see this AIDS as the cause of being bugged regularly by pettiest of external force. And instead of confronting the cause it would confront the internal voices that demand cleansing.

So Hinduism comprises even completely conflicting views of almost everything and yet revers all these conflicts to prevent any confrontation today.

There is that great story of King Harishchandra who would rather sell his own wife and children than confront the unreasonable demands of an outsider. King Rantideva preferred to have his wife and son die of hunger to feed the guest. Such modern Hindu folk tales where an external entity TESTS the hero and gives him a pass certificate when he tortures himself and his closed ones to meet the most ridiculous demands of the external entity form basis of our psyche.

So yes, if you consider ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ (guest is great) and non-confrontation with outsiders as the ONLY philosophies of the Vedas, then modern Hinduism follows this better than any other philosophy. However if we keep aside this zeal to internalize as many external packages as possible so as to avoid confrontations and become a ‘mother package’ we see that modern Hinduism is an attempt to seek peace and universal brotherhood in lines of all other major philosophies..

We just gave examples from some of the major philosophies of the world to demonstrate how they all point to same direction. It is high time that we all shed the superfluous differences and embrace each other as part of one single family. We should learn from our mistakes and limitations and understand the truth better. That is exactly why humans have natural urge to live in society.

Instead of harping on differences, all well-intentioned forces should integrate together in the pursuit of truth. We should proactively debate each other, analyze each other, even refute each other – but not with purpose of ego-satisfaction or winning a war, but to genuinely understand truth better in a compassionate matter. We should be wary of only those forces who do not possess this genuine intention.

This mutual collaborative truth-seeking is the source behind all philosophies of the world. This Vedic religion is the fountainhead of all philosophies. Let this be the starting point. Let this be our mantra:

‘I promise to accept truth through a continuous process of rejecting falsehood every moment to best of my abilities in the most sincere manner.’

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Comments

  1. DR VIVEK ARYA says

    great to read the evolution process in religion.the latest packaging is in form of worship of sai baba and grave worship.both promots no need to work , just worship them or bow in front of grave, miracle will happen and all your wishes will be fulfilled. so overall the next package is of MIRACLE

  2. Karn says

    If someone believes in spirit/spirituality. But does not necessarily believes in some superhuman or superpower like God. Is he an atheist?

    • Sachin says

      Just a thought….
      Spirituality is perhaps not to believe in spirits, as it seems that you have understood it to be…its probably rather the “deepest truth” which explains the essence of being what you are, its source of inspiration and orientation of life. Spirituality comes first and than Religion, which means bounding yourself to a particular faith/belief system, determining your behaviour. In case your Spiritual experience and belief does not makes you believe in God, the Superpower, than let other continue to call you being an “atheist”, it really does not matter.
      Perhaps this world/universe could have been came into existance, just like it, but than definitely it follows some “fixed” rules which according to someone else experience have been defined as being ‘God’, but you may remain being called as rational and continue to deny such ‘God’ but may continue to admire the beauty of these “fixed rules”, which probably can be called as your “God”!…a definition of God for you…thats all!

  3. DR VIVEK ARYA says

    karn

    If someone believes in spirit/spirituality. But does not necessarily believes in some superhuman or superpower like God. Is he an atheist?

    what does sprituality means in your terms?
    can we seperate sprituality from theism means beleif in god?
    or better say what relation between sprituality and god?

    sprituality means a belief in supernatural force which inspires us to engage in all good works and reject bad ones.

  4. DR VIVEK ARYA says

    why is vedic dharma superior than all cults?

    Why Vedic Dharma is superior in the world? This question is necessary to be understood since the world is presently under the grip of so many religions. These religions pride themselves as best before a common man but in truth, and in order to justify their self interests shamelessly dish out half truths and falsehoods. They teach that there would be peace and prosperity only if the world were to follow them.

    However contrary to this position Vedic Dharma which has been upheld by the learned and wise for ages is highly rational and also in total conformity with the truth. Hence, so long the world does not care to follow the principles of Vedic Dharma; surely there would be no peace in the world. Then what are those special features that distinguish it from the other religions? The plain truth is no religion could stand before Vedic Dharma in terms of its greatness. Following are the great principles that characterise the Vedic Dharma. Study and decide yourselves.

    1. It is based on Vedas, a god given word.

    The great principle that characterise Vedic Dharma is that it is based on God’s knowledge called Veda. Veda is emanated not for the benefit of any individual, or a group of people or a country. On the other hand Vedic Dharma exists for the benefit of entire mankind. Vedas were revealed through the four Rishis with the intention of causing well being to the entire world. It occurred at the origin of the Creation for the reason that no man should be devoid of its benefits and to be from the charges of injustice and partiality if not revealed then.

    Maxmuller in his book “Science and Religion” supports the above view as under.

    “If there is a god who has created heaven and earth it will be unjust of His divine knowledge .Reason and comparative study of his religions declare that God give divine knowledge to mankind…

    • DR VIVEK ARYA says

      from the first appearance on earth”

      Vedic Dharma rising above the limitations of religion and traditions calls upon the human being to become Man. or Manushya. Maharshi Yashka in Niruktha while explaining the term “Manushya” says “Manushyah kasmaath matvaa Karmavaseevyathi” meaning that a Man acts after verifying what is Dharma and Adharma. Hence, a man who uses the faculty of thinking before acting is called Manushya. Therefore, Vedas order “Manurbhava” or we become Man. If man acts otherwise he becomes a devil or Danav. So if a man wants to become Man in the real sense of the term then it is necessary that he studies the 10 principles of Aryasamaj so that the duties to be done towards mankind and the methods necessary to realise God are understood. These are key principles for the progress of humanity.

      2. Establishment of direct relationship with the God.

      The second principle of its greatness is that it seeks to establish direct relationship of devotee with God. Here the medium of Prophets, Agents, Peers or their recommendations to seek God are not at all necessary. On the other hand Vedas teach the mankind “tvameva viditvathi mruthyumethi nanyapanthah vidyathe ayanaya” meaning that with the knowledge of God only that you could overcome the fear of Death. There is no other auspicious way than this. It is argued, however that to approach the King, the order of the officer or King’s himself is necessary. Similarly, to realise God it is argued by these religions that help is to be obtained of a Prophet, Peer, or an Idol. But this is baseless argument when we consider that no order of the King or the officer is necessary for a son of a King to see his father. Likewise, God is our real father and we are His dear children. So no order or permission of an agent is necessary to approach Him. Rig-Veda also says as under.

      Tvam Hi nah pitha vasothavm maatha shathakratho babhooveetha| Ada the…

  5. manavendra9953 says

    Unity is a negative concept
    ————————————–
    Unity is a negative concept, because it is always against somebody else. Only universal unity i. e. unity of Mankind is a positive concept. That is why the ancient Hindus conceived of the whole world as a family (‘vasudhayva kutumbakam’).
    The idea of a God based sectarian unity was formulated by the Jews on the theory of ‘chosen people’. Such unity can only cater to the political need of such chosen people. The concept of a Hindu unity comprising followers of the Vedas was always absent. Christians and Muslims only copied the Jews. But, Muslims perfected the perfidious system to the level of a crime syndicate, gaining from the Jewish and Christian experience.
    Unification of Mankind under the banner of a single God is neither desirable nor practicable. Existence of three monotheistic faiths unmistakably points to such reality.

    • Truth Seeker says

      @Indian Agnostic
      Brother I do not find difference in the definition of Advaitvad given by Agniveer above in article and
      http://agniveerfans.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/adwait/
      What is other definition as per your thinking of Adviatvad. If you are disagree with the example given of “King of Sindh” in the article, then no problem, there may be other reasons of his/their felling down but you have said Advaitvad has not be addressed in correct way.
      AS you have said
      _________advait ko sahi dhang na to samjha gaya hai na samjhaya gaya hai________
      Please clarify your views.

      • Indian Agnostic says

        Namaste Brother Truth seeker

        The article does not define the concepts as espoused by Adi Shakanacharya or for that matter any advaitacharya.

        Dr. Vivek must honestly meditate on this vedic byte (apart from the various ways the ancients have used Nasadiya Sukta to point to the same Reality ) to realize what Shankara means by maya

        चतुष्कपर्दा युवतिः सुपेशा घृतप्रतीका वयुनानि वस्ते | तस्यां सुपर्णा वृषणा निषेदतुः यत्र देवा दधिरे भागधेयम् ||
        एकः सुपर्णः स समुद्रं आविवेश स इदं विश्वं भुवनं विचष्टे

        also of interest would be Rig Veda 10.125 to understand what is meant by Maya for the advaitins

        The very first argument in the article given from the Rig Veda (dwa suoarna) to support dwaita is actually repeated verbatim in Mundaka which establishes advaita !

        The metaphysics and philosophy of vedanta (that includes dwaita,advaita, vishishtadvaita etc) is too deep to warrant clashes of a transactional kind within them.

        even from a tranactional world perspective, does Dr. Vivek know that the Philosopher who guided the creation of Vijay Nagar empire against Ilamic onslaught was an Advaita Guru : Vidyaranya !! ..This fact completely demolishes the charges made against advaita in the article

        my frend, we must study these various philosophies in detail ..all of them are pearls when looked from the correct perspective..
        Dhanyawad

  6. khemchandra9188 says

    Why don’t Hindu leaders start setting up similar conversion missionaries in India? In the first place Hindu leaders concise the Hindu philosophies and make millions of free printing phamplets to distribute. Like Muslim Madrassas, Hindu missionaries open philosophical schools all over India. Secondly, make existing Hindus stronger in their philosophy, and also try to bring other religious people into Hinduism. Let us also have fulfledged conversion missionaries all over India to expand Hinduism. Since Hinduism is a ocean in philosophy, try to merge all those middle eastern Gods (Allah, Jesus, Jehova, etc) in to this ocean and then later slowly let them drown in the deep philosophical waters of Hinduism. If we don’t have proper strategy in this decade, it will be difficult to secure Hinduism in another 50 years time, then it will be too late to do any remedy for dieing Hinduism.

    • says

      Namaste Khemchandra9188

      Are you ready to become full-fledged conversion missionary for Hinduism? Are you ready to raise funds for Agniveer movement that will be used to organize programs all over India for re conversion of people into Hinduism?

      Please contact Agniveer if you agree..

  7. aryaveer says

    ” Before the multiplicity of religions, there was only one religion for the whole of humanity. All had faith in one religion only. They sympathised with one another in pain and pleasure. There was happiness in the whole world. Now, the multiplicity of religions has led human beings to much unhappiness and great discord. It is the duty of wise men to find means to end it. May God show us the light!”
    Swami Dayanand Saraswathi [Satyarth Prakash. Ch.X]

  8. Narain says

    @Agniveer

    I have some disagreements with you.. You said

    “Does that mean God does not exist and in reality we are only ‘defining’ or ‘creating’ it for our own convenience?

    Answer is that this question itself has little relevance” – Agniveer

    why do you consider it to be little relevance.. Actually you never answer this question, but rather start making an argument from analogy, which is fallacious. Any argument from analogy is permissible only if the two entities that are being compared are shown to possess similar properties otherwise it’s fallacious. Could you please explain why we should accept both chair and God to hold similar properties??, before we even consider your analogy.

    An Atheist agrees with you when you say all the names are only human connotations and this is why he defines various objects by their properties and he is absolutely fine if you want to call the same object as “Chair” or “hriac”, as long as you are recognizing the properties of the object. This is also the reason why he cannot accept your statement

    “In reality it is only empty inter-atomic space that our eyes cannot see due to limited vision, but we use it to sit down”

    He finds this statement of yours exceedingly odd. Even if he could grant you the freedom of using the analogy here, he feels you haven’t made the best use of it. He believes it is ridiculous for you to compare your Gawd with a chair only on the basis that you cannot visually perceive the inter atomic space. He wants to tell you when a physicist refers to space he doesn’t mean “nothingness”. It has been theoretically proven that vaccum consists of Highly fluctuating energy. But anyways he challenges you to give empirical evidence for the existence of your Gawd in the same sense that he can give evidence for the existence of a chair. If you cannot do that he requests you atleast to refrain from making such novice arguments from analogy.

    An advaitin also faces some issues here. he expresses concerns over you statement

    “Similarly, God, Soul, Nature are words to define certain concepts. The very fact that we define them from our own observations imply that they are real.” – Agniveer

    He thinks that there is a slight modification to be made in your statement and so restates it as

    “Similarly, God, Soul, Nature are words to define certain concepts. The very fact that we define them from our own observations imply that they are real FOR YOU”

    He says that you need to differentiate between subjective reality and objective and ultimate reality. since you talk about “observations”, he suggests that you ask yourself the following questions, What is the nature of observation?, who is the observer?, what is being observed?.. He assures you that for any sincere seeker after truth these questions will lead to the understanding that the subject can never be the object of observation leading to the understanding of the oneness or non-duality of brahman and atman which is the jnana marga to moksha.

    He appreciates that you started of well by defining B= G+N+S, but in the rest of your talk deviated from your initial definition and spoke as if G=B and S & N are depended on G. He states that in Non dualism G plays a very minimal role, in fact no real role at all as it is only a mental projection in avidya and that’s why cannot be taken seriously by an true non dualist. He emphasizes that not just the world even the Ishwara is only a figment of your imagination . He is curious about what you mean by God in the first place. If by any chance
    you are trying to asribe to IT the property of a creator, then you are wrong. He retorts by asking, How can there be a creator in the absence of a creation???. He exists only in your mind.

    And finally he says that in your description of Advaita, you have repeatedly missed a very important prefix, which is the term “APPEARS” which should be included in almost all your sentences. For example Shankara’s thoughts should be understood as

    “The great Shankaracharya who first gave this Advaita philosophy in this form himself stated that ultimately Brahma again APPEARS TO divide into G+S+N and then Soul S again APPEARS TO become one with Brahma”

    He firmly believes that one word makes a significant difference . He is saddened by your condescending attitude towards non dualists. he wants you reconsider your statement

    “Now those who could not control their bladders started fooling themselves to believe that they can control the whole universe! And if that was not enough, they started looking at everything and everyone as God” – Agniveer

    He cannot believe that you have made such a careless statement. who told you that “I” cannot control my bladder. First of all why think that “I” is same as my body. He says that “I” is related to my body in the same way as it is related to everything else including brahman and only an ignorant atheistic materialist can say I am my Body.

    He wants to know what’s wrong with fatalism. He considers it to be a logical conclusion and we shouldn’t try to manipulate the Truth to fit our agenda rather change ourselves to the path of truth. He says the words rape, murder or looting has no meaning if you understand that “Self” can never murder or be murdered, rape or be raped. You should understand that “Self” is immortal and learn to see yourself sans your body. And eventhough you tried to belittle all advaita vendatins after Shankara, He doesn’t care as belief in teachings of sages is not a prerequisite or substitute for self inquisition. Any one can reach the same logical conclusion by asking the simple question that Ramana Maharishi asked “Who Am I?”

    Now the Atheist is truly irritated by your commentary on Atheism

    “Atheism basically denies the concept of ‘God’ as given by Semitic religion of Church. However it has no basis to refute the God of Vedas.” – Agniveer

    The Atheist thinks you are attacking a straw man here… He wants to Know who made you the spokesperson for Atheism??.. He warns you not to come to such a far fletched conclusion after meeting so called “Hindu Atheists”. Your religion makes equally stupid and baseless claims as the Abrahamic religions . who told you Atheists readily agree with your conception of God. You have done nothing but wordplay. Even by your own words you have only rephrased it

    “This can be eliminated by using a different phrase instead of God. Lets call that ‘Source behind all Laws of Nature” – Agniveer

    You see I’m not interested in your metaphorical rephrasing, This is exactly what all theists call as God. Even the mad monotheists believe that their desert Gods are the cause behind the universe and set laws of nature in motion and you people are no different than them.
    I have read some of your posts. You guys glorify on your past to assuming that your Heliocentric theory was deduced from the Vedas by your scientists.

    You know something there are Christian websites that claim Quantum mechanics and string theory have origins in Bible !!!.. We have a name for this fallacious thinking. Its called “Hind sight bias”.. Google and read more about it. If you are really serious about this, better convince the government to introduce Vedic Sciences as a new subject in Schools. Hopefully these children will become scientists of the future that India desperately needs.

    But my major objections are centered around your Theistic beliefs. Now get this very clear an atheist only agrees with the “N” and has nothing to do with your G or S. Can you give us any empirical evidence for the existence of Soul or Afterlife??… Do you really want me to believe that I was a Rodent in my pastlife!!!… If you want to claim the existence of your God without giving even a shred of proof, you will also have to accept my claims about the existence of Flying spaghetti monsters, pink headed unicorns and space bound teapots and many more Gods without asking for any evidence.

    The Muslim is also surprised by your line of Argument. He speaks that you are speaking just like Dr. Zakir Naik and yet accusing him of misinterpreting him.

    “It was impossible for such a society to conceive of any entity that cannot be seen directly with eyes. So the notion of God being above 7 or 4 skies came up” – Agniveer

    If you really disagree with zakir, why then behave the same way. I’m very sure that you are not a foolish atheist who insists on literal interpretation of the Religious texts. The primary goal of an Atheist is to show that all religions are superstitious and therefore invalid, and this is why he wants them to be interpreted literally word by word. And you very well know any literal interpretation of Vedas results in comical absurdities and the same holds true for other religious texts too. In fact any ancient text be it religious or secular is filled with symbolic and metaphorical language.

    After knowing all this, you still want to make a literal interpretation of texts that talk about the abode of God with the only purpose of showing the Hindu readers that Quran is absurd and call our Philosophies as simple and Childish. If you really hate Zakir, don’t follow him. Try to make a liberal interpretation of Quran. If you want to interpret the verse in Vedas that apparently recommend Caste hierarchy, murti puja and other rituals in a different sense, then why should every believer in Quran be invariably believe in Violence or be portrayed as somehow inferior to your rich vedic philosophies. You give lip service to rationality.

    For once snap out of your believer viewpoint and look at this issue as a neutral observer. Zakir claims each of your sages, seers or avatars is a Muslim in the sense that a muslim is a one who submits to the will of God. You people take offence of it but still make a similar proposition. You say that your Sanatana dharma which is eternal harmony or universal peace includes all the ways that lead to God and thereby everyone who seeks after truth by default becomes a follower of Sanatana dharma. In fact you people go one step further and in one of your previous posts you say Vedas allows rational thought and anyone who asks questions about the validity of vedas is still under the purview of it as he uses reasoning!!!…
    By defining your religion in such broad terms you want to regard not just me even an Atheist into your fold without our permission. What should I make of all these.

    In plain terms, we both are fighting with different agendas, I claim Quran came from Allah, whereas you claim it came from Ishwar. The only difference being that I call it the unchanging word of God, while you say that Vedas can evolve and not just that, you also give an option that people can reject some areas of Vedas after introspection and careful analysis.You fail to see that such an option isn’t ”liberal” butmake the Holy book of God subjective Now How will you judge which is a rational thought and which isn’t. You claim Vedas should be interpreted in a certain way and also involve in Brahminisation process and those brahmins who are against it are referred as descendants of chandals questioning their identity. what if those people believe “after careful introspection” find that
    Vedas should be interpreted only as giving special status to twice born upper castes. You see such an approach makes your Vedas subjective eventhough you claim it to have transcendent origins.

    And finally the Christian is enraged by you simply misquoting his beliefs. You said

    “To prevent people from conducting sins, fear of punishment by such a God was inculcated. To offer carrots, concept of forgiving and mercy were created” – Agniveer

    Rather than talking too much, He simply puts the ball back on your court and ask you to explain your claim. Since you want to play the role of the Bible scholar , you will have to tell us why only such a interpretation of the bible is right. Mainstream Christianity believes that the ten commandments were given for a very different Purpose and as a “Fear of punishment”… Now What is the purpose of the Law as per the New testament?? .. Go do your Homework and come up with answers before making any bold claims. We don’t want any Biblical quotations. We already have it in the Bible. What we are interested is in listening to your Scholarly treatise on the Biblical Verses, where you should argue why only your interpretation is best suited for the specific verse Keeping the background theme of the Bible and the Context of the Book and Author in mind.

    But if you look at core of Christian and Islamic philosophies (and not later day packages), their aim was to define an entity that ensures that all our actions are accounted for and we get rewards for good deeds as well as punishment for bad deeds – Agniveer

    Again Citation needed.. The term “Core Christian Philosophies” is ambiguous… Who decides what are Core Philosophies??..Anyways the Christian Challenges Agniveer, who wants to play Bible scholar to stand up to his words and give a detailed explanation (say in 2000 words) why he believes that Jesus and New testament were only talking about rewards and punishment for Good and Bad Karma and Christians have foolishly misrepresented it.

    You see Mr. Agniveer, I am happy for the efforts you take against Caste system. I understand that you see Vedas as a unifying force among Hindus. I have no issues with anything and wish you Good Luck. As an Indian I wish all my countrymen live without any caste based discrimination and sincerely hope that your work suceeds. What I am against is teaching this non-sense that all religious Philosophies are either the Brain child or inferior works compared to Vedic philosophies. It will be better for you to stick with Hinduism and clean the mess it is, rather making ridiculous claims that all Atheists favor the concept of God or Soul.

    You teach this foolishness to your followers and these fellows arrogantly proclaim that all faiths including Atheism came from Hindu Philosophy in every forum that I come across and even give links to your webpage. What your samkya or Carvaka school calls as Atheism is very different from the one professed by Richard Dawkins and co. And neither can you prove the Monotheistic philosophies as child’s play in just 12 lines. I came here only to see if Agniveer has actually “Proved” every other philosophies to be a rip off from vedic religion as claimed by your devotees. But what I see is pathetic and disappointing.

    P.S Some of our friends here believe that the best form of defence is offence and immediately start attacking the religion of the person who raises any issue here and that’s why I consciously withheld my faith if I had any.. I might be a Advaitin, Atheist,Agnostic, Christian, Muslim or none of the above. None of that matters to any of you, I have raised some issues here and I hope you don’t make similar posts again.

  9. dogra says

    Agniveer, can you steer clear of other faiths, and let us focus on spreading the truth of Sanatan Dharma, a clear beautiful faith.
    There are other faiths and people will worship as they please, sanatan Dharma is a pluralistic faith recognising that we are each individual human beings and not robots following blindly one faith.
    We respect other faiths.

    • says

      Agniveer has never forced anyone to change his or her beliefs. But Agniveer also has the right to express and profess its own beliefs. We don’t disrespect any person because of his or her faith so far it is compliant to universal standards of tolerance and peace. In fact we respect all advocates of peace, tolerance and justice regardless of their personal beliefs. To us, such people are true followers of Sanatan Dharma and not those who simply visit some temple or mosque or church.

  10. mani says

    Dear agniveer,you mentioned about advitham but not mentioned about vistadvaitha and dwitha . I think vistadvaitha more close ot vedantha as it eswar is omnipotent.

  11. says

    Hi @Sue, @Dean, @Grace, @Nathan, Very interesting and useufl conversation. A I’m trying to accept Miss W. invitation to write an About page for my class blog, and I asked my students to help me by answering these questions:1. Which are the main purposes for the creation of this class blog?2. Which work projects would you like to develop here?3. How are you thinking to use our class blog as a collaboration platform?4. How do you hope to fulfill the opening to the world that our class blog allows?B Concerning work projects, my suggestions were:a To publish students texts on a regular basis. I don’t know if I must write a Category for each student or if it is enough to tag their writtings with their names. I would appreciate some advice here, for my students already feel that their posts are getting lost or hard to find.b As Miss W. suggested, to build a Blogging Glossary bilingual, I guess, for most blogging related words didn’t found a proper translation yet, and european Portuguese tend to keep anglicisms any way.c To create special pages on specific web topics, like Being Internet Savy, Web Citizenship, Digital Literacy d As my students are very young, I would like to find a way to get parents envolved in this project too, somehow C I only stay 2 years with my students: 5th and 6th grades; I think the About page should be altered regularly in the sense that, apart from some essential features, each new generation should be enabled to rebuild the blog project, leaving in it the printing of their difference.

  12. Madhu says

    Pranaam Team Agniveer,
    I’ve seen in many of the comments in this site most of them are referring Sanaathana Dharma(Vedic and esoteric Hinduism) as faith.Is it faith?

    • says

      It is faith, but not blind faith. It is faith based on things learned, understood and implemented, and open to continuous future learning.

    • says

      “Fountainhead of all philosophies – Vedas — Self-Help
      | Motivation | Spiritualism | Rationalism | Vedas | Hinduism | Anti-Casteism | Women Rights –
      Agniveer” ended up being a good post and I actually ended up being pretty pleased
      to locate the article. Many thanks,Corinne

      My blog :: Angie

  13. Vimal Rathinasamy says

    Agniveer, I have a question.

    I am aware that Veda Samhitas is the section of Karma Kanda. Whereas Upanishads is the section of Jnana Kanda. It is repeatedly said that if Smriti is doubtful then Shruti overrules the former. In this case Smriti-(Jnana Kanda) concepts never find a mention in Shruti-Veda Samhitas. Now can we assume that Jnana Kanda position can be avoided for the only reason that it is not recognized in the Shruti Samhitas?

    Thanks.

    • says

      Dear Vimal, Veda Samhita contain Jnana, Karma and Upasana all. They are called Shrutis also. Ishopanishad is part of Vedas. Rest of the Upanishads are man-made. Smriti means all scriptures except Vedas. So other Upanishads, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Geeta, Brahmans, Manu Smriti etc all are Smritis. So concept basically means that if you don’t understand something in other texts, or find disputes among other texts, refer to Veda Samhitas and consider that as final.

      It is a great myth that Vedas are for Karma Kanda. This myth started in medieval times. Actually, Vedas are primarily for Jnana and also cover Karma.

  14. says

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    is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way
    you can remove me from that service? Cheers!

  15. says

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    you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
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