Vedic CivilizationEarliest Civilization
The Vedic civilization is the earliest civilization in the history of ancient India. It is named after the Vedas, the early literature of the Hindu people. The Vedic Civilization flourished along the river Saraswati, in a region that now consists of the modern Indian states of Haryana and Punjab. Vedic is synonymous with Hinduism, which is another name for religious and spiritual thought that has evolved from the Vedas.
The Ramayana and Mahabharata were the two great epics of this period and these Epics are the encyclopedia’s of the ancient Aryan life and wisdom, portraying an ideal civilization which humanity has yet to aspire after.
When the real history of India will be unearthed, it will be proved that, as in matters of religion, so in fine arts, India is the primal Guru of the whole world – Swami Vivekananda
Vedic Rishis are the pillars of Sanatana Dharma and since time immemorial India is the greatest source for spiritual wisdom. A Rishi is the one through whom the secret words of the Vedas are revealed. The Rishi was not the individual composer of the hymns but the seer (draṣṭā) of an eternal truth and an impersonal knowledge.
If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and have found solutions, I should point to India – Max Muller
Indian philosophy ‘is a reflective, reasoned account given by classical thinkers, of their spiritual intuitions of what the ultimate, most basic reality is’
India has a rich philosophical heritage over several thousands of years. These ancient philosophical traditions had many schools of thought and had a substantial body of intellectual argumentation about reality, the human person and their inter-relatedness.
Among all Indian philosophical traditions, three main doctrines remain commonly significant for all of them: the doctrines of karma – the principle of causality, Mukti– release from the cycle of life in this world, and soul, ātma – the ‘inner-self’ of the human person. These common doctrines of Indian philosophical traditions also testify to the relationship between philosophy and spirituality is in the Indian context. Spirituality as an ‘essence of the human person’ and its close association with the ‘meaning and purpose of life’.
Chandogyopanisad, part of the Vedic philosophy says; “In the beginning there was Existence alone – One only, without a second. He, the One [Brahman; Sanskrit word to represent ‘the ultimate reality underlying all phenomena’, often translated as ‘God’], thought to himself: ‘Let me be many, let me grow forth.’ Thus out of himself he projected the universe, and having projected out of himself the universe, he entered into every being. All that is has its self in Him alone. Of all things He is the subtle essence. He is the truth. He is the Self. And that … THAT ART THOU! (Tat Tvam Asi)”
The purpose of human life
The purpose of human life, according to Indian thought, is to unite with the ultimate Reality, the Divine.
The Vedic tradition proclaims that the human life is the opportunity for spiritual attainment to achieve the ultimate goal of realizing the fundamental truth about oneself, which is the realization that I am the Immortal One, ‘Aham Brahmāsmi’ (where the ‘self’, the soul is indistinguishably identical with the Brahman, the Divine). This realization is the ultimate liberation of the human soul, which is known as Mukti or moksha.
Vedic Culture & Indian philosophy formulated and guided human life for achieving perfection through three goals of life: artha (prosperity), kāma (desire) and dharma (righteous living) that the fourth and the ultimate goal of life, moksha can be attained. However, most schools consider dharma (righteous living) as the foremost of the three goals. It is regarded, dharma as the canon that gives moral foundation for human life: to be honest, attempt to fulfill moral obligations, to be genuinely concerned about others.
Ramayana is the very soul of India. The highest ideals of every Indian are enshrined and portrayed in this holy scripture. It is a complete guide to God-realization, the path to which lies in Dharma.
God Consciousness (Remembering God Alone)
Gita Says, ‘And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body remembering Me (God) alone at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt‘
Many Indian Saints & Sages followed and recommended the path (Sadhana) of God- Consciousness or God-thought; has to be part of a person’s entire life and that this God-thought is associated with purity of the soul, which helps people to achieve ‘success’, which is the union with the Divine.
Fulfilment of Life
Rabindranath Tagore a poet, philosopher & novelist expressed his views on death as a fulfilment of life in the following poem (Gitanjali 91):
O thou the last fulfilment of life,
Death, my death, come and whisper to me!
Day after day I have kept watch for thee;
for thee have I borne the joys and pangs of life.
All that I am, that I have, that I hope
and all my love have ever flowed towards thee
in depth of secrecy.
One final glance from thine eyes
and my life will be ever thine own.
The flowers have been woven and the garland
is ready for the bridegroom.
After the wedding the bride shall leave her home
and meet her lord alone
in the solitude of night.
— Glory to Bharath Mata, Om Tat Sat —
“Do not be led by others,
awaken your own mind,
amass your own experience,
and decide for yourself your own