Well, the basis of Indian society was Vedic until the time Mughal invaders came to India around the 13th century. And then also, the Vedic base was followed until Britishers came to India by the late 18th century. This is very well described in the book "Pride of India: A Glimpse Into India's Scientific Heritage.” It’s a wonderful book that highlights all the inner knowledge of Vedic Scriptures in various fields like medicine, astronomy, science, architecture, city planning, politics, mathematics and what not.
To break into India was not an easy task as the fabric of society was based on Vedic culture, strong beliefs and ancient scriptures. We all know that prior to Britishers coming here, India was known as 'sone ki chidhiya' or Golden Bird due to its economic, cultural and spiritual treasure. The East India Company knew that if they wanted to break into India, the only way was to discredit the Indian spiritual knowledge which was the base of the society.
Let us just touch on this topic a bit to get a rough idea of the above paragraph and try to understand the glorious past of India and its Vedic knowledge just to establish a foundation for this book. This chapter (as mentioned earlier) is just to give answers to the basic questions. It will help us build a foundation to true tattva and prayojana (end-goal) of Vedic Scriptures.
Trinabhi Cakra Maja Ramanarvam
Yatrema Visva Bhuvanani Tasthuh
The above verse from Rig Veda Samhita, Mandalam 1, Suktam 164, Mantrah 2 (6000 BC) states that the elliptical path through which all the celestial bodies move is imperishable and un-slackened. Rig Veda clearly states here that the planets move in an elliptical orbit, and that too in 6000 BC! Now let us visit the Modern Science reference and when it was discovered by modern-day scientists.
Modern Science Reference: In the western astronomical tradition up to the age of Copernicus (1473-1543), it was believed that the planets and other celestial bodies had circular orbits. Later Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) proposed in 1609 that the path of all the planets and other celestial bodies is elliptical.
Today, it is well proven that the planets have an elliptical path. The Vedic Scriptures knew the answer a way back (6000BCE)!
Kintu Garbho Maturudarasthosandti Na Yeti | Atrocyate Nasnati |
Yadi Hasniyat Syadasya Purisamatitalcalam Na Cedamasti |
Katharia Tarhi Nabhyam Nadi Pratisthita |
Tasyamapara Maturhrdayamsrita Maturannarasamabhivahan
Garbham Prinayatyabhivarddhayati Tadyatha Kulyah
Kedaramabhisarhgrayantyo Bhdvayanti Tadvat ||
This verse from Bhela Sarithitd, Krirasthdnam, Adhydyah 4, Paragraph 31 talks about the blood circulation in the foetus. Does the foetus in the mother's womb eat or not? It is said in this verse that the foetus does not eat. If it were to eat, later (there would be) faecal matter.
As there is no faecal matter, there might be a question that how does the baby get food for growth? It is explained here that in the navel (of the child) is a fixed tubular vessel. In that (vessel) another (vessel) sheltering in the mother's heart carry the digested food of the mother. The tubular vessel satisfies and grows the foetus.
Modern Science Reference: In the year 1604, an Italian physician Hieronymus Fabricius published a book Defornata Foeti (on the formation of the foetus). It is the first important study of embryology in the west and describes blood circulation in the umbilical cord. I guess everybody of us knows about the umbilical cord!
Dirgha Catura Srasyaksnaya Rajjuh Parsvamani Tiryanmani
Ca Yatprtha Gbhute Kuruta Stadubhayam Karoti |
This above verse from Sulba-Satram, Chapter 1, Slokah 12, Bodhayanah (800 BCE) states that the areas (of the squares) produced separately by the length and breadth of a rectangle together equals the area (of the square) produced by the diagonal. This is the popular Pythagoras Theorem!!
Western Reference: The theorem is generally attributed to Pythagoras. But Indian scholars applied this theorem and its converse ever since the Vedic period!
Svastikamuditam Grame Yatha Tatha Svastikam Vidyat |
Praguttaramukhamgah Satsadabhistastu Tadbahye ||
This verse from Mayamatam, Kalamula Sastram, Kapila Vatsyayanah, Sloka 60, 61 (6th Century AD) talks about Swastika Plan of Town Planning.
A village known as swastikam shall have a swastika road formation (meeting of four roads). Six streets go east and north. The roads reaching these six are on the outside.
The obvious benefits of such an arrangement are:
- The plan provides higher road density in the central part of the town compared to the periphery, which would correspond with the traffic density in any city.
- The roads permit one-way traffic in each direction.
- The arrangement discourages traffic skirting the city from going through the central part of the city.
They talked about town planning and road density a thousand years ago!
Also, many might have heard about Atomic Theory. It was first postulated by John Dalton in 1800 as per modern science. But the beauty is that it has been described a long-ago by Kanada, a sage and philosopher who founded the philosophical school of Vaisheshika and authored the text Vaisheshika Sutra (2nd century BC).
It was Kanada who first propounded that the Parmanu (atom) was an indestructible particle of matter. According to this theory, the material universe is made up of Kana. When the matter is divided and subdivided, we reach a stage beyond which no division is possible and this indivisible element of matter is Parmanu. Kanada explained that this indivisible, indestructible atom cannot be sensed through any human organ.
Thus there is no doubt that our scriptures had answers for everything. Those who wish to get into more details of these can refer to the book "Pride of India: A Glimpse Into India's Scientific Heritage.” Frankly, the subject which we just discussed above is unrelated to the main tattva of topmost vraj-prema-bhakti but I felt inspired by Sri Vrindavan Dham to pen this down in order to bring it to the attention of new readers that there is something more than what is taught in the modern education system.
So, the Vedic Scriptures and India has a glorious past. It has answers for each and every stuff one can even think of! Of course, there is a glorious past but why is the present a bit disturbed? At present, there are mental issues, environmental threats, lack of resources, water scarcity, terrorism, depression, global warming, malnutrition, poor harvest and many such kinds of stuff.
There has to be a turning point. Isn’t it?
So what was that turning phase? To understand this, we will get into a bit of history. History is the past that determines our present. Let’s get into the historical turning point of this radical shift from our Vedic Scriptures to the Western ideologies.
So the Britisher’s knew that it was tough to get into India because of the strong cultural and Vedic fabric of society. All this has been beautifully described in the book “Case for India” written by Will Durant.
They sent a person named William Jones who studied about India in depth and noted some interesting and important observations. He observed five things primarily:
- Intellectual: The citizens here were highly intelligent, simple and had all insightful knowledge in a wide range of subjects.
- Riches: Agricultural economy with cow protection. The manufacturing sector was booming, and people were rich!
- People were happy: Citizens here took shelter of Vedic Scriptures like Mahabharata and Ramayan and were always in bliss.
- United: There was a strong interbond between locals. It was a family-like set-up where all would meet for spiritual discourses and gatherings. There was a very thick relationship between all.
- Technologically Superior: When Columbus came to visit India via Cape of Good Hope, he saw the huge size of Indian ships and was perplexed. Cotton mills were having advanced technology. Everything was in sync.
William Jones got so much infatuated by Indians that he advised the East India Company and British Monarchy not to attempt to invade this beautiful complete Indian culture and rather follow the Indians for better prosperity of their own country. This line of thought was justified by another gentleman named Macaulay.
Just go through this address of Macaulay in the British Parliament on Feb 2, 1835:
"I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such high caliber, that I think we would never conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and, therefore I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominant nation.”
A sane person will understand the depth of the above words of Macaulay! He told to replace the education system in India to show themselves as intellectually superior and discredit the Vedic Culture.
But the challenge was how to discredit this? And hence, they sent a person called Maxmuller. He studied Sanskrit and did adulterations and manipulations to the original texts to show Indians inferior.
And that is how the Vedic Scriptures started being adulterated. They termed the scriptures like Mahabharata and Ramayana as “mythology". For those who don’t know the meaning of mythology, it means “a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.” Read the words myths. It means something fictitious and made up. They subtly discredited the entire education system! There is more to it but that is a discussion for another day. Those who want to study this subject further can read the book “Case for India” by Will Durant.
Thus by discrediting the entire education system, the Britishers expanded hugely in India.
To expand they needed capital and raw material.
- Capital came from looting Indian people, economy and resources apart from imposing super high taxation.
- The raw material came in plenty from the Indian reserve of natural resources. The roadway system was poor in India and hence Britishers started the railway here for free and quick movement of raw materials for export and their gains.
Macaulay especially discredited the Indian spiritual knowledge, for he knew that if he wanted to break into India, this was the only way. Well, if you want to find detailed statistics and references about these statements, as mentioned earlier as well, do read this book 'Case of India' by Will Durant. Though, for the spiritual path, all this research is not required. The path of prema-bhakti is not bound by anything. Anyway, I was inspired by Sri Vrindavan Dham to put this chapter in the very beginning to convey it to those simple-hearted people who don’t believe in the Vedic path owing to lack of information whenever they have asked about it.
For those who have actually researched on this subject, to them, it is without a doubt that the Vedic System is complete. It has answers for each and everything if studied sincerely with surrender.
Knowing that the basis of Vedic society is much more than we think or know, we will get to our next subject - Does god exist! All these Vedic Scriptures, either be it the Srimad Bhagavatam or Chanakya Niti praise the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna in the very first verse itself!!
You can open any of them and check.
The first prerequisite in gaining any knowledge is to be humble and accept that we don’t know. Then only we can start learning it. That’s how knowledge is gained. Here, we are trying to search for the highest goal or purpose of human birth. Till we have a conception that we know all about it (which would be nothing but just mere speculation of ours), we won’t be able to appreciate it, leave apart understanding it. Hence, a proper study with humility and a simple heart is important.
So let us go further in building our foundation and get an answer to the query that does god really exist, and what is the secret and science behind this path?
*This article is a part of the book Demystifying the Mystical Vrindavan (Volume I - Introduction to soul's eternal position).
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