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One should not renounce his religion willingly, or out of fear, or due to allurement, or even to save his life. Religion is perpetual, whereas happiness, sorrows are transient, temporary. Soul is perpetual but things which shackle it are transient.

It is the religion which protects us from all kinds of calamities and pitfalls, and leads us on the path of betterment. The Vedic religion shows us not just the way of attaining transcendental bliss; it also leads us on the way to all-round progress in human life. In the Bhagwatgeeta, the Almighty pronounces Himself as the protector of religion, as well as that He Himself is the religion. Almost all the sayings of theology are predominantly about valor and hard work for achievements, and they particularly support religious and all-round well-being. Without the foundation of religion, politics becomes corrupt, economics leads to great economic calamities, and the vast skies of knowledge are dark. Because of adoption petty selfish policies and various other extensive malpractices in the name of religion, immensely destructive wars keep erupting among the nations of the world. The future is dark with clouds of holocaust.

The ancient, time-honored Hindu religion has no beginning and no end. It contains even the foundation of the genesis of the universe. Also, this timeless religion will still be existing even after the universal destruction, in the re-creation of the universe. The Vedic Hindu religion is ancient, not because it has been founded by the Almighty, but because it is by itself ever-fresh and ever-flowing. Again, along with the re-created universe, it will manifest itself for the protection and well-being of all. This time-honored religion has been established by the Almighty. It is indestructible. In fact, the timeless element of this religion is strong and firm, because anyone who has faith in it himself becomes timeless and indestructible. It is the religion which gives a human being a manifestation of pure, perpetual, completely liberated bliss and makes him superhuman.

It is a must for everybody that for practical living, he should have faith in a religion, in some form or the other. For running the family, social, administrative life smoothly, as well as for establishing peace and order, certain necessary rules and regulations are fixed by a committee of experienced, learned, responsible persons.

Religious ethics is necessary to decide what is good or bad, proper or improper. In the modern life which is fast and full of struggles, it is often experienced that many reputed, intelligent personalities who are leaders of society and nation, and whose advices and opinions are followed by the society, unfortunately make errors of judgment in the welfare policies of the nation, as a result of which the society has to face great hardships and calamities. It is the religion which prevents this. The talents or intelligence of man is only capable of governing limited economic activities. Religion provides the base for solving these problems of choice, as well as provides them knowledge, makes their character pure and noble, and this proportionately reduces the risks of such errors of judgment, and at the same time, the final goals also become clear. Quite often, it is seen that because of the forces of emotions and natural tendencies such as avarice, allurement, desires, man acts without giving proper thought to his welfare or otherwise.

If on the foundation of religion, the mind is stable and the emotions are under control, then the mind, together with the brain, is able to control this unfavourable tide and bring life on the path of well-being. This is not only the religion, but also duty of man unto himself. But in order to be able to bring the troubled mind (troubled due to the forces of emotions such as avarice, anger, sexual desire etc.) back to the state of equilibrium, the ethical and religious rules fixed by our prophetic Rishis should be such that these overflowing emotions can be thought about in a quiet, tranquil state of mind. So, the first and foremost feature of a religion should be that for the society, nation or the religion to be progressive, the Rishis should be prophetic, honourable and noble, and they themselves must follow the rules which they have created, in their own life. This is the primary form of the religion that is worth following and useful. On the basis of these rules alone, man can put a stop to the slippery, shallow emotions and beastly instincts, contemplate about his inner self and tendencies, and acting accordingly, proceed on the path of development and well-being.

The etymology of the word ‘Dharma’ tells us that it is a means for rising to eternal bliss. For saving oneself from calamitous situations arising out of mindless behaviour, as well as an easy passage on the path of achieving eternal bliss and self-realisation, everyone must make some kinds of ideal rules for his own use and strictly adhere to them to establish self-control, and to guide his natural emotions and tendencies properly.

From the viewpoint of an ideal life, Hindu theology is very liberal. Foreseeing that perhaps in future, explaining the proper meaning of religion might present problems, the Acharyas of the old times have given some brief advices. The total religion has been divided in four parts – penance, knowledge, ‘Yajna’ and charity. In the Satyayug, all the four parts were observed. During the Tretayug, the importance of penance declined, during the Dwaparyug, the importance of knowledge declined, and during the Kaliyug, the importance of ‘Yajna’ declined. Now, at present religion is tottering on the hollow foundation of charity. Gripped by the allurement of getting as much money and wealth as possible, man is now adopting perverted forms of charity.

In the atheist philosophies, Charvak’s philosophy comes first. According to him, there is no existence of a soul as different from a body. He states that religion is just a means for material life. The religion in the Jain sect is based on performance of sacred deeds. In the Buddhist sect, religion is manifested much more extensively. According to their philosophy, the soul is not eternal, and in the final analysis, the end of everything is ‘Nirvan’. Emotions and passions are generated according to one’s experiences. The only eternal facts are suffering, transience, ‘Swalakshan’, and ‘Shunya’ (space). According to Yogacharya Patanjali, all the deeds which help in protecting oneself from suffering and make his ready for ‘Samadhi’, and creating tendencies of self-control in a man and making him capable of contemplation, are the religion. This includes restraint of passions, regulation, exercises of Yogic postures, exercises of breathing control, withdrawal of senses from external objects, which are all assistive to this.

Kapil Muni’ the originator of ‘Sankhya Yog’, thinks that religion means the peculiar tendencies of the mind borne out of good deeds. The soul gets shackled in inferior material things, which generates ego. When reason, wisdom rise in one’s inner self, the inner self is illuminated with the light of eternal bliss, one starts using the reasoning power to judge what is good or bad, true or false, and with this knowledge, the mind is freed from the shackles of ego. In other words, this is true religion.

According to Ved Vyas, the originator of Vedant philosophy, religion means the process and deed of purification of the inner self. ‘Karma’ comes under control with religious rituals. The passions and emotions become pure and regulated. A belief in the preachings of the Veds is generated. With the use of analysis to judge what is good or bad, what is the duty and what is not, reasoning power grows. Religion provides knowledge of divine power worthy of worship.

Vyas also deems all the activities for universal welfare as religion. Manu Smriti explains ten features of religion.

According to the Mahabharat, religion is that, which is capable of nourishment, bringing up and all-round well- being of all the living beings.

When a person lives religiously and is engaged in the activities of welfare of the people, even if one never sees him, and has just learned his name, one starts adoring him.

While analyzing the principles of foreign philosophers in the context of ethics and reasoning, the late Lokmanya Tilak has explained their two schools of thoughts in his famous book ‘Geeta Rahasya’ – Materialism and Divinism. The followers of materialism think that religion means the deeds because of which majority of the people become happy and contented. Divinists say that it is not the function of mind to judge good or bad, justice or injustice, good deed or bad deed, etc. It is the conscience residing in the mind that protects and prevents one from bad deeds and encourages him to perform good deeds. Living religiously is the only really creditable thing of life.

Shreemannarayanopanishad defines religion like this – Religion is the esteem of the whole world. The whole world is based on religion. Religion is the refuge of all. Religious living destroys all the sins committed earlier. All things are firmly established in religion. Thus, all the religious minded Rishis consider religion as the supreme.

The instances of the Veds are highly worthy of preaching and teaching. Even if one attains the authority of theology by exceeding one’s natural worthiness, he still obtains the same rewards of eternal bliss. The time-honoured Hindu religion does not withhold any rewards.

Man is superior only because of religion. Only man has the capacity of reasoning, wisdom, admitting the existence and rule of the spirit even after death, as well as experiencing godliness. Immorality, or injustice, or sinful act is a defilement of man, and these can exist only by hiding behind the religion. Without religion, these cannot last long.

A sect means a specific way of worship. One who wants to obtain the goal of religion has to adopt one way of worship or the other.

Without this, he cannot strive towards the goal. Religion is the supreme, it is all-encompassing. Shaiva, Shakta, Ganapatya, Saur, Vaishnav, Bouddha, Jain, Sikh, Jew, Christian, Parsi etc. are all sects that strive towards their goals. Religion is the base of everything. If it gets changed or destroyed, it means holocaust. The religion, which ‘bears’ and ‘holds’ every thing, is indestructible. If it is destroyed, the whole humanity will be destroyed. It is perpetual, real and true, which is why it is time-honoured.

It would not be improper to look at the great similarities between religion and science. The only difference in both these processes lies in the fact that science is based on the external world and strives to find the eternal truth in the vast universe of quest for knowledge, while religion exists in the internal world and tries to manifest the experience of the eternal truth in the temple of mind. The self-declared materialists have spread the baseless misconception that science opposes religion. Fact is that those who abuse religion and consider science as the ultimate, high peak of knowledge, have understood neither the great heights of science nor the unfathomable depths of religion. They are far away from the energy of religion and the actual scientific processes. The greatest scientist of modern era, Albert Einstein was a firm believer of religion. He used to say that without religion, science is lame and without science, religion is blind. Both the scientific research and religious quest seek to find the same ultimate truth. Their horizons of development are different, and their dimensions are different. In fact, science is the greatest proof of the power of the Almighty. Scientists have accepted the word ‘Brahmand’, so often used in our religious scriptures. The recent discoveries being made regarding ‘Brahmand’ had already been hinted at by our prophetic Rishis with the knowledge of past, present and future, thousands of years ago. The search for the ultimate truth is possible only when the religious faith and scientific energy come together.

A religion which obstructs the others, or fights with other religions or faiths, is not a true religion. A true religion is one that does not oppose religion. Thus, the coordination and cooperation of religion and science is a must for progress. The field of religion is extremely vast. All the Vedic literature discusses only religion. Scriptures such as the Upanishads explain about self-knowledge and religion in the form of knowledge about the Supreme Self. The Smritis extensively explain about behaviour, way of life and penance.

The tragedy of the present society is that due to the lack of real and balanced knowledge about the old social order based on four classes (Chaturvarnya), common religious minded people are compelled to face various doubts, misconceptions as well as troubles generated by the present politicians. Actually, the reasoning of the Aryans regarding purity and impurity, touchability and untouchability, has a firm base of philosophy. The impure things which pollute the ‘treasure’ of food are called ‘dirt’ or ‘dregs’. The impure things which pollute the ‘treasure’ of the soul are called ‘defilements’. The impure things which pollute the ‘treasure’ of the mind are called ‘disorders’. The impure things which pollute the ‘treasure’ of science are called ‘covers’, whereas the impurities polluting the ‘treasure’ of eternal joy are ‘ego’. Ego covers the real self. Ignorance rises as ego grows. The religious efforts made in order that the body should not become impure are called the reasoning of pure and impure, touchable and untouchable. This has been proved by the analytical science of theology.

According to theology, there are four goals of human life – Dharma, Arth, Kam, Moksha (religion or duty, wealth and money, sex, and salvation, respectively). The code of behaviour expostulated by Shruti-Smriti is deemed to be religion. In Grihasthashram (state of householdership), money and wealth are needed for daily living, taking care of the family, performing various religious rituals etc., but collecting wealth is not allowed. After acquiring knowledge in the Brahmacharyashram (state of bachelorship), one should marry as per the religious edicts and depending on times and seasons, enjoy sex in a controlled manner. In the fourth stage of life, one should lead a religious, contented life and remain in contemplation of the Almighty, which is salvation.

Today, there is an atmosphere of frustration, tension, and struggles everywhere in the world, and it is growing. In these hard times, only India can show the way of peace, happiness and contentment to the world. Philosophy and ethics are the needs of this age. In the coming future, well-being of the society, nation and the world is possible only with the help of the knowledge of religious path. This is the permanent truth.

****

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 Title : THE TIME HONOURED ANCIENT HINDU RELIGION Author : Smt Vasanti Pattalwar

One should not renounce his religion willingly, or out of fear, or due to allurement, or even to save his life. Religion is perpetual, whereas happiness, sorrows are transient, temporary. Soul is perpetual but things which shackle it are transient.

It is the religion which protects us from all kinds of calamities and pitfalls, and leads us on the path of betterment. The Vedic religion shows us not just the way of attaining transcendental bliss; it also leads us on the way to all-round progress in human life. In the Bhagwatgeeta, the Almighty pronounces Himself as the protector of religion, as well as that He Himself is the religion. Almost all the sayings of theology are predominantly about valor and hard work for achievements, and they particularly support religious and all-round well-being. Without the foundation of religion, politics becomes corrupt, economics leads to great economic calamities, and the vast skies of knowledge are dark. Because of adoption petty selfish policies and various other extensive malpractices in the name of religion, immensely destructive wars keep erupting among the nations of the world. The future is dark with clouds of holocaust.

The ancient, time-honored Hindu religion has no beginning and no end. It contains even the foundation of the genesis of the universe. Also, this timeless religion will still be existing even after the universal destruction, in the re-creation of the universe. The Vedic Hindu religion is ancient, not because it has been founded by the Almighty, but because it is by itself ever-fresh and ever-flowing. Again, along with the re-created universe, it will manifest itself for the protection and well-being of all. This time-honored religion has been established by the Almighty. It is indestructible. In fact, the timeless element of this religion is strong and firm, because anyone who has faith in it himself becomes timeless and indestructible. It is the religion which gives a human being a manifestation of pure, perpetual, completely liberated bliss and makes him superhuman.

It is a must for everybody that for practical living, he should have faith in a religion, in some form or the other. For running the family, social, administrative life smoothly, as well as for establishing peace and order, certain necessary rules and regulations are fixed by a committee of experienced, learned, responsible persons.

Religious ethics is necessary to decide what is good or bad, proper or improper. In the modern life which is fast and full of struggles, it is often experienced that many reputed, intelligent personalities who are leaders of society and nation, and whose advices and opinions are followed by the society, unfortunately make errors of judgment in the welfare policies of the nation, as a result of which the society has to face great hardships and calamities. It is the religion which prevents this. The talents or intelligence of man is only capable of governing limited economic activities. Religion provides the base for solving these problems of choice, as well as provides them knowledge, makes their character pure and noble, and this proportionately reduces the risks of such errors of judgment, and at the same time, the final goals also become clear. Quite often, it is seen that because of the forces of emotions and natural tendencies such as avarice, allurement, desires, man acts without giving proper thought to his welfare or otherwise.

If on the foundation of religion, the mind is stable and the emotions are under control, then the mind, together with the brain, is able to control this unfavourable tide and bring life on the path of well-being. This is not only the religion, but also duty of man unto himself. But in order to be able to bring the troubled mind (troubled due to the forces of emotions such as avarice, anger, sexual desire etc.) back to the state of equilibrium, the ethical and religious rules fixed by our prophetic Rishis should be such that these overflowing emotions can be thought about in a quiet, tranquil state of mind. So, the first and foremost feature of a religion should be that for the society, nation or the religion to be progressive, the Rishis should be prophetic, honourable and noble, and they themselves must follow the rules which they have created, in their own life. This is the primary form of the religion that is worth following and useful. On the basis of these rules alone, man can put a stop to the slippery, shallow emotions and beastly instincts, contemplate about his inner self and tendencies, and acting accordingly, proceed on the path of development and well-being.

The etymology of the word ‘Dharma’ tells us that it is a means for rising to eternal bliss. For saving oneself from calamitous situations arising out of mindless behaviour, as well as an easy passage on the path of achieving eternal bliss and self-realisation, everyone must make some kinds of ideal rules for his own use and strictly adhere to them to establish self-control, and to guide his natural emotions and tendencies properly.

From the viewpoint of an ideal life, Hindu theology is very liberal. Foreseeing that perhaps in future, explaining the proper meaning of religion might present problems, the Acharyas of the old times have given some brief advices. The total religion has been divided in four parts – penance, knowledge, ‘Yajna’ and charity. In the Satyayug, all the four parts were observed. During the Tretayug, the importance of penance declined, during the Dwaparyug, the importance of knowledge declined, and during the Kaliyug, the importance of ‘Yajna’ declined. Now, at present religion is tottering on the hollow foundation of charity. Gripped by the allurement of getting as much money and wealth as possible, man is now adopting perverted forms of charity.

In the atheist philosophies, Charvak’s philosophy comes first. According to him, there is no existence of a soul as different from a body. He states that religion is just a means for material life. The religion in the Jain sect is based on performance of sacred deeds. In the Buddhist sect, religion is manifested much more extensively. According to their philosophy, the soul is not eternal, and in the final analysis, the end of everything is ‘Nirvan’. Emotions and passions are generated according to one’s experiences. The only eternal facts are suffering, transience, ‘Swalakshan’, and ‘Shunya’ (space). According to Yogacharya Patanjali, all the deeds which help in protecting oneself from suffering and make his ready for ‘Samadhi’, and creating tendencies of self-control in a man and making him capable of contemplation, are the religion. This includes restraint of passions, regulation, exercises of Yogic postures, exercises of breathing control, withdrawal of senses from external objects, which are all assistive to this.

Kapil Muni’ the originator of ‘Sankhya Yog’, thinks that religion means the peculiar tendencies of the mind borne out of good deeds. The soul gets shackled in inferior material things, which generates ego. When reason, wisdom rise in one’s inner self, the inner self is illuminated with the light of eternal bliss, one starts using the reasoning power to judge what is good or bad, true or false, and with this knowledge, the mind is freed from the shackles of ego. In other words, this is true religion.

According to Ved Vyas, the originator of Vedant philosophy, religion means the process and deed of purification of the inner self. ‘Karma’ comes under control with religious rituals. The passions and emotions become pure and regulated. A belief in the preachings of the Veds is generated. With the use of analysis to judge what is good or bad, what is the duty and what is not, reasoning power grows. Religion provides knowledge of divine power worthy of worship.

Vyas also deems all the activities for universal welfare as religion. Manu Smriti explains ten features of religion.

According to the Mahabharat, religion is that, which is capable of nourishment, bringing up and all-round well- being of all the living beings.

When a person lives religiously and is engaged in the activities of welfare of the people, even if one never sees him, and has just learned his name, one starts adoring him.

While analyzing the principles of foreign philosophers in the context of ethics and reasoning, the late Lokmanya Tilak has explained their two schools of thoughts in his famous book ‘Geeta Rahasya’ – Materialism and Divinism. The followers of materialism think that religion means the deeds because of which majority of the people become happy and contented. Divinists say that it is not the function of mind to judge good or bad, justice or injustice, good deed or bad deed, etc. It is the conscience residing in the mind that protects and prevents one from bad deeds and encourages him to perform good deeds. Living religiously is the only really creditable thing of life.

Shreemannarayanopanishad defines religion like this – Religion is the esteem of the whole world. The whole world is based on religion. Religion is the refuge of all. Religious living destroys all the sins committed earlier. All things are firmly established in religion. Thus, all the religious minded Rishis consider religion as the supreme.

The instances of the Veds are highly worthy of preaching and teaching. Even if one attains the authority of theology by exceeding one’s natural worthiness, he still obtains the same rewards of eternal bliss. The time-honoured Hindu religion does not withhold any rewards.

Man is superior only because of religion. Only man has the capacity of reasoning, wisdom, admitting the existence and rule of the spirit even after death, as well as experiencing godliness. Immorality, or injustice, or sinful act is a defilement of man, and these can exist only by hiding behind the religion. Without religion, these cannot last long.

A sect means a specific way of worship. One who wants to obtain the goal of religion has to adopt one way of worship or the other.

Without this, he cannot strive towards the goal. Religion is the supreme, it is all-encompassing. Shaiva, Shakta, Ganapatya, Saur, Vaishnav, Bouddha, Jain, Sikh, Jew, Christian, Parsi etc. are all sects that strive towards their goals. Religion is the base of everything. If it gets changed or destroyed, it means holocaust. The religion, which ‘bears’ and ‘holds’ every thing, is indestructible. If it is destroyed, the whole humanity will be destroyed. It is perpetual, real and true, which is why it is time-honoured.

It would not be improper to look at the great similarities between religion and science. The only difference in both these processes lies in the fact that science is based on the external world and strives to find the eternal truth in the vast universe of quest for knowledge, while religion exists in the internal world and tries to manifest the experience of the eternal truth in the temple of mind. The self-declared materialists have spread the baseless misconception that science opposes religion. Fact is that those who abuse religion and consider science as the ultimate, high peak of knowledge, have understood neither the great heights of science nor the unfathomable depths of religion. They are far away from the energy of religion and the actual scientific processes. The greatest scientist of modern era, Albert Einstein was a firm believer of religion. He used to say that without religion, science is lame and without science, religion is blind. Both the scientific research and religious quest seek to find the same ultimate truth. Their horizons of development are different, and their dimensions are different. In fact, science is the greatest proof of the power of the Almighty. Scientists have accepted the word ‘Brahmand’, so often used in our religious scriptures. The recent discoveries being made regarding ‘Brahmand’ had already been hinted at by our prophetic Rishis with the knowledge of past, present and future, thousands of years ago. The search for the ultimate truth is possible only when the religious faith and scientific energy come together.

A religion which obstructs the others, or fights with other religions or faiths, is not a true religion. A true religion is one that does not oppose religion. Thus, the coordination and cooperation of religion and science is a must for progress. The field of religion is extremely vast. All the Vedic literature discusses only religion. Scriptures such as the Upanishads explain about self-knowledge and religion in the form of knowledge about the Supreme Self. The Smritis extensively explain about behaviour, way of life and penance.

The tragedy of the present society is that due to the lack of real and balanced knowledge about the old social order based on four classes (Chaturvarnya), common religious minded people are compelled to face various doubts, misconceptions as well as troubles generated by the present politicians. Actually, the reasoning of the Aryans regarding purity and impurity, touchability and untouchability, has a firm base of philosophy. The impure things which pollute the ‘treasure’ of food are called ‘dirt’ or ‘dregs’. The impure things which pollute the ‘treasure’ of the soul are called ‘defilements’. The impure things which pollute the ‘treasure’ of the mind are called ‘disorders’. The impure things which pollute the ‘treasure’ of science are called ‘covers’, whereas the impurities polluting the ‘treasure’ of eternal joy are ‘ego’. Ego covers the real self. Ignorance rises as ego grows. The religious efforts made in order that the body should not become impure are called the reasoning of pure and impure, touchable and untouchable. This has been proved by the analytical science of theology.

According to theology, there are four goals of human life – Dharma, Arth, Kam, Moksha (religion or duty, wealth and money, sex, and salvation, respectively). The code of behaviour expostulated by Shruti-Smriti is deemed to be religion. In Grihasthashram (state of householdership), money and wealth are needed for daily living, taking care of the family, performing various religious rituals etc., but collecting wealth is not allowed. After acquiring knowledge in the Brahmacharyashram (state of bachelorship), one should marry as per the religious edicts and depending on times and seasons, enjoy sex in a controlled manner. In the fourth stage of life, one should lead a religious, contented life and remain in contemplation of the Almighty, which is salvation.

Today, there is an atmosphere of frustration, tension, and struggles everywhere in the world, and it is growing. In these hard times, only India can show the way of peace, happiness and contentment to the world. Philosophy and ethics are the needs of this age. In the coming future, well-being of the society, nation and the world is possible only with the help of the knowledge of religious path. This is the permanent truth.

****

Tag Names : Puran,Upnishad
Other articles of this author :
1 THE PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICAL BODY AND SPIRITUAL
2 Importance of devotion in the Veds
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