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Vedas:

The Vedas are four, Rig-Veda, Saama-Veda, Yajur-Veda and Atharva-Veda. Each of these has four sections, the Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. The samhitas are the hymns in praise of the different manifestations of nature. The Brahmanas are the ritualistic texts attached to the hymns. These two parts are dated between 4000BC and 2000BC. The Aranyakas symbolically render philosophical meaning to the rituals. Finally, the Upanishads, the end portion of the veds and also known as the vedant, dwell on the Vedic philosophy. The last two parts of the Vedas are dated between 2000BC and 400BC, according to present science.

What is Vedanta?
Vedanta literally means the end of knowledge. This systematic knowledge which explains the relation between man and god is founded on its own authority. With this knowledge, you can gain inner peace and bliss. Vedanta trains you to think for yourself. It helps you to analyze, investigate and realize the essence of life. This is liberal education thinking and reasoning faculty. You believe that thinking is a natural process. It is not so. Thinking is an art, which has to be learnt and practiced. In the world today, few have developed the art of thinking. People are possessed with groundless beliefs. Neither the teacher nor the taught go through any systematic study and reflection; consequently the world remains poor, morally and spiritually. Vedanta helps you to enquire, question and reason with the truths of life. You evolve, attain peace and happiness.

How Vedanta does explain the theory of reincarnation?


Vedanta explains life and death on the basis of law of causation. It gives sound logic and reasoning to support the theory of reincarnation. It connects unfulfilled desires of the dead with the appearance of latent desires in the new- born. The unaccounted losses of vasanas of the dead are linked with the unaccounted gain of vasanas in the newborn. Law of heredity says that man inherits his tendencies from his parents. Law of karma covers the law of heredity and more. Law of karma explains that the resultant of mans desire finds his own parents; no other extraneous force decides it. According to Vedanta, man does not reincarnate immediately after death. Between death and birth, man goes through a state of existence called heaven or hell. It is like a dreamland in the long sleep of death.

What is the law of causation?


Law of causation is based on the functioning of cause and effect relationship. It consists of law of destiny and law of karma. Law of destiny connects your past with your present. The Law of karma deals with your past, present, and future. It explains your life in this world in its entirety. Past activities are cause and the present nature is effect, called destiny. You are bound by your past activities. You are the creator of your destiny but not god. God is the supreme power that enables you to act. God does not interface with the nature of action. Action is your choice. You have unlimited power to make or mar yourself. You get what you deserve, not what you desire. Your effect makes the difference in your destiny. God is the source of your effort. God has nothing to do with the course of your effort. Your effort is independent of your destiny. But when you apply your self-effort in the background of your destiny, its effects is changed. Keep on applying your self-effort. It neutralizes your destiny and establishes itself. Creation, destruction and maintenance are three facets of the same phenomenon. Hindu scriptures have symbolized them as gods. Universe is nothing but an expression of these three powers.

Gunas / genes:
Individual soul, after death, leaves the once physical body and transmigrates to another physical body as a child. In this transit, whether it enters a better body or an inferior body depends on two factors guna or the genes which are inherited from the ancestors and the deeds done in the once life. There is a very little one can do about the guna but, the good karma done in this life can help the soul to a superior birth; and similarly a bad deed takes it to an inferior birth. If the individual goes on doing good deeds in his life after the life; it has the power to over come the effect of genes (guna) of poor quality. Then eventually it keeps on getting better life and the time comes when the jeev-atma merges with the ultimate soul. This stage is called Moksha.
Types of gunas (genes): The gunas are the intellectual, mental and physical attributes. Taken

collectively they are of three types:


Satvic: pure, tranquil, chaste, virtuous, modest, honest, etc. Rajasic: Active, aggressive, forceful, spirited, zealous, etc. Tamasic: Dull, lazy, idle, inactive, slow, lethargic, etc.

Each one of us has a mixture of above three in various proportions and reflects from us at various circumstantial situations in life or time. Therefore, all of us are not born or act equal. An idiot create problems, an intellectual solves problems and genius avoids problems The Bhagavad-Gita enumerates three qualities of mind. Whichever is predominant in our personality creates the relevant propensities in our mind. Propensities Stress Nature Goal in life Effect Direction Worship Food Sacrifice Austerity Speech State of mind Charity Motive for renunciation Religious vision Mode of action Self-expression Power of reasoning Motive of action Source of joy Goal after death Etc ; Sattva Least stress Wisdom & happiness Enlightenment Peace Upward The supreme Vegetables/fruits As a duty For purity Sweet & truthful Peaceful For the right cause Higher knowledge God in all Without attachment Refined & elegant Calm & clean Universal well-being The greater god Higher consciousness Rajasa Max stress Action & desire Accomplishments Pain Middle Gods Animal products For results For recognition Clever & manipulating Agitated For fame Freedom from sorrow God in some form With lot of effort Impassioned Disturbed by desires Selfish attachment Pleasure of the senses Actions on earth Tamasa No stress Ignorance & laziness Comfort Distress Downward Demons/spirits Old/junk food For wrong purposes As self-torture Harsh & deceptive Tormented To the unworthy Freedom from fear No God Causing harm Vulgar & distorted Perverse & distorted Stupidity & despair Chaos & pain Realms of darkness -

Changes in ones personality cant be brought about over-night. It has been formed by various factors such as education, upbringing, culture, environment, parental influences and so on. Some even believe that it is determined by your earlier life. Medical science believes that your traits are from the DNA. However, the solace is that through spiritual practices over the years, you can grow up from tamas to rajas and from rajas to sattva. In the sattva state, your success is no more determined by the world. It is a state of mind which remains peaceful and clam in any situation. This according to our understanding is true success where we dont avoid stress, but handle it efficiently! Sattva is the ideal for spiritual growth, while rajasic is necessary for worldly accomplishment, as you can learn from above chart. All of us are combinations of these three personalities. They are not water-tight compartments. Based on the predominance of the propensities we can determine our personalitys type. As a man-of-world, we cannot completely avoid certain tamasic propensities in our daily life such as sleep and procrastination or certain rajasic propensities such as sense pleasures and desires. But we can/will certainly see the reduction of their intensity when we resort to meditation, prayer, self-less work, company of spiritual masters, healthy food and study of spiritual books. The intellect that is enveloped in tamo guna (the worst form of His Maya) sees (and even propagates) Adharma as Dharma. Similarly, they construe and interpret everything in a contrary manner to their actual meanings --- Bhagavad-Gita

The Vedas shows four (yoga) for merging with absolute.

Path of devotion (Bhakti yoga): it is the easiest path for every body. There are prayers in

this path which reflect love and devotion towards god who is contemplated in the most affectionate term as father, mother, brother, friend, and so on. It develops emotional relationship between the worshipper and god. The path of knowledge (Gyana yoga): it is realized by experience and learning and hence suitable for intellectuals. It has prayers for mental power (such as the Gyatri mantra), talent and mental perfection. The priestly class practices it. The path of action (Karma yoga): it means acceptance of our existence on the material plane. It h as prayers for health, strength, long life, power and victory over evil. This yoga is based on heroic out look on life and better suited for the warrior (Kshatriya) class. The path of mysticism (raja yoga): it is the path of spiritual realization of the Almighty, both in his manifest as well as un-manifest form. It is suitable for those who have the ability and the patience to practice meditation and bachelor hood.

Stages in life: according to Manu-dharma, human life is divided into four stages (ashrams) each
of which lasts for 25 yr approximately.

Unmarried stage: this is for acquisition of knowledge, for mental and physical development. House holders stage: this is for normal married life, and running a house-hold life. Retirement stage: social bonds are to be given up gradually during this stage. The privileges

and responsibilities shouldered thus far are to be passed on to the next generation, which has grown up by then. Ascetic stage: the last 25-yr. of life is to be spent in the mountains or forests to meditate. The wife may, if she wishes to, accompany her husband for forest dwelling. If she is unable to do so or she does not wish to do so, she can stay back, to be cared for the younger generation.

Four goals in life: life is to be lived to achieve these four goals:

Dharma: life of righteousness, morality, virtue, duty and observance of law through out the

four stages in life. Artha: Acquisition of wealth which should be utilized according to the above mentioned principles of Dharma, during the householders stage. Kama: Desire of achieving some thing, fame/money (materialistic), it includes physical pleasure - householders stage of life. Moksha: Liberation from the cycle of birth and death by doing good Karma (deeds).

In essence, these goals mean earning wealth and fulfilling our desires to do our duty (Dharma) so as to achieve spiritual freedom. Merely having wealth for fulfillment of Kama (desires) and ignoring our duty will not take us to Moksha.

What is culture? : Culture is the refinement resulting from a constantly evolving civilization; it is a complex whole

which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by men and women as members of society. Some aspects of culture may be identified with spiritual and ethical (i.e., relating to morals) and some others with fine arts. Our habits and behavior are also the aspects of our culture. In shot, culture is accumulated knowledge in myriad fields-both spiritual and material-which is transmitted to us by our ancestors from generation to generation.

What is education? :
Education, which cannot give peace to the soul or cannot give the knowledge of the self and the inner satisfaction, is not education. Education, which cannot wipe the tears of others, known or unknown, is not education. Education is understanding the situation - leading the life that can make the life, the life of divine, where the ultimate goal of the life is the absolute -realization. Such education can come only through discrimination and dispassion. One can have abundant amount of money, but if he does not know how to make good use of it, it will work to his disadvantage. A life of service, a life of feeling for fellow being, a life of charity and generosity, a life of purity, a life for seeking a soul within the soul and a life with an ultimate aim of the realization of the absolute is the only real education

Note: spread Hindu dharma by forwarding to near & dear.