Vedas – the guidelines for the spirit.
On 26 January, we in India celebrated Republic Day. In 1950, the country adopted its new Constitution, and we celebrate this day to honor that event. This day ranks with Independence Day in its importance for the country.
What is so important about the Constitution that warrants such celebration and prominence? We can gauge its importance from the fact that it took nearly three years to make, with India’s finest legal and administrative minds engaged in doing it. The final work they produced has been lauded the world over; the Constitution has been tested, but it has withstood such pressures, and India has emerged more robust with each passing year.
The Constitution reflects the reality and aspirations of its citizens and provides a framework for the country; this makes it so important. It provides a framework for the future of the country.
Rules and guidelines are essential for progress in every field. Take, for example, traffic rules. Think of a world where there are no traffic rules, and people are free to drive as they please. You can imagine the carnage this will lead to. Regulations and laws enable us to rise and make progress, provided the rules are just.
It is no different in the spiritual world. There is a Constitution for the soul, and it is the Vedas. It provides us with the framework we need for our spiritual journey. And unlike the Constitution of India, which has been amended several times to keep pace with changing circumstances, the Vedas are unchangeable. The Vedas are eternal; they are why the Hindu faith's correct name is Sanatan Dharma, the eternal path. Not even God created the Vedas; what is built one day will also end one day, and this is not the case with the Vedas. God manifests the Vedas from time to time, after each cycle of destruction/creation of the world. The sage Ved Vyas did not create the Vedas either; he compiled them into four parts. The word ‘Vyas’ means ‘compiler,’ not ‘creator.’
The Vedas are a complete repository of spiritual laws and outcomes. They have something in store for everyone. If you want the ultimate goal, divine bliss, the Vedas have a perfect set of guidelines for you.
If you wish that your next birth is in heaven, the Vedas have the answer for that as well. If you want your next birth to be in hell, the Vedas have a formula for that too! Just do the opposite of Vedic recommendations, and a tour of hell is guaranteed.
If everything is clearly spelled out in the Vedas, then all we have to do is read it thoroughly and be on our spiritual journey, right? No, it does not work that way. Let us go back to the Constitution of India. Although it is exhaustive (almost 145,000 words), how a person interprets it is sometimes open to debate. Even something as basic as what makes up fundamental rights has been debated in the past. The landmark case of Kesavananda Bharati versus the State of Kerala was one such case. In this case, the rights to religion and property, both fundamental rights, were debated up to the Supreme Court of India. It took 13 learned Supreme Court judges, the largest Constitutional bench in India’s history, to reach a conclusion. They spent over five months in the process, and the verdict was divided 7-6. Seven of the judges had one interpretation, while the remaining six had another.
So is the case with the Vedas. While a person with some knowledge of Sanskrit can read it, understanding and interpreting it correctly is another matter. For instance, the word ‘atma’ occurs in the Vedas in many places. In its most common parlance, it is used to denote the soul, the individual souls of each living being. But it can also mean God, and if a person misinterprets it, the verse can have a completely different meaning. Another example – the word ‘Indra,’ another word that is common in the Vedas. Usually, it is used to denote the celestial king, the suzerain of heaven, the god responsible for rain and thunder. Yet, in certain verses, it is used to indicate God. While Indra, the king of heaven, is a mighty being, he is not the Supreme Creator. We have no memory of this, but each of us has been Indra, not just once but many times in our countless births.
The point is, interpreting the Vedas requires an exceptional person. Only those who have experienced the divine can interpret the Vedas correctly.
It doesn’t matter if the person is a brilliant scholar or has a sky-high IQ. If he (or she) has not realized the divine, merely reading the Vedas will lead to further confusion. It can be harmful to a person’s spiritual progress as ‘dry’ academic knowledge can lead to arrogance. And we know that arrogance is the very antithesis of spiritual progress.
Thus, my message this time, like all my messages – seek a genuine guru, submit yourself fully to the guru, learn the essence of the Vedas, and set forth on your spiritual journey.
Note: If you have any spiritual queries, feel free to ask. Devi Ji may answer your query as a blog post here. Send your query to,
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