Spiritual Progress

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Jan 5 12:47:26 CST 1998

On Tue, 30 Dec 1997, Chandran, Nanda (NBC) wrote:

> This article appeared in The Hindu today :
> Spiritual progress
> PATHWAY TO GOD IN THE VEDAS: K. D. Sangoram; Copies available with B. R.
> Kulkarni, A-4-2, Postal Colony, Hotgi Road, Solapur, 413003, Maharashtra.
> Rs. 80.
> The Vedas which are God's revelations have given to posterity the concepts
> of one God, one world and one humanity.

This is open to debate.

>  The Rishis who took to propagate
> them by transmission through direct teaching were eager to share their
> profound thoughts with fellow human beings.

With their fellow Brahmans.  This is something that makes a lot of people
uncomfortable but nevertheless it is true.

> Their wisdom forms the foundation of Hindu religion, the Rig Veda is full of
> verses, the Yajur, of formulas, the Sama Veda of Riks in metrical forms. The
> Atharva Veda contains chants and incantations.
> The sages were aware of the process of re-channelising mind's energy. They
> had understood that the assistance of the mind is needed in all that one has
> to do. They wanted to redirect its powers, Godward.

Mantras have a spiritual effect.  It's best to leave it at that.  A lot of
this mind-energy channeling talk is just pseudoscience.

> The Vedic selections in this volume depict the stages in the progress of a
> pilgrim towards the altar of Divinity. The Vedas explain why man turns to
> God and why, in doing so, he has to imbibe certain virtues which are
> essential to tread the pathway to God.
> The author has referred to the incentives to spiritual life as found in the
> Vedas under three heads - intellectual, moral and eudaemonistic. Quoting
> mantras, he says that God is hidden in the hearts of men who have to
> approach Him by all possible means.
> Though the Vedic prayers also seek material wealth, men's eyes should be
> turned to the light from above. The ideal set by the Rishis through their
> interpretation of the Vedas was a judicious blend of worldly happiness and
> spiritual bliss on the journey towards God, moral preparation has to be done
> and one chapter is devoted to this need, which includes control of the mind,
> avoidance of vices and cultivation of virtues.
> The arguments to prove God's existence, the nature of Reality, the
> relationship between God and a devotee, how God removes an aspirant's
> problems, the role and necessity of a spiritual teacher, the Divine Name as
> the bond between God and man, methods of meditation, the varieties of
> spiritual experience and God- realisation have all been dealt with in this
> elaborate study of the Vedic mantras, giving the exact Vedic passages from
> which they have been traced.

The use of the word God with all the connotations the English word carries
may obscure the fact that various Mimamsaka and Vedantic schools have a
range of opinions from completely theistic to somewhat agnostic.  For
Advaita Vedantins God exists and is to be worshipped but Moksha itself is
not something God can give.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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