Friday, November 02, 2007


from Vedoday2050 hide details 1:18 am (4 hours ago)
date Nov 2, 2007 1:18 AM
subject Dr Harish Chandra's article in Vedoday2050 Nov 2007 - 1-4

Vedoday 2050

Vol. I, No. 1, November 2007

Vedoday2050 - The Inaugural Issue

We are pleased to bring out the Inaugural Issue of Vedoday2050 coinciding with Deepavali that falls on 9th November this year. Deepavali symbolizes emergence of truth in the form of light over darkness of false prejudices when tiny lamps emit light in the dark night of new moon. Likewise, Vedoday2050 envisages the inner light in the human minds so as to bring a new dawn before the year 2050 among a wide cross-section of the humanity.

The word Veda is derived from the root vid, meaning knowledge. God created the sun before giving two eyes to humans (and other species, too) so that they could see in the light of the sun and save themselves from pitfalls and consequent injuries. Likewise, He gave the word of wisdom in the form of the Vedas to the first humans so that the intellectual faculty of the humans (and that is not possessed by other species) could 'see' using the inner light of knowledge and save itself from the darkness of ignorance.

The word uday means 'rising'. Therefore, Vedoday would mean, a dawn of the knowledge of the Vedas. This is similar to sūryoday (sunrise) that takes place every morning at the end of the night of darkness. As we are certain about tomorrow's sunrise, let us be equally certain about Vedoday by 2050 and prepare ourselves for the beautiful future that lies ahead of us – void of ignorance, injustice, exploitation, avoidable pain and suffering.

Ignorance (ajńāna), meaning both lack of knowledge ( avidyā) and wrong knowledge (duşţa vidyā), is the greatest cause of human suffering. Even the suffering due to injustice ( anyāya) and scarcity of commodities ( abhāva) can be seen to originate due to ignorance. This being the case, education has been the first pursuit for the humans that we all went through the first phase of the student life and this pursuit must continue until we breathe our last. Vedas are the fountain-head of all true knowledge and must be studied by one and all. They are the eternal source of all true knowledge pertaining to both, the material and spiritual domains of the universe ( jada and cetana). Like sun, Vedas are for the entire humanity.

Dr Abdul Kalam had envisaged in his Vision 2020 document, among other things, that the country must graduate from 'religious spirituality' to 'scientific spirituality' by 2020 for its overall development. In the same spirit, we would like to call upon the entire humanity in the present age of globalization to raise its intellectual and moral stature through the study of the Vedas. The timeframe of 2050 is a realistic goal to strive at.

Thanks to the brilliant scholarship of Maharshi Dayānanda Sarasvatī (1824-'83), the classical tradition of correct interpretation of the Vedas has been revived that utilizes the etymology of the Vedic words, as contained in Nirukta of Mahrshi Y āska. In the last few thousand years, a number of scholars, both Indian and foreign, interpreted Vedas as if they were Sanskrit texts without utilizing its classical etymology. They treated Vedas as books in Sanskrit language and utilized Sanskrit grammar for their interpretation and thereby they forgot that the Vedas are source of the language called Sanskrit. That is to say, the language of Sanskrit takes its origin from the Vedas like any other discipline of knowledge. The language of Vedas is of its own, say, the Vedic language and it requires one to be proficient in the Vedic etymology before interpreting its meaning. The result was that the Vedic interpretation degraded and so did the Indian civilization, particularly in the last four-to-five thousand years. Now, equipped with its correct interpretation, Vedoday2050 initiative attempts to bring the light of knowledge to one and all. May it lead us into the effulgence of the brightest light of His bhargaħ, brighter than that of the sun - another name of His being Hirańyagarbhaħ. It is particularly desirable to begin this initiative from Deepavali because it was the evening of Deepavali in 1883 that Maharshi Dayānanda Sarasvatī left this mortal world – He gave his life to emit the Vedic light to brighten that dark night of new moon forever.

Every month, you will find a short article and a Vedic hymn with its meaning. The message should bring a positive change in our life, particularly with our intellectual and moral stature. Our progress on the dual front of intellectual and moral soundness will expedite Vedoday2050.

The G āyatrī Mantra - The Sāvitrī Mantra, The Guru Mantra

Om bhūr-bhuvaħ svaħ

Tat savitur-vareńyam bhargo devasya dhīmahi.

Dhiyo yo naħ pracodayāt . (Ŗgveda 3.62.10, Yajurveda 36.3, 3.35, 22.9 , 30.2, Sāmaveda

The above is the well known Gāyatrī Mantra, also called Sāvitrī Mantra and Guru Mantra. Actually, Gāyatrī is the name of the Vedic metre constituting 24 syllables. A number of Vedic mantras are in the Gāyatrī metre, such as: 1. Śam-no devīr-abhīşţaye... (Ŗgveda 10.9.4, Yajurveda 36.12, Sāmaveda, Atharvaveda 1.6.1), 2. Viśvāni deva savitar-duritāni..... (Yajurveda 30.3).

It is called Sāvitrī Mantra because it's an exposition on Savitā that being its devatā - subject matter that it illuminates - for devatā is what gives us light, among other things. This mantra illuminates us about Savitā that is creative attribute of God.

It is called Guru Mantra and that happens to be its unique name because the tradition is that this was chosen to be the first Vedic mantra that a child would be initiated into while gaining admission into an institution of learning, called guru-kula (the family of the teacher while she lived hitherto in the family of her parents).

Its meaning:

Om - God's own name as He would like to be called by us (Refer Om krato smara - Hey Doer, remember Om, Yajurveda 40.15).

Bhūħ - He is Giver of the life, anything that exists (the root bhū sattāyām, is for existence).

Bhuvaħ - He takes away pain and suffering; nearness to Him makes us void of pain and suffering.

Svaħ - He is the giver of joy, pleasure and bliss.

He is Savitā Deva who gave birth to us and the universe, too. He gave us everything that we could ever need, including our superb intellect [ dhī]. However, for our own deficiencies, our intellect misses out the brightest light of His [bhargaħ] and that's the most desirable and adorable thing [ vareńyam]. We want to hold on [mahi ] to this brightest light.

So that, the aforementioned brightest light [ yo] constantly guides and inspires [ pracodayāt] our [naħ] intellects [dhiyo] and none else.

Purport: God has given us everything for our well being. He is the Most Benevolent and removes our pains and sufferings, and gives us bliss. However, we choose not to heed the conscience and indulge in misdeeds and other wrongdoings. May we always follow the inner conscience and remain connected to His light within us.

More often, we indulge in wrongdoings though we know very well that it's a wrongful act. This happens because of our weaknesses due to lust, anger, greed, ego, undue attachment, and envy. Therefore, we seek His help to overcome these weaknesses and be righteous. If we stay righteous then comes a time when our intellect sees the light and helps us decide even when we have genuine dilemmas. Only a pure intellect becomes a truly penetrating sharp intellect that can discriminate between ignorance and knowledge.

Where Did We Go Wrong?: We became hypocrites. While we chanted the Guru Mantra, we had something else in mind. Imagine, you want to ask for money from someone but you tell him that, "I wish my son secures good grades in his examinations." What you say is different from what you have in mind. There is no harmony in thoughts and words. Then you will get neither. Similar is the mockery made out of the great Guru Mantra. When we chant it then by words we say that we desire to follow our conscience and be inspired by Him and Him alone. But what we have in mind could be something totally different, say, success in business, victory in a court case, promotion at the work, better marks in examinations, improvement in chronic disease, and similar worldly issues. So, there is no harmony in what we chant and what we desire. Thus, nothing happens in life and it remains a static and painful experience. Let us understand the true meaning of the Guru Mantra as given above and derive strength from the true inspiration from the infinite God. Let us resolve not to make the great Guru Mantra another superstition.

- Dr Harish Chandra

May Deepavali usher in health, wisdom and prosperity for everyone in your family - The Vedoday2050 Team


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