Beyond Yoga, Onto the path of Realisation
Updated: Jan 7
It’s the 2nd of January and the year is 2021. The 2 of us, my wife and I, sit by the large window in our bedroom wondering about the nuances of this thing called life. I look out of the window to find a giant coconut tree tempting the world with its coconuts, the rose plant on my window sill in full bloom and sun filtering through a hazy Saturday morning. Indeed it is a great day to think about the greater mysteries of our existence.
How were the Vedas written?
The Hindu way of life by and large is dictated and dominated by the Vedas. These texts were initially orally transmitted and when writing was invented, they were written down. Almost every other Hindu text is similar to scripture and is heavily influenced by the founding ideas laid by the vedas. It is interesting to note though, how the vedas were conceived. The first clue comes from the fact that Hindu words don’t necessarily have proper noun. Let me explain. Take a concept such as cleanliness, and denote this concept with a set of sounds and viola you have a word. Veda quite literally means knowledge. Knowledge identifies a group of entities or ideas and thus cannot be a proper noun. English forces us to think in terms of proper and common noun but imagine for second if you spoke a language with no proper noun. Let’s conduct short experimental conversation wherein I speak just as it was Sanskrit, but in English.
I - I bow to the divine in you. (Namaste)
You- I bow to the Divine in you. (Namaste)
I - I was reading knowledge (veda) yesterday. Did you know Knowledge (Veda) was also understood as knowledge not of man (Apauruseya).
How did the ancient people put together this ‘Knowledge not of man’ together. I believe by being observant of the world and the universe around us. Ideas in the vedas are quite literally the universe filtering through a conscious and sentient being and finding expression.
The later works such as the Upanishads and Puranas were, in a way, making sense of the profoundness of the universe through sub interpretations, similes, rituals and stories. Like a grand game of Chinese whisper (for the lack of better word) the sound/sight/taste/smell/feel of the universe has filtered through, first into the vedas and then into the countless millions of minds of thinkers through the centuries to end up with 13 million deities, epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, The Bhagwad Gita and Bhagwatam, hymns, songs, ideologies, sub sects, religions and temples. Just like the tree of life where every life form finds a common single ancestor, the tree of knowledge and information finds a single common originator in the universe, in the brahman, in the highest universal principle, the ultimate reality.
Of all the millions of things we hear, read and do to achieve total bliss, maybe tuning in to the universe, like those early explorers, is the easiest. Maybe that is what mediation is all about. It is about forgetting everything, emptying oneself completely and tuning in to perceive the universe. In total absolute perception the I, the fictitious separation of the self and the universe dissolves away into infinity, leaving behind something, for you and I to fully experience. I guess what I am writing today adds to the millions of other interpretations and sub interpretations of the universe.
Let us take out one day of life to sit peacefully, with our tummies satisfied, with our bowels empty, with ailments aside, with our thoughts zeroed out to just listen/feel/hear/touch/see the BRAHMAN.