It was dusky and quiet in the backyard when I came out for bench press, a daily meditative routine. My eyes got closed by themselves. A question surfaced up about the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of India. How did this holy stream of Vedas stop at four? Relatively, out of the four Vedas, Rig Ved is the oldest and Atharva Ved, the youngest!
The essence of the Vedas lies in their meaning itself that is knowledge. Thus the Vedas are akin with knowledge, but knowledge is not akin with the Vedas! Consequently, the Vedas are not fixed and bounded! Knowledge is expanding with universe. The Vedas were never supposed to stop at four. It is the Hindus who stopped in their tracks.
The pertinent question is: How and when did it happen? That is the saddest chapter of Hindu society! It marks a 1000-year subjugation of the most enlightened people in human history. When the very survival loses its zest, then who cares about the heritage? Sanskrit scholars admit that it is nearly impossible to construct a mantra like the one in the Vedas. Vinoba, a great rishi (intellectual) of the 20th century composed a couple of mantras that are considered of the Vedic caliber. New knowledge and researches only flourish in a free and affluent society.
Fifteen years ago, a friend launched a Hindi magazine and stated in its mission statement that any material against the lofty traditions of Hindu culture won'tbe published. In a light and yet deeper vein, I wrote, ?If persons like you and I can judge the lofty traditions of our heritage, then Hindus would not have suffered this fate for a thousand years. Also, it is terrible, if there are no persons left to re-kindle the torch!?
While India is heralded as software giant, the Hindus are becoming more superstitious. They consult priests for any thing. Never in my memory, was astrology that much embedded in public life. My nephew in the US chose the time and date for his wife'sC-delivery after consulting a priest. He never thanked the modern neo-natal technology that saved his first child. A friend credits the recovery of his wife'sillness to his 40 consecutive visits to a temple rather than to the best medical treatment. Increasingly, the Hindus are seen with faded red-yellow thread (Kalava) tied around their wrists for divine protection!
Swami Dayanand stressed upon the understanding of the Vedas, but never their worship. Knowledge in the Vedas is in distilled form. During the dark period, intellect being less discriminating, the Hindus erroneously started believing that all past, present and future knowledge is locked up in the Vedas! Any time a great theory or principle is reported in the media, it is unabashedly linked with the Vedas using a convoluted logic.
The Vedas only provide templates of developed mind! Fortunately, some Hindus are waking up out of this long slumber. If Tagore comes back to life today, then he would re-title his famous poem as Let My Hindu Brethren Awake!