Messages Contained In The Vedas And Upanishads

Hinduism is the oldest and the most varied of all the great religions in the world. There are four Vedas, Rig-Veda, Sama-Veda, Yajur-Veda, and Ahara-Veda. These are lessons of more than poetry, but “truth perceived through the elevated consciousness of the great seers. These incorporate the elements of nature found in and around Earth like the Moon, Sun, and Oceans. The anatomy and physiology of the human body are described in some details.

The Vedas teach about the eternal trinity entities in the Universe which are God, the creator, (one all knowing all powerful parades the universe and exists all around the universe. He molded the universe into the matter around ones, he surrounds the soul with the body made of matter), the soul (animate but have limited capability and knowledge) and matter (intimate but makes up most of the universe). There are four main goals for humans taught in the Vedas. The three entities of God, souls, and matter come together in the Universe so that the Souls can perform actions so that these souls can achieve their goals. The four goals are Dharma, Artha, Kaama, and Moksha.

Dharma means righteousness and includes duties and responsibilities, those of your family, profession, society etc. Taking care of the elderly, children, donating money to the poor are all Dharmic Activities. Artha refers to wealth and includes one’s business to make money. This is one’s adult life is spent in the 21st century. Kaama refers to one’s desires and enjoyment. All activities for Artha have Kaama for motivation. Moksha is the ultimate goal of one’s life and it means the soul is released from the bondage of the body. The body entails much suffering and release from this suffering is Moksha. Dharma, Artha, Kamma are related and interplay in the material world and Moksha is release from this. In contrast from Abrahamic Religions, the Vedas do not give specific instructions to reach Moksha. These goals are unique to mankind.

Next, the law of Karma is life’s series of actions and outcomes. Matter creates the opportunities for actions and learning for one’s soul and God is the judge for rewarding or punishing it. The actions performed in life are depending the stage of life it is performed in. The Vedas give a guideline for the kind of actions one should perform. The four stages of life is divided in quarters if hypothetically one lives 100 years.

The first part of life is called Brahmacharya which is from birth to 25 years of age. This is a period of obtaining knowledge of all sorts, these are the student years. The second part is called Grhashta, this is where one finds a job and starts a family to contribute to society and the nation. After 50 years one turns to spiritualty, this period is called Vaanprastha where one begins seeking moksha. The last quarter is called Sanyaasa which is spreading the knowledge and final goal of achieving moksha.

Examples of this is found in the Mahabharata great Indian Epic. It starts with Dhritarashtra, the blind king of Hastinapura. He had Duryodhana and Dushasana, the eldest out of 100 children. They were known as the Kauravas. The Kauravas had five cousins called the Pandavas. They were Yudhisthira, Bheema, Arjuna and twins Sahadeva and Nakula. The Kaurabas and the Pandavas were brought up together by Bheeshma and Drona and were taught the art of warfare and given a good education. As they grew up, Duryodhana became jealous of the Pandava’s glory. The Pandavas married Draupadi the daughter of Drupada. This alliance made them powerful and so the Kauravas were further threatened. Dhritarshatra consulted with the wise men in his court regarding the inheritance and said, “I will give half the kingdom to the Kauravas and the other to the Pandavas. ” The Pandavas named their half Indraprasthra and built it into a great city. Soon, Yudhisthira held a Rajasuya Yagna, which was attended by many Kings and was unanimously accepted as the king of Kings. Duryodhana wanted to fight the Pandavas. His wicked uncle Shakuni, devised a plan to defeat the Pandavas and take Indraprashta from them. He said, “Invite the Pandavas to a ame aof dice. I will play and defeat them. ” So Duryodhana sent an invitation to Yudhishthira. Shakuni cheated and the Pandavas lost everything. Yudhisthira bet on Draupadi and lost her too. The Kauravas insulted Draupadi but she was saved by Krishna. Duryodhana said, “spend twelve years in the foresd one year without anyone recognizing you. Recognized 12 years in exile. ” Pandas lived happy in the forest. After 12 years they went to Matsya, kingdom of King Virata. They went to the King seeking work and he employed them. Yudhisthira was dressed as a priest and amused the King with his wit. Bheema was a cook, Arjuna dressed as a woman and was employed to teach the princess to dance, and Draupadi was employed as the Queen’s companion. Keechka, the brother in law to the King began harassing Draupadi. Bheema whipered a plan to Draupdi. Bheema killed Keechaka after Draupdi lured him into the dancehall. The Pandavas were caught by the Kauravs so they decide to attack the North and with the help of King Trigata, he will attack from the south. They will be force out of hiding and forced in the forest for 12 years. After King Trigata attacked the south, Yudhisthira and Bheema, offered their services to King Virata. They were successful. Arjuna dressed as a woman. The king recognized the Pandavas after the war. The Kauravas were reluctant to give back their kingdom. Yudhisthira asked Krishna for help and Krishna agreed to convince the Kauravas. Arjuna does not want to kill and fight his own but it is his duty because he is a warrior. You will only kill the body and not the soul. Do not grieve over the past and rule the Hastinpura wisely. Pandavas ruled it well for many years after. In the Maharabata, Krishna advices the Pandavas to continue their duties even when they were in doubt of continuing in the war against the Kauravas. The Pandavas are a warrior caste so their duties are to fight and defend their land. They will not be punished for fighting the Kauravas because their bodies will perish but their souls will live on.

The Vedas and Upanishads give people the outlines on living life while giving them the opportunity to interpret the grey.

18 March 2020
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