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06 March, 2008

VEDANTA - ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY



Vedanta an ancient philosophy enunciates the eternal principles of life and living. Living is an art, a skill, a technique. Few have understood it to be so in the span of human history. Nevertheless, you need to learn and practice the technique of living. As you would for playing a musical instrument or flying aircraft.

The world today is unaware of this process of learning. It is not taught in a school or university. Nor in a moral or religious institution. Thus people go through a mechanical way of living merely following a routine of their predecessors. They lack this fundamental knowledge of living. And become victims of stress and strain.

People everywhere have lost the pleasure in action. They try to find peace and happiness by abstaining from action. Hence, everyone looks forward to week end and vacation. Even seeks premature retirement from work. This is a human weakness. Do not fall a prey to it. If you cannot find a peace and happiness in action you can never find it through abstaining.

The world presents two distinct classes of people. One class is active, productive and prosperous. The Western world seems to fit into this category. But by their own admission they have lost their peace of mind. While the other class of people is relatively peaceful and happy but without much action. Since they lack action they are not productive, prosperous. Some of the eastern countries face this problem.

Thus, there is action without peace on one side and peace without action on the other. One wonders if it is possible to combine dynamic action with mental peace. Vedanta provides the answer. The few who have imbibed the knowledge of Vedanta, learnt and practised the technique of living, live a dynamic life of action while enjoying perfect peace and happiness within.

What is Vedanta (Ancient Philosophy)?
Vedanta literally means culmination of knowledge. Veda means knowledge, anta means end. The knowledge of your real Self. The Self within its supreme. Presently obscured by your body, mind and intellect. You are aware of the body, mind and intellect and not your real Self. Vedanta helps you to unfold your Self. Discover the true nature of your inherent Being. Your real Being is divine. He abode of absolute peace and bliss.

Vedanta is a systematic knowledge which explains the meaning and purpose of your existence in the world. A knowledge that is founded on its own authority. It trains you to think for yourself. To analyse, investigate and realize the quintessence of life. Not to submit yourself to blind faith, superstitious belief or mechanical ritual. Ultimately, it leads you to spiritual Enlightenment.

The knowledge of the unknown can be gained only through the use of known factors. Therefore, to unravel the mystery of God you need to use the world of objects and beings known to you. Start with the study of the world, the individual and the relationship between them.

How are you to relate with the world to find peace and harmony? It is not the world that bothers you as you believe it to be. But your relationship with it. You need to learn the principles of right living. Change the character of your action from selfishness to selfless service. Mend the quality of your emotion from preferential attachment to universal love. Raise your knowledge from the mundane to the supreme Self within. Thus you all reach the culmination of human life, the ultimate state of peace and bliss, the goal of religion.

Young men and women ought not to be pestered with Thou shalts and Thou shalt nots. Whatever is forced is never forceful. Dos and don’ts are not designed for human beings. Desire for anything increases with restriction and prohibition. Static precepts, susperstitious beliefs and mechanical rituals are being thrust on people. It frustrates them. Rather, they need to be educated with the knowledge of life and living. The higher values of religion have to be presented systematically and logically to the modern intellect. The philosophy of Vedanta answers the requirements of seekers of truth. The process may take time but is sure to elevate them.

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Sources: VEDANTA TREATISE by A. Parthasarathy.

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