WHY VEDIC DHARMA IS SUPERIOR
Why Vedic Dharma is superior in the world? This question is necessary to be understood since the world is presently under the grip of so many religions. These religions pride themselves as best before a common man but in truth, and in order to justify their self interests shamelessly dish out half truths and falsehoods. They teach that there would be peace and prosperity only if the world were to follow them.
However contrary to this position Vedic Dharma which has been upheld by the learned and wise for ages is highly rational and also in total conformity with the truth. Hence, so long the world does not care to follow the principles of Vedic Dharma; surely there would be no peace in the world. Then what are those special features that distinguish it from the other religions? The plain truth is no religion could stand before Vedic Dharma in terms of its greatness. Following are the great principles that characterise the Vedic Dharma. Study and decide yourselves.
1. It is based on Vedas, a god given word.
The great principle that characterise Vedic Dharma is that it is based on God’s knowledge called Veda. Veda is emanated not for the benefit of any individual, or a group of people or a country. On the other hand Vedic Dharma exists for the benefit of entire mankind. Vedas were revealed through the four Rishis with the intention of causing well being to the entire world. It occurred at the origin of the Creation for the reason that no man should be devoid of its benefits and to be from the charges of injustice and partiality if not revealed then.
Maxmuller in his book “Science and Religion” supports the above view as under.
“If there is a god who has created heaven and earth it will be unjust of His divine knowledge .Reason and comparative study of his religions declare that God give divine knowledge to mankind from the first appearance on earth”
Vedic Dharma rising above the limitations of religion and traditions calls upon the human being to become Man. or Manushya. Maharshi Yashka in Niruktha while explaining the term “Manushya” says “Manushyah kasmaath matvaa Karmavaseevyathi” meaning that a Man acts after verifying what is Dharma and Adharma. Hence, a man who uses the faculty of thinking before acting is called Manushya. Therefore, Vedas order “Manurbhava” or we becomeMan. If man acts otherwise he becomes a devil or Danav. So if a man wants to become Man in the real sense of the term then it is necessary that he studies the 10 principles of Aryasamaj so that the duties to be done towards mankind and the methods necessary to realise God are understood. These are key principles for the progress of humanity.
2. Establishment of direct relationship with the God.
The second principle of its greatness is that it seeks to establish direct relationship of devotee with God. Here the medium of Prophets, Agents, Peers or their recommendations to seek God are not at all necessary. On the other hand Vedas teach the mankind “tvameva viditvathi mruthyumethi nanyapanthah vidyathe ayanaya” meaning that with the knowledge of God only that you could overcome the fear of Death. There is no other auspicious way than this. It is argued, however that to approach the King, the order of the officer or King’s himself is necessary. Similarly, to realise God it is argued by these religions that help is to be obtained of a Prophet, Peer, or an Idol. But this is baseless argument when we consider that no order of the King or the officer is necessary for a son of a King to see his father. Likewise, God is our real father and we are His dear children. So no order or permission of an agent is necessary to approach Him. Rig-Veda also says as under.
Tvam Hi nah pitha vasothavm maatha shathakratho babhooveetha| Ada the sumnaheemahe” Hey the omniscient God! You are our real father. You are our holy mother. Hence we take shelter into Thee! Same sentiments are expressed in another Mantra which says “Yo nah pitha janitha yo vidhatha dhamaani veda bhuvanani Vishwa [Rigveda 10.83.3] meaning that who gives us birth and nourishes us knows all. Thus Veda likens the relationship man and God to that of a son and father. Hence, no agent is necessary for His realisation.
3. Infallible Karma theory.
Another greatness of Vedic Dharma is the theory of Karma. There is well known adage “As you sow so you reap” This law does not change even a wee bit under any circumstances. How beautifully Vedas say to this effect? “Anoonam patram nihitam etat paktharam pakvah punaaravishaathi” meaning that the vessel of man’s Karma is placed before him. There is no provision for variations here or there is a scope for somebody’s interference. Whatever that is placed in the vessel is to be got by him. No man could be saved of his sins nor could a person suffer for the sins of others. Keeping this view, Manu declares,
Na mutra hi sahayartha pithacha cha thistatah|
Na putradara na gnathidharmastista thi kevalah||
Eka prajaayathe jantureka eva praleeyathe|
Ekonu bhunkthe sukruthameka eva chaduskritam||
Meaning that no body including father, mother, wife or relatives could be of help in the after world. The one that helps or saves us there is Dharma only. This life is born alone and also destroyed alone. And alone it enjoys the fruits of good and bad deeds.
Thus, Vedic Dharma thru this law exhorts the mankind to keep away from indulging in bad deeds and inspires to toe the line of goodness. This is yet another speciality.
4. Four fold order for all round development.
The other speciality of Vedic Dharma is it presents the ideal of all round development of Man.This is called the Ashrama order. It consists of 25 years of Brahmacharya during which period he thru constant studies and struggles seeks to develop the mental, physical and intellectual faculties to the fullest level. There afterwards he goes for a marriage and keep doing good deeds until he attains 50 years of age, thereby he frees himself from the three obligations[ Rins} called Dev rina, Pitrurina, and Rishi rina. This is followed by Vanaprastha period until 75 years of age during which time he seeks refuge in forests aiming to gain the strength lost as householder. He during this period enriches the students through his knowledge and experience. Then the last stage is Sanyasa living to the concept “Ayam Nijah parovethi” meaning to strive for the benefit of entire society and world at large forgetting the distinction between mine and others. This is done for the attainment of the best in the other world.
This sort of step by step development of Man cannot be found in any religion or faith. Precisely for the same reason Leo Tolstoy used to look after Mahatma Gandhiji as his Guru. In a letter written to his wife, Tolstoy stated that like Hindus who retire to forests when old and in a similar manner, he also would like to spend the rest of life in meditation and work for the betterment of humanity. In the by gone days people after getting relieved from their normal work, used to offer themselves for the betterment of self, country and humanity. But what we witness sadly now is that they would keep counting their days with one step out to the grave doing nothing.
5. Scientific Social classification called Varnasharma Dharma
The other speciality is in order to keep the world’s Social order intact or to see that the system of world’s social order runs smoothly, Vedic Dharma has evolved a division of labour system called Varnshsrama Dharma. Education, Defence, Livelihood, and Service etc are sought are to be got provided to the Society through classes called Brahmin, Kshtriya, Vyashya and Shudra respectively. The Vedic Dharma seeks to equip the society to wage relentless fight against the evils of Ignorance, Injustice, Scarcity and laziness through the medium of these classes. Vedas recognise the division of labour called Brahman, Kshtriya, Vysya and Shudra not on the basis of birth but on the basis of quality, aptitude or inclination [Guna, Karma and Swabhava]. In the days of yore, the children on attaining the age of 8 years would have been sent to the care of Gurukul. On admission to a Gurukul, the boy or the girl belongs to the Kul of Acharya. The Acharyas there used to inculcate education for a period of 14 years. After examining the intellectual, physical capabilities, and inclinations, theVarnaof the student used to be decided. But today this is done by taking shelter to gadgets to decide the proclivity of the student.
A child although born to the parents engaged in Service sectors gets tagged to other Varnas due to their physical and mental abilities. Similarly although born to parents placed above the rest in Social ranking are given to Varnas not of their parents, due to their Karma and inclination. Manu Says,
Shudro Brahmanathamethi Brahmanaschethi shudrataam
[A Shudra becomes a Brahmin and a Brahmin becomes a Shudra because of his Karma]
6. Total stress on Logic and Reason and no blind faith
Further speciality of Vedic Dharma is it teaches to accept things after due examination on the touchstone of Logic and reason. Never has it instructed to accept things blindly. There are prayers at so many places in Vedas for the grant of brilliant intellect. For ex, “Deeyo yonah prachodayaat” which means to grant intellect towards for the noble Karma. Accordingly, Vedic Dharma condemns all those things that are opposed to reason. For ex, superstitions. Idol worship. Incarnation, Gurudom, worshipping of tombs, worshipping of Trees, stones etc Vedic Dharma calls upon for their rejection. Supporting this thesis W.D Brown, in his book “Superioity of Vedic Religion” says as under.
It [Vedic Religion] recognises but One God. It is thoroughly scientific religion and science meets hand in hand. Here theology is based on upon science and philosophy. The same sentiments are echoed in the book “The Bible inIndia” written by Jacoliot. [V of II ch II]
Astonishing fact! The Hindu Revelation [Vedas] is of all revelations the only one whose Ideas are in perfect harmony with Modern Science, as it proclaims the slow and gradual formation of the world
Hence, rationalism is the creed of Vedic Dharma and never makes a provision for blind faith of any sorts or kind. It upholds the scientific truths only.
7. No dependence on Indiviuals.
Vedic Dharma is not dependent on the personality of any individual. Even if you remove, Maharshi Gowthama, Kapila, Kanaada, or Dayananda Vedic Dharma does not suffer. Whereas if you remove Ram andKrishnafrom Sanathana Dharma or Mohamed from Islam, Jesus from Christianity, Buddha from Buddhism these religions crumble.
Because of the undeserved importance given to Prophets and Peers, the religions founded by these men have elevated their Prophets very high and in the process God has been sidelined. The wave of hatred, jealousy, and violence that are being seen today in the world is the result of this Hero worship. One gentle man have remarked so beautifully as under.
Much of the bitterness which we find in the religious circles these days is not due to God or his Worship but due to the Mediators, agents, Priests and the like who pretend to have monopolised the benefits of spirituality for themselves or for their followers.
8. Provision for extreme happiness called Moksha.
Vedic Dharma is one Dharma which brings out the real nature of Moksha called Bliss and also tells the ways and means of attaining it. This is totally different from the concepts of Hell and Heaven found in all religions which are pure fiction. Explaining the real nature of Moksha, Maharshi Gowtam in his Nyaya Darshan says “Tadantyantha Vimoksho pavarga” meaning total absence of unhappiness is called Moksha. In this state, the Soul experiences extreme happiness and would be moving around world in a state of bliss. The Soul would be freed from all types of sorrow until Mahakaal period. Further, Gowthama writes that “Dosha Mithya cha Nanamutharothapaya tadanam” or Tara
I.e when the spurious knowledge gets destroyed then only Apavarga or Moksha is obtained. The superficial knowledge of the matter is described as false knowledge. For ex, treating the items causing sorrow as those causing happiness. When such false knowledge is got destroyed then the blemish also get destroyed. Because there is no blemish or fault the man does not indulge in bad deeds. In the absence of disposition, man is not born. Because he is not born question of sorrow does not arise. Sorrows arise only when man is born. Absence of Sorrow is Moksha. This way Vedic Dharma unfolds the real nature of Moksha and how it could be obtained.
9. The Source of All Religions
Vedic Dharma is the primary source of all religions that are obtaining today in the world. All scholars are unanimous on the point that Vedas are the oldest books in Human Library. In other words whatever truths that are found in the world are all borrowed from Vedas only. Supporting this view Bernard Shaw records,
“There is only one religion though there are thousand version of it”.
The truth of the matter is while Vedas are there from the beginning of the Creation; the religions are all of recent origin. This is a historical fact. For ex,  Sikhism is 400 years old.  Islam is 1400 years old  Christianity 2000yrs old.  Judaism is around 2500 years old  Buddhism and Jainism, etc is more than 3500 years old. But against this Vedic Dharma is older by more than 197 crores of years, the same age of this Universe. It means along with the universe Vedic Dharma was also born. The Geologists of the world are also inclined to accept the age the Universe more or less to this effect. The Vedas would remain as long as this Universe lasts. Vedas declare “Pashya devasya kavyam Na mamara Na Jeeryathi” means look at the God’s epic called Vedas. It does not die. It has no beginning nor there an end.
10. The God’s real form and nature well presented.
Vedic Dharma presents before people, the real and truthful form of God ina very exact manner. The manner God as described in Vedas is so truthful and rational that religions, cults or faiths find it not possible to do so. Look at the way God is described in Vedas. The God in Vedas is Existent, Conscious, All beatitude formless, Almighty just, Merciful, Unbegotten. Infinite, Unchangeable, beginning less, Incomparable, the support of all. All pervading, Omniscient and Controller of all from within Ever mature, Imperishable, Fearless, Eternal, Holy, and Creator of this Universe To him alone the Worship is due. How majestic is the form of God as found in Vedic Dharma? God is not deaf. He does not require Drums and beats. There is no necessity for Azan [Call for prayers emanating from Mosques] for the reason He is omniscient, and not found to be stationed at a place. The God in Vedic Dharma does not aspire for food offerings, flowers, etc for the reason that He is beyond senses. He is formless and further free from all mundane matters.
11. Gender Equality.
Vedic Dharma accords total equality between men and women in their respective fields. Religions and faiths however, have neglected women who constitute half of the number of human race. Some of them have looked upon women worse than animals. One faith has called her as the footwear to be worn, and some other have called as fields to be ploughed. A few of them have described women as a gateway to Hell and further called her as soul less. Further, unable to describe her further despised her by characterising as Abala meaning helpless. However, Vedic Dharma proudly declares
Ede, ranthe kaamye chandre jyothyedathe Saraswathi mahee vishruththih|
Ethathe Agne namaani devebhyomaah sukrutham bruyaath||
Meaning:- Possessing all praiseworthy qualities, giver of happiness, lighter of home, a scholar who is away from being helpless, weak and pathetic, having noble thoughts and lofty behaviour and well known, never to be beaten and rejected, are the qualities with which you Devi are named. Having possessed of these qualities, O Devi! advice me too the noble thoughts and deeds.
These are the lofty thoughts brought out by Vedas on woman. Manu, in his immortal “Manusmrithi” says clearly “Yathra Naryanthu Poojyanthe ramanthe tatra devataah” which means that where women are respected and worshipped there dwells the divine forces. And where woman is disgraced there cannot be peace, and prosperity. No body could dispute the worship and the importance given in the form of Mathru shakthi. Recognising the importance of a woman some anonymous follower of Vedic Dharma has written in Hindi as under.
Naari Ninda Math Karo Naree Ki Khan|
Naari Senar Upaje Dhriv Prahlad Samaan||
Never condemn women. She is the veritable treasure of Man. From her only Men like Dhriv and Prahalad are born.
12. Encouragement to improve and excel.
Vedic Dharma encourages every man to improve character wise as well as to excel in every field. It fills him with enthusiasm. It calls upon the person to be ready always to uphold truth and reject falsehood. This is the best golden principle of Vedic Dharma. The Vedas advice, “Apnu hee Sreyam samathi samam krama” meaning He Man! You step ahead among equals helped with your noble qualities. Going ahead over the others by adopting unfair means is not contemplated here.
13. External Symbols are not necessarily the symbol of Dharma.
The Vedic Dharma does not believe a person to be honest just because he belongs to a particular faith or puts on some external symbols. It declares, “Na lingam dharma Karanam” meaning that external symbols do not make a person Dharmic or pious. It warns him to be pious or dharmic in the real sense of the term. The Vedic Dharma teaches him to understand that the real Dharma lies in the realisation of physical prosperity and Spiritual bliss. It advises “Yatho abyudhaya Nishreyas siddih sa dharmah” i.e Total welfare in this world with the welfare in the spiritual world is the definition of Dharma,. Hence, to realise this it proposes Five Yagnas which are designed to achieve the welfare of man, family, Society, Nation and the world at large besides ensuring the one’s welfare in the after world.
14. Upholding the principle that welfare of self lies in the welfare of others
Vedic Dharma firmly believes in the principle that one’s welfare lies in the welfare of all. No one ought to remain satisfied with his own welfare. The welfare of the individual should be regarded as included in the welfare of all. The followers of Vedic Dharma at times of natural disasters have helped all irrespective of their religious affiliations. The reason being that service to mankind is the main objective of Vedic Dharma. If the people of the world were to follow all the noble principles of this Dharma all the problems of the world would cease for once.
15. Realistic coordination of relationship between Individual and Society.
Vedic Dharma strikes cordial relationships between the interests of Society and the Individual. At present two types of ideological currents are sweeping the world. The first one is that individual should be interested in self only for the reason that the society makes a progress if individual were to keep on making progress. It consists in the thought of individual making Jap, tap, meditation, yoga etc. Why bother about others?
As opposed to this there is another school of thought which states that Society is all important and the role of Individual is marginal. Hence, in order to uphold the interests of Society, the individual is sought to be oppressed and exploited. But Vedic Dharma toeing a different line altogether states that society which devours the individual is like a mother who consumes her own offspring. And the individual who consumed by the passion of self interests breaks laws of the society for the betterment of self is like a stupid son who burns his own house in order to warm up his body. Therefore, to overcome this type of tendencies Vedic Dharma makes a rule that in matters of well being of the Society an individual should subordinate his or her personal liking; while in matters affecting him or her alone he or she could enjoy freedom of action.
16. Total Non-discrmination based on gender, color ,status etc
The Vedic Dharma ordains that we must show affection and love towards all irrespective of their color, status, caste and other extraneous factors. “Mitrasya chaksusha sarvaani bhutaani sameekshe” meaning let us look at all living creatures with friendly attitude is its cardinal principle. This noblest principle enables us to rise above all types of controversies and inspires us to work for the benefit of Mankind.