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The Wisdom of the Vedas

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How did the universe come into being? What is the nature of God? Of the human spirit? All who seek understanding will find this book an illuminating presentation of India's oldest and most profound religious and philosophical tradition. The Wisdom of the Vedas was first published in 1931 by Kailas Press under the title India's Outlook on Life . The Theosophical Publishing House published a second edition in 1973, and again in 1980 under the Quest imprint. The present 1992 edition was edited to reflect the modern use of inclusive language, and includes an introduction by Vedic scholar David Frawley. Mr. Frawley explains to the Western reader, "The Vedas are the original scripture or source teaching of the Hindu tradition, from which its many branches of Vedanta, Yoga, and Tantra have emerged through time, and to which they all look back with reverence." The Vedas are also "..the background relative to which the Buddhist religion evolved, and Buddhism also preserves many Vedic terms and practices." The study then, of the Vedas is important to understanding many different Eastern teachings. The author is from India, and has an unusual ability to frame the subtleties of Eastern thought for the Western world.

167 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1973

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Jagadish Chandra Chatterji

9 books1 follower

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Aria.
483 reviews40 followers
October 9, 2020
My dislike is less about the Vedas and more about this presentation of materials by this particular author. It doesn't resonate at all.
Profile Image for d. phelps.
Author 8 books15 followers
July 23, 2022
For me, this is a reference book, one to be read and re-read. It is readily understandable for the most part with close reading.

As is written in an introduction by David Frawley, "A study of the Vedas is...relevant for discovering the original spiritual impulses behind all Indo-European traditions. Thus an examination of the Vedas remains central for anyone interested in the deeper spiritual inquiries of the human race."

This quote best explains my interest in reading about The Vedas. Being a recovering Southern Baptist, one who has attended and become immersed in the culture of several Christian denominations including Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran, Charismatic Non-denominational, Unity, and Universalist Unitarian, and being one who has had to do a great deal of translating while listening to the stories told as "gospel truth" by the various ministers of these churches in order to make meaning of it so that it fits with my personal theology, one that I describe as metaphysical, a Buddhist/Hindu/Christian Multi-faith, I found the study of this text quite enlightening and very helpful.

For me, it made sense of much of what is taught in Christian religious education, for example, the notion of "eternity" or that of the creator being "never-beginning and never-ending" is explained thusly: "an entity that does not change, and is, therefore, a timeless Being (sat). And we have the direct experience, however vague, of this Being in the uttermost depths of our existence: we feel that we are."

Attending Sangha daily with Mooji Baba, a Hindu guru, via YouTube for the past two and one-half years, I have learned much about the application of the principles explained here. His constant reminder is to "remain as you are." This means, just being present to the fact that you exist inside of the entity that exists as all things: the timeless Supreme Being.

As a commentary on the ideas I encountered here and their meaning or how they edify my personal theology, I could go on and on.

Suffice it to say, that if you are one like me, one who is interested in seminal thought, one who has experienced and not yet been completely in agreement with nor particularly helped by Christian teachings in the conventional way they are taught, one who has a leaning toward metaphysical teaching or Buddhist teachings (which arose out of Hinduism), then this book is one I highly recommend.

5 reviews13 followers
August 12, 2015
Though I think there is much more to say about the topic, the book does a nice job describing the essence of the Vedas.

I've read through the book once. It is a lot of information to go through, so if you truly want to learn more or become well versed on the topic I would advice that you read it a second time. Or just use this book as an introduction, which the book explicitly states you should do I believe.

Overall I've given the book 3-stars. Mostly because the names given to "That One" confuse you from time to time. It is stated several times that "That One" bears multiple names, and goes through several stages.
What tends to happen is that you've just read about one name or stage and a few pages along this name is used describing "That One" as well as introducing a new stage/name.

This causes confusion which is why I suggest you read the book twice if you wish to recollect the multiple stages/forms/names "That One" takes. Or that you take a study approach to the book, writing down the stages and their names for later recollection.

The book does not address this sufficiently in my opinion. It however does state that the way the world/universe or "That One" is described is weird for people from the Western world. I would say this is because in the Western world we tend to compartmentalize, compound, classify and reduce things to a certain core aspect.
"That One" however permeates in all things and is all things physical and non-physical. The difficulty therefore lies in how far you can stretch your mind in order to comprehend the full implications of this statement.

As for any follow ups. The wisdom of the Vedas, strongly reminds me of the Holographic Universe theory. So I'm hoping to read a book which explains that theory to some extend without going into the mathematical aspects of the quantum world it is contained in.
Profile Image for Rinda Rinda.
67 reviews3 followers
April 5, 2012
This book kicked my butt. It was extremely difficult for me to read and fully understand it but I genuinely enjoyed savoring each page. It's one of those books that I'll probably read over and over and take away new lessons each time. I've never attempted to try to read any of the ancient Indian texts as I find them quite intimidating. This book fills my curiosity while challenging me to really think about the teachings of Hindu philosophy and how I relate to it.
Profile Image for Jim George.
723 reviews20 followers
January 31, 2012
Too tripped out for me. The universe is but a system of ceaseless goings ons, with everything continually moving and changing. Light of boundless, spaceless, timeless life and awareness - Duh - beyond my comprehension and I dig quantum physics. To live and to be is joy! Yogi sage, mystical JG confusedly bidding you an over and out. Peace Out that is.
Profile Image for Aashmeet.
5 reviews6 followers
August 16, 2015
As I am reading through it , i am getting mesmerised. This book is an amazing attempt to capture the essence of vedas n raise new and interesting thoughts in my always inquisitive mind .. I am reading this text in a slow pace as it attempts to overwhelm us with information n i m loving it.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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