Sunday, November 12, 2006

Vedas: hidden know-how or spiritual guides?

Some believe that the Vedas were transmitted orally for up to 8000 years. Most Western and a few Indian commentators see this as an exaggeration and date the earliest part of the Veda, the Rig-Veda Samhita, to around 1800-800 BCE. Mainstream scholarship places the Vedic period into the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE, continuing up to the 6th century BCE while using Vedic Sanskrit and the Shrauta tradition, when the culture began to be transformed into classical forms of Hinduism.

What do the Vedas mean?: Are the Vedas allegories; or actual knowledge? Sri Aurobindo (August 15, 1872–December 5, 1950) was an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, scholar, poet, mystic, evolutionary philosopher, yogi and guru ]. His followers further believe that he was an avatar, an incarnation of the Absolute. Aurobindo decided to look for hidden meanings in the Vedas. He looked at the Rig Veda as a psychological book, inspiring the people to move towards God, but in hidden language.

Vedas as spiritual allegory: Sri Aurobindo spent his life — through his vast writings and through his own development — working for the freedom of India, the path to the further evolution of life on earth, and to bring down what he called the Supermind to enable such progress. He referred to his teachings as the "integral yoga". See “The Secret of the Vedas” by Sri Aurobindo.

Or - are the Vedas practical mechanics: Early medieval Hindu authors (Āryabhaṭa ) (476 – 550) - the first of the great mathematician-astronomers of the classical age of Indian mathematics. Available evidences suggest that he went to Kusumapura for higher studies. He lived in Kusumapura, which his commentator Bhāskara I (629 AD) identifies as Pataliputra (modern Patna).) suggest dates as early as the 4th millennium BCE. ( 476 - 550) is the first of the great astronomers of the classical age of India.

Stone Age 70,000–7000 BCE
Mehrgarh Culture 7000–3300 BCE
Indus Valley Civilization 3300–1700 BCE
Late Harappan Culture 1700–1300 BCE
Vedic Civilization 1500–500 BCE
Iron Age Kingdoms · 1200–700 BCE
Maha Janapadas 700–300 BCE
Magadha Empire 684–26 BCE
Maurya Dynasty · 321–184 BCE
Middle Kingdoms 230 BCE–1279 CE
Satavahana Empire · 230 BCE–199 CE
Ancient Tamil Kingdoms · 200 BCE–200 CE
Kushan Empire · 60–240 CE
Gupta Empire · 240–550
Chola Empire · 848–1279
Islamic Sultanates 1210–1596
Delhi Sultanate · 1206–1526
Deccan Sultanates · 1490–1596
Hoysala Empire 1040–1346
Vijayanagara Empire 1336–1565
Mughal Era 1526–1707
Maratha Empire 1674–1818
Colonial Era 1757–1947
Modern States 1947 onwards


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