The world is longing for a change – can Vedas help?
If we judge by the popularity of alternative forms of almost every traditional discipline – science, history or medicine – it becomes evident that a new paradigm is emerging. While academic establishment continues to ignore the necessity to open up, intellectual seekers and alternative researches form a global community dedicated to finding meaningful answers. Once the treasures of ancient Vedic knowledge is properly understood by scholars, then hopefully they will overcome ego, national pride and religious bias to learn whatever secrets are hidden there.
The global communications systems seems to be spearheading the paradigm change: media documenting alternative views on history and science flood the internet forming a new alternative way of education and study. The World Values Survey headed by it’s coordinator Ronald Ingelhart examined 43 nations – about 70 percent of the world’s population and concluded that most advanced nations are going through “postmodern shift”. Countries like USA, England, Canada, Scandinavia are dissatisfied with the contemporary government, science, economy and religion; it’s citizens long for alternative lifestyles centered around personal development, trustworthy governments dedicated to the welfare of it’s people.
We have been caught between intellectual corporations vying for our body, mind, money and soul. Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Material Science have been our options. Like the big four media networks, they monopolize the airwaves and teach us not inquiry but sectarianism dogma and often violence. Many people declare themselves atheistic just to be out of the clutches of dogmatic and oppressive religion. They say: “If your idea of God is true, I would rather go to hell.”
In the US a study conducted by Paul Ray at the Fetzer Institute shows that 24 percent of the Americans form a segment in society that is longing for spiritual transformation, ecological sustainability, personal development and are openly seeking that in synthesis of the East and West. Anthropologist Anthony Wallace says that this global cultural revitalization movement is guided by “advance guards who wake up an entire culture to see that the old story doesn’t work any more and a new story is needed.”
After examining the transformational periods of the Western World, the renowned historian Lewis Mumford states that: “Every transformation of man has rested on a new metaphysical and ideological base…a new picture of cosmos and the nature of man.” Historians agree that there were four or five major collapses of Western Civilization, that they generally happen only once or twice a millennium and that the shift of the Middle Ages into the Italian Renaissance was the most recent one.
The Vedic seers call for a civilization that is designed so that its members can act upon deepest issues of life. Since the Renaissance, society was fronted with the same issues on how to structure community socially and economically. The Vedas stand ready with those answers: the most comprehensive knowledge of the self and the structure of the society is there. Ancient sciences are waiting to be rediscovered to not only teach us the paths of liberation from the laws of karma in the material world but also how to live harmoniously with Nature in our own lives. Vedic knowledge of architecture, medicine, astronomy, music, martial arts, and so on are there to help us live peacefully in this life and beyond: to gradually break free from the temporary recycling in the world of birth and death and attaining our original position of eternal happiness and knowledge.