Saivism or Vaishnavism or any other system of Hindu religious thought has the Vedas as its basis. The Vedas represent the cumulative wisdom of the ages. In the stream of Veda Neri, Vedic Dharma, the various systems of religious thoughts are like bathing ghats. The principles enunciated by the Vedas are elucidated in stories and simple songs which used to be sung in olden days by every housewife while at work. The children who listened to these stories or heard the songs used to get saturated in the Vedic spirit unconsciously. Times have changed and those wholesome traditions have begun to disappear to our detriment.
It is being argued in some quarters as to why we should continue to hug these ancient ways when science has advanced so much as to enable man to create even artificial satellites and to make them go round the earth. But such people ignore the fact that all these material advancements are of no avail, when there is no peace within oneself. What is the use of the entire world to a man, if in the process of acquiring it, he loses his soul? It is also worth remembering that the country which has created the Sputnik, is also getting the Mahabharata translated and that this great Indian epic is being taught in their schools, even though religion is not. It will not be a surprise if the Russians begin to treasure the Mahabharata with great enthusiasm.
The Vedic religion commands the allegiance of millions of people, in spite of the absence of propaganda or missionary institutions to propagate it. It is the example of great men who lived that religion that sustains the faith of the people Good men, who had attained a high level of jnana, won universal respect, irrespective of the caste in which they were born. Godliness and love for all are the qualities by which the greatness of a person is judged. So long as such great men continue to illumine the dark corners of the human heart, the Vedic religion will wield its influence, not only in this country but outside it also. It is only when we regularly and faithfully practice the anushtaanaas enjoined upon us, that society can produce outstanding persons, who will be beacon lights of Vedic religion to guide the multitude along the right lines. If even one in a thousand rises to great spiritual heights by such anushtaanaas, he will be a gain to society and a source of strength to our religion.
Our religion has grown and spread though the spiritual influence of such perfected souls. Even in the recent past, persons like Kabirdas and Masthan Saheb have been influenced by Vedic thought. Threats from disturbing unsocial elements need not distract us from doing the right. Troubles may come if it is His will. Do not floods and epidemics take a heavy toll of human lives occasionally? The oppression of Aurangazeb produced a Sivaji and an Ahalya Bai. God is both bhayakrit (भयकृत्) and bhayanaasana (भयनाशन्:). Therefore, we need not feel disturbed. Whatever happens will be for our good. We must act in the faith, “God’s will shall be done”. If each of us performs the anushtaana prescribed for him, the cumulative effect of the anushtaanas of all will be welfare of society. One does one’s religious duty in the interest of all. In order that each may do his part well, different duties have been prescribed for different persons. The anushtaanaa prescribed for one is neither superior to, nor inferior to that prescribed for another. On the other hand, one who is enjoined to do bhajan only, may reach the ultimate goal earlier than another who has to perform elaborate rituals. Therefore mutual respect and mutual love should prevail in society. Each person should do the anushtaana prescribed for him, respecting and cooperating with the others, so that the collective efforts of all may result in the welfare of society as a whole. The man doing devoutly the anushtaana prescribed for him is the true soldier of Vedic religion.
November 12, 1957