Saturday, May 24, 2008

Maharishi Dayananda's Contribution for Vedas

Maharishi Dayananda Sarasvati (1824-83) considered the Vedas as a rock of firm foundation, taking them for his guiding view of life, his rule of inner existence and his inspiration for external work, and even more, as the word of the eternal Truth on which man’s knowledge of God and his relations with the Divine Being and with fellows can be rightly and securely founded. According to him , all the sciences meant for the good of mankind flow from the fountain head of the Vedas ever since the creation of the universe. The Vedas radiated that light that illuminated the world by teaching those universal and eternal truths and principles that help the mankind to realize the Nature and co-relation of God with the soul and the creation.
Indeed , the Vedas are the first source of the knowledge, ever come to mankind.. The various branches of knowledge and sciences were just the offshoots sprung from the first nucleus of the Vedas. The Maharishi Dayananda, thus, rediscovered the radical theory in his life time which the ancient sages like the code-giver Manu said ‘sarvaevedat prasidhyati’ (all knowledge flows from the Vedas)।Manu further said in such an unambiguous terms as ‘Vedoakhilo dharmulam’(Manu-Sm‚ti: 2-6). It means the Veda is the source of all Dharma i.e. religion, morality, righteousness and good conduct .Again, for them who want to acquire correct knowledge of Dharma, the Vedas are the highest authority.(ibid 2-3).

According to Maharishi Aurobindo Ghosh (1872-1950), ‘Among all the materials of our past the Veda is the most venerable and has been directly and indirectly the most potent.... as authoritative revelation, and inspired Book of Knowledge, the source of all sanctions and standard of all truth.’ In his book entitled ‘Secret of the Veda’, while expounding modern Theories about the Vedas, he has commended as follows : ‘It is a remarkable attempt by Swami Dayananda, the founder of the Arya Samaj, to re-establish the Veda as a living religious Scripture। Dayananda took as his basis a free use of the Indian philology which he found in the Nirukta. Himself a great Sanskrit scholar, he handled his materials with remarkable power and independence. Especially creative was his use of the old Sanskrit tongue which is best expressed---(as) ‘multi-significance of roots’. We shall see that the right following of this clue is of capital importance for understanding the peculiar method of the Vedic Risis’.

  • Dayananda’s interpretation of the hymns is governed by the idea that the Vedas are plenary revelation of religious, ethical and scientific truth. Its religious teaching is monotheistic and the Vedic gods are different descriptive names of the one Deity; they are at the same time indications of His powers as we see them working in Nature and by a true understanding of the sense of the Vedas we could arrive at all the scientific truths which have been discovered by modern research.’

    In his famous essay on ‘Dayananda and the Veda’ Aurobindo Ghosh wrote:
    Among the great company of remarkable figures that will appear to the eye of posterity at the head of renaissance, one stands out by himself with peculiar and solitary distinctness, one unique in his type as he is unique in his work. Such is the impression created on my mind by Dayananda.’
    He has further stated, in his above essay, the broad principles, underlying Dayananda’s thought (contribition) about the Veda (s), as follows:
    "An interpretation of Veda must stand or fall by its central conception of the Vedic religion and the amount of support given to it by intrinsic evidence of Veda itself. Here Dayananda’s view is quite clear, its foundation inexpugnable (that) Vedic hymns are chanted to the One Deity under many names, which are used and even designed to express His qualities and power---.It is the explicit statement of the Veda itself. (cf. Rv.164.46).
    Dayananda asserts the presence of an ethical element (in the Veda), he finds in the Veda the law of life given by God to the human being...Dayananda asserts the presence of such a cosmic element, he finds in the Veda the secrets of creation and law of Nature by which the Omniscient governs the world. Neither western scholarship nor ritualistic learning has succeeded in eliminating the psychological and ethical values of the hymns.
    Dayananda affirms that the truths of modern physical sciences are discoverable in the (Vedic) hymns. There is nothing fantastic in Dayananda’s idea that Veda contains truth of science as well as truth of religion.. I will even add...that Veda contains the other truths of science the modern world does not at all possess, and in that case Dayananda has rather understated than overstated the depth and range of Vedic wisdom.
    Objection has also been made to the philological and etymological method by which he arrived at his results( for interpretation of the Vedas), (which) objection I feel certain is an error---.Nirukta bears evidence to this capacity and in the Brahmans and Upanishads we find the memory of this free and symbolic use of words still persisting.
    Interpretation in detail is a work of intelligence and scholarship and in that men seem likely to differ---, but in all the basic principles, in those great and fundamental decisions where the eye of intuition has to aid the ---intellect, Dayananda stands justified by the substances of Veda itself, by logic and reason and by our growing knowledge of the past mankind. The Veda does hymn the one Deity of many names and powers; it does not celebrate the divine Law and man’s aspiration to fulfill it; it does purport to give us the Law of the cosmos.
    · On the question of revelation---suffice it to say that here too Dayananda was perfectly logical---.There are always three fundamental entities which we have to admit and whose relations we have to know if we would understand existence of all, God, Nature and the Soul. If as Dayananda held on strong enough grounds, the Veda reveals to us God, reveals to us the Law of Nature,---(and) the relations of the soul to God and Nature, what is it but a revelation of Divine Truth? And if, as Dayananda held, it reveals them to us with a perfect truth, flawlessly, he might well hold it for an infallible scripture---Modern thought, affirming Nature and Law but denying God, denied also the possibility of revelation, but so also it denied may things which a more modern thought is very busy reaffirming.
    · We can not demand of a great mind (like that of Dayananda) that it shall make itself a slave to vulgarly received opinion or the transient dogmas of the hour; the very essence of its greatness is this, that it looks beyond, that it sees deeper.
    · In the matter of Vedic interpretation I am convinced that whatever may be the final complete interpretation, Dayananda will be honoured as the first discoverer of the right clues. Amidst the chaos and obscurity of old ignorance and age-long misunderstanding, his was the eye of direct vision that pierced the truth and fastened on that which was essential। He has found the keys of the doors that time had closed and rent asunder the seals of the imprisoned fountains.’

Ved Prakash


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Vedic Ethics एंड Values

The word ‘ETHICS’ means character; norms and ideals prevailing in a group or society. It may be referred to as a standardized form of conduct/ behaviour of individuals understood and accepted in a particular field of activity . The word ‘ethics’ has been defined as “moral principals that govern or influence a person’s behaviour” Ethics is a mass of moral principles or sets of values about what conduct ought to be. They give an idea what is right or wrong, true or false, fair or unfair, just or unjust, proper or improper, e.g. honesty, obedience, equality, fairness, and then doing the right thing. Ethics is , thus, a fundamental, personal trait which one adopts or follows as a guiding principle or basic Dharma in one’s life ।
BUSINESS ETHICS is “the study of how personal moral norms apply to activities and goals of a commercial enterprise. It is not a separate moral standard, but the study of how the business context poses its own unique problems for the moral person who acts as the agent of this system”. Practically, business ethics operates as a system of values and “is concerned primarily with the relationship of business goals and techniques to specifically human ends” , viewing the needs and aspirations of individuals not merely as individuals but as a part of society. It also means realization of the personal dignity of human beings. A major task of leadership is to inculcate personal values and impart a sense of business ethics to the organizational members. At one end, values and ethics shape the corporate culture and dictate the way how politics and power will be used and , at the other end, clarify the social responsibility of the ओर्गानिज़शन.
Values represent basic convictions that “ a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence.” They contain a judgmental element in that they carry an individual’s ideas as to what is right, good or desirable. All of us have a hierarchy of values that form our value system This system is identified by the relative importance we assign to values such as freedom, pleasure, self-respect, honesty, obedience and equality. Values tend to be relatively stable and enduring .The process of questioning our values, of course, may result in a change। More often, our questioning merely acts to reinforce the values we hold। Values are the deeply held beliefs of individuals and groups (i।e।, organizations, communities, nations, etc।) that drive the choices we make। As leaders, people must be conscious of the values they hold for themselves and those they seek to लीड.Moreover, they must make choices and decisions regarding any conflict between personal values and institutionally held values.
Here is a sterling example of an Indian mind, who had certain values and to honour them he sacrificed his life, while curbing unethical practices of Indian business। Relevant extract is reproduced below:
MANJUNATH HAD SOMETHING TO DIE FOR:“I had this student in the IIM (Lucknow) Class of 2003 whose name was Manjaunath। He was not our typical business school whiz kid who had a head for cold ‘sadistics’(sad about statistics) and ‘maniac’(management accounting) or ‘biogas’(behaviour in organization) classes। He would warm up to anything that aroused his passion। He loved to sing and he loved to lead। He was like this bird of the wilderness that sang, not to win a musical competition, but because he had discovered a freedom song inside his own heart।On a dark November night in 2005, Manjunath was shot dead by the oil mafia in Uttar Pradesh. His crime: he had sealed three petrol pumps that were selling adulterated fuel. Manjunath died honestly doing his job; defending the cheated Indian customer. He made headlines posthumously on the national media. The day before he was killed Manjunath sang to his mother. He will sing no more. Yet, why does his voice still ring in my ears, “Sir, what is this
life if we have nothing to die for?” (Dr। Debashis Chatterjee: Prof। IIM, Lucknow: Source: The TOI; 8th November, 2006)
There is a deep-rooted relationship between Ethics and Values in Modern management। Our values form the foundation of our ethico-moral concepts । We are not born into the world with ethical theories ingrained in us। We are rather set up to the process of value-recognition and value-designing and value-creation, being of a reflective entity. In essence, values are our bedrock conception of what we want(or what we want to avoid). Ethics is a matter of establishing a framework of principles which tell us what we ought to do in various kinds of moral situations, usually considered to be ‘moral dilemmas’, all the while being consistent with our values.
:The twin issues of personal values and business ethics have come to occupy center stage in management। There is increasing awareness around the world about ethical practices in business. Within India, there are significant social, cultural, political, technological and economic factors affecting the state of personal values and business ethics within industry. Corporate governance has also attracted worldwide attention as a means to induce ethical behaviour in business .A typical dilemma faced by the management strategists is to somehow reconcile the pragmatic demands of work(which often degenerate to a distortion of values and unethical business practices) to the call of ‘inner voice’ which somehow prevents them from using unethical means for achieving organizational goals. This dilemma stems from the fact that apparently the value system of the organization has already been contaminated beyond redemption. Some analysts attributes this to the acceptable behaviour in society at a particular point of time, or justify it in terms of the rapid transition of a developing society where social mechanisms have become obsolete.Corruption in industry or business, which is a major by-product of the degradation of values.Corruption in industry or business, which is a major by-product of the degradation of values and ethics, is also related to the inability of the industry to stand up to the discretionary powers of a regulatory system designed and administered by an unholy alliance of bureaucrats and politicians. But repeated observations have shown that excellent organizations that have an explicit belief in, and recognition of, besides other values- the importance of economic growth and profits, are driven by वलुयेस rather than avarice. The strategists, therefore, have to provide the right वलुयेस and ethical sense to the organizations they manage.

God not only created the universe according to His divine art, but also made the creation purposeful। He gave to man, the highest evolved being in His creation, the high standards of ethics. God Himself is an embodiment of ethical ideals and all noble virtues. Of course, He is an Infinite Unity, whilst the souls are infinitesimal unities in all positive parameters. Ethics is not necessarily a result of social evolution or of social necessity. The ethical ideals emanate with all their purposefulness from the divine nature of the Self itself, and in case of man, they have reached a sort of क्लाइमेक्स
What is the highest virtue? Of course, the Truth itself। Truth has six synonyms in the Vedic literature: bat, srat, satra, addha, ittha, rta बात, सरत, सत्र, अद्धा, इत्ता, रता denote the satya or truth(Nighantu III।10)। (निघंतु इई.१०). The Satpatha Brahamana gives several parables to show that the truth came to the share of gods, whilst asuras adopted untruth॥ One has to take a vow before participating in rituals, and the vow (of renouncing untruth and embracing truth) is repeated thus in the Vedic words :agne vratpate vratam carisyami tacchkeyam tanme radhayatam,idamahm anrtat satyam upaimi. (Yv 1.5).According to the Vedas, there is no virtue nobler than truth; without truth all virtues become vice. In the Vedic literature, the words satya, and rta are used in the same sense(anrta- what is not rta- asatya or untruth). The world of activity is sustained by certain virtues or ethical modes; they have been enumerated in a verse of the Atharvaveda :Satya ,brhat, rtam, ugram, diksa, tapas, Brahman and yajna ( Av. XII 1.1).सत्य ,बर्हत, रतम, उग्रम, दिक्सा, तापस, ब्रह्मण एंड यजना ( अव. XII 1.१)
According to the Vedas, there is no virtue nobler than truth; without truth all virtues become vice. In the Vedic literature, the words satya, and rta are used in the same sense(anrta- what is not rta- asatya or untruth).There are eight virtues, which sustains the world. We may translate them as truth(satya), vastness (brhat), right attitude(rtam), formidability (ugram), consecration(diksa),austerity or penance(tapas), aptitude for learning(Brahman) and dedication and service or sacrifice(yajna).On this truth, or satyam, the Isa Upanisad has the वेर्से
Hiranyamayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham,tattvam pusannpavrnu satya-dharmaya drstaye।
"The face of the Truth(satya) is covered by golden lid; remove Osun, that (covering) for me, the practitioner of Truth, so that I may behold it’ (Isa Upanisad-१५
Ethical values of the Vedic traditions have been variously summarized and codified in the subsequent Vedic literature as well। For example, the Taitiriya Upanisad refers to rta ( right or real), satya(truth), tapas (austerity),dama(self-control),sama(tranquility),and svadhyaya-pravacana( study and teaching)। Study and teaching is verily, tapas (Taittirya Up.1.9) Tapas(sacrifice) leads to various attainments, as it is the most sacred act of selfless dedication. Some of these attainments are enumerated in the Yajurveda :
May my truth(satyam), my faith(sraddha, an ablity to accept and adopt truth for life), my wealth, my goods , my pleasures; and my play and my enjoyment; and my children and my future children; and my hymen and my pious act.’(5);My religious rites(rta) and my immortality(amrta); and my freedom from consumption and from disease; and my life and longevity; and my freedom from enemies and danger; and my happiness, and my lying down(sayana), my fair dawn(susa), my fair day(sudina) prosper by sacrifice(tapas)’ (Yv XVIII॥(5-6)
In the Vedic terminology, all that is vice, all that leads to pain, all that is ill, is known as durita, and its opposite is known as bhadra(which is virtue personified and leads to leisure, prosperity and nobility. God s invoked for the attainment of bhadra, and for dispelling दुरिता
Om vishvani deva savtarduritani para suva, yad bhadram tanna a suva‘O Lord, the sustainer and creator, send far away all duritas (troubles,vices, calamities) and send us only what is bhadra(virtue and good)।’ (Rv 5.92.5 )
Regarding this bhadra, we have a verse in the र्ग्वेदा
Bhadram karnebhi shrunuyam deva, bhadram pashyamakhshbhir jattra‘Let us hear, O Lord and learned people, with our ears, what is bhadra(good), let us see with our eyes what is bhadra(good)’। (Rv। 1.89.8)T
Thus, Truth, non-violence, austerity, brotherhood, or universal friendship, security, peace, fearlessness and dedication are necessarily some of the prime ethical values of life, which find mention in innumerable prayers in the Vedas through which God is invoked for such blessings. For एक्साम्प्ले
Universal Friendship:
drte drmha ma mitrasya ma cakshusa sarvani bhutani samiksantam।mitrasyaham caksusa sarvani bhutani samikse. mitrasya caksusa samiksamahe (Yv.XXXVI.18)
O Lord, make me firm in times of distress। May all the beings regard me with the eye of a friend. May I regard all beings with a friendly eye Thus, may we all be looked at with a friendly eye.
Fearlessness, Security and Safety
abhyam mitrad abhyamamitrad abhyam jiyatad zbhyam puru ya;abhyam naktam abhyam diva na sarva asa mitram bhavantu (Av.XIX.51॥6)२६
सेफटी be ours from friend and from the unfriendly, safety from what(or whom) we know and what we know not. सेफटी be ours by night and in the day time। Friendly to me be all my hopes and wishes(or all my quarters).
Love and Freedom from Hatred
sahirdyam samasyam vidwesham kirnomiwah !anyo anyambhi haryat vatsam jatmivadhanya। (AV. III.30.1) २७
‘Freedom from hate I bring to you, concord, and unanimity. Love one another as the cow loves the calf that she has born.’·
Efforts and Victory
kritam ma dakshine haste jayo me savya ahahitha!gojid bhuyashamsawajid dhanjyo hirnejit. (Av. VII.50.8)28‘व
Whilst efforts are in my right hand, sure in my left is victory। Kine winner may I be, horse-winner, riches winning, gold-winner.
Luster, Vigour, Energy and Might
tejo’si tejo mayi dhehi(i) viryamasi viryam mayi dhehi(ii)balamasi balam mayi dhehyi-(iii)ojo’syojo mayi dhehi(iv)manyurasi manyum mayi dhehi(v)saho’si saho mayi dhehi(vi)। (YvXIX।9)२९
‘O Lord, you are luster: give me luster।You are vigour: give me manly vigour.You are strength: give me strength.You are energy: give me energy.You are anger give me anger.You are conquering might: give me might.
Supreme Intellect, Divine and Discriminating
cMan is rational being and due to his discriminating intellect he is different from his biological kinship. In him the manomaya kosa (the mental sheath)is highly developed with multifarious complexities and sublimities. Man alone possesses characteristic intellect, which for him discriminates truth from untruth., the desirable from the undesirable. This intellect is known as dhi or medha, a highly evolved form of it is known as rtambhara prajana. In the Yajur veda there is a group of three mantra on medha, one of which is given below
yam medham devaganah pitrashcopasate।taya mamadyamedhaya’ gne medhavinam kuru swaha।(i) (Yv.XXXII.14) ३०
‘O adorable Lord, make me wise today by bestowing upon me that wisdom, which the learned and elders so keenly desire.’
Let us recall the sacred Gayatri मंत्र
Om bhur bhuvah svah। Tatsavitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi।Dhiyo yo nah prachudayat.(Rig.veda 3.62.10; Yv 3.३५
“O being becoming and bliss! May we imbibe in ourselves the choicest effulgence of the divine creator, so that He evokes our intellect.”
Indian culture is rooted on the principles of Gayatri, protector of prana and the goddess of wisdom and pure intelligence and yajna, noble deed. Gyatri is revered as the mother and yajna the father of Indian culture. The Aitareya Brahmnana defines Gayatri as that which protects prana, which means the source of liveliness, consciousness and vitality. The element within us that grants us the ability to move, work, think and possess our wisdom and life is called prana. It is the presence of prana that keeps us alive. Prana is the soul residing in our body. A Gyatri exponent , who is full of prana, is enthusiastic, determined, courageous, patient, hopeful and active। A person whose prana is strong and protected from becoming depleted becomes powerful( strong) and hardworking and achieves happiness in both the external world(materialistic happiness) and of the inner self(Spiritual happiness).Aitareya Brahmna advises prevention of waste of prana and its preservation by invoking the grace of Gayatri. According to Adi Sankara righteous intelligence through which that Being, that reality, can be known, is Gayatri. Ritubhara prajana is that aspect of the brain that enables us to discriminate between truth and untruth, fame and notoriety, and right and wrong. The decision-making ability conferred by ritumbhara prajana is based on divine inspiration. Gayatri inspires the brain to remain saturated with the divine, virtuous qualities, which in turn inspire man on to the path of true well-being. Cultivating noble thoughts and practicing righteous deeds safeguards and increases our strength. With every act we become stronger. On the other hand, thoughts and actions inspired by impure intelligence (shorn of the Gayatri) decrease the power of prana day by day.True wisdom keeps our lifestyle satvika- pure and austere- by maintaining control over the senses like willful avoidance of sensual pleasures, simple and natural daily routine, hard-working attitude. These qualities keep life energetic , preserve our strength and increase life span. We suffer in life due to lack of righteous knowledge. Gayatri acts as a bright divine light, a message of hope for such people caught in the darkness of ignorance. It opens up the door to material , mental and spiritual bliss. It grants us, as if it were, a third eye: the eye of wisdom through which we can look at the world prudently and attain the aim of लाइफ,, self-awakening.
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Upanisads and Vedic Ethical Values
THE UPANISADS AND THE VEDANTAUpanisad literally means ‘bringing nearest to us the Transcendental and make it exist for us.’ They make the incomprehensible Truth comprehensible and the Self, which is ever with us but lost to us in the clouds of our misapprehensions is unveiled and brought to our subjective experience by these declarations, and so they are called Upanisads. The Vedanta meant originally the Upanisads, though the word is now used for the system of philosophy based on them. Literally, Vedanta means the end of the veda, vedasya untah, the conclusion as well as the goal of the Vedas. The Upanisads are the concluding portion of the Vedas. Chronologically they come at the end of the Vedic period. When we have Vedic recitations as religious exercises, the end of these recitals is also generally from the Upanisads. The chief reason why the Upanisads are called the Vedanta( end of the Veda) is that they represent the central aim and meaning of the teaching of the Veda The content of the Upanishads is vedanta vijnanam, the wisdom of the Vedanta.The Samhitas and the Brahmana, which are the hymns and the liturgical books, represent the karma-kanda or the ritual portion, while the Upanisads represent the jnana-kanda or the knowledge portion. The learning of the hymns and the performance of the rites are a preparation for true enlightenment.Vedanta is basically the quintessence of the Vedas, which origin is also traced to ‘vid’ which being knowledge, ultimately leading to the spiritual side of knowledge.Swami Parthasarathy in his book VEDANTA TREATISE says:‘Vedanta literally means the end of knowledge. It is a systematic knowledge which explains the relation between man and God. A knowledge that is founded on its own authority. Vedanta trains you to think for yourself. To analyse, investigate and realize the essence of life. Not to rely on outside forces to do your thinking. Not to submit yourself to blind faith, superstitious beliefs and mechanical rituals’.Knowledge, of course, covers a wide spectrum. Vedanta represents knowledge of a spiritual nature. Management of both commercial and non-profit organizations in the knowledge economy would need knowledge.All systems of orthodox Indian thought, including the Vedanta, accept the authoritativeness of the Vedas., but give themselves freedom in their interpretation. This is made possible by the fact that the Upanisads are not thought of a single philosopher or school of philosophers who follow a single tradition. They are the teachings of thinkers who were interested in different aspects of the philosophical problem, and, therefore, offer solutions of problems which vary in their interest and emphasis. There is thus a certain amount of fluidity in their thought which has been utilized for the development of different philosophical systems, giving us a few fundamental doctrines which stand out as the essential teachings of the early Upanisads. These are recapitulated in the Brahma Sutra, which is an aphoristic summary of the teaching of the Upanisads, and the great teachers of the Vedanta develop their distinctive views through their commentaries on this work.Different commentators of Vedanta attempt to find in the Upanisads and the Brahma Sutra a single coherent doctrine, a system of thought which is free from contradictions. The advaita of Samkara insists on the transcendent nature of non-dual Brahman and the duality of the world including Isvara who presides over it. Reality is Brahman or Atman. The world of duality is empirical or phenomenal. The saving truth which redeems the individual from the stream of births and deaths is the recognition of his own identity with the Supreme. ' That thou art’ is the fundamental fact of all existence. The multiplicity of the universe, the unending stream of life, is real, but only as a phenomenon .ETHICS IN UPANISADS/VEDANTAThe Upanisads insist on the importance of ethical life. They repudiate the doctrine of the self-sufficiency of the ego and emphasise the practice of moral virtues. Man is responsible for his acts. Evil is the free act of the individual who uses his freedom for his own exaltation. It is fundamentally the choice which affirms the finite, independent self, its lordship and acquisitiveness against the universal will. Evil is the result of our alienation from the Real. If we do not break with evil, we can not attain freedom.Man is of the divine race, but he has in him the element of non-being, which exposes him to evil. As a spiritual being he can burst the revolving circle of nature and become a citizen of another world in unity with absolute being, who is the creative source. Man is the mediator between God and nature and has to complete the work of creation by the incarnation of wisdom. He must illumine what is dark and strengthen what is weak in him. His entire being should strive to become one with the Divine. Our fallen nature sunk in sin, is felt as contrary to the Real and yet as existent. The Self feels itself to be in contradiction to all that is supremely real. There is, thus, the pain of discord between the existent and the Real. In moral life the Self feels itself divided against itself. And yet the struggle itself is impossible unless we look upon the desire for the divine and the consciousness of rebellion as belonging to the same Self. The felt contradiction is possible only through the reality which is above the discord. The antithesis between what we wish to be and what we are is implicitly their unity. The divine consciousness and will must become our consciousness and will. This means that our actual self must cease to be a private self; we must give up our particular will, die to our ego, by surrendering its whole nature, its consciousness and character to the Divine.The freedom of the human individual is assumed, though the limitations of karma are mentioned. ‘He fetters himself by himself, as a bird by its nest.’(Maitri III.2). The freedom of the individual increases to the extent to which he identifies himself with the Absolute in him, the antar-yamin. If we leave the world after having known the true Self, then our life in all worlds is the life of freedom. Some theistic Upanisads say that the inner power, the Divine, caused the man whom He will lead on high from these worlds to do good works and He causes the man whom He will lead down to do evil works((K.U III.8). In the Svetasvatara Upanisas, the Self is the overseer of all actions, who apportions to each person his qualities, who executes justice, who restrains the evil, allots good fortune and brings to maturity the actions of the individual souls.(Sveta.Upa. VI.II,12,4; V.5ff).The general impression that the Upanisads require world denial is not quite correct. They insist on a spirit of detachment. (tyagten bhunjitha; Isa.1), which is not indifference to the world. It is not abandonment of objects but non-attachment to them. We do not raise ourselves above the world by contempt for the world. It is the spirit of equanimity which is insisted upon. To be tranquil is to envy no man, to have no possessions that another can take from us, to fear none. When the Hindu thinkers ask us to adopt samnayasa or relinquishment of home and possessions, to accept the three great renunciations, consecrated in the three vows, evangelical counsels of poverty, obedience and chastity, they point to self- denial as the root of spiritual life. Again, Spirit of renunciation does not mean neglect of social duties. Rare fruits of spirit ripen on the soil of detachment. We should release ourselves from selfish likes and dislikes. The Divine can not use our mind and body, so long as we wish to use them for our own ends. Detachment is opposed to attachment, not to enjoyment. Enjoy through renunciation (' tyagten bhunjitha' ) is the advice of the Isa Upanisad.Good and evil do not depend on the acts one does or does not., but on the frame of mind one has. The good man is he who concurs with the divine purpose, and the bad man is he who resists it. If one’s mind is good, one’s acts will be good. Our attempts should not be so much external conformity as inward cleansing. From goodness of being good will and good works flow. When the soul is at peace , the greatest sorrows are borne lightly. Life becomes more natural and confident. Changes in outer conditions do not disturb. We let our life flow of itself as the sea leaves or the flower blooms. There is another Mantra from Isa Upanisad:Agne naya supatha raye asman visvani deva vayunani vidvan,Yuyo-dhyas-majjuhu-rana-meno,bhuyishtham te nama-uktim vidhema.(Isa Up.-18)‘O Agni, lead us on the ‘wealth’ by a good path, as Thou knowest,O God, all the many ways. Remove the crooked attraction of sin from us. We offer Thee our best salutations.’(Isa Up.-18)Lot of mystic and philosophical concepts have been illumined in the Upanisads. For example, it is stated that work by itself does not give us liberation. It cleanses the mind, purifies the heart and produces the illumination which is the immediate condition of salvation. Samkara argues that the knowledge of Brahman, as it relates to an existent being, can not be contingent on what a person does or does not. Contemplation is the way to cleanse one’s mind and heart, It means rest, suspension of mental activity, withdraw into the interior solitude in which the soul is absorbed in the fruitful silence of God. We can not stop there; we must overflow with a love that communicates what it knows to others.The ethical virtues we are called upon to adopt are mentioned in several passages in Upanisads. Life is compared to a sacrifice where the fee shall be asceticism , liberality, integrity, non-injury to life and truthfulness( Ch.U.III.17)36.The Taittriya Upanisad ( I-ix-1)gives a list of students’ duties. He should not be negligent of truth, virtue, welfare, prosperity, study and teaching. He should perform only those acts which are irreproachable. In one passage all the virtues are brought together under the three da’s which are: dama or self-restraint, dana or self-sacrifice and daya or compassion. Samkara makes out that gods have desires(kama), men suffer from greed(lobha) and demons from anger(karodha) By practice of the three injunctions we free ourselves from the sway of craving, greed and anger. When the Buddha asks us to put out in our hearts the monstrous fires of infatuation, greed and resentment, he is emphasizing the three virtues enjoined by the Upanishads.Dama is self-control We should reduce our wants and be prepared to suffer in the interest of truth. Austerity, chastity, solitude ad silence are the ways to attain self-control. Dana enjoins gifts. It is negatively freedom from greed and positively assistance to those in need.’ There is no hope of immortality by wealth’. (B.U.II.4.2.)38 .Tapas is severe self-discipline undertaken for spiritual ends. It is exercised with reference to the natural desires of the body and the distractions of the outer world. It consists of exercises of inward kind, prayers offered in the heart, self-analysis and outer acts like fasting, self- mortification, sexual abstinence or voluntary poverty. Strength is developed by resisting force. The power gained by resisting one temptation helps us in overcoming the next. To evade discipline is to empty life of its significance. Nothing is more tranquil than to be unshaken by the troublous motions of the flesh. Renunciation, nyasa is superior to tapas or austerity or asceticism. The latter is a means to the former. It is not to be made into an end in itself. Ethical life includes moral uprightness.Mauna or silence is advised as leading the soul forward to contemplation. By the discipline of silence we curb the excesses which flow from the tongue, hearsay, backbiting, flattery. We can not listen to the voice of God when our minds are dissipated, given to restless activity and are filled externally and internally with noise. Progress in silence is progress to the realization of spirit. When silence descends on the soul, its activities are joined to the silent creative power of God.Taittiriya Upanisad regulates the art of giving.(I.II.2)39 : 'One should give with faith,---one should give liberally, with modesty, with fear, with sympathy.'Daya is karuna, compassion. We should try to be at peace with all, abhor all cruelty and ill-will. Enmity means misunderstanding. A forgiving attitude frees the individual. We should grudge none, forgive all. So long as we remember an injustice, we have not forgiven either the person or the action. If only we know that there is more suffering than wickedness in the world, we would be kindly. It is by compassion, which shrinks from no sacrifice, that we can overcome the ravages of selfishness. We must be patient. God himself is unimaginably patient.. Tolerance, long suffering, patience are the fruits of spirit.The Ethical individual is required to become like a child. The perfect man is divine child, accepting the divine play, without fear or reserve, care or grief, in utter purity. When it is said that the Upanisads adopt a spiritual view of life, it does not mean that they despise body, life and mind. The latter are the conditions or instruments for the life of spirit in man. They are not ends in themselves, but are means or opportunities for the expression of the Universal Spirit in us. Spirit and life are not to be separated. In the Upanisads the ritualistic practices are reinterpreted. They are to prepare the mind for spiritual realization, to spur it on to pierce the veil of the finite and to seek deliverance in identification with the Supreme Reality.CONCLUSIONFrom the above , we can conclude that many gems from Vedic ethics and values are lying untapped and unutilized by us. What I could gather presently is probably just the tip of the iceberg. In the present times, when the whole world seems to be in turmoil, with fabric of social life being gradually shattered with the degradation of human values and moral ethics, it has become necessary to seriously consider this enormous problem, to ensure the survival of the humanity at large. To achieve that that end, it is felt that only the right values enshrined in sacred scriptures like Vedas and Vedanta( Upanisads) can give us an appropriate direction to lead a more peaceful, stress-free, harmonious and really progressive life. In the words of Dr.S.Radhakrishnan, ‘ Besides, at a time when moral aggression is compelling people to capitulate to queer ways of life, when vast experiments in social structure and political organization are being made at enormous cost of life and suffering, when we stand perplexed and confused before the future with no clear light to guide our way, the power of human soul is the only refuge. If we resolve to be governed by it, our civilization may enter upon its most glorious epoch Thus, the task set to our generation is to reconcile the varying ideals of the converging cultural patterns and help them to sustain and support rather than combat and destroy one another. By this process they are transformed from within and the forms that separate them will lose their exclusivist meaning and signify only that unity with their own origins and inspirations.’Let us, therefore, turn over together the treasures
(quarrel with) each other।Om Peace! Peace!! Peace!!!