Exploring the Veda

“The main product of the course of Exploring the Veda is that you begin to learn how the laws of Nature actually work. You gradually become more and more of a Knower, someone who truly understands how the laws of Nature function, what those laws of Nature are, and how consciously to design happiness for yourself.”

Thom Knoles

“Knowledge is structured in consciousness.” This is one of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s most famous quotes. 

Five simple words that don’t just convey a meaning, they also embody that meaning. 

You might hear this quote and think you “get it,” but when you revisit it later on, when your consciousness has broadened even further, then you realize that there’s actually an even deeper level of meaning to it, and now you “really get it.” 

And when you revisit it later on, you realize there’s an even deeper level of meaning to it…

This is part of a self-fulfilling loop, whereby knowledge progressively becomes wisdom, wisdom that can be applied in real time, in response to the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Vedic meditators have a distinct advantage in this, taking twenty minutes twice each day to visit the home of all knowledge, to refine the process of Knowing, to become the Knower of the Known.

But Vedic Meditators also have an additional advantage; access to Thom’s most popular and enduring course, Exploring the Veda, a program that was recorded more than 20 years ago. It was a response to the need of the time, a need that is even more relevant now than it was back then, hence why hundreds of meditators take the course, or even repeat the course, every year.

Think of it as your Masters in Knowledge and Consciousness, an opportunity to accelerate your understanding, not just of the laws of Nature, but the nature of Nature itself.

In this episode, Thom delivers a brief precis of Exploring the Veda, and invites you to enquire with your local Vedic Meditation Initiator to find out when they might be holding the course locally.

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Episode Highlights


What is the Veda?



Exploring the Veda in Eighteen Hour Increments



The Magic of Bija Mantras



20 Minutes to Inner Silence



Passing Through the Veda Field



Creation, Maintenance, and Destruction



Exploring the Veda Course



Learning how the Laws of Nature Work


Jai Guru Deva


Exploring the Veda

[00:45] What is the Veda?

In the early 2000s, one of my students who was training with me to become a teacher of Vedic Meditation said to me, “You refer to the Vedas a lot, or the Veda, or Vedas, plural,. and many meditators wonder what it actually means. What is the Veda?”

Since I had spent the better part of 26 years studying with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and much of the subject matter was the Veda itself, and what it is, I decided it would be a good opportunity to create a course entitled Exploring the Veda for people who practice Vedic Meditation.

 It’s not useful to contemplate taking a course in exploring the Veda without having a baseline experience of the Veda itself because the Veda itself is the fundamental subtle content of your own least-excited state of consciousness, your own mind minus all the thoughts. That is the Veda, and we’ll dive into that in a moment and give a little bit more explanation.

And so I started this program where, based on giving a certain amount of knowledge and then allowing for questions to be asked and then giving knowledge again and then allowing questions to be asked. This is the traditional ancient Indian method of teaching any subject, and Exploring the Veda was born.

[02:39] Exploring the Veda in Eighteen Hour Increments

It turned out that Exploring the Veda completed itself after about six 18-hour or so installments of knowledge. And these were all recorded. They were recorded from live lectures I was giving to students, with live questions and answers being asked.

So we have a terminology Exploring the Veda, Installment 1, which is about 18 hours or so, is referred to very frequently as “Veda 1.” Exploring the Veda Installment 2, which is about another 18 hours, is, in the common parlance of meditators, referred to as “Veda 2,” and so on and so forth.

And there are 6 installments of Exploring the Veda, each one of them building upon the knowledge given by, in the previous Exploring the Veda. And so there’s a sequential elaboration of knowledge.

So what is the Veda? Let’s dive into that for those who’ve never heard about this before. The word Veda, V-E-D-A, Veda describes the vibratory character super subtle vibration that occurs in the least-excited human consciousness state.

In the human consciousness state, if we close our eyes and practice Vedic Meditation, as we make use of a particular kind of mantra, which is called a bija mantra, B-I-J-A.

Bija is the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit name for a seedz. A seed, a bija is a seed in Sanskrit. And bija mantra. Mantra, M-A-N-T-R-A. The M-A-N part is man for manas, which is mind, and tra, T-R-A, which means a conveyance of some kind, a vehicle. And so a seed, mind conveyance, a mind vehicle that is like a seed.

[05:04] The Magic of Bija Mantras

A seed is something that can germinate. The word bija mantra distinguishes the kinds of mantras that we use in silence. In our practice of Vedic Meditation, we use a bija Mantra absolutely in silence. We don’t sing it. We don’t chant it.

The mantra that we are given is anything between one to several syllables in length. It sounds like a word that you can make with your mouth, but having learned it, you don’t make the word with your mouth. You make it with your mind. You think it with your mind. Very, very faintly.

And as you allow that mantra to have its designed effect, by thinking it very effortlessly, the mantra becomes subtler and subtler and subtler, fainter, vaguer, and finer, and as it does so, it also increases in charm. The charm of the sound is enhanced by the faint, repetitious thinking of it.

The bija mantra has no intended meaning, unlike other mantras, which have very specific and intended meanings and attributions to them. The bija mantra has one purpose only, and that is to take the mind of the individual from the conscious thinking level to the subtlest level of consciousness and beyond that to experience transcendence, the state of zero excitation.

A bija mantra also is individuated; that is to say, that different people will respond best to different bija mantras based on a number of factors that make up their individual vibration. So, one’s individual vibration. It has to be matched by the sympathetic vibration of the bija mantra that one uses for practicing Vedic Meditation.

[07:19] 20 Minutes to Inner Silence

And then Vedic Meditation is done for 20 minutes on average, in beginners at least. Twenty minutes sometime in the morning prior to a day’s activity, and then again 20 minutes in the evening, sometime before dinner, late afternoon, early evening.

Practice twice a day. One experiences the mantra, taking one beyond the thinking process, and the mantra itself stops. And the mind can go to the zero state of excitation just before the zero state is the least-excited state.

That is to say, just before the absolute silence of Being is a vibratory state of consciousness. In that vibratory consciousness state, one is inside the field of what’s called Veda. Veda is the first vibration, the primordial sound emerging out of the unbounded consciousness field.

According to the Vedic worldview, when you individually transcend, to transcend means to step beyond. When you individually transcend the process of thinking, you’re not experiencing merely an individual state of being, an individual state of silence, you are going beyond your individuality entirely and experiencing oneness with the unbounded Unified Field of Consciousness in its unmanifest state.

That unbounded Unified Field of Consciousness has an agenda embedded in it, and that is to commence vibrating, to move from unmanifest into manifest, to move from Being into becoming, to move from pure potentiality into form and phenomena.

And so then this natural tendency of the silence to move into activity is that which upholds all of relative existence, all forms, and all phenomena are issuing forth from an underlying Unified Field of unmanifest Nature.

[10:03] Passing Through the Veda Field

So, when we practice Vedic Meditation since we go right past the least-excited state into the zero excitation state, and then we emerge from the zero excitation state, upon return to regular thinking, We pass through the least-excited state again.

We’re passing through the Veda field. The Veda field is the least-excited field of consciousness, nonetheless, some faint vibration there, which has in it the blueprint of the whole of creation, the home of all the laws of Nature, that which is the intelligence that conceives and constructs all of the behaviors of everything that exists. This is the Veda, and that Veda can be cognized by individual humans.

A cognizer of Veda is referred to as a Rishi. Rishi is the name given to individuals who have learned to be able to cognize the traits and tendencies, the predilections, of the Veda field. That Veda field is moving constantly into manifestation.

If you’re able to experience it, identify with it, become one with it, you become a Rishi. You become someone who can perceive taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound, all five senses, although we use the word “see,” S-E-E, see.

A seer is a Rishi, but it doesn’t just mean the internal capacity to visualize. It also includes all the five senses to see. Someone becomes a seer, someone becomes a cognizer of what the Unified Field is up to at any given moment.

So, what is the Unified Field doing right now? Evolution must go on. All forms and phenomena must become more and more sophisticated. This is the process of evolution.

[12:28] Creation, Maintenance, and Destruction

Sophistication means to move from less complex and elegant states to more complex and more elegant states, evolution. And this evolution process requires change, and in the process of change, there’s a pattern. There’s a pattern to how the change is going on.

Are things, by and large, within a localized area under the influence of the creation operator function? Are things in that same localized area predominantly under the influence of the maintenance operator function? Are things in that particular localized area under the influence of the destruction operator function?

Creation, maintenance, and destruction are the three stages of the production of evolutionary change. Something has to be born. Something has to be maintained for a certain relevant period of time. And then that something, that form or phenomenon, has to disintegrate to allow for the new creation cycle, the new maintenance cycle, and then, of course, the new deterioration cycle.

Understanding all of this and understanding how the world around you is behaving eliminates confusion. Instead of, “I don’t understand,” or “I don’t get it,” or “Oh,” or “Oh no,” one’s individual consciousness as a Vedic meditator starts to feel as though things are going along in a way that was predictable, expected. Rather than the world becoming, and continuing to be, a field of inaccurate expectations, being violated by change, one looks at the world and says, “My expectations turned out to be rather accurate.”

And so one of the benefits of being a seer, which is a benefit of being a practitioner of Vedic Meditation, is to start to discover that the world is, in fact, behaving in ways that make sense to you, and the world is not behaving in ways that do not make sense to you.

[15:03] Exploring the Veda Course

And so, how to understand all these mechanisms and understanding the deep nature of the way in which the unmanifest has an agenda to come into being as the manifest? The way that the manifest world has a nature and a tendency to want to return to its source as the unmanifest, the play and display and interplay of all these tendencies.

The way the laws of Nature form and function, the sounds that they make, and then something of, then, the source of all this knowledge of Vedic Meditation, and the culture that has arisen from it, the course of, that is the direction it’s taking, of all this Vedic knowledge and the culture that arises from it, and the goal of all of this Vedic knowledge and the culture that arises from it.

The source, the course, and the goal of all of this is wrapped up in one easy way of understanding in these six installments of about 18 hours, each entitled Exploring the Veda.

[16:31] Learning How the Laws of Nature Work

And Exploring the Veda is only available to people who have learned Vedic Meditation properly from an authorized teacher of Vedic Meditation and is only provided by these authorized teachers of Vedic Meditation in various group settings, although individual study can also be arranged if people are not geographically close to a qualified teacher of Vedic Meditation.

But we actually prefer group settings because learning seems to happen better in groups where you get the advantage of being able to hear other people’s questions and the teacher’s reactions to those questions.

And teachers of Vedic Meditation are referred to as “Initiators.” Someone who can initiate another into the practice of Vedic Meditation is an Initiator. Initiators of Vedic Meditation have been trained and qualified around the world to provide the course Exploring the Veda.

So, the main product of the course of Exploring the Veda is that you begin to learn how the laws of Nature actually work, and instead of inadvertently designing suffering for yourself by having inaccurate expectations and inadvertently triggering cascades of laws of Nature that are simply being obedient to what you triggered and then that not suiting you and making you suffer.

Instead of doing all that, waste of time, you gradually and gradually become more and more of a Knower, someone who truly understands how the laws of Nature function, what those laws of Nature are, and how consciously to design happiness for yourself.

This is the goal of taking the course of Exploring the Veda. And it’s available now through every teacher of Vedic Meditation, simply upon inquiry.

Jai Guru Deva. 

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