The Difference Between Vedic Knowledge and Hinduism
What distinguishes the Vedic worldview from Hinduism?
Jai Guru Deva. Welcome to my podcast, The Vedic Worldview. I’m Thom Knoles.
[00:00:52] Very frequently, I am, and my colleagues are, asked the question about what is it that distinguishes what we teach in the Vedic worldview and through the practice of Vedic Meditation. What is it that distinguishes this body of knowledge from that religion known as Hinduism?
[00:01:15] That’s a very appropriate question because Hinduism is considered to be the major religion in India, practiced by probably about a billion people. However, it’s a very interesting conundrum because the word Hinduism is not a word that comes anywhere from the Vedic language or from Sanskrit.
[00:01:42] It’s a word that was created by the English.
The origin of Hinduism
[00:01:47] Let me just describe what it is that most people think about Hinduism. Hinduism is supposed to be a religion that celebrates thousands, if not millions of Gods. It is one that is very rich in its offerings to all kinds of people from all over the world.
[00:02:10] People borrow from what they refer to as Hinduism, but actually Hinduism as a religion is extremely hard to define, and that is because, in my opinion, it doesn’t actually exist. Let me explain.
[00:02:26] Roundabout the time in that the United States gained its independence from Britain under King George in 1776, in that same year, a major treaty was signed between a lot of the royalty, the Kings, the vassal Kings of India and the crown of England to allow a protection, really to, it was like a protection racket, to be put in place, where the East India Trading Company would send not only their best traders, but their best troops to India.
[00:03:08] And the Indians began experiencing a process that was common under the strategies of the British Empire, as it was then, to turn one group against another, and then to offer troops and defense for each of these groups against the other.
[00:03:27] In this way, this divide and rule policy was a very clever tactic that was used in those times to bring the whole of a nation, first of all, into imagined conflict with all of its internal parts and then to provide a military force that could protect everybody from everybody else.
The multi-pronged approach of Britain
[00:03:51] And this all began in, interestingly, ironically, the same year in which the United States became a nation by its own reckoning, that is to say it signed a Declaration of Independence, which was sent off to King George.
[00:04:08] Britain at the time, had a multi-pronged approach to taking over as much of the landmass of the world as it could possibly do. And it was fighting on many fronts, including fighting wars with the French under the leadership of Napoleon.
[00:04:29] So taking your history back to that time, imagine that 100,000 British troops were sent to the United States as a response to the Declaration of Independence having been signed, with instructions to find everyone who signed it and to execute or persecute or destroy their property and their holdings and all the rest.
[00:04:57] And a war was fought in the United States that lasted from 1776. The last time that the British burned down the White House, and there were several times that it was done, was in about 1812. So the war with the United States lasted until about 1814, from 1776 till 1814.
[00:05:20] Meanwhile, on the Eastern front, the British were in the process of taking over India and various approaches were being made to create excuses for establishing ever greater numbers of British troops there.
The Indus River became Hindus
[00:05:39] In that time, the accent of the Brits was one where, and you can still hear this today in certain Cockney parts of London, where a word that had an H on the front, like Henry would be pronounced as ‘Enry, and a word that started with an I or an E would have an H added to it.
[00:06:04] And so the Indus River, which today sits in Pakistan—Pakistan, it was a creation of the British Empire upon its departure from India—the Indus River, which had one of the most ancient civilizations of India, in it’s archaic form going back about 10,000 years, the Mohenjo-daro and her other civilizations, was referred to by the soldiers as the Hindus River. The Hindus River. Indus, I-N-D-U-S, turned into H-I-N-D-U-S. And the people that were being looked over and transacted with by the British, at that time were then referred to as the people of the Hindus, the people of the Indus River Valley.
[00:06:57] And their collective understandings, ways of life, dealings and so on, with spiritual matters began to be referred to by the British, as Hindu-ism. Hinduism is basically a way of just broad brushing everything that ever happened in India as a philosophy, and we refer to it as Hinduism.
Hinduism turned into a fabricated religion
[00:07:24] Indians have kowtowed a little bit to this, and when confronted by Westerners with a question about, “What is your religion or what is your philosophy?” They’ll very often say something like, “I belong to Hinduism.” Just because to try to describe what it is they actually believe in, or actually practice is more complicated than, it is for a Westerner to say, “Well, I’m a Southern Baptist,” or “I’m a Mormon,” or “I’m a Jew,” or “I’m a whatever.”
[00:07:56] And so the easy answer for most Indians is Hinduism because that’s how the West knows Indians. The fact is Hinduism, as it ended up becoming practiced during the couple of hundred years of occupation by the United Kingdom, turned into a completely fabricated religion. The colonialists did their job very well of making those people who were being colonized feel ashamed of the way in which they celebrated their ideas of divinity.
[00:08:36] And so we saw changes occur in the styles of behavior, of spiritual practices of Indians, as they began to grow more and more in the direction of attempting to mimic things that they’d seen in Roman Catholicism, and in Protestant style Church of England, Anglican, practices.
Statuary in India
[00:08:58] And the Indians were made to feel ashamed of the very abstract nature of their philosophy, and consequently responded, in many cases badly in my opinion, by attempting to make a religion that could somehow reflect or stand up to some of the features of Western religion. And therefore when they would see Roman Catholics worshiping icons of mother Mary, of Joseph, of Jesus the child, the statuesque icons, they decided that they would create icons of their own.
[00:09:40] And these would be icons of these consciousness events that were known as Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna, and so on. The statuary in India has always existed looking at and trying to understand various kinds of forms and functions of the way that creative intelligence expresses itself and personifies.
Hinduism is a construct
[00:10:06] However, the idea that a particular statue was in fact a deity was a very new idea in India. And this idea came from the way in which Indians attempted to mimic the behaviors of, in particular, Roman Catholics. When they saw the various kinds of icons being dressed or being painted then the Indians also began to dress their icons and paint them.
[00:10:36] If you go to Southern Italy today, you can see very colorful displays of a variety of icons of the Christian faith with clothing on and with painted features and so on. And then if you go to India, you can see how this mimicry managed to make its way into what had long before that been the Vedic worldview.
[00:11:05] So Hinduism is really a construct. It’s something that as it’s practiced today is a composite of religious beliefs, some of which did come up through their own Vedic understanding, through the Vedic worldview, but many of which as practices are attempts to “dignify themselves” when shamed by colonizers, who considered their Indian religion to be inferior to the religions that the Westerners were bringing into India during the days of colonialism.
[00:11:47] Hinduism is not really a concept in India itself.
The true meaning of yoga
[00:11:53] Indians very often refer to what they understand, or their philosophy about how things work, as either yoga, which means union. Yoga by the way is not what we think as in the west. In India, their people smile at the way that Westerners say that they practice yoga.
[00:12:20] Yoga in India is not a practice. And it certainly has very little to do with moving the body around wearing Lycra and Spandex and going for coffees after a session. Yoga is an experience.
[00:12:38] The word yoga means to experience that layer of your own mind, where the vast unbounded consciousness field interacts or intersects with individuality, where our individuality and our universality meet. This is the place of yoga.
[00:12:59] And the Sanskrit language makes up its etymology, about two-thirds of all the words that have entered English via Latin and via Greek. Yoga when pronounced in India, the final A is usually dropped and they pronounce it as yog. And yog gives us our English word yoke, a thing that unifies a beast of burden with the load that it’s bringing into activity. A yoke.
[00:13:33] Yoga means the experience of unity with the unbounded Unified Field itself. When the individuality and the Unified Field are realized in one consciousness state, this is called yoga.
[00:13:51] Another word that is used in India for self-description of their philosophy is Sanatana dharma. Dharma, D-H-A-R-M-A, dharma means the particular role that one has with reference to the evolutionary process.
[00:14:16] If we were to ask a question, “What is your personal role in the evolution of things?” we would be asking the question, “What is your dharma?”
[00:14:26] So your dharma is something that you do, which when doing is the very highest and best expression of your particular gifts of the way that creative intelligence manifests in you.
[00:14:43] Sanatana, S-A-N-A-T-A-N-A, Sanatana Dharma means the dharma of natural law. The laws of Nature. So the laws of Nature expressing themselves through the individuality, the individualities of all things, not just humans.
[00:15:10] What is the highest and best expression of a cat? You know, to be kind of sneaky and noble at the same time, cat behavior. What is the highest and best expression of a human? What is the highest and best expression of a flea? How about a leaf of a particular plant? What are its medicinal properties? What are its contributions to the process of evolution? So one’s individual contributions to the collective phenomenon known as evolution, this is referred to as
The meaning of Veda and Apaurusheya
[00:15:51] Another word that is used of course, to embody the knowledge of all of those interactions between the cosmic Unified Field consciousness of the universe and its expressions in individuality, is simply the word Veda. Veda, V-E-D-A, means The Knowledge. That’s what it means, The Knowledge. Veda. Veda is considered not to have been written by anyone. It is Apaurusheya.
[00:16:28] Apaurusheya in Sanskrit is a word that means “without an author.” Without an author. And what does this imply? That the structure of the totality of knowledge is cognisable by anyone, who knows how, has any technique at all, for taking their active conscious mind to less and less and less excited states until arriving at the least excited state, transcending that and experiencing oneness with the Unified Field, the one indivisible whole consciousness field, Being.
[00:17:18] That knowledge is embedded in that field of Being.
[00:17:23] Knowledge of what? Knowledge of how the laws of Nature work together. What are the mechanics? What are the specific effects? What are the causes of those effects and what are the sources of the causes to make a distinction between source and cause?
[00:17:48] A source means that something is the transcendent unmanifest field out of which all forms and phenomena come into manifestation. And so this is a concept that is the classic Vedic concept.
What is The Veda
[00:18:08] When we say Vedic, we’re putting an I C on the word Ved V-E-D, anglicizing it, and turning it into an adjective. There’s no such word as Vedic in Sanskrit. The word in Sanskrit for Vedic would be Vaidya but for most Westerners that doesn’t have any meaning.
[00:18:27] Vedic means from the Veda. Anything to do with the Veda, anything associated with the Veda. And what is the Veda? It is the consciousness field that is vibrant with knowledge. So that when our individual awareness settles down into a least excited state, we begin to have cognition.
[00:18:54] Cognition is a concept that comes out of the Vedic worldview. Cognition means that you gain an intrinsic understanding of how the laws of Nature are functioning in this particular place, at this particular time, with reference to different kinds of causes and effects.
An Exponent of Reality
[00:19:17] And so what are the cascades of cause and effect? What is the difference between something that is a proximate cause, that appears to be the cause of an effect, or the ultimate cause something that is the cause even of the proximate cause?
[00:19:37] The understanding of Veda is not something that is written down. There are no commandments or any equivalent of such a thing. The idea of the Vedic worldview, which embraces those other two words that I described Sanatana Dharma and yoga. The yoga experience, not the physical asanas or postures that people practice in the west and the Vedic Worldview.
[00:20:06] That’s only one very small aspect of yoga that you bend your body this way and bend your body that way and get some good effects from it. The larger concept of Veda is this that any individual who knows how to experience the least excited state can become someone who is a knower of reality. And indeed can become an exponent of reality. An exponent is someone who expounds, someone who teaches.
[00:20:40] A knower of reality is someone who knows how not to create suffering for themselves. What causes suffering is inadvertent, mostly inadvertent, violations of the laws of Nature. The laws of Nature are those patterns of behavior of Nature, which emerged from the evolutionary process.
The cosmic law of the evolutionary process
[00:21:09] The evolutionary process has one cosmic law. That cosmic law, if stated as a one-word imperative sentence would be, evolve, full-stop (we say period in America). And so, evolve.
[00:21:26] Evolve means embrace change progressively. To evolve there have to be, and we’ve analyzed this elsewhere, three elements of the process of evolution.
[00:21:40] The cognition, improvisation, inventive creative stroke of evolution, where a possibility that is greater than what currently is being seen is conceived of. We call this the creation operator phenomenon.
[00:22:00] The maintenance operator phenomenon, that force of Nature that maintains anything, any form, any phenomenon, any grouping of behaviors that maintain whatever it is that happens to continue to be relevant to the evolutionary process while it’s relevant.
[00:22:24] And then destruction, destruction is not what most people would think of, not wanton destruction, but the disintegrating of anything that once upon a time was functional and relevant with regard to evolution, but has now lost its relevance with regard to evolution. It may have done what it needed to do.
The destruction operator at work
[00:22:51] My favorite example of this is the umbilical cord that attaches mother to newborn baby. Well, in utero, it’s there too, but we see it in a neonate. When the child is born, there’s a cord attaching the child’s navel to the mother’s placenta. That cord, the umbilicus is a very good example because for a period of time, it is the most highly relevant thing.
[00:23:21] It connects mother and baby for 40 weeks, nourishes baby both with nutrients and with oxygen and the other gases that the baby needs, nitrogen and the like, to function and grow. But shortly after birth, the umbilicus, having done its job, not only becomes irrelevant, but it’s loss of relevance makes it a dangerous thing to allow its attachment to the mother to continue.
[00:23:52] And so there’ll come a point where there’s the ideal moment for the disintegrating, the cutting of the cord that connected mother and baby during the months of gestation. We do not then look at the umbilicus and say, “That was a terrible thing, we had to destroy it.” No, it served a purpose for a period of time.
[00:24:16] In the Vedic worldview, those things that get destroyed, they’re not destroyed because they were bad or never any good. They served a purpose. All forms and all functions serve a purpose. Anything that exists has a purpose in existing. Otherwise it couldn’t come into existence in the first place.
The cycle of evolution
[00:24:38] So cosmic intelligence, using these three operators of creation, maintenance and destruction, causes the evolutionary force to cycle forward. And it is cyclical. After destruction comes creation. After creation comes maintenance, after maintenance comes destruction and so on and so forth.
[00:25:02] And this is the cycle of evolution that can be found and identified in all the behaviors of the natural world around us and within ourselves indeed.
[00:25:14] We are not separate from Nature. Human beings and Nature, in fact, are supposed to be one indivisible and whole thing. It’s the very separation of humans from Nature, when we say, ” Humanity versus Nature,” then we’re describing what the problem is.
We design suffering for ourselves
[00:25:36] Humanity is in fact, one of the pinnacles of the creative process of Nature itself. Except when, as humans, we without realizing it, usually unconsciously, design suffering for ourselves.
[00:25:56] How do we design suffering for ourselves? When we attempt to become happy, employing methods and triggering laws of Nature, which in the triggering of these and in the employing of these, no happiness can possibly come forth.
[00:26:16] Doing things which cannot possibly bring sustained happiness in aid of trying to get happy. Most people, when they’re suffering, they may realize they’ve made some mistakes and they look back and they think, “Well, I was just trying to get happy that’s all. Just trying to make myself happy.”
[00:26:36] And we can see even the most heinous behaviors of human beings, if we take a completely compassionate and impartial view, what we’re going to see is someone who genuinely believed that their activity and their behavior was going to make them and possibly others happy. It was going to make them happy.
[00:27:01] It’s just that without that comprehensive approach to moving from thinking into action, without knowledge of how all the laws of Nature work, then the employing of only certain fragmented laws of nature, in a way that brings about a temporary wave of pleasure, but does not bring about sustained happiness for one self or for others ends up in fact, doing damage and then Nature has to disintegrate whatever it is that is bringing an impedance to the speedy process of evolution.
Does God want you to suffer?
[00:27:43] When we experience pain, when we experience suffering, when we experience difficulties, the Western worldviews, including Western religions, will tell us that this is something that God wants you to experience.
[00:28:00] God likes you to suffer because… this is not the Vedic worldview, the Western worldview, because God, who’s usually a He, is testing you, testing you to see if you have faith.
[00:28:13] And so from that perspective my master used to say, “Well, if God likes suffering, then God must be very happy because right now in this world, there’s an appalling level of suffering happening at every level. Individuals, families, societies, nations, and internationally. Must be making God very happy, if God likes suffering.”
Suffering and happiness from the Vedic perspective
[00:28:42] From the Vedic perspective, suffering is something that should be foreign to someone who has the capacity to cognise how all the laws of Nature function. Suffering should be foreign to us. And so the idea that suffering is something that you engage in, in order to test yourself is a very odd idea from the Vedic perspective.
[00:29:09] So from the Vedic perspective we are, as individuals, in charge of our own evolution. We are in charge of the degree to which we can progress our awareness, expand it and expand it and expand it, until we reach a state where the knowledge that is needed to move forward in life without bringing suffering to others and without suffering oneself, that knowledge is able to be lived in one individual awareness.
[00:29:46] That it is possible for an individual in their lifetime, through the practices of Vedic Meditation for the mind to expand and expand and expand to a point where the individual is in fact, a realized functioning agent of progressive change. Where the individual is experiencing oneness with that force, that Unified Field force that is bringing about the phenomenology of the movement from less sophisticated to more sophisticated, from less elegant to more elegant, from suffering into a life that is waves of happiness, waves of bliss.
The purpose of life is the expansion of happiness
[00:30:33] So the Vedic worldview holds that the purpose of life is the expansion of happiness. And the methodology for gaining it is not devising or developing a belief in something which you’ve not yet experienced.
[00:30:48] From the Western perspective there’s a concept known as faith, where if you believe a thing and you really try to make yourself believe it, even against all evidence that such a thing exists, if you try to make yourself believe it and try to indoctrinate yourself and try to convince yourself of it, that you’ll be rewarded, if not in this lifetime, then when your body dies, you’ll go off to a place where everyone is rewarded for believing in things that they never experienced.
[00:31:23] And the Vedic worldview considers that to be a very childish approach. That if you are not yet having an experience, it does not warrant you developing trust or faith in a concept.
[00:31:40] And so the idea that you need to believe in a thing, and then an experience will come as a result of that, is a foreign idea to the Vedic worldview. In the Vedic worldview, we have this understanding that you shouldn’t really attempt to believe in a thing, unless you have direct empirical evidence for it.
[00:32:04] That is to say, if you’re experiencing it, then naturally you believe it. But belief doesn’t come first. And understanding of what it is you’re experiencing should naturally follow any experience that you have. So with regular practice of meditation, as our awareness expands and expands more and more, it begins to expand into a very interesting phenomenon.
Our brain personalises the laws of Nature
[00:32:31] We start to be able to experience and see, let the human brain do what it does best, which is to model the personalization of the laws of Nature. And this is what our minds do anyway.
[00:32:47] The number of people who I know, who will treat their machines as if their machines are animate creatures, in fact, many engineers and people who even make these machines develop a kind of concept that, “My little machine has a personality.” They may even give it little cutesy names, and so on.
[00:33:08] We as humans have a deep and abiding desire to experience the functioning of the world in our own terms. A philosopher may use the word anthropomorphous, morphosis, to describe this that we anthropomorphise, that is to say we create human characteristics out of things that are not actually human, but from the Vedic perspective, there’s no other possibility.
The expression of your inner nature
[00:33:40] We cannot live in any way, or experience in any way, other than the state of consciousness we find ourselves in. And that state of consciousness is a construct of our genetics, the way our brain is designed, and in fact, the entire nature of, in this case, the human condition.
[00:34:01] And so as we grow and grow in our understanding of how the laws of Nature are all functioning in a way that is perfectly synchronous, in a way that’s easily understandable, in a way where all the different causes and all of their effects can easily be seen, one starts to have an experience that, “This is an expression of my own inner nature. I’m experiencing myself extending into all things.
[00:34:35] “If I see some wanton destruction being created by humans of, let’s say a forest, or some land that could grow a forest, I might feel offended because I feel my own extended Self is being violated, my own extended Self.
[00:34:58] “If I see another human being being maltreated or abused, then I feel as though my own extended self is being attacked. And its right to evolution is being attacked and being made to go more slowly.”
Why the Vedic worldview doesn’t qualify to be a religion
[00:35:16] And so one might become very activist as a knower and exponent of reality, to bring about the cessation of those behaviors that are causing suffering, not just for oneself, but for other species and in fact, for the longevity of the experience of happiness on this planet.
[00:35:42] So the Vedic worldview doesn’t really qualify as being a religion. A religion is something which will set forth sets of commandments, will set forth a particular idea about God, will make you separate to that idea about God. There’s God and then there’s you, a human.
[00:36:05] A creation of God, perhaps, but in most cases, one who has fallen from grace. And then the religion will go on to tell you, “Here are all the things you have to do to return to the grace that you may once upon a time have had, or your ancient ancestors had, but now has been lost. And you’ve become wretched.”
[00:36:29] And then, so that if you believe certain things, which might be very difficult to believe because there’s no evidence for them, if you have a strong and abiding belief, if you indoctrinate yourself to suspend your intellect and suspend your own experience and defy your own experience to a sufficient extent that you hypnotise yourself to believe that a particular thing exists, even though you have no tangible evidence of it, then you’ll get your reward.
There is no concept of God in Vedic worldview
[00:37:02] And so there’s this fear-based thing. First of all, the falling from grace and then the fear of what’s going to happen to you, if you don’t get back into grace. Fear of damnation, fear of the eternity of hell, skin being burned off every few seconds, forever and ever and ever longer than the entire universe has existed…
[00:37:23] because somebody who was one of your forebears way back in ancient ancient times ate a particular fruit that God prohibited and now there’s this fall from grace and people have to suffer and then, you may be pretty jolly right now or okay, but when your body dies you’re really in for it, unless you believe a particular thing in a particular way.
[00:37:50] There’s nothing like this in the Vedic worldview. First of all, there’s no one concept or structure of God that is laid before you. If anything, the understanding is that your own deep inner Self is one with that vast Unified Field consciousness, which is the source of all things. You are one with that, that you’re an individual expression of that.
[00:38:18] In the same way that the colors that come in a flower, all come from the colorless sap, which is the basis of the entire flower. The colorless sap, though colorless and odorless, can create any color, green or red or yellow or whatever, and can create any fragrance, the smell of a rose or the smell of a freesia or whatever.
[00:38:44] But the colorless sap remains colorless and odorless even though it is the unmanifest base of all of these expressions. And that, the plant that has lively sap, the plant that has good nourished sap is the plant that has the greatest diversity, the greatest expression of color, the greatest expression of variety.
Practicing your technique helps you to grow your conscious state
[00:39:12] So like that we have this idea and direct experience that when you practice your technique, that you’ll have this experience of settling into your own least excited state, and then it will start to grow and grow and you’ll begin to experience that this is a vast consciousness state. It is a larger consciousness state than what the regular human consciousness experience of the waking state can explain.
[00:39:44] Meditators frequently experience going very deep in their meditation and finding that their awareness or their sense of self is so expansive. It feels larger than their body can possibly be. And very often they’ll say, “Oh, my hands got large,” or “My head became expansive,” but obviously, objectively that didn’t happen. What’s happening is the brain is trying in its very beginning days to rationalize what that experience is.
[00:40:21] ” My inner Self has become vast. My inner Self has become this vast experienceable phenomenon that extends beyond all boundaries. What is that?” Well, that’s your individuality settling down into its least-excited state and experiencing the unbounded consciousness field.
[00:40:44] When you return from your meditation back to normal waking state then, and we call it normal, not ordinary, normal means the way you should be, ordinary means what people are commonly experiencing. So you come back to a greater normality, you’ll find that things that you may have been engaging in that weren’t helpful to your evolution just spontaneously drop off without anybody telling you that they’re not good for you or anything like that.
[00:41:14] Those things just drop off and things that can be helpful to you, behaviors that will aid your evolution just spontaneously grow.
The Vedic experience of growth
[00:41:25] So the growth of that which is good, the growth of that which is bringing about less suffering for you and for others, the growth of that which is giving you the ability not just to be information wise, as, “I have lots of information”, but to be wise in the way that you combine those bits of information into a network of knowledge that brings about the greatest speed of evolution. So this is the Vedic experience.
[00:41:58] What is the relationship between how outsiders, who don’t live in India, who look at what many Indians practice and call that Hinduism, what is the relationship between this Vedic experience, the Vedic concept, the Vedic worldview and that? Well, it’s like the difference between a real garden and plastic flowers. That’s basically it.
[00:42:27] Something that has been invented, and has been invented in a response to colonial pressures, does not express as deeply as magnificently, what we would refer to as the Veda, or the experience of yoga, or Sanatana Dharma.
Medicinal properties of the willow bark
[00:42:48] So Hinduism is a language construct. Hinduism has, as a construct, created a way of taking active ingredients and putting them into play. Let me talk about that for a moment.
[00:43:08] When during World War One, it was discovered that a commonly used herbal product called willow bark had the power, if taken by people, that powder, with water, had the power to reduce pain and also had the power to reduce fevers.
[00:43:29] And so some scientists studying willow bark began to try to extract what was the active ingredient in the willow bark that really made it do this. And it was discovered to be Acetylsalicylic acid. If you extract that ingredient, which today is known as aspirin, if you extract that one ingredient and apply it to the person, it will resolve pain very effectively and it will also thin the blood and it will also reduce fevers.
The problems with Aspirin
[00:44:02] But there are problems. When a person is given willow bark their blood is never thinned to the extent that if they got in an accident they’d bleed to death, whereas someone who’s taken a couple of aspirins who gets into an accident could easily bleed to death because aspirin is an anticoagulant. Willow bark is not on it’s own, because it has buffering agents in it.
[00:44:28] Aspirin causes your stomach to bleed, and anytime you take an aspirin, the next time you look at your poo, when you’ve had a bowel movement, you’ll notice that it’s very dark. And the reason it’s dark is because it’s filled with blood, because the aspirin makes your stomach bleed.
[00:44:44] Aspirin is very difficult on your kidneys. Aspirin will reduce a fever and it will reduce pain, but it does so at a great cost to the overall health of the body.
[00:44:57] Willow bark on the other hand is a full and complete product straight from the willow tree. It has all the buffering agents in it. And if you take willow bark, you’ll get the effects of Acetylsalicylic acid, which is in the willow bark, but all those effects are buffered. You don’t get bleeding, you don’t get these extreme effects and so on.
The relationship between Hinduism and Vedic knowledge
[00:45:21] So when we take an active ingredient and extract it, we extract a certain information or knowledge, but we leave the wisdom behind. This is what exactly happened in the case of Hinduism.
[00:45:39] Hinduism is like extracting active ingredients from the baseline of Vedic knowledge, leaving the wisdom behind and moving into a faith-based proposition, that is faith based in an attempt to mimic Western religions because Indians were made to feel ashamed of their lack of ability to describe their religion on the same terms as the Western colonizers.
[00:46:08] So what is the difference between Hinduism and Vedic? The difference between an active ingredient and the holistic nature of life.
The problem of active ingredient mentality in the West
[00:46:18] Active ingredient mentality is our entire problem in the West.
[00:46:23] ” I can’t believe I ate the whole pizza!” So, “Don’t worry. Just take an antacid and get rid of the pain in your stomach. The magic bullet, which will make the pain go away. Don’t contemplate not eating an entire pizza. Just rest assured that we have a magic bullet for you.”
[00:46:46] “You have clogged arteries from a lifetime of bad eating habits? No problem. If you have terrible chest pains, we’ll take you in and unzip your chest and take your heart out and give you coronary artery bypass operation, and pop your heart back in there again, and problem solved. The magic bullet.”
[00:47:10] I was with a coronary artery patient, who’d just had a bypass operation, coming out of the hospital with this person, who was one of my students, who I was giving some support to while they were ill, and as the patient was being wheeled out to the car to take her home, the doctor came out and congratulated her that now she was pain-free and had a chance of living a perfectly healthy life with her heart.
[00:47:38] And she looked at her doctor and said, “Doctor, I had a heart attack and I had completely dysfunctional arteries. Should I change my diet in any way?” And he just looked at her and said, “That’s the beauty of it. No, you don’t need to do anything. You get chest pains again, come back and we’ll give you another one of these.”
The Western approach to spirituality and active ingredient mentality
[00:47:56] So, active ingredient, magic bullet. “Don’t change your experience. We’ll bring the magic bullet to you.”
[00:48:05] So, active ingredient mentality is the mentality that is mostly involved in the Western approach to spirituality. Rather than living a life where you don’t create suffering for yourself in the first place, where you unify yourself, your individuality, through direct experience with that unbounded awareness that is permeating all things, you try to solve a terrible spiritual problem that’s been created by extracting an active ingredient, believe in a thing, have faith.
[00:48:43] And so the Vedic worldview is not faith based. The Vedic worldview is free of making commandments. The Vedic worldview is not fear based.
Heaven on earth is the Vedic Worldview
[00:48:56] The Vedic worldview is also unique in another very interesting characteristic.
[00:49:01] Heaven is an experience that is had on earth. Heaven is not body-death dependent. In most other approaches to spirituality, if you wish to have the experience of heaven, your body has to die, and then you might experience something heavenly if you’ve believed the right things. And let’s hope that you did otherwise if you believe the wrong things then you go to the fiery furnace for the rest of eternity.
[00:49:30] In the Vedic Worldview heaven is an on-earth experience. You arrive at that heavenly, vast consciousness state, and you live it in daily life in your body. You live heaven as an everyday experience in every breath you take, in every experience, every concept, every feeling, every endeavor, every movement is a state that gives the thrills of a heavenly consciousness state.
[00:50:04] So heaven on earth. Heaven is body dependent in the Vedic worldview. You have to have a body in order to experience the delights of the 200%, a hundred percent of the vast unbounded consciousness and a hundred percent of all of the relative delights of daily life.
The difference between Vedic and Hinduism
[00:50:26] So I think I’ve probably made a very good distinction, and for those who didn’t have an understanding of the history of Hinduism, I hope this has been educational.
[00:50:37] And for those who don’t know the difference between Vedic and Hinduism, Vedic is the basis on which Hinduism drew some of its active ingredients, like drawing aspirin out of willow bark, but Hinduism is not Vedic because Hinduism is an invention.
[00:50:58] That basically is the whole story about Hinduism versus the Vedic worldview. I hope you enjoy your Vedic Meditation twice every day and have all the wonderful direct experiences, and we’ll make commentary on that throughout these podcasts and all of our knowledge sessions.
Jai Guru Deva.