Is Vedanta Relevant in present day life ?

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Let us first try to understand what is meant by Vedanta. Vedanta is a systematic knowledge which explains the meaning and purpose of our existence in the world.

    Vedanta is made up of two words Veda and Anta.
    According to one meaning of the word Anta, Vedanta means the physical end of our scriptures. So the Upanishads which appear at the end of the Vedas make up Vedanta.
    But another meaning of Anta is knowledge or vision. So we can also interpret it as the vision of the Vedas.

    Vedanta is a knowledge that is founded on its own authority. It trains us to think for ourselves, analyse, investigate and realize the quintessence of life. It ultimately leads us to spiritual enlightenment. Hence we can say that it is universally applicable to all, at all times, under all situations. That is the main reason why we are interested in knowing about it.

    What a man tries to do in and through all actions, is to seek happiness and avoid unhappiness. Vedanta is bold enough to say that the only reason why there is life in the universe, or the only thing that sustains the universe, is the basic urge in the heart of every living being of seeking happiness (sukha prapthi) and avoiding unhappiness (dukha nivruthi). Any action, ancient or modern, whether it is performed by the rich or poor, is prompted by one of these two motives. Hence an endeavour to attain happiness is essentially what we mean by life.

    Now our enquiry becomes more subtle. The field of enquiry becomes narrow because now we have to say “relevance of Vedanta in the quest of happiness”. This quest is the same irrespective of time, ancient or modern. The basic problem transcends time.

    What relevance do the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita have in our lives? They are always applicable because they deal with the fundamental desire of human beings, that is, gaining happiness and avoiding unhappiness. As Vedanta addresses itself to this fundamental problem it becomes relevant even today. It suggests a solution to this problem which is applicable at all times, in all places and under all conditions. That is called Truth or Satyam.

    Since we cannot stand sorrow and love happiness, Vedanta is relevant. Since every man, knowingly or unknowingly is interested only in this one thing in life - happiness, Vedanta becomes relevant to everyone.

    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
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  2. Kamla

    Kamla Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Guru Sakshat Parabramha!

    Dear Chitra...

    That was a wonderful introduction to Vedanta. Awesome. How true, life is all about wanting to be happy and avoiding unhappiness. Every single act of ours is towards that end. And I thought it was all about daily chores, cooking, cleaning, learning etc. But ultimately, it was all about being happy.
    I am thrilled. I am waiting for more.
    Thanks to you for giving it to us freely in simple, sweet and small packages.

    L, Kamla
     
  3. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamla, I cannot thank you enough.....

    For sending me such an early feedback ! Let me be frank enough to admit, that I am thrilled.
    It is sad that vedanta is generally labelled " dry" (varattu vedantam). So I had my own apprehensions about, how vedanta posts will be received. Even if the views and feedbacks are less than for my other posts in this thread, I have decided to offer the F B s to my Vedanta teacher as my Guru Dakshinai.
    Vedanta literally has to grow on you over time. But we have to begin at some point of time, isn't it ?
    I assure you, I will try my best to present in as simple a language as I possibly can.
    I thank you again for the first feed back, my dear friend.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  4. Kamla

    Kamla Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    March ahead..

    Dear Chitra,

    Something tells me that your thread on Vedanta will be successful. For one thing, I find a lot of our IL friends are very wise. Although many are young, they seem to have an appetite for good things in life, good thought included. Beside, the way you present culture and religion is very enlightening and easy to assimilate. I am sure you will do wondes with your Vedanta thread as well. It will clear the clouds in our minds and drive the cobweb of doubts away. Keep them coming.
    My pranams to your Guruji.

    L, Kamla
     
  5. anjana

    anjana Bronze IL'ite

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    Not a dry subject at all Mrs C

    Dear Mrs C,
    You have presented one of the most dreaded subject[at least by me] in a very simple manner. Little did I know in some subtle sense it was looking for happiness as we always do in our day to day lives. Simply superb and well presented. With this introduction I hope next week you would go in depth. Now I will go to bed "HAPPY" after reading your post.
    Love,
     
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thankyou Anjana !

    My dear Radha,
    You are dispelling the fears in my mind, thankyou.
    Not only you, many dread that vedanta is dry & tough. Though not so, it is abstract, I don't deny. Besides, the post has to be read atleast 3 times, to understand the contents.
    I plan to alternate this with culture posts, so that you will have time to " mull over" the previousa topic, before the next one is posted.
    Please continue with me, Radha !
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  7. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Not dry at all

    Dear Chithra,
    It is very true that all living beings want only happiness in life. And the way upi have started is not at all varattu. I am looking forward to finding many ideas on life in this.
    As Kamla said, many of our young friends are more mature in mind than many people who have aged and so they will welcome this vedanta post with much enthu. And even if there is not much feedback, I am sure that many people would be reading the thread with interest. Please go on, we are ready.
    With warm wishes,
    varloo
     
  8. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    You always encourage me, Varloo !

    I am aware that many of the I L ites who frequent my culture threads are quite mature, wise and more than eager, to learn. That is why I am attempting to present vedanta, at all. My knowledge being very limited, I shall present simple ideas in as clear a language as possible.
    Please stay tuned, Varloo.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  9. purnima_2k

    purnima_2k Senior IL'ite

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    The ultimate goal of life...

    is the fusion of

    a) sukha prapthi and
    b)dukha nivruthi

    for a moment i thought, arent they the same? why have u used 'and' here .Then i realised that its actually OK for people even if they are not happy but definitely they dont want to be unhappy!! Applaud mrs cv, great start.

    I like the way you have mentioned about the ultimate solution to all problems -- Truth . This really set me thinking. We lie sometimes , pretend before people etc, but deep down we feel guilty, that seizes our happiness. Facing the truth is the most bitter and the toughest thing, but once we practise saying that we realise that the world becomes a much better place to live in-- with free conscience and mind!

    In such a short class , we learnt so much, am eagerly looking forward to more such enlightenments from you!

    Thank you so much Mrs CV

    Purni
     
  10. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    something I always wanted to know

    Dear Chitra,

    It was long, long back that I picked up a book on Vedanta. It was a hectic period at that time of life & I couldn't finish it. Now, you give me another chance & this time I don't want to miss.
    You've started off in a simple language & its easy to understand. look forward to more of vedanta & like you said, we definitely need to start off sometime in our life & there's no good time than NOW.
    I feel the earlier we learn the easy it would be & the more youngsters learn the better the worldof tomorrow.
    We have the best Guru in the world (that's YOU) & what more shld we wait for OR ask for???? Let's go ahead.


    Love & regards,
     

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