All knowledge has two sides; theory and practice. In the spiritual systems of India, Vedic science presents the theory and the systems of Yoga are the practice. They are the spiritual side of the religion we know as Hinduism. Veda itself means knowledge, wisdom or vision (as in our related European words of wit and wisdom from German, idea, originally, widea, from the Greek and video from the Latin). Yoga itself means the practical application of knowledge. It is harnessing the energy developed through knowledge to achieve the maximum integration of our being. Hence, Veda and Yoga are one as theory and practice. Those who try to divide them up do not understand them. Both are aspects of an ancient universal science which we are again today seeking to restore as part of the movement towards a global spiritual culture.
Through the Vedic Vista Project, launched on the very auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya - The Golden Day on 6 May 2011, we hope to provide an accessible and relevant overview of this spiritual and scientific tradition of ancient India in a clear presentation to the modern mind. The purpose of presenting Vedic knowledge is not to impose a religious or cultural belief upon anyone. It is rather to bring out the universal or spiritual element in human culture. This is, to a great extent, to transcend both religion and culture into the spiritual, the universal. A true spiritual culture is not of a local bias but rather a local means of approaching the transcendental, a harmonising of ourselves with nature to approach the spiritual power behind her.
Vedic knowledge is a broad compendium of wisdom and insight that reaches into all aspects of life and all domains of human culture. The Vedic scriptures are the spiritual literature of the ancient Indian culture, written in the Sanskrit language. They are comprised of a vast collection of written records which include material (mundane), religious (ritualistic) as well as spiritual (monotheistic) knowledge. The expression "Vedic" is derived from the Sanskrit word VEDA, which means knowledge or revelation. The ‘Vedas’ refer to very ancient cultures, timeless revelations and divine incarnations, and which also give evidence to a cultural heritage rich in the arts, philosophy, medicine, astrology, mathematics, psychology, sociology, linguistics, spirituality and science. According to the Vedic history they were systematically put into a written form some 5000 years ago in order to prevent it from being lost during in the upcoming age, which was foreseen as the Kali-yuga, the Iron Age, the most fallen in the cycle of ages, and our current age.
The entire body of Vedic knowledge has a systematic structure and a clearly defined goal, being compiled by the great Vedic Rishis (seers and sages) while in a state of superconsciousness, who were exposed to an intuitive vision which allowed them to cognise life beyond time and space, beyond past, present and future. The Vedas are a highly composite or “holistic” knowledge relating to the complete existence of this universe, integrating every branch of knowledge – all the parts viewed in context to the whole – the sciences reflecting the arts, medicine being consistent with spirituality and so forth. Such a philosophical orientation to life opposes the currently popular materialistic scientific view, which compartmentalises life, in an ever-shifting focus or preoccupation with one segment or another.
The structure of the Vedic scriptures can be compared to a staircase with many steps, with specific scriptures corresponding to each step. The Vedic scriptures describe both the goal and the steps leading up to this goal. They are non-sectarian because they respect people of all "steps"; they simply encourage everyone to progress up to the next step. The individual evolution up these “steps” is not limited to one single life. The Vedic understanding is based on the concept of reincarnation, which declares that the steps of this symbolical staircase can also be understood as lifetimes. There is no question of converting or pushing, because everyone has to walk for himself or herself. Or, as the Vedic saying goes, "Even in a flock of birds, each bird has to fly for itself."
The Vedic tradition of India is rooted in Sanatana Dharma, the eternal and universal truths that are beneficial to everyone. It includes many avenues of self-development that an increasing number of people from the West are starting to investigate and use, including:
- Meditation and spiritual practice
- Vedic astrology (Jyotish)
- Vedic health care (Ayurveda)
- Vedic gemology
- Vedic architecture (Vaastu Shastra)
- Environmental awareness
- Social cooperation
- Global peace
- And much more
Vedic knowledge is the ancient and universal root, not only of Hinduism, but of many of the world's religions and mystical traditions. Hindu and Vedic knowledge presents a complete system of spiritual science, including all the practices of Yoga union as part of its rich field of spiritual culture. As such, it represents the flow of the heavenly river of Divine grace and cosmic intelligence which is eternal.
It is our sincere wish that through the Vedic Vista Project we can help bring this Vedic beacon of light forth, especially here in South Africa, to illuminate the advantages of the Vedic paths of improvement and self-discovery that anyone can use in their own life to attain personal awareness, health, happiness, and fulfillment.
It is our continued wish that this Divine wisdom be of benefit to all individuals along with promoting mindful and purposeful social progress, since Vedic wisdom is as ever relevant and meaningful today as it was to the ancients.
There is only one true religion, the religion of Truth.
There is only one true saviour, the Divine Self within out Hearts.
There is only one true scripture, The Divine Word of Oneness.