Importance of being a Human
One of the most powerful forces of transformation is knowledge, in fact, the scriptures say, that this power of knowledge is what distinguishes the human form from all the other forms of life. Eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, these bodily activities even the animals indulge in. It is this faculty of knowledge that God has bestowed upon us. He has not bestowed upon the animals to the same extent. So in this human form, we need to utilize this faculty of knowledge. Not to eat, sleep, mate, defend in a deluxe manner. But to utilize this to reach the ultimate goal of creation, the absolute truth, God-realization, enlightenment, salvation.
Urgency of Spiritual Knowledge
This necessity for spiritual knowledge it also felt because we all are not happy. We wish to be happy but at every turn in life, we experience misery. We wish to be situated at wisdom but we find ourselves deceived by doubts, confusion, and ignorance. We wish to be eternal but life brings us to a dead end. We repeatedly experience the phenomena of death as we move along. So our soul is yearning for that perfect experience and to reach that perfect experience we all perceive the need for knowledge. In fact, Shri Krishna says (referring to the spiritual knowledge), that there’s nothing as pure in this world as knowledge. And the Veda Vyasa eulogized knowledge to that extent, that he said, the reason for all our misery is the lack of true knowledge. And if somehow we can acquire proper knowledge, the root of our miseries will be uprooted.
So where to get this divine knowledge from, that has the solution to all our problems and the key to our desirable attainment. This knowledge cannot be acquired from the worldly people. You look around for wisdom, you consult your friends and relatives, or in office, you exchange wisdom, that may amount to intellectual entertainment, but from the spiritual perspective, it has no values. The Vedas say – it is like the blind leading the blind. How then do we acquire real spiritual knowledge or wisdom?. From the guru, but the problem is right now we don’t have a guru many of us. How do you find a god realized saint? It is not easy to find a God-realized saint through whom you can get knowledge. Ultimately we will have to reach them but initially, the problem is how to find them. So we need another source of wisdom that is trustworthy infallible not subject to any defects of the human intellect what is that? “God Himself”.
Why don’t you get knowledge from God? Now there is no question of any doubt, everybody intuitively feels that human beings can make mistakes but God cannot make mistakes. But how do we get knowledge from God? Then comes the knowledge of Vedas. These Vedas are not the name of the book. Some historians say or even declare that the Vedas are the oldest book or scriptures or poetry in the world, this is an inaccurate statement. We cannot limit the Vedas under the time frame the rig Veda contains eternal knowledge that was manifested by God in the heart of the firstborn Brahma. When he creates the world, he also gives this eternal knowledge in the form of a guidebook so this guidebook of knowledge is the Vedas.
Just as God existed before creation, his knowledge also existed before creation. Just as God is eternal his knowledge is also eternal. So the Vedas refer to the eternal knowledge of God. Hence the Vedas, what they’re teaching us is the science of God-realization. They do not give a name to it. The name Hinduism was given few hundred years ago, but they call it Sanatan Dharm (eternal knowledge).
5000 years ago Veda Vyasa, who was himself an incarnation of God, wrote down the Vedas by compiling Vedic knowledge. He’s never considered as the author of Vedas. So there was this one Veda which we divided further into Rigveda Samaveda Yajurveda and Atharvaveda. Then he got the name Ved Vyasa. These Vedas are like a reservoir of perfect knowledge, and the philosophical part of the Vedas is in the Upanishads.
Essence of all Vedic Knowledge
Now how to access this ocean of knowledge. there is one scripture that holds the key and essence of all the scriptures and that is Bhagavad Gita ( Song Of God). Bhagavad means the Lord himself and Gita mean the song. Why is it a song of God, because it is sung by the Lord himself. Shri Krishna created a scenario and gave knowledge to Arjuna, actually, Arjuna was an instrument, he wished to give the true knowledge to all of us. So this dialogue between Arjun and Shri Krishna which spreads over 700 versus is the Bhagavad Gita. Shri Krishna quotes to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita that “Arjuna I am like the milkman, these Upanishads are like a cow. I have milked this knowledge from all these Upanishads and giving it to you in the form of Bhagavad Gita. Therefore it is the summary of all the scriptures. This is the reason it is so highly respected and it has been translated into every language of the world.
It has answers to all the problems of our life not on a gross level but on the subtle level. It teaches us not only to overcome the problems of life but also to not let the problems arise in the first place and to find out the root cause of the problems as to why these problems are being faced by a certain set of people.