The Vedic Dharma is synonymous with Sanatana Dharma. The Sanatana Dharma is an eternal, ever-existent system. It is dedicated to the reality of universal unity on the basis of One Supreme Manager and Regulator – Brahmanda. He is the Eternal Authority and the Absolute Truth and addressed by countless names like Prabhu, Parameshwara, Paramatma, Ishwara and Brahman.
Sanatana Dharma calls man for accepting the truth of the Eternal Law and the Law of Change. Transforming prevailing situations into their most constructive form is his prime duty with the purpose of safe and peaceful existence, holistic development and to achieve the goal of life along with the welfare of one and all. Sanatana Dharma expects him to indulge in righteous acts –Satkarmas, assuring conscious cooperation and co-ordination of fellow beings having forbearance and tolerance, the two foremost aspects of non-violence – Ahimsa as the nuclei of mutual practices.
The Vedas – Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda, which divulge the universal unity – Indivisible Whole and the reality of One Universal Authority, Brahman, are the exponents of Sanatana Dharma. Thus, they are the basic scriptures of Sanatana Dharma. The Vedas are composed in Sanskrit, the most ancient, rich and scientific language of the world especially from grammar viewpoint. It is also the mother of many of the modern Indian languages. It has its deep impact on other Indian languages – Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu and on many Asian-European languages. Besides Vedas, there are other major Vedic texts, which are also written in Sanskrit language.
The Upanishads are an integral part of the Vedas and they are, therefore, known as the Vedanta. Concepts related to Brahman, subjects of esoteric knowledge like universalism, soul, spiritualism etc. are the central ideas of the Upanishads. These subjects have been well explained therein through the unique Guru-Shishya tradition according to the basic spirit of the Vedas. As Sanatana Dharma is predominantly explained, spread and transmitted by the Vedas and the Upanishads, it is also known as Vedic Dharma.
The basic scriptures of the Vedic Dharma are in Sanskrit and other leading texts – the Vedangas, the Smritis, the Puranas, theAaranyakas, along with the Upanishads - are also in the same language. Additionally, the fundamentals of the Vedic Dharma are explained through Vedic Mantras and Shlokas of the Upanishad which are all in Sanskrit. The Vedic Dharma and Sanskrit are closely linked to one another.
A profound knowledge of the Upanishads is available in an adaptable manner in the ShrimadBhagvad Gita. Hence, the ShrimadBhagvad Gita itself emerges as a basic, commanding, and leading scripture of the Vedic Dharma. The Gita presents the basic spirit of the Vedic Dharma in the best possible way and explains the explaining the Dharma itself. It calls on man to follow it as his highest duty.
YogeshwaraShrikrishna’s call for “YogahKarmasuKaushalam” is for everyone. Without any kind of discrimination, the ShrimadBhagvad Gita guides one and all to receive the knowledge of self and soul. It brings every human being out of the state of suspicions, conflicts and confusions and leads everyone towards the Satkarmas – righteous acts.
Like the Vedas and the Upanishads, the ShrimadBhagvad Gita is a unique scripture in Sanskrit, which hasfor centuries not only left a deep impression on the lives ofthinkers, scholars and humanists of the world but has also greatly inspired their works.
The Shlokas of ShrimadBhagvad Gita are composed inLaukik Sanskrit, which makes this sacred Vedic textexclusive. The Gita has attracted the attention ofhundreds of scholars from India and abroad. As a result,the Gita has been translated in more than fifty Indian and foreign languages.
From ancient to the modern times, many Rishi-likesaints, thinkers and philosophers have covered the Gita. In this regard, along with Adi Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madvacharya, Vallabhacharya, Dnyaneshwar, Bal
GangadharTilak, Aurobindo Ghosh, Swami Vivekanandaand Mahatma Gandhi from India, the names of WDP Gill, Senart, G Thibaut, F Edgerton, Jeanne Fowler and Ithamar Theodore from the West are worth mentioning. The central message of the Shrimadbhagavad-Gita remained the nucleus of their works.
The ShrimadBhagvad Gita, undoubtedly, remains the topmost and universally accepted scripture. These three Shlokas (6, 7 and 10) from the Chapter 7 of the ShrimadBhagvad Gita are worth mentioned here (in Hindi).
“एतद्योनीनिभूतानिसर्वाणीत्युपधारय/अहंकृत्स्नस्यजगत: प्रभव: प्रलयस्तथा//
In short, along with the interpretation of the concept ofuniversal unity, human equality and Brahman, the funda-mentals of the Vedic Dharma have been beautifully defined through the Laukik Sanskrit in the ShrimadBhagvad Gita. The Laukik Sanskrit verse style of the ShrimadBhagvad Gita makes it novel and unique. The Shrimad Bhagavad Gita emerges as a subtle example of the holy marriage of theVedic Dharma and Sanskrit.
— A Padma Shri and Sardar Patel National Awardee Indologist Dr. Ravindra Kumar is a Former Vice Chancellor of CCS University, Meerut; he is also the Editor-in-Chief of Global Peace International Journal.
[The view expressed here are personal and don’t reflect those of the government]