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Core Concepts

Beauty of Nature


The Vedic Vision of Nature is based upon four Core Concepts - Rishis, Rita, Devas and Yagna.



Fig 1: Core Concepts of the Vedic Vision of Nature


These Core Concepts are represented as a triad to aid in future discussions:


Fig 2: Representation of the Core Concepts as a triad


1. Rishis (Seers of Vedic mantras):



Fig 3: Core Concept 1 - Rishis


1. Seers of Vedic mantras: The Rishis are the seers of the Vedic mantras. The philosophy of the Vedic Vision of Nature is based upon these Vedic mantras. These mantras were not composed by the Rishis through mental imagination, but were revealed to them within their hearts. Hence they are known as Apaurusheya (literally not of human). They represent eternal truths coming down from the higher plane. They were often expressed in a poetic style, so need to be interpreted accordingly.

2. Pure life: Since the Rishis were the seers of the Vedic mantras, they were embodiments of pure life. Without a pure life, the Vedic mantras will not get revealed, since they come from a higher plane.

3. Living amidst Nature: The Rishis were also embodiments of simple living amidst Nature and reverence for Nature. The ancient scriptures mention about the hermitages of many Rishis inside the forests.

4. Tradition guiding us: However, Vedic Vision of Nature is not merely about living in Nature. It is to understand the moving forces of Nature as described in the Vedas. These moving forces are not only forces of external Nature, but also of internal Nature. These two are intimately related, and our lives are intimately related to these moving forces. Understanding these moving forces does not bind us but takes us towards freedom which is inherent in our soul. The lives of the Vedic Rishis represent appreciation of these moving forces and regulating life according to it. It represents holistic appreciation of life, dawn of knowledge, and becoming custodian of the entire earth based on that knowledge. Together, the Vedic Rishis form a tradition which guides our life in the direction of the eternal life.


2. Rita (Cosmic Order):



Fig 4: Core Concept 2 - Rita


1. Cosmic Order: Rita is the Cosmic Order which regulates life. When we look at Nature we get a feeling of what Rita is. We observe that Nature is not man-made but it has its own well-ordered system. It is vast, has beauty, and fills our heart with peace. It has dynamism and diversity and operates on a large scale. It sustains us and points to the source of life (to the discerning soul). Refer to the Characteristics of Nature.

2. Both external and internal: External Nature is the visible manifestation of Rita. But Rita is not merely confined to external Nature. Our inner lives are also governed by Rita. When we appreciate this Rita (Cosmic Order) and regulate our lives, our lives become filled with inner joy.

3. Sustains us as higher life: This Cosmic Order sustains our life by regulating the cycles of Nature, which provides food, water, air and other essentials of life. Rita is not man-made and does not depend upon man. Human beings are dependent upon Rita for their sustenance. However, our relationship with Rita is not that of a master and slave, but lies on the other side of the spectrum. Rita is our own higher life and is like the beloved Lord sustaining us. Our relationship with Rita is that of reverence and joy. Refer to Connecting with Nature.

4. Life regulated by Rita: The lives of the Vedic Rishis were regulated by Rita, and the message of the Vedic Vision of Nature is also to regulate lives based on Rita. This proposition is much more than becoming custodians of Earth and preserving its natural resources. It is to understand Rita and align our lives based on the "moving forces" of Rita. Our lives should open up to the Cosmic Order and in that opening, will find the inner freedom and external prosperity (of natural abundance).


3. Devas (Divine forces upholding Rita):



Fig 5: Core Concept 3 - Devas


1. Divine forces upholding Rita: The Devas are the divine forces upholding Rita. They are like the building blocks of Rita. When the question arises in mind: What exactly is this Rita? What are its components? then we need to study the Devas mentioned in the Vedas. The Rita or Cosmic Order is upheld by the moving forces of the Devas.

2. Based upon truth and purity: The power of the Devas are based upon truth and purity as mentioned in the various Vedic mantras. The Devas are not imaginary beings. They are the actual powers that exist in Nature and were comprehended by the Rishis.

3. Both external and internal: Vedic Nature is not merely external Nature, but also internal Nature. For example, Agni is a Deva whose power is manifested externally as the external Fire, and internally as the internal Fire (like Jathar-Agni or Fire of digestion). Saraswati is the Devi whose power is felt as the power of Intelligence. Intelligence is also part of Vedic Nature, and upholds Rita. We cannot deny Intelligence because there is no direct external manifestation. We feel this power by seeing how some people are more Intelligent than others. How human beings are more Intelligent than animals.

When we identify all the powers of the Devas by studying the Vedas deeply, we get a feeling of what Rita is. Then we can regulate our lives according to those powers. Then regulation of life does not become a mere ritual. It becomes a moving force of aligning our powers with the cosmic powers.

Asuras:

Along with the powers of the Devas there are negative powers also existing, which conceals the powers of the Devas. These are the powers of the Asuras. In Rig Veda, the Asuras by the general name Vrtra are mentioned which literally means "which conceals". When the powers of the Devas are awakened through Yagna, they subdue the Asuras. Then divine power shines out.


4. Yagna (Our Participation in Rita):



Fig 6: Core Concept 4 - Yagna


1. Our participation in Rita: Yagna is our participation in Rita. The Devas are the divine forces which uphold Rita. The powers of the Devas are both external and internal. Yagna is the mechanism by which we awaken the powers of the Devas within us. By awakening this power within us, we participate in upholding Rita.

2. Self-effort: Hence Vedic Vision of Nature is not about depending on some Devas and sitting idle. Our self-effort is ingrained within the Vedic cycle of Yagna. Without self-effort we cannot participate in this process.

3. Divine help: With the self-effort of Yagna we interlink with the Devas. Then divine help also comes.

4. Not a mere ritual: Vedic Yagna is not a mere ritual. There is an outer manifestation of ritual. There is also an inner Yagna. In this article the primary focus is on the inner Yagna.


The Yagna Cycle:

The concept of Yagna is conceptually visualized as a cycle. Agni is lighted in the Yagna and Soma juice is offered to the Devas. Then Agni is invoked first with Vedic mantras, since Agni is the Purohita (Priest) who invokes the other Devas. Thereafter the other Devas are also invoked directly. The Devas come and drink the Soma juice. The Devas get awakened. The Devas then awaken us internally, subdue the Asuras, as well as spread positive vibrations in the environment externally.



Fig 7: The Yagna Cycle


The entire process is depicted as a cycle around Rita or Cosmic Order, because the cycle of Yagna upholds and enhances Rita or Cosmic Order. In the subsequent sections, this process will be analyzed further with Vedic mantras.



Vedic Vision of Nature:

  1. Introduction:
    • Summary
    • Relevance
    • The three outer Dimensions (Education, Environment and Economy)
    • The three inner Dimensions (Vedic Vision as Heart, Science as Head and Technology as Hand)
    • The Goal (Unifying the outer Dimensions with the help of the inner Dimensions)

  2. Core Concepts:
    1. Rishis (Seers of Vedic Mantras)
    2. Rita (Cosmic Order)
    3. Devas (Divine forces upholding Rita)
    4. Yagna (Our participation in Rita)

  3. Unification: Aligning Vedic Vision with the three outer Dimensions:
    • Education (Bringing inner illumination through the study of Vedic mantras)
    • Environment (Seeing Environment from the perspective of Rita)
    • Economy (Designing Economy from the perspective of Yagna)

  4. Yagna Cycle: Journey through the Vedic mantras through the Yagna Cycle

  5. Vedic mantras [Education]: Bringing inner illumination through the study of Vedic mantras
    1. Rig Veda - Mandala 1

  6. Rita [Environment]: Seeing Environment from the perspective of Rita

  7. Yagna [Economy]: Designing Economy from the perspective of Yagna


- Author: greenmesg


Bharatavarsha - The Land of Gods and Sages:

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4. Festivals
5. Saints: Ramakrishna - Vivekananda - Ramana
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Meditation on Earth and Life: >>



Om, May there be Peace in Heaven,
May there be Peace in the Sky,
May there be Peace in the Earth,

(Shanti Mantra of Upanishad)


Preserve Nature,
And Nature will preserve Us,
Simplify Life,
And help Nature thrive,
Plant Trees,
And make our planet Green.

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Last updated on Sep-2021

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