Understanding Hinduism

  • By Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, London
  • April 18, 2005

Literature & First University    

A. Literature
1. The First Scriptures of The Human Race - The Vedas transcend recorded history, and have not been created by any mortal. The Vedas are the Eternal Truths revealed by God to the Great Seers of India. For generations, they were passed on through experience and word of mouth, until documented. There are four Vedas:

(1) Rig Veda has 10,552 mantras
(2) Yajur Veda has a total of 1,975 mantras
(3) Sam Veda has 1,875 mantras
(4) Atharva Veda has 5,987 mantras

Veda means knowledge. Two types of knowledge are necessary to perfect human life:
(1) Apara Vidya: Knowledge of the World.
(2) Para Vidya: Knowledge of the Divine.

Hence, The Vedas are the reservoir of all wisdoms of the universe. They contain the knowledge of Art, Music, Linguistics, Literature, Economics, Religion, Weaponry, Space Science, Geometry, Logic, Technology, Hypnotism, Mathematics, Philosophy, Rituals, Health and Long Life, Magic, Medicine, Architecture, Aeronautics, Spiritual Wisdom…

2. Wisdom of The Vedas - “Whenever I have read any part of the Vedas, I have felt that some unearthly and unknown light illuminated me. In the great teaching of the Vedas, there is no touch of sectarianism. It is of all ages, climes, and nationalities and is the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge. When I am at it, I feel that I am under the spangled heavens of a summer night.” Thoreau (American Thinker)

B. Language
Sanskrit – The Mother of Languages - The Sanskrit language is the oldest, most systematic language that has survived the longest period through history. It has the power of expressing all types of thoughts in their appropriate terminology – from mythology to literature, science to philosophy, poetry to prosody, astronomy to anatomy, as well as, genetics, mathematics, and cosmology.

C. Education
World’s First University  - Around 2,700 years ago, as early as 700 BCE there existed a giant University at Takshashila, located in the northwest region of India.
• Not only Indians but students from as far as Babylonia, Greece, Syria, Arabia and China came to study.
• 68 different streams of knowledge were on the syllabus.
• A wide range of subjects was taught by experienced masters: Vedas, Language, Grammar, Philosophy, Medicine, Surgery, Archery, Politics, Warfare, Astronomy, Astrology, Accounts, Commerce, Futurology, Documentation, Occult, Music, Dance, The art of discovering hidden treasures, etc.
• The minimum entrance age was 16 and there were 10,500 students.
• The Panel of Masters included renowned names like Kautilya, Panini, Jivak and Vishnu Sharma.

Receive Site Updates