Historically the Vedic period dates back the 2nd millennium BCE, however it has been flourishing for centuries earlier. It was during the 2nd millennium BCE that it prospered most. Vedic period denotes the period of time when life and society was ordained by the Vedic doctrines documented in different books on various aspects of life. The Vedas are the absolute powerhouse of knowledge and were the cornerstone of the once famed Indus Valley civilization. Present day Hinduism incorporates the principles contained in the Vedas and is based to a large extent on Vedic doctrines.
The principle Vedic doctrines that encompass life and its various aspects are
Yama & Niyama (Code of Conduct) — The yamas and niyamas have been preserved through the centuries as the foundation, the first and second stage, of the eight-staged practice of yogic meditation. Yet, they are elementary to all beings, expected aims of everyone in society, and assumed to be fully intact for anyone seeking life’s highest aim in the pursuit called yoga.
Dharma (Duty) – This doctrine in particular illustrates the different aspects of dharma or duty in day to day practice of morality and ethics. The duty of an individual or svadharma ; The duty of a family or parivarika dharma ; The duty of a society for optimal functioning and habitat Samaj Dharma.
Rituals – The Vedic period introduced detailed and intricate rituals accompanied by suitable chants (mantras) usually in Sanskrit, for oblation to the basic elements like Fire & the rivers and heroic Gods like Indra. Sacrifices were also often offered as a part of these lengthy and complicated rituals. This mode of worship has been retained till date in Hinduism, which involves recitations from the Vedas by a purohita (priest), for prosperity, wealth and general well-being.
Karma – Interestingly the doctrine of Karma can be drawn parallel to Newton’s 3rd law of motion which states “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction” This law is applicable to all things material. The doctrine of karma goes a step ahead by being applicable to all things in the cosmos and everything that makes it. It is basically a natural mechanism for maintaining balance and harmony in the universe. But it is also a law of opportunity, wherein an individual with adequate knowledge can change his past for a better future.
Vedic doctrines are far too many to even fit in, by mere mention on this space. They are vast and preserved powerhouse of knowledge and information all resulting in defining an individual’s ultimate quest to connect back to the ultimate consciousness we all are fragments of. Every piece of knowledge or category of Vedic doctrine, somehow contributes like every drop of water in an ocean to lead an individual closer to his purpose in this life.
For those interested, extensive as well as stipulated introductory courses on learning the Vedic doctrines from reputed Vedic scholars in exclusive Vedic learning environment, also known as Gurukul, are offered allowing individuals to engross themselves in a journey of self discovery and a perspective on leading day to day life in new light. A very satisfying and enlightening course that builds the foundation stone for those pursuing yogic meditation for higher spiritual realm, and is highly recommended for both Indian as well as foreign tourists and students. Interestingly the Vedas that document the origin of Indian music is called Samaveda. Prior knowledge of the Samvedas is bound to help a student aspiring to learn and master Indian Classical music of any particular gharana or even in learning to play any instrument.