The Vedas-Harmony,Meditation and Fulfillment -Forward by Jan Gonda Jeanine Miller

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Description

The Rgveda is not only a highly important religious and literary document, and as such the object of study for philologists and historians, it is also a work of art and a source of inspiration and edification. The wide and very controversial field of inquiry it offers to scholars does
not always discourage them from establishing hazardous and disputable theories, from entering into polemics
about trifling problems or balancing themselves on the verge of the unknowable. On the other hand, mystics and philosophers, in India and abroad, contemplating the spiritual elevation of their fellow-men, have, rightly or
wrongly, regarded it as a foundation stone of their speculations. Is it surprising that those who, believing that beyond the divisiveness among men there exists a primordial unitive power, and cherishing the hope that the r┼čis of
yore may help modern man a little to find some answers to his own problems, should consider it worthwhile to
investigate this ancient collection of inspired poetry from the angle of psychology? Every approach is one-sided.
Philologists, attempting to find in the fluid myths and often floating ideas of the Veda complete and well-considered cosmological myths and theological systems,often missed the exalted fulfilment which contemplation
could bring their ancient practitioners. Psychologists and seekers after wisdom may easily run the risk of anachronistically or subjectively reading into the texts other things than were intended by the poets, of going too far in considering mythical reality to be only or mainly the product drawn forth out of the subconscious layers of the psyche.Nevertheless, an attempt at detecting the deeper meaning
of the visions of the religious beliefs and conceptions as they stood in the eyes of their protagonists, at finding a
psychological key to these products of inspiration to the images, the relations assumed to exist between this
world and the Unseen, between the living and the beyond-is no doubt legitimate. Philologists will often disagree with
Miss Miller in the interpretation of texts, censure a certain lack of criticism and the emphasis laid on the element of
meditation, many questions raised in her book, many suggestions made and solutions proposed seem interesting
and worth considering. Those who are convinced that philology has hitherto not exhausted all possibilities and
that there is in principle no objection to reading and studying all religious poetry, including the often highly ambiguous
hymns of the Veda, from psychological and meditative points of view, may find in Miss Miller’s book if not stimulation into study of the texts, at least material for reflection and contemplation.

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