Born in 1948, Dr. B N Singh did his Graduation (Metallurgy), M Tech (Metallurgy) from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, after which he joined Tata Steel. While in Tata Steel, Dr. Singh completed Post Graduate Diploma In Business Management from Xavier Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur and Ph. D in Metallurgy from Ranchi University in 1985.
Dr. Singh has keen interest in writing and he has published over 100 technical paper in national as well as international journals and edited several publications. His last publication was a technical book titled ‘Coke’ which was jointly authored with Dr. S S Gupta.
We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of this world. Each one of us lives in a small ‘well’ called the ‘area of expertise/profession’. The confines of this well does not allow us to progress from physical to metaphysical or from material to spiritual world. Those who do venture out and explore the metaphysical or spiritual world get baffled by the vastness of the great writings and, more often than not, fail to understand their true meaning.
Science has tried to explore our Universe from the material point of view. Religious philosophy explore the same Universe from a spiritual angle with an aim to answer certain basic questions which arise in agile minds and which science has never attempted to answer. Some of such questions include: who created this Universe? Why was the Universe created as it exists now? What is life? How is life created? Where does one come from and where does he go after the end of his physical life? Is there a life cycle? What is the relevance of personal (idol worship) and Non-Personal(Omnipresent) god? Why are there multiple forms of worship and different religions? What is secularism? Why does religion exist? At a philosophic level, all religions lead us to the same ‘goal’ despite the paths being different: all religions propound almost similar answer to these questions.
Vedic doctrine evolved several millennia ago all the Vedic texts in the form of Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Brahma Sutra, Geeta etc., were compiled in Sanskrit. Over the year, neither did Sanskrit remain the language for mass learning nor could scripture based learning find a place in general curriculum of education. . As a result, the masses got completely detached from the study of scriptures. The profound knowledge presented in these scriptures thus remained confined to a few religious thinkers only. Further, most people could not even get a chance to read or even see the Vedas. They satisfied themselves partially with a limited exposure to a few of the secondary texts and listening to Vedic discourse. Those with evolved faculty of discrimination do attempt to get into this field but find it too vast and complex to continue their exploration of this divine knowledge in the absence of an understanding of certain basic concepts.
The present text aims at giving the seekers of this divine knowledge a feel of the basic concepts and a summary of the various scriptures of Vedic Doctrine designed to facilitate their deeper exploration of this field. The themes and the thoughts are developed in a sequential manner; from the Creation to Creator to individual human life, human life requiring the support of a religion for achieving happiness in life and salvation at the end of life. This comprehensive but precise summary of the essential aspects of Hinduism has been presented in this book in a capsule from without compromising in the great spirit of Vedic tradition and literature.
I hope the book meets this expectation.
The Sanatan Dharma evolved from the Vedic philosophy
which later became known as Hindu religion. The Veda
Samhita contains prayers to the different manifestations of
God in nature. However, it is consistent with the concept of
God as the "Sole" Creator of this universe including both
the living and non living forms. Thus, He is omnipresent,
all powerful and formless. The entire creation is out of and
because of Him.
Hindu religion has both the systems of worship;
Personal (statue/symbol worship) as well as Non Personal
(worship to formless omnipresent Creator). Those not
exposed to the Vedic philosophy, do at times debate on the
relevance of statue worship and the need for having so many
names and forms of the Creator. Other issues of this debate
includes questions such as what creates life, is there a rebirth
after death and if so what decides the nature and form of
rebirth, the role and relevance of rituals etc.
In the absence of a proper understanding of the
philosophy of religion, superstition and dogmas become
the basis of faith in the religion. It is essential therefore to
understand the philosophy of religion and the relevance of
rituals in a religion. The literature on Vedic philosophy is so
large that most of us do not have the courage to enter this
field of study and thus remain ignorant.
This book presents the basic concepts of Vedic philosophy
as viewed from the eyes of a scientist in as simple and
compact text as possible. Examples from scientific arena
have been chosen, while explaining the basic concepts of
religion, to facilitate understanding the same. The concept
of creation, as understood both by the scientists as well as
the Vedic philosophers, has been presented. This has been
done to facilitate the understanding of the core concept of
Hindu religion for a reader with scientific bent of mind.
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