“Just as the Ganga is the greatest of all rivers, Lord Achyuta the supreme among deities and Lord Shambhu [Shiva] the greatest of Vaishnavas, so Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the greatest of all Puranas.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 12.13.16)
“Lord Shiva. Ganesha. The Ramayana. The Ganges is the greatest river in the world. I get that you’re trying to push forward some important teachings, but it seems like everything is about India. Only India has the best rivers. Only the Hindu deities are the best. Everyone else is worthless. Such teachings are too limited in scope.”
From having spent so much time in material life, the individual becomes conditioned to see distinctions, vishesha, instead of oneness, eka. There is a thread that runs through the entire creation. It is a singular energy, with indications of sparks here and there.
“That knowledge by which one undivided spiritual nature is seen in all existences, undivided in the divided, is knowledge in the mode of goodness.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.20)
That is the spiritual energy, Brahman. Everything is Brahman; that is to say each living thing belongs to a collective. There is equality at the spiritual level, but never total sameness with respect to the externals. The bodies are different, and it is seeing only this body that leads to a flawed understanding of even higher concepts.
The Vedas, the original scriptural tradition of the world, are for everyone. They are not sectarian. They are not only for people whose ancestors lived in a certain part of the world. Neither skin color nor gender make a difference. Proof is in the works themselves and the context in which they were originally presented.
1. Sanskrit is not even a language for earth
Sanskrit is the oldest known language in the world, and it is the sound vibration through which the Vedas originally descend. The original words have been preserved, which helps to protect against cheating and deceitful interpretations.
The script for Sanskrit is known as Devanagari. The literal translation for the word is “city of the gods.” Sanskrit is considered the most refined language, spoken primarily in the heavenly realm. This is where the residents have bodies consisting mostly of goodness, allowing them to live very long in comparison to the people on earth.
The language for composing the Vedas is not even reserved for people on earth. There are derivatives to Sanskrit spoken in different parts of the world, but it is not a common language anywhere. Nor was it that way many thousands or millions of years ago. Thus for any group to put an exclusive claim on Vedic culture is not valid.
2. Krishna never mentions the word “Hindu” in the Bhagavad-gita
Vedic teachings are best summarized and presented in the Bhagavad-gita. Not surprisingly, God Himself is the presenter. Who better to explain the Almighty than the Almighty Himself? In a conversation with the disciple named Arjuna, Krishna covers so many different philosophies, ways of thinking, and stated objectives for human beings, spanning past, present and future.
The teachings are rather generic. There are historical references, for sure, but when discussing the underlying principles mention of specific species or races is absent. Krishna does not say that only Hindus go through the cycle of birth and death, or what is better known as reincarnation. Krishna does not say that only Hindus should think of Him.
Indeed, the word “Hindu” is not mentioned anywhere in Vedic literature. The term is a modern concoction, a flawed attempt by outsiders to group together people who follow the principles of the Vedas.
3. There was no such country of India when the Vedas were first passed down
Vedic knowledge is descending knowledge. It comes from a source who is perfect and is then passed on to worthy souls, to keep the chain going. The Bhagavad-gita was spoken to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, but actually the teachings are timeless. Krishna says He first explained them to the sun-god.
Even at the time of speaking to Arjuna, there was no such country named India. Today there are many nations, and in the future the borders will continue to change. The Bhagavad-gita and other such works are meant for everyone. The teachings are not Indian or Hindu. The illusory energy of maya brings focus on the present manifestation of time, but things continue to change going into the future. In the past the situation was different. What is today known as India was previously Bharata-varsha, or the land ruled by King Bharata. Even that is a temporary designation, as the entire world originally belongs to God.
And so the Ganges River is the greatest of all rivers not because it is found in India, but because it emanates from the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Shiva is the best amongst people who serve those lotus feet. And the Shrimad Bhagavatam is the best of the historical works which describe God, His names, His forms, and His pastimes.
India term not around,
When Vedas first passed down.
From spiritual world coming,
Through others sectarian becoming.
But even Sanskrit not for here,
In city of the gods to hear.
Ganga, Shiva and others thus the best,
Since connection to Krishna, the test.
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