The Veda And Indian Culture

The Human Journey

Agni is not only the fire of the sacrifice, the fire of the journey of life, the élan of evolution, but also it is its leader and priest (purohita). Agni leads man in his search of the Truth (satyam). It is he who connects man with the cosmic forces and with all the gods of the three worlds (triloka), of earth (bhur), mid-world (bhuvar) and heaven (swar). At the head of swar is Indra, the god of Illumined Intelligence. It is Indra who shows man the path to the still higher realms and to the Supreme Reality. He cannot be over- passed, says Indra himself, in a colloquy between him and Agastya, a Rishi, who is impatient to shoot beyond to the Supreme, but finds Indra obstructing his path. 'I am your friend', says Indra to Agastya, 'I am not obstructing your path, but I am here on the path to take you to the Supreme. Why do you not invite me to your sacrifice?' Indra complains. Agastya understands, he invites Indra, and accepts to be led by him. In this short colloquy,"' we have a very meaningful description of one of the secret experiences recorded in the Vedas.

But before one can reach the Supreme or the Supreme Light, (Savitri), one has to cross the four Guardians, the four Kings guarding the light of the Truth. These are the four gods, Varuna, Mitra, Aryaman and Bhaga. They are to be embraced and to be fulfilled before they lead the seeker to his goal.

Varuna represents vastness, infinite wideness, limitlessness. The Truth that the Veda worships is infinite, it is spaceless and timeless and yet is all Space and Time. This truth cannot be possessed without the widest wideness in our consciousness and in our being. In narrowness and in divisions, truth cannot be caught, and it escapes from all limitations, from all angularities. The seeker of the Vedic knowledge is therefore asked to break all narrowness, all divisions, all oppositions, all conflicts. He has to learn to comprehend and to contain all, all without limits. He has to

*Rig Veda, 1-70.

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