The Veda And Indian Culture

The Veda and the concept of Dharma

The Veda has been regarded as the foundation of Indian Culture and the Rishis of the Veda have been revered throughout the ages in India as having heard the truth and revealed it and thus given perennial wisdom to guide the development of the future.

One of the most dominant ideas of Indian culture has been that of Dharma, and this has been a consequence of the Vedic discovery of the Rita, the Right. According to the Vedic Rishis, there is, at the summit of consciousness, a power of action which arranges forces and activities of the universe by an automatic harmony of relationships, movements and results. The right law of this automatic harmony is the Rita. The Rita itself is founded in the truth of the Reality and of the universe, (satyam), and its field of action is the totality which is the infinite vast (brihat). It is by the discovery of the Rita that, according to the Vedic Rishis/ the human consciousness is delivered from the crookedness of the ignorant mental action. The actions of truth are direct and straight and the law of this directness and straightness is the Rita. There is no groping in the Truth-consciousness, and there is no attempt at inventing devices for initiating and accomplishing any action. Thus, when the Truth-consciousness is achieved, there is automaticity and spontaneity of action as also the right rhythm of action. Since the action of Truth-Consciousness is automatic and spontaneous, it cannot be fixed by any arbitrary rule of the mental intelligence or by any pragmatic or utilitarian necessities of individual or collective life. The Rita, therefore, cannot be prescribed or circumscribed by any legislation or any man-made law. Rita is, indeed, the right law of action, but it issues from the vast consciousness of the truth, and it is thus superior to any human standards of action or any laws of the individual and collective life.

It is this idea of Rita which lay behind the governing ideas that determined the organization of the varied aspects of life in India. Fundamentally, it gave rise to the predominant tendency to place

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