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Lost Civilization Re-emerges

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In the early 1950s, as the newly developed hydrogen bomb cast its mushroom-shaped shadow of megadeath over the world, an aged Indian monk gave his young assistant a mission: create world peace and enlightenment by restoring the ancient global Vedic civilization. The young man was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and he accepted the responsibility wholeheartedly, fully aware of what an enormous job it was.

Contemporary civilization is in many ways the opposite of Vedic civilization, filled with multifarious forms of damage and suffering that seem to be avalanching us towards annihilation. Vedic civilization, in contrast, had achieved what seems impossible to us now: collective harmony and individual fulfillment.

They achieved this by living in accord with natural law, not as a set of external commandments to be obeyed but as a spontaneous expression of their own inner being. They used Vedic technologies of consciousness to connect their minds to the unified field, the same field that physicists have now discovered to be the ground state out of which the universe manifests. Everything is connected with it, and with the right techniques we can contact it. "This transcendental field " lies beyond the boundaries not only of perception and thought but beyond individuality, time, and space. In the innermost depths of the mind lies the fundamental reality of life itself, the all-pervading field of unity from which the infinite diversity of the universe is born. Everything in nature, from the flowers on the mountainsides to galaxies without end, arises from within this ocean of crystal-clear consciousness." [1]

This field is the ultimate source of all energy, intelligence, and happiness, and in the Vedic civilization most people's lives were suffused with these qualities. They experienced them as their own deepest self, so their actions were always life supporting. The technologies of consciousness they used were based on effortless transcending, allowing the mind to move from its active thinking state into a non-active state devoid of thought but full of inner awareness. In this state of transcendental consciousness, or samadhi , the mind directly experiences the source of the universe, the abstract, non-material unity out of which everything emerges. Here the natural laws that govern creation become our own personal laws, and all our actions are in harmony with them. When our contact with this field becomes permanent, we live in enlightenment, as individuals and as a society. Maharishi described an enlightened society as, "All good to everyone, no non-good to anyone."

This was the reality in the early days of Vedic civilization. Its members were living their full potential, and their actions embodied the principle of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam , the world is my family. It was truly a golden age, fully developed both spiritually and materially. Their outer lives were on a par with ours today, and the quality of those lives, their inner joy, far exceeded ours.

Scientific achievements

On the material side, science and technology were highly developed. "Some 1,000 years before Aristotle, the Vedic Aryans asserted that the earth is round and circles the sun. " 2,000 years before Pythagoras, philosophers in northern India understood that gravitation holds the solar system together, and therefore the sun, the most massive object, has to be at its center. " Our modern numerals 0 through 9 were developed in India. Mathematics existed [in India] long before the Greeks constructed their first right angle." [2] "To Hindus is due the invention of algebra and geometry and their application to astronomy." [3] Quadratic equations were first developed in India. [4] "For years much of the world has thought that the advancements in mathematics came from the Arab countries, but nothing can be farther from the truth. They only inherited the advanced formulas from the Hindus, wrote about them, and then helped transfer them to Europe through Spain." [5]

1,500 years ago the Indian mathematician Aryabhata wrote treatises on spherical trigonometry and astronomy, asserting that the planets are round and spin on their axes through elliptical orbits. He accurately calculated the size of the earth and the length of the year, the lunar month, and the heliocentric revolutions of Mars and Jupiter. 500 years before Newton and Leibnitz, Indians were using calculus to determine the daily motion of the planets. [6]

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William T. Hathaway is an award-winning novelist and an emeritus Fulbright professor of creative writing. His peace novel, Summer Snow, is the story of an American warrior falling in love with a Sufi Muslim and learning from her that higher (more...)

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