May 27, 2013

Why did the Vedas not stick to one path?

Question from devotee: All the religions of the world describe only one path to God-realization. In Hinduism alone we find so many different approaches, and all of them are accepted as bonafide. This makes it confusing for us. Why did the Vedas not stick to one path?

Answer by Swamiji: Variety is an inseparable part of God's creation. No two leaves of a tree are alike. No two human beings have exactly the same finger prints. Similarly, everybody has different natures too. The variety of paths mentioned in the scriptures accommodates peoples' variegated natures. As knowledge becomes subtler and more elevated, its branches increase. In Grade Five, students are taught General Science as one subject. But when they reach Grade Seven, Science is divided into three branches-Physics, Chemistry and Biology. When they reach college, it is further divided into hundreds of branches. And in Graduate School, there are literally thousands of subjects within Science. Similarly, the Vedas describe spiritual knowledge to sublime heights, and hence the variety of needs of sādhaks (spiritual aspirants) gets reflected addressed in the diversity of paths. This variety is a blessing. In the world, if five people go to purchase a cloth, all have their own choice of color and style. Similarly, in the case of God-realization, if there were only one path, people whose saṅskārs were different would not have been attracted to it. The variety of paths serves a wider spectrum of people with varying natures and saṅskārs.