Back of the Book
The Secret Teachings of the Vedas provides one of the best reviews of ancient Eastern philosophy and summarizes some of the most elevated and important of all spiritual knowledge. This timeless and enlightening information is explained in a clear and concise way and is essential for all who want to increase their spiritual understanding and awareness. This is a book that can give you a new perspective of who you are and where you fit into the scheme of things.
This book supplies the straightforward answers to questions that are not resolved in other religions or philosophies, and condenses information from a wide variety of sources that would take a person years to assemble. It also uses many quotations from numerous Vedic texts that will show you the lofty insight and wisdom they have held for thousands of years.
Stephen Knapp has studied the major Vedic texts of India and practiced yoga and the Eastern teachings for over 40 years. He has traveled throughout India and has visited almost every major holy place in India. He has authored over 15 well-received books on Vedic culture and regularly gives lectures. He is also the president of the Vedic Friends Association.
The present work is the first volume of an extensive project of four volumes on The Eastern Answers to the Mysteries of Life contemplated by Stephen Knapp in order to provide an exhaustive understanding of the various aspects of human spirituality and spiritual evolution. This volume is titled the secret Teachings of the Vedas. It focuses specifically on the Vedic and post-Vedic philosophical and religious responses Co the persistent curiosities and inevitable queries of the human mind in its encounter with the spatiotemporal immensity of the universe, about its whence and whither, and the place and purpose of the human person within it, for whose emergence and existence on the earth, the entire universe is but necessary.
Not only the primordial reality, the raison d’etre of the universe, but even the universe itself with its myriad inorganic and organic systems is a mysterium tremendum et fascicans, a mystery ever engaging and challenging the human intellect to unravel its not so impenetrable visage. It opens up its deepest secrets to the probings of the scientific and religious minds, unless the same human mind through its deviant irrationality decides to precipitate a general catastrophe that spells destruction of all its erstwhile achievements.
The author authentically and ably presents the ancient Indian thoughts and insights in dealing with numerous questions regarding life and its origins, the whys of life and the material world surrounding it, the soul and its passage through various life-forms and through various human planes to its ultimate destiny, the nature of God, our spiritual identity, the law of karma and reincarnation, the modes of Prakriti and the consequent character 0f actions, karmic disposition and free will that determine the quality of future existence, the nature of good and bad karmas, vegetarianism, the structure of the universe, including heaven and hell, and the description of Vaikuntha or the spiritual world. The discussion of the brain- mind-consciousness question (pp 59-68) is of special interest.
The book is a labor of love and an act of devotional service. It is a genuine expression of what Stephen Knapp has thought through in his spiritual journey and the conviction he has found in the course of his personal life-experiences. That is the reason why the book is written with such simplicity, lucidity, and accuracy. It is enlivened by examples from practical life to bring home spiritual ideas. The main basis of exposition of these ideas is the Bhagavat Purana which the author copiously cites.
The book is not only a discussion of the issues concerning the mystery of existence and of human life in terms of Indian teachings 0f the Vedic literature, but also a conscious effort to relate those insights to the contemporary age and its ethos.
In conclusion, Stephen Knapp advocates that the Vedic teachings offer us guidance through the maze of modern maladies brought about by the complex industrial and technological civilization, and make human life worthwhile.
The book is a welcome introduction to the teachings of the Vedic and Puranic literature on the various topics of metaphysical and spiritual interest.
There are many books being written these days on spiritual or occult subjects by authors who present their ideas and teachings as if they were facts, but do not provide any traditional references or scriptural evidence to justify what they write. This book, The Secret Teachings of the Vedas: The Eastern Answers to the Mysteries of Life, is written to establish an alternative to the highly speculatory, inconclusive, and often times problematic theories about the universe, the soul, life after death, where we have come from, where we are going, and the various ideas about the Absolute that are presently being spread and accepted today.
The truths that are contained in the ancient texts often hold the clearest understanding of life that can be found anywhere. This will become more apparent as we present various parts of the Vedic teachings to clarify many theories that an increasing number of people are starting to seriously consider. These include such concepts as the eternality of the soul, reincarnation, karma, destiny, who we are, the meaning of life, and all the questions that often go unanswered for lack of knowledge.
We have seen, for example, that many times children will ask their parents questions concerning matters about life and death that the parents hardly understand themselves. The elders may take questions to their own spiritual leaders, such as the local minister or priest, who often leave their congregational members with little more understanding than what they already had. In this way, many difficult questions about life go unanswered and are dismissed because precise information does not seem to exist.
Sometimes it is taught that, “It’s not meant for us to know,” or “God will tell us when we are fit to receive it.” Or we may even be told that we will not know the answers until after we die, so just keep the faith. But this b00k is an attempt to show that this is hardly the case. There are many answers awaiting us, especially in the area of Eastern philosophy. And any person is fit to receive this knowledge when they care enough to search for it. However, to receive full understanding you must approach that source of complete knowledge in the proper way, which is in a mood of respect and humility. A challenging attitude will not do. After all, we are born in ignorance and, regardless of whatever technological skills we may acquire, we can easily die in spiritual ignorance unless we qualify ourselves with spiritual knowledge. When this knowledge and the laws of the universe become known, then the mysterious reasons and causes for the present day problems of the world become obvious. Then the reasons why we are in this world and why we go through the things we do are also understood.
For those, however, who feel hesitant to consider alternative viewpoints due to a feeling of allegiance to a certain religion or philosophy, I hope you will read this book with an open mind. If, for example, you are a Christian, you should have the attitude of following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ while reading this, since there are many recorded references of his traveling through the East and studying the Vedic writings. However, some people may say that they have their own religion, so what more do they need? Why should they study the philosophy of the East or the science of yoga? The point is that the word religion comes from t