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Dr. William Sands is Assistant Professor of the Science of Creative Intelligence and Sanskrit at Maharishi University of Management, Iowa, U.S.A.



The Ramayana in the context of the Vedic Literature
by William F. Sands, Assistant Professor of the Science of Creative Intelligence and Sanskrit at Maharishi University of Management, Iowa, U.S.A.
8 May 2008

Excerpts from: Natural Law in the Valmiki Ramayana in the Light of Maharishi Vedic Science and Technology, Volume 8, Number 1 (1998),The Silver Jubilee Issue, Maharishi University of Management, U.S.A.

Over the past 38 years His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has reformulated the ancient Vedic wisdom of life into a complete science of consciousness, his Vedic Science and Technology. In doing so, Maharishi has demonstrated that the literature of the Vedic Tradition is not the work of different authors in various historical periods; rather it is the precise description of the unified source of Nature’s orderliness, a self-interacting field of pure consciousness—pure wakefulness—that is the managing intelligence of the universe.

Maharishi describes this field as the most fundamental level of Natural Law, for all of the diverse Laws of Nature that give rise to and structure the vast material universe find their home within this unified field of intelligence. In addition, Maharishi has brought to light practical procedures from the Vedic Tradition that enable anyone to directly experience and unfold this most fundamental and powerful level of Natural Law in their own awareness. This he explains as the ultimate achievement, the blossoming of the total potential of human life in higher states of consciousness.

Maharishi’s comments on the Vedic Literature, both in his writing as well as in many thousands of hours of lectures, have provided scholars and students with profound insights into the Vedic Literature as the theoretical and practical textbooks of consciousness. While Maharishi has not commented upon every verse and sutra in this vast body of literature, he nonetheless has provided sufficient understanding of its pervading themes. This paper will illustrate how Maharishi’s comments on the Vedic Literature and his exposition of Natural Law can be used to show how the Valmiki Ramayana unfolds one of its key themes, the nature and practical application of Dharma. Dharma is a concept of singular importance throughout the Ramayana, for virtually all behavior within the narrative is evaluated in terms of conformity or lack of conformity to it.

Modern scholars view Dharma as a collection of loosely codified behavioral codes deeply rooted in the culture of ancient India and handed down from generation to generation. However, Maharishi provides a more profound understanding in his commentary on another aspect of the Vedic Literature, the Bhagavad-Gita. In Maharishi’s commentary, Dharma on its most fundamental level is the total potential of Natural Law, the managing intelligence of the entire universe; on a more expressed level it represents the Laws of Nature that uphold the evolution of all life throughout creation. When behavior is in accord with these Laws of Nature, then it is right behavior—evolutionary for both the individual and society. Maharishi explains, however, that it is not necessary to understand every Law of Nature; rather, one can learn to live spontaneously in accord with Natural Law through the technologies of his Vedic Science.

The Ramayana in the Context of the Vedic Literature
The Valmiki Ramayana has long held a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of India. It tells the story of Raam, the great and noble prince of ancient Ayodhya, who, as the result of a deceitful plan to undermine his sovereignty, was banished to the forest for fourteen years with his illustrious wife Sita. The story of Raam’s adventures in the forest, his victory over the evil Ravana, his triumphant return to Ayodhya, and the ideal civilization under his rule, have been a source of inspiration to millions of individuals through the ages.

While the narrative has been a delight to so many, Maharishi emphasizes the Ramayana’s deeper value in its relationship to the whole Vedic Literature. He explains that the Vedic Literature is much more than a collection of books on a variety of topics; it is the expression of the most fundamental level of Nature’s functioning, the self-interacting dynamics of a Unified Field of Pure Consciousness. Maharishi’s insight is that the entire universe—including all of the diverse Laws of Nature that give rise to and administer every aspect of individual and cosmic life—is the expression of an unbounded field of pure intelligence. He describes this field as self-referral consciousness, a field of wakefulness, the omnipresent, essential constituent of creation lying beyond time, space, and causation: “Consciousness is wakefulness, unbounded alertness, pure intelligence, pure existence, self-referral fullness, all knowingness—the self-sufficient and unmanifest source, course, and goal of all creation.”

Maharishi describes the different aspects of creation as ripples and waves in this vast ocean of life. He explains that within this field of wakefulness, all the activities of life are created, controlled, and administered. Maharishi refers to self-referral consciousness as the “total potential of Natural Law,” for it is the source of each of the infinite number of Laws of Nature that manage every aspect of life: “All the laws governing different fields of excitation in Nature, all the innumerable laws known to all the sciences have their common source in this field of absolute organizing power.”

Maharishi explains that through its own self-interacting dynamics self-referral consciousness expresses itself as the diversified forms and phenomena in creation. In assuming the role of material universe, it moves within itself, creating a dynamic structure within its eternal silence. This structure is termed shruti, which Maharishi describes as “vibrancy of intelligence in the form of sound generated by the self-referral dynamics of consciousness—those specific sounds that construct self-referral consciousness.” These sounds are the Vedic Literature on its most fundamental level, and it is their phonetic record that is found in the Vedic Texts. Maharishi points out that shruti is “the sounds that are available to us in the Veda and Vedic Literature. Through proper use of these sounds, the entire Vedic Technology—the whole engineering of creation, all the secrets of Nature’s silent functioning—is available to us.”

Tony Nader, M.D., Ph.D.*, working closely with Maharishi, has discovered that these sounds, available in the Vedic Literature as its sutra and verses, are also the fundamental basis and essential ingredient of the human physiology. He has documented a precise correlation between the 40 aspects of the Vedic Literature and the human physiology, finding that there is an exact correspondence between the structure and function of the human physiology and the structure and function of the self-interacting dynamics of self-referral consciousness. Thus we find in this description the basis for the Ramayana reliability as a guide for proper living and proper behavior. The Valmiki Ramayana is not the fabrication of an ancient author, nor some poetic fancy, but is the expression of fundamental dynamics of Nature’s functioning.

Copyright 1997 Journal of Modern Science and Vedic Science

* For his outstanding scientific investigation and discovery of consciousness in the human physiology, Dr. Tony Nader, M.D., Ph.D. was crowned Maharaja Adhiraj Raja Raam, the first ruler of the Global Country of World Peace in October, 2001.

Global Good News invites you to read the full version of this paper, "Natural Law in the Valmiki Ramayana in the Light of Maharishi Vedic Science and Technology", Volume 8, Number 1 (1998),The Silver Jubilee Issue, Maharishi University of Management, USA.

Please visit: http://www.mum.edu/msvs/articles.html

About the author:

William F. Sands is Assistant Professor of the Science of Creative Intelligence and Sanskrit at Maharishi University of Management. He received his B.S. from Georgetown University, and an M.S.C.I. from Maharishi European Research University. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Maharishi International University, where he received the Vyasa Award for the outstanding Ph.D. dissertation of his graduating class. He has studied Sanskrit for over 17 years. Dr. Sands wrote an article on Maharishi’s Absolute Theory of Government in the Valmiki Ramayana.


© Copyright 2008 Global Good News®


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