Question: Who were the Aryans? Where did they come from?

Sri Chinmoy: Some say they came from abroad. Others say they originated in India but were more cultured and more illumined than the rest of the population. Again, some say the Aryans came before the Dravidians, and others say the Dravidians were in south India long before the Aryans. My intuition says that the Aryans did not come from elsewhere but originated in India. On the strength of their inner urge, they prayed and meditated. They received light from Above and responded to it. They went high and deep at the same time. So, according to my own inner feeling, the Aryan culture came not from an invasion, but from the illumination of some people or some groups within India. As in a family where there are five children, one can be much more spiritual than the others. He or she goes deep within and discovers some inner wealth while the others are still enjoying their ignorance-sleep.

The Aryan sages discovered that there were many cosmic gods who could bless them with the things they longed for. So when they prayed or meditated, they invoked different cosmic gods for different things. This moment they prayed to Agni and the next moment they prayed to Vayu. They definitely knew that there is a Supreme God, the Absolute Transcendental Lord Supreme, who has infinite Light, Power, Peace and Bliss. But, unfortunately, they did not find Him as easy to approach as the lesser deities.

Since one doctor carries all the medicine, I do not know why they chose to go to one doctor for a headache, another for a stomach upset and a third for knee pain. On the earthly level, different doctors specialise in different ailments. But in the spiritual life there is only one ailment — ignorance — and for that ailment illumination is the only cure. If we receive illumination from the Highest, from the Source, then we are more convinced than if we get it from someone who may be higher than us but who is infinitely lower than the Highest. So if we can establish a free access to the absolute Highest and receive Light from Him, then our inner conviction becomes much, much stronger.

The realisations of the spiritual Masters of the last few hundred years are higher, richer and deeper than those of the Vedic seers. We shall appreciate and adore the Vedic seers because they are the source of our aspiration and our wisdom. We shall adore them like grandfathers because they had the inclination to study at the inner school. If we do not value the wisdom of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, then we will be the losers. But we have to know that the wisdom and inner wealth that they achieved is nothing in comparison to the inner wisdom that their grandchildren have acquired. If we say that their realisations were higher than those of later spiritual Masters, then we are just fooling ourselves. In his story "The Ideal of Forgiveness", Sri Aurobindo said that the achievements of the Vedic seers of the hoary past will pale into insignificance when the achievements of more recent spiritual figures are blossomed.

But sometimes, by appreciating our ancestors, we increase our own heart's enthusiasm-thrill. This inner thrill helps us immensely in all walks of life. If we have an inner thrill, we can go the fastest on any project in any field — whether it is writing poetry or composing songs or running, diving and flying. The inner thrill is of paramount importance if we want to reach our destination.

There are many things that the Vedic seers envisioned, and sometimes their visions were very high. But, unfortunately, they could not properly interpret their visions. They saw something and gave meaning to it, but their meaning was not absolutely accurate because it was not as profound as it could have been. But then the yogis and seers who succeeded them were able to discover, on the strength of their own deeper and higher realisations, the actual significance of the visions that the Vedic seers of the hoary past had. Because their own realisations were much higher, they could give a better, clearer and more illumining interpretation to the experiences of these Vedic seers.

If we try to interpret an experience with our mind's capacity, we will be totally lost. But if we can take the experience with us into the heart, then immediately we get a full view of the experience — where it came from, why it came and how it can be fully and fruitfully utilised. So if we can use our heart, rather than our mind, when we read about the experiences of the Aryan sages and seers in the Vedas and Upanishads, then we shall be able to discover our own Source.

Scholars approach the Vedas and the experiences of the Vedic seers in their own way, which is drier than the driest. They use their mental geometry. But the geometry and grammar of the Vedas and Upanishads cannot fulfil the heart's cry. Philosophers approach the experiences of the Vedic seers in another way, which is theoretical rather than practical or practicable. But seekers of the highest order and realised Masters use the experiences of the Vedic sages to help them establish something solid and basic in their lives; they make these experiences practical. They deal with the experiences of the Vedic seers in such a beautiful, tangible and illumining way that they actually manifest the beauty and fragrance of these experiences and make them a living reality in their own lives. So the scholastic and philosophical approaches are not beneficial for the sincere seeker. It is only the spiritual, psychic approach that can fulfil the real sincere God-hunger of humanity.