Editor's introduction to first edition

Some time in the millennia before Christ, there appeared in India a race of people known to later times as the Aryans, and among the Aryans there arose a race of sages, knowers of Brahman the Absolute. These seer-poets were the composers of the Vedas or "Knowledge", the world's earliest body of literature. Every Hindu, no matter what his beliefs and type of spiritual practice, regards the wisdom of the Vedic Rishis as the source of Hindu spirituality, the Vedas as the most sacred scriptures of his religion, and the Vedic culture as the seedbed and original form of Indian culture. But although the Vedas are revered and assiduously studied, even in India their innermost meaning has been lost to both priest and pandit. The language and imagery of the Vedic poetry, with its symbolism simultaneously meaningful on many levels of consciousness and being, is no longer understood by most of those who read it. In the West, the religion of the Vedic age is looked upon as little more than an unsophisticated nature-worship, and because scholars have not recognised it as founded upon a fully developed system of yoga, they have failed to grasp the real significance of the Vedic mantras, the Vedic sacrifice, and the Vedic gods.

In Sri Chinmoy, India has brought forth in modern times a spiritual titan equal in stature to the greatest of her past giants. The fullness of his realisation enables him to interpret the Vedas as only one Master can interpret the expressions of another. Although familiar with the Vedas in their original Sanskrit, Sri Chinmoy does not approach them academically, nor does he speak from the dogmatic standpoint of orthodox religious tradition. With the intuition of a great Yogi, he goes beyond the outer cultural forms of these scriptures, and penetrates to the essence of the spirituality they embody. The experience of the Vedic sages he himself fully possesses, and in the realms of consciousness known to them he moves with total freedom. Entering into the soul of the Vedas, he brings forth from their depths the profoundest truths they contain, and these truths he offers to the readers of this book.

In Sri Chinmoy's intuitive mind we feel the inspiring depths of the Vedas and in his illumining heart we see the beckoning heights of the Vedas.

— K

Sri Chinmoy, The Vedas: Immortality's First Call, Sri Chinmoy Lighthouse, New York, 1972