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How did Hindus lose the incredible knowledge of Vedas?

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Before I answer the question, I would like to underline that the knowledge of Vedas is not an intellectual knowledge, or, by other words, it is not an encyclopedic theoretical knowledge graspable by the capacity and smartness of human intellect.

We all have an experience: It is possible to lose encyclopedic theoretical knowledge. We, as students, learned many things but we do not remember all of them. Hindus did not lose the knowledge of Vedas. It is not such a simple issue…

What then is the “Vedic knowledge”?

The Vedic knowledge is a practical spiritual experiential knowledge, a practical wisdom applicable in daily life, which is not to be known intellectually but to be experienced through the life experience of both individuals and society.

Thus, even we would intellectually know what the meanings of symbolic (metaphorical, poetic) terms of Vedas are; we would not understand anything without our personal spiritual experiential knowledge.
Furthermore, even the high intellects would have a problem to enter intellectually into the contexts of Vedas because only the true specialists for ancient Vedic language etymology and semantics (not general, but related with universal human spirituality) have a chance to enter the world of Vedas.

It follows that even we would meet somebody, who is a true scholar of Vedas and who filters the Veda’s messages through the profound knowledge of etymology and semantics within the realm of human spirituality, we would not be “wiser” without possessing our own spiritual experiential knowledge.

Although, the Vedas seem to be ancient and far away, in fact, they are very close to us. They are actual all the time, not in a philosophical sense but in the practical experiential reality sense. However, the presence (the live presence) of the knowledge of Vedas depends on our practical spiritual life experiences.

Yes, it is possible to answer the question directly. I will do it. Nevertheless, I have to ask the Indian readers not to feel offended. The readers, who read some of my answers, know that I always answer the questions having in mind the dignity of human life of Indian people. I answer the questions respecting and loving Indian people as the descendants of one of the longest spiritual traditions on Earth.

Here are several reasons why the Hindus lost the knowledge of Vedas.

The Hindus lost the knowledge of Vedas because of the fact that after the Vedic time, they started exchanging the practical spiritual experience of individuals and society for abstract philosophizing detached form the reality of life and superficial and superstitious religiosity detached from practical spirituality. The abstract philosophy came with purely intellectual concepts, which we treat as the “real” knowledge and “reality”… The superficial and superstitious religiosity came with religious devotion and blind beliefs, which we treat as “sufficient” for our spirituality (the spirituality without experiential wisdom…).

Another reason why the Hindus lost the knowledge of Vedas is that they passively accepted the myth that all later texts / scriptures (from Upanishads to Puranas) were the living continuity of Vedas. It is not true. If it would be the truth, the Indian people would not lose the knowledge of Vedas. Right?

We see it often on Quora: When the question asks about Vedas, the answers use the citations from other scriptures.
The next reason is that Hindus “go for excuses” for many negative issues in the religious and social life to Vedas instead of constructively and critically thinking about them. In Vedas, there are no anti-cultural, anti-social, anti-spiritual, and/or anti-rational dogmas.

Another reason is that people often put their heads into the sand as ostriches – not wishing to see and hear the facts that in Vedas there are no philosophical and religious concepts about the Rebirth, Karma, Moksha, Maya, Atman-Brahman-only Existence etc.

Even without reading the Vedas, people with spiritual experiential knowledge know that those concepts and dogmas are pushing the humans out of their authentic path of practical spirituality, out of the reality as it is, not allowing them to apply the practical spiritual wisdom in daily life and making them servile, passive, and often confrontational and fanatical.

The next reason is that people look at the Vedic Gods through the eyes of the religious devotional spirituality. However, the Vedic “Gods” were not the Gods for the sake of devotion. Vedic Gods represented the practical wisdom to be applied in daily thinking and acting for the benefit of individuals and society.
Another reason is that the people treat the spirituality as a “special”, unique, elite… reality in human life, detached form the mundane life and rational thinking.

The Vedic spirituality was not only related with all aspects of the life of society – economics, politics, and culture. The Vedic spirituality was fueling all those aspects, feeding them with the practical wisdom and principles for the improvement of the reality of life of humankind.

One of the key reasons is the habit to use the terms “the way of life” and “contentment” of poor Indian people as the admissible clichés for negative things. The ancient Vedic way of life means the way of life standing on the practical spiritual wisdom, not on intellectual philosophy and superficial and superstitious religion. And the Compassion and Responsibility should get ahead of the contentment.

Finally, the weakening of the pride on Bharata, own traditions, culture and spiritual heritage (especially among young people) is automatically disqualifying individuals from honest interests in acquiring the genuine Indian spiritual experiential knowledge.

We see today two extreme attitudes, two fallacies:

Vedic knowledge is a knowledge of the ancient time, too old and unrealistic to come back to it in our contemporary world!?

Vedic knowledge is all the time here, we touch it through all scriptures, through our way of life!?
India is one of the few countries, which have deep historical pre-conditions to go own way… Own Indian way means neither atheistically intellectual (secular) nor superficially religious (theistic). It is the Indian Vedic way of life in politics, economics, and culture standing firmly on revival of the ancient Vedic way of life – the way of practical wisdom.

Conclusion?

The knowledge of Vedas was not lost. That knowledge is eternal. Different issue is the practical reflection and implementation of that knowledge in presence (in any age, any time, any Yuga). India should proudly go back to the future.

By Stefan Pecho Taken from https://www.quora.com/How-did-Hindus-lose-the-incredible-knowledge-of-Vedas

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