Vedas teach "One Truth and One Way"
This article addresses an article by a columnist of the Trinidad Express, in which she mistranslated a portion of the Vedas (Trinidad Express,
Feb. 5, 1999). Her intent was to reject the exclusive way of salvation taught in the Bible. She quoted Svetasvatarupanishad 3:8 partially and mistranslated the entire verse. The entire verse is:
"Vedahmetam Purusham mahantam adityavarnam tamasaha parastat tameva viditvati mrityumeti; nanya pantha vidyate
and is translated: "I know the mighty Purush of truth (enlightenment) beyond darkness. Only in knowing him does one pass over death. There is no other path leading to
eternal life". Yajurved 31:18 confirms this exclusive way to eternal life in the Purushasukta:
"... No other way is known for eternal life" (Nanyah pantha vidyate-ayanaya)
So the Vedas do declare that there is only one Truth, referred to as Purush, and only one path to Him.
One must understand that Truth here refers to the Supreme Spirit (God Himself), and not to the accuracy of an idea. This Truth (God) may be known by many names which include Jesus, Christ, Messiah, Purusha Prajapati (Vedas), Kalimatullah (Qur'an), etc., but each character in this list must meet the acid test of the attributes of God: supreme love, supreme sacrifice, supreme demonstrable power, supreme purity, etc.
Only One Way
Only one way is taught in the Holy Bible, in the Vedas & Upanishads, and in the Qur'an, as follows. Jesus said: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no
man comes to the Father except by me". The Qur'an refers us back to the Bible for the whole revelation of God concerning salvation. The Svetasvataropanishad 3:8 states: "I know the (one) Supreme
Purush Prajapati (Man who is also Lord of Creation)... Only
in knowing Him does one pass over death. There is no other path leading to eternal life". Yajurved 31:18 concludes the same. This way is also referred to as the "paragati
" (one supreme way) to salvation.
Four Paths (maarg)?
What are referred to as four paths to salvation in Hinduism are really four necessary aspects of the one path: that is, of one's relationship with the Purusha Prajapati. According to the Vedas, these are:
1. accepting the work (karmamaarg) of transferring one's sins to theSupreme Sacrifice;
2. knowing (Gyanmaarg) personally the Purusha who is the supreme knowledge (paravidya
) which liberates;
3. meditating (yogamaarg) upon the written Word of God which teaches us about the Supreme God; and
devoting (bhaktimaarg) one's life to the Purusha in gratitude for his sacrificial substitution.
Misquoting, mistranslating, and misinterpreting religious texts does us a grave disservice.
It can cost us eternal life if we ignore the Truth and follow man-made philosophies and rituals. It is therefore absolutely essential that we search out the Scriptures as much as possible. It is known that less than one in a million Hindus in India have
ever seen Vedic texts, much less read them; that figure includes Brahmin priests! It is all the more critical to do personal study because our soul's eternal destiny depends on it: we cannot entrust it to
Jesus, the Exclusive Way
This is the message of the Bible: that God graciously provided the gift of salvation through one supreme self-sacrifice in the person of the Lord Jesus. This
fact has evoked the ire of many religious leaders who scream "exclusivist", "narrow-minded", "bigot", "intolerant", and other negative adjectives! One cannot deny that
the Vedas also declare an exclusive way to the exclusive truth of salvation.
At any rate, why don't we hurl these negative terms against a physician who diagnoses an illness and declares that only surgery will provide the cure? Our Hindu friends are taught that their religion is
better because it recognizes all other religious beliefs. This, unfortunately, is not a valid idea, for the simple reason that Jesus said He is the only way to salvation: obviously Hinduism cannot accept
this and other conflicting teachings at the same time! Furthermore, an eagerness to embrace every teaching that comes one's way does
reflect one's uncertainty rather than the dubious quality of "universality" . The fact is that the
Vedas, Upanishads, the Bible, and the Qur'an agree that there is only one way to salvation: Jesus Christ the Messiah.
Christianity is often spurned because of the wicked lives of "Christian" neighbors or friends. One must recognize that many
people call themselves Christians but do not demonstrate the fruit of Christ's Spirit; according to the Bible, they are not Christians. God has the authority to define His terms, and one must abide by His
definitions if one seeks the truth. If someone does not demonstrate the fruit of Christ's Spirit, that person is not a Christian regardless of whether he preaches, walks with the Bible in hand, sings well,
or any other quality. The western countries, by Biblical definition, are not Christian countries, and Christianity is not a western religion! In fact, Christianity was thriving in India in the first century A.D., long before it came to the western hemisphere! It is therefore wrong to judge Christianity on the basis of such nominal Christians! Focus rather upon the Christ who came to
provide the gift of salvation to you. To be sure, the glimpse of truth in the Vedas concurs with John 3:16 , that
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have eternal life
in heaven. He that does not believe is already condemned because of sin. Dear reader, it will assist you as you search for the Way of Truth if you read the Bible, or begin with the Gospel according to
John. You may obtain a free copy from your neighborhood evangelical church, or contact us concerning this need.
May the Lord Jesus make His Light to shine upon you.