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Vedas

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 ayanaya"

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
    4. devoting (bhaktimaarg) one's life to the Purusha in gratitude for his sacrificial substitution.

Costly Trust

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 charlatans.

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.

Wrong Standard!

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.

Global Evangelical Missionary Society
Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved.