The Vedas are widely acknowledged as the oldest books in the library of humans. They are essentially a set of ‘Operational manuals’ provided by the Almighty to help human beings lead their daily lives. They cover diverse topics including Spirituality, Mathematics, Material Science, Economics, Political Science, Sociology and many more.
The Vedas declare God to be One and Formless. Similar to air, it is this basic characteristic of the Almighty that facilitates His presence everywhere in each minute particle, in turn ensuring that He delivers justice to all living beings.
Today, we face a paradoxical situation. While the number of temples, churches and mosques has increased manifold, bloodshed in the name of religion has grown exponentially. Another simultaneous trend is that the younger generation is disoriented with various religions, and is turning atheist. We believe that true knowledge of the Vedas can help youngsters experience spirituality with scientific rigor, which is the need of the hour.
The Vedas are truly universal and secular. Interestingly, they do not even contain the name of any religion of the world as we know them today – Hinduism, Christinity, Islam, Jainism, Buddhism, Jainism etc., simply because none of these terms existed at the beginning of mankind. The Vedas only prescribe how humans can lead a healthy life in harmony with the environment and the animals around them. The various themes promoted by Vedas are egalitarian, empowering and liberating. They form the basis, as much of inner peace in every individual as they do of peace in a family, society, nation and the entire world.
It is unfortunate that the Vedas have been misinterpreted over the last few hundred years which led to many false beliefs. The Arya Samaj, started as a social movement by Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati in 1875, gave a clarion call – ‘Back to Vedas’, focussing global attention towards the vedic knowledge and culture.
‘Fostering Vedic Values’ is a series of 8 books with 15 chapters in each. Almost half the chapters focus on ensuring that the children are able to obtain a reasonably good understanding of the key spiritual principles as highlighted in Vedas. The remaining chapters are focused towards imbibing the spirit of patriotism and social service. Throught these, we are envision the children to develop as responsible citizens, who contribute to the world as a family, but in the face of a national threat, are also ardent patriots. We hope to see them evolve into empowered individuals who can overcome the challenges of life through spiritual strength and lead themselves, their families and societies to peace and happiness.
Many of the chapters are set up as a conversation between a child and the grandparent. This is to strongly emphasize our ancient culture wherein children spent a lot of time with grandparents, learning from their life experiences. Also rather than repeatedly using ‘Grandma/Grandpa’ to refer to grandparents, we have used equivalent words in various other Indian languages so as to make children appreciate the diversity that co-exists in this great civilization.
Many intellectuals have voluntarily contributed towards this book. Dr. Harish Chandra, Arya Samaj Great Houston, US has conceptually reviewed the book considering his rich experience as a Vedic scholar. The teachers at DAV Group of Schools, Chennai and the Notion Press team have read through many versions of the book with immense thoughtfulness reposing relevant changes from a child’s perspective.
The core content of the book originates from the Vedas. We owe it to the tradition of Rishis who passed on the Vedic knowledge since ages. Therefore, there is no copyright on the content of this book. However, no unauthorized modification is permitted in any chapter. You can write to ‘Tamilnadu Arya Samaj Education Society’ 212-213, Avvi Shanmugam Salai, Gopalapuram, Chennai – 600086’ (with the book title ‘Fostering Vedic Values’ on the envelop) or email to [email protected]
This is the first version of the book and could contain not only omissions, but also areas of improvement. We request the reader to excuse us for the omissions, but please do bring to our notice any feedback for correction and improvement in subsequent versions. We will remain greatful to you for your support and feedback. Lastly, before signing off, we could like to express our profound gratitude to the Almighty for His blessings, guidance and engouragement in this small endeavour.