We live in a world where the explanations of mainstream science are generally accepted by the masses, essentially diminishing the traditional Vedic concepts; however, what happens when science can’t explain certain phenomena? In a Vedic Renaissance, knowledge explains universal ideologies and guides individuals through a spiritual process, leading people to a personal and intimate experience of the Divine Intelligence. According to Bhagavad-Gita, this Vedic knowledge gives “the direct perception of oneself by realization, it is everlasting and joyfully performed.” It is through this reestablishment with the inner self that a more harmonious and balanced relationship and connection with the outer world is achieved.
During the intellectual enlightenments of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the doors opened to a readiness for the acceptance of Vedic culture and a Vedic Renaissance. Many believed that, just as Greek culture had set the stage for the first Renaissance, the study of Sanskrit and the Vedas would be the catalyst for an invigorating second Vedic Renaissance. It was in this time that notable philosophers, including Voltaire, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and many more brought a fresh eye and keen interest in Vedic knowledge, blazing the trail for a Vedic Renaissance. Emerson once wrote about Gita, “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spake to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence.” Thoreau sang the praises of the Vedas when he stated “What extracts from the Vedas I have read fall on me like the light of a higher and purer luminary… In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita. The reader is nowhere raised into and sustained in a bigger, purer or rarer region of thought than in the Bhagavad-Gita.”
The positive responses and unbiased attitudes of some of the world’s more progressive and renowned intellectuals indicated the value of the Vedas, but their acceptance was not long lasting when British imperialism took hold in India. However, in today’s world, people are longing for spiritual fulfillment in a world where spiritual thought is either void as a result of scientific explanations dominating rational thought, or a monopoly of the world’s major religions infusing their viewpoints into modern society. In a Vedic Renaissance, the Vedas offer comprehensive knowledge of the self and of society and provide the stepping-stones for a life of fulfillment for the mind, body, and spirit.