How many Vedas are there according to Sanatana Dharma?
The RigVeda is a book of the times, where the cultures of the ancient world lived in a Golden age, an era of profound inner awareness and simple outer living in which men lived literally in the presence of gods. It is time for the peoples of the world to look back into this era, for superior guidance, because this was the era of complete realization, realization of the purpose of life, of man and material. The Sanatana Dharma talks of the different ages where there is a sequenced decline of consciousness from Golden to Silver to Bronze to Iron ages known in Sanskrit as Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. It is quite surprising that the Western culture sequences the age of development in the reverse order. Yet it would be also clear that in Bharath, the parameter of measurement was consciousness while the West looked at the parameters of matter and material development. Although material development is appreciated, it can never be precedent to the development of consciousness. It is the violation of this spiritual law that is the foundation of the current Iron Age.
It will be safe to infer that, as material affluence and technological development progressed, there was a steady decline in human consciousness. The Vedic culture has retained the continuity of culture through all the four ages and has since, preserved the pure teachings through all respective ages. The solution to even our current day problems lies clearly mentioned in the scriptures that have been passed down to us from yore. The RigVeda is one such document that holds the beacon for the current age, only if we care to rely on its teachings, can we consciously light up our paths with the principles declared therein.
It is the vision of the RigVeda of a spiritual humanity, not unnecessarily toiling outward for transient, fleeting wealth, fame, position and possession but living a simple life, focusing greater energy in the worship of the Divine. The RigVeda has a vision for humanity, a cosmic one, an invitation to the Divine to permeate through and through in every action, activity or resolve that man takes up. It is an invitation to the mighty Sun, being lauded with mystic chants, as the very visible image of Godhead of perfect enlightenment.
The RigVeda is all life, regarded as pure worship, arising spontaneously from the heart, with no iota of darkness, towards the Supreme Being within the heart, who is also all-pervasive, all-permeating. It is the very epitome of Truth, sung by the torch-bearers of Truth, the sages of Sanatana Dharma, who ordain all things according to their inherent nature, who rule and preside not by force or rigid pattern, nor by autocracy, but by the pure principle of creativity that defines freedom for one and all.
Following the RigVeda, will herald an era, where human beings shall live and proffer by the will of God, the Supreme Being, where human beings shall coexist in perfect harmony with Nature and matter. This certainly does not mean that everyone shall be perfectly enlightened; this can never be. All that the RigVeda promises, is that, both the inner states and the outer states of the people shall correspond, the rulers shall be noble, the priests and the bearers of spiritual knowledge shall be actually spiritual and the masses shall be docile to the rulers, who shall be perfect men of knowledge. All discrepancies shall get harmonized and stand resolved by the will of the Supreme Being. This is the promise of the RigVeda.
Readers, of this article may feel, or think that such an age would have never really existed; it may not be possible at all, that such a time shall ever emerge in the future. Yet this is merely a measure of our own distance (individual distance) from it, our own lack of understanding of our past as well as future and hence our own present. The attempt is simply to awaken aspirations, the aspiration to live in spiritual humanity, to establish a society once more, founded on deep and higher knowledge.
This is not to laud or falsely appreciate the priestly class or mercantile classes that once took their position to usurp society. It is also not about greedy politicians taking undue advantage of the needy, but this is an attempt, through the RigVeda, to revere the true seers and sages who are the backbone of the Vedic Culture, who in all their benignness, have laid the guidelines for spiritual practice and inner reformation.