A Call to be Vedic Ambassadors
by Stephen Knapp
Now is the time when there is a growing need for what could be called Vedic Ambassadors, those who can represent and show the benefits of what the Vedic culture has to offer. In this age, when there is a concern for preserving, protecting, and disseminating Vedic culture and its vast knowledge on all aspects of life, there is a great need for those who follow Sanatana-dharma or Hinduism to be Vedic Ambassadors, or those who can fairly and accurately represent the Dharma. As we see society entering various states of confusion and anxiety over the circumstances that are happening all around the planet, the need for deeper spiritual understanding is obvious. Thus, there is a calling for Vedic Ambassadors who can assist in this way. But how can we be Vedic Ambassadors? What are the requirements?
To be a Vedic Ambassador is very easy. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to be one. First of all, to be an Ambassador of Vedic culture, one must know the culture and realize how dynamic it remains in its ability to assist humanity. Therefore, one must be educated in understanding what it is and the reasons for the different avenues of study it contains, such as in Ayurveda, Jyotish (Vedic astrology), Vastu (the means of arranging the space of one’s home or office), the Vedic rituals and histories, and especially yoga and sadhana or spiritual practice and philosophy. There are a growing number of people in the West who are especially curious on the ways of making more personal spiritual development, and they often look to the Eastern philosophy for assistance. Thus, if you practice Hinduism or an aspect of Vedic culture, then as a Vedic Ambassador you should also be educated enough to assist others with proper advice when the opportunity arises. You should be able to explain what Vedic culture is and how it is a universal truth that anyone can utilize, and at least a little about what that truth contains.
This leads to the next point on being a Vedic Ambassador. An Ambassador for Vedic culture is also one who can show others how he or she has benefited from Vedic culture, and what it has done for him or her. All it takes is to share from your own personal experience any of the ways that Vedic culture has improved or made a difference in your own life, both materially or spiritually. Everyone likes a story, so tell your story of how you started following the Vedic tradition and some of your experiences along the way. This means to show how the Vedic wisdom has assisted you in your search for truth, search or connection with God, in finding your spiritual identity, or to see the spiritual similarities we share with all other beings. Or how Vedic culture has helped you in finding where you fit into this universe and what is the aim of life. Or how it has helped improve your moral standards and view of compassion for others. These are just a few of the ways we can share the means by which following Vedic culture has improved our existence or made a difference in our approach to life. It does not take much to personally share with those we may meet these aspects of what Vedic knowledge has done for us.
The next step in being an Ambassador of Vedic culture is that you should also assist those who are sincerely interested and want to further their investigation of the Dharma. There will naturally be some who will want to investigate Vedic culture for themselves, especially after being impressed or convinced by what you have shared with them about it. So, you should be able to share the Dharma with them and empower them to begin following it. This may include various ways of directing them so they can further their own education about it or begin their own practice of it. This may be nothing more than suggesting various books they may find useful or beneficial for them to read, or which web sites may be good to visit. Or you may include instructions on how they can find a temple so they can start understanding the temple practice of Vedic sadhana. Or how to begin their study of basic Vedic scriptures so they can increase their understanding of what it has to offer and how to apply it in their lives. Thus, they become empowered to continue their own practice of it in a natural way.
The next step in being a Vedic Ambassador is to work together with other Dharmic friends who share the same concern for protecting and sharing the Dharma. This means to encourage others in their own practice and understanding of the Dharmic culture, or even to accept the idea of being a Vedic Ambassador. Then work together to develop a network in which everyone shares with others a greater understanding of what is actually Vedic culture and what it can do for society. This does not mean that it becomes a plan for converting those who may not be interested, but it is to assist society in the same way that Vedic culture has always tried to guide humanity for a better and improved understanding of life. This is also the way to help establish an ideal global Dharmic family who share mutual respect for all.
BEING A VEDIC AMBASSADOR
In this way, there is a need for what I call Vedic Ambassadors. This is similar to the term Intellectual Kshatriyas, meaning those who are strong enough to stand up for Vedic Dharma. Thus, in summary:
1) As Vedic Ambassadors we should be educated in our culture,
2) We show and share with others how it has improved our own lives,
3) We do not proselytize, but we are ready and willing to open our doors to all community members to let them see what we have and even how they may also participate,
4) Network with other Dharmists in these matters to devise plans to further this work to protect and preserve the Dharma and disseminate its benefits throughout society,
5) Defend ourselves against the ignorance or simple misunderstanding of others,
6) Be pro-active both politically and socially. There are already organizations that are working in such ways in which we can participate.
7) We must also support our own community and its causes, and those programs that support and defend our culture. After all, we are here to pool our resources and channel them in a way for the upliftment of all people as well as for the protection of our own culture, Vedic Dharma.
8) We need to show the universal nature of the Vedic Dharma and how it is based on universal spiritual truths that are applicable to anyone from any background. It is such a dynamic culture that it is not only for a few Hindus, but for the spiritual progress of all humanity.
Therefore, with the help of such simple yet bold Vedic Ambassadors working together, the culture will not only remain strong but will increase in its influence and the ways it can provide assistance to all humanity, which was the reason why it was originally given to society by the Supreme and passed along by the great Vedic rishis and seers. By engaging ourselves in this way, we also enter the line of great rishis by doing our part in assisting their endeavor to pass along this knowledge and culture for the benefit of everyone.
We are a part of the hope for the future. We should have confidence in what we can do because history has shown that we have already made a difference. In this way, if we all become Vedic Ambassadors, then you will see a great coalition that brings a bright future wherein people respect all beings and all religions. You will see a freedom for all individuals to develop according to the spiritual level most suitable for him or her. At that time, we will see a spiritual and cultural freedom like we have never known before. Then the universal spiritual truths as found and presented in the Vedic tradition will gain respect and be accepted by many more millions of people across the planet. This could certainly change the course of history and begin to manifest the spiritual dimension in this world.
[This article is available at www.stephen-knapp.com]
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