|In the Vedas the old age is the golden (50 to 75 years) and diamond period (75 to 100 years) of one’s life. The truthful, trustworthy and independent old people of yore speculated thought and observed the various social and physical phenomenon’s around them.
By P.K. Sabhlok
In the Vedas the old age is the golden (50 to 75 years) and diamond period (75 to 100 years) of one’s life. The truthful, trustworthy and independent old people of yore speculated thought and observed the various social and physical phenomenon’s around them. They found greatest ideas of eternal value in the form of Aryankas, (simple laws for the old people) and Rta- the cosmic laws of Nature for mankind. Their aim was perhaps to create concord in society and they contributed through their metaphysics, philosophy and even Physical sciences and Scientific temper for the welfare of mankind.
Vedic Description of old Age
Atharva Veda (XIV 1-31 and XIV-2-64 and 71) mentions that young couples should live full length of life together with their children and grand children. Normal age of a person is mentioned as 100 years for those follow dharma (path of righteousness) and Rta-the eternal laws of Nature. Yajur Veda (3-63) says persons who follow Dharma and Rta can live up to 300 years i.e. triya ayusham (triple life). Atharva Veda (XI-1-19) says that learned and mighty persons of all devine professions (Varna) should expand to great grandfather mother and should be able to say “I am the 15th of it”.
Since Ramayana and Mahabharata are Vedas retold, the Grand Old man of Mahabharata, viz. Bhisham Pitamah, who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Kaurva’s Army at the age of about 270 years was perhaps the 15th of the generation and was killed in the great Mahabharata war as he supported the evil Kauravas.
Vedic Prayer and Role for old People
In the Veda there is prayer for old people “O God: allot us work to further your Design and Purpose.” Rig Veda (1-124-1, 1-46-6 and 4-33-11) mention the purpose of human life to be social welfare and to help God in the maintenance of his grand wondrous Design. The old people should aim at providing permanent truths and value-systems to the young people by avoiding toxic emotion of resentment, regret, and ego and change such feeling through Vivek (discernment) and tranquility to such noble qualities as love, duty, compassion, and forgiveness.
Many scriptures and Upanishads confirm the highest meditation is the study of the Vedas and the Bhagavad-Gita says highest virtue is the study of Vedic knowledge. Old people can at least spread the Vedic Economics of matter with unsuspected vitality based on ‘Dharma’ and ‘artha’ Rama Rajya (Vedic concept of righteous state/government); Swaraj----local self government through Vidhata and Sabha; and harmonized, divine, spiritual and material Vedic Knowledge. We can jointly assist God in the maintenance of the grand wondrous Design by avoiding all kind of social, moral and physical pollution.