Vedic Concepts of Expectations, Limitations and Capabilities of the Individual and Human Values

Kaustubh Sankulkar, Bachelor of Bio-medical Engineering (Mumbai University), Diplom Electrical Engineering (Maharashtra State Board)


This paper or presentation aims at exploring the meaning and extent and expectations concerning freewill, responsibility and human values as the philosophy of the ancient Vedic texts of India defined it to be. The references taken will be from the Bhagavat Gita, otherwise known as the Gitopanishad, from Bhagavat Purana also known as Shrimad Bhagavatam, Sri Isopanishada and a host of other Vedic texts.

To what extent is a person capable of freewill and how much are his environmental factors contributing to him to make a decision as viewed from the point of the three modes of material energy i.e., in sanskrit the trai (three) gunas. If under the influence of circumstances of phenomenon how the responsibility of an individual in human society changes. The presentation will also explore how Vedic human values contribute to a better society and what can cause for limitation of human values? The Vedic concept of an individual’s acceptance of a concept of the Supreme Deity’s and how different individuals under the influence of the, ‘three modes’ conceptualize this, ‘Supreme Deity’ and the effects of such a conceptualization on human values of those individuals. What are the limitations on an individual, if any, when he is without the concept of a Supreme Deity governing affairs of responsibility. Elucidation on the Bhagavat-Gita’s types of deities and the individuals that put faith in them and the changes in human values of those individuals after this cognizance of deities.

Freewill, as bound by the three modes and how can these modes be changed and in effect change the limitations of freewill. ‘Freewill being relative to an individual and a change in the individual’s lifestyle causing for freewill to relatively change as well.’ ‘The type of personalities created by the influence of the three modes and the responsibility that they hold in human society.’ ‘The Vedic philosophical concept of the three modes causing for differences in human values and thereby affecting the various vocations of the individuals.’

The Vedic concept of laws of action and reaction in the universe, “karma”, and judicial consequence of abuse of freewill and responsibility, as taken from the Manu Samhita. Individuals are byproducts of the three modes and yet they have freewill – the synthesis of this paradox which has plagued western philosophers for ages. Not just western, as in of European origin of the past centuries, but also Greco-Roman philosophers and how the Vedic philosophies answer that. The application of Vedic human values in formation of a non-uniform penal code for human society. The penal code in a Vedic society is non-uniform – different punishments are given for people whose human values and different responsibilities differ from one another. In other words, ‘the three modes create values in individuals, the values are different for different individuals under the influence of these three modes and thus their responsibility towards themselves and other individuals as a human is thus relative and different. This implies that they, by society and the judicial systems, are to be judged differently for the responsibilities which they execute.