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Although many books have been written about various predictions of the future, this is the first book that focuses on the ancient prophecies recorded in the Vedic literature, which are known for being the oldest and most spiritual writings in the world. Now for the first time you will be able to understand from where and how these prophecies came to be, and what they may mean for you and the future of life on this planet. Everyone wants to know the future of the world. Some of the general futuristic views circulating in popular books paint a very rosy and progressive picture of what it will be like hundreds or thousands of years into the future. Many people seem to think that with the advancement of technology life will be long, healthy, and all sorts of unimaginable conveniences will be available for everyone. And some of these things will happen. Nevertheless, some descriptions in the Vedic literature will be quite to the contrary, even shocking and not at all what you may expect.
These descriptions are not only of the near future, but they also provide a look at how things will be many thousands of years from now, even up to the end of time and the destruction of the universe. Naturally, there will be some prophecies that overlap and are similar to those of other cultures, such as those you find with the Mayans, or from Nostradamus, or in the Bible. But most of the Vedic prophecies are completely unique and unlike any others that you will find. Thus, they give a very different or new look into the future. This book takes information that is widely scattered throughout many volumes of Vedic literature and condenses it into the present work for a concise explanation of the Vedic prophecies and its descriptions of the future. The Vedic texts, being ancient but important spiritual literature, also gives explicit information about our spiritual identity, the Supreme Being, His incarnations, the material creation, and about the important spiritual processes that people can use for getting free from material existence. Some of this is directly related to the future in this age of Kali-yuga. Therefore, to leave out this spiritual information, I feel, certainly would make this book incomplete as far as it being a full presentation of the Vedic prophecies and what they predict will happen in the future, and what they prescribe as solutions for the problems of this age. Thus, I present as much information as is relevant to understand both materially and spiritually what the Vedic literature says regarding what will happen in the future. I have also tried to use specific references from the Vedic texts whenever possible to let them speak for themselves. That way we can understand clearly what they say.
Within these Vedic references you will find that different Puranas may repeat the same prophecy. When one Purana supports what is said in another, it often helps to clarify and elaborate on those predictions. This also adds to the credibility as well as emphasis on the prophecies. I have also tried not to overburden the book with explanations or commentaries on the connection between the Vedic Prophecies and current events. In some cases I have done this, especially regarding the standardization of gold or when there may be some noteworthy information to add. Otherwise, anyone can see the connection by looking at any newspaper or news broadcast and comparing it to what the Vedic texts say. For some readers, the information in this book may seem so different that it may border the fantastic and be quite controversial. For others, it may make a lot of sense and provide an understanding of life for which they have long been looking. For others, it may kindle a reawakening of what, deep in their hearts, they already know but could not quite remember. Nonetheless, if the readers have specific questions, or would like to know good sources for acquiring more books on this subject, I will be glad to correspond with them anytime, as long as I am not traveling in India. During my travels I have little contact with anyone beyond my personal location, which can often change every few days. So please use the following address and I will be glad to give further assistance:
The World Relief Network P. O. Box 15082 Detroit, Michigan U.S.A. 48215-0082
Further information on the knowledge of the East is supplied in Volume One of this series, The Secret Teachings of the Vedas, and in Volume Two, The Universal Path to Enlightenment. If you would also like to have the addresses of temples and organizations in the West that are based on the philosophy of the East, please write for a free listing. To help make these books more authentic and complete, I have included a section on seeing the spiritual side of India. In this volume are more than sixty-five photographs of temples, holy sites, and life in India. Thus, you will be able to read and see what it is like to travel to the holy places and how this spiritual knowledge is applied today. The hardest part about doing this section is choosing the photographs from the thousands of slides I have. There are too many photos I would like to include. In this volume we will journey through Western India from Jaipur all the way down to Bangalore in the south, and many places in between. We will learn about the legends that make these places sacred. In the other volumes we continue our travels through other sections of India to see some of the holiest cities in the world.
A NOTE TO SCHOLARS
As most scholars on Vedic philosophy know, when you say Vedas you refer to the original four Vedas: ihsRig, Yajur, Santa, and A tharva Vedas. From the four main Vedas are branches or appendices called Brahmanas, which relate to rituals and ceremonies. From these are derived the Aranyakas, and the Upanishads are the appendices (the secret and esoteric knowledge) of \he Aranyakas. When you say Veda (without the s) you not only refer to the four Vedas, but also to the Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads: All the texts that are considered Shruti. Shruti is considered the original revealed knowledge. The remaining parts of Vedic literature consist of the Mahabharata and Bhagavad-gita, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. These are the Itihasas or histories and supplemental portions of the Vedic literature, which they call Smriti, or that which is remembered. Vedic literature refers to both Shruti and Smriti in a general way. However, some scholars think that the Shruti is more important than the Smriti. So some may object to the way I alternately use the words "Vedas" and "Vedic literature" to refer to the same thing, which is all of the Vedic texts, both Shruti and Smriti.
The reason I do this is that I present Vedic evidence from any portion of the Vedic literature, and I often use quotes from the Puranas. To leave out the supplemental portions of the Vedic literature would deprive the reader of an enormous amount of Vedic knowledge and elaborated explanations. And for this book, it would leave out many of the best portions of Vedic prophecies. Furthermore, some of the greatest of spiritual authorities, like Shankaracarya, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, and others, have presented Smriti as valid evidence of spiritual truths and wrote commentaries on Bhagavad-gita. In fact, Madhvacarya, in his commentary on the Vedanta-sutras (2.1.6), quotes the Bhavishya Purana, which states: "The Rig-veda, Yajur-veda, Sama-veda, Atharva-veda, Mahabharata, Pancaratra, and the original Ramayana are all considered Vedic literature. The Vaishnava supplements, the Puranas, are also Vedic literature." Even the Chandogya Upanishad (7.1.4) mentions the Puranas as the fifth Veda. The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.4.20) also clearly states: "The four divisions of the original sources of knowledge (the Vedas) were made separately. But the historical facts and authentic stories mentioned in the Puranas are called the fifth Veda." So I point this out simply for those scholars who feel that there should be some distinction between Shruti and Smriti and may object to the way I use the terms "Vedas" and "Vedic literature" to mean the same thing, although I am sure the general reader will not be very concerned about it.