Natural Law and the Bhagavad-Gita: The Vedic Concept of Natural Law



Abstract. Western natural law theory emphasises the derivation of principles of right action said to be universal and objective from the application of practical reasonableness to the pursuit of basic human goods that are self-evident or based on human nature. Critics say its methodology is inherently subjective. In contrast, the Vedic approach to natural law of the Bhagavad-Gita emphasises the full development of a universal aspect of human nature—consciousness—to promote right action. A healthy person with a developed intellect, clear mind, balanced emotions and full perception is best placed to fulfil his or her society's highest ideals of ethical and lawful conduct. The Vedic approach advocates a supportive social environment and the use of meditation techniques to promote such development. Research has found that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program promotes improvement in mind, body and behaviour. For example, offenders in Australia, the United States and Senegal practising the technique experienced decreased substance abuse and recidivism and improved wellbeing. From a scientific perspective, TM promotes these improvements by producing a unique psychophysiological state of restful alertness that dissolves stress that blocks the unfoldment of full potential in life.