India or Bharat's own school of thought and its own world view emphasizes dharma or natural law as the main factor behind both human life and the working of the universe. It sees human history in the context of the development of life and consciousness, and not just in terms of dates, events and inventions.
The Vedic vision begins with the idea of an eternal tradition of truth, wisdom and knowledge. This, in Sanskrit is called 'Sanatan Dharma' – the eternal dharma or the way of truth. In the Vedic view, consciousness underlies the entire universe of matter, energy and mind and provides the force that motivates and moves them.
The Vedic vision has important historical ramifications. According to its view, there was a rishi or yogic culture at the beginning of human history, not only in India but throughout the world. We find the echoes of this great tradition in the many stories of the great sages, seers and prophets of ancient times – such as occur in the annals of cultures as diverse as the Mayan American, the Chinese, the Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Celtic and Hindu. These Hindu rishis or seers were said to have established the paths to spiritual knowledge for humanity at the beginning of this world age, which we can please roughly around the end of the last Ice Age about 10,000 years ago.
In the Vedic view, cosmic intelligence is the basis of all life. This places a greater emphasis on the evolution of consciousness than that of mere outer forms. What we see in nature is but a reflection of a deeper evolution of mind and consciousness that is a universal potential, not just a chance happening on Earth.
Consciousness pervades the entire universe, animate and inanimate. In living things, as per the limitations of body and mind, that consciousness has the capacity of feeling in the plant kingdom, and has an additional capacity of sensation in the animal kingdom. With human beings it has a power of intelligence through which the very creature can realize its oneness with God or the universal consciousness. That is the real goal of life in the Vedic sense. The Aitareya Upanishad and Aranyaka show this quite well.