INSPIRED BY THE WISDOM OF OUR SEERS ON SCRIPTURAL LEARNING

 

Self- knowledge is the highest and best of all knowledge, in the light of which everything that can be known is known in the best possible way. The purpose of Human life is learning. Our seers have emphasised on Self-knowledge as the purpose, the path and the destination of a complete experience of life. The source of knowledge is the heart and when the power of learning dawns in the heart, every aspect of life is prosperous. Svadhyaya is the self-study of the Self. Our scriptures – Vedas, Upanishads, Itihaasas,Puranas etc – are props that support this process by offering methods and approaches. In essence of they all hold the same content of Self Knowledge and Non-Duality.

 

Present day obstacles to the path of spiritual learning are many:

  • Each Master expounds scriptures in a unique manner. Owing to individual understanding or the traditional method of each lineage, several versions of explanations of the scriptures have been taught and published. Foe a beginner, this could be confusing; especially because the prevalent schooling system is based on critical thinking with only one right answer or explanation for a particular concept or context. Adversarial thinking amongst spiritual lineages have led to rigidities and a learner is often stranded at a point of choice of lineage or teaching method. Reverence for the scriptures have contributed to shrouding their essence in mystery. Social preconditioning thereby is a huge stumbling block in the path of a learner.

  • Scriptures present both exoteric as well esoteric meaning and the literal translations could be a far cry from the embedded truth. There is a system of decoding involved in scriptural learning. The key for the codes are not fixed. They are dynamic and change from scripture to scripture and within the same scripture from time to time. The subconscious of the learner has to morph into a dynamic key. The subconscious of a Bharatheeya is active with this potential. A Bharatheeya need not be an Indian by nationality. Ancient Indian scriptures are revered as an authority of spiritual sciences world over.

  • Sanskrit is the language in which most of our scriptures are written. With Sanskrit becoming less popular, it has become difficult to extract the best out of the scriptures. Many words in Sanskrit do not have a translation in English. Most words in Sanskrit have more than one meaning and each of the meanings give a different light to the verses. Along with this, the grammar of Sanskrit Language offers breakdowns and fusions of complex sentences and words which hold different meanings. There is often confusion about which of the meanings or translations is the correct one intended by the author. However, there is a learning in each of the combinations, which the learner might miss out in a translated version. Knowledge of Sanskrit need not be a prerequisite to scriptural learning if a learner can connect to a scripture and its context with the language of the heart.

  • The very size and volume could be a cause for anxiety in an aspirant. In a world of instant gratification and static syllabus in school systems, spiritual learners may tend to either completely negate the guidance of a mentor or turn heavily dependent on them. There is a loss of a culture and practise of teaching oneself which is the most efficient method of learning. Imagination is required to self-reflect and contemplate. The myth of scriptural learning being associated with strict rules and regulations and compulsory adherence to moral values are deterrents. Combined with this is the myth of the impracticality of the content held in the scriptures. Another feeder to anxiety is the myth of scriptures being difficult to understand and therefore studied by the intellectuals alone. Scriptural learning requires faith and willingness, imagination and assimilation, intelligence of the heart and surrender to one self, and these qualities are not commonly found nor are they cultivated in the present education system.

  • Many of the scriptures are conversational in nature and the context, analogies and parables may be alien to beginners. Meaningful; exaggerations when translated seem to be completely mystical in nature with no connect to the reality of the learner.

Shivanetra Trust recognises these obstacles. Scriptures need to be learnt and taught differently, while preserving the essence and the universal truth. We train aspirants in methods of learning scriptures which are effective and essential in today’s day and age. Some of the scriptures that we have trained learner in are:

  • 108 Upanishads

  • Srimad Bhagavad Gita

  • Mythological Learning

  • Learning through Stotras and Shlokas

  • Sri Tripura Rahasya

  • Tattva Rahasya

  • Ribhu Gita