Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: When scriptural reading dominates

  1. #1
    Join Date
    September 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Age
    65
    Posts
    7,191
    Rep Power
    5023

    When scriptural reading dominates

    Vannakkam: I had this 'funny' thought the other day. A long time ago, twice I went to places where it seemed the entire religion was condensed into one activity: scriptural reading. One event was a 'Gita Reading Group', an informal group of people who had rented a small room, which they kindly allowed us to share in use, which eventually lead to the building of the temple I was associated with. Out of respect and curiousity, I sat in on it one day, even though the reading was in Hindi. It seemed to me that all the group did was take turns reading pages from the book. Not even any discussion. So that was the religious event, not unlike a group of school children taking turns reading a novel, one paragraph at a time.

    Another time something similar happened when I attended a function at a local Fijian temple. The men sat in a circle and took turns reading a chapeter of the Ramayana. Again, no discussion.

    So the funny thought was on how fixated the people were on this activity. Imagine Krishna himself, or Rama himself came along, and asked to join the group. Would the people just say, "Sure, you're welcome to join us," not even recognising who it was, so concentrated they are on the reading?

    So I guess more generally, its how sometimes we get so involved with a particular aspect of the religion, we exclude the rest. I also know people whose entire religion is temple worship. That's it. Not unlike 'Sunday Christians' if I can borrow the term, the entire religion is 2 hours one day of the week. All the other 'dos' in that other list are largely forgotten about.

    I think most of us seek out a more balanced approach. Some of this, some of that, a few spices here, etc.

    Aum Namasivaya

  2. #2
    Join Date
    March 2012
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    205
    Rep Power
    1318

    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    vanakkam EM Ji,

    I see wisdom & value in your post. Sivavakkiya siddhar has some interesting comments on getting lost in shastras & loosing the real spirit behind seeking divine grace. Hope you can read Tamil to understand this. Otherwise you can try reading the translations - these are verses 13 & 14 in his poems. Unlike Thirumandhiram , Sivavakkiar poems are easy to interpret for most part.

    சாத்திரங்கள் ஓதுகின்ற சட்டநாத பட்டரே!
    வேர்த்துஇரைப்பு வந்தபோது வேதம்வந்து உதவுமோ?
    மாத்திரைப்போ தும்முளே யறிந்துதொக்க வல்லீரேல்
    சாத்திரப்பைநோய்கள் ஏது? சத்திமுத்தி சித்தியே!



    நாலுவேதம் ஓதுவீர், ஞானபாதம் அறிகிலீர்.
    பாலுள்நெய் கலந்தவாறு பாவிகாள், அறிகிலீர்!
    ஆலம்உண்ட கண்டனார் அகத்துளே இருக்கவே
    காலன்என்று சொல்லுவீர், கனவிலும் அஃதில்லையே.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    September 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Age
    65
    Posts
    7,191
    Rep Power
    5023

    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Quote Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
    vanakkam EM Ji,

    I see wisdom & value in your post. Sivavakkiya siddhar has some interesting comments on getting lost in shastras & loosing the real spirit behind seeking divine grace. Hope you can read Tamil to understand this. Otherwise you can try reading the translations - these are verses 13 & 14 in his poems. Unlike Thirumandhiram , Sivavakkiar poems are easy to interpret for most part.

    சாத்திரங்கள் ஓதுகின்ற சட்டநாத பட்டரே!
    வேர்த்துஇரைப்பு வந்தபோது வேதம்வந்து உதவுமோ?
    மாத்திரைப்போ தும்முளே யறிந்துதொக்க வல்லீரேல்
    சாத்திரப்பைநோய்கள் ஏது? சத்திமுத்தி சித்தியே!



    நாலுவேதம் ஓதுவீர், ஞானபாதம் அறிகிலீர்.
    பாலுள்நெய் கலந்தவாறு பாவிகாள், அறிகிலீர்!
    ஆலம்உண்ட கண்டனார் அகத்துளே இருக்கவே
    காலன்என்று சொல்லுவீர், கனவிலும் அஃதில்லையே.
    Vannakkam: Unfortunately I cannot read Tamil. You can translate it if you want to. Which translation of the Tirumantiram do you have? Maybe I asked you this before.

    Aum Namasivaya

  4. #4
    Join Date
    March 2012
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    205
    Rep Power
    1318

    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Vanakkam EM Ji,

    Tamil is not my native language - please allow some leeway for translation errors.

    Verse 13 - when you are tired & sweating , does constant chanting of shahtras give you any relief? Sakthi , Mukthi & Sithi are within you , and if you realize that , you will see Sashtras cant cure of any disease.

    Verse 14 - You chant four vedas , but that does not help you to know the feet of Lord. Like butter mixed with milk , Shiva resides in you . Yet you call him Kaalan (I think kaalan means destroyer) - which is not true even in your dreams.


    Regarding Thirumandhiram , I am reading the original text with explanatory notes (both in Tamil) - not the translation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    July 2010
    Location
    The Holy Land - India
    Posts
    2,740
    Rep Power
    5327

    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Namaste,

    To a serious practitioner, mere reading of the scriptures may seem like a meaningless exercise, and in many ways it is. But let us look at the bigger picture. Out of a million Hindus, 5000 may be serious practitioners. Out of those 5000, one or two might make spiritual advancement the sole purpose of their life. Now the two spiritualists may look down upon the other 999,998 as people who don't get it and are wasting their lives by not making spiritual advancement as the sole aim of their lives; but they would not. 995,000 working, marginally attached Hindus create the conditions for the 5000 serious practitioners, by donating money for the temple, by paying the bills for celebration of festivals, by donating time to decorate the temple during festive times, by preparing or donating food for the weekly prasadams and for feasts on religious holidays. And there could be a million other ways they could be supporting the religion. Yet their direct involvement could be limited to once a week reading of the scripture in a group setting or may be not even that. My point is that so many people provide the support needed for a handful of serious practitioners, or a couple of sanyasis. I should not be worried about the level of other people's participation in the religious activities, but be thankful that they are there to support me in my endeavor. I should be happy that even their marginal attachment to Hinduism makes it possible for the mandirs to stay open and lets the mandirs organize celebrations on holy days and provides the safety in numbers. So, I am happy for those Hindus who never visit a mandir, for those who come 3-4 times a year for important festival celebrations, for those who come every week to merely read the scriptures, for those who never enter the mandir but head for the kitchen to do seva. Just by identifying themselves as Hindus and attaching themselves even marginally to the Hindu label, the 995,000 are doing more than their fair share. So, I for one am glad for the ones whose only activity is to read the scriptures.

    Pranam.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    January 2010
    Location
    tadvishno paramam padam
    Age
    33
    Posts
    2,168
    Rep Power
    2536

    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Reading and listening to the recitation of scriptures is part of the Hindu tradition. In the west people put the emphasis on discussion too early even before someone has put in the effort to obtain knowledge. If there is no knowledge there is nothing to discuss and nothing to contemplate. In modern schools it is expected to read something and write a report in your own words. This gives a false sense of producing original work, while in fact it only explodes the amount of redundant reproductions that become available to us in books, magazines and papers. Early in the learning process the emphasis should be put on listening and repeating, a fundamental part of Vedic pedagogy, but severely lacking in modern education.

    Everyone has their svadharma and practices religion according their own capacity. It is not possible for everyone to practice everything. The way a devotee reads or listens to the recitation of a scripture is in itself a form of sadhana and is totally different from the way someone reads or studies an ordinary book or from how a non devotee would read it. If you can only see a bunch of people reading stories to each other, you are missing the spirit their practice. Even if not everything is understood immediately, one becomes immersed in the sacred literature, the same way a child becomes immersed in a language when adults speak it.
    Last edited by Sahasranama; 09 April 2013 at 07:17 AM.

  7. Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Greetings,

    Scriptural reading is a good starting point but as mentioned, it shouldn't be the only means of practicing dharma.

    The dharma isn't exactly found in books, its found in everyday actions. Some people read reams upon reams of scripture and may become very knowledgeable but sometimes they may rarely put that knowledge to use.

    Now, I must be very careful here and sincerely hope someone corrects me if I'm wrong about this story.

    Near the end of the Mahabharata when Yhudishtra becomes king, he goes with his brothers and Krishna to meet Bhisma. Once there, Krishna asks Bhisma to give some advice to Yhudishtra about being a good king but Bhisma says that you (Krishna) have all knowledge, you teach Yhudishtra. Krishna then replies that he does indeed have all knowledge but he lacks experience and that Bhisma's experience as a king is unsurpassed.

    My point is that experience is a massive teacher and, although we should practice according to scriptural injunction, sometimes we need to look 'outside the box', sometimes looking outside our own selves is the only option.

    Another example, telling lies is considered to be 'wrong' but if a lie helps save someones life, does it go against truth? I suppose it is down to circumstantial and situational awareness and might be a reason why there are slight contradictions from time to time in the scriptures. Indeed, there are many contradictions, paradoxes and ironies in life that I could ramble on about for days without end but, this utterly simpleton messenger will save it for another day.


    Hari Om Tat Sat.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    September 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Age
    65
    Posts
    7,191
    Rep Power
    5023

    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Vannakkam: I'm pleased if any Hindu anywhere does anything at all, be it owning a scripture to read occasionally, or a picture and lighting a lamp, or some hatha yoga, or getting a samskara done.

    Anything is far better than nothing.

    Aum Namasivaya

  9. #9
    Join Date
    January 2007
    Location
    duhkhalayam asasvatam
    Posts
    1,448
    Rep Power
    81

    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Pranam

    Sahas is correct as in reading of scriptures, it is seen as a form of devotion. i knew a groups who would meet on saturday solely for purpose of reading Sunderkand of Ramcharitra manas. In fact on Astha channel they air a program just reading of Sunderkand.

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    September 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Age
    65
    Posts
    7,191
    Rep Power
    5023

    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Vannakkam: Yes, I realise this is a form of devotion. The original statement was to do with it being the ONLY thing you do, not a criticism of it per se. Many westerners grab on to one aspect of our faith, such as hatha yoga, or meditation, at the exclusion of all other aspects including temples, scriptures, and more. I'm just pointing out that I prefer a well-rounded approach.

    It was an observation, and certainly wasn't intended to start an argument. But if that's what it becomes, I'll gladly go delete the original post. It wasn't be the first time an observation is seen as a criticism, nor will it be the last.

    Aum Namasivaya

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Should I start reading Rig veda?
    By proudparrot27 in forum Canteen
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 27 February 2013, 04:57 PM
  2. Vichara and Reading
    By randomguy in forum Meditation
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06 December 2010, 09:09 PM
  3. Scriptural proof for ISKCON's views on sex
    By ScottMalaysia in forum Scriptures
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 12 March 2010, 10:44 PM
  4. MANASIKA GURU - SHRI SHIRDI SAI BABA
    By Arvind Sivaraman in forum I am a Hindu
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 16 April 2007, 01:37 AM
  5. Reading does not = comprehension
    By yajvan in forum Feedback
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 19 January 2007, 11:37 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •