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Thread: When scriptural reading dominates

  1. #11
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    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Namaste EM,

    There is no need to delete anything. That is a valid observation, but since it was made and brought to the forum, people expressed their views.

    Sure reading to the total exclusion of anything else will do the readers little good, but some of us are destined to stay at the lowest levels in terms of actually practicing the religion in this lifetime. That is unfortunate, but karmic reactions have put us there.

    As an analogy, students learn to read and write early on. Some finish high school and get a menial job and the only reading/writing they do is sending and receiving emails or texting on their cell phones. Others combine that reading/writing skill with their other talents and become college educated to have professional careers , others might become writers/philosophers/researchers. So, the basic reading/writing skill may or may not get honed per one's karmic ultimate station in life. Some may even drop out of school early or be in a rural area where there is no one to teach them, or parents may make them work from an early age just to stay alive and there would be no time for schooling. Along those lines, there are different categories of people engaged in spiritual endeavor.

    Thank you for bringing this topic for discussion, but I would not look at it with a critical eye. The mere readers are doing their sadhana at their level, which is perhaps less than what may be required for any understanding of the scriptural text and applying it to real life for advancement. But that is their destiny for this life. So, read on people, and be good story tellers to propagate the message/traditions. Keep Hinduism alive with whatever little contribution you can make.....

    Pranam.

    Easterly Express, welcome to the forum.
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  2. #12
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    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Spiritual development is a long drawn process lasting many lives. I do not really see anything wrong with the reading of scriptures part; of course, it is one of the steps to climb the ladder that will lead to the next. There are immense spiritual benefits to be had from the mere repetition of scriptural texts, though the repetition should be done with involvement.

    Unless you have personal yogic experiences, you have to fall back on the testimony of others to beleive or practice anything supernatural. Scriptures serve that purpose very well and are an essential part of religion.
    Guard your Dharma, Burn the Myth, Promote the Truth, Crush the superstition.

  3. #13

    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Quote Originally Posted by Sudarshan View Post
    Spiritual development is a long drawn process lasting many lives. I do not really see anything wrong with the reading of scriptures part; of course, it is one of the steps to climb the ladder that will lead to the next. There are immense spiritual benefits to be had from the mere repetition of scriptural texts, though the repetition should be done with involvement.
    While most commentators write single bhashyas on the Brahma Sutras, Madhva is different for he wrote four commentaries. One of them is the Anu Bhashya, a short text, written on the request of some of his disciples who desired to chant the commentary. It had to be short enough, so they could chant it in a reasonable amount of time.

    Recitiation/Chanting without discussion is a long standing practice and many believe it comes with its own merits. To each his own.
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  4. #14
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    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Namaste

    I seem to recall visiting a temple (I think it was near Delhi) where, while there were images and art of Ram, Sita, Hanuman found, the main sanctum had only the Ramayana (by Tulsi Das) on the “altar” and was worshipped.

    In other words, as a sign of devotion, the very “book” called the Ramayana was worshipped!

    I cannot recall seeing anything similar to this for other Vedic, Hindic, SD scripture. Has anyone else ever observed such?

    In general, I have been at sessions which only read scripture but these always had commentary by a teacher as part of the session. I think this has immense value, of course this is different from simply reading the religious text out loud as part of a devotional (or even Bhakti) exercise (e.g. the very words alone being spoken or heard having power and reading of such expressing devotion).

    Personally, Hinduism is an Experience, Alive, MOVING for me. So it must include the temple(s), the associations with devotees, all of it. I could never be aligned properly if all it was were sitting on the floor reading a sacred text with commentary here and there, as the exclusive worship.

    Om Namah Sivaya

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    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Quote Originally Posted by ShivaFan View Post

    I cannot recall seeing anything similar to this for other Vedic, Hindic, SD scripture. Has anyone else ever observed such?
    Vannakkam: I think Sikh's do something similar, but I could be wrong. Many religions put some emphasis on the physicality of a book being holy.

    I prefer books that look worn out, as its an indicator that the owner has read it many times. The priests at temples, when they have to bring a book, because its a rare puja, have those. I discussed it with one priest, and he said that if the book isn't all old and worn, it's like you're not even a priest.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam: I think Sikh's do something similar, but I could be wrong. Many religions put some emphasis on the physicality of a book being holy.

    I prefer books that look worn out, as its an indicator that the owner has read it many times. The priests at temples, when they have to bring a book, because its a rare puja, have those. I discussed it with one priest, and he said that if the book isn't all old and worn, it's like you're not even a priest.

    Aum Namasivaya

    Namaste

    That's funny almost, but so true! And, it seems almost second nature to humans, if it is old and worn, then it has great value to the human - sort of like "First Edition" gets the big money at auctions!

    But like you say, it shows that someone has been reading it.

    I have the same nature, if it's old and worn (book, with Hinduism as the subject) I hold it in my hands and almost want to worship it myself! Of course - that always depends on the author and the intent of the book!

    In India, there is no question in my mind, some great scripture has been lost to "white ants" (termites!). There is evidence proving this is what happened in some cases - though these are more obscure scriptures which were not memorized as were the most popular scripture. In some cases, these "lost scriptures" now are sorely missed which put into best context a life of a Saint or mystic, events at that time, the holy message of the book!

    Book burning is another story. The Library at Alexandria is another story of lost texts including those from India, sacred and scientific.

    But nature eats everything, just as Bhairava Eats Sin at the border of the "first realm" of Kashi (Varanasi). Termites. Termites.

    Jai to the Kotwal Bhairava of Kashi - once you enter and give your "token" to the Police Magistrate of the Eternal City Lord Kalabhairava, even the sin of killing a Brahmin is cast away and you begin again. In this oldest of Cities, there are sacred texts hidden away, protected from the termites and the "sword of Islam".

    Om Namah Sivaya

  7. #17
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    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Pranam EM ji

    I second what Believer ji said, there can never be a fault in observation, what followed from it was the information, i don't think anyone here is arguing at least i was not.
    one can go on the merit of just reciting because of the spiritual sound vibration.

    your observation is not without merit either, Kabir Doha says;

    Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye
    Dhai Aakhar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye

    Reading books where everyone died, none became anymore wise
    One who reads the word of Love, only becomes wise

    i don't think the literal translation do the justice but you can get the gist of it.

    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.

  8. Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    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

    There is no need to do delete the original post, I think you raise a very good point about having a well rounded approach. Sometimes following just one aspect of a religion can lead to closed-mindedness, intolerance and passivity depending on the person involved.

    Many people can read scripture, its what you do with it and how you conduct yourself in everyday life that matters.


    Hari Om Tat Sat.

  9. #19
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    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Namaste,

    There are nine processes for devotional service. Remembering Him by reading His word - scriptures - is one of them; and listening to His name being remembered through recitation of scriptures is another one. So people involved in reading/hearing the scriptures are engaged in two of the 9 activities recommended for devotion.

    If I must be judgemental and comment on other people's devotional activities, I would start with the glass being empty rather than with the glass being full. A person who calls himself Hindu and does not do a darn thing in terms of actually practicing any aspect of it is okay by me. So, people reading and listening to the scriptures are much higher than him as they are already two ninth of the way there.

    Not sure if everyone can be expected to be 'well rounded'. What is needed is a change in our perspective and not in the effort of devotional service, or lack thereof on the part of others.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 12 April 2013 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Thanks to Ganeshprasad, corrected the number of paths of devotion to 9

  10. #20
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    Re: When scriptural reading dominates

    Pranam


    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Namaste,

    There are ten ways for devotional service. ----
    Pranam.

    Sorry, I have heard of 9 Navdha Bhakti 10 is new to me.

    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.

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