Re: Scripture is final authority,We cannot act as we please.
Namaste EM Ji,
Originally Posted by Eastern Mind
This issue was raised some millennia ago,what do if there are contradicting statements?The Sages answered that if there are two statements that appear as contradicting with each other in the Vedas then both are acceptable.Why does it appear that there is a contradiction?I remember reading about this in Sri Adi Shankaracharya's works.He said,"For example,if the Veda said "Fire is cool",this statement appears strange to a common man,so he says,"Fire is hot and saying that its cool is a false statement".But Srimad Acharya said that the wise know that the Veda is not trying to contradict the heat producing nature of ordinary fire but instead it is expressing some other hidden/different concept.
You will encounter similar exceptional verses in the Tirumantiram and they become clear when we know the underlying mystical meaning and thus the supposed contradiction is resolved.
We are not atheists,we have accepted the scriptures as source of wisdom,therefore we should not rely on our own intuition but we should benefit by taking guidance from the scriptures.
or to our own intuition, and then decide which scriptural of the ones in conflict we want to adhere to.
either to a teacher in our own lineage
The Guru simply follows the the lineage,the lineage is nothing but set of traditions that are being practiced since ancient times.So any Guru has to observe what is being observed by the lineage from the starting.No scope for deviation.And when there are two statements,obviously we follow that one which is being followed by the lineage.
The scriptures give broad guidelines and deeper guidelines,for example a Grihasta,a Sanyasi and a Kshatriya are given different advices in the scriptures.The regulations for a Sanyasin are quite different from that meant for householders,similarly,the rules imposed on a Brahmana are different than duties of a Vaishya.When one knows in which position he/she is,these questions are answered.A Sanyasin may use a TV for seeing Dharma lectures but not for other things.His life is more regulated as he is expected to spend time in pursuit of Moksha whereas a farmer is not expected to spend the whole day on religious activities.
2) When scripture says nothing at all about the problem we are having ... We live in a modern era, and just as an example, our scriptures say nothing at all about computers, use of the internet, how much TV to watch ... again, I feel we have to go to elders, to Gurus, or deep within our own intuition to find answers.
There are certain things which must be done daily,for example, a Brahmana has to attend daily to the sacrificial fires and do certain types of everyday Sadhanas at specific times and once he has successfully completed the daily stipulated religious activities,he/she may invest time in other pursuits.The scriptures encourage simple lifestyle,I don't think they want us to surround ourselves with counterproductive objects/activities.
I think this might have been discussed somewhere in the scriptures about how much time to spend on miscellaneous stuff.Alternatively,as you said we can take advice of learned Guru,elders or make wise choices without going against the scriptures.
Extremely rare scenarios may demand that a person should rely directly on conscience.Yet,it is always better to rely on scriptures.Even then one must not do anything thing that the learned ones would point out as wrong action.
I also feel that if a soul has lived dharmically for a long time, and has discovered that their own intuitive sense (conscience) generally agrees with scripture, then it's most likely okay to rely directly on conscience. This method is only a slippery slope if the person already has a pattern of adharmic behaviour by finding excuses etc.
The Sringeri Shankaracharya narrated some incidents in his discourses.He said that some people approached him and said that in modern period it is not easy to practice Dharma and requested him to write a new Dharma Samhita for 21st century.The Acharya said that Sri Adi Shankara did not install Chaturaamnaaya Peetas(four institutions in four directions) to create new Dharmas for every century but to guide & encourage people to follow the scriptures as they were.He said that not only now but even in the past people came to previous Shankaracharyas and asked them to change things but the Acharyas refused and they told people to follow as much Dharma as they can without making mistakes.
He said to those who asked for new Dharmic codes that,"If you give excuses saying that we are not able to practise this existing Dharma then how can you say that you will follow a new Dharma Samhita which you expect me to write?One can fool others but one cannot cheat oneself,those who are sincere and have faith in the wisdom of the ancient Rishis will never stray away from the Vedic path" .
Sri Jagadguru MahaSwami also repeated that Dharma is already well defined,it doesn't vary with time.
P.S.The Sringeri Sri Shankaracharya gives discourses in Sanskrit,Kannada,Tamil,Telugu and Hindi.There are many excellent Anugraha Bhashanams of the Jagadguru online in English & videos in youtube in the above 5 languages.
Last edited by Ram11; 19 July 2015 at 01:52 PM.
He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.