Monday, May 4, 2009

The point of using scriptures.

Many visitors to this blog have often asked us, what is the need to use scriptures to understand things.

This post is meant to answer that.

Well, I do feel that is waste of human intellect, that he needs to be taught morals by someone and not learn them on his own through life experiences or follow some ideals due to personal foresight into matters of life.

On the other hand, religious scriptures are a set of codes penned down thousands of years ago. That something written so long ago should be used in today's life is another insult on human intellect. It obviously implies that mankind is not capable of thinking, that a fear of a powerful sentient being should be instilled in him to do what is good and stall from what is bad.

The objective of the blog thus seems to promote a religious theocracy.

However, that is not our intention. Most religious scriptures contain basic behavioral concepts, for example promoting a modest living, to abstain from lust, anger and greed, so on and so forth. It would be useful if the scriptures are used to generate a common concept of a good, desirable life and all the attributes necessary for it. They should be used to generate ideas of an ideal society. It is then unto us to protect it by all means, even if that means breaking the rules of Dharma for a while, for the ultimate purpose of Dharma should be the betterment and welfare of humanity in its entirety. With the focus on the goal, we should remain free from deciding the means to achieve it. And these means are decided upon by the time which we are living in, not by scriptures. Cultures world over that use the scriptures to decide the means, would stagnate.

Though started from a point of generating strength for Karmasura's personal problems, this is the new intention of the blog. To be.. among countless others out there, the ones to understand the scriptures, and use them for the welfare and upbringing of humanity.

As said in Chapter 2: 46

यवन अर्थ उदपाने
सर्वतः सम्प्लुतोदके
तवं सर्वेषु वेदेसू
ब्रह्मनास्य विजानतः |
"All purposes served by a small well can at once be served by a great reservoir of water. Similarly, all the purposes of the Vedas can be served to one who knows the purpose behind them."

Although I've not read the Vedas, the purpose of the blog should be the same as that.


Dirt Digger said...

Very poignant and important thoughts. However there is a larger issue here. Why are scriptures like the Vedas and the Gita not given relevance?
The English education system which is the bedrock of most education systems works under the simple belief that the Western civilization is the best and all others preceding it were pagans or barbarians.
Hence it relegates those events to chapters in history and is unable to distill thoughts from the scriptures.
Thus it places emphasis on reinventing the wheel based on current socio economic circumstances when such events were already handled in years past.

Gandaragolaka said...

Simply put, you need to create a market for any kind of thing.

The west has successfully created a market for capitalism, western thinking, and Bible.

Unless we show there is 'need to understand the scriptures', they will not listen to you. Everything boils down to how scriptures make our everyday life better (and how do you define better?).

But how do you do that?

Karmasura said...

@ Gandar and digger..

The best way to show that there is a need to understand the scriptures,.. and scriptures with good thoughts for that matter.. is to put them into practice.

We must be able to influence at least one society from the ones prevalent all through the world to put this into practice.. and achieve success (physical and spiritual) through it.

Then perhaps the world might see our point. It is my intuition that there are many people who are willing to give up western style of thinking.. they just need to be showed what other alternative we have for them.

As far as a better life is concerned.. mankind's tryst with vices (greed, lust, etc.. ) will continue and overall life would remain the same in any system. What could improve life to some extent is a system that would have lesser harassment from the top of the power pyramid and a system that is less corrupt. Lessening of the influences of mankind's natural tendencies could be a way of how moral lessons derived from scriptures improve our lifestyle.

Dirt Digger said...

Let me ask you two a basic question, what would you define as a scripture?
Is Ramayan a scripture or are the Upanishads scriptures? Define the boundaries first, then you can target the content.

Kalidas said...

@ Digger.. scriptures were used as in whatever books religion holds dear.. This includes all the holy books of all faiths..

The meaning implied was 1 a. in the following link.

Gandaragolaka said...

well... that makes it even more vague-- what books are valuable for Hinduism? Who decides that? Is Hinduism a religion?

Kalidas said...

@ Gandar,

Well Hindus might be free to refer to any book they like, most of us would revere the Vedas, Gita, Upanishads, Puranas and so on.. perhaps due to upbringing, or due to personal experience, or due to the need to develop an identity

Although this sentiment might be getting diluted, it would not be difficult to conclude from a survey that these ancient books are still valuable.

Kalidas said...

About whether or not it is a religion, well.. answers would change from person to person..

As for me, I would like to define it as a religion in order to offer its followers a concrete ground to define themselves, establish a set of core values to defend over eons.. so as to preserve itself from dangers.