Scripture Gist

Scriptures - Inspiration for Moral and Spiritual Growth

Scriptures from various religions, cultures can be great source of moral and spiritual succor for humanity, provided we focus 
only those ideas which are broad, all- inclusive, non-violent and free from bigotry. A modern human being may wonder as to 
why should he/she be concerned about a bunch of texts primarily developed in ancient times due to lack of rational inquiry and 
for controlling ignorant masses! Such a view derives mainly from the 'Science Vs Religion' divide in Western materialistic societies, 
and which unfortunately, seems to dominate all other societies and cultures. Dominance of Western powers on many countries in 
last 3-4 centuries caused this view to percolate almost globally. The 'Science Vs Religion' divide may have been relevant, even necessary, 
for the unchaining of 'Western spirituality' from the chains of organized religious institutes; but when we look at the hoary tradition of 
Eastern Religions, we find that this divide had almost no basis and meaning in Eastern cultures. 

In India, during Vedic period and in later developments, all knowledge was sacred. Knowledge of 'inner man' was Religion while knowledge of 'outer world' was Science, e.g.  science of physics of things is called 'भौतिक शास्त्र (bhautika śāstra)' while science of spirituality is called 'अध्यात्म शास्त्र (adhyātma śāstra)' or 'ब्रह्मविद्या (brahmavidyā)'.  In Mundaka Upanishad we see:

                                      द्वे विद्ये वेदितव्ये इति ह स्म

                                                 यद् ब्रह्मविदो वदन्ति परा चैवापरा च॥
                  (The knowers of the Brahman declare that there are two kinds of knowledge worthy to be known, namely, 
                                                                       the Higher [Para] and the lower [Apara] )

And in India, all phenomenon, the domain which science observes and deduces its conclusions, was always understood to be manifestation of 
Noumea - the  Infinite Pure Consciousness-Bliss Reality. All nature, as well as all beings were regarded as manifestations of
the Infinite substance; Infinite Reality expressing as manifold names and forms, as time and space is phenomenon. This Reality, Truth or God 
was the domain of Religion and its expression was science. Swami Vivekananda's definition of Science can be understood from this highest and broadest perspective:
'... In reality, the metaphysical and the physical universe are one, and the name of this One is Brahman... 
... the variations that the One has undergone, the different sorts of species and individuality It is assuming - that can be understood, 
and the enquiry into this is called Science.' 
He also says:
 'Science and religion are both attempts to help us out of the bondage; only religion is the more ancient, and we have the superstition that it is the more holy. In a way it is, because it makes morality a vital point, and science does not.'

Thus not only religious study is rational and scientific but also necessary for moral, ethical development of individual and society. 

In following pages we present notes taken while undergoing such study.  May the reader derive spiritual benefit out of it.

                                                                    *********** ॥ ॐ तत् सत् ॥**********

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