The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: srkudai on March 24, 2009, 01:53:24 PM

Title: Study Scriptures or Practice...
Post by: srkudai on March 24, 2009, 01:53:24 PM
A relative once told me: "What is the use of reading lot of scriptures? Even if you practice a little bit of it, that is enough"
Typical gandhi style of speaking :). What he really means is : Suppose a scripture teaches "do not tell a lie"... what is the use of reading it again and again; better practice it.

This is a fortunately not true.
Suppose the scriptures contain just this: "do not lie"
then, yes. What he says is right.
But scriptures, especially Sankara's system of teaching... do not just say this.
They explain in detailed the reason why one should not lie. the problems with telling lies is explained in great detailed. This way, the person learns why not to lie. once he knows why not to lie ... he need not be told do not lie. he wont lie, coz he knows the problems involved.

its like telling a patient why he should take a medicine and explaining the problems in not taking it. when the problems in not talking are explained and properly understood he automatically takes the medicine ... he need not be told to take the medicine any more.

Same with spirituality also... The teaching is not just a set of instructions ... its a whole step by step method to show a vision. i see something ... that is the reason behind my chosing a lifestyle ... if i can show the same vision to someone else, he too will be able to chose a lifestyle according to his taste.

The teaching which says "do not lie" is incomplete.
The true teaching is that which clearly makes one see why one should not lie.

This is our scriptures.
So if one is not able to live it up ... study more. how else will he be able to live it ?

Title: Re: Study Scriptures or Practice...
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 24, 2009, 02:37:44 PM
Dear srkudai,

Yes.  But Bhagavan Ramana says in Who am I?:  "Since the ultimate
aim of all books is Mano-nigraha, there is no use in READING LIMITLESSLY.  The Self is within Panchakosas.  How to  try to trace It
from books?  One has to unlearn all that one has read!"

I am following this.  A few years back, I was reading with an
intentional goal of 2000 pages every week.  Remember, I was
attending office.  Now I have restricted to a few Advaita works,
Bhagavan Ramana's works and poems of Saiva Siddhanta, apart
from daily newspaper.  I have drastically reduced buying books.
Even this, I believe, shall get further reduced in due course.

David Godman has said:  Who am I? is alone  adequate for a true Sadhaka.  But he has himself throughly read Muruganar's works
and written beautiful books on Guru Vachaka Kovai and Padamalai.
Robert Butler has written on Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam.  Michael
James has written on Sri Sadhu Om's commentaries on works of
Bhagavan Ramana. No one can compare Bhagavan Ramana, who
had read only a few poems of Tayumanavar, a little of Bible and
Periya Puranam and nothing else, in pre-Arunachala days.  All
His readings later were restricted for the sake explaining to  others.  He has Hiimself said:  "Perhaps, all the readings were over in my
previous births."       

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Study Scriptures or Practice...
Post by: Nagaraj on March 24, 2009, 05:00:31 PM
Really speaking, there is no fixed answer at all.

Why do we study? To know the unknown,
What do we practice? To experience the unknown,

What is the difference between study and practice? To know and to experience is one and the same. Both end up in Chitta itself or Mind Stuff.

To me, I feel, we need not and its not necessary to segregate Studying and Practicing for both are one and the same.

When I read 'Who am I' book and when I am practicing 'Who am I' enquiry - In both cases I am knowing and studying. I am experiencing and studying at the same time. More specifically in Jnana Marga there is absolutely no difference between both.

Just like how we just don't do things blindly, i.e. as we read we think about it intellectually which is a practice by itself.

The best resort is probably just to leave it as it is. i.e. not to have any opinions at all and just keep doing what we feel is right.

In 'who am I' enquiry as well, the mind keeps going outward thinking about these, I keep forgetting and the Chitta always goes outwards. We must put a seal and remember who is it that is doing the study or practice or enquiry. Who Who Who...??? should alone be the Moola Mantra or enquiry!

But These are all tricky... we cant say anything... what ever is bound to happen is going to happen! Absolutely nothing in our hand. Best course is to remain silent and wait

Title: Re: Study Scriptures or Practice...
Post by: Nagaraj on March 24, 2009, 05:06:51 PM
Dear Udai,

I read in one of your old post about your meeting with Swami Suddhanandha which goes like this:

Q: Is intellectual understanding enough or do we need to practice?
A: With Self... understanding is practicing. if someone is not able to practice, it means he has not understood it.

I feel, there is no difference between both. So we need not worry of practicing alone is needed or studying alone is needed or both are needed.

One is the other as well!

Title: Re: Study Scriptures or Practice...
Post by: silentgreen on March 24, 2009, 09:21:57 PM
Much depends on the attitude of the reader and the nature of the scriptures:
- Scriptures often fill the absence (at least partially) of a living Guru
- Reading scriptures often act as a guided meditation
- Many people who read the "Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna" felt that they were sitting before Sri Ramakrishna in a satsang and the Master was speaking those words.

However sometimes reading too much may lead to a state like a hapless python who devouring a stag could neither move nor vomit it out...
In that case it is best to remain silent...(and allow nature to take its course).

Om Shanti ...