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Are age old scriptures practical today? – Part 3

Daily benefits of scriptures

While driving through the crowded streets of Mumbai, I may witness a man hurl abuses at another. Under normal situations, I’d instantly judge a person who shouts at another, as violent, angry or unreasonable. A culture of a study of ancient writings, however, helps one hone his sixth sense; as a result, I may pause and see a deeper meaning in the situation-probably the one shouting, in this incident, is a victim, rather than an aggressor. Or it may remind me of a different episode where someone in pain blasted at a friend, and the lessons it taught me. Or, I may empathize with another’s distress or realize a solution for my cause of anger. My intelligence expands, and wisdom grows when I connect to scriptures; I discover my own ‘practical’ solutions.

Then, the three ‘Keys’ or five ‘Secrets’ or acronyms of ‘easy’ steps that the internet is flooded with don’t matter to me. I have my methods to cope with my challenges posed by my restless mind. That’s why the words of Idries Shah, renowned Indian born Sufi author, and teacher, rings so true, “Enlightenment must come little by little-otherwise it would overwhelm.” 

The magic of verses

Eknath was a great saint of Maharashtra in Western India. He arranged his daughter to marry a pious man who unfortunately fell into badassociation. Every night, the young man left home mysteriously and returned in the wee hours. The concerned wife approached her father for help who promptly called for his son-in-law, and asked him a favor. “My daughter is a fool, and you are a learned man. Please read just two verses of the Bhagavad Gita every night before you leave for your rendezvous.” The young man obliged the sage. As he read daily for her, gradually the words transformed his heart; his conscience awakened; his clarity and determination grew stronger; and one night, he let go his late-night fetishes for good, and stayed home with his loving wife. 

Harish, a friend, and monk in our ashram shared how reflective reading of Srimad Bhagavatam helped him:    

“I have a habit of memorizing ancient Sanskrit verses from the scriptures. When I connect to the sound and enter the meaning of the words slowly and gently, I can sometimes feel it’s different from singing an ordinary song. The meaning of these texts bathes my mind, nourishes my intelligence, and blesses my soul. I have often found answers to my questions or an uncanny idea or concept for my lectures springs forth, from a plane of existence that’s not the conventional analytical thinking. It’s ‘given’ to me; I can see I didn’t ‘achieve’ it. That’s when the study makes sense to me. It gives me joy and keeps me humble and grounded.”

To be continued…

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