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Scriptures Vs Experience.

So, let me begin with a story from Buddhism.

Ananda was the closest disciple of Buddha. For 40 years, he remained with Buddha like a shadow. After Buddha passed away, Buddhists started collecting his teachings and Ananda was the only person who heard all teachings of Buddha. So, they went to him and requested to share Buddha's teachings. Ananda gave them words of Buddha but in beginning of every sentence he added “As I heard from Buddha”. He never said - - "As Buddha told... " or "Buddha meant to say that.....".

First of all, it shows the honesty of Ananda. He was in such authoritative position that whatever he would have said to people, it would have been taken by them AS IS but he didn't misuse that authority. Then it looks similar when he said - “As I heard from Buddha”, or if he had said - "As Buddha told... " or "Buddha meant to say that.....". It looks similar but difference is huge.

As I undrstand, Ananda wanted to say that how could I know what Buddha meant to say? Only Buddha can know what he meant to say but I can only tell you what I heard and understood from his words. So, don’t think that what I am telling you is what Buddha meant to tell.

And this is what today I wanted to write about.

1. I think most people are aware that I don't follow much of the astrological scriptures and my way of astrological teaching or prediction is more on experience of individual rather than the words of any astrological text. If there is a conflict between words of scriptures and experience of person then I will give preference to the experience of person. I won't consider the scriptures in such a case.

2. Now, many may feel I am being disrespectful to the scriptures or words of Sages. Well, not really. I am actually more respectful towards those books than any other person. Now, understand it this way. All of these scriptures were originally written in ancient times in the purest form of Sanskrit Language. Now, 1st of all, I never studied Sanskrit at a good level. I can't even translate Sanskrit words into English, forget about interpreting them.

3. Then it happens with every language that meanings of its words go through a big change with time and place/society they are used in. We can see it even in the languages like Hindi and English. In my experience only, both these languages and their interpretations have gone through a sea change in last 20-25 years only. Many of the words of these languages used in 1990s are now obsolete or have gone through a complete change of meaning with the change of time and society. Needless to say that many words which were considered as decent ones about 30 years back are now abusive or double-meaning words. So, if such a major change can come in interpretation of a language in only 30 years time then can we be sure that the Sanskrit words used some 5000 years ago by Sages haven’t lost their actual meaning for which they were used by them? Can we be sure that even the best Teacher of Sanskrit in the world right now carries the same profound understanding of Sanskrit which was with Sages? If we can’t be sure of these basic things then aren’t we doing a huge mistake by trying to interpret or even translate words of a language about which we have no idea?

4. And basically, do we really have access to the scriptures? All we have is probably the 1000th edition of 5000th interpretation/translation of scriptures. We are trying to interpret an interpretation and we are trying to translate a translation. When original words of scriptures have gone through so many hands from the past, its originality naturally comes under question. It is human nature to add some new/own words in between everything said or written. Even if I am told to convey a simple message to X person, I will end-up in adding some of my own words in that simple message. So, when original words of scriptures have gone through so many translators or interpreters over so many centuries, it is very much a possibility that some words or some interpretations at some time may have been flirted with by any one or many persons.

5. Best example in this matter is The Wicked Bible ( published in 1631. One of the 10 commandments in The Bible is “Thou shall not commit Adultery” but in The Wicked Bible, due to printing mistake, it was published as “Thou shall commit Adultery”. So, if a machine can commit such a mistake then there is every chance of a human mistake when words of scriptures are passing through so many hands for so many years. Also, we can see here that even a single word mistake lead to absurdity in the meaning of whole Bible then we can imagine how change in few words over all these years can change the whole meaning of scripture from useful to useless. 

6. And we can clearly see that human mistake taking place as the versions/editions of astrological scriptures define a planetary position in a particular way but in experience, we can see a completely different result. For example – if you search for Saturn in Libra interpretation in any of these editions of scriptures, you can read some of the excellent interpretations as Saturn is exalted in Libra but in reality, life is not easy even when Saturn is exalted. So, it shows that some big mistakes are made somewhere in between while translating/interpreting these scriptures. Hence, it is better to consider the experience of person rather than words in these edited/translated versions of scriptures.

7. We can understand it from the examples of Law also. We all know that there are certain books which contain the original Acts passed by Parliament and then there are other books which have commentaries on those Acts. Commentaries are interpretation or understanding of Acts by a Lawyer or Judge or any person of some profound legal understanding. But even if commentaries on an Act are made by Chief Justice of Supreme Court, it can’t supersede the validity of Act passed by Parliament. If you want Courts/Judges to hear your case, you have to quote from the original Act rather than commentaries. I hope this analogy makes clear what I am trying to say. First of all, we don’t have the original scriptures written in Sanskrit, then even if we have them then we don’t carry the same understanding as it was with Sages and then the translated/interpreted versions don’t reflect our experiences in life. In such cases, at least I feel that we should give preference to experience of person rather than the words of edited/translated scriptures.

8. Here, another question arises as to why we need so many editions/translations/interpretations of same scripture. Like if X person has interpreted BPHS then why do I need to have my own interpretation or translation of BPHS? Why I can’t use BPHS version of X person? Answer is again in The Ego. We must ask ourselves if Bhagwad Geeta is one then what was the need of 1000+ commentaries on it? Was the message of Geeta or Krishna so difficult that it took 1000+ people to interpret it and then humanity could understand it, if at all we understood it even now. Osho says that Bhagwad Geeta is most read but least understood book of all times. Osho also says that only Krishna can understand Geeta as it has come from him. Even Arjun would have understood it as per his own desires.

So, whenever any scripture is translated or interpreted by any person, basically he is not interpreting the scripture but he is only putting his own words into scripture. All our interpretations are basically our egoistic desires. We wanted that scripture to be understood in a particular way, hence we created our own version. But at the same time, we know that no one will buy our version in market with our name, hence it was necessary to say that “Krishna wanted to say this..” or “Sage Parashara meant that ....”. Interpretation is individual’s but now he is using shoulder of Krishna or Sages to shoot the bullet.

9. Hence, I will always stick with my own or my client’s experiences of life rather than scriptures. As long as scriptures are consistent with experience, I will consider them but the moment experience is something else than scriptures then I would give preference to experience and would consider that translator or interpreter of the scripture committed some mistakes. At least I would never say that Sage wanted to say this or Hrishi wanted to say that. No one knows what anyone wants to say. Only the person who says things can know what he intends to say. Only I know what I meant to say by this article, no one is sitting inside my brain to know it. 

Hope this helps. Please post any comment or query you may have.

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1 Comments on this post

  • Super sir.

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