Holy Scriptures: A Holistic Perspective – 2
By Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti on 14-08-2014
Holy Scriptures play a uniquely important role in the life of the followers of religions. Nobody knows for sure how they are revealed, if they are revealed. I believe they are written by human beings under some kind of special divine inspiration. They may contain errors depending on the world view and the science prevalent at the time. Certainly Galileo would not have been condemned and imprisoned by religious authorities today for concluding that the earth is round against the prevailing scriptural view of the time. I do not believe that certain sections of the Holy Scriptures are inspired. I do believe, though, that the Holy Scriptures as a whole contain teachings that nourish human spirit, guide faith, and morals. Certain teachings from these scriptures are invaluable in molding character, conscience, and spiritual life, and guiding humanity along the course to it destiny. There are human flaws of lies, deceptions, and trickeries engaged by important scriptural characters of the Old Testament of the Bible, Ramayana, and Mahabharata. To cite a few instances, the great patriarch Abraham, the common ancestor of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, in order to save his life, lied and presented his wife Sarah as his sister who then is taken by the Pharaoh in Egypt to his harem. God intervenes with a plague to save Abraham and Sarah. The great king David, the author of Psalms, in spite of having several hundred concubines and, for that matter, any beautiful woman in his kingdom, causes his general to be killed in order to have is wife whom he coveted. Ram, an Avatar (incarnation) of God, and the hero of Ramayana put his wife, Sita, through a fatal ordeal (agnipariksha) to prove her purity. Not satisfied with that, he, later on to please his subjects, unfairly and mercilessly abandons his pregnant wife who finally in great sadness ended her life by being swallowed by the earth from whose furrow (sita) she came into this world to begin with. Krishna, another Avatar of God, gets Yudhishtira, the embodiment of Dharma (righteousness, morality) to trick Dronacharya, the bakbone of Kauravas' army, to his eventual death. Drona, the greatest teacher of Pandavas and Kauravas, was himself unfair in dealing with Ekalavya and Karna. Bhishma, the greatly reverered ancestor of Kauravas and Pandavas, knowingly sided with evil in the great Mahabharata war.
It may be of interest to note in passing that Koran, coming several hundred years after Christ, combines themes from the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Koran says that the Jews are deserving God's anger; and Christians went astray; both corrupted scriptures given by God; both are losers, and are worthy of hell fire. In the prevaling atmosphere of wide spread fear and violence and lack of feedom and human rights caused by fundamentalist Muslims, it is difficult to make any comment on Mohammed without creating strife and controversies. Yet it is important to have an adequate knowledge of Muhammad to make a fair assessment of Koran. Therefore I recommend a biography of Muhammed: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by Martin Lings. This biography was recommended to me by a physician of Islamic origin from Turkey. It is also important to note that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on June 29, 2014 established a Caliphate with the avowed purpose of establishing Sunni Islam all over the world by killing all other humans including non-Sunni Muslims. ISIS is a terrorist army currently slaughtering Christians in Iraq, who interestingly speak the same language (Aramaic) as Christ did. (To be continued).
About The Author
Dr. John K Thekkedam (Swami Snehananda Jyoti) spent most of his life as a clinical psychologist in USA. He began his public life as a Jesuit priest. Quite attracted in distinct philosophies, he left the society and founded 'East West Awakening'.