HOLY SCRIPTURES: A Holistic Perspective – 4
By Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti on 25-09-2014
Ramayana, one of the two Hindu epics, depicting human values, ideal relationships, and righteous living (dharma) is ascribed to sage Valmiki. Valmiki was a highway robber known as Ratnakar who took care of his family by killing and robbing people. Once when he was about to rob sage Narada, he was asked if his family also had part in his crime/sin as he was doing it also for his family. He found out that his family had nothing to do with his crimes even though they enjoyed the fruits of his criminal activity. That opened his eyes. He spent years in meditation so much so a big ant-hill (valmikam in Sanskrit) grew around him. Thus Ratnakar became the enlightened sage Valmiki, the reported author of Ramayana. Mahabharata, that contains the most influential book of Hindu scriptures, Bhagavadgita, is attributed to sage Vyasan, the grandfather of Kauravas and Pandavas. Vyasan is also reported to be the author of Vedas. Rama, the hero of Ramayana, is the creation of Valmiki. Krishna in Mahabharata is the creation of Vyasan. Ramayana and Mahabharata contain the teachings of Rama and Krishna, the two most important Avatars (incarnations) of God. Upanishads and Bhagavadgita may be considered to be the most important Hindu scriptures. While all scriptures may contain inspirational material that nourishes the soul and the spirit, the New Testament of the Bible, Upanishads, Bhagavadgita, the core Buddhist teaching, and the Socratic method keep me firmly grounded in the spirit, and provide me all I need for a great spiritual, righteous (moral), and human and humane living. Of all the Christian, Hindu, and Muslim scriptures, the New Testament of the Bible that contains the teachings of Christ, apart from Christianity as a religion, has a unique inspiration and place for me among all the scriptures from a definite historical and time-line perspective.
I strongly believe that God gave humans all that is necessary to live a purposeful and fulfilling life right from the beginning. God in and through creation continually communicates with humans. Nobody including the first parents can thwart that plan. We do not know if Adam and Eve were historical persons. Even if they were, it is very difficult to believe that they could pass their sin to their descendants. It is difficult to believe in God's direct interventions in the Old Testament. It is also difficult to believe in the God of the Old Testament. Christ in the New Testament does not make any reference to the role Adam and Eve played in the history of salvation. What we have are interpretations including those of his disciples and followers. The God of Christ whom he calls Abba (Father) is infinitely compassionate, loving, caring, and forgiving. Christ came to proclaim the Kingdom of God and give abundant life to humanity. His teaching certainly succeeded in giving a clear direction to humanity. Humanity is taking its own time to gradually arrive at its destiny. Some special human beings, be they prophets or sages, help make the course corrections humanity needs on account of their awareness. There is, for instance, greater awareness of equality and human rights now than ever before. Monarchies, dictatorships, capitalism, communism, and consumerism have not served humanity well. Only enlightened democracy that meets the basic needs of all, that is devoid of corruption and discriminations, and that is grounded in spirit-life and a solid value system can bring humanity to its destiny. (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'.