MISCELLANEOUS

Need for faith in scriptural texts

CHENNAI NOV. 11 . Manu, the law-giver, has said that no matter how old one is, he should not cease to learn. A person may get the doubt, "I am aged. There is no occasion for me to utilise in this life what I had learnt. Should I then strive merely to end up straining myself? Is it not much better for me to take rest happily instead." To this Manu has replied: Knowledge should be acquired by the wise, with dedication, though they may be old. Though such study may not yield any fruit now, it will be easier to acquire it in another birth." In a future life, being born as a human being, there will be opportunity to gain knowledge. If mental impressions of the past learning are there the mind will instantaneously grasp what is now taught. Based on this theory, scriptural texts say that efforts made in previous births to acquire knowledge play a vital role in determining the ease with which we assimilate it now.

This we can infer from seeing the intellectual attainment of a sage. Such a saintly luminary will first tell us about the need to have faith in our scriptural injunctions and in the words of advice tendered by them. The Sastras have declared that we should not lead a life devoid of purificatory rites (Samskaras) which when performed according to rules and with faith, will surely fetch good results. The prescribed procedures ought to be followed. "What if they are not strictly adhered to so long as I do them somehow", one may ask. Take for example the case of an applicant for a job, who is required to give details only in a particular form; he should abide by them, otherwise his name will not be considered. Likewise if specifications for a rite, laid down in the Vedas are transgressed no merit will accrue. If we carry out all the Vedic instructions with a spiritual attitude, our actions are bound to purify us and fetch fruits and widen our outlook

On the occasion of the Jayanthi of Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Swami, previous head of the Sringeri Math, some of his sayings were outlined by the present pontiff, Sri Bharathi Theertha Swami, in his lecture. Lack of peace constantly torments us like a flame, but the very sight of such saints will totally eradicate discomposure and generate great mental tranquillity and if an opportunity arises to converse with Godly souls it will result in immense benefit. The former used to urge disciples to know about our religious traditions and conduct our lives accordingly.

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