adding together, being together

Relevance of ancient Indian scriptures: Learning together, the ancient way

"The moment you think you have found the truth, it changes and becomes something else." - Sri M

This beautiful hymn of the Rig Veda is about thinking together.

Sam gachadhvam sam vadadhvam sam vo manamsi janatam |

Deva bhagam yatha purve samjanana upasate ||

Samani va akutih samana hrdayni vah |

Samanamastu vo mano yatha vah susahasati ||

The word ‘sam’, ‘samana’, coming together, similar to the English word ‘sum’, ‘s-u-m’, adding together, being together.

Sam gachadhvam’, may we walk together.

Sam vadadhvam’, may we study together.

Sam vo manamsi janatam’, let us put our minds together and understand.

So, when you say that because it is written in an ancient language, Sanskrit, and comes from the Rig Veda which is 2000 years old, it is old fashioned and, therefore, should be thrown away. Isn’t it as relevant today as it was many thousand years ago?

The moment you think you have found the truth, the truth has changed and become something else.

Now, this is one difference I have with people who unfortunately, in the name of modernity and modern thinking and scientific enquiry, love to throw all tradition aside and say we have nothing to do with tradition, there is nothing in tradition.

I would ask you this simple question. If there were something useful, intelligent, profound, in the ancient traditions, why would you discard it, just because it is a tradition? Does one discard something purely because it is a tradition? Now, if there are traditions that are not suitable for us today, discard them. But there are traditions that are so very valuable and important that you can’t discard them. You can adapt them to suit your circumstances, but you don’t discard them; and when you discard them, it’s like throwing the baby out with the bath water. That’s not intelligent living nor is it rational thinking.

So, we have just reached ‘Upa’; we are just sitting nearer, going closer, edging closer. There’s another deep meaning in saying ‘going closer’. If it applies to the truth, the enquiry for understanding the truth, we must know it is the opinion of the great rishis that truth cannot be grasped; it can only be understood by going as close to it as possible. This means, the moment you think you have found the truth, the truth has changed and become something else.


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