How to approach an ancient scripture

When we read an ancient scripture, such as the Vedas, the Gita or Upanishads, the way we approach the scripture is important to achieve the best value for the progress of our self and that of humanity. The key points are:

1. There is a Truth one and eternal from which all other truths are derived. This one and eternal Truth cannot be shut in a single formula, process, book or person.

2. This one and eternal Truth expresses itself through the mind of man. Therefore it has two aspects. One is temporary, perishable and belonging to the ideas of the period and country where it was created. The second aspect is eternal, imperishable and applicable in all ages and countries.

3. The actual form of expression of the truth-customs, rituals, etc as time goes on, cease to have the same force. What is of permanent value is what is universal and what has been lived and experienced beyond the mind.

4. We have to seek from the scripture the actual living truths and see how that can help us and the world to progress spiritually.

5. If we do that, then we shall make progress towards our highest spiritual welfare.

-inspired from Essays on the Gita by Sri Aurobindo

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