The Expression of a Higher Consciousness
Many of the current scholars on the Sanskrit texts are from the west. As I read these books I often feel that too many of these writers have no higher ‘consciousness’. What I mean by this is that I do not feel from their writings any sense of a perspective that would come from an experience of some or any enlightenment. The idea that people without wisdom can be considered as experts is of course a symptom of the Kali Yuga.
Base men who have gained a certain amount of learning (without having the virtues necessary for its use) will be esteemed as sages.
From the Vishnu and the Linga Purana
Without this higher ‘consciousness’ there can be no authentic understanding of truth. Truth is not the accumulation of facts and measurement of surface quantities. What we in the west call truth is the so-called historical evidence based on and seen through the current bias of whatever the accepted consensus of such evidence may temporarily be. The ancients understood that truth only has value when it is an expression of useful wisdom.
The real purpose of reading these texts is to gain wisdom and to understand your relationship with the universe you live in. The Mahabharata uses brilliant and enthralling story telling to impart wisdom. The Vedas and the Puranas are there solely to imbue the listener or reader with a feeling for their place in the cosmos.
When interpretations of these texts are left to some academic at say Harvard or Oxford, in my opinion they suffer the delusional veil of the Kali Yuga. Without a feeling for the metaphysical truth which underlies these texts, there can be nothing gained but the usual ego-based western ritual of gathering facts and measuring surfaces – without any understanding of the eternal meaning, the Santana Dharma.
Western writers who are exceptions to this and who in my opinion have real understanding are J.A.B van Buitenen, David Shulman, Boris Marjanovic, Alain Danielou, Rene Guenon, and William C. Chittick. It is obvious to me that these men have actually spent time in contemplation and meditation as their writings reflect not only a knowledge of language, history, culture, etc. – their writings also reflect an inner understanding and their own personal enlightened higher consciousness.
That rare individual who actually understands the ‘truth’ of what they are writing, can open the door and invite you to begin to have your own experiential knowledge.
For the most part I prefer to read books on these subjects written by Indians such as Subhash Kak, B. Bhattacharya, Shyam Ghosh, Dr. K.P. Kesavan Nampoothiri, Pulinbihari Chakravarti, Jaideva Singh, Swami Virupakshananda, Deepti Dutta, and of course the translations of the great Kashmir Shaivite genius Abhinavagupta.
I respect learning and scholarship – but if the current thought paradigms in today’s universities were accurate, then the world would not be in the shape it is now and we would not be facing what many scientists consider to be our own possible extinction. These ivory tower intellectuals develop a vested interest in their theories that become inextricably interwoven with their egos and their tenure. What is happening in academia is the consequence of the Kali Yuga, as our consciousness becomes ever more “cooked by time”.
Krishna to Uddhava:
All things that appear as multiplicity,
Not simply on this earth,
But even those that seem to belong
To the heavenly spheres –
As the objects seen by a dreamer
In a dream.
As Rene Guenon says in “The Reign of Quantity” – these people for the most part no longer possess the ability to perceive anything of a transcendent order. They have no inner vision! In the Kali Yuga we have imprisoned our consciousness in the very limited five senses and thus we are no longer even aware of the Cycles of Time or the numerous, vast, and far more advanced civilizations that existed before modern times - and will again exist throughout all manvantaras.
Translated by Swami Ambikananda Saraswati; 2002, Ulysses Press
The Reign of Quantity
Originally published in French, 1945
Sophia Perennis, 2001, Ghent, NY
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