Hindu Scriptures and Great Masters: What is their Significance in Accessing the Highest Knowledge?

P. P. Sadguru Shri Shridhar Swami Maharaj Picture

Great Realized Master : Paramahamsa Parvrajakacharya Sadguru Shri Shridhara Swami Maharaj of Varadapura

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you would have come across references to the term “Scriptures and Great Masters” in many of my articles. Naturally, the question arises:

Why are the Scriptures and Great Masters important in gaining the Highest Knowledge?

To answer this question, let us take the route of Reality Fiction, i.e. the spiritual truths are presented in an imaginative story.  OK. Are you ready? Shall we start? Fine. Here we go.

The Story of Somya and Shri Sujnan Giri

Somya was the studying the Vedas with the Realized Master Shri Sujnan Giri. He was an excellent student devoted to his Master. As his name suggested, he was worthy to have Highest Knowledge. So, Shri Sujnan Giri had a special affection on him.

One day, Shri Sujnan Giri mentioned in the class:  “ We must respect our Scriptures and Great Masters to access the Highest Knowledge“.  Somya was intrigued by this statement. He was very curious to know more. So he approached the Master after the class.

Here is the excerpt of his discussion with the Master:

Somya: “Revered Sir!  Hari Om! Namaste!  I would like to know more on the importance Scriptures and Great Masters. Could you please tell me?”

Shri Sujnan Giri: “Hari Om! Namaste, Somya! Sure. In a nutshell:  Scriptures are documentation of spiritual experience. The Great Masters give you that experience!”  

Somya: “Revered Sir, could you please elaborate?”

Shri Sujnan Giri: “OK. Let us take our Vedas as an example. As you already know, they were not written by anybody.  That is why they are called apaurusheya(not authored by human beings). Since they were heard, they are called Shrutis(that which is heard) too.

Our Great Masters(rishis) heard or saw these Vedas in deep meditation.  So, these Masters are called drastraras (seers) of Vedas. Out of compassion, they transmitted the Vedic revelations to their qualified disciples.

The Vedas comprise of mantras, which are nothing but the sound form of the Universal Self.  Since Great Masters are God-realized, they are same as God. There is no difference! Thus, both the Scriptures and Great Masters are nothing but Universal Self.  So, we need to respect them. Got it?”

Somya: “Sir, Now, I am convinced that Scriptures and Great Masters are God. But, why should we respect them?”

Shri Sujnan Giri: “Good question. You started asking like a real scientist! OK. Let me explain with your so called logic and jargon, so that you can understand clearly! :)

By the way, why does water flow spontaneously? It flows because of a favorable difference in height. It only moves from an elevated point to a lower terrain. How does electric current flow? The electrons move from a region of higher potential to a region of lower potential.  You can have more analogies like this.

The Highest Knowledge also follows this fundamental law. The moment we respect, we keep ourselves at a slightly lower position because of our devotion and humility. This causes a favorable difference in two levels(Master and disciple) to enable the spiritual knowledge to flow down to us easily either from the Scriptures or Great Masters.”

Somya: “Gurudev! Fantastic explanation. Thanks!  I have another question. Which is better – studying Scriptures or practicing real yoga with the Grace of a Realized Master?”

Shri Sujnan Giri:  “Both of these go hand in hand. Studying Scriptures is called Swadhyaya and is important. Because, it helps you to understand the fundamental principles of spiritual practice and experiences. The real yoga practice is also crucial since it gives you the experience described in the Scriptures. So, both are complementary and are equally crucial.

The Great Masters play a pivotal role in the entire process by removing our ignorance and by showing the right path to the Highest Knowledge. One more thing. If we are spiritually evolved, we can achieve real yoga by either studying Scriptures or practicing traditional yoga under the supervision of a Guru(Master). For all others, integration of both is necessary for rapid spiritual progress. ”

Somya: “Sir! I understood it clearly now. Scriptures deal with the theory. Traditional yoga and Great Masters together form the experimental part. They are inseparable like Vagartha(word and its meaning)  in a yoga path.  Am I correct?”

Shri Sujnan Giri: “You are absolutely right on, Somya! If you are studying the Scriptures, you can easily grasp them by correlating  with your own experiences in your yoga practice.  Traditional yoga practitioners should study the Scriptures to understand their spiritual experiences during their practice from the correct perspective.

So, both theory and practice are essential to access the Highest Knowledge. Together they form a complete package. They will convince yourself that your own Individual Self is God! This is the real secret you learned today. You are allowed to share this only with qualified individuals.“

Somya: “Revered Sir! Thank you very much for imparting this great knowledge. I will strictly follow your admonition. I will study our Great Scriptures and understand the Truths in my own perspective from my personal experience by practicing real traditional yoga  with your kind Grace and guidance.”

Shri Sujnan Giri:Vatsa(son), My blessings are with you!”

He understood. Thus he understood. Somya saluted his Master and went back with happiness.

Om Namah Shivaya ||

- Kalidas

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