What use are the scriptures to anyone
Who knows not the one source from where they come,
From which everything comes from and everyone abides?
Only those who realize the source as ever present
Within the heart, attain abiding joy.
Shvetashvatara [IV] 8
translated by Eknath Easwarn
Indian Spirituality takes many forms. And for me the lines between them are not entirely clear. Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh are four spiritualities that I have tried to learn about by reading sacred texts. And this is a quote from the Upanishads, a text near and dear to both Hindu and Buddhist. Although this may not be the most appropriate analogy, I understand that Buddhism is to Hinduism somewhat like Christianity is to Judaism. The Vedas are the ancient hymns and verses memorized and used for Hindu practice. The Upanishads, Dhammapada, and Bhagavad Gita are stories and read more like parables. (any scholarly input on this is welcome)
When I first read this passage from the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, I felt my Protestant threads unravelling. Protestant Christians pride themselves on the phrase sola scriptura (from the scriptures alone). We get all of our guidance from God through the Word. I like reading and I have a great relationship with my Bible. It has lots of underlines and earmarks. I enjoyed my Biblical studies in seminary and am proud to say I have memorized some of what I consider to be important cornerstone verses. So to read this passage from the Upanishads, was rather challenging….
And yet I know that when I get stuck in my analytical head and forget the intent behind the words, I close out possibility to really experience the Holiness they point to. Thanks Upanishads. I am so glad that I underlined this passage and earmarked the page.
May you dwell in the consciousness of your Source