Why Are Our Scriptures Difficult To Understand?

Vedic Scriptures

by Jayaram V

Notes: I have translated the Bhagavadgita twice. The first one was a loose translation. The second one was a word to word translation with a detailed commentary. The commentary is however different from what you will find here. In this section I will share with you my thoughts about the knowledge, philosophy and wisdom of the Bhagavadgita as I understand it from my perspective. Jayaram V


Hinduism does not make things easier for you. It offers you a complex set of solutions, and demands a serious effort on your part to find your way through a maze of confusing options and alternatives to ascertain truth.

According to the scriptures, the world is an illusion and those who live here are deluded beings. They have to be challenged and forced to wake up from their ignorance and find truth. Hence, you have a million gods and a million approaches.

Take for example our temples. You can see the same attitude being reflected in the way they were constructed in ancient times. Most of them were built in the most inaccessible places, and it was for a reason. To reach them and see the gods enshrined in them, devotees have to climb all the way to the top, or they have to cross fierce rivers, or travel through dangerous forests, risking their own lives.

The same goes for our scriptures. Most of them are difficult to understand and do not make sense unless you read them several times, learn about them from others, or read them along with a commentary written by an expert.

The reasons are not difficult to fathom. Firstly, the verses are in Sanskrit and secondly, you need to understand the background of each concept and doctrine, before you can understand their true meaning and hidden symbolism. Thirdly, they were written long time ago and we might have lost the original meaning of some of the words and expressions. Hence, for each scripture we need a commentary and explanation.

This often leads to the impression that Hinduism makes things difficult for its followers and creates a lot of confusion. It is true some extent. However, to understand any scripture in Hinduism, you have to elevate your consciousness and make an effort and this process in itself is a blessing because it is transformative.

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