We have another reader question by Subhash
In modern days I’ve seen people who teach people to have their own philosophy and rules and not to follow the ancient texts. They call them outdated and they are nothing but some random texts that teach the people of barbaric age how to live.
There are some concepts like ‘Brahmacharya’, ‘caste system’, ‘no pre-marital sex’ or ‘sex is a taboo’ et cetera. Are these concepts universal and applicable to all set of people? Or are these topics outdated? Or people call them outdated just because they can’t follow them?
I generally follow the philosophy of ISKCON, reading books of Srila Prabhupada and visiting temples on occasions. Should I follow the system which our spiritual master passed to us or should I also consider them outdated and live my life the way I wanted?
What is true? What is your opinion on this topic? Please share some of your thoughts with us.
No wonder, people will call these principles outdated since we are living in the age of “Kali”. We are living in an age when virtues have lost their significance. We are living in an age where everything is corrupt and polluted. We are living in an age when Money has become a measuring scale of success, a piece of paper certifies someone as “learned” and “Dharma” and “righteousness” has lost its meaning.
Should you follow the vedic system? Probably No.
You should not follow something just because it is written in a book or some guy writes a blog post about it. No. Don’t. Following something just because it is written somewhere is nothing but a leap of blind faith.
But wait. You do it often, don’t you? You have been there and doing that for ages.
You read all the text books in school and believed all of it as truth, isn’t it? You have read lot of papers in your college and by default you have mugged up whatever was taught (without understanding and without validating any of that). You read all the news websites and believe whatever is propagated as “Truth”.
Here is the thing. People will try not to believe something when that belief goes against their lifestyle or pushes them outside their comfort zone. An alcoholic person will tell you not to believe the Vedas because it goes against his principle of drinking alcohol. A person who smokes and eats meat everyday will choose not to follow vedic principles. It is natural for people to not believe something because the core set of beliefs goes against their lifestyle and behaviour.
Unless their is execution, there is no value behind Ideation. You read the Vedas but if you do not execute it in your life, there is no value of reading it. Read, execute and only then you will understand what is being preached.
Most people don’t want to execute the principles taught in the scriptures. They are trapped. They do not want to get rid of their habits and are comfortable the way they are. It is just a choice they have made and they want to live that way, that does not mean something is outdated or something doesn’t work.
Should you follow the system? It depends on your level of understanding and application. If you don’t know what “Brahmacharya” is and the benefits of “Brahmacharya”, your choice of following or not following is purely driven by “Instinct”, not knowledge.
So let’s say you decide to drive a car in the opposite direction of a one way lane. You see all the cars coming towards you and you wonder why everyone is staring at you. This is an awareness problem and unless you know that you have entered a one way lane and need to correct yourself, you will always be in the wrong path.
That doesn’t mean the path is wrong. The path is there where it is supposed to be. You are the problem. You have a lesser degree of awareness and you find it easy to certify that there is no value in following vedic principles. That is just what you think (you can think anything). That does not mean there is no value in the scriptures. What is means is that you have a lesser degree of awareness and you are not getting the point.
Nobody is telling you to follow a prescribed path. It is up-to you and your level of knowledge and understanding. There are millions of fools in this planet who think they are wise. Again, it is just their thought, that does not necessarily mean they are wise in real life.
Once you read a scripture and apply the principles in your life, you will observe some differences. You will observe differences in your thought, lifestyle, your mental peace, happiness – everything will be affected. If you notice a positive change in these attributes, it means that your awareness has improved. Your consciousness is slowly awakening, which will make you a better person in the long run. If you notice a positive change in your life and thoughts, you should follow it. If you do not notice any change and cannot relate to the principles over and over again, probably you should stray away and live the life you are living. Do not force something on you just because it is written in a scripture.
There is no Truth. Truth is not what it seems, what is written and what is followed. Truth is subjective. The pursuit of “Truth” is a never ending chase since through the pursuit, you try to validate something based on your own perspective (which is subjective) and not objective. What is true to you could be false to someone else. What is true to you today, could become a faulty principle 10 years later. You can never pinpoint “Truth”.
You should not follow the system just because it is a “system” or it is written somewhere. You should follow it only when you see positive change in your life and can relate to the principle. That way, your action is not based on instinct alone but knowledge. Following or not following something just based on mental instinct is a foolish act.