Is there any online database or on paper of all the vedic scriptures intact for instant access?

by Chaitanya Charan dasJune 18, 2013

Answer Podcast

Edited By: Shyam p

Question: Is there any on-line database or paper of all the Vedic scriptures intact for instant access?

Answer: We cannot access Vedic scriptures just by clicking some buttons in a computer and going to some sites.  The Vedic scriptures are not just texts; they are revealed knowledge that is understood only by reception from proper sources. The Vedic scriptures are state specific. State specific means that if we are in the lower modes, we will see them accordingly; they will reveal themselves accordingly.

It is said even Brahma, when he first heard the Vedic message, he thought the conclusion of the Vedic message is Karma Kanda; the second time when he heard it, he thought it was Jnana. First, he thought it was frutive activity which means do religious activities to get the enjoyment in this world; second, he thought it was cultivation of philosophical knowledge. And then, when he heard for the third time, he understood that the conclusion is Bhakti.

So, even a person with the intelligence of Brahma and with the mastery over Sanskrit that Brahma has, even he took time to understand the Vedic scriptures; then, what to speak of us? So that’s why we can look on the net for references which are required, but the idea that by instant access we can understand when we can look at the scriptures is not a scripturally recommended idea.

Krishna says to Arjuna that you can understand what I am telling you because you are a devotee;so actually,if you want an instant access to the scripture, the way is not an instant access to a compilation of an on-line database, but it is the cultivation of devotion. Devotion is what gives instant access for us to God and to His wisdom as is revealed in the scriptures. And there are some sites on the Internet, which do give Vedic scriptures.

The Gaudiya Granta Mandir gives a compilation of most of the Gaudiya literature. There are Hindu scriptures, which give many of the Hindu scriptures. Then there are sacred texts which gives sacred texts from all over the world. So now the problem with this is two fold. Some of these have the original book only in Sanskrit and unless we have a really solid mastery over Sanskrit it will be difficult for us to understand what those scriptures are telling, to understand them precisely. And on the other hand, if these books give translation, then often the translations are done by people with their own agendas.

Often, they are done by academic scholars who begin with the idea that these books are just like other ordinary books, that they are not revealed texts. And their approach is clinical and critical. It is not devotional or spiritual. Because of that non-devotional approach they often miss out on the devotional essence of those scriptures. That’s why the scriptures tell us that we should understand the scriptures in Parampara. And in Parampara, there are four Sampradayas – In this Kaliyuga, it is described that Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Yugavatara and he will be spreading the Yugadharma of chanting the holy names and Srila Prabhupada will actually fulfil that prophecy, so Srila Prabhupada’s books are the most recommended way by which we can access the Vedic wisdom.

Srila Prabhupada’s books are available to us at vedabase.com as well as vedabase.net and actually,his books also contain the Sanskrit word-to-word translation, the English transliteration,the sentence and the purports. So vedabase.com, vedabase.net, prabhupadavani.org are all sites where we can get Prabhupada’s presentations, Prabhupada’s books in full with the Sanskrit or Prabhupada’s books compiled together thematically for gaining clear understanding.  At least in ourinitial stages of spiritual life we need to go systematically.

The Vedic scriptures are omniform. Omniform means they have multiple levels of knowledge within them and unless we are careful, we will not understand what level is relevant for us. Sometimes, the example is given that the Vedic scriptures are like an unabridged dictionary and the scriptures of other Abrahamic & other religions are like a pocket dictionary. This is not just a self-aggrandizing example -it’s a fact.

The Vedic scriptures are so comprehensive that they are like an unabridged dictionary, but using an unabridged dictionary is also a challenge because sometimes the same word can have multiple meanings, some meanings of the same word can be opposite. So unless a person is well versed in the use of the English language, itself, that person will find it difficult to know which is the meaning that applies to the particular context.

That’s why one has to be careful while reading the unabridged dictionary and one needs some guidance and training. Then, one can use it properly. That’s why the Vedic scriptures themselves tell us that we need to go through Guru – Sadhu -Shastra to approach the Vedic scriptures.  That’s why we should start the initial years of our spiritual life by focusing on Srila Prabhupada’s books and then gradually, as we get rooted in the proper understanding, we will see the multi-level spirituality that the Vedic scriptures are offering. Then we will be able to understand which statements and which books fall at what level of the hierarchy and then we will be able to see the synthesis, the symphony, the symbiosis of the Vedic wisdom.

Thank you.

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Chaitanya Charan das
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