Next date: To be announced.
Vedanta is the most revered, most highly held knowledge.
On personal level its most misunderstood too.
Broadly speaking, every teachings that aids to understanding of oneness of everything is vedanta, be it coming from film, poetry, books,teachings,lecture and offcourse primarly the Upanisads.
If understood properly, there can be no knowledge, which satisfies self, silences mind, giving lasting peace as Vedanta.
If not understood properly, people can confuse themselves up and keep feeling pain born out of conflict in the mind.
As per my observations,for most of the people, Vedanta has become an instrument of conflict instead of giving lasting peace.
Cause is simple. People do “pick up” bytes of teachings from here and there.
Due to vast reverence Vedanta commands, the concept of oneness is not limited to religious studies. It has permeated to art, cinema, literature, novels, charlatans, ecology and other fields of humanity.
We haphazardly ‘pick up’ so many tenets of Vedanta from these sources. From here and there and sometimes ‘nowhere’. Good enough.
But, most of the time, these bytes of information don’t match each other, making us confused. We are not able to process information that is coming from so many differnt sources with different prospectives. Its called not making Sangati- not making connection. Result is we get confused.
After that one may conclude that Subject is ‘too deep and complex’ for us. That is not justice done.
As happens with any branch of knowledge like literature or science, some prior knowledge is required to go into the depth and even ask a question. Similarly, Vedanta requires, some prior knowledge of subject in order to even make an enquiry. Otherwise we may get entangled in questions that are already answered, or confusions that are not even there.
For example, based on his ‘knowledge’ of physics, someone may keeps wondering for years-
“How come apple fall on head of Einstein, when there was no garden around him?”
With what so ever effort and thinking hard, he can’t find an answer. All that one would suggest him is to systemically study, so to know that it was Newton on whose head apple fell.
As with any subject, some time and effort of systematic study is required to get familiar with it. For example, if we want to pursue science, we can’t fully depend upon discovery channel and sci-fi movies. We need to study some real science.
Similarly we need to give some time and effort in systematic study of vedanta, besides films, novel’s, art, literature etc.
When I say, “some time”, I don’t mean years of study. Practically speaking, about 100 hour of study of subject will suffice, to at least get “familiar” with subject matter. Any good short text in category of Prakarana Granth- a type of text covering most of the topics of Vedanta, will do great. After that, one would be able to make enquiry and contemplation in right direction. This will help us recognize and appreciate Vedanta in films,arts, literature too.
But this little time and effort is required. And the effort is worth taking. So many confusions and conflicts, that keep torturing us, born due to no-information or mis-information will simply vanish. It gives you information to process. One becomes more settled.
We should make an effort to spend some time in systematic study of basic tenets, before we start inquiry, contemplation and meditation.
[This is general recommendation. There have been illeterate people who did nothing drastic, yet got Vedanta well. But as we know, exception is not the rule.]