The point of scriptural study is not to prove our point, but to improve our viewpoint

We frequently think that our understanding of things is the correct understanding. When we study scripture, this mentality often makes us presume that our understanding of scripture is the right understanding. Consequently, we consciously or subconsciously highlight points that prove our point and downplay points to the contrary.

Pertinently, scripture doesn’t speak in one voice to all people. It offers a multi-level understanding of truth and the path towards truth to accommodate people according to their level of spiritual evolution. That’s why to find a particular section of scripture resonate with us is not surprising – it’s natural and desirable. This resonance will help us rise from wherever we presently are. But to extrapolate from that individual resonance that there’s nothing else of importance in scripture is unwarranted and undesirable. The Gita (02.42) illustrates such an erroneous extrapolation with religious materialists, who hold that scriptural promises of heavenly material pleasures coming from pious religiosity are its most important section.

To find a particular section of scripture resonate with us is not surprising – it’s natural and desirable.

Considering that we usually don’t consciously intend to study scripture for proving our point, how can we go beyond our viewpoint of scripture to its conclusion?

By learning scripture from great souls who have realized the truth, as the Gita (04.34) recommends. Such guided study will place our viewpoint in a coherent context and proper progression. We will see how scripture steadily steers seekers towards its self-stated summit, Krishna, as declared in the Gita (15.15). To reassure us that this is indeed scripture’s last word, the Gita towards its end (18.66) categorically calls upon us to give up all other religious processes and just lovingly surrender to Krishna.

As our viewpoint broadens and deepens, our focus in scriptural study will rise till it resonates with Krishna, thereby propelling us towards life’s supreme destination.

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