Sunday, November 30, 2014

What If Books Had Never Come Into Existence?

I have just returned from a very interesting convention on the Upanishads here in Rishikesh. There were some eminent scholars speaking on the subject, each with his own point of view and his own particular way of explaining the importance of this fundamental Hindu spiritual text. I have recently taken an interest in the ancient texts of the Rishis as I, too, believe that in them, an important key can be found to open yet another door that will lead me further down this path that I have chosen; a torch to lighten the way through the darkness of my self-inflicted blindness. 
While I found all of the speakers to be quite erudite and eloquent, I couldn’t help but take note that all of them repeatedly and steadfastly stated that to find moksha, i.e., enlightenment, the words in the Upanishads held the answer. Now, I am not here to challenge that thought nor can I uphold it as resolutely as the learned scholars did this morning however, a question has been echoing inside my mind since returning home: 

What if there had never been any books? What if the written word had never existed? No Gita, no Bible, no Upanishad, no Koran nor Torah? Would humankind still not have the same questions? Wouldn’t we still have the same problems and doubts? And would we be more willing to search inside ourselves instead of flipping through pages of another’s experience? And, I ask myself: how would my life differ? Would I be any closer to knowing who I am?