Which is it better the reading of the multitude of scriptures from different schools of Hindu thought whose aim is to show you the way to self realization, Moksha, Brahman, or direct communication with Lord Krishna?
closed as primarily opinion-based by Swami Vishwananda, Sarvabhouma, Pratik Bhat, Suresh Ramaswamy, TheLittleNaruto Aug 7 '18 at 8:47
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By reading scriptures one can not get Moksha. This is a well known conclusion of Hinduism.
Shabda Gyana (which are the scriptures) can not give Moksha. It is the direct perception or the Aparoksha anubhuti that will give.
Here's a verse from Patanjali Yoga Sutras.
shrutanumanaprajnabhyam anyavishayaa vishesharthatvat ||
The knowledge that is gained from testimony and inference is about common objects. That from the Samadhi just mentioned is of a much higher order, being able to penetrate where inference and testimony cannot go.
On this Sutra, Swami Vivekananda's commentary is as follows:
The idea is that we have to get our knowledge of ordinary objects by direct perception, and by inference therefrom, and from testimony of people who are competent. By “people who are competent,” the Yogis always mean the Rishis, or the Seers of the thoughts recorded in the Scriptures—the Vedas. According to them, the only proof of the Scriptures is that they were the testimony of competent persons, yet they say the Scriptures cannot take us to realisation. We can read all the Vedas, and yet will not realise anything, but when we practise their teachings, then we attain to that state which realises what the Scriptures say, which penetrates where reason cannot go, and where the testimony of others cannot avail. This is what is meant by this aphorism, that realisation is real religion, and all the rest is only preparation—hearing lectures, or reading books, or reasoning, is merely preparing the ground; it is not religion. Intellectual assent, and intellectual dissent are not religion. The central idea of the Yogis is that just as we come in direct contact with the objects of the senses, so religion can be directly perceived in a far more intense sense.
Regarding direct communication with Krishna - not sure what does that mean. Arjuna etc used to have direct communication with Krishna but they did not get Moksha.
Krishna is verily Brahman personified. This is stated on the Bhagavatam, verse 1.3.28:
ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ |
kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam |
mṛḍayanti yuge yuge ||
All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead, who incarnates on different planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists.
Here, we need to concentrate on the second line, which says ‘Krsnas tu Bhagavan Svayam’. This means ‘But Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead. So, Brahman is Krishna.
He also says in the Bhagavad Gita:
mām ekaṁ śharaṇaṁ vraja |
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣhayiṣhyāmi mā śhuchaḥ ||
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
So, both, reading scriptures as well as surrendering to Krishna are methods of liberation. But by reading the scriptures to get liberation, one would have to wait a lot of time in Samsara. By just surrendering to Krishna, one can obtain liberation very easily! If done with the purest of love and devotion and doing ones duty, it is possible to achieve Moksha in this very birth! So I would recommend you to follow the second method, ie. to surrender to Krishna.
Scriptures do not lead one to moksha.
They study the Vedas and discuss. But they do not realize the Ultimate Reality just as a spoon does not know the taste of food.
The head carries the flowers, the nose knows the scent. The people study the Vedas. But, very few persons understand the same.
Not knowing the Reality of the self, a fool is infatuated by the sastras. When the goat stands in the shed, the shepherd seeks for it in the well in vain.
The knowledge of the sastras is not competent to destroy the infatuation accruing from worldly affairs.
Having studied the Vedas and realized their essence the wise man should leave all the sastras just as one desiring corn leaves the husk.
Just as one satiated with nectar has no use of food, no one who is in search of Reality has anything to do with the sastras.
One cannot obtain release by reading the Vedas or the sastras. Release comes from experience, not otherwise, O son of Vinata.
[Garuda Purana, Dharma Khanda, Chapter XLIX]