Are the scriptures censored to be more palatable or understandable to humans or are they always completely honest? Does scripture have anything to say regarding this?
I do not know if this answers the question.
tasmAdidandro nAmedandro ha vai nAma . tamidandra.n santami.ndra ityAchakShate parokSheNa . parokShapriyA iva hi devAH parokShapriyA iva hi devAH .. 14..
- There is his name Idandra. Indeed Idandra is the name. They speak of him indirectly who is Idandra as Indra. Indeed God (actual translation should be Gods) seems to be fond of speaking indirectly.
As vedas are the word of God (according to some Astika darshanas), the vedas may also be expected to be indirect.
The question is ambiguous. It is not clear who censored the scriptures. I am taking this question to mean whether commentators have left out portions of scripture. The answer is yes. Hindu scriptures are like a trackless forest. The forest contains both sweet edible fruits and poisonous inedible fruits. An example of an inedible fruit type scriptural shloka is given below:
A man allowing himself to be decapitated before the images of the gods Brahma, Hara, Hari and the messenger of the god of death, ascends heaven.
Agni Purana 211.29
The presence of such statements in Hindu scriptures pretty much forces the commentators to use reason to reject literal reading of scripture. Fortunately even scripture supports such position. Hindu scriptures should be used only in matters which can not be understood by human reason. Vedic authority does not extend to matters which can be studied using human intellect. I am posting some quotes that will hopefully make things clear.
Bhishma said in Mahabharata:
Even the words heard from an ignorant person, if in themselves they be fraught with sense, come to be regarded as pious and wise. In days of old, Usanas said unto the Daityas this truth, which should remove all doubts, that scriptures are no scriptures if they cannot stand the test of reason.
Mahabharata Shanti Parva Section CXLII
Acharya Shankara, for example, in his Gita Bhasya 18.66 says:
The appeal to the infallibility of the Vedic injunction is misconceived. The infallibility in question refers only to the unseen forces or apurva, and is admissible only in regards to matters not confined to the sphere of direct perceptions, etc ... Even a hundred statements of sruti to the effect that fire is cold and non-luminous won't prove valid. If it does make such a statement, its import will have to be interpreted differently. Otherwise, validity won't attach to it. Nothing in conflict with the means of valid cognition or with its own statements may be imputed to sruti.
REF: Srimad Bhagavad Gita Bhasya of Sri Sankaracarya translation by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier, p. 629.
Yoga Vasistha II.18 says:
yuktiyuktamupādeyaṃ vacanaṃ bālakādapi | anyattṛṇamiva tyājyamapyuktaṃ padmajanmanā || 3 ||
The remark of a child is to be accepted, if it is in accordance with reason; but the remark of even Brahma Himself, the creator of the world is to be rejected like a piece of straw if it does not accord with reason.
REF: Vasistha's Yoga translated by Swami Venkatesananda, p 35.
Sri Vachaspati Mishra, another Advaita Vedanta philosopher, says,
Na hy āgamāḥ sahasram api ghaṭam paṭayitum īṣate (Bhāmatī, Introduction)
A thousand scriptures cannot make a jar into a cloth.
REF: Quoted by S. Radhakrishnan in his book, Indian Philosophy, Volume 2.