This question is in my mind because of my lack of clarity between the role of a guru and the role of self-study in gaining an understanding of the reality of existence, which in my evaluation is what Hinduism is about. I would characterise the aim of such efforts as being able to distinguish between nitya and anitya that is to develop viveka. From my explorations so far, I have learnt that understanding the written material is not a substitute for being able to recite the verses in Sanskrit; the sound and the meaning associated with it have significance to put it briefly.

What prior knowledge would I need to be accepted by a guru knowledgeable on the language and the appropriate study path, and for instance the various ways of chanting the Vedas? Would my overall sense of appeal of the ideas from the Vedas and beyond I have encountered so far qualify me to be accepted by a guru to tutor me further from the level I am at?

This is broadly the matter I’m seeking engagement on, and do let me know if you would like me to clarify anything.

  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Is it worth learning the Vedas in the absence of a Guru? Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 13:36
  • @SwiftPushkar To some extent yes, and even this. However the body of my questions also refers to prior knowledge and being qualified. I'm aware of the significance of the upanayana ceremony and have been initiated, so is there anything else I should be aware of?
    – Sachin
    Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 13:51
  • Anyway the other thing is you are asking three distinct questions in your post. 1) Role of self-study 2) Prerequisites for acceptance by Guru and 3) Whether your current state will qualify you to be accepted by Guru. It's recommend to limit your question to Swa-Adhaya of vedas. After completion of study of vedas under guru in gurukula , students who wished to remain unmarried were doing self study (contemplation) on knowledge of the vedas for rest of the life , but only after completing formal edu. from gurukula not before that. Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 14:12
  • Yes I have asked three questions here. (1) could be said to distinct, but (2) and (3) to me appear related. Alright, thank you for the information on Swa-Adhaya; much appreciated 👍
    – Sachin
    Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 14:39


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