The Topography of Sacred Text

 

Sanskrit sacred text expands from a center of ferociously absurd verse, in concentric circles of increasing sensibility.

The heart of authentic religious text is fundamentally absurd. Much of it can be ignored; but the best of it is precious.

It moves; it moves not. It is far; and it is near. It is inside [all]; and it is outside [all]’ pronounces the Isha Upanishad.

Esoteric religious texts typically began as written down versions of privileged oral teaching.  Upanishad is Rahasya: ‘Secret Transmission’. The core is unsaid and ambiguous; the interpreted periphery, explicit and sensible.

The core texts are Sruti, unfiltered; at the periphery are the Smritis, Slokas and Sastras, the qualifiers and footnotes, the rules and rituals of orthopraxy.

At the peak of Vedic intent, Brahman is Nirguna Brahman (without attributes). As Sahguna Brahman, (with attributes) all names are in absurd phrase: Being-Becoming; Sonant-Silent; Eternal-Temporal; Explicit-Implicit.

Lower still and in increasing familiarity are the Myths, the Epics, the Folk-Tales, the Proverbs, the learned Bon-Mots.

You can drop the bar as low as you like. It is up to you.