: THE Enlightened

30-01-2007, 08:05 PM
The Enlightened

An Essay on the Importance of Reading

At the foot of mountain Gambo Utse in Lhasa, Tibet, the majestic Drepung monastery appeared from afar like a heap of rice with its great golden rooftops and white and maroon construction decorated after Buddhist tradition. With every rising sun, hundreds of young monks dressed in scarlet robes would flock to the Sutra Hall, which rises on 183 pillars and holds fine and vivid statues of Buddha and colorful and flowery murals, to recite the scriptures. This practice would last till midday since the whole idea behind reciting the Sutra was not to finish too soon and engage the disciples in attentiveness.
One day, a young novice after finishing the daily ritual of Sutra reading, approached his master and asked him What is the use of reading the scriptures everyday when I do not understand their meaning? His master looked at him with a small smile on his face and answered him saying Just keep reading, and youll understand.
The young scholar though not convinced with his masters words, continued to observe and recite the scriptures everyday. As days and nights alternated and months and years accumulated, the young student became a monk and slowly began to realize the importance of the routine his master had set him to do as a pupil.
One afternoon, as he was reciting from the Diamond Sutra, the monk came to a phrase that said Let the mind arise without dwelling on anything. he had repeated this sentence a million times and never got its meaning, suddenly something flashed in his mind and he began to think seriously about it. He spent all night pondering its meanings and in the next day he decided to pay a visit to his old retired master.
The next morning, the monk met his aged master to tell him of the discoveries he had made. Wise master he said, I have finally realized the value of your advice. The monk continued to explain to his master about the three major benefits behind reading and reciting everyday. First, by reading we are able to illuminate the mind, since before reading the mind is empty and dark, and devoid of knowledge and thoughts. Reading helps us make out the nature of our minds, consequently this affects our behavior and how we use words to express ourselves and shape our personalities. Second, reading a lot helps us understand the meaning behind texts, for when you dwell enough on one word or one sentence or one paragraph, the mind is able to reflect back on the meaning and reach conclusions unstated or unclear ideas at first. Third, reading is a practice that not only benefits the mind but the soul as well, for when we read in solitude we leave the time and place we exist in and the soul expands as the mind is fixated on the dark lines of a page.
A big smile drew on the wise masters face and he said to his pupil, now that youve told me the benefits of reading you have indeed added to your list the fact that reading not only benefits the reader but the listener as well. Still continued the master you are far from compiling all the merits of practicing reading daily for with every rising sun a word is born with a new meaning and new benefit, so go now and feed your thought till the sun descends and let then your soul fly to the heavens and bring you back in the morning more insight.

30-01-2007, 10:09 PM
Dear Shereen,
Actually, this is what axactly happened to me. First I used to read the Qur'an and understand nothing !! .. "Thamud, Israel, yam = sea, and many other words of people, places, and things." I thought am reading jibbrish. By time, I found myself knowing more things, especially after listening to interpretations, reading religious books, and disputing with religious people.
I remember my first time reading the Quran and how I used to spell words as if I am a KG 2 student. Now, after about 4 years of reading the Quran I discovered that the letters and words I used to read at the beginning are in fact more than words and letters. They are what made the Islamic civilization. They are what made the great Muslim philosophers and thinkers like Alghazali, Alkindi, Ibn Sina .. and many others, whom played a great role in shaping modern Europe or western civilization.
I wonder what is future hiding for me ? !!


01-02-2007, 06:46 PM
The Quran as you said opens new doors to ideas and thoughts that add to one's previous collection and not only that but it improves the reading of other material so the more we read it the more capacity we have for overall comprehension and till now scholars debate its profound meanings and one only hopes that he reaches such levels of advanced knowledge by God's grace