Thanks a lot Raja for clarification on Pujas/Rituals.
In one of your older posts, you have mentioned that one should learn Vedas from a Guru/under the guidance of a Guru. If i want to learn Vedas, What are the dos and don'ts or rules and regulations to learn Vedas? I AM I REALLY ELIGIBLE to learn them? If yes, Can't you not teach us over Skype or GotoMeeting? It's hard to find a sophisticated Guru these days. Or If Time does not permit you then please provide us the contact information of any people or Spiritual Gurus who can teach us Vedas. I stay in Hyderabad, I have no clue who teach Vedas here? I would highly apprecite if you can provide us the details of any Spiritual Guru or Organization who can teach us Vedas here in Hyderabad. Thanks for your great service to mankind. God Bless...
Anyone who can complete graduate course in any reputed university can study Vedas. However, one need to be in the top 10% of the class to understand the message given in Vedas. There are absolutely no rules/regulations/ rituals. For graduating you need to study systematically and consistently. The same thing applies to studying Vedas too. More on this is given below my signature.
Whether you are eligible or not is to be decided by you. No one else can make that judgment for you. You declare yourself that you are eligible and start studying.... If you are not eligible you will drop out automatically. It is like dropping out after school final without proceeding to graduation. You will get the benefit of completing the schooling. Vedas are meant for ALL people. Whichever stage you drop out (if you are really not eligible) you will be benefited with the knowledge gained thus far. If you are fully qualified, you will reach the ultimate goal of your life. This is possible only if you study Vedas. No other college course can take you anywhere closer to your ultimate goal.
Gurus are there everywhere. Only problem is that people are looking for someone with halo around the head. You may please post a new PRIVATE question to me and I will give the contact information.
Study of Vedanta is very similar to completing a post graduate study in a reputed university. It is difficult if one does not put in the required effort. It is easy if one follows the basic rule: Consistent and Systematic study of Vedanta under the guidance of a competent live guru for a length of time.
Let me explain the significance of each word/phrase.
Vedanta: Upanishads and any reputed works based on Upanishads. (There are countless books and most of them are compiled at http://www.celextel.org/
Study of Vedanta: The teacher formulates the syllabus, selecting a number of books from this huge set. For example I prescribe Bhagavad Gita, Jeeva Yatra, Sadhana Panchakam and Panchadashi in that order. The selection will vary depending on the exposure of the student to Vedanta.
Consistent: One must spend time on the study regularly. It is preferable to spend one hour a day. One hour per week is the absolute minimum. If one is spending time on the study 'as and when he/she finds time', it is not consistent. It is ok to take a break from the study for a specific pre-fixed duration. For example, in an university a student may not take any classes during summer. However, he/she consistently spend the time on the studies for the rest of the year. Similarly, one should continuously spend time on the study of Vedanta. If one takes an indefinite break lasting more than a week frequently, then the study is NOT consistent.
Systematic : From the first verse/page of the book till the end. It is not systematic to read any chapter/section of the book randomly. Also one should start with Bhagavad gita and then graduate to advanced books like Panchadashi.
Length of time: It is not possible to complete the study in a few months even if the student spends 8 hours a day on the study. It takes atleast a year or more.
Guru: Guru is the one who actually teaches the subject like any teacher/professor in a school/university. Those who are giving blessings and those who have powers to do miracles are not called gurus UNLESS they actually teach Vedanta systematically.
Guidance: A guru can teach more than one student at a time. But he should be available for private one-to-one interaction for clarification of doubts by a student. Since each student is different, this one-to-one guidance is essential.
Live guru: It is not possible to complete the study by reading books independently. Dead people can not teach.
Competent Guru: A competent guru is one who has studied under a guru. The guru must have studied vedanta systematically and consistently for a length of time. There are few enlightened people who have gained enlightenment without a guru. These people are NOT competent gurus. Since they did not go through the systematic study they may not know the difficulties faced by the student.
The guru-student-guru tradition is very important. A competent guru is one who has come in such a tradition. The first guru is God.