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Friday, March 10, 2017

oral vs aural tradition

Is is said western religions primarily spread through oral dissemination. In other words, through story telling. People inspired by the stories converted to the respective religions. This is how the religions spread primarily in the western hemisphere and gradually to the east.

The Vedic tradition also has an oral component as there were no written books back then. However, the stress is not oral but aural reception. In other words, the student through attentive hearing, questioning and active service of the instructions realizes the truth from within. Aural reception invokes in the student a sense of higher knowledge followed by humble service followed by transcendental realizations.

While oral tradition is more focused on telling a story, aural reception is more focused on enlightenment of the self, story telling is secondary. Sentiments and inspirations form the core value of oral tradition whereas humility, austerity and self-realization form the core value of aural reception. Oral is externally focused versus aural is internally focused.

East or west, in plain words, without aural reception, mere oral tradition becomes another form of story telling, a sort of cultural and religious entertainment!

Hare Krishna

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