A Random Study of Four Scriptural Texts

The Scheme

In what follows, we present in series a random study of four Scriptures: Rg. Veda, A Buddhist’s Bible, The Judaeo-Christian Bible and the Qur’an. The plan is to ultimately present the study in a book of volume about 200 pages. Now, since a book of 200 pages with text from four sources could only allot 50 pages to each, calculations led us to believe that for a suitable letter size, we could only present roughly 8.3% of the textual material from every book. These two parameters led us to a formula of selection applicable to all, yet retain the random condition.

Accordingly, every Scripture was divided into 50 parts and at its every 50th part enough material was taken to justify its 8.3% representation. The same formula was applied to every other Book.  For example, The Buddhist’s Bible contains some 600 pages whose 8.3% works out to 50 pages. Therefore, at every twelfth page, we picked up a page. Thus we have 600 divided by 12 = 50 pages, which is our required 8.3% of the book.

A similar formula was applied to every Scripture. Now, in this system the Qur’an suffered a disadvantage. It happens to be the smallest of Books and therefore, its exposure would be the least. But there was no way helping it out since a single formula had to be applied to all.

The Choice of Books

Hindu Scriptures are many. But the most important and the oldest are the four Vedas. And, according to Vedic scholars, the most prominent among them is the Rig Veda. As for Buddhist literature, there was none left by Buddha himself. Several texts have been compiled later with none winning consensus of his followers. But, recently, a Book has been compiled which draws the best material from most of the several. Hence we chose this work. As regards the Judaeo-Christian material, the Old and the New Testaments are considered the most important. We have combined the two (the Torah and the Gospels), and picked up verses following the formula stated above.

Selections

This present selection is from the start of each Scripture. Later selections will follow the formula and state page or chapter numbers. We shall also present later, Allah willing, full references of the Scriptures, with details of their publishers.

The Rig Veda

I glorify Agni, the high priest of the sacrifice, the divine, the ministrant, who presents the oblation (to the gods), and is the possessor of great wealth.

May that Agni who is to be celebrated by both ancient and modern sages conduct the gods hither.

Through Agni the worshipper obtains that affluence which increases day by day, which is the source of fame and the multiplier of mankind.

Agni, the unobstructed sacrifice of which you are on every side the protector, assuredly reaches the gods.

May Agni, the presenter of oblations, the attainer of knowledge, he who is true, renowned, and divine, come hither with the gods.

Whatever good you may, Agni, bestow upon the giver (of the oblation), that verily, Angiras shall revert to you.

We approach you, Agni, with reverential homage in our thoughts, daily, both morning and evening.

You, the radiant, the protector of sacrifices, the constant illuminator of truth, increasing in your own dwelling.

Agni, be to us easy  of access, as is a father to his son; be ever present with us for our good.

Vayu, pleasant to behold, approach: these libations are prepared for you drink of them; hear our invocation.

Vayu, your praisers praise you with holy praises having poured out the Soma juice, and knowing the (fit) season.

Vayu, your approving speech comes to the giver (of the libation), and to many (others who invite you) to drink of

The Buddhist Bible

The Perfect One, Brothers, the holy One, the Fully Enlightened One, at Isipatana in the deer-park at Benares, has established the Supreme Kingdom of Truth, which none can overthrow – neither ascetic nor priest, nor heavenly being, nor evil spirit, nor god, nor any one whosoever in all the world, – by proclaiming, pointing out, making known, establishing, unveiling, explaining and making evident the Four Noble Truths.

What are these Four Noble Truths? They are the Noble Truth of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering, and the Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the Extinction of Suffering.

And the Blessed One said: As long, Disciples, as the absolutely true knowledge and insight as regards these Four Noble Truths was not quite clear in me, so long was I not sure whether I had won to that supreme Enlightenment which is unsurpassed in all the world with its heavenly beings, evil spirits and gods, amongst all the hosts of ascetics and priests, heavenly beings and men. But as soon as the absolutely true knowledge and insights as regards these Four Noble Truths had become perfectly clear in me, there arose in me the assurance that I had won to that supreme Enlightenment unsurpassed.

And I discovered that profound truth, so difficult to perceive.

The Bible

1.  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.                                            

3.  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4.  And God saw the light,that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5.  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6.  And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7.  And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8.  And God called the firmament Heaven.  And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9.  And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10.  And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

11.  And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind,

The Qur’an

[1] All praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

[2] The Compassionate, the Merciful.

[3] Lord of the Day of Judgment.

[4] You alone do we worship, and Your help alone do we seek.

[5] Guide us unto the straight path.

[6] The path of those You favored,

[7] Not of those who earned Your anger, nor of those who lost the way.

***

[1] Alif. Laam. Meem.

[2] This is the Book wherein is no doubt: (a source of) Guidance for the God-fearing.

[3] Those, who believe in the unknown. establish the Prayers, and spend of what We have given them.