A Random Study of Scriptural Texts

The Rig Veda

6. When, Indra, you had smitten with my thunderbolt the cheek of the wide-extended Vrtra, who, having obstructed the waters reposed in the region above the firmament, your fame spread afar, your prowess was renowned.
7. The hymns, Indra, that glorify you, attain unto you, as rivulets (flow into) a lake. Tvasta has augmented your appropriate vigour; he has sharpened your bolt with overpowering might.
8. Indra, perform of holy acts, desirous of going to man, you with your steeds have slain Vrtra (have set free) the waters, have taken in your hands your thunderbolt of iron, and have made the sun visible in the sky.
9. Through fear (of Vrtra, they, the worshippers), recited the suitable hymn of the Brhat (Sama), self-illuminating, strength-bestowing, and ascending to heaven; on which his allies, (the Maruts), combating for men, (guardians) of heaven, and vivifiers of mankind anumated Indra (to destroy him).
10. The strong heaven was rent asunder with fear at the clamour of that Ahi, when you, Indra, was inspirited by (drinking) the effused (Soma juice), and your thunderbolt in its vigour struck off the head of Vrtra, the obstructor of heaven and earth.
11. Although, Indra, the earth were of tenfold (its extent), and men multiplied every day, yet, Maghavan, your prowess would be equally renowned; exploits achieved by your might would be spread abroad with the heavens.
12. Firm-minded Indra, abiding (secure) in your strength beyond the limits of the wide-expanding firmament, your have framed the earth of our preservation; you have been the type of vigour; you have encompassed the firmament and the sky as far as to the heaven.
13. You are the type of the extended earth you are the lord of vast god-frequent (Svarga) verily with your bulk your fillest all the firmament of a truth, there is none other such as you.
14. You, Indra, of whom heaven and earth have not attained the amplitude; of whom the waters of heaven have not reached the limit; of whom, when warring with excited animation against the withholder of the rains, (his adversaries have not equaled the prowess); you alone have made everything else, (than yourself), dependent (upon you).
15. The Maruts worshipped you in this (encounter); all the gods in this engagement initated you in exultation, when you had struck the face of Vrtra with your angular and fatal (bolt).

[Rig. Veda: Tr. By H.H Wilson and Bhasya of Sayancarya, Parimal Pub. Delhi, Pages 135-137]

The Buddhist Bible

 But how does the disciple dwell in the contemplation of the body? There the disciple retires to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to a solitary place, sits himself down, with legs crossed, body erect, and with attentiveness fixed before him.

With attentive mind he breathes in, with attentive mind he breathes out.  When making a long inhalation, he knows: I make a long inhalation; when making a long exhalation, he knows, I make a long exhalation.  When making a short inhalation, he knows: I make a short inhalation.  When making a short exhalation, he knows: I make a short exhalation. Clearly perceiving the entire (breath-) body, I will breathe out: thus he trains himself. Calming this bodily function, (kaya-sankhara), I will breathe in: thus he trains himself; calming this bodily function, I will breathe out: thus he trains himself.

Thus, he dwells in the contemplation of the body, either with regard to his own person, or to other persons, or to both.  He beholds, how the body arises; beholds how it passes away; beholds the arising and passing away of the body; he holds the arising and passing away of the body.  A body is there – this clear consciousness is present in him, because of his knowledge and mindfulness, and he lives independent, unattached to anything in the world.  Thus does the disciple dwell in contemplation of the body.

(D.22) And further, while going, standing, sitting or lying down, the disciple understands (according to reality the expressions): I go; I stand; I sit; I lie down; he understands any position of the body. And further, the disciple is clearly conscious in his going and coming; clearly conscious in looking forward and backward; clearly conscious in bending and stretching (any part of his body); clearly conscious in eating, drinking, chewing and tasting; clearly conscious in discharging excrement and urine; clearly conscious in walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep and awakening; clearly conscious in speaking and in keeping silent.

And further, the disciple contemplates this body from the sole of the foot upward, and from the top of the hair downward, with a skin stretched over it, and filled with manifold impurities: This body consists of hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, bowels, stomach, and excrement; of bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, lymph, tears, serum, spittle, nasal mucus, oil of the joints, and urine.

(A Buddist’s Bible: Ed. By Dwight Goddard, Beacon Press Boston, Pages, 48-50]

The Christian Bible

8: 12.And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
13. And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.
14. And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.
15. And God spake unto Noah, saying,
16. Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
17. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.
18. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him:
19. Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
20. And Noah builded up an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.
22. While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

9: 1. AND God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
2. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
3. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
4. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
5. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. (Exodus ch. 8: 12-22 and ch. 9: 1-5)

The Qur’an

[249] When Talut set forth with his troops he told them, `Verily, Allah is going to test you at the stream. Whoever drank from it is not of me. But he who doesn’t partake (at all) of it is of me, except for him who will take a sip out of his hand.’ But, they drank from it (their fill) save for a handful of them. When he had crossed it along with those who had believed in him, those (who were weak of faith) began to say, `We have no strength this day (to hold out) against Jalut and his forces.’ But those who believed that they would meet their Lord exclaimed: `How many a small band (have not) overcame a big band, with the help of Allah? And Allah is with the Patient (and the persevering).’

[250] Accordingly, when they came face to face with Jalut and his forces, they prayed, `O Lord, shower upon us patience (and perseverance) make firm our feet, and help us against the unbelieving people.’

[251] Thereupon they routed them by Allah’s will, and Da`ud slew Jalut. Allah gave him kingship and prophethood, and taught him what He willed. And, were not Allah to remove one set of people by means of another, the earth would be utterly corrupted, but Allah is bounteous upon all the beings.

[252] These are the revelations of Allah that We recite to you with Truth (O Muhammad) and verily, you are (one) of the Messengers.

[253] (Of a long series of) Those Messengers some of whom We have preferred above others. To some Allah spoke (directly) while (there were) others whom He raised in rank. And We gave `Isa, son of Maryam, clear proofs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. And, had Allah willed, those who succeeded them would not have fought one against the other – after the evidences (of truth) had come to them – but they differed among themselves, so that some of them believed and some of them disbelieved. Yet, had Allah willed (He could have prevented them from fighting, and) they would not have fought one against the other, but Allah does what He will.

[254] Believers! Spend of what We have provided you before a Day comes wherein shall be no commerce nor friendship nor intercession. The unbelievers, indeed, are in the wrong-doers (who are oblivious of such a reality, and who ignore a God, of such qualities as:)

[255] Allah! There is no god but He. The Living, the Self-subsisting by whom all subsist. Slumber does not overtake Him nor does sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that shall intercede with Him (for another, in the Hereafter) save by His leave? He knows what lies ahead of them and what is behind them, while they comprehend not aught of His knowledge, save such as He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth; and their preservation tires Him not. He is the Exalted, the Supreme.  (Al-Baqarah)

[Above, we have presented a random study of four Scriptures: Rg. Veda, A Buddhist’s Bible, The Judeo-Christian Bible and the Qur’an. See May 2003 issue of this magazine for more explanation.]