For every subject in which we are inexperienced we seek help from a teacher. Using our discrimination and good judgement we seek out someone who is competent and knowledgeable and then faithfully study under them. Thereafter we continue with our exploration of the subject often quoting our teachers and referring back to the lessons they taught us.
The same applies for life. We can generously overrate our own experience and knowledge about life – even the insights of someone who has been in this world for 70 or 80 years may not be as comprehensive and profound as we may think. We take help from the wisdom scriptures and the saintly persons who have assimilated such knowledge, and use that as a basis for our judgement. That doesn’t mean we lose our personality, discrimination or personal opinion. We have a solid worldview based on the ancient conclusions, and within that framework use our intelligence to understand how to apply such principles and relate them to a modern day context. Far from being limiting such wisdom allows us to break free of common opinion, and blindly following the trends of modern society and the masses.
Whether we cite our sources or not, everybody is forming opinions and ideas based on different influences; from pop-stars to politicians, and from the media to our mothers. As spiritual aspirants, we follow an ancient Sanskrit principle entitled sastra caksus – seeing life through the eyes of the scriptures. We form our opinions around that.