Thank you for your great question!
You are right. The “ideal” will be for the person who translates into English to have experienced himself the teachings in a practical way. That person ideally will need to be acquainted with the culture that he is translating to, so important issues such as”circumstances” surrounding the teachings could be conveyed when appropriate. Moreover, that person will need to have an understanding of the “spirit” of the words in Hindi as they were used rather than a literal translation of the words into English.
For example, when listening to a Sakar Murli, we could hear: “God destroys all other religions.”
Probably that translation is a literal translation by a dictionary. The word “religion” in Western societies is not the same as “Dharma” as used in India. “Dharma” is more encompassing, as “the natural way of things or the natural law.” That has very little to do with what is known as “religions” in the West. We could improve that translation as : “God replaces societies’ old ways/laws with a “new” way.” This phrase conveys the meaning of Dharma without using “shocking words” which are not related with the true meaning of Dharma.
For the records, God does not create neither destroys; (point of “pure” Gyan) thus, even using the word “destruction,” is not an accurate translation to English from my perspective. Westerners do not “digest” that word very well; therefore, misinterpretation by the “reasonable” minds or “logical” computer-like-minded; will take the literal translation to argue about the validity of the teachings. Then it is about “interpreting” that God has favoritism of one religion over the others or that other religions are worthless in the eyes of God. See?
As you can see, it is not easy. That is why those “interpreting” by listening those teachings need to have the openness to see a “map” rather than the “real place” when listening to spiritual teachings.
As our consciousness on recognizing those words in our own experience arise then the understanding will be there; but we cannot “generalize” “my” understanding as “the” understanding. That is what makes it numberwise; that is why any scripture, any “holy book” cannot be taken literally; for the consciousness of spirituality does not reside in literal interpretation of words but in your experience of those words.
Congrats for that realization!
Thank you for your comments.
Knowledge is experiential. To go by literal interpretation of words is the most elementary way of trying to understand spiritual knowledge. Then, we are stuck with a Guru’s interpretation who can tell us what is the “right way” to view things.
We understand once we live this knowledge. Words are merely pointers, that is why we have different scriptures and different views because our experiences are different. By making a particular version the “right” version, we are not using our ability to discern. Once we understand a point in gyan we can share it, and we can provide support for it based on Gyan as well. That is how we could advance into a different understanding.
Many times, interpretations are meant to fit a particular “dogma,” or religious philosophy. Obviously with his kind of agenda, interpretations will be made to fit that “ism.”
Our spiritual edification is based on experience of spiritual knowledge, then there is no need for “proof,” because you become the practical proof of it.