The introductory section below on the Vedas (Hindu/Indian scriptures) are the interpretation given by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; also stated in the catalogue of the university he founded.
I follow it with some comments on Torah that speak of a similar understanding in Kabbalah and Hasidut.

“The Where, What, Why, and How of Vedic Knowledge 

Where is the Veda? In India? No. In the Himalayas? No. In any part of the world? No. In any phase of the finite? No. Then where should we look for the Veda? The Rik Veda itself answers the question of its location. It says:
ऋचो अक्षरे परमे व्योमन्
Richo Akshare Parame Vyoman -Rik Veda 1.164.39
—The Richas (the hymns of the Veda) reside in the imperishable transcendental field pure awareness, pure intelligence, pure consciousness.

What, then, is the Veda? Is it the books of Sanskrit hymns? Here also, the answer is no. The four books known as Rik Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda are not the Veda: books serve to record the words of Vedic Literature, but they themselves are not the Veda.
Again, the Rik Veda itself tells us what it is:
यस्मिन्देवा अधिविश्वे निषेदुः
Yasmin devâ adhi vishve nisheduh -Rik Veda 1.164.39
—In which reside all the impulses of creative intelligence.

Veda is the home of all the impulses of creative intelligence. How can one come to know the Veda, which is located in the transcendent and which is the home of all the impulses of creative intelligence? By developing pure awareness, the one key to Vedic study. The Rik Veda says:
योजागारतमृचः कामयन्ते
Yojâgâratam richah kâmayante -Rik Veda V.44.14
—The hymns seek out him who is awake

To be fully ‘awake’ means to be established in pure consciousness. The development of pure consciousness is the key to all knowledge and the prerequisite of Vedic study.

What is the purpose of knowing the Veda’? The purpose is to live the wholeness of life. The Rik Veda says:
य इत्तद्विदुस्त इमे समासते
Ya ittadvidusta ime samâsate -Rik Veda 1.164.39
—He who knows it (pure consciousness) is established in evenness – wholeness of life.

The study of the Veda has its purpose in structuring the home of all knowledge in one’s awareness. Thereby one owns the home of all the impulses of creative intelligence and gains maximum effectiveness in every action, leading to the most rewarding achievements and to fulfillment the wholeness of life encompassed in every wave of living.

How can this purpose be achieved? The Bhagavad-Gita gives a practical formula for achieving this goal, in the words:
निस्त्रैगुण्यो भव
Nistraigunyo bhava -Bhagavad-Gita 2.45
—Be without the spur to activity – get to the home of all the impulses of creative intelligence (and from there perform action).
योगस्थः कुरुकर्माणि
Yogasthah kuru karmâni -Bhagavad-Gita 2.48
—Established in Being, in Unity, perform action.

Furthermore, the Gita says that there is no obstacle to realising this status; the process is natural and free from any resistance:
प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते
Pratyavâyo na vidyate -Bhagavad-Gita 2.40
—There is no obstacle
The path being free from resistance, ‘even a little of the practice results in freedom from great fears, problems, and weakness.’ (Bhagavad-Gita 2.40)

So the goal of Vedic study is established by going beyond activity to the field of pure creative intelligence; the procedure to do so is natural, without barriers, and immediately results in the tangible growth of strength. The Rik Veda summarizes this development in one word:
Nivartadhvam -Rik Veda 10.19.1

Ved is not an intellectual concept that only intellectually reveals the reality at the basis of creation. Rik Ved, the source of the dynamics of creation in the self-referral state of consciousness, is the holistic expression of the organizing power of pure knowledge.

Rik Ved presents the mechanics of transformation of the unified value of Natural Law into the diversified values of all the innumerable Laws of Nature that uphold life everywhere, and uphold the evolution of life everywhere…” [1]

Maharishi teaches here that the essence of scripture is not the words themselves. Scripture is the Eternal Reality. The words are forms; “records” of Truth. 

The Kabbalists and Hasidim, too, teach that that Torah is “the Name of God.” The words of Torah are merely like “the garments of the King” — they indicate the King’s presence, but they are not to be confused with the King’s actual person. 

Interesting in this regard is Rabbi Yosef Karo’s association of the Mishnah and the Shechinah. Just as the Shechinah radiates out from the actual Divine Light, without ever being separate from It or other than It, so too the Mishnah — the center of the Talmud — radiates out from Torah — i.e. from the Name of God. It is a finite form that, when we let it, indicates to us by direct personal experience the Divine Presence.

Thus, to immerse one’s mind in Torah or Mishnah can be to immerse oneself in the Name of God — the Divine Reality. 

In that paradigm, doing a mitzvah is not simply doing an act of obedience. Each mitzvah becomes a joining of one’s self with the Divine essence; a “sacramental” act, as it were.


[1] from the catalogue of Maharishi International University (today known as Maharishi University of Management), Fairfield, Iowa, USA, 1974