These mantras as well as the philosophy imbedded in them are equally living things, - not just pieces of information to be learnt from writing.
They are living divine things.
Just as the icons of the temples which have been ritually invoked by PrANa-pratishhTA, the mantras etc. are deities in the form of the akshharas (letters).
We have to set up a relationship with them, a sort of love that takes us to that state where we ourselves melt into nothingness .
These principles of philosophy that the Guru teaches us and which are to be absorbed by manana and dhyAna, are wrongly considered to be dry philosophy.