Posted at 10.29.2018
The Upanishads are thought to contain the fact of the Vedas and the Vedas will be the way to obtain the (no need for 'the' here) Vedanta school of thought. They contain the spiritual encounters and revelations of sages, the Rishis. They can be said to be the products of the best knowledge, supreme divine knowledge, which was directly noticed (shrutti) in meditation. "Hence they mix the hearts of people and inspire them. . They give supreme food for the heart and soul" They can be rich in profound philosophical thought and there is excellent depth of so this means in the passages and verses. They give "a vivid information of the type of Atman, the Supreme Heart and expound ideal methods and aids to attain the Immortal Brahman, the Highest Purusha. " They have exercised considerable affect on the religious beliefs and viewpoint in India.
The Upanishads are thought to be the final part of the Vedas, and generally discuss philosophy, meditation and the type of God and form the central spiritual thought of Vedantic Hinduism. They are believed as mystic and spiritual contemplations of the Vedas, and are known as Vedanta (the end/culmination of the Vedas). Although Vedas look outward in reverence and awe of the remarkable world, the Upanishads look inward to the capabilities of human consciousness.
Opinion differs as to the era of the Upanishads. Some European scholars have set this as 6th hundred years BCE, however they do not participate in a particular period of Sanskrit literature. The oldest, such as Brhadaranyaka and Chandogya may date to the Brahmana period (approximately prior to the 7th hundred years BCE) while the youngest may time frame to the medieval or early on modern period. However, Sivananda would say they are dateless and eternal as they came out of the mouth of Brahman therefore existed prior to the creation of the world.
"Shad" methods to shatter or demolish so by having knowledge of the Upanishads one destroys ignorance, and knowledge of Brahman is called Upanishad because it causes Brahman and helps aspirants attain Brahman. Other academic institutions of thought say Upanishad means seated at your feet of the professor. The Upanishads weren't meant for the public, as they contain the highest speculations of school of thought. They were only meant for the go for few, who had been seen as valuable to receive instructions in the beginning from the rishis and later from the Brahmin coaching caste, hence the word Upanishad at first signified secret coaching or doctrine. The educators integrated to become the Brhma Rishis. The Vedas were primarily not written down but passed on orally, by chants and hymns. The Aryan migrants helped bring Sanskrit to India and so the Upanishads were eventually on paper by the Rishis and Brahmin priests. Over 1000 have been noted but Sankaracharya (8th hundred years mystic who reawakened India to its religious history) is said to have collected collectively 108 Upanishads, which are summarised in his famous work The Viveka Chudamani. Of the the main 10 Upanishads still analyzed today, are the Brhadarnayaka, Chandogya, Isha, Kena, Katha, Mandukya, Aitareya, Taittiriya, Mudaka and Prashna.
The early rishis sought to comprehend the essential truths of man's being; the roots, the nature and the future of man and his universe, this is of life, the world and the relation of the given individual to the supreme soul. They looked for answers to these basic questions:
who am I, what is the world, whence are we blessed, on what do we relax, where do we go, are there specific things like immortality, freedom, perfection, eternal bliss, everlasting serenity,
what is Atman, Brahman, or the Self applied, which is birthless, deathless, changeless, self-existent
how to realize immortality or Brahman, what is the method of freedom from earthly bondage.
The road to self-discovery is mentioned in the Taittiriya Upanishad, which gives us guidelines for right conduct in our lives and advises "If you are in uncertainty about right carry out, Follow the example of the sages, who really know what is best for spiritual development. " (chpt 11-v4). It says us the body is merely the outer part surrounding our 'personal', each layer less physical than the previous: the physical sheath comprises of food (Pt 2, 2. 1), the essential sheath is made up of living breathing (3. 1), the mental sheath comprises of waves of thought (3. 1) and the sheath of intelligence is the intellect and within this is the sheath of bliss. "Bliss is the heart, and Brahman the foundation. Those who affirm god, the father affirm themselves. " Inside the journey to discover who we could, the rishis viewed these expresses of awareness (Brihadranyaka Upanishad chpt4). As understanding is withdrawn from these tiers of awareness it was uncovered that the mind is not mindful, it is only an instrument of our consciousness. If we could actually monitor from within each state, would that be the knower, ie the self? In all creatures, all folks the Home is the innermost fact. Janaka asks who is the personal and Yajnavalka replies: "The Personal, pure recognition, shines as the light within the center, encircled by the sense. Only seeming to think, seeming to move, the Self neither sleeps nor wakes nor dreams.
This idea of the Personal and Brahman being one is considered in the Katha Upanishad (chpt2-v20). "Hidden in the heart and soul of each creature is available the Self, subtler than the subtlest, higher than the greatest. They go beyond sorrow who extinguish their self-will and behold the glory fo the Home through the elegance of the Lord of Love. " An identical theme is seen in the Isha Upanishad in its description of god, the father to be enshrined in the hearts of most. This seems to combine into a information of the Personal culminating in v8 "He it is who holds the cosmos alongside one another. "
The question of attaining immortality or Brahman is talked about in the Katha Upanishad, where we've a teenage youngster (Natchiketa) as the pupil and Death (Yama) being the educator. This studies the notion of reincarnation, wherein Natchiketa is sacrificed to loss of life by his father but Natchiketa is granted three needs, one for every of the three evenings he has spent in the house of Yama (Pt 1-chpt1-v9-29. Natchiketa asks that when he is reincarnated his father will recognise him, second of all that he wishes to keep in mind what has truly gone before, he doesn't want to lose previous knowledge and thirdly he wants to know for several if his bottom really prevails after loss of life. The answer is to renounce passing pleasures and seek wisdom (chpt2-v3-4). Loss of life says, "The reality of the Home cannot come through person who has not realised the Home", so self-realisation is the main element. The ignorant think that when your body dies, they expire.
This is further expounded by the Mandukya Upanishad which educates us the need for knowledge through consciousness and how this can be offered through teachers. You will discover two types of knowledge, that educated through study, or lower knowledge, and the bigger knowledge which brings about self-realisation, through mediation - "those who are pure in center, who practice meditation and overcome almost all their senses and passions, shall attain the immortal Self applied. . "
The Prashna Upanishad also instructs us following the sage Pippalada's reason of where we come from (qu1-v4-10), that those who meditate, seek knowledge, self-discipline and faith in God will travel after death to the "Supreme refuge, beyond the reach of fear and clear of the cycle of delivery and death. This Upanishad concludes with the question "Do you know the do it yourself?" (QuVI-v1) and Pippalada's brief summary details the sixteen kinds of the self in the body which one must realize the do it yourself so these sixteen forms fade away. Then there is no more name or form for us as human beings and we attain immortality. "The home is the paramount goal of life. Attain this goal and go beyond loss of life. " (QuVI-v)
iii) Where do I come from?
This question is posed by the Kena Upanishad: by whom? "Who makes my mind think?. . . who perceives through my eyes and hears through my ears?" The tutor replies "The Self is the hearing of the ear canal, the eye of the eye and your brain of the mind. . " This Upanishad is approximately knowing Brahman yet how do this not be an impossible process for the average man? How can we possibly conceive of understanding something so abstract and inscrutable? Yet we are urged to try: "It is the vitality of Brahman that makes the mind to believe, desire, and can. Therefore utilize this capacity to meditate on Brahman. " (chpt4-v5-6) However, it seems were compelled to continuously ask questions - without questions we can not develop. What gives us this desire to know, to realize self-realisation?
Easwaran's interpretation of this question is: by whom impelled do all the movements of life blend? Easwaran also estimates Shankara, "By whose mere occurrence does that desire come up which steps the universe?" Swami Vishnudevananda says just like the understanding of things in the gross world is impossible without light, so understanding of self cannot emerge apart from by inquiry. "Who am I? How was this world born? What is its cause?" Equally as man's search for enjoyment confirms that joy is within himself, knowledge won't be complete until he becomes his eyesight inwards. The Upanishads reveal that knowledge is in the self, and in fact, knowledge is self. That eternal knowledge of the self applied when reflected through the mind and brain of man becomes intuition, reason and instinct. In lower animals it is manifested as instinct, in man as reason and in advanced man as intuition. Specific living is therefore a manifestation of the real presence of the home. So it appears to me we live compelled to get knowledge, and for that reason by implication to get understanding of the do it yourself. As Easwaran highlights, checking out the unconscious requires the daring of young ones, as in the Katha Upanishad. The Katha Upanishad appears to be saying that within all human being experience it is only the Self that is the enjoyer, therefore once one attains self-realisation there will nothing further to learn. In the meantime man is forever searching, searching, even though he doesn't know what he is looking for. As Vishnudevananda points out some scale Support Everest to learn, others navigate under the Artic oceans, while some fly into outer space. Others stop working from the world to review or roam the world searching for knowledge. Personally i think this will continue for some time yet until man has reached a stage of intellect where self-realisation becomes achievable for any, in age groups to come. For the time being we desire to seek out extra little bits of knowledge and we pick up lots more along the way by accident without even realising it. The problem for all of us lowly mortals is in a quotation I heard in the past while i was at university and has jammed with me ever since, although I have no idea who said it or when: is not just the known unknown however the unknown unknown. I am aware of several things I really do not know but there may be of course an sea of things that i don't even appreciate is there to be known. It seems an impossible activity. Perhaps as I take the advice of the Upanishads and practise meditation, in years to come I may get started to feel as if I have started on my own journey.