Thursday, August 25, 2011

UPANISHADS—THEIR BASIC THOUGHTS AND TEACHINGS



 

UPANISHADS – THEIR BASIC THOUGHTS AND TEACHINGS

(Compilation for a Discourse by N.R.Srinivasan, Nashville, TN, USA)

Vedas are the earliest human documents of Indian wisdom, in the form of hymnal mass. It consists of praises and prayers, myths and legends (Samhitas), sacrificial formulas and ritualistic tracts called Brahmanas and finally philosophical speculations and psychological enquiries called Upanishads. Upanishad means annihilating the ignorance completely. It leads the spiritual seeker near to The Absolute or Supreme Principle. It also means sitting devotedly and listening to the wisdom from the enlightened as a student sits near the Guru to learn.

 
The Vedic poets and seers (rishis) were not only impressed with the vastness of the universe but also by the orderliness involved in the Cosmos (rita). The intuitive understanding of the Real (Ekam sat vipraaha bahudaa vadanti) of whom they conjured up of multiplicity of divinities connected with religious functions, physical phenomenon and social and economic activities, resulted in the shift of emphasis from rituals to abstract contemplation; from the knowledge of the world around to the understanding of one's own self within. The Upanishads, the concluding chapters of the Vedas, sometimes called Vedanta, mark this shift. They were nevertheless independent tracts based on direct experience and intuition. Upanishads do not focus on worldly competence and success. They contain philosophical speculations and psychological inquiries. They lay emphasis on the individual, on the analysis of human personality, on contemplation and tranquility from within (inner peace). They are in the nature of mystic documents of wisdom revealed to the earnest seeker and the adept. Hence they need the guidance of a well versed Guru in their understanding and follow up. The Upanishads' emphasis is on the liberating wisdom instead of mere observance of ceremonies and rituals. Upanishads teach no creed but only spiritual liberation and so has the universal appeal to all mankind.

 
There are 108 Upanishads out of which 10 are considered to be principle Upanishads which are also of great antiquity. These are: Isa; Kena; Katha; Prasna; Mundaka; Maandookya; Taittireeya; Aitreya; Eesaavaasya; and Brihadaaranyaka. Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad is recognized as one of the most important Upanishads among the ten major Upanishads not only for its bulk but also for its contents. Both Sankaraachrya and Madhvaachaarya have commented on texts of the principle Upanishads. Followers of Vishishtaadvaita Philosophy include Mahaa Naarayana and Svetaavtaara Upanishads to this list of ten.

 
Upanishads have given supreme importance to acquisition and realization of the knowledge of Self and have sidelined the sacrificial cult. However Upanishads do not contain any consistent or uniform teaching, each one having its own characteristic and distinctive flavor. They all alike speak of the Self as the principle aspect of the ultimate Reality if not the ultimate reality itself. The Self is ever-lasting, pure, and undifferentiated Consciousness. The world around is viewed as a cloud that sits upon, and hides the Self from itself. The dissipation of this cloud (Maaya) is sought to be achieved by abstract contemplation.

 
The diversity of approach, multiplicity of concepts, and apparent inconsistency in Upanishads necessitated an attempt at reconciliation and bring in harmony. Vedavyasa, therefore, brought in such a harmony by his celebrated Vedantasootra, popularly called Brahmasootra, named after its subject matter, which is also called Badarayanasootra, known after its editor Badarayana, who is identified with Vedavyasa. It is a short work of four chapters. It not only condenses the Upanishads' teachings but also resolves the apparent inconsistencies in them. According to this work Brahman is the ultimate Reality; source of the world and the goal of all gnosis (knowledge). There are a lot of interpretations now available on this work but those by Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhva are considered important, endowed with scriptural authority. These three interpretations gave rise to Hindu philosophical schools.

 
Geeta, incorporated into the great epic Mahabharata, claims to be the quintessence of the Upanishads' teachings. It is more often than not described as an updated Upanishad. It is also written in the style of the Upanishads as a dialogue between the guru and the disciple, Lord Krishna and Arjuna. Geeta mainly contains the Upanishad's tradition but assimilates the Sankhya, Yoga and Buddhist teachings which in their turn are indebted to the Upanishads. It is a curious but effective link between the Vedic traditionalism and the later thought systems. Based on the Tantric foundation, Saankhya emerged as strong protagonist of the materialistic, naturalistic and pluralistic view-points, not excessively preoccupied with religious practices. Both Sankhya and Yoga had atheistic leniency to start with but both got accepted and sanctified by the Vedic tradition, because of their invaluable contributions to early Vedic thoughts on life.

 
Geeta contains Upanishadic tradition, but assimilates the Saankhya, Yoga and Buddhist teachings which were in turn indebted to Upanishads. It is this synthetic character of the Geeta that has made it the most popular text and scriptural authority for Hindus. What makes it more appealing to the masses is its title, cleverly coined by its editor, (may be its author) Vedavyasa, as "The Song of the Celestial" or "The Song of the Lord" (Bhagavad Geeta), supposed to have been delivered by Lord Krishna (eighth incarnation of Vishnu) to Arjuna, his ardent disciple.

 
The triple literature for the traditional philosophic system is together called "Prasthaana- trayi—Upanishads, Brahmasootra and the Bhagavadgeeta: the last two have heavily drawn on Upanishads.

 
Upanishads make the most basic assumption that Reality is spiritual. It is unknown and not defined. That does not make its importance any the less for the seeker and has a  strong action for the seeker for these reasons. Upanishads are divided on the question of Reality of the material world, but uniformly emphasize the spiritual essence of it . The spiritual essence of the world is represented by the abstract word "Brahman". The Essence in the individual that seeks it is called, "Aatman" or "Jeevaatman". Brahman is not God or God-head, but is the basic, universal principle, as undifferentiated whole. The concrete Universe (visible world) emanates from this abstract principle as "the web does from the spider" (Mundaka). This universe of bewildering multiplicity of names and forms again dissolves into the Brahman even as the rivers flow into the sea losing their identities.

 
Upanishads' main focus is on the ultimate, the stable, the essential and the state of Being.
They do not however, ignore or reject, the phenomenon of the state of 'Becoming'--
of multiplicity, of change. The knowledge that is directed towards the Being is termed as "Vidya" while the awareness of and involvement in the world of multiplicity is termed as "Avidya". The word "Aatman" is employed as frequently as "Brahman" in Upanishads in its concrete as well as abstract connotations. The individual aatman or particular aatman has no absolute value of its own; it is intimately and inextricably related to the universal Brahman. Jeevaataman has the highest reality. Upanishads describe that the two birds of similar nature viz. Jeevaatman and Paramaatman are perching on the same tree--that is body. Jeevaatman is also an eternal entity. It is distinct and different from matter on one hand and different from Absolute Brahman on the other. They are infinite in number.

 
The individual aatman is apprehended by sense organs and mind by our knowing process. Differentiated by qualities and qualifications, the individual aatman is perceived as concrete being. The world with multiplicity of particular entities is presented to us as real, and is represented by our individual consciousness. We are therefore prone to regard it as real and as ultimate, and we proceed to involve in it. It is the world of materiality, sensations, imaginations and volitions that we are interested in, and involved in. In the process we lose sight of Brahman the underlying unity.

 
The Absolute is expressed as the Infinite or the Negative by Hindus. The method of negation suggested in broad outline in the Upanishads, has almost become a cultural trait to Hindus and Indian languages. Ethical ideals are expressed in negative expressions like "Ahimsa" (non-violence), "Aasteya" (non-stealth), "Aparigraha" (non-possession), "Nishkaama"(devoid of desire), "Viraaga" (dispassion), "Viramana" (restraining), "Viraati" (non-interest), "Akshara" (imperishable) etc. Indians are often blamed for this negative orientation which is easily mistaken for escapism. But Upanishads' method of negation really aims at the attainment of existence that can never be denied or doubted. The idea is to reject all non-essential particulars of "Becoming" as to arrive at the "Being". Brahman in Upanishads is described as "Anirdesyam" (indeterminate); "Agraahyam" (Incomprehensible): "Aksharam" (imperishable); "Ajaatam" (unborn); "Avarnam" (uncharacterized) and so on.

 
When a qualification is negated, the mind does not withdraw, but goes beyond in search of what it negates. Appearances are partial, fragmentary and transactional. But Brahman is beyond (paraa) and the knowledge that deals with it is higher knowledge mentioned as paraa-vidya in the Upanishads. The knowledge that deals with lower knowledge literally non-higher is mentioned as "aparaa-vidya". It pertains to worldly life not to Reality. To reach Reality (Parabrahman) normal and ordinary life has to be negated, that is what we call as transcending. What contributes for the negation is the positive Vidya while what prevents this necessary negation is the negative "Avidya". Upanishads describe that Brahman has five qualities of Satyam, Jnaanam, Aanandam, Amalam and Anantam. All other auspicious qualities are derived from these five essential qualities that determine his nature.

 
Upanishads here and there touch on the problem to explain how the "Real" becomes "transcendental", in other words change from transcendental to appearances. Upanishads were however seriously concerned with fear of death and after-life and therefore were more interested in the practical problem of how to resolve the transactional into transcendental.

 
Aghamarshana, one of the earliest Indian thinkers touches on the subject of transcendental to transactional or from the 'Being' to the 'Becoming' in Rigveda contained in a hymn in tenth Mandala. "The Universe is orderly and that it has a Real Being. The Orderliness (Ritam) and the Beingness (Satyam) emanated from the action of mystic heat (Tapas); then darkness of the night came into Being; from that the ocean, and from the oceans time-principle (year-samvatsara); and the rest of the universe by this division of night and day". Mystic heat of Aghamarshana was the generative urge that transformed Being into Becoming, unspeakable and unknown unity into the visible world. His discovery revealed that the universe is founded on Law (Rita) and that evolved in an orderly way.

 
There is yet another hymn in Rigveda which deals with the problem of transcendental to transactions— The Being to Becoming ascribed to Brahmanaspati. This hymn declares Non-being (A sat) as a productive representation of Being which in due course transformed itself into Becoming. Non-being is negatively worded only to suggest its being the foundation and to differentiate it from "Being". It is the indeterminate, infinite, unformed essence of nature, "aditi". It is spoken as the eternal law. The hymn says that from the cosmic force (daksha) emanated and brought into being all actual and possible particulars. The apparently paradoxical statement indicates that the cosmic force sprang from the infinite essence (a sort of potential energy converted to kinetic energy) and that the infinite force in turn sprang forth from the cosmic force (kinetic energy to potential energy; this again emphasizes the involvement of 'Being' in 'Becoming' and 'Becoming' into 'Being'.

 
Going through various Upanishads we conclude: Creation (Becoming) is a real process and Supreme Brahman is the cause of the origination, sustenance, and destruction of the entire universe. Prior to creation, Brahman (Being) alone existed as characterized by subtle sentient and non-sentient principle. It desired to become many and evolved into the form of universe and made the Jeevaatman associated with it. The Supreme entered into its creation as the internal self (antaryaamin) and articulated this universe of names and forms. The Upanishads describe that Brahman is residing within all entities without being seen by them as their inner controller and therefore all entities signify Brahman alone in the ultimate analysis. In the composite form, Brahman is the only Reality that exists as it is all inclusive. According to the Upanishads the world is real and creation is real and the immanence of Brahman is real. There is no reference anywhere regarding the unreality of creation or the unreality of the universe.

The Thinkers of Upanishads (Rishis) were interested in piercing through the veil of "Becoming" and experience the "Being". What hides the Being from Becoming is the cloud of ignorance (Maaya) ingrained in the individual in his thinking and feeling. Upanishads' expression for this thinking-feeling complex is heart (hrit). It is here the Being rests as if concealed in a cave and it is from the heart again that the individual meets with the world and transacts with it. There are knots in this heart (hridaya-granthi), wherein the strings of the world are contained. Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad speaks of cutting asunder these knots of liberation. The liberation sought here from the over-involvement with the Samsaara, the tangled web. The liberation is spoken as Moksha (Moha+kshaya). What is implied here is that the Being is freed from the stress of the Becoming and is not clouded by phenomenal limitations. Mahaa Naaraayana Upanishad says:" Praananaam granthirasoe rudro"—meaning you are the knot in which the Vital airs (panchapraanaas) are bound.

 
Upanishad's heart is not the physical organ that we generally call heart. It is the psychic core of the entire constitution responsible for all vital functions as well as for all higher functions; verily this Self in the heart. Upanishads say that there are 101 channels of the heart connecting the man with the outside world. In deep, dreamless state one creep into these channels and then he does not transact with the world at all. In waking state, all our actions are made possible by the creeping out of the Self through these channels. The self inside the heart is thus subtler than the worlds. Inside the heart is supposed to be a sky or space (Aakaasa) which is described metaphorically as a cave; the Self hidden in this cave, concealed in the secret place of the heart, dwells in the depth and extremely subtle and minute according to Taittareeya Upanishad. "Sa ya yeshoentar hridaye aakaasaha; tasminnayam manoemayaha; amritoe hiranmayaha"—In the space that is within the heart is the golden hued immortal Self who is grasped by the pure mind. The self is graspable in the ether within the heart by the pure mind. The idea is the Self is to be meditated upon. The heart and subjective space within it are symbolic. The elementary consciousness is known as "Buddhi" in vedantic language. The word Buddhi is intended in Upanishads to signify a principle that is nearest to Self. The word "Aaakaasa" according to Sankara is that "which shines al-round"; "all pervasive luminosity"—(aa samantataa kaasate iti). This Self is the stable, still and deep consciousness that is unaffected by distributions and differentiation. This is the consciousness that is not broken up into particular perceptions (like ego), being beyond the reach of senses and mind. Self is luminous by its very nature and this luminosity remains unaffected by the processes and conditions that obtain in the world.

 
Upanishads give a general impression that the existence of the Self has been accepted without questioning, almost axiomatically.

 
The unique teachings of the Upanishads are:
  1. Brahman is the ultimate cause of this universe and everything else is dependent on that one Supreme Cause.
  2. The universe was created in a systematic manner according to the will of the Supreme Cause.
  3. The entity of Jeevaatman is an eternal principle without any origination or destruction but is going through the cycle of births and deaths on account of its attachment to the objects of the world from beginning less time.
  4. The Jeevaatman should become aware of its true nature and destiny and has to shape itself in such a way that it gets rid of association with the matter.
  5. Everyone in this universe is entitled to become liberated but it waits only for his own aspiration and effort.
  6. All the entities namely, man, matter, time, and the celestial abode are dependent on the supreme will of the Parmaatman and one has to realize his subservience to Paramaatman.
  7. The way of getting liberated from the bondage of Samsaara (worldly life) is also taught by the Upanishads. One should seek the grace of Paramaatman through submission to His will and due participation in his duties to please the Lord. The Upanishads teach that the loving meditation upon the Lord and complete surrender to His will are the means of liberation.

     
    Upanishads have a universal appeal for the following reasons:
  8. Loyalty to tradition and devotion to truth are the characteristics found in discussion between the teacher and the taught.
  9. The Upanishads deal directly with the most intricate and profound problems such as the creation of the universe, the purpose of human life, the goal of humanity as well as the means of attainment of spiritual perfection.
  10. The Upanishads' conclusions are true for all times to come. They are universally valid to human struggle and existence on earth irrespective of temporal or spatial differences.
  11. The Upanishads are very earnest in the upward evolution of man in all spheres—moral, ethical, intellectual and spiritual.
  12. Upanishads give us a profound analysis and convincing explanation of essential nature of man and the identification of the spirit of 'aatman' in man with universal aatman—Brahman.

     

                              APPENDIX

                      UNIVEERSAL APPEAL OF UPANISHADS

    Upanishads ordain that one should gain the cardinal virtues of Brahman-realization. Moral and ethical purity, conquest over turbulent sense organs, mental equanimity and desisting from evil action and leading a pure and pious life are absolutely inevitable to become a seeker of Brahman. One should realize the true-nature of his  subservience to the Lord through internal purity. Desire, hatred, anger, jealousy and all other evil trends should be totally eradicated. One has to develop compassion towards humanity and serve humanity by charity and Dharma. The liberated self will be blessed with the eternal bliss of divine communion with Parabrahman and he co-exists for all time to come with Parabrahman; Mundaka Upanishad says he will attain perfect similarity with Parabrahman. It is this that makes Upanishads universal in appeal.




    The Science of the Upanishads

    By Karthikeyan Sreedharan | Mar 09, 2017 


    Upaniṣhads are treasures of Indian spiritual thoughts of ancient times. The ten most ancient Upaniṣads belong to the period of 1500 BC to 600 BC, according to commonly agreed estimations. They are called the Principal Upaniṣads and are considered to be the most authentic ones.

    There is another Upaniṣad by name Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad belonging to a later period, but viewed at par with the Principal Upaniṣads, considering the dexterity and erudition with which the subject matter is dealt with therein. In this discussion whenever we refer to Principal Upaniṣads, it may be understood to include Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad also. There are many other Upaniṣhads written during later periods, the total number being 108 according to some, while others put the number at 200 plus. But in the present discussion we consult only the Principal Upaniṣads.

    All the spiritual thoughts of ancient India which got accumulated through ages were existing in a single lump without any orderly arrangement or classification. It was Sage Vyāsa who successfully classified all into a proper order on the basis of specific topics dealt with in each piece and their comparative importance. This is how we got the four Samhita-s, the Brāhmaṇa-s, the Āraṇyakas and the Upaniṣad-s. Samhitas are mostly hymns for praising or invoking various gods for well-being and favors. Brāhmaṇas and Āraṇyakas mainly deal with ritualistic illustrations of the Samhitas. Upaniṣads represent philosophical postulations either extracted from these three or compiled independently. Of the eleven Principal Upaniṣads, one (Īśa Upaniṣad) is part of a Samhita (Śukla Yajurveda), four (Bṛhadāraṇyaka, Chāndogya, Kaṭha, Kena) are parts of Brāhmaṇas and two (Aitareya, Taittirīya) are parts of Āraṇyakas. The remaining four (Praśna, Muṇḍaka, Māṇḍukya of Atharva veda and Śvetāśvatara of Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda) are independent compilations. Why should the same contents of an Upaniṣad find a place in some Samhita, Brāhmaṇa or Āraṇyaka? Because the same text contains certain portions that qualify for inclusion in the Upaniṣad and some other portions suitable for Samhita, Brāhmaṇa or Āraṇyaka. While studying the Upaniṣads we have to make due allowance for this fact.

    Upaniṣads are not like ordinary spiritual texts which dwell on glorification and appeasement of an almighty god through prayers, rituals and offerings with an intention to secure protection, prosperity, happiness and long life. The primary concern of Upaniṣads is not the physical life as such, but the ultimate principle that sustains the physical life. Upanishads recognize the existence of an entity beyond the phenomenal world. They advance the concept of reality from a relative plain to the absolute state, to the reality that is free from all limitations of time and space. This advancement is the greatest achievement that Indian meditative mind accomplished and it is the greatest ever height that human mind scaled in speculative thinking. It was with this advancement that, in India, mere spiritual thinking graduated into pure philosophical deductions.
    It is therefore imperative that any attempt to understand the teachings of Upaniṣads must be with due consideration for this unique feature inherent in them. Any alternative attempt employing the traditional tools of interpretation is unwelcome as it would only obscure the scientific spirit of the Upaniṣads and degrade their sublime teachings to mere theological compositions. Moreover, being extracts from other three parts of the Vedas, most of the Principal Upaniṣads contain some portions that do not fit well with the main theme under discussion in that particular Upaniṣad. Therefore, while interpreting the Upaniṣads to derive lessons therefrom, these portions have to be omitted from detailed consideration. In the present endeavor we keep in mind these observations as a guide in explaining the contents of each Upaniṣad. That means, we concentrate on those teachings that a rational mind should take note of and assimilate into its own cognitive constitution; in this process we simply ignore those contents which are rather ritualistic or purely mythological in nature.

     

     

    Upanishads  bring   All-round  Peace  through  Spirituality

    Upanishads bring Peace from Within, Peace from External Disturbances and Peace that prevails in the Supreme Spirit that passes all understanding.   It includes Adhideivikam (cosmic disturbances, Adhibhautuikam (environmental disturbances) and Adhyaatmikam (inner disturbances). Upanishads were notes of lectures and not text books. They are therefore short indicative phrases and therefore their thoughts are far from clear that needs explanation from Gurus like Sivananda,Chinmayananda, Chidananda etc.   The Upanishads have been the source of a whole lot of spiritual philosophies in India. They laid the foundation for numerous religious and cultural traditions too.  Very ancient but relevant in modern times too, these revelations are like seeds that can grow into big trees—of noble thought, generous action and splendid achievements.-- Swami Chidananda brings fourth some fertile seeds as  thoughts from modern wise men  and   ancient sages of  Upanishad  for our deep study. 

    Upanishads are the solace of my life; they are the solace of my death—Arthur Schopenhauer.

    Study  the Upanishads. Independently think over them. Hand in hand, learn to control your senses through a control of the desires. Intelligently pursue Sadhana (achievement). Success shall be yours—Swami Chinmayananda.

    True wisdom is when you see absence of division everywhere; meditation is when your mind is not pursuing objects—Skanda Upanishad.

    Lightness, good health, better complexion and clarity of speech are among the early benefits of Yoga, spiritual growth—Swetashvatara Upanishad.

    Reduce to its elements, Vedanta philosophy consists of three propositions. First, man’s real nature is divine. Second, the aim of human life is to realize this divine nature. Third,  all religions are essentially in agreement—Christopher Ishwerwood.

    The Self of mine that limits my truth within myself confines to a narrow idea of my own personality.  When through some great experience I transcend this boundary I find joy—Rabindranth Tagore.

    …the question in the  Upanishad (Prasna) probe progressively  into the practical mysteries of human existence—Eknath Easwaran.

    If all the Upanishads  and all the scriptures happened all of a sudden to be reduced  to ashes, and if only the first verse in the Easaavaasyopanishad were  left in the memory of the Hindu, Hinduism would live forever—Mahatma Gandhi.

    The Upanishads have been the acknowledged source of numerous profound philosophies  and religions that flowed  from India like the great rivers from their Himalayan cradle fertilizing the mind and life of people, never failing to give fresh illumination, a fountain of inexhaustible, life-giving waters—Sri Aurobindo.

    At the core of all historical religions   there are fundamental types of spiritual experience though they are expressed with different degrees of clarity. The Upanishads illustrate and illuminate these primary experiences—Dr. S Radhakrihnan.

    The idea of Liberation (Moksha) as the primary goal of life, which has permeated the Indian religions and culture of the succeeding centuries owes its origin entirely to the Upanishads—Swami Harshananda.

    It is surely astounding that such a system as the Vedanta should have been slowly elaborated by the indefatigable thinkers of India thousands of years ago, a system that even now makes us feel giddy, as in mounting the last steps of the swaying spire of a Gothic Cathedral—Max Mueller.

    A Newspaper is also a kind of literature; it is real in the morning and thrown away in the evening, and thus stands at the lowest level of the literary spectrum.  The Upanishads stand at the highest end of that spectrum. They must be read again and again—Swamy Ranganathananda.

    Cleanliness (saucha) is when you restrain   your senses; (ceremonial) bath(snaana) is when you give up agitations in the mind—Skanda Upanishad.

    He becomes freed from sin, as a snake gets freed from its dead skin. We are reborn as though we will only smile when we look back—Prasna Upanishad.

    With healthy outlook and by deep meditation, you can see how, by nature, you are  peaceful, complete and indivisible—Mundaka Upanishad.

    Don’t disrespect food. It is a great rule of life to value food. It is important not to waste, not to compromise with quality—Taittareeya Upanishad.

    The immature people in the world just cannot see anything beyond their body and mind. They are in the firm grip of death—Katha Upanishad.

    Avoid being harsh. When in doubt about your duty or right conduct, go by the examples of noble ones who are active without being harsh—Taittareeya Upanishad.

    We must know our fullness. “I am Brahman” is the realization of our inherent, natural completeness. It is the spiritual truth – Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

    If you hold your tongue, eyes, etc., stable (in control), you ascend to Yoga. If sense organs slip you fall from Yoga—Katha Upanishad.

    We must realize who we are! To discover our true nature, we must listen to the wisdom of the Self, reflect on it and meditate—Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

    Speak Truth! Live righteously! Never give up spiritual study!—Taittareeya Upanishad.

    Appearances are deceptive; get not carried away! Those who talk often know not. Those who know many times speak not!—Kena Upanishad.

    Relationship based primarily on pleasure leads to sorrow. Those who go for the pleasure(Preyas) and leave the good (Sreyas) fail in life—Katha Upanishad.

    Life is a journey, the body our car. The intellect, mind is at the wheel. Educate therefore your intellect. Content of thought is critical to meaningful and happy life—Katha Upanishad.

    Upanishad strive towards the divine; help us rise above our daily world existence;  reveal the splendor of the invisible spiritual power; and have  inspired  generations of thinkers with vision and comfort—Dan A. Chekki.

    In Upanishads we have a scripture which, among all the holy scriptures of the world, displays the most scientific spirit in connection with spiritual inquiry—C. Rajagopalachari.

    This lecture has been prepared by N.R.Srinivasan for the Vedanta Class at Sri Ganesha Temple by abridging, extracting and editing texts from the following: 

    1. Prof. Ramachandra Rao S.K., Early Indian Thoughts, Kalpatharu Research Academy, Sharada Peetham, Sankurmutt, Bangalore

    2. Anantha Rangacharya,Principal Upanishads, Bengaluru, India 

    3. Swami Harshananda, The Ten Cordinal Upanishads, Sri Ramakrishna N Math, Mylapore, Madras, Indi

    4. Swami Chidananda,   Daily Bytes, Hand-out

    5.  Rajagopalachari, Upanishads, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Mumbai, India