The Upanishads     99 posts


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" The Isha Upanishad "

The Lord is enshrined in the hearts of all.
The Lord is the supreme Reality.
Rejoice in him through renunciation.
Covet nothing. All belongs to the Lord.
Thus working may you live a hundred years.
Thus alone will you work in real freedom.

Those who deny the Self are born again
Blind to the Self, enveloped in darkness,
Utterly devoid of love for the Lord.

The Self is one. Ever still, the Self is
Swifter than thought, swifter than the senses.
Though motionless, he outruns all pursuit.
Without the Self, never could life exist.

The Self seems to move, but is ever still.
He seems far away, but is ever near.
He is within all, and he transcends all.

Those who see all creatures in themselves
And themselves in all creatures know no fear.
Those who see all creatures in themselves
And themselves in all creatures know no grief.
How can the multiplicity of life
Delude the one who sees its unity ?

The Self is everywhere. Bright is the Self,
Indivisible, untouched by sin, wise,
Immanent and transcendent. He it is
Who holds the cosmos together.

In dark night live those for whom
The world without alone is real; in night
Darker still, for whom the world within
Alone is real. The first leads to a life
Of action, the second to a life of meditation
Cross the sea of death through action
And enter into immortality
Through the practice of meditation.
So we have heard from the wise.

In dark night live those for whom the Lord
Is transcendent only; in night darker still,
For whom he is immanent only.
But those for whom he is transcendent
And immanent cross the sea of death
With the immanent and enter into
Immortality with the transcendent.
So we have heard from the wise.

The face of Truth is hidden by your orb
Of gold, O sun. May you remove your orb
So that I, who adore the true, may see
The glory of Truth. O nourishing sun,
Solitary traveler, controller,
Source of life for all creatures, spread your light
And subdue your dazzling splendor
So that I may see your blessed Self.
Even that very Self am I !

May my life merge in the Immortal
When my body is reduced to ashes.
O mind, meditate on the Eternal Brahman.
Remember the deeds of the past.
Remember, O mind, remember.

O god of fire, lead us by the good path
To Eternal Joy. You know all our deeds.
Deliver us from evil, we who bow
And pray again and again.

OM Shanti Shanti Shantii

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As a great fish swims between the banks of a river as it likes, so does the shining Self move between the states of dreaming and waking.

As an eagle, weary after soaring in the sky, folds its wings and flies down to rest in its nest, so does the shining Self enter the state of dreamless sleep, where one is free from all desires. The Self is free from desire, free from evil, free from fear...

Like strangers in an unfamiliar country walking every day over a buried treasure, day by day we enter that Self while in deep sleep but never know it, carried away by what is false.

Day and night cannot cross that bridge, nor old age, nor death, nor grief, nor evil or good deeds. All evils turn back there, unable to cross; evil comes not into this world of Brahman. One who crosses by this bridge, if blind, is blind no more; if hurt, ceases to be hurt; if in sorrow, ceases sorrowing. At this boundary night itself becomes day: night comes not into the world of Reality...

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Hear, O children of immortal bliss!
You are born to be united with the Lord.
Follow the path of the illumined ones.
And be united with the Lord of Life.

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When seeing Brahman as the highest and the lowest everywhere, all knots of our heart are broken, all sorrows are split, all doubts vanish and our works become nothing.

~ Mundaka Upanishad III-ii, 8

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"Speak the Truth. Abide by your Dharma. Never be idle in your studies."

~ Taittireeya Upanishad 1.11

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Brihadarnyak Upanishad. 5.1.1

“The invisible (Brahman) is the Full; the visible (the world) is also Full. From the Full (Brahman), the Full (the visible universe) has come. The Full (Brahman)remains the same, even after the Full (the visible universe) has come out of the Full (Brahman).”

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The Kena Upanishad, asks: 'Keneshitam patati preshitam manah?'

" Willed by whom does the directed mind go towards its object ? "

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Significance of The Upanishads

“The Upanishads are metaphysical treatises which are replete with sublime conceptions of Vedanta and with intuitions of universal truths. The Indian Rishis and seers of yore endeavored to grasp the fundamental truths of being. They tried to solve the problems of the origin, the nature and the destiny of man and of the universe. They attempted to grasp the meaning and value of knowing and being. They endeavored to find a solution for the problems of the means of life and the world and of the relation of the individual to the ‘Unseen,’ or the Supreme Soul. They sought earnestly satisfactory solution of these profound questions: Who am I? What is this universe or Samsara? Whence are we born? On what do we rest? Where do we go? Is there any such thing as immortality, freedom, perfection, eternal bliss, everlasting peace, Atman, Brahman, or the Self, Supreme Soul, which is birthless, deathless, changeless, self-existent? How to attain Brahman or Immortality?

They practiced right living, Tapas, introspection, self-analysis, enquiry and meditation on the pure, inner Self and attained Self-realization. Their intuitions of deep truths are subtle and direct. Their inner experiences, which are direct, first-hand, intuitive and mystical, which no science can impeach, which all philosophies declare as the ultimate goal of their endeavors, are embodied in the sublime books called the Upanishads.

Some Western scholars have fixed the age of the Upanishads as B.C. 600, or so. They regard that all of them belong to the pre-Buddhistic period. This is a sad mistake indeed. The Upanishads are the knowledge portion, or Jnana-Kanda, of the Vedas. They are eternal. They came out of the mouth of Hiranyagarbha, or Brahman. How can one fix the date of the Upanishads? They existed even before the creation of this world.

The Upanishads are a source of deep mystic divine knowledge which serves as the means of freedom from this formidable Samsara, earthly bondage. They are world-scriptures. They appeal to the lovers of religion and truth in all races, and at all times. They contain profound secrets of Vedanta, or Jnana-Yoga, and practical hints and clues which throw much light on the pathway of Self-realization.

There are four Vedas., Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. There are as many Upanishads to each Veda as there are Sakhas or branches (subdivisions). there are 21, 109, 1000, and 50 subdivisions to Rik, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva Vedas respectively. Thus there are one thousand and hundred and eighty (1,180) Upanishads.

Significance And Ideal

Knowledge of the Upanishads destroys ignorance, the seed of Samsara. 'Shad' means to 'shatter' or 'destroy'. By having knowledge of the Upanishads one is able to sit near Brahman, i.e., to attain Self-realization. Hence the name 'Upanishad'. Knowledge of Brahman is called 'Upanishad', because it leads to Brahman and helps aspirants to attain Brahman. The term 'Upanishad' is applied to the book also in a secondary sense, by courtesy.

The following two ideas dominate the teaching of all the Upanishads: (1) Final emancipation can be attained only by knowledge of the Ultimate Reality, or Brahman (Brahmajnana): (2) He who is equipped with the four means of salvation, viz., Viveka, (discrimination), Vairagya (dispassion), Shad-Sampat (the six-fold treasure; self-control, etc.) and Mumukshutva (yearning for liberation), can attain Brahman. The Upanishads teach the philosophy of absolute unity.

The goal of men, according to the Upanishads, is realization of Brahman. Self-realization alone can dispel ignorance and bestow immortality, eternal bliss, and everlasting peace. Knowledge of Brahman alone can remove all sorrows, delusion and pain.

The Upanishads are rightly called the Vedanta, the end of the Vedas, that which is reserved for those who have freed themselves from the bonds of formal religion.

The Upanishads are not meant for the masses, as they contain the highest speculations of philosophy. They are meant only for the select few, who are fit and worthy to receive the instructions. Hence the term 'Upanishad' signified at first 'secret teaching' or 'secret doctrine'. As already stated, Sadhana-Chatushtaya (the fourfold means) is the primary qualification of an aspirant of Jnana-Yoga, or one who seeks the knowledge of the Upanishads.

Study the Upanishads systematically. Acquire the four means of salvation. Meditate on the non-dual Atman or Brahman and attain ever-lasting Bliss!”

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Atman, when taught by one who knows not, is not easily comprehended, because It is diversely regarded by disputants. But when It is taught by him who has become one with Atman, there can remain no more doubt about It.
Atman is subtler than the subtlest and not to be known through argument.

~ Katha Upanishad :1.2.8

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Meditate on Self as "OM". May you thus safely cross beyond darkness.

~ Mundaka Upanishad II, 2

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The moment you feel life's vanity, quit home.

~ Nrada Parivrajaka Upanishad

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Who am I? How (came) this (world)? What is it? How (came) death and birth? Thus inquire within yourself, and great will be your benefit therefrom.

~ Annapurnopanishad I, 40

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Who am I? Whence is this widespread 'Samsara'. i.e, flow of births and deaths? These, the wise should enquire into diligently, soon-nay, now.

~ Mahopanishad, IV. 21

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The Self is not realized through instruction,
nor by intellectual power,
nor by much hearing
. It can be reached only
by the one whom the Self chooses.
To him the Self reveals its form.
He who has not renounced evil ways,
who is not at peace,
who cannot concentrate,
whose mind is not composed
cannot reach the Self,
even by right knowledge.

Krishna Yajur Veda,

Katha Upanishad 1.2.24-25

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Brahman is not grasped by the eye, nor by speech, nor by the other senses, nor by penance or good works. A man becomes pure through serenity of intellect; thereupon, in meditation, he beholds Him who is without parts."

~ Mundaka Upanishad

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CHANDOGYA UPANISHAD

The Self

"When the person in the eye resides in the body,
he resides where the organ of sight
has entered into the Akasa (i.e. the pupil of the eye);
the eye is the instrument of seeing.

He who is aware of the thought:
Let me smell this, he is the Self;
the nose is the instrument of smelling.

He who is aware of the thought:
Let me speak, he is the Self;
the tongue is the instrument of speaking.

He who is aware of the thought:
Let me hear, he is the Self;
the ear is the instrument of hearing.

"He who is aware of the thought:
Let me think this, he is the Self; the mind is his divine eye.
He, the Self sees all these desires in the World of Brahman through the divine eye, the mind and rejoices.

"The gods meditate on that Self.
Therefore all worlds belong to them and all desires.
He who knows that Self and understands It
obtains all worlds and all desires."

Thus said Prajapati, yea, thus said Prajapati

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As pure water poured into pure water becomes the very same, so does the Self of the illumined man or woman verily become one with the godhead.

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There is a Spirit which is pure and which is beyond old age and death...This Atman, the Spirit in man.

~ Chandogya Upanishad

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There is a bridge between time and eternity; and this bridge is Atman, The Spirit of man.

~ Chandogya Upanishad

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The bow is sacred OM and the arrow is our soul. Brahman is the mark of the arrow, the aim of the soul. Even as an arrow becomes one with its mark, let the watchful soul be one in him.

~ Mundaka Upanishad

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Because liberation is assured for a mind which is not devoted to objects...for that very reason, the mind should constantly be made free of attachment to objects, by one who aspires for liberation.

~ Amrtabind Upanishad

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The Atman must be regarded as One and the same in waking, dream and dreamless sleep. For that One who has transcended the three states, rebirth does not exist.

~ Amratind Upanishad

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(Katha Upanishad, 10th Mantra, Canto 2)

I know that (all) wealth is transient; and verily the eternal is never attained by the transient;

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(Katha Upanishad, 9th Mantra, Canto 2)

"This (spiritual) understanding which thou hast obtained, O Nachiketa, cannot be attained by logical reason; it becomes easy of comprehension, O dearest one, when taught by another. Indeed thou hast thy will yoked to truth. May we have questioners like thee!"

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(Katha Upanishad, 8th Mantra, Canto 2)

This (Atman) can never be well comprehended if taught by an inferior person, even though variously pondered upon. Unless taught by another (who has realized his oneness with It), there is no way (to comprehend It). Subtler than the subtlest is It, and beyond tarka or logical reason.

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When a seer sees the brilliant
Maker, God, Person, the Brahma-source,
Then, being a knower, shaking off good and evil,
Stainless, he attains supreme identity with Him.

Truly it is Life that shines forth in all things!
Understanding this, one becomes a knower.
There is no superior speaker.
Having delight in the Soul, having pleasure in the Soul,
doing the rites,
Such a one is the best of Brahma-knowers.

Mundaka Upanishad

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