Pre-Religion Indian Wisdom Part V Upanishads

This is Part V of a 5 part series on Pre-Religion Indian Wisdom. Concluding the series, we introduce major Upanishads here. Due to time and space constraints the encouraging and enlightening responses received from readers about Parts I to IV of this series are not being shared. Some of you have rightly copied the responses to Groups. Thanks 🙏 Though there are more than 100 known Upanishads, ten of them for which Shankaracharya has written commentaries are more popular. Eight Upanishads with Sanskrit text and English translation of Acharya's commentaries are available in 2 volumes* (Published by Advaita Ashram) We started this series following a talk on Vedas and concluding today with an enlightening talk by Sarvapriyananda. He tells you the meaning of the word "Vedanta". It's not "The End" Do listen. M G Warrier *Eight Upanishads : With the Commentary of Shankaracharya Pre-Religion Indian Wisdom Part V Sarvapriyananda : Upanishads A Upanishads : Introduction Excerpts : "May my speech be fixed in my mind, may my mind be fixed in my speech! O self-luminous Brahman, be manifested to me. O mind and speech, may you bring me the meaning of the Vedas! May what I study from the Vedas not leave me! I shall unite day and night through this study. I shall think of the right; I shall speak the right. May Brahman protect me, may Brahman protect the teacher! May Brahman protect me, may Brahman protect the teacher! Om. Peace! Peace! Peace! " B Vedas & Upanishads : Teachings Vedanta (anta 'the end' or 'last portion') is the essence and culmination of all the knowledge within the Vedas. The Upanishads are part of Vedanta or the last part of the Vedas. Though every word of Vedas is sacred and still relevant for today`s society but there are best 12 teachings of Vedas which is purpose of life of everyone to know. Please open the link. D Upanishads : Know More Excerpts : The Upanishads (Sanskrit: उपनिषद्, IAST: Upaniṣad, IPA: [upəniʂəd]) are a collection of philosophical texts which form the theoretical basis for the Hindu religion. They are also known as Vedanta, the end of the Veda. In the purest sense, they are not Sruti (revealed truths) but rather commentaries which explain the essence of the veda (revealed knowledge). The Upanishads are found mostly in the concluding part of the Brahmanas and in the Aranyakas.[1] All Upanishads have been passed down in oral tradition. More than 200 are known, of which the first dozen or so, the oldest and most important, are variously referred to as the principal, main (mukhya) or old Upanishads. With the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahmasutra (known collectively as the Prasthanatrayi),[2] the mukhya Upanishads provide a foundation for several later schools of Indian philosophy (vedanta), among them, two influential monistic schools of Hinduism. E For further reading :§ion_id=582 Essence of the Kathopanishad by Swami Sivananada Om. May That protect us both (teacher and pupil). May That cause us both to enjoy the bliss (of Mukti). May we both exert to find out the true meaning of the scriptures. May our learning be brilliant. May we never quarrel with each other! Om Peace! Peace!! Peace!!! 1. Revelation or direct intuition (Aparoksha-anubhuti) is the source of the knowledge of the Atman or the Supreme Self. 2. This Atman is difficult to be known. It is very subtle. It cannot be obtained by arguing. 3. A Self-realised Guru is necessary to lead the aspirants in the spiritual path. F Significance of Vedic Knowledge : Vathsala Jayaraman What needs special mention is whenever people speak about the History of science they mostly lay emphasis on the Greek civilization, the Western and European remains. But the rich content of the Indian civilization and their scientific knowledge is mostly forgotten. Highlighting the Indian culture here, we see that India had an exceptionally vibrant tradition way ahead of the Greeks or the Europeans and their scientific knowledge was much advanced compared to them. This can be discovered in the 'Vedas’ which are considered to be composed of knowledge in the pure form by the scholars and pundits. Out of all the four, the Atharvaveda is the youngest and the richest in terms of scientific knowledge. It deals with medicine mostly, Biology, Chemistry some physics and several other areas in spiritual education etc. . It is referred to by scholars as the key to the Knowledge of Magic formulas. As it was mentioned by M.Winternitz in his famous book ‘History of Indian Literature', “Many of these magic songs in the Atharvaveda are like magic rites pertaining to them, belonging to a sphere of conceptions which spread over the whole earth. It may be mentioned here that among the other contents of the Atharvaveda, there are also concepts about Holy magic and Black Magic as was prevalent in those days. (Holy magic deals with the well being of man whereas Black magic is just the opposite). Major portion of this Veda is concerned with the following : Diseases and their cure Rites for prolonging life Rites for fulfilling one’s desires Building construction Trade and commerce Statecraft Penances Propitiatory rites Black-magic Significance of Atharvaveda Atharvaveda has high philosophical ideas similar to the thought pattern of the Upaniṣads. The literary style is more sophisticated. Hence some scholars believe that this work was not admitted into the comity of Vedic literature for a long time. It was perhaps considered as a ‘scripture of the masses,’ not fit for the admission into the ‘elite-group’. It's sheer popularity might have forced the leaders of the society to admit it as the fourth Veda and give its priests also an honorable place in the sacrifices. For the same reasons, it is opined that this Veda is chronologically posterior to the other three Vedas. Bhaisajya Suktas These suktas deal with diseases, their causes and cures, show a remarkable insight into the subject of health sciences. That is why this Veda is considered to be the precursor of Ayurveda or the Science of health and longevity. These suktas contain many prayers for health and longevity. The various names of the parts of the body given here bespeak of an intimate knowledge of human anatomy. Several diseases like fever, leucoderma, leprosy, jaundice, diabetes, dropsy, skin disorders, troubles of the ear, nose and throat, fracture of bones, diseases of the heart and tuberculosis, are mentioned with their respective cures. Apart from medicines and physical remedies, use of chants and charms was also in plenty. A deep knowledge of the herbs and their various medicinal properties can be inferred from many of the mantras. Āyusya Suktas These suktas contain supplications for longevity. They are to be uttered on auspicious occasions like caula (tonsure),upanayana thread), godāna and so on. (Abhichara Karma) : There are discussions about various measures to overpower enemies, demons and evil spirit, etc. There are measures to kill (Marana), subdue (Vasikarana), paralyse (Stambhana), distract the mind (Uchhatana), etc., by which the undesired elements could be subdued. The Atharva Veda has been widely misunderstood and misinterpreted by many Westerners and their Indian followers to be full of black magic and witchcraft. This is absolutely erroneous. Although there are Abhichara mantras (mantras to subdue undesirable forces), these are very limited in number.On the other hand, the Atharva Veda is rich in spiritual and philosophical knowledge, patriotism, knowledge of medical science and various beneficial knowledge of the mundane world. In short, the Atharva Veda combines the knowledge of the four goals of life -- Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa. The Atharva Veda has incurred wide recognition from grand personalities like Manu, Yajnavalkya, Vyasa, Usana and Shankaracharya and can never be excluded from the group of Vedas. Moreover, the Atharva Veda is meant to be recited by the Brahma priest in the sacrifice, without which Vedic sacrifice (Yajna) is incomplete. The Atharva Veda has rich supplementary literature. Among the ten major Upanisads of the four Vedas, three very important Upanisads -- Prasna, Mundaka and Mandukya Upanisads belong to this Veda. The Atharva Veda is a great mine of Indian wisdom meant not only for happiness in the other world but also guiding to a happy and fruitful life. Vathsala Jayaraman


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