🌌 Embark on a Journey of Ancient Wisdom: ‘The Ten Principal Upanishads’ Series 🌌
- Upanishad = Upa + Nishad: Spiritual knowledge obtained by disciples sitting near or at the feet of The Guru [ means the Teacher].
- Scholar says that Upanishads were composed during 4000-5000 BC. Some says: 2000-14000BC.
- Nowhere it is mentioned about any author n the Upanishads. No date of origin can be fixed.
- Teachings were imparted in stillness, noise free environment like forests where tranquillity cannot be disturbed. Those Upanishads are known as Aranyaka and these were specially intended for Vanaprastha.
- Teachings were transmitted orally and hence called as “SRUTI”.
- Value of Upanishad for Mankind is for all time, all places and all ages. Lessons in Scriptures are very practical and applicable for modern world as it was for Indo-Aryan period.
- Upanishads were transported to western countries initially through Persian translation [1700 AD].
- French scholar Anquetil Duperron brought a copy of manuscript from Persia to France. Later on, it was translated in French and Latin.
- First English translation was made by Raja Ram Mohan Roy. [1775-1833].
- Every Upanishad begins with a Peace mantra. (shanti path).
- There are 108 Upanishads. Among them 10 Upanishads are considered as Principal Upanishads.
- Who Am I? What is this, Universe? Whence and how we are born? What is mortality or Immortality? What is Atman or Brahman? What is liberation (from cycle of birth)? What is death? – All questions have answers in Upanishads.
Upanishads as a repository of ancient wisdom:
The Upanishads, often referred to as the “Vedanta” or the culmination of Vedic thought, stand as timeless pillars of ancient wisdom. Rooted in the spiritual tapestry of ancient India, these profound texts delve into the deepest realms of human existence, transcending mere rituals and beliefs. The word “Upanishad” itself translates to “sitting down near,” symbolizing the intimate teacher-student relationship that characterizes their transmission.
In the heart of the Upanishads lies a quest for the ultimate truth that transcends the transient world. These texts are not just repositories of knowledge but living guides to understanding the nature of reality, the self, and the Absolute. Across the centuries, they have illuminated the minds of seekers, philosophers, and spiritual aspirants, leaving an indelible mark on the intellectual and spiritual landscape of humanity.
The importance of understanding the Upanishads’ teachings in the modern world:
In an age of rapid technological advancements and ever-evolving societies, the teachings of the Upanishads resonate more profoundly than ever. Amid the hustle and bustle of modern life, where material pursuits often take precedence, the Upanishads offer a sanctuary of timeless wisdom that reminds us of our true purpose.
Understanding the Upanishads is not a mere exercise in historical exploration but a profound opportunity to connect with the very essence of our being. These teachings invite us to go beyond the surface and seek answers to questions that have lingered in human consciousness for millennia. In a world rife with uncertainties and complexities, the Upanishads provide a steady compass, guiding us towards inner peace, self-discovery, and a harmonious relationship with the world around us.
The universal relevance of the Upanishads’ insights:
The teachings of the Upanishads are not confined by time, culture, or geography. Their insights transcend the boundaries of tradition and speak to the universal human experience. The themes woven into the fabric of these texts—such as the nature of reality, the Self, and the Absolute, known as “Brahman”—are questions that have stirred the hearts and minds of people across cultures and eras.
The Upanishads remind us that our shared humanity is rooted in the quest for understanding the fundamental truths of existence. Their insights have the power to bridge gaps between different worldviews, fostering a sense of unity among diverse individuals. By unravelling the layers of symbolism and metaphor, readers from all walks of life can find common ground in their pursuit of meaning and purpose.
In an increasingly interconnected world, the Upanishads beckon to us as a source of profound wisdom that transcends divisions. Their teachings serve as a guiding light, leading us towards self-realization and a deeper appreciation for the interconnectedness of all life.
All answers will be in the next series of posts.
Lord of Death ” Yama “ explained the reality through conversations between them. That is the Essence of Katha Upanishad.