From the Jacket
The Eternal Upanishads represent the profound essence, the succulent juice and the perennial spiritual philosophy of the Vedas, expounded and elucidated to make them practical and accessible for spiritual aspirants. They are magnificent, stupendous, forceful and powerful instruments in the hands of true seekers that provide spiritual foresight and vision of the ultimate Truth and reality.
The Upanishads are integral part of the Vedas; each Veda has a number of Upanishads in it. The present series classifies these Upanishads in true vedic tradition, i.e. they are listed and separated into different volumes strictly according to the Vedic sequence and the Vedas they appear in.
Each verse of each Upanishad has been extensively explained using simple language supplemented by elaborate notes so that these profound metaphysical treatises can be made accessible to even a lay man. Towards this end, extensive appendices have been added to elucidated the different concepts in simple words. Concepts such as OM, Naad, Naadis, Chakras, Yoga, Atma, Viraat, Moksha etc. are all elaborately explained in these separate appendices, a Mantra index in roman in also included.
The present volume contains 16 principal Upanishads of the Rig Veda. The sequence of their listing in this volume strictly follows the sanction of the Upanishads themselves, as is Clear in Muktikopanishad, cant 1, verse no. 56.
Ajai Kumar Chhawchharia born on 8th August, 1955 in Burdwan district of West Bengal, is a humble and unpretentious bachelor, who has dedicated his entire life to the service of Lord Ram. At present he is residing in the holy pilgrim city of Ayodhya (U.P. India) since 1985.
‘A steady Light which is swifter than thought (mind) is present amongst moving (animate) things to show the way to happiness. All the Gods who are equally wise and intelligent move reverentially towards the one and the only supreme intelligent transcendental Being (Brahma)’ (Rg Veda, 6/9/5).
Oh those with similar high wisdom, knowledge, erudition and scholarship get up, rise up! (Rg Veda, 10/101/1).
‘He who is the source of life and power, whose commands all beings, including the Gods, obey, whose shadow is immortality as well as death-we give our oblations to that supreme Lord whom we adore’ (Rg Veda, 10/121/2).
‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished in all good works’ (Bible, Timothy, 2/3/16-17), ‘As, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you’ (Bible, gospel of St. Mathew, 7/7), ‘Wherefore he saith-awake thou that sleepest, and come from the dead and Christ (Lord) shall give you light’ (Bible, Ephesians, 5/14).
‘As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, source s in different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Three’ (Svami Vivekananda, World Religion Parliament, 11/9/1893, Chicago, USA), ‘Open your eyes and see him’ (Svami Vivekananda Complete Works, 2/146)
sa hovaca sriramah / aitareyakausitakinadabindvatmaprabodhanirvana-mudgalaksamalikatripura saubhagyabahvrcanamrgvedagatanam dasasankhyakanamupanisadam vanme manasiti santih //
Sri Rama replied to Hanuman, ‘There are 10 Upanisads in the Rg Veda and their ‘Santi Mantra’ is ‘Van Me Manasi’. These 10 Upanisads are the following-(1) Aitareya, (2) Kausitaki-brahmana, (3) Nadabindu, (4) Atmaprabodha, (5) Nirvana, (6) Mudgala, (7) Aksamalika, (8) Tripura, (9) Saubhagya-laksmi and (10) Bahvrc (53)
[Sukla Yajur Veda, Muktikopanisad, Canto 1, verse no. 53]
The above quotation from Muktikopanisad firmly established the list of Upanisads belonging to the Rg Veda. In this anthology, in true Vedic tradition, I have followed exactly the same sequence as prescribed by Sri Rama to Hanuman in listing and narrating those Upanisads, viz. I start this anthology with the Aitareya Upanisad and culminate it with Bahvrc Upanisad. The original Sanskrit texts, their simple layman’s lucid version in easy flowing English, simple explanatory notes to clarify various conceptions as the when they appear in the text, their probable interpretations, along with several appear in the text, their probable interpretations, along with several appendices etc. will make this bouquet useful while being vibrant, colourful, attractive, lively, succulent and unique at the same time. Knowledge, especially when it relates to divinity and spirituality, is a pleasant perfume which wafts soothingly over the ruffled terrain of our mundane, arduous existence and lends purpose to it, gives hope in the otherwise hopeless whirlpool represented by this mirage-like world which traps and sucks everything down in its vortex of delusions, and is like the bright and glorious Sun rising in the horizon to lighten up all the directions of the realm of our existence and lift the veil of darkness of ignorance and delusions that has spiritually blinded us.
There are 10 Upanisads in the Rg Veda-each has been included in this book separately from chapters 1 to 10. To introduce the text, I’ve included Atmapujopanisad which will succinctly but marvelously initiate the reader on the voyage of discovery. Further, appendix no. 1 has the ‘Purusa Sukta’ dedicated to the ‘Virat Purusa’ mentioned in Mudgalopanisad (Chapter 6), appendix no. 2 has the ‘Sri Sukta’ mentioned in Saubhagya-laksmi Upanisad (Chapter 9), appendix no. 3 has the Caturvedopanisad which describes, inter-alia, the genesis of creation, appendix no. 4 has the ‘Santi Patha’ of the Rg Veda which appear at the beginning and the end of each Rg Vedic Upanisad, appendix no. 5 expounds on the concept of cosmic ‘Nada’ and OM, appendix no. 6 explains what is meant by ‘Yantra Tantra and Mantra’, appendix no. 7 describes the various energy centers in the body (i.e. the Cakras) and the ‘Nadis’ (nerves and veins), appendix no. 8 briefs the reader with various Vedantic concepts (such as Atma, sheaths, elements, Vasanas and Vrttis, macro-micro cosmos, the Virat etc.), appendix no. 9 deals with the classification of the Upanisads, their approximate period of composition, their relationship with the Vedas and Puranas, and their influence on other philosophies, notably the Jaina philosophy of India and the Greek philosophers of Europe, and appendix no. 10 has a ‘Mantra Index’.
This book deals with the Upanisads of the Rg Veda, and their subject matter can be briefly classified, inter alia, as follows-(i) the Upanisads that deal with the creation and heaven etc. (Aitareya, Chapter 1 and Kausitaki, Chapter 2), (ii) Metaphysical subjects such as Atma and Brahma etc. (Atma Prabodha Chapter 4), (iii) Concept of renunciation, emancipation and salvation etc. (Nirvana, Chapter 5), (iv) The concept of OM and cosmic ‘Nada’ (Nada Bindu, Chapter 3), (v) the Virat Purusa (i.e. the macrocosmic form of the Soul-Mudgala, Chapter 6), (vi) The use of Yantra or worship instrument (Tripura and Saubhagyalaksmi, Chapters 8 and 9), (vii) Yoga and its related concepts such as various Cakras or subtle energy centers in the human body (Saubhagyalaksmi, Chapter 9, Canto 2-3) and (viii) The concept of the divine Goddess representing the primordial cosmic energy which was primarily responsible for this creation (Bahvrc, Chapter 10). A brief introduction is given at the beginning of each chapter which outlines its conten