Sayings From The Upanishads (Illustrated)

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About the Book

The Upanishads are said to be divine revelations received by seers and saints. They shaped Hinduism but also influenced the thought of several other spiritual leanings. According to Valerie Roebuck, 'Probably at least half the people in the world have been affected in some way or the other by the ideas of the Upanishads.'

The knowledge that is contained in the Upanishads is not aimed at material gains or even intellectual satisfaction but at enabling one to become free of worldly sufferings and limitations: to attain fearlessness, and to dig up the supreme treasures of the mind. The Upanishads attempt the emancipation of the individual soul from the bondage of ignorance. Their attempt is to help us gain true knowledge leading to infinite joy. Purification of the mind and body by clean and light food, self-control, detachment, active practice of all virtues and meditation on the Supreme Being during life and death-this is the path that the Upanishads propose to the seeker of truth.

 

About the Author

Ashok Dilwali has mastered the art of capturing nature in its various moods-from the turbulent to the sublime –with his lenses. Every manifestation of Nature is for him, as for many of us, a divine creation. He presents Nature in a form and style unprecedented.

Dilwali has been regularly holding photography exhibitions and has won two gold medals in the International Photography Competitions in Austria (2005 and 2006). He also received the third prize in a photography competition held in USA in 2002. He has more than a dozen books to his credit, including sayings from the Bhagvad Gita and Saying from the Vedas.

 

Preface

What is an Upanishad? Literally this Sanskrit word suggests 'Sitting down under': that is, at the feet of an illumined teacher. The Upanishads are teachings received in this manner. The Upanishads are also referred to as 'Vedanta'. The word, 'Vedanta' literally means, the end of knowledge. The Vedas are the scriptures of the Hindus. The teachers who threw light on the Upanishads were often teachers who had retired from life and lived in ashramas along with their students. They lived as a family. The purpose of the Upanishads is more inspiration rather than instruction. Nobody knows who composed them and when. The sages-composers did not indicate their separate identities as they believed truth is a universal phenomenon and, therefore, eternal.

Traditionally, the Upanishads were kept secret and hidden, monopolized by a few learned ones. But in times to come with the spirit of inquiry pervading all spheres, research began on their meaning and message.

The Vedas are divided mainly into two portions: the karma kand and the gyana kand. The former refers to the work and rituals while the latter relates to the knowledge of the Vedas. The Upanishads are the latter portions of the Vedas concerned mainly with the spiritual aspects. They are the philosophical treatises running through the Vedas. The Bhagavad Gita is also considered by scholars as the Upanishad of the epic Mahabharata.

The Upanishads lay stress on one point: The reality of God must not be sought as something separate from us, but rather as the very innermost part of our being, as the higher self in us. This is Brahman or Self or Atman described as something permanent within us all.

The word 'Brahman' is not very common, but the word 'God' is. In the Upanishads Brahman is said to be, first of all, the source of all creation. Secondly, Brahman is also indicated in this way: 'That which is not perceived by the eyes as an object, as a colour, or a form, but because of which the eyes are able to see.' That is Brahman, which we call God. That which is not thought of by the mind, but because of which the mind is able to think-that is Brahman. That is our own Self That because of which there is life in the body is called Brahman, the Self. Its existence cannot be denied by anyone. Therefore, Brahman is said to be the origin of all creation and is seated in the hearts of all beings as consciousness. It is nameless, it is formless. To know that this consciousness in Me is the highest achievement that a human being can attain, there is nothing greater than this and thus our entire vision of the world changes.

All the efforts in spiritual practices, all rituals, temples, idols of gods, and various religious symbols are meant only to lead the invidual (jiva) to this final realization.

Their main message is that the spirit can only be known through the union with Him and not through learning. The spirit of the Upanishads is the spirit of the Universe. Brahman, Soul (Arman) or God himself is their underlying spirit.

From a spiritual point of view what matters is immortality, which does not mean a long life or life after death. Immortality is Atman, the Soul or the Spirit of Eternity within our mortal body. Only in God there is Immortality.

The Upanishads are said to be divine revelations received by seers and saints. They shaped Hinduism but also influenced the thought of several other spiritual leanings. According to Valerie Roebuck, 'Probably at least half the people in the world have been affected in some way or the other by the ideas of the Upanishads.'

The knowledge that is contained in the Upanishads is not aimed at material gains or even intellectual satisfaction but at nabling one to become free of worldly sufferings and limitations: to attain fearlessness, and to dig up the supreme treasures of the mind. The Upanishads attempt the emancipation of the individual soul from the bondage of ignorance. Their attempt is to help us gain true knowledge leading to infinite joy. Purification of the mind and body by clean and light food, self-control, detachment, active practice of all virtues and meditation on the Supreme Being during life and death-this is the path that the Upanishads propose to the seeker of truth.

Our ancestors, the Aryans had established a very mystical but definite relationship between the worshipper and the environment. They worshipped natural forces and the elemental powers of life: sun and wind, storm and rain, dawn and dusk and earth and heaven. Their proximity to Nature is evident and it is in Nature one feels the eternal silence and in that eternal silence we feel the Divine presence. It is my personal opinion that such elements of Nature which have been shown must have influenced the minds of the sages who have given shape to their concepts and ideas.

 

Sample Pages



Item Code: NAI071
Cover: Paperback
Edition: 2012
Publisher: Niyogi Books
ISBN: 9788189738280
Language: Sanskrit Text with Hindi and English Translation
Size: 7.0 inch X 8.5 inch
Pages: 104
Other Details: Weight of the Book: 295 gms