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    Default THE UPANISHADS



    Dear friends,
    The Upanishads,{ Sanskrit: उपनिषद् Upaniṣad [ˈʊpɐnɪʂɐd]) are ancient Sanskrit texts of spiritual teaching and ideas of Hinduism. They are the part of the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, the Vedas, that deal with meditation, philosophy, and spiritual knowledge; other parts of the Vedas deal with mantras, benedictions, rituals, ceremonies, and sacrifices. Among the most important literature in the history of Indian religions and culture, the Upanishads played an important role in the development of spiritual ideas in ancient India, marking a transition from Vedic ritualism to new ideas and institutions. Of all Vedic literature, the Upanishads alone are widely known, and their central ideas are at the spiritual core of Hinduism.

    The Upanishads are commonly referred to as Vedānta. Vedanta has been interpreted as the "last chapters, parts of the Veda" and alternatively as "object, the highest purpose of the Veda". The concepts of Brahman (ultimate reality) and Ātman (soul, self) are central ideas in all of the Upanishads, and "know that you are the Ātman" is their thematic focus. Along with the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahmasutra, the Mukhya Upanishads (known collectively as the Prasthanatrayi) provide a foundation for the several later schools of Vedanta, among them, two influential monistic schools of Hinduism.

    Around 108 Upanishads are known, of which the first dozen or so are the oldest and most important and are referred to as the principal or main (Mukhya) Upanishads. The mukhya Upanishads are found mostly in the concluding part of the Brahmanas and Aranyakas and were, for centuries, memorized by each generation and passed down orally. The early Upanishads all predate the Common Era.

    The Sanskrit term Upaniṣad (from upa "by" and ni-ṣad "sit down") translates to "sitting down near", referring to the student sitting down near the teacher while receiving spiritual knowledge. Other dictionary meanings include "esoteric doctrine" and "secret doctrine". Monier-Williams' Sanskrit Dictionary notes – "According to native authorities, Upanishad means setting to rest ignorance by revealing the knowledge of the supreme spirit."

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    Adi Shankaracharya explains in his commentary on the Kaṭha and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad that the word means Ātmavidyā, that is, "knowledge of the self", or Brahmavidyā "knowledge of Brahma". The word appears in the verses of many Upanishads, such as the fourth verse of the 13th volume in first chapter of the Chandogya Upanishad. Max Müller as well as Paul Deussen translate the word Upanishad in these verses as "secret doctrine", Robert Hume translates it as "mystic meaning", while Patrick Olivelle translates it as "hidden connections

    While the Mandukya Upanishadi s the shortest with 12 poems, the longest is the the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad with six chapters. I shall try to give to give a brief summary of the upanishads one by one, for everyone who is interested in knowing a summary of these treasures of Hindu Religion.

    Later, may be, the Upanishads can be taken up one by one in detail, if many evince interest. The idea is, for the youngsters to know some thing about these.

    JAI SRI RAM!
    SIVAAYA NAMAH!

    Sincerely,
    Varadarajan



    Last edited by R.Varadarajan; 25-05-2020 at 09:42 PM.

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