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MajorUpanishads-OnePageSummaries

MajorUpanishads-OnePageSummaries

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Published by Dennis Hill
Major Upanishads - one page summaries
Major Upanishads - one page summaries

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Published by: Dennis Hill on May 01, 2010
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03/17/2012

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 MAJOR UPANISHADS
~Dennis Hill
 
-2-
Major Upanishads
able of Contents
Introduction 3Katha Upanishad 4Praśna Upanishad 5Mundaka Upanishad 6Mandukya Upanishad 7aittiriyia Upanishad 8Aitareya Upanishad 9Chandogya Upanishad 10Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad 11Svetasvatara Upanishad 12Kaivalya Upanishad 13
 
-3-
Introduction
In the history o great spiritual literature o India, the Vedas came rst: Rigveda, Yajurveda,Samaveda and Atharvaveda. Scholars date the Rigveda about 1500 BCE, although others suggesta much earlier origin. Te Vedas are essentially the literature o the Hindu religion, and consistlargely o hymns, recitations, and stories. Tis literature largely denes the Hindu culture.All the world’s great religions also have their respective mystical school. For example: themystical school o Islam is the Su Order; or Christians, the Order o the Hesychast; or theJews, Hasidism and the zadiks; in Buddhism, the order o monks. Tis is also true o the Hindureligion. Te mystical school o Vedic Hinduism is Vedanta (literally,
the culmination of wisdom
).Te Upanishads are the oundational literature o mystical Vedanta.Te earliest o the ten Major Upanishads date rom about 400 BCE, with the most recent romthe 17th century. Te term Upanishad means
sitting near the teacher 
; as these great teachings arehanded down the generations directly rom master to student.Tere are 108 Upanishads generally recognized in the classical set. However, the ollowingten are the ones most studied as they encompass the essence o Vedanta. Tis essence, theundamental teaching o the Upanishads is this: Individual consciousness and UniversalConsciousness is not dierent. Respectively, in Sanskrit the term or the individual is Atman; theUniversal is the nameless ormless Brahman. So the Upanishads tell us that Atman and Brahmanare the same—that is; non-dual, or
advaita
(not two).In the text o the Upanishads we see the our great sayings, or
mahavakyas
:
Prajnanam Brahma
-
“Consciousness is Brahman”
(Aitareya Upanishad3.3 o the Rig Veda)
 Ayam Atma Brahma
-
“Tis Self (Atman) is Brahman”
(MandukyaUpanishad 1.2 o the Atharva Veda)
at vam Asi
-
“Tou art Tat”
(Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 o the SamaVeda)
 Aham Brahmasmi
-
“I am Brahman”
(Brhadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 o the Yajur Veda)We also notice that each o these Upanishads is associated with a dierent Veda. Tisillustrates that the deepest spiritual roots are related to Advaita Vedanta philosophy.Practically speaking, what all this means to us in our own experience o lie is that we, as thelocal address o consciousness, are not separate or dierent rom Universal Consciousness. Wesurmise rom this that just as we are all the same as the Universal, you and I are also not separateor dierent in our innermost being. We have this experience in the depth o meditation immersedin the unity o just being. See or yoursel.In the ollowing text, these short one page summaries merely illustrate the undamental ideao its respective Upanishad. Tis is intended only to be the brieest introduction to urther studieso a primary reerence.
© Dennis Hill 2009

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