You are what your deep, driving desire is
As your desire is, so is your will
As your will is, so is your deed
As your deed is, so is your destiny
~ Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 4.4.5
Prasthana Trayam: The Trinity Of Holy Scriptures:
1. The Brahma Sutras
2. The Upanishads
3. The Gita
Vedanta philosophy is the study of our true nature. The study of Vedanta accepts three texts, the Brahma Sutras, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita as foremost authority to aid in humans quest for salvation. These three holy scriptures are called the Prasthana Traya.
Out of the three, the Upanishads and their source texts – the Vedas, are both called Srutis. Srutis literally mean those that have been heard and handed down as sacred knowledge as a part of the oral tradition of passing knowledge from one generation to another.
Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.
~ The Upanishads
The Meaning Of Upasana:
(Sanskrit: उपासना) literally means “worship” and “sitting near, attend to”. The term also refers to one of three kanda (खण्ड, parts) of Vedas, one that focuses on worship. The other two parts of Vedas are called Aranyakas and Upanishads, sometimes identified as karma-kanda (कर्म खण्ड, ritualistic sacrifice section) and jnana-kanda (ज्ञान खण्ड, knowledge, spirituality section).
I go into the Upanishads to ask questions. ~ Niels Bohr
The Essence Of Upanishads:
There are 108 known Upanishads out of only which the first 10 or the oldest are referred to as the most important or Mukhya Upanishads. Gita is the synthesis of all the essence of the Upanishads. It has 700 verses.
The meaning of Upa is to sit near or attend to. Shad means to destroy. What essentially the Upanishads are saying is that, “I will destroy your illusion of reality and your worldly view when you learn from me.” The ideas are expressed through the poetry of the verses try to us the nature of our true self and that of reality.
The Upanishads bring to light the perpetual and the deathless nature of our mind. It makes us question the fragility of our impermanent lives. It shows us things at a metaphysical level and that not everything our eyes perceive is the true nature of reality. What cannot be seen with the eye, but where by the eye can see, that is the Brahman. God is nothing but the formless consciousness in all of us and the ultimate essence of who you are.
That state of simplest form of awareness alone, is worthy of seeing, hearing, contemplating and realizing.
~ The Upanishads
The Influence And Impact Of The Upanishads:
Upanishadic wisdom has a timeless appeal since it deals with the basic aspirations of the human being – the desire to exist, the desire to know, and the desire to be happy. Upanishads deal with the nature of the Subject, the common substratum of all objective enquiries, and go to the basic question: Who am I? The texts invoke deep meditative thinking and help us turn inward to seek answers.
The Upanishads of the Sama Veda say: “Your soul is the whole world.” The goal of the texts is to become aware of the nondualist nature of the self. Nirvana is to obtain the Atman (or the consciousness of the universe – the Brahman) in sleep, and retain it even in full waking consciousness, in life, in speech and ultimately in every action.
The appeal of the search for the meaning of life and our own reality has been undeniable. The writings help us dwell into the most spiritual and mystical aspects of our existence.
No wonder Upanishads have influenced some of the best thinkers and philosophers of the West. Read more HERE.
Find out the Influence of Upanishads in the West. Read more HERE.
The Documentary Of Upanishad Ganga:
Directed by Chandra Prakash Dwivedi
A series depicting the stories from Upanishads. This can be a great starting point to dive deep into Vedanta.
The earliest of these Upanishads will always maintain a place in the philosophic literature of the world, among the most astounding products of the human mind. ~ Max Müller.
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