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Thread: The Upanishads

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    The Upanishads
    asato mā sadgamaya
    tamaso mā jyotirgamaya
    mṛtyor mā amṛtaṁ gamaya
    om śāṁti śāṁti śāṁti – bṛhadāraṇyaka upaniṣada 1.3.28
    Lead Us From the Unreal To the Real,
    Lead Us From Darkness To Light,
    Lead Us From Death To Immortality,
    OM (the universal sound of God)
    Let There Be Peace Peace Peace. -
    Upanishad is the Sanskrit term derives from upa-ni-shad means “sitting down near “ a teacher in order to receive instruction.**Upanishad also means “setting rest to ignorance by revealing the knowledge of the supreme spirit”.Adi Shankara equates Upanishads to “knowledge of the self (Atmavidya). Or “knowledge of the Brahma”(Brahmavidya).
    By the time the Upanishads were written the Aryan civilization was stabilized and grew up. This period was a mixed society of the old and the new, dominated by Aryan tought and ideals, but with a background of more primitive forms of worship. The society’s quest beyond Vedic Gods and opposition to the ritualistic priest craft led to the development of future ideas based on the old ,existing culture and thought. The Upanishads are instinct with a spirit of inquiry, of mental adventure, of a passion for finding out the truth about things. Max Muller says: `The Upanishads are the…sources of … the Vedanta philosophy, a system in which human speculation seems to me to have reached its very acme.’* The Upanishads, composed from about 800 BC, take us a step further in the development of Indo-Aryan thought.
    The Upanishads are commentaries of the Vedas and form the Hindu scriptures which primarily discuss philosophy, meditation and nature of God; they form the core spiritual thought of Vedantic Hinduism. The Upanishads are mystic or spiritual contemplations of the Vedas, and are believed to be the end and essence, and so known as Vedānta (“the end/culmination of the Vedas”).
    The Upanishads were composed over several centuries in Sanskrit. The oldest, such as the Brhadaranyaka (The longest)and Chandogya(The Oldest) Upanishads, have been dated to around the eighth century BC are composed in prose. Later followed a series of Upanishads composed in verse, such as the Īṣa, Māṇd.ukya, Katha, and Ṣvetāṣvatara Upanishads.The philosophical and meditative tracts of the Upanishads form the backbone of Indian religions viz., Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism. Different Upanishads are affiliated with the four Vedas (Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda). The Upanishads were transmitted orally by the Vedic schools sakhas.
    There are over two hundred Upanishads. Adi Shankaracharya commented on eleven Upanishads and are generally regarded as the oldest ones. The Muktika Upanishad lists 108 Upanishads.
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    thanks a lot



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