Jacobs Alan - The principal Upanishads


Author : Jacobs Alan
Title : The principal Upanishads The essential philosophical foundation of Hinduism
Year : 2005

Link download : Jacobs_Alan_-_The_principal_Upanishads.zip

Introduction. he Upanishads are the primary source book of the profound spiritual wisdom of India going back well before the age of the Buddha some 2,500 years ago. They have provided an ongoing stream of inspiration for the great gurus of the region from the ancient to the modern eras. From the teachings of Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita to those of modern masters like Sri Aurobindo and Ramana Maharshi, Upanishadic insights have remained shining brightly, like an inextinguishable fire, at the core of the soul of India. The Upanishads mediate between the mantric visions of the ancient Vedic seers and the meditative insights of later yogic sages. They show us the mystical side of the Vedic world and its luminous images of the cosmic fire and the cosmic sun as the supreme light of awareness. Yet they also delineate a logical philosophical approach to truth based on a clear articulation of the ideas of God, the Self and the Absolute. There is little in the spiritual wisdom of India that does not have its counterpart or seed in the Upanishads. For those who want to discover the real spiritual roots of the Yoga tradition, the Upanishads remain crucial as they first clearly explain the practice of yoga in all of its major forms, the harmonization of body, breath and mind for the realization of the inner Spirit or Purusha. Yet we also find in the Upanishads the seeds of the Buddhists’ ideas of the supremacy of the mind and the need for deep introspection. Whether it is the law of karma, the process of rebirth, the different bodies of the soul, the practice of meditation, mantra, pranayama, the idea of dharma or natural law, these can all be found in beautiful Upanishadic verses. Yet the Upanishads are relevant if not central to world spirituality, not just to students of the traditions of India. Indeed, if one combines the theism and devotion of Western religions with the formless meditation and impersonal views of Eastern religions, one would end up with something similar to the Upanishadic teachings which embrace both theism and monism. The Upanishads teach monism, that all is God or the Absolute, Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma, “Everything is Brahman”. But they do not do this in simply an abstract manner. That One Being is present in all of us as our own deeper and immortal soul and Self, the Atman, Aham Brahmasmi, “I am Brahman” or the Absolute. In this regard, the Upanishads probably first clearly set forth in human history a way of Self-Knowledge taking us to the Absolute. Yet theism is also present in many places in the Upanishads, a recognition of One God or Isvara as the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe and the ability to unite with Him (or Her) through meditation. The Upanishads also say Ishavasyam Idam Sarvam, “All this universe is pervaded by the Lord”. ...

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