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Words of Wisdom

Selection from Sacred Text of Ancient Hinduism: Upanishads, Part 1 of 2

2022-09-21
Language:English
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Hinduism is believed to be one of the oldest religions in the world, with origins tracing back to the ancient Vedic civilization in India. The earliest Hindu spiritual text, the Rig Veda, was compiled in approximately 900 B.C. Other sacred Hindu scriptures include the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Ramayana, among others. Today, we continue sharing the Katha-Upanishad and its dialog between aspiring disciple, Nachiketas, and Yama, the Ruler of Death. We will also introduce the Kena-Upanishad. The main theme of this Upanishad focuses on how to know the Absolute Truth of Brahman.

KATHA-UPANISHAD “This ancient Aswattha tree has its root above and branches below. That is pure, That is Brahman (the Supreme Lord), That alone is called the Immortal. All the worlds rest in That. None goes beyond That. This truly is That. Whatever there is in the Universe is evolved from Prana and vibrates in Prana. That is a mighty terror, like an upraised thunderbolt. They who know That become immortal.

Knowing that the senses are distinct (from the Atman [the ultimate essence of the universe]) and their rising and setting separate (from the Atman), a wise man grieves no more. Higher than the senses is the mind, higher than the mind is the intellect, higher than the intellect is the great Atman, higher than the Atman is the Unmanifested. Beyond the Unmanifested is the all-pervading and imperceptible Being (Purusha [abstract essence of the Self]). By knowing Him, the mortal is liberated and attains immortality. His form is not to be seen. No one can see Him with the eye. He is perceived by the heart, by the intellect and by the mind. They who know this become immortal.”

KENA-UPANISHAD PART 1 “By whom commanded and directed does the mind go towards its objects? Commanded by whom does the life-force, the first (cause), move? At whose will do men utter speech? What power directs the eye and the ear? It is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech of the speech, the life of the life, the eye of the eye. The wise, freed (from the senses and from mortal desires), after leaving this world, become immortal.”
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