What is the meaning of Upanishad, know the real religion and its nature through Upanishads - Online History
Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

 The Upanishads have a special significance in ancient Indian religious texts. In ancient times, God has been conceived in different ways in different mediums of education.

Meaning of Upanishads

       Upanishad means “confidential” or “principle” of the knowledge of the universe. The Upanishads are either derived from the Aranyakas or their appendices. Although their number is said to be 108, among them the following Upanishads are of more importance. Isha, Ken, Katha, Prasana, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittriya, Aitareya, Chandogya, Brihadaranyaka, Svetasvetara and Kaushitaki Upanishads. In these Upanishads, there is a discussion of the secrets of spiritual subjects like Brahma, Paramatma, Jivatma, Prakriti, Creation, etc. The best among them is philosophical thought and contemplation of the highest order. These are knowledge-oriented books.

The subject matter of the Upanishads

     In the Upanishads, the extravagance of religion and rituals has been opposed. The discussion of Brahma, Atman, and Truth is in the Upanishads and to understand them, contemplation, mind, austerity, etc. have been told to attain the knowledge of Brahman. The importance of austerity has been specially started for attaining pure truth and Brahma through knowledge.

             Tapas: Shraddhayeehm pav santyaranye Shanta vidvanso bhaiksacharya charantha.

             Surya dvarena se birjah prayanti yavamrit: purusho humvyayatma.

   That is, those who live in Aranya (forest) with austerity and reverence, are calm and learned, and earn their living through alms, they obtain the nectar of the Avyayatma from the door of the sun. (Mundaka Upanishad 1-2-11).

        This process of attaining Brahman knowledge became the goal of Vanaprastha and Sanyas Ashram. The emphasis was on worshiping Brahma for spiritual upliftment. That man should worship only Brahma. The nature of the spirit of Brahma is “Aham Brahmasmi” which means I am Brahma himself. By worshiping Brahma in this form, the worshiper himself becomes Brahma. One who worships other deities and thinks that I am different from the deity worshipped, is ignorant and becomes an animal of the gods and becomes an object of consumption for them. He doesn’t do anything for himself. (Vrihadaranyaka 1-4-10). The learned become immortal by knowing Brahma. Even by knowing Brahma, sorrows are removed. (Vrihadaranyaka Upanishad 4-3-14).

  Characteristic of the Upanishads

     The Upanishads lay special emphasis on the vision of the soul and its recognition. Knowing the soul is necessary for the rise of man. According to the Upanishads, knowing the soul, a person does not fall in the trap of death, disease, sorrow, etc. (Chhandogyopanishad 7-17-26). There is no welfare without knowing the soul. The worlds attained by karma (Kand) and virtue are destroyed. (Chandogya Upanishad 8-1-6). In the Upanishads, the new form of Vedic sacrifices has been explained. The purpose of life is spiritual growth, so all sacrifices should also be for self-knowledge. Life is also a sacrifice and the man himself is also a sacrifice. (Chandogya Upanishad 3-16). The Upanishads also emphasize virtue and virtue. With self-study and discourse, human personality was considered to be cultured by Rita, Satya, Tapas, Shama, Agnihotra, Atithi-worship, and the sense of welfare of society and family. (Taittiriya Upanishad Shikshavalli 9-1).

        The Upanishads (“connections”) are one of the four styles of texts, which together constitute each of the Vedas, the sacred texts of most Hindu traditions. Each of the four Vedas—the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda, and the Atharvaveda—consists of a Samhita (“collection” of hymns or sacred sutras); a religious prose exhibition called Brahman; and two appendices of Brahman—an Aranyaka (“Book of the Jungle”), which contains esoteric principles to be studied in the forest or some other remote place, and an Upanishad, which deals with the ontological (psychological) relationship between humanity and the universe. guesses about. Because the Upanishads constitute the concluding parts of the Vedas, they are called Vedanta (“conclusions of the Vedas”), and they serve as foundational texts in the religious discourses of many Hindu traditions also known as Vedanta. The influence of the Upanishads on later religious and religious expression and the enduring interest they attracted is greater than that of other Vedic texts.
the period of the Upanishads

 The period of the Upanishads

     The Upanishads became the subject of many commentaries and sub-comments, and texts designed after them and named “Upanishads” were composed to support various religious positions over the centuries, up to about 1400 AD. The earliest extant Upanishads date from around the middle of the first millennium BCE. Western scholars have called them India’s first “philosophical treatise”, although they do not contain any systematic philosophical views or present a unified theory. In fact, the material they contain would not be considered philosophical in the modern, academic sense. For example, the Upanishads describe rites or performances prescribed to bestow power or to obtain a particular kind of son or daughter.

           Thirteen known Upanishads were composed from the middle of the 5th century to the 2nd century BCE. The first five of these—Brihadaranyaka, Chandogya, Taittiriya, Aitareya, and Kaushitaki—were composed of verses in prose. The middle five—Kena, Katha, Isa, Svetasvatara, and Mundaka—were composed mainly in verse. The last three—Prasana, Mandukya, and Maitri—were composed in prose.

 Influence of Upanishads on Indian Philosophy

      The concept of an Upanishad had a tremendous impact on later Indian thought. Contrary to the claim of early Western scholars, the Sanskrit term Upanishad did not originally mean “sitting around” or a “session” of students gathered around a teacher. Instead, it meant “connection” or “equivalence” and was used to refer to the symmetry between aspects of the human person and celestial entities or forces that increasingly became primary features of Indian cosmology. They went. Since this symmetry was considered an esoteric theory at the time, the title “Upanishads” was also associated with a genre of textual works claiming to reveal hidden teachings in the middle of the first millennium BC. . The Upanishads present a vision of an interconnected universe with a single, unifying principle behind the apparent diversity in the universe, any manifestation of which is called Brahman. In this context, the Upanishads teach that Brahman resides in the soul, the unchanging origin of the human individual. Many later Indian theology saw the equation of Brahman with a soul as the core teaching of the Upanishads.

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