ISBN:9789380326030 (Part- II)
From the Jacket
The Eternal Upanishads represent the profound essence, the succulent juice and the perennial spiritual philosophy of the Vedas, expounded and elucidated to make them practical and accessible for spiritual aspirants. They are magnificent, stupendous, forceful and powerful instruments in the hands of true seekers that provide spiritual foresight and vision of the ultimate Truth and reality.
The Upanishads are integral part of the Vedas; each Veda has a number of Upanishads in it. The present series classifies these Upanishads in true vedic tradition, i.e. they are listed and separated into different volumes strictly according to the Vedic sequence and the Vedas they appear in.
Each verse of each Upanishad has been extensively explained using simple language supplemented by elaborate notes so that these profound metaphysical treatises can be made accessible to even a lay man. Towards this end, extensive appendices have been added to elucidated the different concepts in simple words. Concepts such as OM, Naad, Naadis, Chakras, Yoga, Atma, Viraat, Moksha etc. are all elaborately explained in these separate appendices, a Mantra index in roman in also included.
The present volume contains 16 principal Upanishads of the Rig Veda. The sequence of their listing in this volume strictly follows the sanction of the Upanishads themselves, as is Clear in Muktikopanishad, cant 1, verse no. 56.
Ajai Kumar Chhawchharia born on 8th August, 1955 in Burdwan district of West Bengal, is a humble and unpretentious bachelor, who has dedicated his entire life to the service of Lord Ram. At present he is residing in the holy pilgrim city of Ayodhya (U.P. India) since 1985.
‘All come together, you all, with the power of the spirit, to the Lord of the heaven who is but one. He is the revered guest for the people. He, who is most ancient and from the beginning, desires to come to the ‘new’. To him all the pathways lead or turn. Verily, he is One and the Only One’ (Sama Veda, 372).
‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me, and I in them, bear much fruit, because apart from me, you can do nothing’ (Holy Bible, St. John, 15/5).
‘As the different streams having their sources in different places all mingle their water in the sea, sources in different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee’ (Svami Vivekananda, World Religion Parliament, 11/9/1893, Chicago, USA), ‘Open your eyes and see him’ (Swami Vivekananda Complete Works, 2/146).
kenacchandogyarunimaitrayanimaitreyivajrasucikayogacudamanivasudevamahat-samnyasavyaktakundikasavitrirudraksajabaladarsanaj abalinam samavedagatanam sodasasamkhyakanamupanisadamapyayantviti santih//
Sama Veda has sixteen Upanisads and their ‘Santi Mantra’ is ‘Apyayantu Mamangani’. These sixteen Upanisads are the following-(1) Kena, (2) Chandogya, (3) Arunika, (4) Maitrayani, (5) Maitreyi, (6) Vajrasucika, (7) Yogacudamani, (8) Vasudeva, (9) Mahat, (10) Samnyasa, (11) Avyakta, (12) Kundika, (13) Savitri, (14) Rudraksa-jabala, (15) Jabala-darsana and (16) Jabali .
[Sukla Yajur Veda, Muktikopanisad, canto 1, verse no. 56.]
The above quotation from Muktikopanisad firmly established the list of Upanisads belonging to the Sama Veda tradition. In this Upanisad, Sri Rama has told Hanumana that there are sixteen Upanisads belonging to the Sama Veda. In this anthology, in true Vedic tradition, I have followed exactly the same sequence as prescribed by Sri Rama to Hanumana in listing and narrating those Upanisads, viz. I start this anthology with the Kenopanisad and culminate it with Jabalopanisad. The original Sanskrit texts, their simple layman’s lucid version in easy flowing English, simple explanatory notes to clarify various conceptions as and when they appear in the text, their probable interpretations, along with several appendices etc. will make this bouquet useful while being vibrant, coulourful, attractive, lively, succulent and unique at the same time. Knowledge, especially when it relates to divinity and spirituality, is a pleasant perfume which wafts soothingly over the ruffled terrain of our mundane, arduous existence and lends purpose to it, gives hope in the otherwise hopeless whirlpool represented by this mirage-like world which traps and sucks everything down in its vortex of delusions, and is like the bright and glorious Sun rising in the horizon to lighten up all the directions of the realm of our existence and lift the veil of darkness of ignorance and delusions that has spiritually blinded us.
There are in all sixteen Upanisads in the Sama Veda-each has been included in this book as separate Chapters exending from Chapter 1 to 16, the details of which can be seen in the ‘Contents’. At the beginning of each Chapter, I’ve included a brief introductory paragraph to explain in brief the idea elucidated in that particular Upanisad. Each Chapter has the original Sanskrit text accompanied by simple, easy flowing and lucid English version. As a benediction I’ve included ‘Pranavopanisad’ which at once transports the reader from the humdrum existence of a life full of noise and turmoil to a higher plane of existence where he prepares himself to experience a rarefied and divine atmosphere permeated by the supreme Brahma which is calm, peaceful, blissful and tranquil. It leads the reader on a journey of spiritual discovery, from the temporal to the ethereal. Further, a number of appendices are added to elucidate on various subjects or topics appearing in the main text, though I’ve tried to explain them on the spot briefly wherever they occur in the text. These appendices are the following-appendix 1 explains the meaning of the ‘Santi Patha’ of the Sama Veda Upanisads, appendix 2 deals with the concept of ‘Samnyasa’ and it includes a wide swathe of verses from Bhartrhari’s Vairagya Satakam to add flavour, fragrance, vibrancy and succulence to this concept; appendix 3 deals with ‘Cakra and Nadi’, appendix 4 explains the concept of the cosmic ‘Nada and OM’, the divine word, appendix 5 deals with ‘Mantra, Tantra and Yoga principles, including an elaborate discussion on contemplation and meditation’; appendix 6 explains the various ‘Vedantic Concepts’ in simple and lucid English, appendix 7 lists the ‘Mantras of the Upanisads of the Sama Veda’ in alphabetical sequence, while appendix 8 has the ‘Dedication and a list of other books by this author’.
On the subject of Samnyasa (renunciation and detachment from this materialist world) dealt with in a number of Upanisads, there is an ancient Sanskrit text by ancient India’s enlightened king-turned-sage named Bhartrhari who wrote Vairagya Astakam. It’s a poetic composition encapsulating the teachings of the Upanisads dealing with the subject of renunciation in a very succulent and heart-touching composition. I was so enamoured and compelled by them that I’ve included a wide swathe of those verses in appendix no. 2 dealing with Samnyasa to add a distinctive flavour to this book.
The Upanisads advise mankind to turn away from the illusionary and transient benefits that the world appears to offer and instead aspire for spiritual perfection and elevation. The Upanisads’ main subject matter is the essential nature of the world, the individual self and the supreme Self and their inter-relationships. The seeker begins to see things in a homogenous way in a different perspective which is rational, empiri