Svetasvatara Upanisad

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INTRODUCTION

The Upanisads— (a) Their position as spiritual writings.

The Upanisads are a class of Sanskrit writings winch meet the highest spiritual needs of man Nearly every civilized country in the world may be proud of her spiritual seers and spiritual literature, but the unfathomable depths of spirituality were never so profoundly sounded, and the mystical truths of the soul so highly elaborated, as by the authors of the Upanisads The message of self-realization and spiritual edification which they convey to mankind is perhaps more needed in the present age of weary and heart-burning strife for hollow things than m many former periods of human history Let the reader open the pages of the Upanisads, not merely to feed his scholarly curiosity, but to receive life in the truest sense of the term.

(b) Their fundamental theme. The fundamental theme of the Upanisads is plain and simple. The Spirit (Atman) is the sole reality The world of phenomena has only a borrowed existence-derived from the Atman, the Reality of realities ( T1-11:). It is by the light of this Atman that all phenomena m the Universe, the sun, the moon, the stars, and so forth, shine as well as appear (Sveta§vatara VI. 14), and to this Atman every object owes its existence, appearance, and attraction (Sve IV, 0) Eternal happinessis only theirs who see this Supreme Reality, the Spirit (Sve VI 12). They are childish fools, however, who pursue external objects of desire, and so are ensnared in the vast net of death In short, the true Heaven of man s aspirations is within, not without, and that Heaven is the Spirit (Atman)

The word "Upanisad"

The word "Upanisad," according to Sankara, is derived from the root sad with the prefixes upa and ni. Now the root sad has three meanings—(1) to destroy, (2) to lead or go, (3) to remove. All the three meanings are implied by the word Upanisad, as it destroys ignorance, leads to the Supreme Brahman, and thus removes all evils.

The above derivation shows a very clever and bold s not brings to light the significance of the word as it is historically implied by the Upanisads themselves. There is another derivation of the word which is probably more consistent with historical facts. The root; sad with the prefixes upa and ni also means " to sit by," whence the word Upanisad may imply "sitting, or session." This significance of the word suggests the method of imparting spiritual instruction during the Period of the Upanisads It has been noticed that this mystical culture was imparted in forests (cf. the Aranyakas) to the disciple lit, one dwelling near) who sat in solitude by the side of his teacher for spiritual instruction. The word Upanisad, as Dr. Deussen has shown, is often explained by the word Rahasya (secret) and this "Secret doctrine" "supremely confidential in the Vedanta " (five. VI. 22) was not to be imparted to every chance visitor, not to one who was neither a son nor a disciple, and not to one who did not possess a tranquil mind (Sve VI. 22). Thus the method of teaching the Upanisad Doctrine was essentially confidential. The word Upanisad occurs twice in the Sveta§vatara Upanisad ; firstly, in I 16, where Brahman is said to be "supremely mysterious" and 2ndly, in V. 6, where the Supreme Being is said to be hidden in the " confidential" Upanisad of the Vedas .Both these texts confirm the view that the word Upanisad originally meant "confidential session," as Max Muller names it, and that subsequently the name Upanisad was also bestowed upon the knowledge which was the result of confidential sessions, as described above. The word Upanisad then means the Science of Spirituality which the sages originally imparted to their disciples in confidential sessions. The gvetadvatara The Svetagvatara is a short Upanisad of six chapters and belongs to the Black Yajur-Veda. The title of the book means the Upanisad propounded by Svetasvatara. The word vetaSvatara literally means one whose organs of sense are very pure sense and is evidently the name of a sage. The only reference to the author in this book is Sve (VI. 21) where it is stated that, "vetagvatara" having known Brahman, by the power of his penance and by the grace of God, expounded it to the Sannyasins called the Paramaharhsas."

Its distinctive features It may be admitted that among the Upnisad the vetagvatara does not occupy such a lofty position as the Brhadarahyaka and the Chhandogya, but none the less it is one of the most popular Upanisads What then, are its distinctive features ? It the first place, as Dr. Deussen aptly remarks, the Svetasvatara Upanisad is "a monument of Theism", as we shall presently elucidate. And secondly, not only its method of handling the abstruse problems of Spiritual Philosophy is plain and direct, but it also ministers to the spiritual needs of the orinary man with a realistic and 2ndly, in V. 6, where the Supreme Being is said to be hidden in the " confidential" Upanisad of the Vedas (wTrOcrr-497tw). Both these texts confirm the view that the word Upanisad originally meant "confidential session," as Max Muller names it, and that subsequently the name Upanisad was also bestowed upon the knowledge which was the result of confidential sessions, as described above. The word Upanisad, then means the Science of Spirituality which the sages originally imparted to their disciples in confidential sessions.

The Svetadvatara

The Svetagvatara is a short Upanisad of six chapters and belongs to the Black Yajur-Veda. The title of the book means the Upanisad propounded by Svetasvatara. The word vetaSvatara literally means one whose organs of sense are very pure and is evidently the name of a sage. The only reference to the author in this book is Sve (VI. 21) where it is stated that, "vetagvatara" having known Brahman, by the power of his penance and by the grace of God, expounded it to the Sannyasins called the Paramaharhsas."

Its distinctive features

It may be admitted that among the Upanisad the vetagvatara does not occupy such a lofty position as the Brhadarahyaka and the Chhandogya, but none the less it is one of the most popular Upanisads What then, are its distinctive features ? It the first place, as Dr. Deussen aptly remarks, the Svetasvatara Upanisad is "a monument of Theism", as we shall presently elucidate. And secondly, not only its method of handling the abstruse problems of Spiritual Philosophy is plain and direct, but it also ministers to the spiritual needs of the ordinary man with a realistic and Devadatta cannot be called a father if he has no son ; this relationship, then, depends upon external personalities or entities. What, then, is Devadatta ? He is not essentially a father, teacher, brother, etc., because his teacher-ship, etc., are hypothetical, cannot be considered independently, apart from the idea of a pupil, etc. Devadatta, however, as such is not a mere bundle of relations, but has an individuality of his own. Nor does it indicate, on the other hand, that the various relationships that he bears to others are baselessly imaginary, the fact is that his essential individuality is far more important than, and over and above, his relative and contingent attributes.

**Contents and Sample Pages**









Item Code: NAS368
Cover: PAPERBACK
Edition: 2019
Publisher: Chaukhambha Orientalia
Language: Sanskrit Text With Transliteration and English Translation
Size: 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Pages: 161
Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.18 Kg