Back of the Book
The Upanishads do not concern themselves with mere theories. They raise direct questions regarding the source of thought, the essence of our being and are as relevant today as they were 2000 ago.
About the Author
Sri M was born in Trivandrum, Kerala. At the age of nineteen and a half, attracted by a strange and irresistible urge to go to the Himalayas, he left home.
At the Vyasa Cave, beyond the Himalayan shrine of Badrinath, he met his Master and lived with him for three and a half years, wandering freely, the length and breadth of the snow clad Himalayan region. What he learnt from his Master Maheshwarnath Babaji, transformed his consciousness totally.
Back in the plains, he, as instructed by his Master, lived a normal life, working for a living, fulfilling his social commitments and at the same time preparing himself to teach all that he had learnt and experienced. At a signal from his Master he entered the teaching phase of his life.
Today, he travels all over the world to share his experiences and knowledge, Equally at home in the religious teachings of most major religions, Sri M, born as Mumtaz Au Khan, often says “Go to the core. Theories are of no use.”
Sri M is married and has two children. He leads a simple life — teaching and heading the Satsang Foundation, a charitable concern promoting excellence in education. At present he lives in Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh, just three hours from Bangalore. He may be contacted at:
About the Book
The Upanishads do not concern themselves with mere theories. They raise direct questions regarding the source of thought, the essence of our being and are as relevant today as they were 2000 years ago.
They Isavasya proclaims the all-pervasiveness of the totality of consciousness which is here called Isha, the Lord, and urges one to let go the narrow and self-centered identity we are caught up in and rejoice in the flow of the infinite wholeness of Life.
The word Kena means who. This Upanishad concerns itself with the question of ones ID. Is there is separate I or is it merely a tern used to describe the totality of cognizance. Is there an I beyond the limited, self-centered ID?
The Mandukya examines the same idea but in a different way, exploring the states of consciousness all human beings experience namely, the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep state, and postulated that there is a common experience in all these stated, a witness, not affected by the states, and which is the totality of consciousness called Turiya represented by the Pranava, OM.
The contents of this book are the edited transcriptions of the discourses on the Upanishads by Sri M.
Minimum editing has been done to retain the style of the talks. The editor acknowledges the contribution of Ms. Uma Singh and Ms. Kamal Aswani in transcribing the discourses with care and attention.
The introductory portions might sound repetitious at times, but that could not be avoided, considering that the talks were given at different times to different people. It is suggested that these portions be re-read for a thorough comprehension of each Upanishad.
The Upanishads represent the high watermark not only of Hindu Philosophy but of spiritual literature anywhere in the world. These marvelous discourses and dialogues between self-realized seers, known as Rishis, and one or more disciples, contain powerful and eloquent statements regarding the ultimate reality in its multifarious facets. They have been well described as providing an ‘ecstatic slide show of reality, a privileged glimpse of the unities vision in which all thing are one in a world aflame with God: They contain some of the most eloquent passages such as — ‘I have seen that Great Being shining like a thousand suns beyond the darkness; it is only by knowing that being that we can achieve immortality’ and again, ‘Hear 0 children of immortal bliss, you are born to be united with the Divine; follow the path of the illumined ones and be united with the Supreme Being:
The universal truths articulated in the Upanishads have formed the basis for numerous commentaries down through the centuries, beginning with the luminous insights of Adi Shankaracharya. In our own times Sri Aurobindo, Sri Krishnaprem, Dr Radhakrishnan, Swami Ranganathananda, Eknath Ishwaran and other great seers and sages have produced commentaries and interpretations on various Upanishads. The Upanishads are enduring and unfailing sources of inspiration, and their impact grows with each successive reading. One of my favourites is the Mundaka which I have translated and upon which I have attempted a short commentary.
The author of this book, Sri Mumtaz Mi, popularly knows as ‘M’, has spoken extensively upon the Upanishads, based on his personal experience. The fact that a person born a Muslim should have such a deep insight into the Hindu tradition proves once again that the spiritual path accepts no boundaries. The three Upanishads upon which M has commented are among the most important — the Ishavasya, which is always given pride of place in any list of Upanishads, the Mandukya which expounds the deeper symbolism of the sacred symbol Aum, and the Kena where we have the marvellous allegory of the Devas who thought they had won a victory, whereas actually it was the victory of the divine Brahman. In this Upanishad we come across Shiva-and Yaksha, whose identity the Devas are unable to comprehend, and are also introduced to Uma, Haimavati, the many splendoured daughter of the Himalayas, who appears as the mediator between the Devas and the Supreme Brahman.
In these talks M has expounded in a clear and cogent fashion various aspects of these three great texts. I have pleasure in commending this book to spiritual seekers and students of Hinduism around the world.
A Profile of ‘M’
The boy was a little more than 9 years old when he saw the strange being. He was the son of a Deccani Muslim family, settled in Trivandrum, the beautiful capital of Kerala. Having heard stories of angels coming down to bless Mohammed and other prophets and saints from his devout grandmother, he thought at first that it was an angel.
One evening, the boy was wandering around the courtyard of his house in Vanchiyoor, doing nothing in particular. At the far end of the courtyard, he saw someone standing under the jackfruit tree. ‘The stranger gestured to the boy to come forward. The boy felt no fear whatsoever, and was eager to go closer to the stranger.
‘The stranger was tall, fair and well-built and was bare-bodied except for a piece of loin cloth worn around his waist. He put his right hand on the boy’s head and asked with kindness, “Do you remember anything?” in Hindi. To the boy’s answer that he didn’t, the stranger said in Deccani, “You will understand later. You will not meet me for many years after this, but you will have to finish the studies that you have left incomplete. You will not be allowed to tell anyone about me until the time is ripe. Go home now.” With that he vanished.
That was the first initiation. Two years later, while playing hide and seek; the boy experienced what maybe described in yogic terms as Keval Kumbhak the suspension of inhalation and exhalation. Bliss filled his heart. The breathing resumed in a few minutes.
Soon he could get into it at will with a deep sigh. The bliss that he experienced convinced him that a greater world existed within his being — a world of spiritual bliss.
In his outward appearance he was just like any other boy except that he loved religious scriptures