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The Spiritualscape of the Upaniṣad-s

16 april 2020

By R. Balasubramanian, general editor S. Sankaranarayanan.

27 Pages | First edition 2007 - The Adyar Library Pamphlet Series No. 63 | Pamphlet | The Adyar Library and Research Center, India | No ISBN.

The Upaniṣad-s are extraordinary texts and not only the concluding portion, but also the consummation of the Veda-s. There are four Veda-s, and each Veda has four sections, which are called Mantra, Brāhmaṇa, Āraṇyaka, and Upaniṣad. The Mantra-s are hymns in praise of Gods and Goddesses. The Brāhmaṇa-s deal with sacrificial rites. The Āraṇyaka-s contain meditative practices. The Upaniṣad-s are philosophical treatises dealing with Being and beings of all kinds.

The aim of the Upaniṣad-s, according to Śamkara, is to help human beings dis-cover the Self, which is Brahman and overcome the existential predicament. The goal can be achieved only by means of a new thinking, a radical questioning of the given, a rigorous inquiry into the life-world, which is bound to lead to a transvaluation of all values through deconstruction and reconstruction.

From page 14:

" The enlightened one attains unity with the All. He expresses wonder that the individual with all limitations has been able to shake them off and become one with the All. To get at the Real, we must get behind the forms of matter, the forms of life, the forms of mind, the forms of intellect. By removing the sheaths, by shaking off the bodies, we realise the Highest. This is the meaning of vastrāpaharaṇa. 'Across my threshold naked all must pass'. "


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