Eternal Stories from the Upanishads by Thomas Egenes , Kumuda Reddy
English | 2013 |General Fiction/Classics| ePUB | 4.1 MB
The Upanishads are a precious aspect of the Vedic Literature of India, the land of the Veda. The full meaning of the Upanishads is not found in books. Rather, the Upanishads are structures of our own consciousness, our Self, and can be directly experienced in the simplest state of our own awareness. While reading stories from the Upanishads, it is important to remember that they are about the qualities of pure consciousness. Even though the stories describe the comings and goings of people and events, at a more subtle level of understanding, these stories describe the dynamics of consciousness found within everyone.
The Upanishads focus on the ultimate reality of life; they express the full glory of the Self, Ãtmå, by gaining which nothing else is left to be gained. The Upanishads bring out that the true nature of the Self is wholeness, the totality of natural law, Brahman. From this level of experience, everyone and everything is near and dear to us as our own Self; one flows in universal love, nourishing everyone and everything.
Traditionally, the Upanishads were passed down from teacher to student. “Upa-ni-shad” literally means “to sit down near.”
The Upanishads contain beautiful and exhilarating phrases such as “Thou art That” (tat tvam asi), “I am Totality” (ahaµ brahmåsmi), and “All this is Brahman—Totality” (sarvaµ khalv idaµ brahma). These phrases are nothing less than descriptions of the supreme awakening of consciousness to its own true nature. They are known as “great sayings” (mahåvåkya) because they describe the essential teaching of the Upanishads in compact expressions. These sayings are the final strokes of knowledge from the teacher, which fully enlighten the student who is ready to receive them; then wholeness dawns in the awareness. In reading the stories from the Upanishads, we are thus reminded of the flow of our life towards its supreme goal.
The Upanishads, like all other aspects of Veda and the Vedic Literature, were cognized by the great enlightened Vedic Âishis, or seers; the profound truths dawned spontaneously in the silent depths of their own pure consciousness. Their cognitions are expressed in the language of nature, Sanskrit. According to the Muktikå Upanishad (1.30–9), there are 108 Upanishads, with ten principal Upanishads (Ásha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Muˆdaka, MåˆdËkya, Taittir¥ya, Aitareya, Chhåndogya, and B®ihadåraˆyaka). In this book, the name of the Upanishad is written under each story’s title. Sanskrit words and phrases that appear in each story are listed at the end of the book, along with their pronunciation and meaning.