says, "Man travels not from error to truth but from truth to truth, from truth
that is lower to the truth that is higher." The Upanishad describe the world of
not-Self as 'truth' and the Self or Aatmaa as "The Truth of truth". This is
conveyed in a significant passage of the Brihadaaranyak : "Tasyopanisat satyasya
satyamiti; praanaa vai satyam; teshaam esha satyam" - 'Its (Atmaa's) intimate
name is "the Truth of truth;" the cosmic energy (Praan) is, verily, truth; and
This (the Aatmaa) is the truth of that."
One of the fascinating features of the Upanishad is the earnestness of the
search or fearless quest for truth. The Bhagvad Geetaa which is only the
essence of the Upanishad has this verse which reads :
What is this 'eternal glory of man'? It is his inborn divine nature, birthless, deathless, pure and holy. Man is not this body, nor the senses. These are only the instruments of his manifestation and action in the phenomenal world limited by space and time. Man is the limitless One expressing itself through the little finite forms of body and mind. This is the true nature of man.
The Upanishad demand an inquiring, seeking mind. The seeker must have a questioning mind. Jigyaasaa (inquiry) is the term used in the Upanishad for this frame of mind. In the pursuit of truth, it is the Upanishad that help us. What we need to possess is earnestness. One can not saunter into truth-seeking; the leisurely attitude which flings questions about God and truth at random, not even waiting for the answer, will not do. In the words of one of the Upanishads, butter is present in milk, but it needs churning to bring it out; so is the truth hidden in experience; it has to be churned out by inquiry and meditation. This is why, in the beginning, the Upanishads were considered as Rahasya (secret). It was thought that only a select few could study the Upanishad - the Sanyaasee but not the householders. But in the eighth century AD the great philosopher Shankaraachaarya came, and he was the first person to open the doorway of this knowledge to householders, to the general public. He wrote his famous Bhaashya on Upanishad etc and many spiritual texts known as Prakaran (Granth) which helped to bring before humanity the profundity and depth of the Brahm Vidyaa and the Aatm Gyaan of the Upanishad. But, in spite of Saankaraachaarya's efforts, the tradition of secrecy continued, keeping the Upanishad as sealed literature for millions of people. It was Swaamee Vivekaanand who succeeded in throwing open the study of the Upanishad to all people, not only of Bhaarat Varsh but of all countries.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/9/09
Updated on 06/09/11