The Upanishad illuminate the transcending quality of intelligence.
Excerpts from the Introduction to Eternal Stories from the Upanishads by Dr Tom Egenes
10 February 2007
The Upanishad are part of the vast ancient Vedic Literature of India, and they highlight the transcending quality of intelligence. (Refer to: http://is1.mum.edu/vedicreserve/upanishad.htm)
Traditionally, the Upanishad were passed down from
teacher to student. 'Upa-ni-shad' literally means 'to
sit down near'.
This process is described in the Chhandogya Upanishad when Satyakama told Upakosala that, 'he could go
home, now that he had received the final teaching,
Brahma Vidya. Filled with joy, Upakosala returned
home. Many years later, he himself became a teacher
and taught his own students to recite the Veda and to
perform the Yagyas. He gave them the final teaching of
Brahma Vidya, just as Satyakama had given it to him,
and Gautama had given it to Satyakama. And this is how
the supreme teaching has been passed, from teacher to
student, in an uninterrupted tradition since time
immemorial in Veda Bhumi, the Land of the Veda, the
land of knowledge.'
Maharishi explains this as 'everything sits down near
the Veda'. In other words, when we know the essence of
everything to be Veda, then we have gained the fruit
of all knowledge.
Vedaham etam purusham mahantam
Aditya-varnam tamasa parastat
Tam eva viditvamimrityum eti
Nanyah pantha vidyate 'yanaya
'I know the Veda, the great totality;
radiant as the sun, beyond darkness.
Those who know that become immortal.
There is no other path.'
– Shwetashwatara Upanishad, 3.8
Maharishi explains that the Upanishad, like all other
aspects of Veda and the Vedic Literature, were
cognized by the great enlightened Vedic Rishis, or Seers; the profound truths dawned spontaneously in the
silent depths of their own pure consciousness.
Their cognitions are expressed in the Language of
Tat tvam pushann apavrinu
'The face of truth
is hidden by a disc of gold.
O Pushan, unveil it so that I,
who love the truth, may see it.'
According to the Muktika Upanishad (1.30-9), there are
108 Upanishad, with ten principal Upanishad (Isha,
Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya,
Aitareya, Chhandogya, and Brihadaranyaka).
While reading the Upanishad, 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.
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