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Books > Hindu > Path of Liberation (Commentary on Eight Minor Upanishads)
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Path of Liberation (Commentary on Eight Minor Upanishads)
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Path of Liberation (Commentary on Eight Minor Upanishads)
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Back of the Book

“The mind alone is the cause of bondage and liberation of human beings; when engrossed in sense-objects (mind leads) to bondage; when released from sense-objects (mind leads) to liberation. So they (the wise) think.”

From the Jacket

Brahman can be known through the Upanishads alone. Shruti says that knower of Brahman verily becomes Brahman. Brahma Vidya expounded in the Upanishds grants Kaivalya Mukti and makes one fearless. According to Advaita Philosophy the Self is ever free and therefore to seek its liberation is only an illusion. Bondage arises because of false identification of the Self with the body. Liberation consists of removing this false identification of the Self with the body. The Upanishads expound the pristine glory of the Self and reveals the unity of the Self and Brahman. This book presents the English rendering of eight Minor Upanishads which remove this false identification of the Self with the body and thus grants liberation.

An earnest seeker who has inculcated four-fold qualifications of Viveka (discriminative knowledge), Vairagya (detachment), Sad Sampada (six-fold virtues) and Mumukshutvam (longing for liberation) will find these minor Upanishads very valuable in the direct realisation of the Self.

The author has been an ardent student of the Philosophy of Upanishads for over a decade. Having completed his graduation in Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, he went on to pursue Masters Degree in Business Administration from Sri Sathya Sai University, Prasanthi Nilayam, Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh. Compelled by inner spiritual urge he decided to dedicate his life in search of Truth. Presently he is residing in Prasanthi Nilayam, the abode of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, where he is leading a holy life by pursuing spiritual knowledge and rendering services at the Ashram. He is also the author of book entitled “Path of Knowledge” which is an exposition of Spiritual Knowledge.

Preface

The Upanishads are the culmination of the Vedas. There is no philosophy higher than that of the Upanishads. Brahman can be known through Upanishads alone and not through other philosophies like Nyaya, Sankhya, Yoga, etc. The Ritualistic portion (Karma Kanda) of the Vedas is incapable of granting eternal peace. Therefore, the Vedas delineate Brahma Vidya for the seekers of eternal Truth. The Knowledge portion (Jnana Kanda) of the Vedas which deal with Brahma Vidya is known as Upanishads. Each branch of the Vedas has got one Upanishad. The Muktika Upanishad mentions about the names of 108 Upanishads. Of these, the ten Upanishads on which Bhagavad Pada Sri Adi Shankracharya had written his commentary are known as the Principal Upanishads and the remaining are called the Minor Upanishads. These minor Upanishads are in no way inferior to the principal Upanishads in terms of their content and philosophical import. These are called ‘minor’ because no authentic commentaries are available on these Upanishads and we have to depend upon the commentaries of the principal Upanishads in order to understand the true import of their teachings. This book presents translations and notes on eight minor Upanishads in the light of commentaries on ten principal Upanishads. Commentaries written by Bhagavad Pada Sri Adi Shankracharya on Brahma Sutra and Bhagavad-Gita have also been referred to wherever necessary. Sanskrit texts with the English translation and notes have been presented here in such a manner so that the true inner significance is not lost.

The Upanishads reveal the four facets of the glorious Aryan ideals practiced by the ancient seers and sages. These four facets are described as Morality, Meditation, Wisdom and Liberation. It is due to lack of understanding on these four facets that the embodied soul undergoes cycles of births and deaths and finds no deliverance from the worldly afflictions. The Upanishads say that by leading a righteous and moral life of non-craving and non-attachment the mind becomes pure and concentrated. Imbued with concentration the mind acquires noble vision and constantly abides in the spiritual heart. The mind then becomes aware of the divine nature of the soul and derives intuitive knowledge which is the basis of sacred ancient wisdom. Imbued with wisdom, the mind becomes free from false views and ignorance and attains liberation. The central theme of all the Upanishads is to remove various false views about the Self and reveal the identity of the Self (individual soul) and Brahman (Supreme Self)

The secret knowledge revealed in the Upanishads grants liberation here and now. It is called Kaivalya Mukti. Seekers of liberation will find these minor Upanishads very valuable in discriminating the Self from the non-Self. This endeavour is only to bring out the sublime glory of the Self. May, the Supreme Self who resides in the hearts of all beings, be pleased with this humble effort.

Contents

 

1 PREFACE i-ii
2 MUKTIKA UPANISHAD 1-44
  Shanti Mantra  
  Chapter I : Vedanta philosophy - longing for liberation - Vedanta the culmination of the Vedas - types of liberation - Kaivalya Mukti through Upanishadic Knowledge - the 108 Upanishads - qualifications for Upanishadic knowledge - invocation of Shanti Mantras.  
  Chapter - II : Jivan Mukti & Videha Mukti - necessity of personal effort - triple means for Jivan Mukti - effacement of latent impressions - dissolution of the mind - methods of mind control - meditation and Samadhi - desire conceals the real nature - detachment and desirelessness.  
3 ADHYATMA UPANISHAD  
  Shanti Mantra - repudiation of super-imposition - rejection of non-self and reflection on the Self - effacement of innate impulses - exposition on non-dual Self - result of Self-knowledge - method of spiritual knowledge - steadfast wisdom and liberation in-life - refutation of hypothesis of Prarabdha Karma - Nature of Brahman - direct experiential knowledge - line of traditional teachers of this knowledge.  
4 SARASVATI RAHASYOPANISHAD 71-108
  Introduction - Shanti Mantra - ten Mantras of Goddess Sarasvati - prayer for invoking the Goddess - Purusha and Prakriti - the dual aspects of the Goddess - the Goddess is Iswara due to Maya - dual nature of Maya - prescription of Samadhi for realisation of non-duality - realisation of the supreme Self  
5 AMRITABINDU UPANISHAD 109-122
  Introduction - Shanti Mantra - The mind: cause of bondage and liberation - Yoga: prescriptions for Mano-Nirodha - Jnana: Identity of the Self and Brahman - oneness of Atman - Intuitive knowledge and absolute non-duality.  
6 NIRALAMBA UPANISHAD 123-146
  Shanti Mantra - initiation under the divine preceptor - enquiry for destroying ignorance - deliberation on Brahman - Iswara: the inner ruler - deliberation on the nature of the Jiva - Prakriti: the imperceptible primordial matter - nature of Paramatma - repudiation of caste - nature of Karma and Akarma - elucidation of Jnana - nature of Ajnana - nature of happiness - description of heaven and hell - bondage and liberation - causes of bondages - liberation through discrimination - teacher and disciple - learned and ignorant person - demonic and pure penance - the supreme abode - rule of acceptance and non-acceptance - characteristics a Paramhamsa Sannyasin.  
7 MAITREYA UPANISHAD 147-176
  Shanti Mantra  
  Chapter-I: Quest for Self-knowledge - Dispassion: the basic qualification - necessity of tranquil mind for Self-knowledge - philosophy of the Self - Necessity of renunciation of worldly life. Chapter - II: Lord Siva’s advice to Sage Maitreya - Process of Self-purification - impurities of body and its cleanliness - prescriptions for an ascetic - real renunciation - prescriptions for life of an ascetic order.
Chapter-III: Direct Experiences of sage Maitreya.
 
8 KAIVALYA UPANISHAD 177-202
  Introduction - Shanti Mantra - renunciation of triple means prescribed in the Vedas - the path of meditation - formless meditation - formless meditation - Kaivalya Mukti is through self-knowledge alone - prescription of Pranava Upasana - self-investigation through four states of consciousness - realisation of the non-dual Self.  
9 NIRVANA UPANISHAD 203-234
  Shanti Mantra
Characteristics of a Paramhamsa - Brahma Vidya delineated - pathways to Brahman - prescription of Yoga for Nirvikalpa Samadhi - prescription of a life of a Parivrajaka - philosophy of Self realized soul as Avadhuta.
 

 

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Path of Liberation (Commentary on Eight Minor Upanishads)

Item Code:
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Edition:
2008
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(Sanskrit Text, English Translation
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234
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Back of the Book

“The mind alone is the cause of bondage and liberation of human beings; when engrossed in sense-objects (mind leads) to bondage; when released from sense-objects (mind leads) to liberation. So they (the wise) think.”

From the Jacket

Brahman can be known through the Upanishads alone. Shruti says that knower of Brahman verily becomes Brahman. Brahma Vidya expounded in the Upanishds grants Kaivalya Mukti and makes one fearless. According to Advaita Philosophy the Self is ever free and therefore to seek its liberation is only an illusion. Bondage arises because of false identification of the Self with the body. Liberation consists of removing this false identification of the Self with the body. The Upanishads expound the pristine glory of the Self and reveals the unity of the Self and Brahman. This book presents the English rendering of eight Minor Upanishads which remove this false identification of the Self with the body and thus grants liberation.

An earnest seeker who has inculcated four-fold qualifications of Viveka (discriminative knowledge), Vairagya (detachment), Sad Sampada (six-fold virtues) and Mumukshutvam (longing for liberation) will find these minor Upanishads very valuable in the direct realisation of the Self.

The author has been an ardent student of the Philosophy of Upanishads for over a decade. Having completed his graduation in Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, he went on to pursue Masters Degree in Business Administration from Sri Sathya Sai University, Prasanthi Nilayam, Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh. Compelled by inner spiritual urge he decided to dedicate his life in search of Truth. Presently he is residing in Prasanthi Nilayam, the abode of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, where he is leading a holy life by pursuing spiritual knowledge and rendering services at the Ashram. He is also the author of book entitled “Path of Knowledge” which is an exposition of Spiritual Knowledge.

Preface

The Upanishads are the culmination of the Vedas. There is no philosophy higher than that of the Upanishads. Brahman can be known through Upanishads alone and not through other philosophies like Nyaya, Sankhya, Yoga, etc. The Ritualistic portion (Karma Kanda) of the Vedas is incapable of granting eternal peace. Therefore, the Vedas delineate Brahma Vidya for the seekers of eternal Truth. The Knowledge portion (Jnana Kanda) of the Vedas which deal with Brahma Vidya is known as Upanishads. Each branch of the Vedas has got one Upanishad. The Muktika Upanishad mentions about the names of 108 Upanishads. Of these, the ten Upanishads on which Bhagavad Pada Sri Adi Shankracharya had written his commentary are known as the Principal Upanishads and the remaining are called the Minor Upanishads. These minor Upanishads are in no way inferior to the principal Upanishads in terms of their content and philosophical import. These are called ‘minor’ because no authentic commentaries are available on these Upanishads and we have to depend upon the commentaries of the principal Upanishads in order to understand the true import of their teachings. This book presents translations and notes on eight minor Upanishads in the light of commentaries on ten principal Upanishads. Commentaries written by Bhagavad Pada Sri Adi Shankracharya on Brahma Sutra and Bhagavad-Gita have also been referred to wherever necessary. Sanskrit texts with the English translation and notes have been presented here in such a manner so that the true inner significance is not lost.

The Upanishads reveal the four facets of the glorious Aryan ideals practiced by the ancient seers and sages. These four facets are described as Morality, Meditation, Wisdom and Liberation. It is due to lack of understanding on these four facets that the embodied soul undergoes cycles of births and deaths and finds no deliverance from the worldly afflictions. The Upanishads say that by leading a righteous and moral life of non-craving and non-attachment the mind becomes pure and concentrated. Imbued with concentration the mind acquires noble vision and constantly abides in the spiritual heart. The mind then becomes aware of the divine nature of the soul and derives intuitive knowledge which is the basis of sacred ancient wisdom. Imbued with wisdom, the mind becomes free from false views and ignorance and attains liberation. The central theme of all the Upanishads is to remove various false views about the Self and reveal the identity of the Self (individual soul) and Brahman (Supreme Self)

The secret knowledge revealed in the Upanishads grants liberation here and now. It is called Kaivalya Mukti. Seekers of liberation will find these minor Upanishads very valuable in discriminating the Self from the non-Self. This endeavour is only to bring out the sublime glory of the Self. May, the Supreme Self who resides in the hearts of all beings, be pleased with this humble effort.

Contents

 

1 PREFACE i-ii
2 MUKTIKA UPANISHAD 1-44
  Shanti Mantra  
  Chapter I : Vedanta philosophy - longing for liberation - Vedanta the culmination of the Vedas - types of liberation - Kaivalya Mukti through Upanishadic Knowledge - the 108 Upanishads - qualifications for Upanishadic knowledge - invocation of Shanti Mantras.  
  Chapter - II : Jivan Mukti & Videha Mukti - necessity of personal effort - triple means for Jivan Mukti - effacement of latent impressions - dissolution of the mind - methods of mind control - meditation and Samadhi - desire conceals the real nature - detachment and desirelessness.  
3 ADHYATMA UPANISHAD  
  Shanti Mantra - repudiation of super-imposition - rejection of non-self and reflection on the Self - effacement of innate impulses - exposition on non-dual Self - result of Self-knowledge - method of spiritual knowledge - steadfast wisdom and liberation in-life - refutation of hypothesis of Prarabdha Karma - Nature of Brahman - direct experiential knowledge - line of traditional teachers of this knowledge.  
4 SARASVATI RAHASYOPANISHAD 71-108
  Introduction - Shanti Mantra - ten Mantras of Goddess Sarasvati - prayer for invoking the Goddess - Purusha and Prakriti - the dual aspects of the Goddess - the Goddess is Iswara due to Maya - dual nature of Maya - prescription of Samadhi for realisation of non-duality - realisation of the supreme Self  
5 AMRITABINDU UPANISHAD 109-122
  Introduction - Shanti Mantra - The mind: cause of bondage and liberation - Yoga: prescriptions for Mano-Nirodha - Jnana: Identity of the Self and Brahman - oneness of Atman - Intuitive knowledge and absolute non-duality.  
6 NIRALAMBA UPANISHAD 123-146
  Shanti Mantra - initiation under the divine preceptor - enquiry for destroying ignorance - deliberation on Brahman - Iswara: the inner ruler - deliberation on the nature of the Jiva - Prakriti: the imperceptible primordial matter - nature of Paramatma - repudiation of caste - nature of Karma and Akarma - elucidation of Jnana - nature of Ajnana - nature of happiness - description of heaven and hell - bondage and liberation - causes of bondages - liberation through discrimination - teacher and disciple - learned and ignorant person - demonic and pure penance - the supreme abode - rule of acceptance and non-acceptance - characteristics a Paramhamsa Sannyasin.  
7 MAITREYA UPANISHAD 147-176
  Shanti Mantra  
  Chapter-I: Quest for Self-knowledge - Dispassion: the basic qualification - necessity of tranquil mind for Self-knowledge - philosophy of the Self - Necessity of renunciation of worldly life. Chapter - II: Lord Siva’s advice to Sage Maitreya - Process of Self-purification - impurities of body and its cleanliness - prescriptions for an ascetic - real renunciation - prescriptions for life of an ascetic order.
Chapter-III: Direct Experiences of sage Maitreya.
 
8 KAIVALYA UPANISHAD 177-202
  Introduction - Shanti Mantra - renunciation of triple means prescribed in the Vedas - the path of meditation - formless meditation - formless meditation - Kaivalya Mukti is through self-knowledge alone - prescription of Pranava Upasana - self-investigation through four states of consciousness - realisation of the non-dual Self.  
9 NIRVANA UPANISHAD 203-234
  Shanti Mantra
Characteristics of a Paramhamsa - Brahma Vidya delineated - pathways to Brahman - prescription of Yoga for Nirvikalpa Samadhi - prescription of a life of a Parivrajaka - philosophy of Self realized soul as Avadhuta.
 

 

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