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The Upanishads are regarded as the highest reaches ever achieved in the history of mankind. The greatness of these discoveries is in the unique approach of the Masters, adopted in plumbing the depths of Reality. Man usually looks outward, looks inward, or looks upward in search of the knowledge of the world, of himself and of the mystery of creation. This has been the realistic, idealistic and theistic ways not having taken man to his intended destination. Unfortunately for man, Reality has managed to remain transcendent to every one of these approaches, for it is not outside, not inside, not above. It is everywhere, at all times, and in everything. Such a Being, that Reality is, cannot obviously be the object of any individual's exclusive enterprise which is always interested in placing it in the position of an object, whether of perception or of understanding, a situation which is naturally repellent to its nature. Materialistic science, theoretical philosophy and religious tradition have all, thus, been standing examples of the ultimate failure of the human individual in knowing or contacting Reality.
The Upanishads are an outstanding exception to these usual human approaches to Reality. They fathomed the rock bottom of Being, as such, from all angles of approach, -external, internal as well as transcendent,-and brought together in a single comprehension the Adhibhautika, Adhyatmika and Adhidaivika viewpoints in their intuitional at-one-ment with the Great Mystery of Life. The Mandukya Upanishad is the crest-jewel in the entire range of spiritual literature. The exposition presented here embodies a marvelous uniqueness.
The present publication consists of the lectures, delivered extempore, by the Swamiji, in the year 1968, o the philosophy and teachings of the Mandukya Upanishad.
The First Section of the discourses expounds the meaning of the great mystical symbol, Om, or Pranava, as a connotation as well as denotation of the Absolute.
The Second Section explains the nature of the Universal Being, Vaisvanara, or Virat,. As delineated in the Upanishad.
The Third Section Propounds the mystery of Dream and Sleep, as also the cosmic counterpart of this state, namely, Hiranyagarbha, the Divine Immanent Being.
The Fourth Section is an exposition of the profound significance of Sleep in the interpretation of the nature of the Spirit in man.
The Fifth Section is centred round the great theme, the nature of Isvara, the Supreme God of the Universe.
The Sixth Section is concerns itself with the majestic character of Reality as such, the Absolute, s the Transcendent Presence.
The Seventh Section is the concluding summary, devoted to an explanation of the harmony between the constituents of Om, or Pranava, and the four states of Consciousness, which forms the subject of the Upanishad.
Herein, the students of Philosophy and Spiritual Life will find presented the quintessence of the acme of thought and experience reached in ancient times, - the Upanishads.
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