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Svetasvatara Upanishad

The Svetasvatara Upanishad is a exceptional Upanishad: it crystallises Lord Shiv as the primordial deity, expounds a personal god as the one's highest self, and concludes that the divine Consciousness permeates everything and everybody. Excerpts:-

As oil in sesame seeds, as butter in milk, as water in Srota, as fire in fuel-sticks, he finds in his own self that One (Atman), he, who sees him through Satya (truthfulness) and Tapas (austerity).

He sees the all prevading Atman, as butter lying dormant in milk, rooted in self-knowledge and self-discipline – which is the final goal of the Upanishad, the final goal of Upanishad.

In a clean level spot, free from pebbles, fire and gravel, Delightful by its sounds, its water and bowers, Favorable to thought, not offensive to the eye, In a hidden retreat protected from the wind, One should practise Yoga.


Q1. Who wrote Svetasvatara Upanishad?


This Upanishad belongs to the Krishna-Yajurveda. It gets its name from Rishi Svetasvatara who taught the truth contained in it to his disciples.


Q2. When was Svetasvatara Upanishad written?


Svetasvatara Upanishad was probably composed in the 5th to 4th century BCE. Paul Muller-Ortega dates the text between 6th to 5th centuries BCE. Some scholars suggest that Svetasvatara Upanishad was probably a pre-Buddha composition along with Katha, Isha, Mundaka and Prasna Upanishad, but after the first phase of ancient Upanishads that were composed in prose such as Brihadaranyaka, Chandogya, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Kaushitaki and Kena. Winternitz states that Isha was likely composed before post-Buddhist Upanishads such as Maitri and Mandukya.