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The Upanishads Demystified (Ethical Values)

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About the Book The Upanishads are a great mine of strength for leading a tension-free and peaceful life. Today, most of us feel a lot of turmoil and tensions due to an overemphasis by leading a materialistic style of living. Meditation (Upasana) and looking into our pure consciousness and the Divine sitting inside us, has been forgotten altogether. Hence, the need for 'going back to Upanishads' has become quite relevant to be imbibed. There is also a growing urge in us to realize our 'true se...
About the Book

The Upanishads are a great mine of strength for leading a tension-free and peaceful life. Today, most of us feel a lot of turmoil and tensions due to an overemphasis by leading a materialistic style of living. Meditation (Upasana) and looking into our pure consciousness and the Divine sitting inside us, has been forgotten altogether. Hence, the need for 'going back to Upanishads' has become quite relevant to be imbibed.

There is also a growing urge in us to realize our 'true self,' keenly feeling the need to make our knowledge flow into wisdom, and a yearning to know about the infinite and the eternal inspires us.

The Upanishads form the core of Indian philosophy - a fantastic collection of writings, aptly described by Shri Aurobindo as "the supreme work of the Indian mind". The Upanishads are summits of thought on humanity and the universe.

The Upanishads asks a man to cultivate righteousness (dharma) and to enjoy wealth (artha) and seek pleasures (kama), but with a sense of detachment. Meditation on OM and enquiry into our inner divine Self are some of the essentials of the Upanisads. Eleven Major Upanisads have been covered by Mr. Ved Bhatia in a lucid easy comprehensible style.

About the Author

Mr. Ved Bhatia, MBA (HRM) is a Life Member of the NIPM (National Instituted of Personnel Management), Kolkata. HRD and research in Ethical Values have been his niche areas of interest. His maiden attempt in Ethical and Spiritual Values in Indian Scriptures has a welcome response with the salient comments and has since come out in International versions of E-book, Kindle, Paperback formats as well. Post-retirement from Group `A' post in GOI, where he performed a full range of P & A functions. Mr. Bhatia has worked as a visiting management faculty to engineering and MBA students. Many of his articles were published in the reputed International Vedic Science Journal (www.vedicscience.net). He has been one of the Founder members of the Sr. Citizen Forum, the Close South Nirvana, Gurugram and presently it’s Patron.

Foreword

It is a matter of great pleasure that Mr. Ved Bhatia, who is a sincere student of ancient Indian literature, has ventured to demystify the Upanisads for younger generation. He is a scholar in the true sense having already published "Ethical and Spiritual Values in Indian Scriptures" last year. Mr. Bhatia came into my contact while visiting JL Nehru PG Government College, Faridabad to deliver lectures to MBA students as a Visiting Faculty. He evinced keen interest in research on ethical values and some of his articles were published in the Internationally acclaimed Vedic Science Journal (www.vedicscience.net). Mr. Bhatia was also later included in the Editorial Board of the Journal.

Mr. Bhatia has been consistently working and producing works of great significance on Indian philosophy and Dharma. His new book `Demystifying Upanishads' is an eye opener and fulfils the ardent need of the hour. Upanishads are the most venerated literature of the world. They have been the source of inspiration for various scholars from different parts of the globe. To quote a few, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), one of the greatest German philosophers and writers says, `In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life, and it will be the solace of my death. They are the product of the highest wisdom.

T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), a great American poet, philosopher, critic and recipient of Nobel Prize in 1948 comments, 'Indian philosopher's subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like school boys. 'William Butler Yeats (1856-1939), a great Irish poet, dramatist, essayist and Nobel Laureate speaks, 'It was only my first meeting with the Indian philosophy that confirmed my vague speculations and seemed at once logical and boundless.

Erwin Schroedinger (1887-1961) had no choice but to state, 'In all world, there is no kind of framework within which we can find consciousness in the plural; this is simply something we construct because of the temporal plurality of individuals, but it is a false construction... The only solution to this conflict in so far as any is available to us at all lies in the ancient wisdom of the Upanishad.

In the present academic pursuit, Mr. Bhatia has also delved deep and tried to pluck out many gems from Vedic ethics and values contained in Upanishads which were lying untapped and unutilized. In the present times, when the whole world is grappling with a moral crisis, the social and political fabric has completely shattered and human values are on degradation, Mr. Bhatia's work will prove to be of great help to ensure the survival of the humanity at large. His praise-worthy work confirms beyond any iota of doubt that only the right values enshrined in the Upanishads can give modern humanity an appropriate direction to lead a more peaceful, stress-free, harmonious and really progressive life.

The Upanishads preach a gospel which asks a man to cultivate righteousness (Dharma) and to enjoy wealth (Artha) and seek pleasures (Kama), but with a sense of detachment. They lay the foundation of an enduring society whose welfare depends upon the cooperation of all beings: superhuman, human, and subhuman. They ask all human beings seeking material happiness to enter into society, and at last guide them the path to transcend real peace and freedom.

The learned author has divided the entire work into 12 chapters starting with Introduction to the first chapter, rest of the 11 chapters have been dedicated to one each of the eleven major Upanishads, viz. the Isa, Kena, Prasana, Katha, Mundaka, Mandukiya, Taittarya, Aitareya, Chandogya, Brihadaranyaka, and Svetasvatara. This study is equally beneficial to both learned and younger generation. I recommend this work to all those who have an inquisitive mind and relish the study of Upanishads. Hope this work will be liked and praised by all those who aspire the study of ancient Indian literature to comprehend their core aspects for being imbibed to lead a stress free life and beyond.

Preface

Hope, some of the esteemed learned readers have come across my book "Ethical and Spiritual Values in Indian Scriptures" published (July, 2016) by Notion Press, Chennai. It has been a treasure trove of gems of ethical values spread in its nine Chapters, including Vedic Ethics and Values, Ethical Values in Manusamriti, Human Values from Bhagavad-Gita..., Ethical Values from Viduraniti, Chanakya's Nitisastra, Twenty six Qualities of a Spiritual Seeker from Bhagavad-Gita, Ethical Values from Thirukkural, Sankara's Crest Jewel of Wisdom (Viveka Choodamani), and Ethical Values from Isha Upanisad. This book has welcome response with salient comments and has since come out in International versions in E-book, Kindle, Paperback formats as well. Encouraged by the response, presently venturing into a very relevant and related niche area covering "The Upanishad-s Demystified."

Very early in the development of the Indian civilization, the man became aware of a strange new field of human experience - inner nature as revealed in man, and in his consciousness and his ego. The Upanishads gave a permanent orientation to Indian culture by their emphasis on inner penetration and their whole - hearted advocacy of what the Greeks later formulated in the dictum "man, know thyself" Today, we are keenly feeling the need to understand ourselves and to know about the infinite and the eternal. In this background of modern thought and aspirations, the contributions of the Upanishads to the human cultural legacy have become very significant.

Indian culture has a rich spiritual heritage deeply rooted in Dharma signifying ethical values. The Upanishads elaborating dharma represent a great chapter in the history of the human spirit and have dominated Indian philosophy, religion and life for over three thousand years. They have helped many generations of men to formulate their views on the chief problems of life and existence. Perhaps the greatest contribution of the Upanishads is to open our eyes to what it really means to be a human being. The constant concern of the sages has been to reawaken us to the sacred nature of the environment, of living creatures, of one another, and finally of our own inner reality.

The Upanishads form the core of Indian philosophy. They are an amazing collection of writings, which have been aptly described by Sri Aurobindo as "the supreme work of the Indian mind." It is here that we find all the fundamental teachings that are central to humanity at large and the Hinduism, in particular - the concepts of 'karma' (action), `samsara' (reincarnation), rmoksha' (nirvana), the `atman' (soul), and the 'Brahman' (Absolute Almighty). They also set forth the prime Vedic doctrines of self-realization, yoga, and meditation. The Upanishads are summits of thought of mankind and the universe, designed to push human ideas to their very limit and beyond. They give us both spiritual vision and philosophical argument, emphasizing that it is through strictly personal effort that one can reach the truth.

The Upanishads form the wisdom portion or Gyana-Kanda of the Vedas, as contrasted with the Karma-Kanda or sacrificial portion. In each of the four great Vedas - known as Rik, Yajur, Sama and Atharva,there is in each Veda another portion called the Upanishad, which dealswholly with the essentials of philosophic discrimination and ultimate spiritual vision. For this reason the Upanishads are also known as the Vedanta, that is, the end or final goal of wisdom (Veda, wisdom; anta, end). Professor Max Muller has said: "The Upanishads are the sources of the Vedanta philosophy, a system in which human speculation seems to have reached its very pinnacle. They are to me like light of the morning, like the pure air of the mountain - so simple, so true, if once understood."

They are called the Brahma-vidya, or Science of Brahman, and also the Atma-vidya, or Science of Atman, describing the ultimate objective of life, which is the liberation of the Self from the bondage of the phenomenal world through knowledge and realization. The Soul, or Atman, which is one with Brahman and is, by nature, free, birth-less, deathless, perfect, and illumined, becomes individualized through identification with matter by the inscrutable power of maya, which is inherent in the Self, or Brahman. The desire for enjoyment of material objects is turned into longing for the realization of inner peace only when the struggling soul has passed through the gamut of worldly experience. Even the highest worldly happiness is a mere reflection of the supreme Bliss of Brahman.

The Upanishads lay down the injunction to discharge various duties and social obligations. The key to enduring happiness lies in co-operation with all created beings, and not in ruthless competition. Birth in various bodies serves a man as a training-ground for ultimate spiritual experience. The teachers of the Upanishads are householders. Nowhere is the worldly life despised. Both happiness on earth and enjoyment in heaven are prized. But, alas, the happiness on earth and enjoyment in heaven are impermanent. Besides, all the denizens of earth and heaven are mortal. No one can escape death. Even the life of Brahma, the World Soul, comes to an end at the completion of a cycle.

When, through observation, discrimination, and experience, a man has realized that neither freedom nor immortality can be attained in samsara, the sphere of ever-recurring birth and death, he comes to a capable teacher seeking deliverance. He is first asked to practice certain physical, ethical, and spiritual disciplines in order to obtain the proper state of body and mind of the understanding and assimilation of the instruction. Then he is asked to cultivate Self-Knowledge. Self-Knowledge forms the subject matter of the Upanishads, which, however, carefully, point out that the scriptures by themselves cannot enable them to realize truth. Like the finger pointing out the moon, they only indicate where the truth is to be found. It is within every man and is to be realized through experience based upon reasoning and corroborated by the experience of the illumined seers of the past, as recorded in the scriptures.

The man endowed with the Knowledge of Atman attains peace. His bliss knows no bounds. His doubts are destroyed forever. He is the embodiment of fearlessness. The pleasure and pain, life and death, and good and evil of the phenomenal world cannot affect his inner serenity. When his body drops away, the man illumined by Self-Knowledge -_merges in the Supreme Brahman and experiences complete peace and freedom. Thus, the Upanishads by no means preach an anti-social or other-worldly gospel. They ask a man to cultivate righteousness (dharma) and to enjoy wealth (artha) and sense pleasures (kama), and they finally exhort him to realize Freedom (Moksha), in which alone all desires find their fulfillment. They lay the foundation of an enduring society whose welfare depends upon the cooperation of all beings.

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Item Code: NAR123 Author: Ved Prakash Bhatia Cover: PAPERBACK Edition: 2017 Publisher: Notion Press ISBN: 9781948230476 Language: English Size: 9.00 X 6.00 inch Pages: 249 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.32 Kg
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