October 14, 2014
The Upanishads are a collection of texts of religious and philosophical nature. It was written in India and happened between c.800 BCE and c. 500 BCE. This was during the time when Indian society started to question the traditional Vedic religious order. Some of their speculations and philosophy were compiled into the Upanishads. The name Upanishad is composed of the terms upa which means near and shad meaning to sit so it meant something like sitting down near. The books contained thoughts and insights of important spiritual Indian figure. The Upanishads are not ...view middle of the document...
The purpose is not so much instruction as inspiration but they are meant to be expounded by an illuminated teacher from the basis of personal experience. The Upanishads do not offer a single comprehensive system of thought but they do develop some basic general principles. Some of these principles are samsara, karma, dharma, and moksha. The concept for Samsara is reincarnation which is the idea that after we die our soul will be reborn again in another body. Another concept is Karma, which literally means action and the idea that all actions have consequences, good or bad. Dharma means right behavior or duty. It is the idea that we all have a social obligation. This was some interesting readings about the Upanishads. Moksha means liberation or release.
The eternal cycle of deaths and resurrection can be seen as a pointless repetition with no ultimate goal attached to it. The Upanishads tell us that the core of our own self is not the body or the mind but atman or self. Atman is the core of all creatures. These metaphysical schemes of samsara, karma, dharma, and moksha presented in the Upanishads are to some degree shared by most Indian religions, including Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. This was some interesting readings. I did not think I was going to learn this much about Upanishads.