Since the PATANJALI SUTRA YOGA was completed , I decided to continue the same blog and not changing the name . But I want to start on UPANISHADS. There more than 100 Upanishads and some are considered very important . There are 10 or 12 Upanishads that are considered very important and the Katha Upanishads is one of them . It is also very popular and has been discussed and critique by many and one of the first one that I read many years ago. I have told the story of the Kathopanishada to many including non-Indians and it is impressive . There are several reasons why I like it and I will try to tell them in this first Blog.
The meaning of the Upanishad is 'sitting next to '.The typical format of the Upanishads is to start with a prayer and then there is a story and the story has the 'teaching ' by the teacher. This is a conversation between the GURU or Teacher and the SHISHYA or disciple or student. The story itself has teaching and that is the way it differs from the ISAP NITI OR PANCHTANTRA. (For those who are not familiar with the Isap Niti -Isap was a slave and he has these famous stories where he could Understand the language of the animals and that created the story and at the end of the story was 'moral teaching. In Panchtantra there were animal stories and that had again the moral teaching)
In Upanishads we have knowledge of BRAHMAN-so it is Brahma Vidya.The scriptures are always complicated and written in mystic form. This is true for the Vedic religion and also for the other Abrahamic religions , namely Christianity , Islam and Judaism. From Adam and Eve story to statements like You chop off your arms and then I will receive you to I am the only God that you should worship - are all the examples of things that are open to interpretation and misunderstandings and then the fights. So this Upanishad is straight forward . It also deals with Life and Death.We do not know what happens to us after the death (of physical body) and so we are concerned and we are curious and afraid. But the Death as we know is death of physical body and not our True Nature or SELF. So this Upanishad addresses it as to what happens after the so called DEATH.
We have had discussions on reincarnation and so Vedic religion believes that we have several lives and we are reborn and the BIRTH AND DEATH ARE CYCLES and there is o end to it unless---?.
So this Upanishad does affirms the idea of reincarnation.
We have also heard in our life about the Gods doing this and that and we often give HUMAN qualities to the Gods . The God is merciful and God will forgive and God will get mad and God will punish etc. But then on other hand we also talk about the PURUSHA which has no Gunas and he is independent observer . So what is the Truth . Is there a God of that has these qualities . Is there a GOD OF DEATH the YAMA or YAMARAJ ? This Upanishad has the answer and the YAMA the God of death is teaching about LIFE AND LIFE AFTER DEATH !
So I will try to start the real verses in my next blog .
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