Author: Swami Ranganathananda
Publisher: Advaita Ashram
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8175052678
The Upanisads are a class of literature unique for its theme, which has not been repeated thenceforth in the history of humankind. 'On the tree of Indian wisdom', says Paul Deussen, 'there is no fairer flower than the Upanisads, and no finer fruit than the Vedanta philosophy. This system grew out of the teachings of the Upanisads and was brought to its consummate form by the great Sankara.' Every other system of thought that bloomed on the Indian soil directly or indirectly drew its inspiration from this eternal spring. It grapples with some of the most baffling problems confronted by the human mind. The search for the Ultimate Truth reached its critical dimension in the Upanisads where the human mind was forced to shed the last vestige of its tendency to conceptualize-and then the Truth glowed. From every sentence deep, original, and sublime thoughts arise, In the whole world there is no study, so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanisads. It has been the solace of my life, it will be the solace of my death, said Schopenhauer.
Among all the Upanisads, the Brhadaranyaka has a distinctive mark for the vastness and profundity of its approaches to the riddle of life and existence. The most Abstract Truth is herein set against a humane backdrop, and a dispassionate and fearless search for it is instituted by brilliant minds. Every zealously guarded belief passes the fire-test of scientific enquiry. And If there is one word that you find coming out like a bomb from the Upanisads, bursting like a bombshell upon the masses of ignorance, it is the word fearlessness, said Swami Vivekananda. Conforming to this general tune of the Upanisads, in the climactic scene of the Brhadaranyaka we find the great sage Yajnavalkya make the emperor Janaka attain that supreme state of fearlessness. The beauty of this Upanisad lies in its sublime majesty of thought and exhaustiveness, which makes it truly The Great Forest Book unraveling the mystery enshrouding man and his universe, and hence, of timeless relevances.
The words of the Upanisads are great music, the tunes of which have the power to fascinate the hearts of all sensitive people, century after century. Every one who studies the Upanisads reverently, and in a seeking mood, will realize for himself or herself the charm of their deep, profound utterances couched in language, direct and deep, poetic and sublime. A spiritual seeker who reads the Upanisads will feel that he is dealing with a theme that is very close to his life and destiny, a reality which is in himself as well as in the world outside. The deep pulsations of that reality have been caught up in the beautiful music of the Upanisads.
The system of Advaita as founded on the Upanisads and Vedanta sutras and accomplished by Sankara’ commentaries on them-equal in rank to Plato and Kant-is one of the most valuable products of the genius of mankind in his researches of the eternal truth.
Relevance of the Upanisads in the Age of Science
A Universal Prayer
Concept of Man and Woman
Creation and Evolution
Love-Its True Focus
Knower of Brahman Becomes Brahman
Freedom from Slavery to Gods
Dharma and social Health
Mind-Does it Exist?
Prana-The Unite Cosmic Energy
Search for the Missing Self
Name-form-Process and Brahman
Apara-vidya sans Para-vidya-Its Dangers
Gargya Balaki-Ajatasatru Dialogue
Depth Psychology and Sleep
Limitations of Logic
Importance of Sankaracarya’s Commentary
The Relative Universe
Introduction to the Yajnavalkya-Maitreyi dialogue
Goal of Evolution-Biological View vis-à-vis the Vedantic Yajnavalkya-Maitrey dialogue
Love-Its True Focus
Brahman, Image Worship and Religions
The Line of Teachers
In the Court of Janaka
Death of Death
The theory of Karma
Introduction to Yajnavalkya-Bhujyu Dialogue
Conceptual vis-à-vis Experiential God
Vision-Eternal and Transitory
The Psychology of Desire
The Conduct of a Knower of Brahman
Brahman-one only without a Second Freedom
Antaryami, the Inner ruler
The Three Profound Expressions
Akasa and Space-time Continuum
Sruti and Smrti
Who is a Brahmana?
Discrimination between the subject and the Object Yajnavalkya-Sakalya Dialogue
The Concept of gods, goddesses and God
The Methodology of the Three States
Reasoning and Self-realization
Devaluation of Heaven in Vedanta
Is there a Self apart from the Body?
Which is the Self?
Death, Rebirth & Liberation
Da, Da, Da