- September 4, 2012
- Posted by: essay
- Category: Free essays
Hindu pundits explain Upanishads as the term which destroys ignorance, and thus, produces liberation of the spirit through the knowledge of the highest, but hidden truth. They touch upon very deep, metaphysical issues, such as the origin of the universe; the nature and essence of the unmanifested and manifested Deity of the Gods; relationship, the basic and primary; spirit and matter; universality of mind and the nature of the human soul and ego.
Chandogya and Brihadaranyaka Upanishads reveal that sometimes personal or created being is presented as the one taking its origin from the material substrate; and the primary substance of things is presented as manifested in the created being. Atman pervades all the things, just like salt dissolved in water, permeates all the water; all the things originate from Atman, like sparks from fire, like threads form a spider, like sound from a flute.
There’s also proposed the theory of emanation, according to which the achievement of any result or the production of any product do not affect the source, which produces them. The light, emanating from the Sun, leaves the Sun unchanged. This, apparently, should be a justification of the later theory that an individual is a simple Abhyasa, or a manifestation of Brahman. Metaphorical comparisons, like salt in water, baby in his mother, and music coming from musical instruments, are the attempts to identify the close relationship between cause and effect.
The objects of the world, including “I”, imagine that they are something separate and self-sufficient, and appear to be occupied with self-assertion. They forget that they all originate from one and the same source, from which they draw their existence. This belief is based on maya, or illusion. If we consider the objects as something separate and self-sufficient, we thus set the screen, hiding the truth. When we penetrate beyond the secondary causes, into the essence of all things, the veil falls away, and we see that the beginning lying at their base is the same substance with the one that lives in us.
Thus, in order to realize the truth of the unity of things, which is revealed in the dialogue between father and son in Chandogya Upanishad, it is necessary to go beyond the secondary causes.
The father shows some typical objects of nature to his son and invites him to understand the philosophical truth of the unity of life and the continuity of connection between human life and the life of the universe. It is not easy for people to comprehend this single reality, which is hidden by many objects. We are too secular and too busy with ourselves to understand it. We live on the surface of life, clinging to the form; we worship external things.
The Upanishads do not allow the existence of a factor, separated from Atman. However, the listed comparisons, by which people try to demonstrate the life-giving power of Atman, present the belief, perhaps a half-unconscious one, concerning the existence of such an element in things, which is independent from Atman. Atman permeates the entire universe, as the salt dissolved in water, but we can easily add here that while there is no drop of salty water without salt, the water still continues to be something other than salt. And thus, we can conclude that Atman for Indians is certainly the only significant reality in things, the penetrating light, but there is something in things that is not Atman.
The denial of dualism is directed against this point of view. The examined Upanishads clearly express that they do not intend to consider the creation of world standing apart from Atman. They seem to vigorously insist on compliance of Atman with any experience. In contrast to the abstract idealism, the doctrine of Upanishads is notable for its strong commitment to the facts. Its supreme principle or God is the eternal spirit, which is transcendent to the objective world and includes both this world and a subjective human, with Brahman in the higher state.