Sunday, March 8, 2015

Some Shlokas from Chandogya Upanishad VI chapter including Tat tvam asi (You are That) Mahavakya, and comments on it

Last updated on March 10th 2015

Some abstract/high-level but simple theological/philosophical Hindu scriptural view of existential reality

In June 2010 I had prepared a document of 12 pages on some largely abstract theology verses (shlokas) from a famous Hindu scripture, Chandogya Upanishad, VI chapter including Tat tvam asi (You are That) Mahavakya (Great Saying),, and comments on/interpretation of it by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Prof. Max Muller, and a few others. I also added some notes of mine to it. Given below are the links to the pdf and Word versions of the document.

Being a 'nominal'/by-name-only Sama Vedi Brahmin,, I have been quite intrigued by this Upanishad, as it is from the Sama Veda, right from my childhood. [If I were a proper practising Sama Vedi Brahmin of old, like my paternal family ancestors over centuries and, quite surely, over millennia, I should have learned chanting (and perhaps understanding) the Sama Veda in my childhood, and have considered chanting, and perhaps further interpreting and also teaching Sama Veda, as the vital (God-ordained) activity for the rest of my life.]

Over the years I have re-read and re-studied Chapter VI of this Upanishad which perhaps is the most spiritually significant part of this Upanishad. The understanding of it has usually changed, most times for the better, over these re-reads.

I think it is a reflection of the immense power of holy scripture like the Upanishads and the deep truths they contain that our understanding of them improves with our maturity both in life and in spirituality. Swami Sivananda of Divine Life Society said, "There is no book in the whole world that is so thrilling, soul-stirring and inspiring as the Upanishad. The philosophy taught by the Upanishads has been the source of solace for many, both in the East and the West. The human intellect has not been able to conceive of anything more noble and sublime in the history of the world than the teachings of the Upanishads." [From]

I am quite certain that a future re-read of this portion of Chandogya upanishad some years and perhaps some more spiritual experiences down the line will give me more insights. But right now I am quite pleased with my understanding :-).

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