It is heartening to note that the books on oriental scriptures getting a handful readership amidst the race of techno-savvy-generation. The Academy wishes to extend its heartfelt thanks to all its readers for having made 'Chandogyopanisar' (in two volumes) out of stock within short span. The second edition of the same is being published at this juncture.
Vedas, as we are familiar with, are the source compilations for all other genres of literature that might have subsequently been appeared in the long list of Indian scriptures. Vedic hymns at times may be prayers or praises dedicated to deities representing various aspects of Nature. Anyway these are the uttering of the people who wished to live a simple life yet with all its glory. Thus they reveal to us on more than one occasion the ways to understand nature, directs us to be in harmony with her, to be living with a sound body, mind and the soul. Though we have innumerable references to sacrifices, rites and rigmaroles in the Vedas, all these deeds have not been prescribed without a genuine purpose. Firstly man is made to be action-oriented to derive his cherished desires for which the organism of society directly or indirectly is also made participative. At this stage classes and creeds forming the crux of society is rendered into a productive unit with mutual burden of borrowing.
The grand purpose of the Vedas is to make every individual count and productive as these can be considered texts with foremost conception of an ideal society. As it is found that there were more than thirty professions referred to in the Vedas, in the event of any sacrifice or ritual, most of these professions would find their necessity at one stage or other. In the eventuality it would be a combined effort of sorts. The entire participating individuals would be securing his worth of share for his irreplaceable exertion.
Vedanta or Upanisad teachings containing more of thoughts profound and refined aimed at inculcating the value of dispassion in action- oriented sacrificers to fruits of action. Any man irrespective of his class or creed ought to follow his prescribed duties though with detachment to the yield that crop up with it. In contrast to the Vedas inasmuch as their prescription of performance of certain sacrifices for specific outcomes, Upanisads narrate many an episode of dialogue between a preceptor and his pupil striving to get to root of things. The ensuing dialogues directly or otherwise expose a trial for intense search for the cause of macro. and microcosm what it calls the 'Ultimate Reality' or 'Truth'
We find this Upanisad to feature supreme spiritual dictum in "Tattvamasi" and grand declaration in "Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma" As mentioned afore, intriguing conversations of Narada, Shvetaketu, Satyakama, with that of Aruni, Sanatkumara, and Prajapati who all make for constellation of genuine seekers of truth and considerate preceptors, do bring out several currents of metaphysical thoughts and mystical imagery.
Chandogyopanisat belonging to Talavakara of Samaveda is specific in illumining the vast potential of uttering the sacred syllable 'OM' as ritualistically prescribed. This apart there is expounding of 'Vidyas' (Great learning) and methods of Upasanas or Meditative worships, subtle observation of the intangible thread of creation and such other mystical phenomena becoming substrata for sprouting oflife have been discussed.
This edition too being brought out with four adhering commentaries to original purport of the text in the light of'Visistadvatic' thought. We wish this publication would benefit its genuine readers in grasping the spirit of the text.
The Academy of Sanskrit Research once again is happy to present this time one of the principal Upanisads ie., Chandogya upanisad in its Upanisad series.
" The Chandogya upanisad forms the last eight chapters of the Chandogya Brahmana of Sama veda. As it is the second biggest Upanisad after Brhadaranyaka , the topics discussed here in this Upanisad are many. Tat-tvam-asi, one of the great spiritual dictums is being taken from this Upanisad. This upanisad brings to our knowledge the legacy of earnest spiritual seekers such as Narada, Satyakama and Svetaketu as well, as compassionate and sagely preceptors like Aruni, Sanatkumara and Prajapati. The declaration of the highest truth has come from this very Upanisad as Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma. Along with such noble thoughts there is a prolix subject-matter of thirty two Vidyas that are finely and eleborately treated. This Upanisad is presented and provided with four invaluable commentaries namely Pratipadarthadipika of Bharadvaja Ramanujacarya, Prakasika of sri Rangaramanujamuni, Ananda Bbasyam of Ramanandacarya, and Subodhini of sri Gopalananda Swamy. All these commentaries conform to Bhagavad Ramanuja school of Visistadvaita.
, I commend eminent scholar Dr. K.S. Narayanacharya a well known professor from Dharwad and the Director of Kautilya Institute of National Studies, for his valuable and versatile introduction to this edition of two volumes of Chandogyopanisad (which is brought out in first volume only). This Upanisad would not have seen the light of the day without the all round efforts of Late Vidwan Mahamahopadhyaya N .S. Ramabhadracharya. I take this opportunity to express my deep sense of gratitude to him, at the same time with a sense of grief for having lost this great scholar. My sincere thanks are due to Vid. S.Narayana and his team for having done an excellent job in bringing out this critical edition.
I would like to thank the team of Mr. Lokesh - the Artist designer including Vid. H.S. Hanumantha Rao, the Granthapala of the Academy for having brought out unique and effective cover page designs for two volumes. Appreciations are also due to the team of DTP & inhouse print division consisting of M/s Javare Gowda, Smt. M.N .Saraswathy, K.S. Bettaswamy Gowda & G.N. Bette Gowda.
I will be failing in my duty if I don't thank our President, Sri G. Kumar Naik, I.AS., the Secretary cum Treasurer, Sri Mahesvara Rao I.AS. for their source of inspiration and support and also to my beloved colleagues - the Registrar Sri B.S. Krishna Prasad & the Asst. Registrar S. Kumar and all the staff who have directly or indirectly contributed in this endeavor. Thanks are also due to the Binder Mr. Prasanna of Mysore.
My special thanks are due to the members of the Managing Committee for their support and the Government of Karnataka for their timely financial aid without which the Academy could not have undertaken such monumental works.
I am sure the edition will be warmly welcomed by not only scholarly world but also every reader of philosophy.
The Upanisads are considered as the greatest mystical expressions of the highest spiritual wisdom of the Hindus. Constituting the basic texts of Vedanta, amplified by the Bhagavad Gita, and intellectually, systematically expounded and ordered into a sound Darsana called Uttara Mimamsa without internal contradictions and impregnable against attacks from heretic systems of thought as well as protected from misleading misinterpretations from within the Vedic fold itself, in what are known as the Brahma Sutras. Without a study of the Brahmasutras, as a guide, therefore, one cannot understand the true import of the Upanisads, which by themselves do not yield any ‘system’ apart from seemingly haunting contradictions at every step, abundantly. The logical or intellectual mind of man cannot grasp easily the unity implicit in a synthetic experience or its expression, without a persuasive agency or grand clues to experience that ‘wisdom’ which is the very breath of Yoga. Experience, thus, comes first, expression next, and ordering it into a unified mass of meaningful articulation is the final task of a philosopher a Darsanasthapaka, in the Hindu tradition or context. This is entirely different from western attempts to understand reality in the systems of Hobbes, Lock, Des’Carte, Kant, Hegel, Spinoza, Leibmitz, Whitehead and other great ‘thinkers’ to date. None of these has the wealth of articulated wisdom of ‘visions’ behind them; they are entirely guided by their own ‘free thinking’, their own rationality, their own adequacies or inadequacies of acquired data. Whether from schemes discarded earlier, or from discoveries in physical or biological sciences, or speculative capacities endowed by Nature. Systems, these, are therefore not attached to particular ways of living, forming communities, and are also, many times, arm-chair luxuries bearing little influence on character or conduct or approaches to God in attempts to individual Relation. Philosophy, there, is separated into Religion, Ethics, Political Science, Sociology and so forth, while in India, all these are considered as divergent branches or applications of the self-same ‘vision’ (Darsana), not meant to contradict conclusions one may derive severally from the self-same source of experience of wisdom of the sum-total Reality of life, and things beyond life. Adherence to the Upanisads as the common stock of ‘evidence’ (data), in our tradition, does not smack of ‘dogma’, as in Islam or Christianity, as the Upanisads are open to examination, logical verification, acceptance or rejection, or reconciliation with similar or dissimilar utterances elsewhere, and tests of veracity against objections from heterodox schools of thought. All the Hindu asks is: “Start from this body of revealed utterances, as so much given data; this is also actual experience, which can by yours also, if you wish to own it on examination”. It is a ready body of texts to enhance and enrich your own actual experiences, which may be low, poor or even unelevated otherwise, as you may not have been exposed to these heights of vision or attitudes of experiences of the Rsis. The Upanisads are ‘revealed’ texts in the sense of flashes of light received by the uncorrupt souls of pure sensibilities, whose truth or otherwise is open for examination or reconciliation in methods layed down by the science of semantics known as ‘Mimasa. This sense of ‘revelation’ requires to be distinguished from the claims of Semitic texts to infallibility, an examination of which would entail death or excommunication upon the inquirer, by the body of the clergy who have the whole and sole monopoly of interpretation of those texts. The word ‘Scripture’ in this Semitic context is of entirely different meaning from our ‘Sruti’ which means ‘what is heard’.‘Hearing’ and ‘Seeing’ mean the same in the Hindu context of received revelations, as the legacy of spiritual wisdom. But if you see what liberties have been taken by our ‘system-makers’, ‘Darsanasthapakas’, with respect to these texts, in attempts to harmonise them, into coherent systems, you will understand our sense of ‘revelation’ better. One of the Upanisadic texts goes so for as to say: “Here the Vedas no longer remain as further guides to what you seek, as you have to go beyond, alone”.
‘Para Vidya’: and ‘Apara-Vidya’
Here it would be necessary as well as useful to note a very important distinction between a text as a ‘guide’ or ‘aid’ to meditation, and the actual experience one obtains by self-efforts or by the Grace of God, through those aids, until the point of actual experience. Unfortunately some commentator shave messed up matters so much here and produced horrible and insurmountable prejudices, attached to particular schools of thought, that you risk being branded as a ‘revolutionary’ if you shed those prejudices. The matter is worth mention and explication here for a true grasp of the concept of Vedic ‘revelation’.
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