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Brhadaranyaka Upanishad

The whole is all That; the whole is all this; the whole was born of the whole; taking the whole from the whole, what remains is the whole. The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad is so called (in Sanskrit, Brhad means tree and aranyak means forest) because it is the largest volume of the Upanishads. An excerpt:-

When a conch is blown or when a lute is played, you cannot distinguish its various particular notes, but they are included in the general note of the conch or the lute, or any kind of musical instrument. The notes of the conch or lute have no existence apart from the general note of the conch or the lute. Even so, nothing particular is perceived apart from the Pure, Intelligent Self. A drum, a conch, or a lute have distinct general and particular notes of their own, which are included in the sound in general. Similarly, all objects are unified in the Absolute or Brahman as the varieties of genus and particulars are not different from It.


Q1. What is taken from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad?


Brihadaranyaka Upanishads is the great forest of knowledge, as its name suggests. One can find everything there, as one finds in a forest. This Upanihad, particularly, is never studied by students, nor is it taught by tutors, because of its complicated structure, difficult to grasp, and not safe also to communicate if its import is not properly rendered.


Q2. What is the ultimate reality according to Brihadaranyaka Upanishad?


The Upanihads are embodiments of different types of contemplation on Ultimate Truth, and so is the Brihadaranyaka Upanihad. The beginning of the Upanihad is a contemplation of the inward meaning of a great sacrifice described in the Brāhmaṇas, known as Aśvamedha Yajña. It is an external performance of a religious character for the purpose of achieving higher results in the form of celestial enjoyment, etc., but, the Upanihad tells us that the proper approach to the aims of human life, such as ultimate satisfaction, delight, etc., need not be the method of the Brāhmaṇas, which is only symbolic, and there should be a technique more affiliated to the nature of Reality than is the external action of the Brāhmaṇas.


Q3. How many kandas are there in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad?


The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is divided into three Kandas: Madhu Kanda, Yajnjavalkya Kanda and Khila Kanda.