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Road maps to your life...

Who created us all? And why? Does salvation lie in worship or finding the Supreme Being within? ANUJ KUMAR tries to get a few answers from Pandit Shivanand who has just put together "Upanishad Digdarshan"... .

Pandit Shivanand... the answer lies in the Upanishads. Photo: S. Arneja.

WHAT IS life? Who created this world and what is my relation with Him? And above all who am I? From times immemorial, these are the questions that have struck human mind; and sages and prophets, in different ages have tried to answer these through their works. But the masses instead of understanding the crux of these books started worshipping them. Upanishads are no exception to this misrule.

Now, renowned litterateur, Pandit Shivanand has come up with a book, which makes these sacred texts easier to comprehend. The book titled "Upanishad Digdarshan" was released by the Union Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi at New Delhi's Shankar Vidya Kendra together with a compact disc of all his previous works this past week.

Penned in lucid Hindi, it is a compilation of 11 Upanishads. "The book has come through me and not from me. It is written at the highest point of inspiration," tells Shivanand, who has more than a dozen books on spiritual subjects to his credit.

Calling Upanishads the constitutions of humanity, Shivanand avers, "all human knowledge is incomplete without Upanishads." But the word humanity has secular connotations. "See, Upanishads are beyond God, Allah and even Ishwar. They are beyond all the descriptions enshrined in religious scriptures. In fact, they are universal and not confined to any country, community or creed," he reasons.

His eyes beam when one talks about the Chaitanya tatwa - element of consciousness, which the Upanishads term as the Supreme Reality. He elucidates, "Wherever there is existence it is pervaded by some subtle power. This divine power is beyond our senses but can be realised. Upanishads say that this subtle power is the Brahman or pure consciousness can be realised within."

But how?

"Through meditation. Meditation helps us piercing the five kosas or sheaths that enclose and hide Brahman. Our goal should be piercing these sheaths of relativity and finitude to reach the infinite and the eternal at the core of experience," he explains but cautions that these are only road maps and are of no use unless you imbibe their teachings.

Praising the attempt, Joshi said that even quantum physics accepted the presence of element of consciousness. "According to Pauli Exclusion principle two electrons having the same energy level cannot have similar spin. Now how one electron comes to know about the presence of the other electron - consciousness of course," he explained. He hoped that the book would generate spiritual interest among the masses.

On the modern man's insatiable hunger for worldly pleasures, Shivanand says, "running after worldly pleasures for inner peace is wasteful and futile. The substance lies within. Turn within and seek it there."

For beginners, he advises that before going to the Upanishad part they should first read the introduction and the last chapter - the elixir of Upanishads.

Priced at Rs.100, one hopes the common man will read and more importantly internalise this work rather than making it a part of the worship-corner in his house.

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