Much like the Karma section of the Veda, the Upanishads are difficult to study on your own. A set of qualifications is required. It requires a mature person – someone who can think clearly, feel deeply, and act decisively. A mature person is likely to come to the Upanishads. The Upanishad says it is to be studied from a shrotriya, someone who is familiar with the methodology of revealing the truth. Why? Because the Upanishad reveals the truth, the source of everything as consciousness, free from the limitations of time and space and consciousness is no different from the individual. It is difficult to understand. If he is free of time and space, he is infinite. But the words are finished.
A group of adjectives, qualifying something will not free it from all limitation but will make the object more finite. If I use a word “pen” then anything other than a pen is excluded. If a few adjectives are added – fountain pen, blue pen, I make it more limited, not unlimited. A simple stack of words – infinite, supreme divine bliss leads to concepts. A concept study will not reveal the truth to the researcher. One of my students, after doing a master’s degree in philosophy, went to his teacher and said “I want to do my doctorate”. And the teacher asked him why. He said because I want to know the truth. This university professor with 30 years of teaching was very frank: “If you really want to know the truth, forget about the doctorate. Find a traditional teacher and learn from him. ‘
If the university study is in English, Sanskrit, or any other regional language, it will not deliver the truth. The truth can only be known when you study with a traditional teacher, regardless of the language. The Upanishads are the way to know the truth. Only a traditional Vedanta teacher can manipulate finite words to reveal infinite truth. Studying it on your own will only leave you with concepts that are far from the truth.
(The writer is the founder of the Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at [email protected])
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Posted on: Friday December 17th, 2021, 7:00 am IST