Brahman can be known through the Upanishads alone. Shruti says that knower of Brahman verily becomes Brahman. Brahma Vidya expounded in the Upanishads grants Kaivalya Mukti and makes one fearless. According to Advaita Philosophy the Self is ever free and therefore to seek its liberation is only an illusion. Bondage arises because of false identification of the Self with the body. Liberation consists of removing this false identification of the Self with the body. The Upanishads expound the pristine glory of the Self and reveals the unity of the Self and Brahman. This book presents the English rendering of eight Minor Upanishads which remove this false identification of the Self with the body and thus grants liberation.
An earnest seeker who has inculcated four-fold qualifications of Viveka (discriminative knowledge), Vairagya (detachment), Sad Sampada (six-fold virtues) and Mumukshutvam (longing for liberation) will find these minor Upanishads very valuable in the direct realisation of the Self.
The Upanishads are the culmination of the Vedas. There is no philosophy higher than that of the Upanishads. Brahman can be known through Upanishads alone and not through other philosophies like Nyaya, Sankhya, Yoga, etc. The Ritualistic portion (Karma Kanda) of the Vedas is incapable of granting eternal peace. Therefore, the Vedas delineate Brahma Vidya for the seekers of eternal Truth. The Knowledge portion (Jnana Kanda) of the Vedas which deal with Brahma Vidya is known as Upanishads. Each branch of the Vedas has got one Upanishad. The Muktika Upanishad mentions about the names of 108 Upanishads. Of these, the ten Upanishads on which Bhagavad Pada Sri Adi Shankracharya had written his commentary are known as the Principal Upanishads and the remaining are called the Minor Upanishads. These minor Upanishads are in no way inferior to the principal Upanishads in terms of their content and philosophical import. These are called 'minor' because no authentic commentaries are available on these Upanishads and we have to depend upon the commentaries of the principal Upanishads in order to understand the true import of their teachings. This book presents translations and notes on eight minor Upanishads in the light of commentaries on ten principal Upanishads. Commentaries written by Bhagavad Pada Sri Adi Shankracharya on Brahma Sutra and Bhagavad-Gita have also been referred to wherever necessary. Sanskrit texts with the English translation and notes have been presented here in such a manner so that the true inner significance is not lost.
The Upanishads reveal the four facets of the glorious Aryan ideals practised by the ancient seers and sages. These four facets are described as Morality, Meditation, Wisdom and Liberation. It is due to lack of understanding on these four facets that the embodied soul undergoes cycles of births and deaths and finds no deliverance from the worldly afflictions. The Upanishads say that by leading a righteous and moral life of non-craving and non-attachment the mind becomes pure and concentrated. Imbued with concentration the mind acquires noble vision and constantly abides in the spiritual heart. The mind then becomes aware of the divine nature of the soul and derives intuitive knowledge which is the basis of sacred ancient wisdom. Imbued with wisdom, the mind becomes free from false views and ignorance and attains liberation. The central theme of all the Upanishads is to remove various false views about the Self and reveal the identity of the Self (individual soul) and Brahman (Supreme Self)
The secret knowledge revealed in the Upanishads grants liberation here and now. It is called Kaivalya Mukti. Seekers of liberation will find these minor Upanishads very valuable in discriminating the Self from the non-Self. This endeavour is cnly to bring out the sublime glory of the Self. May, the Supreme Self who resides in the hearts of all beings, be pleased with this humble effort.
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