The Aitareya Upanishad expounds that the first cause of being is Consciousness and that Consciousness is Brahma Himself. This is arguably the precursor to the scientific pursuit of all humankind. What is 'creation' in Occidental religion and literature is 'srshtee' to the Oriental mind: a projection of something ongoing, this supereme Consciousness, as opposed to the springing up of something from nothing. The Aitareya Upanishad discusses the projection and process of the universe in terms that have fascinated the deepest intellects of the Orient since it was written.
Q1. What is written in Aitareya Upanishad?
Aitareya Upanishad forms part of the Aitareya Aranyaka of the Rigveda. It
is divided into five sections (Khandas). If the Peace-Chant be counted as a
section, the sections become six, and by such counting, this Upanishad is
sometimes called ‘Atmashatka’, i.e., six-sectioned dissertation on the Atman.
It is divided into three chapters. The first contains three sections, the
second and the last, one section each. The Upanishad derives its name from its
author Mahidasa Aitareya, the son of Itara.
Q2. How does Taittiriya Upanishad view the mind?
true nature of the mind cannot be known either by words or by the mind itself.
The mind which seeks to know the mind is only a mental state (vritti). Hence
the mind remains unknown to the mind. The mind is, in essence, one with the
Cosmic Mind, or Hiranyagarbha (the first manifestation of Saguna Brahman), who
is the highest manifestation of Brahman in the relative world. That is why it
is said that he who contemplates the sheath of the mind as Brahman has nothing
to be afraid of; he attains the World of Hiranyagarbha.
Q3. What is Atman?
is the first principle or the first cause. It is the only reality. It is from
the root which means ‘to obtain’, ‘to eat’, ‘to enjoy’ or ‘to pervade all’. The
Atman is the highest, all wise, all powerful, free from all characteristics of
Samsara, such as hunger, delusion, sorrow, etc. He is eternal, pure,
intelligent and free. He is birthless, undecaying, ageless, immortal, fearless
Q4. What is the meaning of Aitareya?
describes, in symbolical language, the creation of the universe. It deals with
the Atman as the only Reality. It treats of evolution through hunger and
thirst, of food, of the entrance of the Self into the body. It deals with the
conception and the three births of man.
Q5. Who wrote Aitareya Brahmana?
work, according to the tradition, is ascribed to Mahidasa Aitareya. He earliest
of its philosophers was Mahidasa Aitareya.
He is revered as the forerunner who showed the way to thinkers that
succeeded him. Mahidasa is therefore recognized as the Father of Indian
Philosophy, though many regard Aghamarshana as the first one to clearly state
and put forward a definite explanation of his belief that Samvatsara (year), time-principle
which governs life and death was the essence of all things.
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