‘Into a blind darkness they enter who follow after the ignorance, they as if into a greater darkness who devote themselves to the Knowledge alone.’
– Isha Upanishad
Some time around 2000 BC, or perhaps even earlier, when much of Europe was still perfecting the art of survival, sages and seers of India were contemplating on the very nature of Reality.
Meditating along river banks, on slopes of the mighty Himalayas and in remote forests, these wise men had realised that human existence was a mere veil of something mightier and more profound than life itself. They had discovered that there was a more ‘real’ existence than the mental existence and a ‘greater’ Life than the physical life. For the awakened men the forms and enjoyments that ordinary men worship and pursue were not anymore the object of desire.
Thus rose the cry of the Upanishads – Rise and aspire beyond, free yourself from this illusory world of phenomenon and death and become your true immortal Self !!
The Upanishads also known as the Vedanta or the culmination of the Vedas, are actually the essence of all Vedas and from the Upanishads was born the Bhagavad Gita, the song celestial – which contains a philosophy so practical and yet so profound that no other philosophy of this world or the next has been able to surpass it.
The European powers were astounded when they were told by a German Indologist, Max Muller and later by another German philosopher, Schopenhauer that the earliest inhabitants of this primitive and savage land that they had set out to civilize and conquer had discovered the highest metaphysical truths when much of European civilization was still in its infancy.
Ironically it was the Persian translation of the Upanishad written by a Muslim prince – Dara Shikoh which was instrumental in taking the primeval Hindu wisdom to the West.
to be continued…….