Overview for Thirty Minor Upanishads: Sanskrit Text and English Translation
All religions define a final goal of life and prescribe methods by means of which that goal may be obtained. To a Hindu, the ultimate goal is the realization that the only real thing is the Supreme Brahman, that the world is an illusion, that the Absolute Self and the individual self are identical and that salvation consists in nothing more than the lightening flash which reveals this identity. Hindu religious texts have laid down several means by which this end can be achieved. These are sacrifice, knowledge, asceticism, self-mortification, Yoga and Bhakti. The ways may differ but the end is the same, namely the attainment of the knowledge of identity of the personal and impersonal souls. The original source of this knowledge are the Upanisads which tell us how human personality is dissolved and how self consciousness is, extinguished by absorption in to the impersonal Brahman, like the river losing its identity by flowing into the sea. The present collection of thirty Upanisads in English translation are classified under the heading of (1) Vedanta (2) Physiology (3) Mantra (4) Sannyasa and (5) Yoga, though these are not hard and fast divisions, for, in the Sannyasa and Yoga Upanisads too, there occur some extracts of mantras here and there. This set of thirty Upanisads has its own peculiarities. They are not commented upon by Sankara and others. They are concerned more with the interior than the exterior and they place more stress upon certain centres in the human body, namely those of head, heart and naval. The Vedanta Upanisads in this group are concerned with an all-round development of the heart and not of the brain and naval. The Yogic Upanisads, on the other hand, are intended for those who want to have an all-round development of the soul in all the three aspects. These are necessary for the spiritual development of the person concerned. Through the heart, one can obtain the all-pervading power, when one has cut the heart-knot; through the brain one can achieve infinite knowledge and unlimited power, and through the navel one can awaken Kundalini and realize the self. The book is documented with Sanskrit Text.