Sunday, June 28, 2015

Book Review: Brihadaaranyaka: Kadambari Kaul

Brihadaranyaka, The Great Upanishad by Kadambari Kaul is the best guide for the aspirants who burn with the desire to reach the goal of freedom of mind and testifies to the intellectual superiority of the wise and is written in prose and verses and consists of six chapters that affirm the absolute identity of atman and Brahman which is universal, undifferentiated, absolute pure consciousness.

Literally Brihadaranyaka means great (Brihat) Forest (aranyaka) book because of its size and because it would be better to study it in the silence of the forest and is ranked among the Upanishads because its teaching is about the knowledge of the Absolute (Brahmajnana) and is the largest and among the most ancient Upanishads with the date of the composition is formulated in a very large time period between the X and the VII century BC and the writer is anonymous, even if the themes are expressed by the sage Yajnavalkya, eminent theologian and philosopher to King Janaka.

The Brihadaranyaka, the last of the ten best known Upanishads is part of the Yajur Veda and belongs to the last book of the Satapatha Brahmana so called because it contains the texts that contains explanations and comments about the formulas of Yajurveda to be recited in sacrifices by a priest or sacrificer. The Satapatha Brahmana ends with the Aranyaka, this in turn ends with the Upanishads in question, which follows the Isa Upanishad.

At the beginning there is said to be the origin of the universe by the Creator where originally there was only the atman, as purusha who was not so happy alone and felt the desire of another whose extension was then that of a embracing man and a woman.

The text with its qualities is beyond description with the poetic language of the book will arrest you, that simply teach us to follow our minds and in doing so we will see the way to depart from the Atman and all the senses, worlds, gods, creatures as we identify the mystic name of the Atma that is reality of reality because the senses are reality and the Atman is the reality of the senses.

The third and fourth, describe the contemplative worship (Upasana) associated with ritual actions (karma) and deals first with issues related to ritual and cosmogonic thoughts, which then move on to more properly metaphysical considerations and exposure of the doctrine of the identity of the individual soul and cosmic soul.

Finally, the soul will leave behind any rough or ethical norm and both will be free from the evil that the good and in this state of mind will no longer track any distinction between himself and others, realizing the perfect identity between Brahman and the atman as he may no longer fear anything as his life will be immortal now, as that of the cosmos.

The book mixed with prose and verses, is dedicated to addressing the aspirant to the transcendent truth of the reality through contemplation or the stimulation of the buddhi (pure reason) by listening to the supreme truth that relate to the origin and destiny of man, who can withstand the various events of life, and the ultimate foundation of the universe and of life.

This idealistic book evaluate in fair measure the difficulty to break away from the mythical conception of the universe and the more or less exclusive domain of ritual and magic to look dispassionately with a clear eye to the facts of life and death, beyond the undeniable aphorisms and survivals of the past, when the human spirit has left a remarkable documentation of a spiritual labour that seeks, and proposes even doubts the proposed solutions, which accepts and unscrupulously combines elements and concepts of various origins, to represent the complexity of the unknowable and does not hesitate to admit the contradictions and contrasts.

By examining the most important themes of the Upanishads, will emerge continuity in nature, though, not unified or consistent formulating a primitive cosmology where at first there was nothing, from which the universe was created and in every man harbours a spark of Brahman, the cosmic energy, that is the atman, the principle of individuality or personal self, usually incorrectly translated as soul.

The book is postulated on an intimate correspondence between the micro and the macrocosm, based on various Vedic ideas where every creature receives something from Brahman, with the most complete embodiment of this energy is the Brahmin, the priest. The whole world is nothing but the atman that is indestructible and eternal.

This cosmology has important ethical implications with the man will have to take consciousness of his true identity, to understand that his atman, its intimate nature, contains a universal principle who shy away from the passions, devoting himself to asceticism and at some point in their evolution, as the breath pervades every area of the universe, and continues to exist at all times, even in deep sleep.

It is the atman that allows a seed to produce a large tree. It is subtle essence, an invisible force that allows each being to realize his own nature. It is the breath of life, that energizes the creatures and ultimately, is the Brahman. You have to be your own master, with a spark of energy that we host in a small space of the heart as an eternal existence awaits the atman, in his intercourse with the Brahman, which is its very source.

The book opens the treasure chest that contains the treasures of technical and metaphysical timeless wisdom in its full meaning. In other words, we can say that the book has no shortage of innovative and even revolutionary aspects, which focuses on the recovery of cosmic reality and in particular of its salvific and epistemological value.

This book illuminates the path of the ancient spiritual science  with the author explains in a clear and definitive way the ancient spiritual concepts, starting with the basic moral principles, abstinence and observances, and then penetrate into the secrets of the universe.

The book is certainly a real mystical experience that is an experience of unity with the Absolute, which is not, however, neither a simple unity of the manifold nor a juxtaposition of two separate and self-sufficient entities.


Format: Paperback ♥ Publisher: Leadstart ♥ Pages: 429 ♥ Published: April 2015 ♥ Language: English ♥ ISBN-13: 978-9381836705
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