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    Exploring Shvetashvatara Upanishad

    || om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya ||

    vasudeva sutam devam |
    kauMsa chANura mardanam |
    devakI paramAnandaM |
    KRshNam vande jagadguruM ||


    Namaste

    In this thread I hope to explore and discuss the core shlokas of this Upanishad. If you have some interesting insight, please join. Questions welcome too.

    Shvetashvatara Upanishad by Shvetashvatara Rshi / Muni (One who is driven by white horses i.e. pure senses/mind) is a beautiful Upanishad, counted among the 10 major Upanishads, is actively theistic and philosophical at the same time, and clear in its message.

    This is the Upanishad that introduces the seeker (sAdhak) to the popular concept of two birds sitting on the same branch of a tree. One is the individual, initially in ignorance due to false identification with the body-mind-ego, consuming reactions (fruits) of its own actions. The other is ParamAtmA who just “looks on” , as a witness (sAkshI), does not participate in “the movie” of emotional upheavals, or the individual’s life, and does not “eat the fruit”, hence is always blissful and peaceful.
    Shvetashvatara Upanishad says, by “looking at”, “turning to” or “observing” the ParamAtmA Bird (SAkshi - witness), the individual bird becomes wise, loses the ignorance, and gets liberated.
    What I appreciate is the shloka is direct and simple. It does not say the individual bird “becomes or turns into something else” or “stops existing” but simply realizes its non-difference from the Self-Brahman’ which is extremely subtle in nature (sUkshmAtisUkshma) like a film on clarified butter.. I find that more realistic and ontologically acceptable.

    The focus of this text is on

    1. Acquiring knowledge of Brahman’
    2. Becoming “yoga-yukta”, yoga with the Divine = joining one’s existence to Brahman’, using the understanding and knowledge of Brahman’ that is provided, and if fortunate, experiencing [sayujja with] Brahman'
    3. Factors in devotion or meditative focus on Brahman’


    It uses theistic words such as devAtma-shakti and Deva while referring to Brahman’.
    It calls Brahman' the Deity. The Highest Deity to meditate on.
    It has some very interesting shlokas on this Deity i.e. on Brahman’ and on nature of what is initially perceived as (api) the individual.
    Last edited by ameyAtmA; 19 October 2019 at 04:39 PM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

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