Exploring the Universe the Upanishadic Way

A picture taken by the Voygager Spacecraft

by Jayaram V

The Upanishads are the heart of Hinduism. I was introduced to them by chance nearly forty years ago, and ever since my interest in them only grew. It was out of my interest I translated several Upanishads twice in the past. The first attempt was several years ago, and it was meant mainly for the Internet. In my recent attempt, which took me over a year, I translated 16 major Upanishads covering over 1700 slokas. For me the exercise was more like an active meditation with an opportunity to communicate with the best of the ancient minds and making sense of their universal vision of God and existence. In this section I want to share with you the wisdom of the Upanishads, whenever I am inspired to do so. I hope to present at least a few every month until my thoughts are exhausted or my interest has waned. I hope you will find them useful. Jayaram V

Please do not look for complete answers or information in these. They are fragments of thoughts which deal with only certain aspects of the chosen subject

Exploring the universe the Upanishadic way. In August and September1977, NASA launched two spacecraft's named Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 to explore planets like Jupiter and Saturn and travel beyond into the interstellar space. In the last 33 years, as of September 2013, Voyager 1 traveled about 19 Billion Kilometers from the sun and Voyager 2 about 15.5 Billion kilometers.

From our standpoint this is a great achievement. For the first time a manmade object exists billions of miles away from the earth, beyond the solar system. However, if you compare the size of the universe to the earth, the distance traveled by these two combined would not amount to even a tiny dot on the surface of the earth.

The truth is there are certain limitations to what we can explore and how far we can physically travel into space. The Upanishadic seers had no means to travel into space and explore its secrets. Not many had even traveled beyond their local regions. For most of them, the Indian subcontinent was the world.

However, they used another method to explore the universe. They believed that the body and the consciousness of a living being represented the body and mind of the universe on a tiny scale, and concluded that by studying and understanding the inner workings of them, one could find some truths about the universe and the world in which lived.

Today, we know that the body contains the same elements as the rest of the universe and functions according to the same natural laws. Therefore, by studying the body minutely at the atomic and subatomic levels, we can certainly understand some truths regarding the inner working of the unverse.

We do not yet know whether the consciousness is a mere configuration of numbers, mathematical equations and the play of natural laws or something more. Our seers saw that consciousness depended not only upon the mind and body for its functioning, but existed beyond the mind and the body also.

This is one finding, which science is yet to establish and confirm. It is yet to prove that consciousness can exist independent of the mind. << >>

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