Timely guidance – The Upanishads of Hinduism

In my early twenties, I give up God and Hinduism. By age 30, I realised, through logic, that there had to be a Creator God, to explain the improbable complexity and beauty of the Universe. By age 40, I accepted that the major religions were equal in their potential to benefit mankind. By age 50, I realised that Hinduism offered a cosmology which also placed mankind in the Cosmos; this took me further than the other religions, with their emphasis on ethics supported by variable dogma.

I stress that this is personal judgement, not worth debating – as none of us will ever prove that any one religion is better than the others. Wait to see who else comes through that door with you.

By age 60, I realised the wisdom of the Upanishads; and I had the time to ponder the message. For those who might be interested, here is a sample taken from Easwaran.

As the same fire assumes different shapes
When it consumes objects differing in shape,
So does the one Self take the shape
Of every creature in whom he is present.
(Katha 2 .2 .9)

When all desires that surge in the heart
Are renounced, the mortal become immortal.
When all the knots that strangle the heart
Are loosened, the mortal becomes immortal.
This sums up the teachings of the Scriptures.
(Katha 2 .3.14-15)

As a caterpillar, having come to the end of one blade
of grass, draws itself together and reaches out for the
next, so the Self, having come to the end of one life and
shed all ignorance, gathers its faculties and reaches
out from the old body to a new.
(Brihad 4 .4.3)

(These extracts from Easwaran are to be found in my book ‘Hidden Footprints of Unity’)