Tuesday 4 June 2024

Yogopanishads – An Introduction

(Transcription of the lecture given by Mananeeya Sri Hanumantaraoji, All India Vice President of VRM & VK)

Yoga Upanishads - Upanishads of the Yoga - the knowledge of the Yoga reflecting in various Upanishads, Upanishads which have Yoga as the subject matter. These Yoga Upanishads belong to the various Shakhas of the four Vedas of the Indian culture. Bharatiya Sanatana Dharma has a large knowledge base, a huge Vedic literature. These four Vedas contain 1,108 Shakhas, the branches, of which the Rigveda has 21, the Yajurveda has 109, the Samaveda 1,000, and the Atharvaveda has 50 Shakhas. These 1,180 Shakhas are supposed to have one Upanishad each. But, we have only 108 known Upanishads available. Out of these 108 available, 20 Upanishads are classified under the Yoga Upanishads, the Upanishads which have Yoga as their subject matter, and these Upanishads are not much well known in the entire Yoga literature.

These Upanishads talk about various practices, various dimensions, and various Anushthana and Abhyasa, and these Upanishads give an insight to the practitioner, to the sadhaka about the wide base, deep knowledge, and expose the sadhaka to a wide range of practices suitable to the temperament of the practitioner. A Yoga practitioner can choose based on his temperament or her temperament to attain, to achieve what Maharshi Patanjali defines Yoga, "Yogah Chitta Vritti Nirodhah". There is a tradition that the Upanishads also have been classified under Samanya Upanishads, Shaiva Upanishads, Shakta Upanishads, Vaishnava Upanishads, and of course the Yoga Upanishads. These Upanishads are all available in the form of print media.

The Rig Veda has ten important Upanishads out of which two major or principal Upanishads: the Aitareya and the Kaushitaki Upanishads. Similarly, Samaveda has sixteen number of Upanishads out of which Chandogya and the Kena Upanishad are the most important and well known. Krishna Yajurveda has 32 Upanishads out of which Taittiriya, Katha, Svetasvatara, and Maitrayaniya Upanishads are quite well known and popular. Shukla Yajurveda has 19 Upanishads out of which Brihadaranyaka and the Isopanisad are well known. Similarly, the Atharvaveda has 31 Upanishads and out of them the Mundaka, Mandukya, and the Prashna Upanishad are quite very well known in the field of the Upanishads and the Arsha Vangmayam.

The Yoga Upanishads are supposed to have been called out made to the entire knowledge base of the Yoga quite very recently, and it was around the 18th century, there was a famous personality who was considered to be an incarnation of the Vyasa himself, Upanishad Brahmayogin who was supposed to have been written a commentary on all the 108 Upanishads. Upanishad Brahmayogin was born in Brahmapuram in Tamil Nadu, a contemporary to the famous singer Thyagaraja. It is said that Sri Vasudevananda Saraswati initiated him into Sanyasa in Kanchipuram and because of his knowledge and depth and experience he has been known as Upanishad Brahmayogin, and of course his original name was Sri Ramachandrendra Saraswati. It was he who learnt entire Arsha Vangmayam from his father Shivakameshwara who has taught him, trained him in the field of Vedic knowledge, Upanishads and in the field of Yoga.

The Yogopanishads which are identified, classified, and are known from these commentaries of Upanishad Brahmayogin are available, but not well known or what we can say are not much popular, even in the field and the knowledge of the Yoga or even in the field and knowledge of the Upanishads. So, the Sama Veda, the Rig Veda, the Krishna Yajurveda, the Shukla Yajurveda, and the Atharvaveda which form the base which form the root of these Upanishads, and this Vedic knowledge expressed manifested, elaborated in these Yoga Upanishads is quite amazing. The common and the normal understanding and the feeling is that Yoga has no base, has no root in the ancient Indian Vedic literature. But, the existence of the commentaries of the Yoga Upanishads remove that perception and establishes that Yoga has its roots in the Sanatana Dharma, the Arsha Vangmayam in the Vedic literature. This is an important discovery, dimension in the field of Yogic knowledge, and in the field of science of Yoga.

Various topics have been discussed in these Yoga Upanishads: the Mantra Yoga, the Laya Yoga, the Hatha Yoga, the Raja Yoga, the Samadhi Yoga, and various techniques of meditation, Pranayama are found in these Upanishads. It is a treasure of hidden knowledge. The Advayataraka Upanishad, for example, talks about Taraka Yoga. Amrita Bindu Upanishad talks about contemplation of the Brahman. Amrita Nada Upanishad talks about the six components of the Yoga, the Pranava, the Pranayama, and the places and the length and the colors of the Prana and the other breaths. Brahma Vidya Upanishad talks about the Pranava, Sushumna, Hamsa Vidya, and Hamsa Yoga.

Then the Darshana Upanishad talks about the eight components of the Yoga: the ten Yama-niyamas, the nine Asanas, Nadis, the types of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Dhyana Bindu Upanishad elaborates on the practices connected to the Brahman, Pranava the components of Yoga Nadis, Ajapa Vidya, Mahamudra, Kechari, and then Nadanusandhana. Hamsa Upanishad elaborates, discusses on the Hamsa Vidya, Ajapa Hamsa then Saguna Upasana, then the experiences of the practice of sound, and elaborates on the experiences of the Manolaya. Kshurika Upanishad talks about the eligibilities of the person who has to take up the path of Yoga. Mahavakya Upanishad speaks about the Aparoksha Anubhava of the Advaita Vedanta, and he talks about the Jnana Phala, the result and the final gain of the knowledge.

Nada Bindu Upanishad, Pashupata Upanishad, Teja Bindu Upanishad, Trishikhi Upanishad Yoga Chudamani Upanishad, so they all contain wonderful practices. In fact what we find in the modern era, the existent practices which seems to be new modern, newly added newly discovered are actually have their roots in these Upanishads. But it is surprising and we are ignorant that the roots are in this, and without this knowledge of the roots, we claim tall claims that we are the founders of the new system of Yogic techniques. The ancient Yoga Upanishads talk about in-depth practices in detail. The Patanjala Yoga Sutras, the Hatha Yoga Pradeepika and the various known Yogic texts have their own roots in these Yoga Upanishads. That is how, Vedic knowledge, Arsha Vidya, Arsha Jnanam the Vedas form the foundations of the entire knowledge system of the Bharatiya Sanatana Dharma Samskriti, the Indian culture.

The Vedanta topics discussed in the Yoga Upanishads are also quite interesting. The Vedantic dimension of the Yoga Upanishads - they talk about the ultimate reality as the Brahman. They give insights to the Ishwara, the creation, Hamsa Vidya, Jivan Muktah, and finally realization Moksha and other dimensions. Similarly, the Yoga Upanishads also elaborately deliberates on the Yoga topics like eligibilities of a person, the types of Yogas, the components of Yoga: Prana, Mudras, Pranayama, Bandhas, Nadis, Chakras, Nadanusandhanas, Antarayas in the Yoga (Yoga obstacles), talks about the Unmani, Manolaya, Samadhi phala the results of the Samadhi. Not only that, even the Yogic diet and the Kaivalya, the liberation.

Yoga Upanishads contain such a vast, deep knowledge hitherto unearthed, hitherto untouched not brought out to the much wider public attention. This is an attempt to make them understand in simple terms and to create an awareness to inspire to study in deep these Yoga Upanishads which are the treasure house of the known, and even now unknown Yogic practices. There can be intense study, research on the various dimensions of these texts, Yoga Upanishads. Just on Pranava, Omkara and how it is to be practiced these Upanishads go elaborated descriptions.

We are very much indebted to Sri Ramachandrendra Saraswati, well known as Upanishad Brahmayogin who has written commentaries on all the 108 Upanishads. These 20 Yoga Upanishads form part of these 108 Upanishads. As said earlier, Sri Ramachandrendra Saraswati, Upanishad Brahmayogin was a contemporary to the famous Saint Thyagaraja Swami. So in the following sessions, an attempt is made to summarize in brief all these 20 Upanishads.

The attempt is only to instill an interest and make the Yoga practitioners to study go through these Yoga Upanishads in detail and to enlarge our knowledge base, and correct our practices or even take up some new practices which will have a wide range of impact on our lifestyles, ultimately it is how we live our daily life in a most useful, simple and spiritual way. The Yoga Upanishadic knowledge should help us to transform our daily lifestyle. It should help us to iron out the angularities and make our personality a part of the large creation to be a useful social human being. With this expectation, an attempt is made in the following sessions of all the 20 Yoga Upanishads as an introduction to them. We shall pray to none other than Maharshi Patanjali:


Yogena cittasya padena vācāṁ

malaṁ śarīrasya ca vaidyakena

yo'pākarottamaṁ pravaraṁ munīnāṁ

patañjaliṁ prāñjalirānato'smi

Listen at https://youtu.be/n9cXdBTBYaU?si=GDvfmPWdNQOxPdIL

कथा : विवेकानन्द केन्द्र { Katha : Vivekananda Kendra }
Vivekananda Rock Memorial & Vivekananda Kendra : http://www.vivekanandakendra.org
Read n Get Articles, Magazines, Books @ http://prakashan.vivekanandakendra.org

Let's work on "Swamiji's Vision - Eknathji's Mission"

Follow Vivekananda Kendra on   blog   twitter   g+   facebook   rss   delicious   youtube   Donate Online

मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

No comments:

Post a Comment