important part of the Upanishad

Relevance of ancient Indian scriptures: Pursuit of a question

"Questioning is the most important part of the Upanishad." - Sri M

So, this is exactly what I was saying—the Upanishad is not trying to give you an answer. The Teacher and the student—hand in hand—are trying to examine something, explore, find out and come to the answer by themselves. This is the aim of the Upanishad and that is why I said it is one of the most important ways of thinking; the only way, if you ask me.

Is it relevant today? I would say, very much so. What is needed for any kind of true knowledge is the capacity to pursue a question incessantly with your entire mind put into it, until you find the answer yourself. It is not what somebody says or what you believe, or what this book or that book says. And, for that, a relentless pursuit of the question is more important than a shortcut to find a quick answer. Questioning is the most important part of the Upanishad.

All discoveries—even in the physical world, and even in science—have all been made possible by this questioning, by this unprejudiced investigation. So, this is what I was trying to say: the Upanishad is so relevant that if one is truly following the Upanishadic way of inquiry, one will not succumb to any cult. One would never think in a cultish manner but would examine everything that one experiences: carefully, clearly, with an unprejudiced mind; not accepting, not rejecting, but going deep into it.

So, layer-by-layer we discard all that is not true until when you have discarded everything.

Now, suppose we have understood, or we have heard from the teachings of the ancients that, ‘that entity, the Self’ which hears when you hear, sees when you see and thinks when you think and so on, is also the supreme consciousness, and hypothetically, if that is the universal all-pervading supreme energy, then how does one find it? Is there a way to find it? How does one travel towards it? Is it something inside or something outside? Or is it both inside and outside? Is it an individual? Or is it an all-pervading consciousness? These are the questions that come up. Otherwise, it’s pointless to say who, if you cannot find the ‘who’ and that supreme Who—says sloka 3 in the Kena Upanishad.

Now, instead of thinking about how to find it, one can use the negative approach—the ‘netineti’ approach. ‘Not this, not this, now this cannot be done this way’. That’s a fantastic way to look at things. Not to say, ‘it is this’ but to say ‘it cannot be this’.

So, layer-by-layer we discard all that is not true until when you have discarded everything. When you have negated everything, that substratum which cannot be negated after the negation of all tangible objects turns out to be that which one was seeking.




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