Author Topic: Reclaiming the Wisdom of Upanishads  (Read 568 times)

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Holden

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Reclaiming the Wisdom of Upanishads
« on: February 21, 2016, 12:31:35 pm »
It is said that Schopenhauer,  had always a book of the Upanishads on his table, and was in the habit, before going to bed, of performing his devotions from its pages. He said, "In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life, it will be the solace of my death."

I wish to reclaim the wisdom of ancient India-that of the Upanishads:

You may drink the ocean dry; you may uproot from its base the mountain Meru; you may swallow fire. But more difficult than all these,  is control over the mind.
La Tristesse Durera Toujours                                  (The Sadness Lasts Forever ...)
-van Gogh.

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Re: Reclaiming the Wisdom of Upanishads
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2016, 04:01:46 pm »
It is cool that that you mention the Upanishads.  Remember when you asked me if it were necessary for you to read Kant before Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation?  (since Schopenhauer seems to demand it)

I wanted to suggest the Upanishads (since I feel this was a more significant influence on Schopenhauer's philosophy), but I sensed that you may have already been exposed to it.

I gave my copy of a two volume set to my nephew a long time ago. 

When mathematician/programmer Alex Stepanov taught in India, he encourage his students to embrace the roots of their culture and not be seduced by "Hollywood/Bollywood," the music industry, etc ...

Yes, Holden, I felt for the longest time that Schopenhauer's great contribution was being humble enough to interpret this thought in his own way to "the Western World".

With respect,

H
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

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Holden

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Re: Reclaiming the Wisdom of Upanishads
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 08:48:26 am »
Thanks for highlighting the link between Cioran & Hindu philosophy( Note to self:Buy a Cioran Biography ASAP).Unfortunately,the masses here ARE mesmerized with Holly/Bollywood.
...

The idea of self as illusion isn’t exactly a new one. It’s been a staple of Eastern philosophy for millennia (and, indeed, Ligotti himself quotes the Dhammapada-a Buddhist text).

“Look at your body— A painted puppet, a poor toy Of jointed parts ready to collapse, A diseased and suffering thing With a head full of false imaginings. —The Dhammapada”
― Thomas Ligotti, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror


At least a thousand years — perhaps as many as two thousand years — before the Buddhist sutras, the Aitareya Upanishad was discussing the idea of self as an aspect of a universal consciousness: “Is Self the mind by which we perceive, direct, understand, know, remember, think, will, desire, and love? These are but servants of the Self, who is pure consciousness. This Self is in all.”
La Tristesse Durera Toujours                                  (The Sadness Lasts Forever ...)
-van Gogh.

Holden

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 The Brahman is all that exists, but differentiation has been caused by  Maya. Unity, the one Brahman, is the ultimate, the goal. India has thrown this challenge to the world for thousands of years.This is the challenge that this world is a delusion, that it is all Maya, that whether you eat off the ground with your fingers or dine off golden plates, whether you live in palaces and are one of the mightiest monarchs or are the poorest of beggars, death is the one result; it is all the same, all Maya. That is the old Indian theme, and again and again nations are springing up trying to unsay it, to disprove it; becoming great, with enjoyment as their watchword, power in their hands, they use that power to the utmost, enjoy to the utmost, and the next moment they die. Indian philosophy stands for ever because it sees that everything is Maya.

Just as you find the attempts of Hegel in German philosophy, so you will find the very same ideas brought forward in ancient India. Fortunately , Hegelianism was nipped in the bud and not allowed to sprout and cast its baneful shoots over here. Hegel's one idea is that the one, the absolute, ,the world is greater than the non-world, Samsara is greater than salvation. That is the one idea, and the more you plunge into this Samsara the more your soul is covered with the workings of life, the better you are. They say, do you not see how we build houses, cleanse the streets, enjoy the senses? Ay, behind that they may hide rancour, misery, horror — behind every bit of that enjoyment.

 If I can give up, I will have religion. If I cannot, I may read all the books that are in the world, from East to West, swallow all the libraries, and become the greatest of Pandits, but if I have Karma Kanda only, I am nothing. Through renunciation alone is immortality to be reached. It is the power, the great power, that cares not even for the universe; then it is that ब्रह्माण्डम् गोष्पदायते।

 "The whole universe becomes like a hollow made by a cow's foot."
La Tristesse Durera Toujours                                  (The Sadness Lasts Forever ...)
-van Gogh.

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Re: Reclaiming the Wisdom of Upanishads
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2016, 09:59:42 am »
What is a Pandit? 

What is Karma Kanda?

I just want to better understand what you are saying.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 10:13:06 am by H »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

Holden

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Karma-kāṇḍa =Fruitive activities, Path of materialistic activity." Chasing the Cheese".
Pundit=an expert in a particular subject or field who is frequently called upon to give their opinions to the public.

Though I am certain ,given my ethnicity,my ancestors would have studied the Upanishads,it is only through the Germans,
through Schopenhauer & you, that I have come to them in earnest.
I find it most beautifully symmetrical -Schopenhauer found solace in the Upanishads &  I find solace in Schopenhauer.
Through the ages Germans have been drawn towards the Upanishadic philosophy.

Have you heard of Muller? A German who was greatly attracted to the Upanishads?

In "What can India teach us?" a lecture he delivered at University of Cambridge, he championed Upanishads as follows:
Quote
If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most full developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant – I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we, here in Europe, we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw that corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human, a life, not for this life only, but a transfigured and eternal life – again I should point to India.
— Max Müller, (1883)
 Vivek,an Indian philosopher( much like I have met you)  met Herr Max Muller over a lunch on 28 May 1896. Regarding Max Muller,Vivek later wrote:
The visit was really a revelation to me. That little white house, its setting in a beautiful garden, the silver-haired sage, with a face calm and benign, and forehead smooth as a child's in spite of seventy winters, and every line in that face speaking of a deep-seated mine of spirituality somewhere behind; throughout his life, his has been an arduous task,surrounded by overriding opposition and contempt, he has created  respect for the thoughts of the sages of ancient India — the trees, the flowers, the calmness, and the clear sky — all these sent me back in imagination to the glorious days of ancient India, the days of our brahmarshis and rajarshis(ascetics), the days of the great vanaprasthas(going away to the forest for contemplation) , the days of Arundhatis and Vasishthas. It was neither the philologist nor the scholar that I saw, but a soul that is every day realizing the true nature of the universe...


And so are you, Mr. H.




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La Tristesse Durera Toujours                                  (The Sadness Lasts Forever ...)
-van Gogh.

Dog

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Re: Reclaiming the Wisdom of Upanishads
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 03:00:54 pm »
Quote from: Holden
Though I am certain ,given my ethnicity,my ancestors would have studied the Upanishads,it is only through the Germans,
through Schopenhauer & you, that I have come to them in earnest.
I find it most beautifully symmetrical -Schopenhauer found solace in the Upanishads &  I find solace in Schopenhauer.
Through the ages Germans have been drawn towards the Upanishadic philosophy.

I think Schopenhauer would be honored to have this reciprocal karmic connection with you, Holden.

Your validation strengthens my confidence in having been on some kind of path ... and shunning Karma-kāṇḍa.

I have only heard of Muller through the few other thinkers I have respected.  I know Hermann Hesse was also intrigued by "the East" ... He even wrote a novel called "Siddhartha".

Maybe, as our time is limited here, even though it may feel like an eternity, I will seek out the source of what left such a deep impression on men like Schopenhauer, Muller, and Hesse.  I have been doing some research (looking into Kindle editions since my limited shelf space is now packed solid with Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, Differential Equations, and an entire shelf of Stepanov inspired C++ STL references).   No need to mention the obsession I have (calling it mathemania), but, as I was saying, while researching, I found some were disappointed in certain books with the title "The Upanishads" that turned out to be another's interpretation of the spirit of the Upanishads.  Other scholars insisted that the best editions of the Upanishads are in Sanskrit ...

Maybe, if we both choose to stick around and no vehicular accidents or qualitas occultae evaporate us into thin air, you can give me some insight into a source that is at my level of comprehension ... since I am not trained at all in reading Sanskrit.  Maybe, in a spontaneous and natural manner, over the course of this year, during your encounter with translations or even closer to the bone editions, you will be able to guide me.

This symmetry is quite a paradox.

I am fairly certain you are aware of J.D. Salinger's interest in this type of knowledge, but I had only learned about his interest while reading a big fat biography by David Shields called "Salinger".  I think it was the transcripts from a filmed documentary.

There is so much wonder in this world, as much of a cosmic accident as it may be.

I find myself thinking this often:  How interesting this bizarre illusion is ...

And then there is the "skull crushing" which is not at all interesting, but just horrifying.

There are things they will never tell you, "they" being those who have an interest in manipulating the masses, training generation after generation to build the pharaohs' pyramids, parking lots, and computer software.  Pharaohs Gates, Clinton, Trump, or Ronald McDonald ...

We ought not get too hung up on historical personalities that appear as the rulers in the eras, for the People will never appear in such high positions of "power".

Isn't it amazing that the authors of those ancient Indian (of India) texts had such insight into the self-same thing-in-itself that is our very being?  Stomach, intestines, nerve endings, loins, the nature of human societies and family dynamics ... our own internal dilemma.

Maybe what Hesse called "the immortals" are hidden forces from the subconscious mind, perhaps our common ancestors giving us a little guidance now that Maya is globalized and incorporated.

things they will never tell you

Someone is reading Thomas Ligotti:  Things they will never tell you. 

I will tell you the same thing I told my nephew in an email to South America near the equator: I do not intend to cause you grief by sharing this moody music with you, but to offer you some astronomical relief from the frustration, the anguish, the full Hell of unmitigated torment that is woven into everything that lives and comprises the very threads holding it all together.

You are not alone.

If only once the astronomical relief of hearing it said only once.   But they will never say that it is not OK.  They will never say that it has never been nor ever will it ever be the least bit right in the least degree.

May you have relief from intense emotional agony.  You know that there will be times of inner peace ... breathe deep.


Now, let's not think that thinking the way we do will make us saints.  As Gary in nj.usa has said, "Life comes with this tragic element that you can't just keep ignoring ... the bloody, guts spilling elephant in the room: There is a real problem here.  This life equation really is way too fuucking sloppy, and it's not just about human fuucking beings.  It's about all these other sentient mammals on this planet ..."

One animal ripping the flesh from another animal's bones driven by merciless hunger.

And as Black Elk's grandfather told him (as a youth) when he made Black Elk (who would grow to become a Sioux holy man) slit the throat of a deer he had been allowed to raise as a pet ... only to tell his grandson, "Do you hear how the animal screams with it's throat cut, as its life is released?  Each blade of grass feels the same when it is cut."

Oh, as an aside, you understand that the reason I would refer to Black Elk and John Trudell as Natives of Turtle Island is because their ancestors' bones of 70,000 years are in the ground of this land they had called Turtle Island, encompassing what the Current Global World Order calls the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  Certainly theirs was an a-literate oral (not to be confused with illiterate) culture.

I appreciate that you are quite cognizant that when I refer to ancient Indian texts you know I am referring to your ancestors from that huge land called India, the cradle from where China inherited its Buddha ...

I appreciate our correspondence because these things are just understood.

At one time I had a two volume set of the Upanishads.  I was reading it to better understand Schopenhauer.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of the phrase "Eater-of-Food". That summed of the thing in itself for me in a nutshell, this situation we all have been thrown into by being born ...

Now that I think about it, yes, that's it!  It was a two volume set translated by Max Muller!

When I thought I might not ever see my nephew again, I gave them to him because he seemed to be heading far, far away, even farther than 3000 miles across the continent ... across great bodies of water ...  like the character Larry from The Razor's Edge, and I remember that it was suggested by a fellow coal miner that Larry read the Upanishads.  Anyway, I wanted my nephew to have some kind of ancient wisdom to turn to since I suspected he had also rejected the Judeo-Christian tradition that is mad out to be "the final word" on everything.  Schopenhauer set me straight on that score long ago, and I am no longer so rebellious as just disdainful.

I had set up Kindle software on my little notebook computer so as to check out some less expensive works ... Bertrand Russell's Free Thought for one dollar ... the Philosophy of Mathematics for $0.00, and now, this evening, on your mention of Muller, things clicked about translators of obscure Sanskrit text, and I find "Dhammapada, a collection of verse" translated by Muller for $0.00 ... a real treasure ... pearls before the swine, I guess.  This is the kind of treasure where one thinks upon appreciating finding it, "genius is its own reward."   Treasure is hiding in plain view, but everyone wants to be a rock star ...   ::)

Dhammapada, a collection of verses; being one of the canonical books of the Buddhists

India: What can it teach us? A Course of Lectures Delivered before the University Of Cambridge for $0.00

The Roman and the Teuton A Series of Lectures delivered before the University of Cambridge for $0.00

Here, I found the very paperback edition (of part 1) that I had read and given to my nephew along with part 2 ... Now, on Amazon for 46 cents ... I think I will check out the electronic editions to encourage myself to read in the dark when I rest from the mathemania and techgnosis ... when I settle into the inner realm ...

It's amazing that you mentioned Muller, and I had forgotten that he is the one who translated the edition I had read ... and yet, that book popped into my head when I saw his name ...

Part II paperpack used copy for one penny (plus shipping).

I really think I may check out the free kindle version for now.

Thanks for your honesty and spontaneity.

Note to "Self" (the thing in it): one dollar for kindle version Upanishads translated by Muller PART ONE

fragment of muller's autobiography Kindle edition $0.00

(one dollar) : a strange english dictionary from memories ... max muller ?  released February 9th, 2016? --- one dollar on Kindle ... what a strange trail this is ...

One thing we can tell Sandi is that the Internet has been a great help to scholars!

I am not sure about how to go about responding to that thread.  It sounded like there was a sense of urgency, but I was not sure how to respond.  Thanks for fielding that question for us, Holden.  You expressed yourself very well!

For me, since this forgotten heroic scholar-warrior (Muller) - forgotten primarily by yours truly - is personally connected to having translated the edition that I read, is intricately intertwined with this Reclaiming the Wisdom of Upanishads thread.

I hope you don't mind me flooding this post with links to these Muller texts.  These will be good for me when I am taking a break from mathematics exercises.

Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. Essays on Literature, Biography, and Antiquities  $0.00

Chips From A German Workshop, Vol. V. Miscellaneous Later Essays  $0.00
« Last Edit: February 27, 2016, 02:02:01 pm by H »
Things They Will Never Tell YouArthur Schopenhauer has been the most radical and defiant of all troublemakers.

Gorticide @ Nothing that is so, is so DOT edu

~ Tabak und Kaffee Süchtigen ~

Holden

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Re: Reclaiming the Wisdom of Upanishads
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2016, 01:27:11 pm »
Thanks for all the links Mr.H!
.......
Even if you are weak and cannot renounce, do not lower the ideal. Say, "I am weak and cannot renounce the world", but do not try to be hypocrites, torturing texts, and making specious arguments, and trying to throw dust in the eyes of people who are ignorant. Do not do that, but own you are weak. For the idea is great, that of renunciation. What matters it if millions fail in the attempt, if ten soldiers or even two return victorious! Blessed be the millions dead! Their blood has bought the victory. This renunciation is the one ideal throughout the different Vedic sects We want orthodoxy — even the hideously orthodox, even those who smother themselves with ashes, even those who stand with their hands uplifted. Ay, we want them, unnatural though they be, for standing for that idea of giving up, and acting as a warning to the people against succumbing to the effeminate luxuries that are creeping in, eating into our very vitals, and tending to make the whole nation,a nation of hypocrites. We want to have a little of asceticism. Renunciation conquered India in days of yore, it has still to conquer India. Still it stands as the greatest and highest of Indian ideals — this renunciation. The land of Buddha, the land of Ramanuja, the land of renunciation, the land where, from the days of yore, Karma Kanda was preached against, and even today there are hundreds who have given up everything, and become Jivanmuktas — ay, will we give up its ideals? Certainly not. There may be people whose brains have become turned by luxurious ideals; there may be thousands and hundreds of thousands who have drunk deep of enjoyment, this curse  — the senses — the curse of the world; yet for all that, there will be a few who will be ever ready to give up without counting the cost.

La Tristesse Durera Toujours                                  (The Sadness Lasts Forever ...)
-van Gogh.