The Whispered Wisdom of the Upanishads

A guest post by Spandan (Michael McCann)

This post first appeared on Michael’s Facebook page ‘The Yoga Well’ and is reproduced here with his kind permission.

The Upanishads are the essence of Yoga wisdom,
They are time capsules containing the deepest insights of rishis, yogis and seers in the period of the ‘Great Awakening’ some 500 years or more before the Christian Era. 

They are epiphanies, lightning flashes that scorched hearts, and then solidified into engravings on birch bark and then onto the printed page.  

I love the word ‘seer’, as it captures the sense of the yogi who ‘sees’ with the mind, who penetrates the deepest layers of reality. 

They were also ‘hearers’ as they ‘heard’ the sacred sounds and mantras which existed in pre-eternity.  

And downloaded them from the Akashic Record, the Guru Tattwa.

The seers were the first explorers of Consciousness. 

In an age of ‘Consciousness Studies’, we remain astounded at what the sages of India have gifted us.

They invite us to follow the Path of inner exploration when we receive the call and are ripe. 

In the Upanishadic age, the pupil or shishya had to be worthy of the transmission. The sacred wisdom was ‘whispered’. 

The word ‘Upanishad’ means ‘to sit near a sage’: ‘Go gather the firewood’. 

Some are written in poetic language, some in prose, the syntax often fragmented, couched in the paradoxical enigma of ‘twilight language’. 

The clarion call to one and all is ‘to Awake’.

The Upanishads are the summit and fulfilment of the Vedas, the most ancient spiritual texts. As such they are known as ‘Vedanta’. 

Each Upanishad has a kernel of a great declaration, a ‘Mahavakya’.  

We hear it, ruminate upon it and, with Grace, realise it, in a gestational process known as ‘Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana’. 

Saying such as: 

‘You are That’. 

‘I am the Eternal Witness’. 

I am Brahman’ 

How can the Knower be known?’ 

You listen to what is whispered to you, ponder it in your heart of heart, and then, in the words of a Zen sage:   

I went fishing to be caught by the Ocean’

Fortunate indeed all those who hear what is carried in the wind from the ancient shores of Bharat. 

These days, there is little time left for whispering. 

So, spread the Word.

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