May 2017 ByT A Balasubramaniam The Causeless Cause The Eternal Wisdom of Shwetaashwatara Upanishad Paperback Uttara Nerurkar ZenPublications,Paperback,200; 108 pages What is the cause of the universe? Where do we fit into the grand scheme of creation? What is the purpose of the body and the soul? The Upanishads are said to be at the core of ancient spiritual thinking in the Indian tradition. They are reputed to contain answers to our deepest questions, particularly about the nature of creation, and the meaning of our existence in the universe. When we try to unravel the mystic language of the Upanishads, however, we need to go deeper than mere logical or analytical understanding. It is not easy to convey spiritual insights, and the ancient seers did not make things any easier because they often used many abstract symbolic images or poetic flourishes to express themselves. There are ten Upanishads, among a total of about 200, that are considered to be authoritative: Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Aithareya, Taittiriya, Brihadaranyaka, and Chhandogya. The Shwetaashwatara Upanishad, which is the subject of this treatise, is not one of the ten. However, it is considered to be the eleventh because it offers more clarity in the exposition of spiritual truths. The author of this slim book, Uttara Nerurkar, is a graduate in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. one of the ten. However, it is considered to be the eleventh because it offers more clarity in the exposition of spiritual truths. The author of this slim book, Uttara Nerurkar, is a graduate in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. The book explores each of the six chapters of the Shwetaashwatara Upanishad, with a total of 113 verses. Each of these verses is presented in the original Sanskrit script, along with Uttara’s commentary in simple day-to-day English. In the introductory chapter, she includes lucid notes on many of the concepts of Indian spiritual thoughts, such as prakriti (inanimate matter), moksha (salvation) and pralaya (dissolution). This is a wonderful introduction to the world of the Upanishads. It will enlighten anyone who is curious about the nature of the insights of the ancient seers.
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