Continuing to look at famous teachings about meditation to support confidence in your search for the answer. Here’s an introduction to the Upanishads, prompted by Noreen. I recommend a little Penguin book of excerpts. First, some rough context in time: Earth is 4,000,000,000 years old; life is 3,000,000,000 years old; the dinosaurs went extinct around 60,000,000 years ago; Hominid species like ours are about 5,000,000 years old and perhaps Homo Sapiens are 2,000,000 years old; written language started 5,000 years ago (=3,000BC); the first book was the Epic of Gilgamesh from ~2,500BC. Second, some context on early civilization: the main centers were along 4 rivers: The Tigris-Euphrates rivers and ancient Persian/Sumerian cultures, the Yang-Tze/Yellow river and ancient Chinese culture, the Nile river and ancient Egyptian culture, and the Indus river and ancient Indian culture. Lastly, from the ancient Indian culture we have the Vedas: writings from ~1,500 BC and the Upanishads: perhaps poetic summaries of the Vedas from between 800 and 200 BC. The Mahavakyas [Sanskrit: maha=great, vakya (from which we have the word “vocal”), so “great sayings”] are short phrases from the Upanishads. Ghandi revered the Isha Upanishad above all of them, and we have already gone through the Katha Upanishad. Today shared some excerpts from the Chandogya Upanishad including a favorite that I think spans Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism:
It is true that the body is mortal, that it is under the power of death; but it is also the dwelling of Atman, the Spirit of immortal life. The body, the house of the Spirit, is under the power of pleasure and pain; and if a man is ruled by his body then this man can never be free. But when a man is in the joy of the Spirit, in the Spirit which is ever free, then this man is free from all bondage, the bondage of pleasure and pain.

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