Help me on my homework! Plz :) Hans? Anyone?: Early Upanisads, concept of "self"

  • Since I was in the hospital I missed a couple of lectures in my intro to religion class and am behind, luckily I get extra time. So I have to answer some questions. If anyone is familiar with Buddhism, Early Upanisads (hindu) and Genesis creation. I'd love to talk to you! I'm going to post the questions I am working on, if any one has some insight i'd love to hear it. Thanks so much 🙂 This one is concerning the upanisad concept of "self" the atman, basically your soul, but not really. eh...complicated..

    1. You're with a friend, she asks what you're reading for your Intro to Religion course. You tell her that you're reading the Upaniṣads. Curious, she grabs the reading from you and opens

    it to the following passage (BU 1.4.8, page 49):

    "This innermost thing, this self (ātman)—it is dearer than a son, it is dearer than wealth, it is

    dearer than everything else… a man should regard only his self as dear to him."

    Your friend closes the book, "So," she says, "you’re learning how to be selfish. That’s all this is: an ode to being as self-absorbed as you can possibly be."

    Drawing on your knowledge of and reflections on the excerpts you're encountered from the early Upaniṣads, formulate a response to your friend’s comment. Is she right, or not?Think about selfishness and self-absorption, and the ways in which her ideas might correspond or fail to correspond to ideas about the self discussed in the early Upaniṣads. Would an Upaniṣadic thinker take thepassage above to be a simple expression of what your friend is calling selfishness? If so, why? If not, why not?.

    Ok that's a big i'm saving that for last lol.

    If anyone is interested in reading them I have them on pdf I can send. They are very interesting, some of my favorites. 🙂


    Thanks all,

    Brianna ❤

  • Hey Brianna,

    I've never read any of the Upanisads, but I know a little bit about the Bhagavat Gita. Do you know if they're similar?

    Let me know if that will be of any use to you and I'll try and post some things

  • does it examine the "atman" too? thats basically what its talking about. I'm trying to research some stuff. thanks so much yayayayayay

  • Yeah, it does mention atman. It's about Krishna, a God, explaining to Arjun why he must fulfill his destiny, even if that means killing many of his family and beloved teachers in war. It discusses the purpose of man and how to live in this world while still staying true to your inner being/God. I'll have to read up on it again and I'll post some things for you either tomorrow or Weds, would that be ok? When is your paper in for?

    It's a really interesting question : )

  • ok yup same thing, I read that one too! Okay good, well I get extra time so probably by this weekend. =] Thanks so much! I can't really talk since I got out the hospital, so office hours would suck for me to ask questions lol, I figured someone would know on here! Thankssssssssssssssssss xoxo

  • I'm so sorry Mestiza, I haven't been on for a while. I read that it was due for the weekend, but if you're still doing it and need help, let me know. Again, I'm very sorry.

  • Omg so glad you're on i'm actually working on my midterm right now, any thing would help thanks 🙂

  • Hey Brianna, I'm just going to write some quotes that I've found in the book that seem relevant to your question. Hopefully you'll be able to get some use out of it.

    The book is The Bhagavadgita, and it has an english translation and commentary by S. Radhakrishnan, first published in 1993 by HarperCollins Publishers India. Let me know if you need any more information in case you need to reference it in your essay.

  • Ok, you probably won't need all of these quotes, but I'm just gonna write them any way in case you can fit them in:

    Chapter 5, pg 183, verse 21: "When the soul is no longer attached to the external contacts (objects) one finds the happiness that is in the self. Such a one who is self-controlled in Yoga on God (Brahma) enjoys undying bliss.

    (commentary) - He, who has freed himself from the phantoms of the senses and lives in the Eternal, enjoys the bliss divine.

    Chapter 5, pg 184, verse 24: "He who finds his happiness within, his joy within and likewise his light only within, that yogin becomes divine and attains to the beatitude of God."

    (c) - The yogin becomes unified in consciousness with the Eternal in him. The nest verse indicates that this nirvana is not mere annihilation. It is a positive state full of knowledge and self-possesion.

  • Ch 5, pg.124, v25: "The holy men whose sins are destroyed, whose doubts(dualities) are cut asunder, whose minds are disciplined and who rejoice in (doing) good to all creatures, attain to the beatitude of God.

    (c) - sarvabhutahite ratah: the soul which has acquired wisdom and peace is also the soul of love and compassion. He who sees all existence in the Supreme, sees the Divine even in the fallen and the criminal, and goes out to them in deep love and sympathy.

    To do good to others is not to give them physical comforts or raise their standard of living. It is to help others to find their true nature, to attain true happiness. The contemplation of the Eternal Reality in whom we all dwell gives warmth and support to the sense of the service of fellow-creatures. All work is done for the sake of the Supreme. To overcome the world is not to become other-worldly. It is not to evade the social responsibilties.

    The two sides lof religion, the personal and the social, are emphasized by the Gita. Personally we should discover the Divine in us and let it penetrate the human; socially, society must be subdued to the image of the divine. The individual should grow in his freedom and uniqueness and he should recognise the dignity of every man, even the most insignificant. Man has not only to ascend to the world of spirit but also to descend to the world of creatures.

  • ch 5, pg 185, v26 "To those austere souls (yatis) who are delivered from desire and anger and who have subdued their minds and have knowledge of the Self, near to them lies the beatitude of God."

    (c) - The live in the consciousness of Spirit. The possibilty of blessed existence in this world is indicated here.

    Ch6, pg 189, v5 "Let a man left himself by himself; let him not degrade himself; for the Self alone is a friend of the self and the self alone is the enemy of the self."

    (c) - The Supreme is within us. It is the consciousness underlying the ordinary individualized consciousness of every-day life but incommensurable with it. The two are different in kind, thoughthe Supreme is realizable by one who is prepared to lose his life in order to save it. For the most part we are unaware of the self in us because our attention is engaged by objects which we like or dislike. We must get away from them, to become aware of the Divine in us. If we do not realise the pointlessness, the irrelavance and the squalor of our ordinary life, the true Self becomes the enemy of our ordinary life. The Universal Self and the personal self are not antagonistic to each other. The Universal Self can be the friend or the foe of the personal self. If we subdue our petty cravings and desires, if we do not exert our selfish will, we become the channel of the Universal Self. If our impulses are under control, and if our personal self offers itself to the Universal Self, then the latter becomes our guide and teacher. Every one of us has the freedom to rise or fall and the future is in our own hands.

  • Ch 8, pg 227, v 3 "Brahman (or the Absolute) is the indestructible, the Supreme (higher than all else), essential nature is called the Self. Karma is the name given to the creative force that brings beings into existence."

    Ch 13, pg 310, v24 "By meditation some perceive the Self in the self by the self; others by the path of knowledge and still others by the path of works."

    Hope some of this helps you out : )

  • WOOHOO thanks!!!! I'll use them in the paper thanks again!!! 😄 You cut my reading time in half, I think I can take a nap lol, :-)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • You're very welcome.

  • Atman(soul)=true inner self which is one with God/the source of all existence/ "All" or Energy. This means no "self" in the individual sense. The emphasis is on the psychological effects of suffering & desire as related to ego. (as inneedtomeditate explains)

    The outer self acts as a mirror for our ego as the outer world reflects lessons we need to learn(all matter is made up of energy). This last sentence is my interpretation. Hope this helps, Mestiza. Hope you "ace" it...

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