I couldn’t decide between these topics, so decided to combine the two: the Upanishads clearly link to the universe, and what better man of the 20th Century to offer a few of his ideas than the renowned scientist and thinker, Albert Einstein? Each deserves a book on their own, ten books, a thousand…
The Upanishads, I learned, are a series of sacred texts written in Sanskrit, Circa 800-200BC, which explains the Vedas in mystical and monastic terms. The Bhagavad-Gita, selected quotations.
Who, they ask, sends the mind to wander afar? Who drives life to begin its journey? Who impels us to utter these words? I like the poetic language: It is ear of the ear, the eye of the eye, the word of words and the mind of mind. Those who follow wisdom pass beyond and, on leaving this world, become immortal
Albert Einstein The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain, it seems to me, that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through fear of life, and the fear of death and blind faith, but through striving towards rational knowledge.
Upanishads: They say ancient sages have brought the truth to us about the Paradise we’ll inhabit. There the eye goes not, nor words, nor mind, we cannot understand how He can be explained. He is above the known and the unknown. That the good beyond both, rejoins in Paradise, beyond hunger, thirst and sorrow
Einstein thought it was the Universe that is divine.
Like other Christian religions, the Upanishads believe that heaven knows no old age or death. But, of course, having arrived in heaven, we’ve already experienced at least one of the above.
The Upanishads, the last part of the Vedas, are said to be the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, dating to 1500-1000BC. Upanishad means sitting next to a great teacher to learn the sacred messages. They explore development of the soul, its evolution and destiny, enslaved and free, the secrets of creation and the Universe. Vedanta is the completion of all the knowledge within the Vedas. Veda means to know, knowledge, eternal truth.
Tongue in cheek, I suspect, Einstein tells us that two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and he wasn’t sure about the universe.
Hindu Sages and Seers learn through both visions and contemplation.
They regard the most important questions of human existence as being:-
The Origin of the Universe
Albert Einstein: Now he is departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
Upanishad also means truth of truth. Brahman, called the Supreme reality, is not in space, spaceless, whereas the Universe is ruled by time and space. They speak of philosophical knowledge called jnana, and divine love bhakti. Braham is said to be omnipresent, both infinitely great and infinitely small.
Albert Einstein :The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms – this knowledge, this feeling, is at the centre of true religiousness.
Brahman teaches that divine love occurs in marriage when each partner has concern for the happiness and welfare of the other person.
Albert Einstein: What I see in nature is a magnificent structure that we can understand only imperfectly and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility
Brahman equates self with soul, consciousness, and silence. It shares my belief that different, true religions are describing the same God : we’re just treading different paths to find Him.
I’ll give Albert Einstein the last words: All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. Once you can accept the Universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.
*With thanks to Wiki and Kevin Harris