15 April 2010
Los Angeles, CA, USA
In Sanskrit, Upanishad means sitting close – sitting close to the Master, not just physically, but also mentally. It signifies the finite getting close to the infinite, the known reaching out to the unknown. The Upanishads are dialogues between the Master and student from ages ago. There are nearly 100 Upanishads available today out of which eleven are very important. The Master is the embodiment of wisdom and the student represents a spiritual seeker eager to come closer to wisdom.
There are so many levels of conflict in the universe. Despite these conflicts how does one get mentally close? First, we invoke peace. One can only come mentally close when there is peace. Where there is mistrust and doubt, there can be no transfer or exchange of knowledge. Thus, all of the Upanishads begin with a prayer for three types of peace: - “Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti” (Shanti is a sanskrit word meaning peace.)
“Let us have peace at the physical level, at the level of thoughts and emotions, and finally the innermost peace of the soul. Let the Divine protect us both and bestow wisdom upon us. Let us not hate one another, but let us come together in peace.”