The philosophy, the religion, the spirituality and the Yoga of the Upanishads1

The philosophy of the Upanishads.
The religion of the Upanishads.
The spirituality of the Upanishads.
The Yoga of the Upanishads.

When we think of the Upanishads, immediately our mind enters into these particular subjects: philosophy, religion, spirituality and Yoga.

Now the philosophy of the Upanishads is the vastness of the mind.
The religion of the Upanishads is the oneness of the heart.
The spirituality of the Upanishads is the immortality of the soul.
The Yoga of the Upanishads is the total manifestation of God here on earth.

The vastness of the mind needs God the infinite Consciousness.
The oneness of the heart needs God the Supreme and eternal Beloved.
The immortality of the soul needs God the ever-transcending Beyond.
The total manifestation of God needs man’s constant inner hunger.

God is Purity in the vastness of the mind.
God is Beauty in the oneness of the heart.
God is Life in the immortality of the soul.


The philosophy of the Upanishads tells me, “See the Truth.”
The religion of the Upanishads tells me, “Feel the Truth.”
The spirituality of the Upanishads tells me, “Grow into the Truth.”
The Yoga of the Upanishads tells me, “Become the Truth.”
And God tells me, “You are the Truth.”

When I see the Truth, I know what God’s Compassion is.
When I feel the Truth, I know what God’s Love is.
When I grow into the Truth, I know what God’s Concern is.
When I become the Truth, I know what God’s Selfless Life is and what His unconditional Duty is.
And when I realise that I am the Truth, the full manifestation of Divinity’s Light begins.

The Upanishads offer to each aspiring heart countless messages. There are quite a few messages which are at once most significant and most fulfilling. Here is a stupendous message about life and death. Before death and after death, what happens?

Before death, life is a seeker.
After death, the same life becomes a dreamer.

Before death, life struggles and strives for perfection.
After death, the same life rests and enjoys the divine bliss with the soul.

Before death, life is God’s Promise.
After death, life is God’s inner Assurance. This assurance of God’s we notice while we fulfil God in our future incarnation.

Life for each individual is an act of inspiration and revelation. Life is an experience, even so is death. Our human life is God’s sacred flame mounting towards the highest Source. Human death, the so-called death, is a secret play of God’s Will.


When we study the Upanishads we start with the concentration of the mind. Now this concentration of the mind is the most difficult thing that we can ever think of. We know what the mind is, we know what concentration is, but when it is a matter of concentration of the mind, it is extremely difficult.

Once some disciples came up to their spiritual Master and said, “Master, we have been meditating for so many years, for ten long years, how is it that we cannot control our mind?” The Master said, “My children, God-realisation is not so easy. Had it been easy, you would have by this time controlled your mind. God-realisation is extremely difficult, here is the proof. We consider the mind to be our best instrument. We consider it to be the highest, the most developed part in our human life. Look at its helplessness.” Then he went on to say to his disciples, “You are all in front of me. Now if somebody stands up right on the shoulders of your spiritual brothers, what will happen? Immediately your brother will be irritated, he will feel disturbed. His prestige is hurt. He is also a human being, how does someone else dare to stand on his shoulders? The same thing happens to the mind. When the mind is agitated by our thought, filthy, undivine, uncomely thoughts, it does not allow us to become calm, quiet and to meditate on God.”

The origin of the mind is divine. The mind proper is divine, but unfortunately the mind that we are using right now is the physical mind which is not helping us at all in our upward journey. Now this mind has consciously or unconsciously accepted three persons as its friends: fear, doubt and jealousy. I said in the beginning that the vastness of the mind is the philosophy of the Upanishads. Now, when the vastness wants to appear before the physical mind, it is horror struck, it is afraid of the vastness. Further, it looks at its own insufficiency, its own limited capacity and says, “How is it possible? I am so weak, I am so insignificant, I am an iota. How can the vastness accept me as its very own?” It doubts. It doubts even the existence of the vastness. First it is afraid of vastness, then it doubts the existence of vastness. By God’s infinite Grace fear leaves the mind, doubt leaves the mind. Alas, now jealousy comes in. It looks around and sees there is some fulfilment in the vastness, whereas in its own existence there is no fulfilment, there is no joy, so jealousy starts. Fear, doubt and jealousy, these three undivine forces attack the mind and make the mind extremely meaningless, helpless and hopeless in our upward journey. When the mind is attacked by fear, doubt and jealousy, something else consciously and deliberately comes in and feeds the mind and that is our ego. With ego starts the beginning of our spiritual end.


Now we have to go beyond the domain of the physical mind with the help of philosophy, religion, spirituality and Yoga. The seeking mind operates in philosophy. The crying heart operates in religion. The illumining soul operates in spirituality. The fulfilling Goal operates in Yoga.

There are two approaches. One is through the mind, the other through the heart. The approach of the mind is not safe. It is not secure, but one can eventually reach the Goal. It is not that if you approach God through the mind, you will not realise God. You will realise God but the road is arduous, you may doubt your aspiration, you may doubt God’s Compassion for you. Hence it may take you hundreds, thousands of years to reach the Goal. The other approach is through the heart. Now here we can do two things: either we can identify ourselves with the subject or object, with the Supreme Pilot, the eternal Beloved; or we can surrender our existence at every second to the Inner Pilot. Either we have to become totally one with the Will of the Inner Pilot, or we have to surrender totally, unconditionally to the Inner Pilot. When we approach God in either way, His Infinity, Eternity, Divinity, Immortality, immediately we feel as our very own.

If we follow the messages of the Upanishads step by step, if we start first with philosophy, then with religion, then with spirituality, finally with Yoga, then God-realisation need not, cannot and must not remain a far cry. God-discovery is our birthright and if we really want to discover God then we shall start right from the very beginning: philosophy, religion, spirituality and Yoga. When we fulfil the demands of philosophy, religion, spirituality and Yoga, God fulfils all our demands. Their demands are very simple: “aspiration and self-control”. Our demands are God’s gifts: “Peace, Light, Bliss and Power.” Do we really care for God’s gifts? If we really care for God’s gifts, then God will offer us the capacity to receive His infinite wealth. In our ordinary life we want something from somebody else, that person won’t give us the capacity, he will demand our own capacity. If we have capacity, if we work one day, then he will give us the salary, the boss will give us the salary. But in the spiritual life God wants to know whether we really want the money, that is to say, Peace, Light and Bliss. If we want them, then He Himself will energise us and be our aspiration and self-control, and work in and through us. He will work as the seeker within us and again He Himself will work as the Pilot for us. He Himself will be both the Employer and Employee. If we really want God, God will play at once both the roles:

The role of the Employer
The role of the Employee.
The role of the Seeker
The role of the Fulfiller.

AUM 942. This talk was given by Sri Chinmoy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass. On 1 March 1972