The Upanishads

Public Programs and Performances WKS 029 1.00

The Upanishads include some of the earliest mentions of yoga. Dating from nearly 3,000 years ago, these seminal Sanskrit masterpieces helped shape the civilization of India. We will begin with the earliest image from the Brhadaranyaka Upanishads: the sacrifice of the cosmic horse and the related creation of the world through desire. From the Chandogya Upanishad we will explore the primacy of the breath, and the contest between gods and demons that leads not to good and evil but to the profound understanding of the fourfold complexity of human presence in this reality, the world of dreams, and beyond. We will consider the role of animals and the elements in the story of Satyakama and examine the early practice of yoga in the Maitri and Svetasvatara Upanishads. A grand collection of dialogues between guru and disciple, stories, and philosophical assertions, the Upanishads hold an important key for understanding the wisdom of yoga.

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