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Religion and Creation$
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Keith Ward

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263937

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198263937.001.0001

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The Upanishads

The Upanishads

(p.77) 4 The Upanishads
Religion and Creation

Keith Ward

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with one of the central revealed texts of orthodox Hinduism, the Upanishads, and with one major 20th-century commentators upon it, Aurobindo Ghose. The aim is to draw parallel to the chapter's treatment of the Semitic faiths, and to bring out the extent to which both traditions have been affected by the emphasis on temporality, creativity, and evolution. The central concept of the Upanishads is the concept of Brahman, or ‘the Supreme’. A key Upanishadic concept is the ‘Self’ (Atman)—it is one beyond duality and diversity of all sorts, ‘immeasurable’, unlimited in existence, beyond space and time. The Upanishads are concerned with the origin of all things, and offer various opinions about it. Sometimes it is said that all originates from Death or Hunger, a primal Nothingness which generates from itself all that is.

Keywords:   The Upanishads, Hinduism, Brahman, the self, Aurobindo Ghose, non-duality

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