Sri Chinmoy came to America in 1964. Since then, he has strived to serve aspiring humanity through an abundant offering in many fields, including music, art, literature, sports, philosophy and spirituality. This collection of fifteen verses from the Upanishads, dating from the early 70’s, is one of his earliest offerings in the world of music.

Upanishad means “Seated at the feet of the Master”. These are ancient treatises from India, the oldest of which were composed between 800 and 400 B.C. They are a beautiful and soulful collection of great teachings, passed from Master to disciple, generation after generation. Man has been seeking for the meaning of life since time immemorial, seeking an answer to the great questions of life: who am I? what is the purpose of life? what happens after death? what is the Truth of the universe?. In these books the Masters teach about life and death, about man and God, about the essence of things. Juan Mascaró, from Spain, translated the Upanishads in a very inspired way. Here is an excerpt from the introduction to his translation (published by Penguin Classics):

“….”TO BE OR NOT TO BE: THAT IS THE QUESTION.”

“That is the question. Is there an infinite Being in the universe within and beyond the vastness of space and the revolution of the stars? Is there an eternal Being behind the perpetual movement of our minds and the beatings of our heart of life? Because if there were not this Being we could never be: we could only be a perpetual becoming until our end in dust.

“The answer of the Upanishads is YES, and this means the essence of the universe and of ourselves is positive: it is the holy word of the Upanishads, IM, one of the meanings of which is YES. How can we know? This truth can be known in the silence of the soul….when man is in union with the background of his consciousness, the centre of his soul, then he is in union with himself, his own Self: only when man is in union with God is he in union with himself, one with himself and one with all creation.”

In his writings on the Upanishads, Sri Chinmoy reveals to us the many-faceted wisdom of the ancients. In this recording, he shares with us the translation of fifteen verses from the Upanishads, and then sets each one to music. It is indeed much easier to grasp the inner meaning, not just with the words, but with the vibration of music in our hearts; there we feel the Infinite revealing itself to us as infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.

Perhaps this excerpt from the Mundaka Upanishad will express, better than I ever will, the character of the teachings embodied therein:

“Radiant in his light, yet invisible in the secret place of the heart, the Spirit is the supreme abode wherein dwells all that moves and breathes and sees. Know him as all that is, and all that is not, the end of love-longing beyond understanding, the highest in all beings. He is self-luminous and more subtle than the smallest; but in him rest all the worlds and their beings. He is the everlasting Brahman, and he is life and word and mind. He is truth and life immortal. He is the goal to be aimed at: attain that goal, O my son!”

We are grateful to Sri Chinmoy for bringing into our modern life the ancient teachings of the Upanishads, and hope that they will inspire seekers all over the world to dive deep within in the pursuit of Truth.

Kamalakanta Nieves
May 2007

Artist: Sri Chinmoy
Release year: 2007
Duration: 47 minutes
Acknowledgements: Sri Chinmoy
Format: Advanced Audio Coding