My interest in the spiritual side of life dates back to my childhood, and as a result, I have a special place in my heart for the ancient wisdom contained within the Vedas. Tucked away in this vast body of knowledge, the Prasna Upanishad is a small yet profound book. The teacher and the student share a secret in order to solve the mysteries of the world and of themselves. It is a type of subtle whisper.

The Prana Upanishad begins with a question that is both straightforward and yet significant: “Where are we born? Why do we continue to live? “After we go, where will we go to rest?” These seemingly simple questions pierce through the surface of our everyday lives and force us to contemplate the fundamental aspects of who we are from the inside out. This call to introspection reminds us that we can discover true knowledge within ourselves, just as much as we can in the outer world.

When I read the Upanishad in more detail, I discovered the concept of the five koshas, also known as sheaths, that surround the Atman, which is the true self. In the beginning, there is the physical body, and then there are the finer realms of mind, intelligence, bliss, and finally the atman. These layers represent the numerous facets of our lives, beginning with the physical body. The framework I am referring to is one that makes the interconnectedness of our existence and the manner in which one layer impacts and shapes the others more evident to me.

Hanuman and Ganapathi half statue

Prana, often known as the life energy, was a topic that really resonated with me. The Upanishad describes Prana, the invisible energy that drives all creation, as the thread that links everything together. Prana is not visible to the naked eye. Breathing is the spark that ignites our consciousness and serves as our lifeblood to begin with. Since I became aware of Prana, my appreciation for the fundamental process of breathing, which never fails to serve as a constant reminder of the interconnection of all living things, has flourished.

Furthermore, the Prasna Upanishad delves into the nature of dreams, a phenomenon often dismissed as mere fantasy. The literature states that dreams are not just random occurrences, but rather windows into our subconscious that reveal our fears, desires, and most significant aspects of ourselves. The book encourages us to see our dreams not as only a source of light entertainment but rather as potential messages from the most profound realms of our existence.

Perhaps the Prasna Upanishad’s most profound aspect is the emphasis it places on discovering one’s own self. It guides us so that we might become aware of the Atman, which is the genuine self that everyone of us has. Instead of achieving an unattainable degree of enlightenment, the objective is to become aware of the inherent divinity that already resides inside each of us. This comprehension, according to the Upanishad, liberates us from the reiteration of birth and death, as well as the limitations imposed by the ego.”

Reading through the Prasna Upanishad was as much an intellectual experience as it was a profoundly personal one. The Prasna Upanishad challenged my preconceived notions about the world and myself, compelling me to delve deeper and explore the more profound aspects of my identity. I heard a gentle murmur, a gentle reminder that we often find the answers to life’s most significant questions right here, just waiting to discover them.

One of the aspects of my experience with the Prasna Upanishad that finally turned out to be the most transforming was the self-inquiry, or atma-vichara, practice. This practice entails both continually seeking the truth that lies beyond the veil of illusion and asking questions about the essence of the individual. In the process of introspection and meditation, I began to wonder, “Who am I?” With every inquiry, I was able to remove yet another layer of ignorance and get closer to the brilliant core of who I really am.

In the meditational silence, I experienced great transcendence. During these periods, I lost my ego’s boundaries and joined the infinite world. The picture depicted the ultimate reality, where all distinctions dissolve and only consciousness remains. In those brief moments, the Upanishads’ assertions about the unbounded, eternal self that is limitless became clear to me.
However, the journey did not end there.

The Prasna Upanishad reminded me that the path to self-realization is one of compassion and service, as much as it is a lonely one. The event helped me to see the divine in all living things and to regard every encounter as an opportunity to further my spiritual growth. With every act of kindness and generosity I did, I felt myself becoming closer to the source of all love and light.

When I consider my journey through the Prasna Upanishad, I am overcome with gratitude for the enormous quantity of wisdom it has given me so far. This has been an exploration of the self, an attempt to learn about the innermost being and connect with the divine. Its timeless lessons have given me comfort, motivation, and a better understanding of my purpose in this vast and amazing world. Every one of these qualities has my gratitude.

The Upanishad, despite its small size, is brimming with timeless wisdom. A lifetime of investigation and contemplation is required to achieve self-realization, which is a process that never comes to an end. This serves as a reminder of this truth. Despite the passage of time, the Prasna Upanishad remains my guide, a source of inspiration, and a gentle whisper of ancient Vedic wisdom.