Sri M recently visited and paid respects at the Samadhi of Sri Upanishad Brahmendra and the Mutt in Kanchipuram.
Sri Upanishad Brahmendra was the first scholar in the Advaita tradition to have translated all 108 Upanishads, in addition to commentaries on the Bhagavad-Gita and Brahma Sutras.
The Principal Upanishads are 11 in number and have been commented upon by most Acharyas, including Adi Shankaracharya. These Upanishads are called ‘principal’ as they lay a framework to understand where one is going. It is like beginning to walk without knowing where we are headed. One can end up being utterly confused and lost. A similar approach can be found in the Yogasutras of Patanjali. The first chapter is called the samadhi pada. There is no mention of any practices here. It talks mostly about where are you heading or where are you going. The sadhana pada or the part that deals with methods and practices comes much later.
Apart from these, there are 108 Upanishads, which fall under the category of the minor Upanishads. They are called minor because they do not deal with laying the theoretical background to the search for truth but talk about Yogic practices.
The Yoga Upanishads which are a part of the minor Upanishads, deal specifically with Yoga. They have been translated by Sri Upanishad Brahmendra, more than two hundred years ago. They are very ancient and most of them are from Krishna Yajurveda. The source of all the practices mentioned in the texts on Yoga such as Hathayoga Pradipika by Svatamarama and other Nath texts such as Gheranda Samhita, Goraksha shataka, Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati, Shiva Samhita are in Yoga Upanishads. The teachings of Yoga are therefore not new but date back to the upanishadic times.
Manuscripts of Sri Upanishad Brahmendra’s commentaries and his other works, as well as translations, are said to be preserved in, and published by the Adyar Library, in Chennai.
His samadhi is located on the banks of the Sarva Teertham tank in Kanchipuram.
In the recently concluded yoga retreat for senior citizens at Bharat Yoga Vidya Kendra in Madanapalle, Sri M discussed one of the Yoga Upanishads with the participants. He advised the participants to read the Yoga Upanishads but refrain from following the practices mentioned in them, without due supervision.
Based on the ancient Upanishadic wisdom, Bharat Yoga Vidya Kendra aims to provide an immersive experience to help start this journey towards reaching the aim of Yoga, which is perfection. For many who have been looking for a way, seeking a method, or a path to learn and grow, have found their answer through Yoga.