11 Spirituality in Everyday Hindu Life
In the Upanishads lies the key to unlock the spiritual wisdom of ancient Hinduism. The Brahman represents the essence of all cosmos, and the soul or atman projects the individual being. This teaching is punctuated with the refrain tat tvam asi, or “You are That.” In this equation, “you” means atman, and “That” means Brahman. The most intimate connection between the individual and the Divine has been pointed out.
In Prashna Upanishad: “May our ears hear the good. May our eyes see the good. May we serve Him with whole strength.”
The body and the senses are tools. Service is the purpose of life. We may not be able to fulfill our purpose if the tools are not in good shape.
Taittireeya Upanishad is also well known for the teacher/pupil relationship. The following is the convocation address to the student at the time of graduation:
“Do your duty. Speak the truth. Learn and teach. Control senses. Be hospitable. Be humane. Serve the family. Procreate. Educate your children. Austerity is necessary. Do not neglect your spiritual, nor your worldly welfare .Always learn and teach. Forget neither God, nor ancestor. Treat your mother as God. Treat your father as God. Treat your guest as God. Treat your teacher as God. Look for men greater than yourself, and welcome them. Give with faith. Give in proportion to your means. Give with courtesy. Give to the deserving.”
The Vedas and the Upanishads strongly emphasized on virtuous behavior. These verses serve as a constant reminder to mankind to live a life of truth and morality, to perform his/her duties candidly, and to neglect neither spiritual virtues nor the worldly responsibilities.
NOTE: All quotes of the Slokas are from: Max F. Muller. The Upanishads. New York: Dover Publications, 1984.