The Prasthanatraya, comprising the three sacred texts, the Upanishads, the Brahmasutras and the Bhagavadgita, occupies a very important place in the Vedic literature. These texts deal with aspects of spirituality like karma, `actioní, and bhakti, `devotion' and jnana, `wisdom'. The major part of an Upanishad comprises conversations between a disciple and a guru. In the word "Upanishad", Bhagawan Baba says, Upa means 'near', ni means 'down' and shad means to 'sit'. So, "Upanishad" means 'to sit down near'. Thus, an Upanishad requires that a disciple should sit down very near his preceptor and listen to him with rapt attention. The disciple pleases his preceptor by his service, discipline, devotion and eagerness to learn.
"Upanishad" evokes a setting marked by harmonious and reverential pursuit of the Supreme Wisdom under the care of a loving Guru. It is my good fortune that Bhagawan Baba has permitted me to participate in an Upanishadic retreat in Kodaikanal during four summers. A select band of students and a visitor or two were present. Baba encouraged them to come forward with their questions and doubts. Patiently and lovingly, He responded to questions on a wide range of topics ‑ political, economic, social, psychological, metaphysical, ethical, educational, scientific and cultural. By his divine inspiration, I felt like writing them down in my diary chronologically. These conversations, indeed, constitute an Upanishad. Therefore, I prayerfully have named it Satyopanis ad.
Satyopanis ad is a boon Bhagavan Baba has granted to humanity out of His infinite love. Cast in the mould of queries and clarifications typical of the Upanishadic framework, this spiritual manual instructs the spiritual aspirant in becoming aware of his inalienable divinity and guides him past and through pitfalls, distractions, and frustrations towards realising his divinity and that of the universe. As R. W. Emerson put it, the spiritual aspirant comes to realise that "the ancient precept, `Know Thyself,' and the modern precept, `Study Nature,' become at last one maxim." Bhagavan has observed: "Civilization today is concerned with the atom, but it ignores the atman." The mission of Baba's incarnation is hinted at when Vedic seers hailed humanity as amr tasya putrah, `children of immortality.' This truth about man's quintessential divinity is reiterated in every discourse of Bhagavan. He almost invariably addresses the audience as divyatmasvarupulara , `Embodiments of the Divine Spirit!'
The common man today is lost in the world he himself has labelled `secular,' exhausted in the pursuit of endless desires, and bombarded by the mass media and the academia with tons of information called `knowledge.' He is troubled by a deep discontent, a divine discontent, and seeks to fill a void he cannot name. There is a dire need for an Upanishad attuned to our egos, our mindsets, our hesitations, and our times. As Swami Vivekananda pointed out, in a crisis like ours "those who come to seek truth with love and veneration are indeed fortunate for "to them the Lord of Truth reveals the most wonderful things regarding truth, goodness, and beauty." It is significant that Bhagavan Baba, the Supreme Preceptor has defined Himself as satyabo dhaka.
Every word of Bhagavan Baba is a mantra, every sentence He utters an Upanishad, and every discourse He delivers a Veda. It is our sacred duty to listen to every word of His with absolute alertness, as it has immense significance and deep inner meaning. Further, it is our responsibility to hand over to the coming generations these most precious gems, Bhagavan Baba's words, which we are fortunate to hear owing to His infinite mercy. With this end in view, while imprinting in our hearts these words of wisdom of our beloved Bhagavan, the Avatar of this Golden Age, let us also record, preserve and treasure them.
Satyopanis ad has already appeared as a book in Tamil and Malayalam. It is being serialised in the Kannada and Telugu editions of Sanatana Sarathi. The present edition in II‑Volumes is the English translation of Satyopanis ad. I pray to Bhagavan Baba to help me in learning and practising the Satya, the Truth, He expounded in Satyopanis ad.
I have no words to thank our most beloved Bhagavan, the indweller, motivator and the inspirer who prompted me to put on paper all these conversations. I thank Bhagavan Baba for giving me this opportunity .of a lifetime and earnestly hope that fellow devotees will find in this book a beacon guiding them in their spiritual voyages.
I take this opportunity to recall Bhagavan Baba's divine exhortation on Gurupurnima Day 1983: "Take a resolve to purify your minds and to instal in your hearts the Supreme Lord. Look upon God alone as your true Guru."
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Anil Kumar Kamaraju