The Upaniṣadic episteme

Jonardon Ganeri

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    The Upaniṣads are a polymorphous collection of anecdotes, parables, and dialogues. The earliest date from around or before the sixth century bce, later ones written for many centuries afterwards. The two oldest Upaniṣads, the Bṛhadāraṇyaka and Chāndogya, were both composed before the time of the Buddha. They are symbolic, evocative and inspirational, plastic in meaning and, as with all canonical scriptures, hermeneutically pliable. Their function is to stimulate and to challenge, but they should not be taken as models of close conceptual analysis or theoretical system-building. There is, nevertheless, a broad theme and the elements of a common vision in the Upaniṣads. The fundamental idea of the Upaniṣads is that there are hidden connections between things, and that knowing what these connections are is a profound source of insight. Indeed, the term upaniṣad means a hidden connection, or possibly a secret teaching. As Joel Brereton puts it very well: Each Upaniṣadic teaching creates an integrative vision, a view of the whole which draws together the separate elements of the world and of human experience and compresses them into a single form. To one who has this larger vision of things, the world is not a set of diverse and disorganised objects and living beings, but rather forms a totality with a distinct shape and character.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe Upanisads
    Subtitle of host publicationA Complete Guide
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Pages146-152
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Electronic)9781317636977
    ISBN (Print)9781138795051
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

    Fingerprint

    Episteme
    Teaching
    Conceptual Analysis
    Scripture
    Anecdote
    Totality
    Parables
    Living Beings
    Human Experience
    Fundamental
    Buddha

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)

    Cite this

    Ganeri, J. (2017). The Upaniṣadic episteme. In The Upanisads: A Complete Guide (pp. 146-152). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315758701

    The Upaniṣadic episteme. / Ganeri, Jonardon.

    The Upanisads: A Complete Guide. Taylor and Francis, 2017. p. 146-152.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Ganeri, J 2017, The Upaniṣadic episteme. in The Upanisads: A Complete Guide. Taylor and Francis, pp. 146-152. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315758701
    Ganeri J. The Upaniṣadic episteme. In The Upanisads: A Complete Guide. Taylor and Francis. 2017. p. 146-152 https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315758701
    Ganeri, Jonardon. / The Upaniṣadic episteme. The Upanisads: A Complete Guide. Taylor and Francis, 2017. pp. 146-152
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