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Chapter 2: Living in Your Own Light

Begin with dhyana, with meditation, and end in samadhi, in ecstasy, and you will know what God is. It is not a hypothesis, it is an experience. You have to live it - that is the only way to know it.

The second question:

Your discourse on the Isa Upanishad was so beautiful. I have heard it said that the Upanishads are commentaries on or extensions of the Vedas. Is this true? I bow to you.

The Upanishads are not commentaries on the Vedas, neither are they extensions of the Vedas. Of course, Hindus go on insisting that they are commentaries or extensions of the Vedas, but that is a falsehood perpetuated by the priesthood for their own reasons.

In fact, Upanishads are rebellions against the Vedas. Another name for the Upanishads is Vedanta. The priests have been saying that Vedanta means the culmination of the Vedas; the word can be interpreted that way, but in fact it means the end of the Vedas and the beginning of something absolutely new. Vedas are very ordinary compared to the Upanishads.

The Upanishads say that there are two kinds of knowledges: the lower and the higher. The lower knowledge is the realm of the priesthood, the scholars, the pundits, and the higher knowledge is the world of the buddhas, of the awakened ones. The priest is a businessman; his whole effort is to exploit people in the name of religion. He oppresses people, dominates people, and of course he goes on saying, “It is for your own sake.” He makes people afraid of hell and greedy for heavenly joys. This is a psychological trick. He knows people are afraid, he knows people are greedy, so these are the two things that he goes on manipulating: fear and greed. And this is done by all the priests of all the religions in all the traditions all over the world.

Upanishads are rebellions against the priesthood. Upanishads are not at all commentaries on the Vedas - Vedas are very mundane, ordinary. Yes, once in a while you can find a sutra in the Vedas which is beautiful, but that is only one percent at the most. Ninety-nine percent is just rubbish, while the Upanishads are hundred percent pure gold - they are statements of those who have known.

The Vedas are full of prayers asking for worldly things: better crops, better cows, more money, better health, fame, power, prestige. Not only that, the Vedas are continuously praying “Destroy the enemies”, “Destroy those who oppose us.” They are full of jealousy, anger, violence. They have nothing to do with the Upanishads.

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