In studying the Upanishads, we come against repeated references to ceremonials,
sacrifices and the worship of gods and discussions as to their efficacy, which confuse the
deeper and predominant enquiry. The position becomes to the Hindu readers worse still on
account of the formal persistence in Hinduism even now of the shell of those beliefs
To interpret and evaluate the substance of
the Upanishads, we need a powerful imagination and an intellectual elasticity that can
jump over the tremendous space that divides the beliefs, aspirations and psychologies of
modem life from those of a long-past age. A study of the full text of the longer
Upanishads would be the best means of comprehending the mind of the fathers of Hinduism.
But at the same time, the difficulties
pointed out above reach the greatest dimensions in these longer Upanishads. In making the
selections for the following chapters, an attempt has been made to reduce these
difficulties to the minimum without prejudice to the main purpose of presenting an
adequate idea of the Upanishad-content.