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SPIRITUAL PATHS AND DISCOVERY OF
that if the Upanishads could use Vedic type verses for expressing Self-realization, all
the verses of the Vedas should have a similar potential. I took the
very portions of the early Upanishads usually rejected as ritualistic and reinterpreted
them from a spiritual angle, in light of the rules of symbolic language. I was
particularly affected by the Chandogya Upanishad, which comes from the Sama Veda or the
Veda of song.
The book itself
would seem to sing or to chant to me. I would merely look at the book and start to hear
the Vedic students of old raising their voices to the Divine. Something of the Vedic
shakti came through it along with a connection to the ancient seers, their families and
their practices. I learned to look back from Advaita Vedanta through the Upanishads
into the mantras of the Rig Veda, seeing how the path of Self-realization was there
in the earliest hymns.
Like Aurobindo I could appreciate the Vedic mantras as a pure spiritual
experience that later became reduced to mere ritual when the inner meaning of the symbols
forgotten. The Vedic mantras also served to open the entire ancient spiritual world
for me, affording a sense of the deeper meaning of Egyptian or Mayan symbols as well.