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The Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad

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Chapter Summary

The Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (ŚU) is affiliated with the Black Yajurveda. Curiously, the ŚU is the only one of the classical Upaniṣads ascribed to an individual, non-mythological author. The ŚU contains several unique and innovative teachings, such as the idea of a tri-partite brahman, the two levels of the Ātman, and the existence of an eternal female principle. Like the Kaṭha Upaniṣad, the SU contains a number of terms and ideas that are later incorporated into the Sāṃkhya and Yoga schools of philosophy. Rudra is portrayed in the Ṛgveda as a killer of men, feared by his worshippers, and implored not to hurt people and animals. The ŚU is composed in two different meters, triṣṭubh-jagatī and anuṣṭubh/śloka.

Keywords: Ātman,; Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad SU; Ṛgveda; brahman; Rudra



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