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The Chāndogya Upaniṣad

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Chapter Summary

The Chāndogya Upaniṣad (ChU ) is usually regarded as one of the very oldest Upaniṣads, though possibly younger than the Bṛhadāraṇyaka. The ChU contains several quotations from the Ṛgveda. The ChU's association with the Sāmaveda, the Veda of the Chants, is reflected in the many passages on chanting and sound. The chanting of the udgītha is of central importance in the agniṣṭoma ritual, and echoes of this ritual can be found throughout the Upaniṣad. Animal utterances appear to have some significance, and yet lack semantic meaning, which makes animal sounds similar to mantras. Throughout the ChU, brahman is identified with ākāśa, or space. The discovery of ātman is the most central philosophical theme in the ChU. The philosophy of Sanatkumāra is described in some detail in a long dialogue between this teacher and his student Nārada in the seventh chapter of the ChU.

Keywords: ātman; Ṛgveda; brahman; Chāndogya Upaniṣad (ChU0



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