Swami Ranganathananda Thoughts on Upanishads



A study of the Upanishads reveals that the subject of religion was approached in ancient India in an impersonal and dispassionate manner. The aim of the study was neither to hug pleasing fancies and illusions nor to idolize tribal passions and prejudices but to get at the truth.

Ever since the time of the Upanishads, which goes back long before the Christian Era, India has tenaciously held to a view of religion that makes it a high adventure of the spirit, a life endeavor to realize and grasp the hidden meaning of existence. Faith in India did not meant a cozy belief in which to find comfort, but a torch by which to set the soul on fire with a long for spiritual realization. In the absence of this longing and struggle, the belief of the faithful does not differ from the unbelief of the faithless.

Because of the strength of the spirit of the Upanishads, no all-powerful church, therefore, arose in India to organize the faithful on the basis of dogma and creed, claiming divine authority for its opinions and judgments. No such authority could thrive where religion was expounded as a quest and not a conformity.

Swami Ranganathananda

(Source: A scientific approach to religion by Swami Ranganathananda (page 7 – 8)