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Prashna Upanishad (Chaturtha Prashna)

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Pt. Ganesh Vidyalankar

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Verses from the Prashna Upanishad, with Indian classical music. Album: Prashna Upanishad The Prashna Upanishad or the Prashnopanishad is one of the earlier, primary Upanishads commented upon by Adi Shankara. It is a Mukhya Upanishad, associated with the Atharvaveda. It figures as number 4 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. In Sanskrit, "Prashna" means question. This text consists of six questions and their answers, hence the name. It is in the form of questions and answers. Except the first and the last questions, all other questions are actually a group of smaller sub-questions. As narrated in the beginning of this Upanishad, Six pupils interested in knowing divinity or Brahman come to sage Pippalada and request him to clarify their spiritual doubts. Instead of answering immediately, Pippalada asks them to take up penance and Brahmacharya for one year at his place. Upon completion of one year, pupils ask the sage, then the sage answers their questions. The first question is concerned with the root cause of the universe. The second question is concerned with the supremacy of vital Force of Life or Prana over other sense organs of human being. The third question is concerned with the origin and functioning of Vital Force of Life. The fourth question is related to Dream world of the sleeping person. The fifth question is concerned with fruits one gets by meditating on holy syllable "om". The sixth and last question is concerned with the being by whom all this known and unknown universe got created and who has sixteen vital things (kala) or who is called as Shodashakala Purusha.

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