Regarding the Upanishads.

John Robert Gardner jrgardn at EMORY.EDU
Sun Feb 6 05:52:43 UTC 2000

On Sun, 6 Feb 2000, Arun Gupta wrote:

> With all due respect to the scholars, you would go to learn to box
> from a boxer and not from a historian of boxing.
> The Upanishads are very much the underpinning of modern India.
> Mahatma Gandhi said, that if only certain three words were to survive
> from the Isha Upanishad from all the corpus of Hinduism, it would be
> sufficient : tena tyakten bhunjitah.

Ah, but the boxer and the historian are not at odds, otherwise, the boxer
would be hit in the head for failing to remember the opponent's past, and
the historian would otherwise not be there to remind:

kavir manISI paribhUH svayambhUr
yAthAtathyato 'rthAn vadadhAc chAzvatIbhyaH samAbhyaH

and so it goes, then,

vidyAM cAvidyAM ca yastad vedobhayaM saha
avidyayA mRtyuM tIrtvA vidyayAmRtam aznute

with all due respect, of course, for historian and boxer--either wise
enough to ply their trade--know that the context in which an event--or
quote--occurs is inseparable from its relevance and meaning,



John Robert Gardner
Emory University
"If there is something you're thinking of doing, or wish you could do,
begin it.  In boldness there is mystery and power . . . . "  -Goethe

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