Philosophical thought in the Upanishads - The transition from mythological-religious thinking to philosophical thinking

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Trinh Thanh Tung, Trinh Thi Kim Chi


During the commentary process of the Vedas, the appearance of the Upanishads marked a transition from mythological - religious thinking to philosophical thinking; explain the nature of the world and human life with an original, that is Brahman - “The absolute ultimate cosmic spirit”; The “Individual soul” Ātman is just a different manifestation of the Brahman in every being. Upanishads divided human awareness into two levels: Upper wisdom (para-vidyā) is the level that can perceive the nature of the universe and human beings; and the lower position (apara-vidyā) is the level of awareness of the world of things, phenomena, tangible, finite, often variable. Because “The absolute ultimate cosmic spirit” manifests in the bodies of sentient beings, it is mistakenly thought that “Individual soul” is something different from “The absolute ultimate cosmic spirit”. The emotions, will, and actions that are intended to satisfy all sentient beings' desires have obscured their true nature, causing karma (karma), samsara (samsàra). To return to one's true nature, to attain enlightenment and liberation (moksạ), one must practice morality (karma-yoga) and practice wisdom (prajñā-yoga).

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