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The Svetasvatara Upanishad belongs to the Taittiriya school of the Yajur Veda. Its name is derived from the sage who taught it. (1). It is theistic in character and identifies the Supreme Brahman with Rudra who is conceived as the material and the efficient cause of the world, not only the author of the world but its protector and guide. The elements associated with theism, Personal God and devotion to Him, which are to be met with undoubtedly in the other Upanishads, become prominent in the Svetasvatara Upanishad.

The emphasis is not on Brahman the Absolute, whose complete perfection does not admit of any change or evolution but on the personal Isvara, omniscient and omnipotent who is the manifested Brahma.

Terms which were used by the later Samkhya philosophy occur in the Upanishad, but the dualism of the Samkhya, purusa and prakrti, is overcome. Nature or pradhana, is not an independent entity but belongs to the self of the Divine, devatma-sakti God is the mayin, the maker of the world which is maya or made by him. (2).

The Upanishad teaches the unity of the souls and world in the one Supreme Reality. The Upanishad is an attempt to reconcile the different philosophical and religious views, which prevailed at the time of its composition.

  1. sveta, pure, asva, indriyas, senses. Samkarananda : literally, he who has a white mult. Cp. Jarad-gavah, he who has an old cow.
  2. Mayi srjate sarvam etat.


Source S. Radhakrishnan : The Principal Upanishads

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