Prashna Upanishad: A Layperson’s Guide to Ancient Vedic Wisdom

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage


The Prashna Upanishad is a sacred text from the ancient wisdom of India. It is one of the 108 Upanishads, which are philosophical and spiritual teachings that form the basis of Hindu thought. The Prashna Upanishad is a concise text, but its teachings carry profound insights that are relevant to people seeking meaning and spiritual understanding in their lives. In this article, we’ll explore the essence of the Prashna Upanishad in a way that anyone, regardless of their background, can grasp its fundamental principles.

Buy Books on Prashna Upanishad from Amaon India

  1. What is the Prashna Upanishad?

The Prashna Upanishad is a part of the Upanishadic literature, which is one of the core texts of Hindu philosophy. The word “Upanishad” itself means “sitting down near” or “sitting at the feet of the master.” It signifies a close, intimate teaching relationship between a spiritual teacher and their student.

The Prashna Upanishad consists of six fundamental questions asked by six young seekers to a sage, Pippalada. These questions delve into the nature of the self, the essence of reality, and the path to spiritual awakening.

  1. The Six Questions

The six questions posed in the Prashna Upanishad are as follows:

a. “What is the vital force that sustains us?” b. “What is the source of speech?” c. “What is the origin of the mind?” d. “What is the essence of the visible world?” e. “What is the essence of the invisible world?” f. “What is the nature of the ultimate reality?”

Each of these questions represents a profound inquiry into the nature of existence, consciousness, and the divine.

  1. The Sage’s Responses

In response to these questions, Sage Pippalada imparts profound wisdom. He explains that the vital force is the prana, the source of speech is rooted in the mind, and the origin of the mind is the Atman, which is the inner self or soul.

Pippalada goes on to explain that the essence of the visible world is rooted in Aksara, the imperishable, and the essence of the invisible world is the person’s deepest Self, the Atman. Ultimately, he reveals that the ultimate reality is the supreme being, Brahman, which is both immanent and transcendent.

Buy Books on Upanishads from Google Shopping

  1. Key Teachings

The Prashna Upanishad conveys several essential teachings:

a. The Nature of the Self: It emphasizes the idea that the individual self (Atman) is inseparable from the ultimate reality (Brahman), highlighting the oneness of all existence.

b. The Power of Inquiry: The Upanishad encourages seekers to ask questions and inquire into the nature of reality, self, and existence. This act of questioning is regarded as a spiritual path in itself.

c. The Imperishable: It introduces the concept of the imperishable, Aksara, as the essence of the visible world, suggesting that beyond the transient appearances lies an unchanging reality.

d. Realization through Meditation: The text suggests that a deep understanding of the self and the ultimate reality can be achieved through meditation and self-realization.

  1. Relevance Today

The Prashna Upanishad’s teachings remain relevant even in the modern world. Its emphasis on self-inquiry, meditation, and the interconnectedness of all life resonates with those seeking meaning, purpose, and inner peace. The idea of oneness and the imperishable truth beneath the transient world can offer solace and insight in a complex and ever-changing world.

In Conclusion

The Prashna Upanishad, like many Upanishads, offers profound insights into the nature of the self, reality, and the spiritual path. It encourages us to question, meditate, and seek the deeper truths of existence. Its teachings remind us that the ancient wisdom of India is not just a relic of the past but a timeless guide to a more meaningful and spiritually rich life.

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - A specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

But Mala doesn't stop at just sharing her own thoughts and ideas. She welcomes constructive criticisms and suggestions to improve her blog and make it even more impactful. And if you share her passion for India's culture and heritage, she extends a warm invitation for high-quality guest blog posts.

Ready to dive into the world of India's ageless beauty? Follow Mala on LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook and join her in spreading the magic of ancient India to the world.

LinkedIn Profile:
Twitter Handle: @MalaCShekhar
Facebook Page:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *