Start Date

1-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2019 10:15 AM

Disciplines

History of Religion

Subjects

Upanishads. Muṇḍakopaniṣad -- Criticism interpretation etc., Upanishads. Muṇḍakopaniṣad -- Authorship, Upanishads. Muṇḍakopaniṣad -- Influence

Abstract

Written sometime between 300 and 100 BCE, the Indian text known as the Mundaka Upanishad contains some of the earliest philosophical inquiries into the concepts of suffering, the self, rebirth, and humanity’s place in the universe. This paper examines the influence of the Mundaka Upanishad and argues for the value of its study, addressing how the text offers historians a valuable opportunity to look into some of the most influential ideas behind Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Indian schools of thought. This paper also examines the cross-cultural influence of the text, tracing its diffusion from India and its influence on contemporary poets and writers in the Western world. First exploring the context in which the Mundaka Upanishad was written, my paper then moves on to a detailed explanation of the central ideas of the text before concluding with an analysis of the text’s influence outside of and within India. This analysis includes excerpts from several writers and poets whose writing demonstrates an influence by the text, followed by a detailed explanation of exactly how and why the writing reflects the Mundaka Upanishad’s teachings.

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/28570

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May 1st, 9:00 AM May 1st, 10:15 AM

From Mantra to Prose: The Influence of the Mundaka Upanishad on Western Poetry and Writing

Written sometime between 300 and 100 BCE, the Indian text known as the Mundaka Upanishad contains some of the earliest philosophical inquiries into the concepts of suffering, the self, rebirth, and humanity’s place in the universe. This paper examines the influence of the Mundaka Upanishad and argues for the value of its study, addressing how the text offers historians a valuable opportunity to look into some of the most influential ideas behind Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Indian schools of thought. This paper also examines the cross-cultural influence of the text, tracing its diffusion from India and its influence on contemporary poets and writers in the Western world. First exploring the context in which the Mundaka Upanishad was written, my paper then moves on to a detailed explanation of the central ideas of the text before concluding with an analysis of the text’s influence outside of and within India. This analysis includes excerpts from several writers and poets whose writing demonstrates an influence by the text, followed by a detailed explanation of exactly how and why the writing reflects the Mundaka Upanishad’s teachings.