File:Shvetashvatara Upanishad verse 1.3, Yajurveda, Sanskrit, Devanagari script.jpg

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English: The early Upanishads (Upanisad, Upanisat) are scriptures of Hinduism. Variously dated by scholars to have been composed between 900 BCE to about 200 BCE, these texts are in Sanskrit language and embedded within a layer of the Vedas. They contain a mixture of philosophy and mystical speculations, many set in the form of dialogues or pedagogic style. Their central teachings include the concepts of Atman (soul, self) and Brahman (metaphysical reality).

The above image is from a Shvetashvatara Upanishad manuscript and found embedded in a textual layer of the Yajurveda. It a to between 5th and 4th-century BCE by Galvin Flood and other scholars, and a bit later by some scholars. The text is notable for its discussion of the concept of personal god – Ishvara, one of the earliest in a Hindu text. The text suggests Ishvara to be a path to one's own Highest Self. The text is also notable for its multiple mentions of both Rudra and Shiva, along with other Vedic deities, and of crystallization of Shiva as a central theme.

The verse 1.3 is in the middle of the page above, while five lines of a bhasya (interpretation and commentary in the Hindu tradition) is above and below it. The part above is bhasya continued from the last page, while the five lines below continue on the next page.

These manuscripts are preserved at the Lalchand Research Library, Ancient Indian Manuscript Collection, DAV College Digital Library Initiative, Chandigarh India, in association with SP Lohia and Indorama Charitable Trust. The texts are over 2000 years old, the re-copying into this particular manuscript is dated to a mid-19th-century reproduction. Some sheets of the manuscript show signs of stains, decay and damage on the sides and its edges.

Language: Sanskrit

Script: Devanagari

Script style: pre-14th century (Northern / Western)

The photo above is of a 2D artwork of a text that is over 2,000 years old, from a manuscript that was produced decades before 1923. Therefore Wikimedia Commons PD-Art licensing guidelines apply. Any rights I have as a photographer is herewith donated to wikimedia commons under CC 4.0 license.
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Author Ms Sarah Welch


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