European College for Yoga and Therapie – Kloster Gerode

Classical Upanishads

In this seminar we will explore some of the oldest sources of Yoga, the so-called classical Upanishads.

The fundamental thought that runs through the whole body of the Upanishads is the sole reality of Brahman, or Atman. Even when the reality of the universe is conceded, the purpose is to maintain that the manifold world is not different from Brahman. Though Brahman is immanent, it is at the same time transcendent. It is inside all this and outside all this. Brahman covers the universe and yet transcends it. The Upanishads declare that “other than the known, and more than the unknown is THAT”.

‘Some look upon this Atman as a wonder, some speak of it as a wonder, some hear of it as a wonder, but, in spite of all this, few truly know this Truth, the eternal glory of Man!’

What is this ‘eternal glory of man’? It is his inborn divine nature, birthless, deathless, and holy. He is neither the body, nor the senses; these are but the instruments of his manifestation and action in the spatio-temporal world. He is the limitless One expressing itself through the little finite forms of body and mind. This is the true nature of man.

This is not mere philosophical concept, but a realized fact. All sensitive minds are inspired by these ideas. They inspired people at the time when the Upanishads were composed; they inspired people a thousand years later; and today after three or four thousand years, they still inspire us.

Neither the phenomenal progress of science and technology, nor the wealth and power of the modern world, have been able to reduce the relevancy of the ideas of the Upanishads; they even have increased it. The world is seeking for precisely this spiritual growth as means for breaking through the stagnation which has come upon the human mind. ‘The human mind lost its bearings in the delusion of wealth and power’.

Continued stagnation means death. Thus the Upanishads give us their gospel of hope for mankind through their grand theme: Man shall have wealth; man shall have power; man shall have all this; but he shall not get lost in any one of these. These are the means, not the end; he shall break through the crust of experience, and realize the Atman, his divine Self, which is Sat-Chit-Ananda, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss. Thus the Upanishads show us the way to creative living and life fulfillment.   

During the seminar, Benefit Yoga®  practice sessions including work with body, breath and awareness will complement the lectures, contributing to their integration and a balanced holistic experience according to the teaching method developed and applied at ECYT: Integrative Learning™.

Participants need to have several years of practice in yoga.