In this Upanishad, six seekers of truth approach the sage Pippalada, and each of them asks the Sage a question. To his answers which range from the gross to the subtle principles of life form the prashna Upanishad or the Upanishad of Questions.
The first question concerns the origin of living beings. The second question relates to the deities who are the helpers of all living beings. The third questions refer to the nature and origin of the transcendental prana. 4th Questions relates to sleep and dreams. The fifth question concerns Om or Pranava. The sixth and last question refers to Purusha. These last three questions relate to Para Vidya or Brahma Vidya.
In order to understand the Upanishads, it is necessary to study the Vedas, and also equally important to travel back into history and learn about the customs, races, civilizations, societies and cultures of those ancient times.
Ancient India was once a very vast country covering Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Western region; Nepal, Tibet, some parts of Western China and Asiatic Russia in the Northern region, Burma, Bhutan, Bangladesh etc. in the Eastern region; Sri Lanka and Gondwanaland, commonly known as the Lemurian Continent, in the Southern region.
In prehistoric times when man lived like a nomad and had not learned to adjust himself with nature, various great civilizations flourished in the equatorial belt. In the ancient Indian sub-continent various cultures existed. Iraq and Iran were known as Aranya Vraja and the Aranyak civilization developed there. Afghanistan was known as Gandhar Desh which gave birth to the Gandhar civilization. Beside the Indus river - the Indus Valley civilization developed, while the Dravidian race lived in the south-western region of the Indus river and the Magadhi culture flourished in the eastern region of the country.
About the Author:
Paramahansa Niranjanananda was born in 1960. July 26th, 1964 he joined the Bihar School of Yoga and his guru’s mission where he commenced his gurukul education. March 1st, 1970, he was sent overseas to help the development of ashrams and yoga centers in Ireland, England and Europe. For the next thirteen yeas he travelled widely around the world, including North and South America and Australia, conducting yoga programs, working as his guru’s representative and investigating the needs of various cultures. January 19th, 1983, he was recalled to India and appointed President of the Bihar School of Yoga by his guru, Paramahansa Satyananda.