I would like to know what is the use of reading the Upanishads. I ask this because, in order to realize the self and the Supreme being one must experience it. And all of those experiences are written in Upanishads. Merely learning the Upanishads without understanding them is of no use.

Except that, as Lord Krishna said, one who have learned them but not attained liberation will take re-birth in a Bramhin family.

Puranas induce Bhakti and Vedas contain mantras in the praise of the Lord both are useful in coming closer to the supreme being.

However, Upanishads contain things which must be experienced. And we see that saints who have realized the self and the ultimate consciousness talk about things in the Upanishads without learning them explicitly.

Then why are some people said to learn those Upanishads when they should only experience them?

  • According to Ramana Maharishi, one must read scripture (any scripture) only until he realizes that they say the same thing. It is no longer meaningful to read scripture and it is time to start PRACTICING what the scriptures speak of. It is like theoretically studying a "MAP" VS actually going and seeing the place. Read the map for a while (till u get a basic idea) then start practice! Rule: If u read and understood Upanishads, you are a Sanskrit (or English) Master, but if you have experienced THAT which they speak of you are a Spiritual Master. let us practice in addition to just reading Sir!
    – Sai
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 19:58

2 Answers 2


Upanishads, Vedas, Purans all are need to be read. But Specially Upanishads are written is such a languages so that it can be easily understand by a person who is not pundit. Plus, Upanishads are written in Question-Answer form. Where one enthusiast ask question and Guru give answer from his experience.

In Short, language used in Upanishads is simple but come from one experience and also include many simple interesting examples.

Just as say, i found same experience when i read books on Shree Ramakrishna Paramahansa.


So, by reading Upanishads you actually get understand that this experience is true or imaginary. Ramana Maharshi not read any of this but he come at level and then he read Upanishads and Veda as what he fill during journey.

  • However, everyone stresses on learning those things via experience, then why separately do you need to learn them?
    – user12458
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 9:34
  • I read Upanishads and Vedas may be around 3 years ago because of curiosity. Reading Vedas take time and also some time i get confused with it on the other hand i found Upanishads very interesting as i get answer of what is life, Atma, responsibility of human life, how to live happy and good life in such a good way with easy explanation. @JavaTechnical : What is your reason to read/will read Upanishads. for me I am Hindu and strongly believe to live life in Hidnu way including Kama, Artha, Dharma and Moksha.
    – Kiran
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 9:52
  • No No, actually I am NEVER against reading Upanishads (if you understood me like that), but I see saints saying to experience them. My question is why to learn when we can experience.
    – user12458
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 9:55
  • 1
    @JavaTechnical : "why to learn when we can experience" When you started to get experience on journey of samathi or "Anand" Life, you can track your experience with this books(i mean Upanishads, Vedas, Purans and many more) so you actually understand where are you actually in journey and you get idea is you are in right path or misguide in other way. So, by reading Upanishads you actually get understand that this experience is true or imaginary. Raman Mahrshi not read any of this but he come at level and then he read Upanishads and Veda as what he fill during journey.
    – Kiran
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 10:01
  • @JavaTechnical : for example, many times ago i took bath seating below shower where flow of water flow directly hits upper part of head, and this flow was strong. it hurt me but at time i think that process will wake up my Chakra. But after reading one book i found that this process damage long-term memory of mind. So may be for you by reading Upanishads you actually get ideas that what experience you get what you are in journey.
    – Kiran
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 10:08

Some people need to read the Upanishads, others do not. Everyone is different. Your guru can tell what is your way.

Krishna says in the Gita (4.34) " Learn it by prostration, by inquiry, and by service. The wise who have seen the Truth, will teach you that Knowledge." The wise are gurus who have the experience of Brahman and are knowledgeable of the vedas. You prostrate before them, you ask them questions, you do service to them. It does not say read the Upanishads. Pray to God to find your guru.

Swami Vivekananda said "The aim is to get rid of nature's control over us. That is the goal of all religions. Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy-by one or more or all of these-and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details."

  • But learning isn't enough though, we must understand it to realize the Bramhan. Also, some people say not to read Upanishads until one become pure. (I remember having read it in an answer on this site).
    – user12458
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 9:49
  • Your guru knows if and when. Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 9:55
  • Can I read now? I have no guru.
    – user12458
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 9:55
  • 1
    You can read, but what good it will do and how well you will understand is unknown. You may be wasting your time to do now. Your priority should be to find your guru. Other things are secondary if you are sincere about wanting to know Brahman. Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 9:59

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