Jabhala Upanishad

Jabhala Upanishad is one of the 20 Sannyasa Upanishads and is attached to the Shukla Yajurveda. The text discusses the city of Banaras in spiritual terms, as Avimuktam. It describes how that city became holy, then adds that the holiest place to revere is one within – the Atman (soul, self).  

The Upanishad asserts that anyone can renounce – this choice is entirely up to the individual, regardless of which Ashrama (stage of life) he is in. The Jabala  Upanishad seems to justify suicide as an individual choice in certain circumstances, a view opposed by earlier Vedic texts and Principal Upanishads.  Those too sick may renounce the worldly life in their mind. The Jabala Upanishad presents the Vedanta philosophy view that one who truly renounces lives an ethical life, which includes not injuring anyone in thought, word, or deed. Such a sannyasi  (renunciate) abandons all rituals, is without attachments to anything or anyone,  and is one who is devoted to the oneness of Atman and Brahman.

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