The Upanishadic texts (like some of the earlier Vedic texts) are primarily concerned with acquiring knowledge of the "soul", "spirit" and "god". The Upanishadic concept of God was abstract and philosophical. Different Upanishadic texts postulated the doctrine of an Universal Soul that embraced all physical beings. All life emanated from this universal soul and death simply caused individual manifestations of the soul to merge or mingle back with the universal soul.. The Hindu philosophy of the Atman and Paramatman finds its basis from this scientific concept.
As a corollary to this theory emerged the notion that even as individual beings might refer to this universal soul - i.e. God in varied ways - by using different names and different methods of worship - all living beings were nevertheless related to each other and to the universal God, and capable of merging with the universal god. Such an approach was not incompatible with secular society, and permitted different faiths and sub-faiths to coexist in relative peace and harmony.
In the course of defining their philosophy, the scholars of the Upanishad period raised several questions that challenged mechanical theism (as was also done in some hymns from the Rig Veda and Atharva Veda). ...Show more