Difference between revisions of "Upanishads (book)"

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The name, “''Upanishads'',” is usually translated “esoteric doctrine.” These treatises form part of the ''Sruti'' or “revealed knowledge,” ''Revelation'', in short, and are generally attached to the ''Brahmana'' portion of the Vedas, as their third division. There are over 150 ''Upanishads'' enumerated by, and known to, Orientalists, who credit the oldest with being written ''probably'' about 600 years b.c.; but of ''genuine'' texts there does not exist a fifth of the number. The Upanishads are to the Vedas what the Kabala is to the Jewish Bible. They treat of and expound the secret and mystic meaning of the Vedic texts. They speak of the origin of the Universe, the nature of Deity, and of Spirit and Soul, as also of the metaphysical connection of mind and matter. In a few words: ''They CONTAIN the beginning and the end of all human knowledge, but they have now ceased to REVEAL it'', since the day of Buddha. If it were otherwise, the Upanishads could not be called ''esoteric'', since they are now openly attached to the Sacred Brahmanical books, which have, in our present age, become accessible even to the ''Mlechchhas'' (out-''castes'') and the European Orientalists. One thing in them—and this in all the ''Upanishads''—invariably and constantly points to their ancient origin, and proves (a) that they were written, in some of their portions, ''before'' the caste system became the tyrannical institution which it still is; and (b) that half of their contents have been eliminated, while some of them were rewritten and abridged.<ref>Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, ''The Secret Doctrine'' vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 269-270.</ref></blockquote>
 
The name, “''Upanishads'',” is usually translated “esoteric doctrine.” These treatises form part of the ''Sruti'' or “revealed knowledge,” ''Revelation'', in short, and are generally attached to the ''Brahmana'' portion of the Vedas, as their third division. There are over 150 ''Upanishads'' enumerated by, and known to, Orientalists, who credit the oldest with being written ''probably'' about 600 years b.c.; but of ''genuine'' texts there does not exist a fifth of the number. The Upanishads are to the Vedas what the Kabala is to the Jewish Bible. They treat of and expound the secret and mystic meaning of the Vedic texts. They speak of the origin of the Universe, the nature of Deity, and of Spirit and Soul, as also of the metaphysical connection of mind and matter. In a few words: ''They CONTAIN the beginning and the end of all human knowledge, but they have now ceased to REVEAL it'', since the day of Buddha. If it were otherwise, the Upanishads could not be called ''esoteric'', since they are now openly attached to the Sacred Brahmanical books, which have, in our present age, become accessible even to the ''Mlechchhas'' (out-''castes'') and the European Orientalists. One thing in them—and this in all the ''Upanishads''—invariably and constantly points to their ancient origin, and proves (a) that they were written, in some of their portions, ''before'' the caste system became the tyrannical institution which it still is; and (b) that half of their contents have been eliminated, while some of them were rewritten and abridged.<ref>Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, ''The Secret Doctrine'' vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 269-270.</ref></blockquote>
  
== Major texts ==
+
== Principal texts of Mukhya Upanishads ==
  
 
The '''Mukhya Upanishads''', also known as Principal Upanishads, are associated with the Vedic tradition. They are accepted  by all Hindus ad the most important scriptures of [[Hinduism]]. These are listed alphabetically.
 
The '''Mukhya Upanishads''', also known as Principal Upanishads, are associated with the Vedic tradition. They are accepted  by all Hindus ad the most important scriptures of [[Hinduism]]. These are listed alphabetically.
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* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aitareya_Upanishad Aitareya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aitareya_Upanishad Aitareya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
  
=== Bṛhadāraṇyaka or Brihadaranyaka Upanishad ===
+
=== Brihadaranyaka Upanishad ===
  
 
This is associated with '''Yajurveda'''.
 
This is associated with '''Yajurveda'''.
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* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brihadaranyaka_Upanishad Brihadaranyaka Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brihadaranyaka_Upanishad Brihadaranyaka Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
  
=== Chāndogya or Chandogya Upanishad ===
+
=== Chandogya Upanishad ===
  
 
The Chandogya Upanishad is the second oldest of known Upanishads, dated to between 900 to 600 BCE, in the pre-Buddhist era.It is associated with '''Samaveda'''.  
 
The Chandogya Upanishad is the second oldest of known Upanishads, dated to between 900 to 600 BCE, in the pre-Buddhist era.It is associated with '''Samaveda'''.  
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* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandogya_Upanishad Chandogya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandogya_Upanishad Chandogya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
  
=== Īśā or Isha Upanishad ===
+
=== Isha Upanishad ===
 
   
 
   
 
This is associated with '''Yajurveda'''.
 
This is associated with '''Yajurveda'''.
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See also:
 
See also:
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isha_Upanishad Isha Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isha_Upanishad Isha Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
* [https://ocoy.org/dharma-for-christians/upanishads-for-awakening/isha-upanishad/seeing-all-things-in-god/ "Seeing All Things in God"] By Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri).
  
=== Kaṭha or Katha Upanishad ===
+
=== Katha Upanishad ===
  
 
This text is associated with '''Yajurveda'''. It was regarded highly by [[Charles Johnston]], [[William Butler Yeats]], [[George William Russell]], and [[Ralph Waldo Emerson]].  
 
This text is associated with '''Yajurveda'''. It was regarded highly by [[Charles Johnston]], [[William Butler Yeats]], [[George William Russell]], and [[Ralph Waldo Emerson]].  
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Translations by:
 
Translations by:
 
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/katha.html Sri Aurobindo, 1910].
 
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/katha.html Sri Aurobindo, 1910].
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/katha-upanishad-eknath Eknath Easwaran].
  
 
See also:
 
See also:
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Translations by:
 
Translations by:
 
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/kena.html Sri Aurobindo].
 
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/kena.html Sri Aurobindo].
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/kena-upanishad-eknath Eknath Easwaran].
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/kena-upanishad-zaehner R. C. Zaehner].
  
 
See also:
 
See also:
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kena_Upanishad Kena Upanishad] in Wikipedia.  
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kena_Upanishad Kena Upanishad] in Wikipedia.  
  
=== Māṇḍūkya or Mandukya Upanishad ===
+
=== Mandukya Upanishad ===
  
 
This is associated with '''Atharvaveda'''.
 
This is associated with '''Atharvaveda'''.
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Translations by:
 
Translations by:
 
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/mandu.html Sri Aurobindo].
 
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/mandu.html Sri Aurobindo].
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/mandukya-upanishad Vidyavachaspati V. Panoli].
  
 
See also:
 
See also:
*
+
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandukya_Upanishad Mandukya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
  
 
=== Mundukya Upanishad ===
 
=== Mundukya Upanishad ===
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Translations by:
 
Translations by:
 
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/mundaka.html Sri Aurobindo].
 
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/mundaka.html Sri Aurobindo].
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/mundaka-upanishad-eknath Eknath Easwaran].
  
 
See also:
 
See also:
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mundaka_Upanishad Mundaka Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mundaka_Upanishad Mundaka Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
  
=== Praṣna or Prasna Upanishad ===
+
=== Prasna Upanishad ===
  
 
This is associated with '''Atharvaveda'''.
 
This is associated with '''Atharvaveda'''.
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These are some of the other significant texts from the 200+ surviving Upanishads. Three or four of these are considered by some authors to be of major importance &ndash; Kausitaki, Mahanarayana, Maitri, and Shwetasvatara.
 
These are some of the other significant texts from the 200+ surviving Upanishads. Three or four of these are considered by some authors to be of major importance &ndash; Kausitaki, Mahanarayana, Maitri, and Shwetasvatara.
  
=== Kauṣītaki or Kausitaki Upanishad ===
+
=== Amritabindhu Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
Translations by:
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/amritabindhu-upanishad Unknown at Veda.wikidot.com]
 +
 
 +
See also:
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amritabindu_Upanishad Amritabindhu Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
 
 +
=== Atma Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
Translations by:
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/atma-upanishad A. G. Krishna Warrier].
 +
 
 +
See also:
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atma_Upanishad Atma Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
 
 +
=== Kausitaki Upanishad ===
  
 
Translations by:
 
Translations by:
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* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaushitaki_Upanishad Kausitaki Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaushitaki_Upanishad Kausitaki Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
  
=== Mahānārāyaṇa or Mahanarayana Upanishad ===
+
=== Mahanarayana Upanishad ===
  
 
Translations by:
 
Translations by:
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* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahanarayana_Upanishad Mahanarayana Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahanarayana_Upanishad Mahanarayana Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
  
=== Maitrī  or Maitri Upanishad ===
+
=== Maitri Upanishad ===
  
 
Translations by:
 
Translations by:
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* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maitrayaniya_Upanishad Maitrayaniya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maitrayaniya_Upanishad Maitrayaniya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
  
=== Nādabindu or Nadabindu Upanishad ===
+
=== Nadabindu Upanishad ===
  
 
Translations by:
 
Translations by:
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* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadabindu_Upanishad Nadabindu Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadabindu_Upanishad Nadabindu Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
  
=== Paramahaṃsa or Paramahansa Upanishad ===
+
=== Paramahansa Upanishad ===
  
This text is associated with the Atharvaveda.
+
This text is associated with the Atharvaveda.  
  
 
Translations by:
 
Translations by:
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/nada-bindu-upanishad Unknown at Veda.Wikidot.]
+
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/nada-bindu-upanishad Unknown at Veda.Wikidot.com.]
  
 
See also:
 
See also:
 
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/paramahamsa-upanishad Nadabindu Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/paramahamsa-upanishad Nadabindu Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
  
=== Śvetāśvatara or Shwetasvatara Upanishad ===
+
=== Shwetasvatara Upanishad ===
  
 
Translations by:
 
Translations by:
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See also:
 
See also:
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shvetashvatara_Upanishad Shwetasvatara Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shvetashvatara_Upanishad Shwetasvatara Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
 +
=== Tejabindu Upanishad ===
 +
 +
Translations by:
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/tejabindu-upanishad Unknown at Veda.Wikidot.com.]
 +
 +
See also:
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shvetashvatara_Upanishad Tejobindu Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
  
 
== Additional resources ==
 
== Additional resources ==
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* '''[https://archive.org/details/thirteenprincipa028442mbp ''The Thirteen Principal Upanishads'']''' by Robert Ernest Hume. Oxford University Press, 1921. Available from Internet Archive.
 
* '''[https://archive.org/details/thirteenprincipa028442mbp ''The Thirteen Principal Upanishads'']''' by Robert Ernest Hume. Oxford University Press, 1921. Available from Internet Archive.
 
* '''[https://archive.org/stream/PrincipalUpanishads/129481965-The-Principal-Upanishads-by-S-Radhakrishnan#page/n15/mode/2up ''The Principle Upanishads'']''' by Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan.  New Delhi: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994. Previously issued in 1953.
 
* '''[https://archive.org/stream/PrincipalUpanishads/129481965-The-Principal-Upanishads-by-S-Radhakrishnan#page/n15/mode/2up ''The Principle Upanishads'']''' by Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan.  New Delhi: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994. Previously issued in 1953.
 +
* '''[http://veda.wikidot.com/108-upanishads "101 Upanishads"] at Vedic Knowledge Online.
  
 
=== Artistic representations ===
 
=== Artistic representations ===

Revision as of 12:38, 22 May 2020

Chandogya Upanishad, copied ca 1849 CE

Upanishads refers to a collection of ancient Indian texts that provide the philosophical grounding of Hinduism, along with the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahmasutras. They were written over a period of centuries beginning in the 7th century BCE.

The Upanishads are texts found at the end of each Veda, discussing meditation, philosophy and spiritual knowledge. They are the foundation of Hindu philosophical thought, and have profoundly influenced diverse traditions. There are 108 Muktikā Upanishads in Hinduism, of which between 10 and 13 are variously counted by scholars as Principal Upanishads.

Blavatsky on the Upanishads

In her book The Secret Doctrine, H. P. Blavatsky wrote at length about her view of this collection of books as esoteric texts:

The UpanishadsUpa-ni-shad being a compound word meaning “the conquest of ignorance by the revelation of secret, spiritual knowledge”—require now the additional possession of a Master-key to enable the student to get at their full meaning. The reason for this I venture to state here as I learned it from a Master. The name, “Upanishads,” is usually translated “esoteric doctrine.” These treatises form part of the Sruti or “revealed knowledge,” Revelation, in short, and are generally attached to the Brahmana portion of the Vedas, as their third division. There are over 150 Upanishads enumerated by, and known to, Orientalists, who credit the oldest with being written probably about 600 years b.c.; but of genuine texts there does not exist a fifth of the number. The Upanishads are to the Vedas what the Kabala is to the Jewish Bible. They treat of and expound the secret and mystic meaning of the Vedic texts. They speak of the origin of the Universe, the nature of Deity, and of Spirit and Soul, as also of the metaphysical connection of mind and matter. In a few words: They CONTAIN the beginning and the end of all human knowledge, but they have now ceased to REVEAL it, since the day of Buddha. If it were otherwise, the Upanishads could not be called esoteric, since they are now openly attached to the Sacred Brahmanical books, which have, in our present age, become accessible even to the Mlechchhas (out-castes) and the European Orientalists. One thing in them—and this in all the Upanishads—invariably and constantly points to their ancient origin, and proves (a) that they were written, in some of their portions, before the caste system became the tyrannical institution which it still is; and (b) that half of their contents have been eliminated, while some of them were rewritten and abridged.[1]

Principal texts of Mukhya Upanishads

The Mukhya Upanishads, also known as Principal Upanishads, are associated with the Vedic tradition. They are accepted by all Hindus ad the most important scriptures of Hinduism. These are listed alphabetically.

Aitareya Upanishad

This is associated with the Rigveda.

Translations by:

See also:

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

This is associated with Yajurveda.

Translations by:

See also:

Chandogya Upanishad

The Chandogya Upanishad is the second oldest of known Upanishads, dated to between 900 to 600 BCE, in the pre-Buddhist era.It is associated with Samaveda.

Translations by:

See also:

Isha Upanishad

This is associated with Yajurveda.

Translations by:

See also:

Katha Upanishad

This text is associated with Yajurveda. It was regarded highly by Charles Johnston, William Butler Yeats, George William Russell, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Translations by:

See also:

Kena Upanishad

This is associated with Samaveda.

Translations by:

See also:

Mandukya Upanishad

This is associated with Atharvaveda.

Translations by:

See also:

Mundukya Upanishad

This is associated with Atharvaveda.

Translations by:

See also:

Prasna Upanishad

This is associated with Atharvaveda.

Translations by:

See also:

Taittiriya Upanishad

This is associated with Yajurveda.

Translations by:

See also:

Other texts

These are some of the other significant texts from the 200+ surviving Upanishads. Three or four of these are considered by some authors to be of major importance – Kausitaki, Mahanarayana, Maitri, and Shwetasvatara.

Amritabindhu Upanishad

Translations by:

See also:

Atma Upanishad

Translations by:

See also:

Kausitaki Upanishad

Translations by:

See also:

Mahanarayana Upanishad

Translations by:

See also:

Maitri Upanishad

Translations by:

See also:

Nadabindu Upanishad

Translations by:

See also:

Paramahansa Upanishad

This text is associated with the Atharvaveda.

Translations by:

See also:

Shwetasvatara Upanishad

Translations by:

See also:

Tejabindu Upanishad

Translations by:

See also:

Additional resources

The Union Index of Theosophical Periodicals lists over 300 articles in Theosophical periodicals that are about the Upanishads or reviews of books about the Upanishads. Here is a list of the articles.

Digital versions

Artistic representations

Artist Joma Sipe has illustrated the Twelve Principal Upanishads, "as considered in a book by Doctor E. Roer, in 1906." The art works have been published by Theosophy Forward in Upanishads.

Commentaries and guides

Audio

Print resources

  • Q. [author unknown], "Mr. Johnston and the Upanishads", The Theosophical Quarterly 29.3 (January, 1932), 214-222.

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 269-270.