Difference between revisions of "Upanishads (book)"

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[[File:Chandogya Upanishad.jpg|230px|right|thumb|Chandogya Upanishad, copied ca 1849 CE]]
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'''ARTICLE UNDER CONSTRUCTION'''
 
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'''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.
 
'''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.
  
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In her book ''[[The Secret Doctrine (book)|The Secret Doctrine]]'', [[H. P. Blavatsky]] wrote at length about her view of this collection of books as esoteric texts:
 
In her book ''[[The Secret Doctrine (book)|The Secret Doctrine]]'', [[H. P. Blavatsky]] wrote at length about her view of this collection of books as esoteric texts:
  
<blockquote>The ''Upanishads''—''Upa-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.<br>
+
<blockquote>The ''Upanishads''—''Upa-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.<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>
  
== Online resources ==
+
== 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 text is associated with the '''Rigveda'''.
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/aitar.html Sri Aurobindo].
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/aitareya-upanishad Swami Gambhirananda].
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aitareya_Upanishad Aitareya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Brihadaranyaka Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
This text is associated with '''Yajurveda'''.
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/brihad.html Sri Aurobindo].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brihadaranyaka_Upanishad Brihadaranyaka Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== 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'''.
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [https://www.consciouslivingfoundation.org/ebooks/13/CLF-chhandogya_upanishad.pdf Swami Nikhilananda].
 +
* [http://www.tbm100.org/Lib/Jha42.pdf Ganganatha Jha and Umesha Mishra] with commentary
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandogya_Upanishad Chandogya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
* [https://www.swami-krishnananda.org/chhand/Chhandogya_Upanishad.pdf Chhandogya Upanishad] by Krishnananda.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Isha Upanishad ===
 +
 +
This text is associated with '''Yajurveda'''.
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/isha.html Sri Aurobindo].
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/isha-upanishad-eknath Eknath Easwaran].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [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).
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== 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]].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/katha.html Sri Aurobindo, 1910].
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/katha-upanishad-eknath Eknath Easwaran].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katha_Upanishad Katha Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Kena Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
This text is associated with '''Samaveda'''.
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [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].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kena_Upanishad Kena Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Mandukya Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
This text is associated with '''Atharvaveda'''.
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/mandu.html Sri Aurobindo].
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/mandukya-upanishad Vidyavachaspati V. Panoli].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandukya_Upanishad Mandukya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Mundaka Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
This text is associated with '''Atharvaveda'''.
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/mundaka.html Sri Aurobindo].
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/mundaka-upanishad-eknath Eknath Easwaran].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mundaka_Upanishad Mundaka Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Prasna Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
This text is associated with '''Atharvaveda'''.
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [https://www.researchgate.net/publication/291973399_Prasna_Upanishad Sibaprasad Dutta].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prashna_Upanishad Prasna Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Taittiriya Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
This text is associated with '''Yajurveda'''.
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [https://www.hinduwebsite.com/taittiriya-upanishad.asp Jayaram V].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taittiriya_Upanishad Taittiriya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
== 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 &ndash; Kausitaki, Mahanarayana, Maitri, and Shwetasvatara.
 +
 
 +
=== Amritabindhu Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/amritabindhu-upanishad Unknown at Veda.wikidot.com]
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amritabindu_Upanishad Amritabindhu Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Atma Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/atma-upanishad A. G. Krishna Warrier].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atma_Upanishad Atma Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Kausitaki Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [https://www.hinduwebsite.com/kausitaki-upanishad.asp Jayaram V].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaushitaki_Upanishad Kausitaki Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Mahanarayana Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://www.advaita.it/library/mahanarayana.htm Vimalananda].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahanarayana_Upanishad Mahanarayana Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Maitri Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://geocities.ws/metteyyaproject/TheOfficeofTheFourArms/MAITRAYANA.pdf Unknown at Geocities].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maitrayaniya_Upanishad Maitrayaniya Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Nadabindu Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/nada-bindu-upanishad K. Narayanasvami Aiyar].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadabindu_Upanishad Nadabindu Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Paramahansa Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
This text is associated with the Atharvaveda.
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/nada-bindu-upanishad Unknown at Veda.Wikidot.com.]
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/paramahamsa-upanishad Nadabindu Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Shwetasvatara Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/shwe.html Sri Aurobindo].
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shvetashvatara_Upanishad Shwetasvatara Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
=== Tejabindu Upanishad ===
 +
 
 +
{{Col-begin|width=80%}}
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>Translations by:</u>
 +
* [http://veda.wikidot.com/tejabindu-upanishad Unknown at Veda.Wikidot.com.]
 +
 
 +
{{Col-break|width=35%}}
 +
<u>See also:</u>
 +
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shvetashvatara_Upanishad Tejobindu Upanishad] in Wikipedia.
 +
{{Col-end}}
 +
 
 +
== 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 [http://www.austheos.org.au/cgi-bin/ui-csvsearch.pl?search=upanishad list of the articles.]
 
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 [http://www.austheos.org.au/cgi-bin/ui-csvsearch.pl?search=upanishad list of the articles.]
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* Sri Aurobindo translations and commentary at [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/ Ancient Texts.org].
 
* Sri Aurobindo translations and commentary at [http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/indian/upanishads/ Ancient Texts.org].
 
* Swami Paramananda translation and commentary at [http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/upanishads/upanishads1.pdf Penn State Electronic Classics].
 
* Swami Paramananda translation and commentary at [http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/upanishads/upanishads1.pdf Penn State Electronic Classics].
 +
* '''[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.
 +
* '''[http://veda.wikidot.com/108-upanishads "101 Upanishads"] at Vedic Knowledge Online.
  
 
=== Artistic representations ===
 
=== Artistic representations ===
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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 (periodical)|''Theosophy Forward'']] in '''[http://theosophyforward.com/pdf/Upanishads.pdf Upanishads]'''.
 
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 (periodical)|''Theosophy Forward'']] in '''[http://theosophyforward.com/pdf/Upanishads.pdf Upanishads]'''.
  
=== Commentaries ===
+
=== Commentaries and guides ===
* Besant, Annie. ''The Wisdom of the Upanishats''. Available at [http://www.theosophical.ca/books/TheWisdomOfTheUpanishats_AnnieBesant.pdf#  Canadian Theosophical Association].  
+
* Besant, Annie. ''The Wisdom of the Upanishats''. Available at [https://cdn.website-editor.net/e4d6563c50794969b714ab70457d9761/files/uploaded/TheWisdomOfTheUpanishats_AnnieBesant.pdf#  Canadian Theosophical Association].  
 
* Johnston, Charles. "The Kingdom of Heaven and the Upanishads". ''The Open Court''. December, 1905. Available at [http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/ocj/vol1905/iss12/1/ OpenSIUC].
 
* Johnston, Charles. "The Kingdom of Heaven and the Upanishads". ''The Open Court''. December, 1905. Available at [http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/ocj/vol1905/iss12/1/ OpenSIUC].
 +
* [https://fewfleetingmoments.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/upanishads-for-dummies/ ''Upanishads for Dummies''] by Abhishek. April 29, 2012.
  
 
=== Audio ===
 
=== Audio ===
 
*[https://www.theosophical.org/files/resources/Downloads/mp3/gomes/The%20Nature%20of%20Consciousness%20in%20the%20Upanishads.mp3# The Nature of Consciousness in the Upanishads] by Michael Gomes
 
*[https://www.theosophical.org/files/resources/Downloads/mp3/gomes/The%20Nature%20of%20Consciousness%20in%20the%20Upanishads.mp3# The Nature of Consciousness in the Upanishads] by Michael Gomes
*[https://www.theosophical.org/files/resources/Downloads/mp3/mehta/The%20Way%20of%20the%20Upanishads%20-%20Part%201.mp3# The Way of the Upanishads - Part 1] [https://www.theosophical.org/files/resources/Downloads/mp3/mehta/The%20Way%20of%20the%20Upanishads%20-%20Part%202.mp3# Part 2] [https://www.theosophical.org/files/resources/Downloads/mp3/mehta/The%20Way%20of%20the%20Upanishads%20-%20Part%202.mp3# Part 3] [https://www.theosophical.org/files/resources/Downloads/mp3/mehta/The%20Way%20of%20the%20Upanishads%20-%20Part%204.mp3# Part 4] by Rohit Mehta
+
*[https://archive.org/download/yoga-of-the-upanishads-hoskins/Yoga%20of%20the%20Upanishads_Hoskins.mp3# The Yoga of the Upanishads] by Ianthe H. Hoskins
 +
*[https://archive.org/details/way-of-the-upanishads-3-mehta# The Way of the Upanishads (4 Parts)] by Rohit Mehta
  
== Additional print resources ==
+
=== Print resources ===
  
* Q.<nowiki>[</nowiki>author unknown<nowiki>]</nowiki>,  "Mr. Johnston and the Upanishads", ''The Theosophical Quarterly'' 29.3 (January, 1932), 214-222.
+
* Q. [author unknown],  "Mr. Johnston and the Upanishads", ''The Theosophical Quarterly'' 29.3 (January, 1932), 214-222.
  
 
== Notes ==
 
== Notes ==

Latest revision as of 22:03, 3 September 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 text is associated with the Rigveda.

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Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

This text is associated with Yajurveda.

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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.

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Isha Upanishad

This text is associated with Yajurveda.

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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.

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Kena Upanishad

This text is associated with Samaveda.

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Mandukya Upanishad

This text is associated with Atharvaveda.

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Mundaka Upanishad

This text is associated with Atharvaveda.

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Prasna Upanishad

This text is associated with Atharvaveda.

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Taittiriya Upanishad

This text is associated with Yajurveda.

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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

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Atma Upanishad

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Kausitaki Upanishad

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Mahanarayana Upanishad

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Maitri Upanishad

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Nadabindu Upanishad

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Paramahansa Upanishad

This text is associated with the Atharvaveda.

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Shwetasvatara Upanishad

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Tejabindu Upanishad

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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.