The Chandogya Upanishad is a Sanskrit text embedded in the Chandogya Brahmana of the Sama Veda of Hinduism. It is one of the oldest Upanishads, it lists as number 9 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. The Upanishad belongs to the Tandya school of the Samaveda. Like Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, the Chandogya Upanishad is an anthology of texts that must have pre-existed as separate texts, were edited into a larger text by one or more ancient Indian scholars; the precise chronology of Chandogya Upanishad is uncertain, it is variously dated to have been composed by the 8th to 6th century BCE in India. It is one of the largest Upanishadic compilations, has eight Prapathakas, each with many volumes, each volume contains many verses; the volumes are a motley collection of themes. As part of the poetic and chants-focussed Samaveda, the broad unifying theme of the Upanishad is the importance of speech, language and chants to man's quest for knowledge and salvation, to metaphysical premises and questions, as well as to rituals.
The Chandogya Upanishad is notable for its lilting metric structure, its mention of ancient cultural elements such as musical instruments, embedded philosophical premises that served as foundation for Vedanta school of Hinduism. It is one of the most cited texts in Bhasyas by scholars from the diverse schools of Hinduism. Adi Shankara, for example, cited Chandogya Upanishad 810 times in his Vedanta Sutra Bhasya, more than any other ancient text; the name of the Upanishad is derived from the word Chanda or chandas, which means "poetic meter, prosody". The name implies that the nature of the text relates to the patterns of structure, stress and intonation in language and chants; the text is sometimes known as Chandogyopanishad. Chandogya Upanishad was in all likelihood composed in the earlier part of 1st millennium BCE, is one of the oldest Upanishads; the exact century of the Upanishad composition is unknown and contested. The chronology of early Upanishads is difficult to resolve, states Stephen Phillips, because all opinions rest on scanty evidence, an analysis of archaism and repetitions across texts, driven by assumptions about evolution of ideas, on presumptions about which philosophy might have influenced which other Indian philosophies.
Patrick Olivelle states, "in spite of claims made by some, in reality, any dating of these documents that attempts a precision closer than a few centuries is as stable as a house of cards". The chronology and authorship of Chandogya Upanishad, along with Brihadaranyaka and Kaushitaki Upanishads, is further complicated because they are compiled anthologies of literature that must have existed as independent texts before they became part of these Upanishads. Scholars have offered different estimates ranging from 800 BCE to 600 BCE. According to a 1998 review by Olivelle, Chandogya was composed by 7th or 6th century BCE, give or take a century or so. Phillips states that Chandogya was completed after Brihadaranyaka, both in early part of the 1st millennium BCE; the text has eight Prapathakas, each with varying number of Khandas. Each Khanda has varying number of verses; the first chapter includes 13 volumes each with varying number of verses, the second chapter has 24 volumes, the third chapter contains 19 volumes, the fourth is composed of 17 volumes, the fifth has 24, the sixth chapter has 16 volumes, the seventh includes 26 volumes, the eight chapter is last with 15 volumes.
The Upanishad comprises the last eight chapters of a ten chapter Chandogya Brahmana text. The first chapter of the Brahmana is short and concerns ritual-related hymns to celebrate a marriage ceremony and the birth of a child; the second chapter of the Brahmana is short as well and its mantras are addressed to divine beings at life rituals. The last eight chapters are long, are called the Chandogya Upanishad. A notable structural feature of Chandogya Upanishad is that it contains many nearly identical passages and stories found in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, but in precise meter; the Chandogya Upanishad, like other Upanishads, was a living document. Every chapter shows evidence of insertion or interpolation at a age, because the structure, grammar and content is inconsistent with what precedes or follows the suspect content and section. Additionally, supplements were attached to various volumes in a different age. Klaus Witz structurally divides the Chandogya Upanishad into three natural groups; the first group comprises chapters I and II, which deal with the structure and rhythmic aspects of language and its expression with the syllable Om.
The second group consists of chapters III-V, with a collection of more than 20 Upasanas and Vidyas on premises about the universe, life and spirituality. The third group consists of chapters VI-VIII that deal with metaphysical questions such as the nature of reality and soul; the chant of Om, the essence of allThe Chandogya Upanishad opens with the recommendation that "let a man meditate on Om". It calls the syllable Om as udgitha, asserts that the significance of the syllable is thus: the essence of all beings is earth, the essence of earth is water, the essence of water are the plants, the essence of plants is man, the essence of man is speech, the essence of speech is the Rig Veda, the essence of the Rig Veda is the Sama Veda, the essence of Sama Veda is udgitha. Rik is speech, states the text, Sāman is breath.
The Agamas are a collection of scriptures of several Hindu devotional schools. The term means tradition or "that which has come down", the Agama texts describe cosmology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation and practices, four kinds of yoga, temple construction, deity worship and ways to attain sixfold desires; these canonical texts are in Tamil. The three main branches of Agama texts are those of Shaivism, Shaktism; the Agamic traditions are sometimes called Tantrism, although the term "Tantra" is used to refer to Shakta Agamas. The Agama literature is voluminous, includes 28 Shaiva Agamas, 77 Shakta Agamas, 108 Vaishnava Agamas, numerous Upa-Agamas; the origin and chronology of Agamas is unclear. Some are Vedic and others non-Vedic. Agama traditions include Yoga and Self Realization concepts, some include Kundalini Yoga and philosophies ranging from Dvaita to Advaita; some suggest that these are others as pre-Vedic compositions. Epigraphical and archaeological evidence suggests that Agama texts were in existence by about middle of the 1st millennium CE, in the Pallava dynasty era.
Scholars note that some passages in the Hindu Agama texts appear to repudiate the authority of the Vedas, while other passages assert that their precepts reveal the true spirit of the Vedas. The Agamas literary genre may be found in Śramaṇic traditions. Bali Hindu tradition is called Agama Hindu Dharma in Indonesia. Āgāma is derived from the verb root गम meaning "to go" and the preposition आ meaning "toward" and refers to scriptures as "that which has come down". Agama means "tradition", refers to precepts and doctrines that have come down as tradition. Agama, states Dhavamony, is a "generic name of religious texts which are at the basis of Hinduism and which are divided into Vaishnava Agamas, Saiva Agamas, Sakta Agamas. Agamas, states Rajeshwari Ghose, teach a system of spirituality involving ritual worship and ethical personal conduct through precepts of a god; the means of worship in the Agamic religions differs from the Vedic form. While the Vedic form of yajna requires no idols and shrines, the Agamic religions are based on idols with puja as a means of worship.
Symbols and temples are a necessary part of the Agamic practice, while non-theistic paths are alternative means of Vedic practice. Action and will drive Agama precepts. This, does not mean that Agamas and Vedas are opposed, according to medieval-era Hindu theologians. Tirumular, for example, explained their link as follows: "the Vedas are the path, the Agamas are the horse"; each Agama consists of four parts: Jnana pada called Vidya pada – consists of doctrine, the philosophical and spiritual knowledge, knowledge of reality and liberation. Yoga pada – precepts on yoga, the physical and mental discipline. Kriya pada – consists of rules for rituals, construction of temples; this code is analogous in the Buddhist text of Sadhanamala. Charya pada – lays down rules of conduct, of worship, observances of religious rites, rituals and prayaschittas; the Agamas state three requirements for a place of pilgrimage: Sthala and Murti. Sthala refers to the place of the temple, Tīrtha is the temple tank, Murti refers to the image of god.
Elaborate rules are laid out in the Agamas for Silpa describing the quality requirements of the places where temples are to be built, the kind of images to be installed, the materials from which they are to be made, their dimensions, air circulation, lighting in the temple complex, etc. The Manasara and Silpasara are some of the works dealing with these rules; the rituals followed in worship services each day at the temple follow rules laid out in the Agamas. The Agama texts of Hinduism present a diverse range of philosophies, ranging from theistic dualism to absolute monism; this diversity of views was acknowledged in Chapter 36 of Tantraloka by the 10th-century scholar Abhinavagupta. In Shaivism alone, there are ten dualistic Agama texts, eighteen qualified monism-cum-dualism Agama texts, sixty-four monism Agama texts; the Bhairava Shastras are monistic. A similar breadth of diverse views is present in Vaishnava Agamas as well; the Agama texts of Shaiva and Vaishnava schools are premised on existence of Atman and the existence of an Ultimate Reality.
The texts differ in the relation between the two. Some assert the dualistic philosophy of the individual soul and Ultimate Reality being different, while others state a Oneness between the two. Kashmir Shaiva Agamas posit absolute oneness, God is within man, God is within every being, God is present everywhere in the world including all non-living beings, there is no spiritual difference between life, matter and God; the parallel group among Vaishnavas are the Shuddhadvaitins. Scholars from both schools have written treatises ranging from dualism to monism. For example, Shivagrayogin has emphasized the non-difference or unity of being, rea
The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Sanskrit text on sexuality and emotional fulfillment in life. Attributed to Vātsyāyana, the Kama Sutra is neither nor predominantly a sex manual on sex positions, but written as a guide to the "art-of-living" well, the nature of love, finding a life partner, maintaining one's love life, other aspects pertaining to pleasure-oriented faculties of human life. Kamasutra is the oldest surviving Hindu text on erotic love, it is a sutra-genre text with terse aphoristic verses that have survived into the modern era with different bhasya. The text is a mix of prose and anustubh-meter poetry verses; the text acknowledges the Hindu concept of Purusharthas, lists desire and emotional fulfillment as one of the proper goals of life. Its chapters discuss methods for courtship, training in the arts to be engaging, finding a partner, maintaining power in a married life and how to commit adultery, sexual positions, other topics; the majority of the book is about the philosophy and theory of love, what triggers desire, what sustains it, how and when it is good or bad.
The text is one of many Indian texts on Kama Shastra. It is a much-translated work in non-Indian languages; the Kamasutra has influenced many secondary texts that followed after the 4th-century CE, as well as the Indian arts as exemplified by the pervasive presence Kama-related reliefs and sculpture in old Hindu temples. Of these, the Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is a UNESCO world heritage site. Among the surviving temples in north India, one in Rajasthan sculpts all the major chapters and sexual positions to illustrate the Kamasutra. According to Wendy Doniger, the Kamasutra became "one of the most pirated books in English language" soon after it was published in 1883 by Richard Burton; this first European edition by Burton does not faithfully reflect much in the Kamasutra because he revised the collaborative translation by Bhagavanlal Indrajit and Shivaram Parashuram Bhide with Forster Arbuthnot to suit 19th-century Victorian tastes. The original composition date or century for the Kamasutra is unknown.
Historians have variously placed it between 400 BCE and 300 CE. According to John Keay, the Kama Sutra is a compendium, collected into its present form in the 2nd century CE. In contrast, the Indologist Wendy Doniger who has co-translated Kama sutra and published many papers on related Hindu texts, the surviving version of the Kamasutra must have been revised or composed after 225 CE because it mentions the Abhiras and the Andhras dynasties that did not co-rule major regions of ancient India before that year; the text makes no mention of the Gupta Empire which ruled over major urban areas of ancient India, reshaping ancient Indian arts, Hindu culture and economy from the 4th-century through the 6th-century. For these reasons, she dates the Kama sutra to the second half of the 3rd-century CE; the place of its composition is unclear. The candidates are urban centers of north or northwest ancient India, alternatively in the eastern urban Pataliputra. Vatsyayana Mallanaga is its accepted author because his name is embedded in the colophon verse, but little is known about him.
Vatsyayana states. In the preface, Vatsyayana acknowledges that he is distilling many ancient texts, but these have not survived, he cites the work of others he calls "teachers" and "scholars", the longer texts by Auddalaki, Dattaka, Ghotakamukha, Gonikaputra and Kuchumara. Vatsyayana's Kamasutra is mentioned and some verses quoted in the Brihatsamhita of Varahamihira, as well as the poems of Kalidasa; this suggests he lived before the 5th-century CE. The Hindu tradition has the concept of the Purusharthas which outlines "four main goals of life", it holds that every human being has four proper goals that are necessary and sufficient for a fulfilling and happy life: Dharma – signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible, includes duties, laws, conduct and right way of living. Hindu dharma includes the religious duties, moral rights and duties of each individual, as well as behaviors that enable social order, right conduct, those that are virtuous.
Dharma, according to Van Buitenen, is that which all existing beings must accept and respect to sustain harmony and order in the world. It is, states Van Buitenen, the pursuit and execution of one's nature and true calling, thus playing one's role in cosmic concert. Artha – signifies the "means of life", activities and resources that enables one to be in a state one wants to be in. Artha incorporates wealth, activity to make a living, financial security and economic prosperity; the proper pursuit of artha is considered an important aim of human life in Hinduism. Kama – signifies desire, passion, pleasure of the senses, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, with or without sexual connotations. Gavin Flood explains kāma as "love" without violating dharma and one's journey towards moksha. Moksha – signifies emancipation, liberation or release. In some schools of Hinduism, moksha connotes freedom from saṃsāra, the cycle of death and rebirth, in other schools moksha connotes freedom, self-knowledge, self-realization and liberation in this life.
Each of these pursuits became a subject of study and led to prolific Sanskrit and some Prakrit languages literature in ancient India. Along with Dharmasastras and Mokshasastras, the Kamasastras genre have been preserved in palm leaf manuscripts; the K
Brahma Vaivarta Purana
The Brahmavaivarta Purana is a voluminous Sanskrit text and a major Purana of Hinduism. It centers around Krishna and Radha, is a Vaishnavism text, is considered one of the modern era Purana. Although a version may have existed in late 1st millennium CE, its extant version was composed in the 15th or 16th-century in the Bengal region of Indian subcontinent. Another text, with a similar-sounding title, called Brahmakaivarta Purana exists, is related, but was revised somewhere in South India. Numerous versions of this Purana exist, in up to 274 or 276 chapters, all claiming to be either part of, or manuscripts of the Brahmavaivarta Purana or the Brahmakaivarta Purana; the text is notable for identifying Krishna as the supreme Reality and asserting that all gods such as Vishnu, Brahma, Ganesha are same, all are incarnations of Krishna. All goddesses such as Radha, Lakshmi, Savitri are asserted by the Brahmavaivarta Purana to be equivalent and all incarnations of Prakruti, with legends similar to those found in the Mahabharata and the Devi Mahatmya.
The text is notable for glorifying the feminine through Radha and its egalitarian views that all women are manifestations of the divine female, co-creators of the universe, that any insult to a woman is an insult to goddess Radha. The mythology and stories of Brahmavaivarta Purana, along with Bhagavata Purana, have been influential to the Krishna-related Hindu traditions, as well as to dance and performance arts such as the Rasa Lila; the extant versions of Brahmavaivarta Purana text are unusual because goddess Radha is not mentioned in most other major Puranas. Further, this text is legends, worship and drama during the life of Radha and Krishna, with discussion of ethics, four stages of life and festivals embedded as part of the plot; the specific details in this Purana show the influence or knowledge of events traced to mid 2nd-millennium CE developments associated with Tantra, Bhakti saints such as Caitanya and others. This text is unlike the encyclopedic style found in all other major Puranas, for these reasons, predominant portions of this Purana are to be a 15th or 16th century composition.
The text likely existed much earlier, the older version was complete in the 8th to 10th century period. A version existed by 700 CE, adds Hazra. However, in its history, this Hindu text underwent major revisions, over the centuries; this text was revised in the Bengal region of South Asia. Another related text, called Brahmakaivarta Purana relatively modern but traced to South India, exists in many versions. There are a few manuscripts titled Adi brahmavaivarta purana, of unclear date of composition, proposed as the older original Purana, but these are different than the Brahmavaivarta Purana text considered as one of the 18 Mahapuranas; the older version of the Brahmavaivarta Purana was once influential in its own way, because Nibandha authors of 15th and 16th century quoted nearly 1,500 lines in texts such as the Smriti Candrika, which they claimed is in this Purana. However, only 30 of these lines are found in the extant manuscripts of Brahmavaivarta Purana suggesting massive rewrite of the original Purana over its history, in or after the 15th or 16th century.
The text includes Smriti chapters that, states Hazra, were inserted into the text after the 16th century. This modern content includes chapters on "mixed castes, duties of women, duties of varna, duties of individuals during their Ashrama and glorification of Brahmins, theory of hell in after-life, religious gift giving for merit"; the only Smriti chapters in surviving manuscripts, that can be found in older versions of this text are two, namely 4.8 and 4.26. These relate to Vrata; the text has four Khandas. The third khanda is called Ganapati-khanda; the tradition and other Puranas assert. The actual manuscripts have more than 18,000 verses, unlike other Puranas where they fall short; the Padma Purana categorizes Brahma Vaivarta Purana as a Rajas Purana. Scholars consider the Sattva-Rajas-Tamas classification as "entirely fanciful" and there is nothing in this text that justifies this classification; the text's title Brahmavaivarta means "metamorphosis of Brahman", identified with Krishna. This Purana takes a view on the creation where the Brahman as Krishna creates the universe and is the universe.
The evolution and the nature of the universe is presented through the legend of Radha and Krishna in this Purana. The seduction stories and legends of this text have attracted many scholarly studies; the first khanda presents the theme that Krishna is the primordial creator, universal soul and supreme reality concept called Brahman. The second part presents Prakriti or matter, which through mythology is equated to five goddesses – Radha, Lakshmi and Savitri. However, many other goddesses are introduced, but every goddess and feminine is asserted to be the same essence of Radha Prakriti; the third part presents Ganesha, the popular elephant headed god, his life story along with that of his family and brother, he is asserted to be an incarnation of Krishna as well. The last part of this Purana is all about Radha and Krishna, painted with erotic themes, hymns and mythology. Radha is presented as the power of Krishna, inseparable part; the Purana presents an egalitarian view towards women, wherein it asserts ideas such as, "all female beings have come forth out of the divine female" in chapter 4.13, that "every insult to a woman is an offence against divine Rädhä" in Prak
The Bhagavad Gita referred to as the Gita, is a 700-verse Sanskrit scripture, part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Pandava prince Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Krishna. At the start of the Dharma Yudhha between Pandavas and Kauravas, Arjuna is filled with moral dilemma and despair about the violence and death the war will cause, he wonders if he should renounce and seeks Krishna's counsel, whose answers and discourse constitute the Bhagadvad Gita. Krishna counsels Arjuna to "fulfill his Kshatriya duty to uphold the Dharma" through "selfless action"; the Krishna–Arjuna dialogue cover a broad range of spiritual topics, touching upon ethical dilemmas and philosophical issues that go far beyond the war Arjuna faces. The Bhagavad Gita presents a synthesis of Hindu ideas about dharma, theistic bhakti, the yogic paths to moksha; the synthesis presents four paths to spirituality – jnana, bhakti and raja yogas. These incorporate ideas from the Vedanta philosophies.
Numerous commentaries have been written on the Bhagavad Gita with differing views on the essentials. Vedanta commentators read varying relations between Self and Brahman in the text: Advaita Vedanta sees the non-dualism of Atman and Brahman as its essence, whereas Bhedabheda and Vishishtadvaita see Atman and Brahman as both different and non-different, Dvaita sees them as different; the setting of the Gita in a battlefield has been interpreted as an allegory for the ethical and moral struggles of the human life. The Bhagavad Gita is the best known and most famous of Hindu texts, with a unique pan-Hindu influence; the Gita's call for selfless action inspired many leaders of the Indian independence movement including Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi. The Gita in the title of the text "Bhagavad Gita" means "song". Religious leaders and scholars interpret the word "Bhagavad" in a number of ways. Accordingly, the title has been interpreted as "the Song of God" by the theistic schools, "the Song of the Lord", "the Divine Song", "the Celestial Song" by others.
The Bhagavad Gita is known as the Isvara Gita, the Ananta Gita, the Hari Gita, the Vyasa Gita, or as the Gita. In the Indian tradition, the Bhagavad Gita, as well as the epic Mahabharata of which it is a part, is attributed to sage Vyasa, whose full name was Krishna Dvaipayana called Veda-Vyasa. Another Hindu legend states that Vyasa narrated it while the elephant-headed deity Ganesha broke one of his tusks and wrote down the Mahabharata along with the Bhagavad Gita. Scholars consider Vyasa to be a mythical or symbolic author, in part because Vyasa is the traditional compiler of the Vedas and the Puranas, texts dated to be from different millennia; the word Vyasa means "arranger, compiler", is a surname in India. According to Kashi Nath Upadhyaya, a Gita scholar, it is possible that a number of different individuals with the same name compiled different texts. Swami Vivekananda, the 19th-century Hindu monk and Vedantist, stated that the Bhagavad Gita may be old but it was unknown in the Indian history till early 8th-century when Adi Shankara made it famous by writing his much-followed commentary on it.
Some infer, states Vivekananda, that "Shankaracharya was the author of Gita, that it was he who foisted it into the body of the Mahabharata." This attribution to Adi Shankara is unlikely in part because Shankara himself refers to the earlier commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, because other Hindu texts and traditions that compete with the ideas of Shankara refer to much older literature referencing the Bhagavad Gita, though much of this ancient secondary literature has not survived into the modern era. According to J. A. B. van Buitenen, an Indologist known for his translations and scholarship on Mahabharata, the Gita is so contextually and philosophically well knit with the Mahabharata that it was not an independent text that "somehow wandered into the epic". The Gita, states van Buitenen, was conceived and developed by the Mahabharata authors to "bring to a climax and solution the dharmic dilemma of a war". According to Alexus McLeod, a scholar of Philosophy and Asian Studies, it is "impossible to link the Bhagavad Gita to a single author", it may be the work of many authors.
This view is shared by the Indologist Arthur Basham, who states that there were three or more authors or compilers of Bhagavad Gita. This is evidenced by the discontinuous intermixing of philosophical verses with theistic or passionately theistic verses, according to Basham. Theories on the date of the composition of the Gita vary considerably. Scholars accept dates from the fifth century to the second century BCE as the probable range, the latter likely; the Hinduism scholar Jeaneane Fowler, in her commentary on the Gita, considers second century BCE to be the probable date of composition. J. A. B. van Buitenen too states that the Gita was composed about 200 BCE. According to the Indologist Arvind Sharma, the Gita is accepted to be a 2nd-century BCE text. Kashi Nath Upadhyaya, in contrast, dates it a bit earlier, he states that the Gita was always a part of the Mahabharata, dating the latter suffices in dating the Gita. On the basis of the estimated dates of Mahabharata as evidenced by exact quotes of it in the Buddhist literature by Asvaghosa, Upadhyaya states that the Mahabharata, therefore Gita, must have been well known by for a Buddhist to be quoting it.
This suggests a terminus ante quem of the Gita to be sometime prior to the 1st-century CE. He c
The Katha Upanishad is one of the mukhya Upanishads, embedded in the last short eight sections of the Kaṭha school of the Krishna Yajurveda. It is known as Kāṭhaka Upanishad, is listed as number 3 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads; the Katha Upanishad consists of each divided into three sections. The first Adhyaya is considered to be of older origin than the second; the Upanishad is the legendary story of a little boy, Nachiketa – the son of Sage Vajasravasa, who meets Yama. Their conversation evolves to a discussion of the nature of man, knowledge and moksha; the chronology of Katha Upanishad is unclear and contested, with Buddhism scholars stating it was composed after the early Buddhist texts, Hinduism scholars stating it was composed before the early Buddhist texts in 1st part of 1st millennium BCE. The Kathaka Upanishad is an important ancient Sanskrit corpus of the Vedanta sub-schools, an influential Śruti to the diverse schools of Hinduism, it asserts that "Atman exists", teaches the precept "seek Self-knowledge, Highest Bliss", expounds on this premise like the other primary Upanishads of Hinduism.
The Upanishad presents ideas that contrast Hinduism with Buddhism's assertion that "Soul, Self does not exist", Buddhism's precept that one should seek "Emptiness, Highest Bliss". The detailed teachings of Katha Upanishad have been variously interpreted, as Advaita, it is among the most studied Upanishads. Katha Upanishad was translated into Persian in 17th century, copies of which were translated into Latin and distributed in Europe. Max Müller and many others have translated it. Other philosophers such as Arthur Schopenhauer praised it, Edwin Arnold rendered it in verse as "The Secret of Death", Ralph Waldo Emerson credited Katha Upanishad for the central story at the end of his essay Immortality, as well as his poem "Brahma". Katha means "distress". Katha is the name of a sage, credited as the founder of a branch of the Krishna Yajur-veda, as well as the term for a female pupil or follower of Kathas school of Yajurveda. Paul Deussen notes that the Katha Upanishad uses words that symbolically embed and creatively have multiple meanings.
For example, a pronounced word Katha means "story, conversation, tale". All of these related meanings are relevant to the Katha Upanishad. Nachiketa, the boy and a central character in the Katha Upanishad legend has related words with roots and meanings relevant to the text. Paul Deussen suggests Na kṣiti and Na aksiyete, which are word plays of and pronounced similar to Nachiketa, means "non-decay, or what does not decay", a meaning, relevant to second boon portion of the Nachiketa story. Na jiti is another word play and means "that which cannot be vanquished", contextually relevant to the Nachiketa's third boon. Both Whitney and Deussen independently suggest yet another variation to Nachiketa, with etymological roots, relevant to Katha Upanishad: the word Na-ciketa means "I do not know, or he does not know"; some of these Sanskrit word plays are incorporated within the Upanishad's text. Like Taittiriya Upanishad of Yajurveda, each section of the Katha Upanishad is called a Valli, which means a medicinal vine-like climbing plant that grows independently yet is attached to a main tree.
Paul Deussen states that this symbolic terminology is apt and reflects the root and nature of the Upanishads in Black Yajur veda, which too is independent of the liturgical Yajur Veda, is attached to the main text. The chronology of Katha Upanishad contested by scholars. All opinions rest on scanty evidence, an analysis of archaism and repetitions across texts, driven by assumptions about evolution of ideas, on presumptions about which philosophy might have influenced which other Indian philosophies. Buddhism scholars such as Richard King date Katha Upanishad's composition to the 5th century BCE, chronologically placing it after the first Buddhist Pali canons. Hinduism scholars such as Stephen Phillips note the disagreement between modern scholars. Phillips dates Katha Upanishad as having been composed after Brihadaranyaka, Isha, Taittiriya and Kena, but before Mundaka, Mandukya and Maitri Upanishads, as well as before the earliest Buddhist Pali and Jaina canons. Ranade posits a view similar to Phillips, with different ordering, placing Katha's chronological composition in the fourth group of ancient Upanishads along with Mundaka and Svetasvatara.
Paul Deussen too considers Katha Upanishad to be a post-prose, yet earlier stage Upanishad composed about the time Kena and Isha Upanishads were, because of the poetic, mathematical metric structure of its hymns. Winternitz considers the Kathaka Upanishad as pre-Jaina literature; the Katha Upanishad has each with three sections, thus a total of six sections. The first section has 29 verses, the second section 25 verses, the third presents 17; the second chapter opens with the fourth section of the Katha Upanishad and has 15 verses, while the fifth valli has 15 verses. The final section has 17 verses; the first chapter with the first three vallis is considered older, because the third section ends with a structure in Sanskrit, found at closing of other Upanishads, because the central ideas are repeated though expanded in the last three sections, the second chapter. This, does
The Isha Upanishad is one of the shortest Upanishads, embedded as the final chapter of the Shukla Yajurveda. It is a Mukhya Upanishad, is known in two recensions, called Kanva and Madhyandina; the Upanishad is a brief poem, consisting depending on the recension. It is a key scripture of the Vedanta sub-schools, an influential Śruti to diverse schools of Hinduism; the name of the text derives from its incipit, īśā vāsyam, "enveloped by the Lord", or "hidden in the Lord". The text discusses the Atman theory of Hinduism, is referenced by both Dvaita and Advaita sub-schools of Vedanta, it is classified as a "poetic Upanishad" along with Kena, Katha and Mundaka by Paul Deussen. The root of the word Ishvara comes from īś- which means "capable of" and "owner, chief of" cognate with English own; the word Isha means "ruler, lord". The term vāsyam means "hidden in, covered with, enveloped by". Ralph Griffith and Max Muller, each interpret the term "Isha" in the Upanishad interchangeably as "Lord" and "Self".
Puqun Li translates the title of the Upanishad as "the ruler of the Self". The Upanishad is known as Ishavasya Upanishad and Vajasaneyi Samhita Upanishad; the chronology of Isha Upanishad, along with other Vedic era literature, is unclear and contested by scholars. All opinions rest on scanty evidence, assumptions about evolution of ideas, on presumptions about which philosophy might have influenced which other Indian philosophies. Buddhism scholars such as Richard King date Isha Upanishad's composition to the second half of the first millennium BCE, chronologically placing it after the first Buddhist Pali canons. Hinduism scholars such as Stephen Phillips note the disagreement between modern scholars. Phillips suggests that Isha Upanishad was one of the earliest Upanishads, composed in the 1st half of 1st millennium BCE, after Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya, but before Taittiriya, Kaushitaki, Katha, Prasna and Maitri Upanishads, as well as before the earliest Buddhist Pali and Jaina canons. Earlier 19th and 20th century scholars have expressed a spectrum of views.
Isha Upanishad has been chronologically listed by them as being among early Upanishads to being one among the middle Upanishads. Deussen suggested, for example, that Isha was composed after ancient prose Upanishads - Brihadaranyaka, Taittiriya, Aitareya and Kena. Further, he suggests that Isha was composed before other prose Upanishads such as Prasna, Maitri and all post-Vedic era Upanishads. Winternitz, suggests that Isha Upanishad was a pre-Buddha composition along with Katha, Svetasvatara and Prasna Upanishad, but after the first phase of ancient Upanishads that were composed in prose such as Brihadaranyaka, Taittiriya, Aitareya and Kena. Winternitz states that Isha was composed before post-Buddhist Upanishads such as Maitri and Mandukya. Ranade posits that Isha was composed in the second group of Upanishads along with Kena Upanishad, right after the first group of Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya, but chronologically before Taittiriya, Kaushitaki, Mundaka, Prasna and Maitrayani. Isha Upanishad is the only Upanishad, attached to a Samhita, the most ancient layer of Vedic text known for their mantras and benedictions.
Other Upanishads are attached to a layer of Vedic texts such as Brahmanas and Aranyakas. Max Muller notes that this does not mean that Isha Upanishad is among the oldest, because Shukla Yajur Veda is acknowledged to be of a origin than textual layers of other Vedas such as the Rig Veda; the 8th-century Indian scholar Adi Shankara, in his Bhasya noted that the mantras and hymns of Isha Upanishad are not used in rituals, because their purpose is to enlighten the reader as to "what is the nature of soul?". Isha Upanishad is a philosophical text; the Isha Upanishad manuscript differs in the two shakhas of the Shukla Yajurveda. These are called the Madhyandina recensions; the order of verses 1–8 is the same in both, however Kanva verses 9–14 correspond to Madhyandina verses 12, 13, 14, 9, 10, 11. Madhyandina verse 17 is a variation of Kanva 15, Kanva verse 16 is missing in Madhyandina, Kanva verses 17–18 correspond to Madhyandina 15–16. In both recensions, the Isha Upanishad is the 40th chapter of Shukla Yajur Veda.
Versions with 18 verses refer to Kanva. The Isha Upanishad is significant for its singular mention of the term "Isha" in the first hymn, a term it never repeats in other hymns; the concept "Isha" exhibits monism in one interpretation, or a form of monotheism in the alternate interpretation, referred to as "Self" or "Deity Lord" respectively. Enveloped by the Lord must be This All — each thing that moves on earth. With that renounced, enjoy thyself. Covet no wealth of any man. Ralph Griffith interprets the word "Isha" contextually, translates it as "the Lord", clarifies that this "the Lord" means "the Soul of All, thy inmost Self – the only Absolute Reality"; the term "This All" is the empirical reality, while the term "renounced" is referring the Indian concept of sannyasa, "enjoy thyself" is referring to the "blissful delight of Self-realization". The Advaita Vedanta scholar Shankara inter