The Rigveda is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns along with associated commentaries on liturgy and mystical exegesis. It is one of the four sacred canonical texts of Hinduism known as the Vedas; the core text, known as the Rigveda Samhita, is a collection of 1,028 hymns in about 10,600 verses, organized into ten books. In the eight books that were composed the earliest, the hymns are praise of specific deities; the younger books in part deal with philosophical or speculative questions, with the virtue of dāna in society and with other metaphysical issues in their hymns. The oldest layers of the Rigveda Samhita are among the oldest extant texts in any Indo-European language of similar age as certain Hittite texts. Philological and linguistic evidence indicates that the bulk of the Rigveda Samhita was composed in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, most between c. 1500 and 1200 BC, although a wider approximation of c. 1700–1100 BC has been given. The initial codification of the Rigveda took place during the early Kuru kingdom.
Some of its verses continue to be recited during Hindu rites of passage celebrations and prayers, making it the world's oldest religious text in continued use. The associated material has been preserved from two shakhas or "schools", known as Śākalya and Bāṣkala; the school-specific commentaries are known as Brahmanas Aranyakas, Upanishads. The text maṇḍalas, of varying age and length; the text originates as oral literature, "books" may be a misleading term, the individual mandalas are, much rather, standalone collections of hymns that were intended to be memorized by the members of various groups of priests. This is true of the "family books", mandalas 2–7, which form the oldest part of the Rigveda and account for 38 per cent of the entire text, they are called "family books" because each of them is attributed to an individual rishi, was transmitted within the lineage of this rishi's family, or of his students. The hymns within each of the family books are arranged in collections each dealing with a particular deity: Agni comes first, Indra comes second, so on.
They are arranged by decreasing number of hymns within each section. Within each such collection, the hymns are arranged in descending order of the number of stanzas per hymn. If two hymns in the same collection have equal numbers of stanzas they are arranged so that the number of syllables in the metre are in descending order; the second to seventh mandalas have a uniform format. The eighth and ninth mandalas, comprising hymns of mixed age, account for 9 %, respectively; the ninth mandala is dedicated to Soma and the Soma ritual. The hymns in the ninth mandala are arranged by their length; the first and the tenth mandalas are the youngest. Some of the hymns in mandalas 8, 1 and 10 may still belong to an earlier period and may be as old as the material in the family books; the first mandala has a unique arrangement not found in the other nine mandalas. The first 84 hymns of the tenth mandala have a structure different than the remaining hymns in it; each mandala consists of sūktas intended for various rituals.
The sūktas in turn consist of individual stanzas called ṛc, which are further analysed into units of verse called pada. The meters most used in the ṛcas are the gayatri, anushtubh and jagati; the trishtubh meter and gayatri meter dominate in the Rigveda. For pedagogical convenience, each mandala is divided into equal sections of several sūktas, called anuvāka, which modern publishers omit. Another scheme divides the entire text over the 10 mandalas into adhyāya and varga; some publishers give both classifications in a single edition. The most common numbering scheme is by book and stanza. E.g. the first verse is in three times eight syllables: 1.1.1a agním ī́ḷe puróhitaṃ 1b yajñásya deváṃ ṛtvíjam 1c hótāraṃ ratna-dhā́tamam "Agni I invoke, the house-priest / the god, minister of sacrifice / the presiding priest, bestower of wealth." Tradition associates a rishi with each ṛc of the Rigveda. Most sūktas are attributed to single composers; the "family books" are so-called. In all, 10 families of rishis account for more than 95 per cent of the ṛcs.
The original text is close to but not identical to the extant Samhitapatha, but metrical and other observations allow reconstruction of the original text from the extant one, as printed in the Harvard Oriental Series, vol. 50. The surviving form of the Rigveda is based on an early Iron Age collection that established the core'family books' and a redaction, co
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 Samaveda, is the Veda of melodies and chants. It is an ancient Vedic Sanskrit text, part of the scriptures of Hinduism. One of the four Vedas, it is a liturgical text. All but 75 verses have been taken from the Rigveda. Three recensions of the Samaveda have survived, variant manuscripts of the Veda have been found in various parts of India. While its earliest parts are believed to date from as early as the Rigvedic period, the existing compilation dates from the post-Rigvedic Mantra period of Vedic Sanskrit, c. 1200 or 1000 BCE contemporary with the Atharvaveda and the Yajurveda. Embedded inside the Samaveda is the studied Chandogya Upanishad and Kena Upanishad, considered as primary Upanishads and as influential on the six schools of Hindu philosophy the Vedanta school; the classical Indian music and dance tradition considers the chants and melodies in Samaveda as one of its roots. It is referred to as Sama Veda; the Samaveda is the Veda of Chants, or "storehouse of knowledge of chants". According to Frits Staal, it is "the Rigveda set to music".
It is a fusion of the Rig verses. It has far fewer verses than Rigveda, but Samaveda is textually larger because it lists all the chant- and rituals-related score modifications of the verses; the Samaveda text contains notated melodies, these are the world's oldest surviving ones. The musical notation is written immediately above, sometimes within, the line of Samaveda text, either in syllabic or a numerical form depending on the Samavedic Sakha. R. T. H. Griffith says that there are three recensions of the text of the Samaveda Samhita: the Kauthuma recension is current in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and since a few decades in Darbhanga, the Rāṇāyanīya in the Maharashtra, Gokarna, few parts of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and the Jaiminiya in the Carnatic, Tamil Nadu and Kerala The Samaveda comprises two major parts; the first part include four melody collections and the second part three verse "books". A melody in the song books corresponds to a verse in the arcika books; the Gana collection is subdivided into Gramageya and Aranyageya, while the Arcika portion is subdivided into Purvarcika and Uttararcika portions.
The Purvarcika portion of the text has 585 single stanza verses and is organized in order of deities, while Uttararcika text is ordered by rituals. The Gramageya melodies are those for public recitations, while Aranyageya melodies are for personal meditative use such as in the solitude of a forest; the Purvarcika collection were sung to melodies described in the Gramageya-Gānas index, the rules of how the verses mapped to verses is described in the Sanskrit texts such as the Puspasutra. Just like Rigveda, the early sections of Samaveda begin with Agni and Indra hymns but shift to abstract speculations and philosophy, their meters too shifts in a descending order; the sections of the Samaveda, states Witzel, have least deviation from substance of hymns they derive from Rigveda into songs. The purpose of Samaveda was liturgical, they were the repertoire of the udgātṛ or "singer" priests; the Samaveda, like other Vedas, contains several layers of text, with Samhita being the oldest and the Upanishads the youngest layer.
The Samaveda consists of 1,549 unique verses, taken entirely from Rigveda, except for 75 verses. The largest number of verse come from Books 8 of the Rig Veda; some of the Rigvedic verses are repeated more than once. Including these repetitions, there are a total of 1,875 verses numbered in the Samaveda recension translated by Griffith. Samaveda samhita is not meant to be read as a text, it is like a musical score sheet that must be heard. Staal states that the melodies existed before the verses in ancient India, the words of the Rigveda verses were mapped into those pre-existing melodies, because some early words fit and flow, while words do not quite fit the melody in the same verse; the text uses creative structures, called Stobha, to help embellish, transform or play with the words so that they better fit into a desired musical harmony. Some verses add in meaningless sounds of a lullaby, for the same reason, remarks Staal, thus the contents of the Samaveda represent a tradition and a creative synthesis of music, sounds and spirituality, the text was not a sudden inspiration.
The portion of the first song of Samaveda illustrates the link and mapping of Rigvedic verses into a melodic chant: Two primary Upanishads of Hinduism are embedded inside the Samaveda – the Chandogya Upanishad and the Kena Upanishad. Both are notable for the lifting metric melodic structure, but it is Chandogya which has played a historic role in the evolution of various schools of Hindu philosophy; the embedded philosophical premises in Chandogya Upanishad have, for example, 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 Chandogya 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, but it is the youngest layer of text in the Samaveda, it is variously dated to have been composed by 8th to 6th century BCE in India. The Chandogya text combines a metric, melodic structure with a wide range of specu
Sutra in Indian literary traditions refers to an aphorism or a collection of aphorisms in the form of a manual or, more broadly, a condensed manual or text. Sutras are a genre of ancient and medieval Indian texts found in Hinduism and Jainism. In Hinduism, sutras are a distinct type of literary composition, a compilation of short aphoristic statements; each sutra is any short rule, like a theorem distilled into few words or syllables, around which teachings of ritual, grammar, or any field of knowledge can be woven. The oldest sutras of Hinduism are found in the Aranyaka layers of the Vedas; every school of Hindu philosophy, Vedic guides for rites of passage, various fields of arts and social ethics developed respective sutras, which helped teach and transmit ideas from one generation to the next. In Buddhism, sutras known as suttas, are canonical scriptures, many of which are regarded as records of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha, they are quite detailed, sometimes with repetition. This may reflect a philological root of sukta, rather than sutra.
In Jainism, sutras known as suyas are canonical sermons of Mahavira contained in the Jain Agamas as well as some normative texts. The Sanskrit word Sūtra means "string, thread"; the root of the word is that which sews and holds things together. The word is related to sūci meaning "needle, list", sūnā meaning "woven". In the context of literature, sūtra means a distilled collection of syllables and words, any form or manual of "aphorism, direction" hanging together like threads with which the teachings of ritual, grammar, or any field of knowledge can be woven. A sūtra is states Moriz Winternitz, in Indian literature. A collection of sūtras becomes a text, this is called sūtra. A sūtra is different from other components such as Shlokas and Vyakhyas found in ancient Indian literature. A sūtra is a condensed rule which succinctly states the message, while a Shloka is a verse that conveys the complete message and is structured to certain rules of musical meter, a Anuvyakhaya is an explanation of the reviewed text, while a Vyakhya is a comment by the reviewer.
Sutras first appear in the Aranyaka layer of Vedic literature. They grow in the Vedangas, such as the Shrauta Sutras and Kalpa Sutras; these were designed so that they can be communicated from a teacher to student, memorized by the recipient for discussion or self-study or as reference. A sutra by itself is condensed shorthand, the threads of syllable are difficult to decipher or understand, without associated scholarly Bhasya or deciphering commentary that fills in the "woof"; the oldest manuscripts that have survived into the modern era, that contain extensive sutras, are part of the Vedas dated to be from the late 2nd millennium BCE through mid 1st-millennium BCE. The Aitareya Aranyaka for example, states Winternitz, is a collection of sutras, their use and ancient roots are attested by sutras being mentioned in larger genre of ancient non-Vedic Hindu literature called Gatha, Narashansi and Akhyana. In the history of Indian literature, large compilations of sutras, in diverse fields of knowledge, have been traced to the period from 600 BCE to 200 BCE, this has been called the "sutras period".
This period followed Mantra period and Brahmana period. Some of the earliest surviving specimen of sutras of Hinduism are found in the Anupada Sutras and Nidana Sutras; the former distills the epistemic debate whether Sruti or Smriti or neither must be considered the more reliable source of knowledge, while the latter distills the rules of musical meters for Samaveda chants and songs. A larger collection of ancient sutra literature in Hinduism corresponds to the six Vedangas, or six limbs of the Vedas; these are six subjects. The six subjects with their own sutras were "pronunciation, grammar, explanation of words, time keeping through astronomy, ceremonial rituals; the first two, states Max Muller, were considered in the Vedic era to be necessary for reading the Veda, the second two for understanding it, the last two for deploying the Vedic knowledge at yajnas. The sutras corresponding to these are embedded inside the Aranyaka layers of the Vedas. Taittiriya Aranyaka, for example in Book 7, embeds sutras for accurate pronunciation after the terse phrases "On Letters", "On Accents", "On Quantity", "On Delivery", "On Euphonic Laws".
The fourth and the last layer of philosophical, speculative text in the Vedas, the Upanishads, too have embedded sutras such as those found in the Taittiriya Upanishad. The compendium of ancient Vedic sutra literature that has survived, in full or fragments, includes the Kalpa Sutras, Smarta Sutras, Srauta Sutras, Dharma Sutras, Grhya Sutras, Sulba Sutras. Other fields for which ancient sutras are known include etymology and grammar; some examples of sutra texts in various schools of Hindu philosophy include: Brahma Sutras – a Sanskrit text, composed by Badarayana sometime between 200 BCE to 200 CE. The text contains 555 sutras in four chapters that summarize the philosophical and spiritual ideas in the Upanishads, it is one of the foundational texts of the Vedānta school of Hindu philos
The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is one of the Principal Upanishads and one of the oldest Upanishadic scriptures of Hinduism. A key scripture to various schools of Hinduism, the Brihadaranyaka Upanisad is tenth in the Muktikā or "canon of 108 Upanishads"; the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is estimated to have been composed about 700 BCE, excluding some parts estimated to have been composed after the Chandogya Upanishad. The Sanskrit language text is contained within the Shatapatha Brahmana, itself a part of the Shukla Yajur Veda; the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is a treatise on Ātman, includes passages on metaphysics, ethics and a yearning for knowledge that influenced various Indian religions and medieval scholars, attracted secondary works such as those by Madhvacharya and Adi Shankara. The chronology of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, like other Upanishads, is uncertain and contested; the chronology is difficult to resolve 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 Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, along with Chandogya 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; the exact year, the century of the Upanishad composition is unknown. Scholars have offered different estimates ranging from 900 BCE to 600 BCE. Brihadaranyaka is one of the oldest Upanishads, along with that of Jaiminiya Upanishad and Chandogya Upanishads; the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad was in all likelihood composed in the earlier part of 1st millennium BCE, around 700 BCE, give or take a century or so, according to Patrick Olivelle. It is that the text was a living document and some verses were edited over a period of time before the 6th century BCE.
The title Brihadaranyaka Upanishad means "great wilderness or forest Upaniṣhad". It is credited to ancient sage Yajnavalkya, but refined by a number of ancient Vedic scholars; the Upanishad forms the last part, the fourteenth kānda of Śatapatha Brāhmana of "Śhukla Yajurveda". The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad has six adhyayas in total. There are two major recensions for the text - the Kanva recensions, it includes three sections: Muni kānda and Khila kānda. The first and second chapters of the Upanishad's Madhu kānda consists of six brahmanams each, with varying number of hymns per brahmanam; the first chapter of the Upanishad's Yajnavalkya kānda consists of nine brahmanams, while the second has six brahmanams. The Khila kānda of the Upanishad has fifteen brahmanams in its first chapter, five brahmanams in the second chapter; the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad starts by stating one of many Vedic theories of creation of the universe. It asserts that there was nothing before the universe started Prajapati created from this nothing the universe as a sacrifice to himself, imbued it with Prana to preserve it in the form of cosmic inert matter and individual psychic energy.
The world is more than matter and energy, asserts Brihadaranyaka, it is constituted of Atman or Brahman as well as Knowledge. The Brahmana 4 in the first chapter, announces the Upanishad's non-dual, monistic metaphysical premise that Atman and Brahman are identical Oneness, with the assertion that because the universe came out of nothingness when the only principle existent was "I am he", the universe after it came into existence continues as Aham brahma asmi. In the last brahmana of the first chapter, the Upanishad explains that the Atman inspires by being self-evident, through empowering forms, through action; the Soul, states Brihadaranyaka, is the imperishable one, invisible and concealed pervading all reality. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad starts the second chapter as a conversation between Ajatashatru and Balaki Gargya on theory of dreams, positing that human beings see dreams unto themselves because mind draws, in itself, the powers of sensory organs, which it releases in the waking state.
It asserts that this empirical fact about dreams suggests that human mind has the power to perceive the world as it is, as well as fabricate the world as it wants to perceive it. Mind is a means, prone to flaws; the struggle man faces, asserts Brihadaranyaka in brahmana 3, is in his attempt to realize the "true reality behind perceived reality". That is Atman-Brahman and blissfully existent, yet unknowable because it has no qualities, no characteristics, it is "neti, neti". In fourth brahmana, the Upanishad presents a dialogue between a husband and wife, as Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi, on nature of love and spirituality and how is Atman related to deep connection and bonds between human beings. Yajnavalkya states that one doesn't connect with and love forms, nor does one connect or love mind, rather one connects with the Self, the Soul of one's own and one's beloved. All love is for the sake of one's Self, the Oneness one rea
The word Puranas means "ancient, old", it is a vast genre of Indian literature about a wide range of topics myths and other traditional lore. Composed in Sanskrit, but in regional languages, several of these texts are named after major Hindu deities such as Vishnu and Devi; the Puranas genre of literature is found in both Jainism. The Puranic literature is encyclopedic, it includes diverse topics such as cosmogony, genealogies of gods, kings, heroes and demigods, folk tales, temples, astronomy, mineralogy, love stories, as well as theology and philosophy; the content is inconsistent across the Puranas, each Purana has survived in numerous manuscripts which are themselves inconsistent. The Hindu Puranas are anonymous texts and the work of many authors over the centuries. There are 18 Maha Puranas and 18 Upa Puranas, with over 400,000 verses; the first versions of the various Puranas were composed between the 3rd- and 10th-century CE. The Puranas are considered a Smriti, they have been influential in the Hindu culture, inspiring major national and regional annual festivals of Hinduism.
Their role and value as sectarian religious texts and historical texts has been controversial because all Puranas praise many gods and goddesses and "their sectarianism is far less clear cut" than assumed, states Ludo Rocher. The religious practices included in them are considered Vaidika, because they do not preach initiation into Tantra; the Bhagavata Purana has been among the most celebrated and popular text in the Puranic genre, is of non-dualistic tenor. The Puranic literature wove with the Bhakti movement in India, both Dvaita and Advaita scholars have commented on the underlying Vedantic themes in the Maha Puranas. Douglas Harper states that the etymological origins of Puranas are from Sanskrit Puranah "ancient, former," from pura "formerly, before," cognate with Greek paros "before," pro "before," Avestan paro "before," Old English fore, from Proto-Indo-European *pre-, from *per-." Vyasa, the narrator of the Mahabharata, is hagiographically credited as the compiler of the Puranas. The ancient tradition suggests that there was but one Purana.
Vishnu Purana mentions that Vyasa entrusted his Puranasamhita to his disciple Lomaharshana, who in turn imparted it to his disciples, three of whom compiled their own samhitas. These three, together with Lomaharshana's, comprise the Mulasamhita, from which the eighteen Puranas were derived; the term Purana appears in the Vedic texts. For example, Atharva Veda mentions Purana in XI.7.24 and XV.6.10-11:"The rk and saman verses, the chandas, the Purana along with the Yajus formulae, all sprang from the remainder of the sacrificial food, the gods that resort to heaven. He changed his place and went over to great direction, Itihasa and Purana, verses in praise of heroes followed in going over." The Shatapatha Brahmana mentions Itihasapuranam and recommends that on the 9th day of Pariplava, the hotr priest should narrate some Purana because "the Purana is the Veda, this it is". However, states P. V. Kane, it is not certain whether these texts suggested several works or single work with the term Purana.
The late Vedic text Taittiriya Aranyaka uses the term in the plural. Therefore, states Kane, that in the Vedic period at least, the Puranas referred to three or more texts, that they were studied and recited In numerous passages the Mahabharata mentions'Purana' in both singular and plural forms. Moreover, it is not unlikely that, where the singular'Puranam' was employed in the texts, a class of works was meant. Further, despite the mention of the term Purana or Puranas in the Vedic texts, there is uncertainty about the contents of them until the composition of the oldest Dharmashastra Apastamba Dharmasutra and Gautama Dharmasutra, that mention Puranas resembling with the extant Puranas. Another early mention of the term'Itihas-purana' is found in the Chandogya Upanishad, translated by Patrick Olivelle as "the corpus of histories and ancient tales as the fifth Veda"; the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad refers to purana as the "fifth Veda",According to Thomas Coburn and early extra-puranic texts attest to two traditions regarding their origin, one proclaiming a divine origin as the breath of the Great Being, the other as a human named Vyasa as the arranger of existing material into eighteen Puranas.
In the early references, states Coburn, the term Purana occurs in singular unlike the era which refers to a plural form because they had assumed their "multifarious form". While both these traditions disagree on the origins of the Puranas, they affirm that extant Puranas are not identical with the original Purana. According to the Indologists J. A. B. van Buitenen and Cornelia Dimmitt, the Puranas that have survived into the modern era are ancient but represent "an amalgam of two somewhat different but never different separate oral literatures: the Brahmin tradition stemming from the reciters of the Vedas, the bardic poetry recited by Sutas, handed down in Kshatriya circles". The original Puranas comes from the priestly roots while the genealogies have the warrior and epic roots; these texts were collected for the "second time between the fourth and sixth centuries A. D. under the rule of the Gupta kings", a period of Hindu renaissance. However, the editing and expan
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