The Shvetashvatara Upanishad is an ancient Sanskrit text embedded in the Yajurveda. It is listed as number 14 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads; the Upanishad contains 113 verses in six chapters. The Upanishad is one of the 33 Upanishads from Taittiriyas, associated with the Shvetashvatara tradition within Karakas sakha of the Yajurveda, it is a part of the "black" Yajurveda, with the term "black" implying "the un-arranged, motley collection" of content in Yajurveda, in contrast to the "white" Yajurveda where Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and Isha Upanishad are embedded. The chronology of Maitrayaniya Upanishad is contested, but accepted to be a late period Upanishadic composition; the text includes a closing credit to sage Shvetashvatara, considered the author of the Upanishad. However, scholars believe that while sections of the text shows an individual stamp by its style and other sections were interpolated and expanded over time; the Shvetashvatara Upanishad opens with metaphysical questions about the primal cause of all existence, its origin, its end, what role, if any, nature, necessity and the spirit had as the primal cause.
It develops its answer, concluding that "the Universal Soul exists in every individual, it expresses itself in every creature, everything in the world is a projection of it, that there is Oneness, a unity of souls in one and only Self". The text is notable for its discussion of the concept of personal god – Ishvara, suggesting it to be a path to one's own Highest Self; the text is notable for its multiple mentions of both Rudra and Shiva, along with other Vedic deities, of crystallization of Shiva as a central theme. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad is a Principal Upanishad of Hinduism, commented by many of its ancient and medieval scholars, it is a foundational text of the philosophy of Shaivism, as well as the Yoga and Vedanta schools of Hinduism. Some 19th century scholars suggested that Shvetashvatara Upanishad is sectarian or influenced by Christianity, hypotheses that were disputed discarded by scholars; the name "Shvetashvatara" has the compound Sanskrit root Shvetashva, which means "white horse" and "drawn by white steeds".
Shvetashvatara is a bahuvrihi compound of, where tara means "crossing", "carrying beyond". The word Shvetashvatara translates to "the one carrying beyond on white horse" or "white mule that carries"; the text is sometimes spelled as Svetasvatara Upanishad. It is known as Shvetashvataropanishad or Svetasvataropanishad, as Shvetashvataranam Mantropanishad. In ancient and medieval literature, the text is referred to in the plural, as Svetasvataropanishadah; some metric poetic verses, such as Vakaspatyam refer to the text as Shvetashva. Flood as well as Gorski state that the Svetasvatara Upanishad was composed in the 5th to 4th century BCE. Paul Muller-Ortega dates the text between 6th to 5th century BCE; the chronology of Shvetashvatara 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.
Phillips chronologically lists Shvetashvatara Upanishad after Mandukya Upanishad, but before and about the time the Maitri Upanishad, the first Buddhist Pali and Jaina canonical texts were composed. Ranade places Shvetashvatara Upanishad's chronological composition in the fourth group of ancient Upanishads, after Katha and Mundaka Upanishads. Deussen states that Shvetashvatara Upanishad refers to and incorporates phrases from the Katha Upanishad, chronologically followed it; some sections of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad are found in its entirety, in chronologically more ancient Sanskrit texts. For example, verses 2.1 through 2.3 are found in chapter 4.1.1 of Taittiriya Samhita as well as in chapter 6.3.1 of Shatapatha Brahmana, while verses 2.4 and 2.5 are found as hymns in chapters 5.81 and 10.13 of Rig Veda respectively. Many verses in chapters 3 through 6 are found, in nearly identical form in the Samhitas of Rig Veda, Atharva Veda and Yajur Veda; the text has six Adhyaya, each with varying number of verses.
The first chapter includes 16 verses, the second has 17, the third chapter contains 21 verses, the fourth is composed of 22, the fifth has 14, while the sixth chapter has 23 verses. The last three verses of the sixth chapter are considered as epilogue. Thus, the Upanishad has 3 epilogue verses; the epilogue verse 6.21 is a homage to sage Shvetashvatara for proclaiming Brahman-knowledge to ascetics. This closing credit is structurally notable because of its rarity in ancient Indian texts, as well as for its implication that the four-stage Ashrama system of Hinduism, with ascetic Sannyasa, was an established tradition by the time verse 6.21 of Shvetashvatara Upanishad was composed. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad has structure. However, unlike other ancient poetic Upanishads, the meter structure of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad varies is arbitrary and inconsistent within many verses in chapters, some such as verse 2.17 lack a definite poetic meter suggesting that the text congealed from the work of several authors over a period of time, or was interpolated and expanded over time.
The first chapter is the consistent one, with characteristics that makes it like
Hindu texts are manuscripts and historical literature related to any of the diverse traditions within Hinduism. A few texts are broadly considered as Hindu scriptures; these include the Upanishads. Scholars hesitate in defining the term "Hindu scripture" given the diverse nature of Hinduism, many include Bhagavad Gita and Agamas as Hindu scriptures, while Dominic Goodall includes Bhagavata Purana and Yajnavalkya Smriti to the list of Hindu scriptures. There are two historic classifications of Hindu texts: Shruti – that, heard, Smriti – that, remembered; the Śruti refers to the body of most authoritative, ancient religious texts, believed to be eternal knowledge authored neither by human nor divine agent but transmitted by sages. These comprise the central canon of Hinduism, it includes the four Vedas including its four types of embedded texts - the Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the early Upanishads. Of the Shrutis, the Upanishads alone are influential among Hindus, considered scriptures par excellence of Hinduism, their central ideas have continued to influence its thoughts and traditions.
The Smriti texts are a specific body of Hindu texts attributed to an author, as a derivative work they are considered less authoritative than Sruti in Hinduism. The Smrti literature is a vast corpus of diverse texts, includes but is not limited to Vedāngas, the Hindu epics, the Sutras and Shastras, the texts of Hindu philosophies, the Puranas, the Kāvya or poetical literature, the Bhasyas, numerous Nibandhas covering politics, culture and society. Many ancient and medieval Hindu texts were composed in Sanskrit, many others in regional Indian languages. In modern times, most ancient texts have been translated into other Indian languages and some in Western languages. Prior to the start of the common era, the Hindu texts were composed orally memorized and transmitted orally, from one generation to next, for more than a millennia before they were written down into manuscripts; this verbal tradition of preserving and transmitting Hindu texts, from one generation to next, continued into the modern era.
The Vedas are a large body of Hindu texts originating in ancient India, with its Samhita and Brahmanas complete before about 800 BCE. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit hymns, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless"; the knowledge in the Vedas is believed in Hinduism to be eternal, neither authored by human nor by divine source, but seen and transmitted by sages. Vedas are called śruti literature, distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called smṛti; the Veda, for orthodox Indian theologians, are considered revelations, some way or other the work of the Deity. In the Hindu Epic the Mahabharata, the creation of Vedas is credited to Brahma. There are four Vedas: the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda; each Veda has been subclassified into four major text types – the Samhitas, the Aranyakas, the Brahmanas, the Upanishads.
The Upanishads are a collection of Hindu texts which contain some of the central philosophical concepts of Hinduism. The Upanishads are referred to as Vedānta, variously interpreted to mean either the "last chapters, parts of the Veda" or "the object, the highest purpose of the Veda"; the concepts of Brahman and Ātman are central ideas in all the Upanishads, "Know your Ātman" their thematic focus. The Upanishads are the foundation of its diverse traditions. Of the Vedic corpus, they alone are known, the central ideas of the Upanishads have had a lasting influence on Hindu philosophy. More than 200 Upanishads are known, of which the first dozen or so are the oldest and most important and are referred to as the principal or main Upanishads; the mukhya Upanishads are found in the concluding part of the Brahmanas and Aranyakas and were, for centuries, memorized by each generation and passed down verbally. The early Upanishads all predate the Common Era, some in all likelihood pre-Buddhist, down to the Maurya period.
Of the remainder, some 95 Upanishads are part of the Muktika canon, composed from about the start of common era through medieval Hinduism. New Upanishads, beyond the 108 in the Muktika canon, continued being composed through the early modern and modern era, though dealing with subjects unconnected to Hinduism; the texts that appeared afterwards were called smriti. Smriti literature includes various Shastras and Itihasas, Harivamsa Puranas and Darshanas; the Sutras and Shastras texts were compilations of technical or specialized knowledge in a defined area. The earliest are dated to half of the 1st millennium BCE; the Dharma-shastras, derivatives of the Dharma-sutras. Other examples were bhautikashastra "physics", rasayanashastra "chemistry", jīvashastra "biology", vastushastra "architectural science", shilpashastra "science of sculpture", arthashastra "economics" and nītishastra "political science", it includes Tantras and Agama literature. This genre of texts includes the Shastras of the six schools of Hindu philosophy.
The Puranas are a vast genre of Hindu texts that encyclopedically cover a wide range of topics myths and other tradi
The Aranyakas constitutes the philosophy behind ritual sacrifice of the ancient Hindu sacred texts, the Vedas. They represent the sections of Vedas, are one of many layers of the Vedic texts; the other parts of Vedas are the Samhitas and the Upanishads. Aranyakas describe and discuss rituals from various perspectives, but some include philosophical speculations. For example, the Katha Aranyaka discusses rituals connected with the Pravargya; the Aitareya Aranyaka includes explanation of the Mahavrata ritual from ritualisitic to symbolic meta-ritualistic points of view. Aranyakas, neither are homogeneous in content nor in structure. Aranyakas are sometimes identified as karma-kanda /, ritualistic action/sacrifice section), while the Upanishads are identified as jnana-kanda knowledge/spirituality section). In an alternate classification, the early part of Vedas are called Samhitas and the ritualistic commentary on the mantras and rituals are called the Brahmanas which together are identified as the ceremonial karma-kanda, while Aranyakas and Upanishads are referred to as the jnana-kanda.
In the immense volume of ancient Indian Vedic literature, there is no absolute universally true distinction between Aranyakas and Brahmanas. There is no absolute distinction between Aranyakas and Upanishads, as some Upanishads are incorporated inside a few Aranyakas. Aranyakas, along with Brahmanas, represent the emerging transitions in Vedic religious practices; the transition completes with the blossoming of ancient Indian philosophy from external sacrificial rituals to internalized philosophical treatise of Upanishads. "Aranyaka" means "produced, relating to a forest " or rather, "belonging to the wilderness". It is derived from the word Araṇya, which means "wilderness". Several theories have been proposed on the origin of the word Aranyaka; as per Oldenberg, it meant (dangerous texts to be studied in the wilderness. A post-Vedic theory holds that these texts were meant to be studied in a forest, while the other holds that the name came from these being the manuals of allegorical interpretation of sacrifices, for those in Vanaprastha stage of their life, however the Vanaprastha Ashrama came into existence only well after that of the Sanyasin -- according to the historic age-based Ashrama system of human life.
Taittiriya Ar. 2 says, "from where one cannot see the roofs of the settlement", which does not indicate a forested area. Aranyakas are diverse in their structure. Jan Gonda summarizes, The structure of the Aranyakas is as little homogenous as their contents; some portions have the character of a Samhita, others of a Brahmana, others again of a Sutra, according to the material that, varying from Veda to Veda, from school to school, was collected in an Aranyaka corpus. Linguistically and stylistically these works form a transition between the Brahmanas proper and the speculative literature that follows them and develops part of the ideas and lines of thought which are characteristic of them. Many Aranyaka texts enumerate mantras, etymologies, discussions and symbolic interpretations, but a few such as by sage Arunaketu include hymns with deeper philosophical insights; the Aranyakas discuss sacrifices, in the language and style of the Brahmanas, thus are concerned with the proper performance of ritual.
The Aranyakas were restricted to a particular class of rituals that were included in the Vedic curriculum. The Aranyakas are associated with, named for, individual Vedic shakhas. Rigveda Aitareya Aranyaka belongs to the Aitareya Shakha of Rigveda Kaushitaki Aranyaka belongs to the Kaushitaki and Shankhayana Shakhas of Rigveda Yajurveda Taittiriya Aranyaka belongs to the Taittiriya Shakha of the Krishna Yajurveda Maitrayaniya Aranyaka belongs to the Maitrayaniya Shakha of the Krishna Yajurveda Katha Aranyaka belongs to the Katha Shakha of the Krishna Yajurveda Brihad Aranyaka in the Madhyandina and the Kanva versions of the Shukla Yajurveda; the Madhyandina version has 9 sections. Samaveda Talavakara Aranyaka or Jaiminiya Upanishad Brahmana belongs to the Talavakara or Jaiminiya Shakha of the Samaveda Aranyaka Samhita is not a typical Aranyaka text: rather the Purvarchika of the Samaveda Samhitas has a section of mantras, called the'Aranyaka Samhita', on which the Aranyagana Samans are sung.
The Atharvaveda has no surviving Aranyaka, though the Gopatha Brahmana is regarded as its Aranyaka, a remnant of a larger, lost Atharva Brahmana. There are five chapters each of, considered as a full Aranyaka; the first one deals with the regimen known as ‘Mahaa-vrata’. The explanations are both ritualistic as well as speculative; the second one has six chapters of which the first three are about ‘Praana-vidyaa’ – meaning, the Vital Air that constitutes the life-breath of a living body is the life-breath of all mantras, all vedas and all vedic declarations. It is in this portion of the Aranyaka that one finds specific statements about how one who follows the vedic injunctions and performs the sacrifices goes to become the God of Fire, or the Sun or Air and how one who transgresses the Vedic prescriptions is born into lower levels of being, namely, as birds and reptiles; the 4th, 5th and 6th chapters of this second Aranyaka constitute what is known as Aitareya Upanishad. The third Aranyaka in this chain of Aranyakas is known as ‘Samhitopanishad’.
This elaborates on the various ways
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
Ramayana is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Mahābhārata. Along with the Mahābhārata, it forms the Hindu Itihasa; the epic, traditionally ascribed to the Hindu Valmiki, narrates the life of Rama, the legendary prince of the Kosala Kingdom. It follows his fourteen-year exile to the forest from the kingdom, by his father King Dasharatha, on request of his second wife Kaikeyi, his travels across forests in India with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, the kidnapping of his wife by Ravana, the great king of Lanka, resulting in a war with him, Rama's eventual return to Ayodhya to be crowned king. There have been many attempts to unravel the epic's historical growth and compositional layers; the Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. It consists of nearly 24,000 verses, divided into about 500 sargas. In Hindu tradition, it is considered to be the adi-kavya, it depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal husband and the ideal king.
Ramayana was an important influence on Sanskrit poetry and Hindu life and culture. Like Mahabharata, Ramayana is not just a story: it presents the teachings of ancient Hindu sages in narrative allegory, interspersing philosophical and ethical elements; the characters Rama, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India, Sri Lanka, south-east Asian countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia. There are many versions of Ramayana in Indian languages, besides Buddhist and Jain adaptations. There are Cambodian, Filipino, Lao and Malaysian versions of the tale; the name Ramayana is a tatpuruṣa compound of the name Rāma. According to Hindu tradition, the Ramayana itself, the epic belongs to the genre of itihasa like Mahabharata; the definition of itihāsa is a narrative of past events which includes teachings on the goals of human life. According to Hindu tradition, Ramayana takes place during a period of time known as Treta Yuga. In its extant form, Valmiki's Ramayana is an epic poem of some 24,000 verses.
The text survives in several thousand partial and complete manuscripts, the oldest of, a palm-leaf manuscript found in Nepal and dated to the 11th century CE. A Times of India report dated 18 December 2015 informs about the discovery of a 6th-century manuscript of the Ramayana at the Asiatic Society library, Kolkata; the Ramayana text has several regional renderings and sub recensions. Textual scholar Robert P. Goldman differentiates two major regional revisions: the southern. Scholar Romesh Chunder Dutt writes that "the Ramayana, like the Mahabharata, is a growth of centuries, but the main story is more distinctly the creation of one mind." There has been discussion as to whether the first and the last volumes of Valmiki's Ramayana were composed by the original author. Most Hindus still believe they are integral parts of the book, in spite of some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two volumes and the rest of the book. Retellings include Kamban's Ramavataram in Tamil, Gona Budda Reddy's Ramayanam in Telugu, Madhava Kandali's Saptakanda Ramayana in Assamese, Krittibas Ojha's Krittivasi Ramayan in Bengali, Sarala Das' Vilanka Ramayana and Balaram Das' Dandi Ramayana both in Odia, sant Eknath's Bhavarth Ramayan in Marathi, Tulsidas' Ramcharitamanas in Awadhi and Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan's Adhyathmaramayanam in Malayalam.
Ramayana predates Mahabharata. However, the general cultural background of Ramayana is one of the post-urbanization periods of the eastern part of north India and Nepal, while Mahabharata reflects the Kuru areas west of this, from the Rigvedic to the late Vedic period. By tradition, the text belongs to second of the four eons of Hindu chronology. Rama is said to have been born in the Treta Yuga to king Dasharatha in the Ikshvaku dynasty; the names of the characters are all known in late Vedic literature. However, nowhere in the surviving Vedic poetry is there a story similar to the Ramayana of Valmiki. According to the modern academic view, who, according to Bala Kanda, was incarnated as Rama, first came into prominence with the epics themselves and further, during the puranic period of the 1st millennium CE. In the epic Mahabharata, there is a version of Ramayana known as Ramopakhyana; this version is depicted as a narration to Yudhishthira. Books two to six form the oldest portion of the epic, while the first and last books are additions, as some style differences and narrative contradictions between these two volumes and the rest of the book.
The author or authors of Bala Kanda and Ayodhya Kanda appear to be familiar with the eastern Gangetic basin region of northern India and with the Kosala and Magadha regions during the period of the sixteen Mahajanapadas, based on the fact that the geographical and geopolitical data accords with what is known about the region. Dasharatha is father of Rama, he has three queens, Kausalya, Ka
The Upanishads, a part of the Vedas, are ancient Sanskrit texts that contain some of the central philosophical concepts and ideas of Hinduism, some of which are shared with religious traditions like Buddhism and Jainism. Among the most important literature in the history of Indian religions and culture, the Upanishads played an important role in the development of spiritual ideas in ancient India, marking a transition from Vedic ritualism to new ideas and institutions. Of all Vedic literature, the Upanishads alone are known, their central ideas are at the spiritual core of Hindus; the Upanishads are referred to as Vedānta. Vedanta has been interpreted as the "last chapters, parts of the Veda" and alternatively as "object, the highest purpose of the Veda"; the concepts of Brahman and Ātman are central ideas in all of the Upanishads, "know that you are the Ātman" is their thematic focus. Along with the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahmasutra, the mukhya Upanishads provide a foundation for the several schools of Vedanta, among them, two influential monistic schools of Hinduism.
More than 200 Upanishads are known, of which the first dozen or so are the oldest and most important and are referred to as the principal or main Upanishads. The mukhya Upanishads are found in the concluding part of the Brahmanas and Aranyakas and were, for centuries, memorized by each generation and passed down orally; the early Upanishads all predate the Common Era, five of them in all likelihood pre-Buddhist, down to the Maurya period. Of the remainder, 95 Upanishads are part of the Muktika canon, composed from about the last centuries of 1st-millennium BCE through about 15th-century CE. New Upanishads, beyond the 108 in the Muktika canon, continued to be composed through the early modern and modern era, though dealing with subjects which are unconnected to the Vedas. With the translation of the Upanishads in the early 19th century they started to attract attention from a western audience. Arthur Schopenhauer was impressed by the Upanishads and called it "the production of the highest human wisdom".
Modern era Indologists have discussed the similarities between the fundamental concepts in the Upanishads and major western philosophers. The Sanskrit term Upaniṣad translates to "sitting down near", referring to the student sitting down near the teacher while receiving spiritual knowledge. Other dictionary meanings include "esoteric doctrine" and "secret doctrine". Monier-Williams' Sanskrit Dictionary notes – "According to native authorities, Upanishad means setting to rest ignorance by revealing the knowledge of the supreme spirit."Adi Shankaracharya explains in his commentary on the Kaṭha and Brihadaranyaka Upanishad that the word means Ātmavidyā, that is, "knowledge of the self", or Brahmavidyā "knowledge of Brahma". The word appears in the verses of many Upanishads, such as the fourth verse of the 13th volume in first chapter of the Chandogya Upanishad. Max Müller as well as Paul Deussen translate the word Upanishad in these verses as "secret doctrine", Robert Hume translates it as "mystic meaning", while Patrick Olivelle translates it as "hidden connections".
The authorship of most Upanishads is unknown. Radhakrishnan states, "almost all the early literature of India was anonymous, we do not know the names of the authors of the Upanishads"; the ancient Upanishads are embedded in the Vedas, the oldest of Hinduism's religious scriptures, which some traditionally consider to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless". The Vedic texts assert that they were skillfully created by Rishis, after inspired creativity, just as a carpenter builds a chariot; the various philosophical theories in the early Upanishads have been attributed to famous sages such as Yajnavalkya, Uddalaka Aruni, Shandilya, Balaki and Sanatkumara. Women, such as Maitreyi and Gargi participate in the dialogues and are credited in the early Upanishads. There are some exceptions to the anonymous tradition of the Upanishads; the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, for example, includes closing credits to sage Shvetashvatara, he is considered the author of the Upanishad.
Many scholars believe that early Upanishads were expanded over time. There are differences within manuscripts of the same Upanishad discovered in different parts of South Asia, differences in non-Sanskrit version of the texts that have survived, differences within each text in terms of meter, style and structure; the existing texts are believed to be the work of many authors. Scholars are uncertain about; the chronology of the early Upanishads is difficult to resolve, states philosopher and Sanskritist Stephen Phillips, because all opinions rest on scanty evidence and analysis of archaism and repetitions across texts, are driven by assumptions about evolution of ideas, presumptions about which philosophy might have influenced which other Indian philosophies. Indologist Patrick Olivelle says that "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"; some scholars have tried to analyse similarities between Hindu Upanishads and Buddhist literature to establish chronology for the Upanishads.
Patrick Olivelle gives the following chronology for the early Upanishads called the Principal Upanishads: The Brhadaranyaka and the Chandogya are the two earliest Upanishads. They are edited texts; the two texts are pre-B
The Aitareya Upanishad is a Mukhya Upanishad, associated with the Rigveda. It comprises the fourth and sixth chapters of the second book of Aitareya Aranyaka, one of the four layers of Rig vedic text. Aitareya Upanishad discusses three philosophical themes: first, that the world and man is the creation of the Atman. According to a 1998 review by Patrick Olivelle and other scholars, the Aitareya Upanishad was composed in a pre-Buddhist period 6th to 5th century BCE. Aitareya Upanishad is a primary ancient Upanishad, is listed as number 8 in the Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads. Considered one of the middle Upanishads, the date of composition is not known but has been estimated by scholars to be sometime around 6th or 5th century BCE; the Aitareya Upanishad is a short prose text, containing 33 verses. In the first chapter of the Aitareya Upanishad, Atman is asserted to have existed alone prior to the creation of the universe, it is this Atman, the Soul or the Inner Self, portrayed as the creator of everything from itself and nothing, through heat.
The text states. First came four entities: space, maram and apas. After these came into existence, came the cosmic self and eight psyches and principles. Atman created eight guardians corresponding to these psyches and principles. Asserts Aitareya Upanishad, came the connective principles of hunger and thirst, where everything became interdependent on everything else through the principle of apana. Thereafter came man, who could not exist without a sense of Self and Soul, but this sense began cogitating on itself, saying that "I am more than my sensory organs, I am more than my mind, I am more than my reproductive ability", asked, कोऽहमिति Who am I? Paul Deussen summarizes the first chapter of Aitareya Upanishad as follows, The world as a creation, the Man as the highest manifestation of the Atman, named as the Brahman - this is the basic idea of this section. In the second chapter, Aitareya Upanishad asserts that the Atman in any man is born thrice: first, when a child is born; the overall idea of chapter 2 of Aitareya Upanishad is that it is procreation and nurturing of children that makes a man immortal, the theory of rebirth, which are the means by which Atman sustainably persists in this universe.
The third chapter of Aitareya Upanishad discusses the nature of Atman. It declares that consciousness is what defines man, the source of all intellectual and moral theories, all gods, all living beings, all that there is; the Upanishad asserts that the key to the riddle of the Universe is one's own inner self. To know the universe, know thyself. Become suggests the Aitareya Upanishad, by being you. Max Muller translates parts of the chapter as follows, Who is he whom we meditate on as the Self? Which is the Self? Everything are various names only of Knowledge Everything, it rests on Knowledge. The world is led by Knowledge. Knowledge is its cause. Knowledge is Brahman. Aitareya Upanishad, like other Upanishads of Hinduism, asserts the existence of Consciousness as Atman, the Self or Brahman, it contains one of the most famous expressions of the Vedanta, "Prajnanam Brahma", one of the Mahāvākyas. Aitareya Upanishad is one of the older Upanishads reviewed and commented upon in their respective Bhasyas by various ancient scholars such as Adi Shankara and Madhvacharya.
Adi Shankara, for example, commented on Aitereya Upanishad, clarifying that some of his peer scholars have interpreted the hymns in a way that must be refuted. The first meaning, as follows, is incomplete and incorrect, states Shankara This is the true Brahman called Prana, this is the only God. All the Devas are only the various manifestations of this Prana, he who attains Oneness with this Prana attains the Devas. Adi Shankara reminds the reader that the Aitereya Upanishad must be studied in its context, which starts with and states Atma va idam in hymn 1, it doesn't start with, nor does the text's context, mean that "I am alive, thus God". Rather, states Shankara, the context is abundantly clear that one must know, "Atman exists, I am consciousness, that self-realization of one's Atman, its Oneness with Universal Soul is the path to liberation and freedom. Know yourself. Worship yourself." Adi Shankara explains that rituals, merit-karma does not lead to liberation, the wise do not perform these and rituals such as Agnihotra, they seek Atman and understanding of their own Being and their own Inner Self, when one has achieved "Self-knowledge, full awareness of one's consciousness" does one achieve moksha.
The first English translation was published in 1805 by Colebrooke. Other translators include Max Muller, Paul Deussen, Charles Johnston, Nikhilānanda, Gambhirananda and Patrick Olivelle; the author of the Aitareya Aranyaka and the Aitareya Upanishad has been credited to rishi Aitareya Mahidasa. Aitareya Upanisad Tamil Book==External links== Multiple translations Aitareya Aranyaka with Aitareya Upanishad embedded inside Max Muller; the Sacred Books of the E