The Upanishads

The Upanishads

Product ID: 3908

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Author: Bibek and Dipavali Debroy
Publisher: Books for All
Year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 293
ISBN/UPC (if available): 978-81-7386-134-5


A lucid and easy-to-read beginner's introduction to the Upanishads for those interested in knowing more about Hinduism.

Vedic literature is divided into two broad groups. The first is known as 'Karma Kanda', the section that deals with rituals and rites. The second section is 'Janna Kanda', the part that deals with knowledge. This segment is the spiritual and philosophical part and consists of the 'aranyakas' and the 'Upanishads'.

The Word Upanishad is derived from the Sanskrit verb sad, which means to sit, and two prepositions, upa(under) and ni(at). The sense is thus of sitting for instructions at the feet of a teacher. The earliest Upanishads were probably composed between the years 800 BC to 400BC. Over the years, the number of Upanishads increased.

The major Upanishads are eleven in number, and this is based on the fact that Shankaracharya (800AD) wrote his celebrated commentaries on these Upanishads. These major Upanishads are fairly short.

The teachings of the Upanishads, together with that of the Bhagavad Gita, form the basis of Vedanta philosophy. The major conceptions of the Upanishads are uniform, they differ in details and therefore alternative interpretations are possible.