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The Upanishads (Sanskrit: Upaniṣad; IPA: [ʊpən̪ɪʂəd̪]) are a collection of ancient Sanskrit texts that contain some of the central philosophical concepts of Hinduism, some of which are shared with Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.[note 1][note 2] They are among the most important literature in the history of Indian religions and culture, that played an important role in the development of spiritual ideas in ancient India and marked a transition from Vedic ritualism to new ideas and institutions. Early Upanishads are considered by Hindus as part of their scriptures (śruti) that discuss the nature of ultimate reality (brahman) and the character of and path to spiritual liberation (mokṣa or mukti).
The Upanishads are commonly 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 (Ultimate Reality) and Ātman (Soul, Self) are central ideas in all the Upanishads, and "Know your Ātman" their thematic focus. The Upanishads are the foundation of Hindu philosophical thought and its diverse traditions. Of the Vedic corpus, they alone are widely known, and the central ideas of the Upanishads are at the spiritual core of Hindus.
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 (mukhya) Upanishads. The mukhya Upanishads are found mostly 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[note 3] of them in all likelihood pre-Buddhist (6th century BCE), down to the Maurya period. Of the remainder, some 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 often dealing with subjects which are unconnected to the Vedas.
Along with the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahmasutra, the mukhya Upanishads (known collectively as the Prasthanatrayi) provide a foundation for the several later schools of Vedanta, among them, two influential monistic schools of Hinduism.[note 4][note 5][note 6]
With the translation of the Upanishads in the early 19th century they also started to attract attention from a western audience. Arthur Schopenhauer was deeply 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.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Development
- 3 Classification
- 4 Association with Vedas
- 5 Philosophy
- 6 Schools of Vedanta
- 7 Similarities with Platonic thought
- 8 Translations
- 9 Reception in the West
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 Sources
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
The Sanskrit term Upaniṣad (upa = by, ni = nether, shat =sitting) translates to "sitting down near", referring to the student sitting down near the teacher while receiving esoteric knowledge. Monier-Williams' Sanskrit Dictionary adds that, "According to native authorities Upanishad means 'setting to rest ignorance by revealing the knowledge of the supreme spirit.'"
Adi Shankara 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". Other dictionary meanings include "esoteric doctrine" and "secret doctrine". 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 Muller 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 uncertain and 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 themselves assert that they were skillfully created by Rishis (sages), 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, Shvetaketu, Shandilya, Aitareya, Balaki, Pippalada and Sanatkumara. Women, such as Maitreyi and Gargi participate in the dialogues and are also credited in the early Upanishads.
There are exceptions to the anonymous tradition of the Upanishads and other Vedic literature. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad, for example, includes closing credits to sage Shvetashvatara, and he is considered the author of the Upanishad. Scholars believe that early Upanishads, were interpolated and expanded over time, because of the 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, and differences within each text in terms of the meter, the style, the grammar and the structure. The texts as they exist now are believed to be the work of many authors.
Scholars are uncertain about the exact centuries in which the Upanishads were composed. 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, style and repetitions across texts, and are driven by assumptions about likely evolution of ideas, and 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 [early Upanishads] that attempts a precision closer than a few centuries is as stable as a house of cards". Some scholars have sought to analyse similarities between Hindu Upanishads and Buddhist literature to establish chronology for the Upanishads.
- The Brhadaranyaka and the Chandogya are the two earliest Upanishads. They are edited texts, some of whose sources are much older than others. The two texts are pre-Buddhist; they may be placed in the 7th to 6th centuries BCE, give or take a century or so.
- The three other early prose Upanisads—Taittiriya, Aitareya, and Kausitaki come next; all are probably pre-Buddhist and can be assigned to the 6th to 5th centuries BCE.
- The Kena is the oldest of the verse Upanisads followed by probably the Katha, Isa, Svetasvatara, and Mundaka. All these Upanisads were composed probably in the last few centuries BCE.
- The two late prose Upanisads, the Prasna and the Mandukya, cannot be much older than the beginning of the common era.
Stephen Phillips places the early Upanishads in the 800 to 300 BCE range. He summarizes the current Indological opinion to be that the Brhadaranyaka, Chandogya, Isha, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Kena, Katha, Mundaka, and Prasna Upanishads are all pre-Buddhist and pre-Jain, while Svetasvatara and Mandukya overlap with the earliest Buddhist and Jain literature.
The later Upanishads numbering about 95, also called minor Upanishads, are dated from the late 1st-millennium BCE to mid 2nd-millennium CE. Gavin Flood dates many of the twenty Yoga Upanishads to be probably from the 100 BCE to 300 CE period. Patrick Olivelle and other scholars date seven of the twenty Sannyasa Upanishads to likely have been complete sometime between the last centuries of the 1st-millennium BCE to 300 CE. About half of the Sannyasa Upanishads were likely composed in 14th- to 15th-century CE.
The general area of the composition of the early Upanishads was northern India, the region bounded on the west by the upper Indus valley, on the east by lower Ganges region, on the north by the Himalayan foothills, and on the south by the Vindhya mountain range. There is confidence about the early Upanishads being the product of the geographical center of ancient Brahmanism, comprising the regions of Kuru-Panchala and Kosala-Videha together with the areas immediately to the south and west of these. This region covers modern Bihar, Nepal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, eastern Rajasthan and northern Madhya Pradesh.
While significant attempts have been made recently to identify the exact locations of the individual Upanishads, the results are tentative. Witzel identifies the center of activity in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad as the area of Videha, whose king, Janaka, features prominently in the Upanishad.
The Chandogya Upanishad was probably composed in a more Western than an Eastern location in Indian subcontinent, possibly somewhere in the western region of the Kuru-Panchala country. Compared to the Principal Upanishads, the new Upanishads recorded in the Muktikā belong to an entirely different region, probably southern India, and are considerably relatively recent. In fourth chapter of the Kaushitaki Upanishad, a location named Kashi (modern Varanasi) is mentioned.
Muktika canon: major and minor Upanishads
There are more than 200 known Upanishads, one of which, Muktikā Upanishad, predates 1656 CE and contains a list of 108 canonical Upanishads, including itself as the last. The earliest ones such as the Brihadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanishads date to the early centuries of the 1st millennium BCE, and the latest to around the mid 2nd-millennium CE during a period of Islamic invasions and political instability. Various scholars include the earliest 10, 11, 12 or 13 Upanishads as Mukhya (major) or Principal Upanishads, all composed in the 1st-milliennium BCE. The remainder 95 to 98 are called "minor Upanishads", and were likely composed between the last centuries of the 1st-millennium BCE and about mid 2nd-millennium CE. These are further divided into Upanishads associated with Shaktism (goddess Shakti), Sannyasa (renunciation, monastic life), Shaivism (god Shiva), Vaishnavism (god Vishnu), Yoga, and Sāmānya (general, sometimes referred to as Samanya-Vedanta).
Some of the Upanishads are categorized as "sectarian" since they present their ideas through a particular god or goddess of a specific Hindu tradition such as Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti, or a combination of these such as the Skanda Upanishad. These traditions sought to link their texts as Vedic, by asserting their texts to be an Upanishad, thereby a Śruti. Most of these sectarian Upanishads, for example the Rudrahridaya Upanishad and the Mahanarayana Upanishad, assert that all the Hindu gods and goddesses are the same, all an aspect and manifestation of Brahman, the Vedic concept for metaphysical ultimate reality before and after the creation of the Universe.
The Aitareya, Kauṣītaki and Taittirīya Upanishads may date to as early as the mid 1st millennium BCE, while the remnant date from between roughly the 4th to 1st centuries BCE, roughly contemporary with the earliest portions of the Sanskrit epics. One chronology assumes that the Aitareya, Taittiriya, Kausitaki, Mundaka, Prasna, and Katha Upanishads has Buddha's influence, and is consequently placed after the 5th century BCE, while another proposal questions this assumption and dates it independent of Buddha's date of birth. After these Principal Upanishads are typically placed the Kena, Mandukya and Isa Upanishads, but other scholars date these differently. Not much is known about the authors except for those, like Yajnavalkayva and Uddalaka, mentioned in the texts. A few women discussants, such as Gargi and Maitreyi, the wife of Yajnavalkayva, also feature occasionally.
Each of the principal Upanishads can be associated with one of the schools of exegesis of the four Vedas (shakhas). Many Shakhas are said to have existed, of which only a few remain. The new Upanishads often have little relation to the Vedic corpus and have not been cited or commented upon by any great Vedanta philosopher: their language differs from that of the classic Upanishads, being less subtle and more formalized. As a result, they are not difficult to comprehend for the modern reader.
|Rig Veda||Only one recension||Shakala||Aitareya|
|Sama Veda||Only one recension||Kauthuma||Chāndogya|
|Yajur Veda||Krishna Yajur Veda||Katha||Kaṭha|
|Taittiriya||Taittirīya and Śvetāśvatara|
|Shukla Yajur Veda||Vajasaneyi Madhyandina||Isha and Bṛhadāraṇyaka|
|Atharva||Two recension||Shaunaka||Māṇḍūkya and Muṇḍaka|
There is no fixed list of the Upanishads as newer ones, beyond the Muktika anthology of 108 Upanishads, have continued to be discovered and composed. In 1908, for example, four previously unknown Upanishads were discovered in newly found manuscripts, and these were named Bashkala, Chhagaleya, Arsheya and Saunaka, by Friedrich Schrader, who attributed them to the first prose period of the Upanishads. The text of three, the Chhagaleya, Arsheya and Saunaka, were incomplete and inconsistent, likely poorly maintained or corrupted.
Ancient Upanishads have long enjoyed a revered position in Hindu traditions, and authors of numerous sectarian texts have tried to benefit from this reputation by naming their texts as Upanishads. These "new Upanishads" number in the hundreds, cover diverse range of topics from physiology to renunciation to sectarian theories. They were composed between the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE through the early modern era (~1600 CE). While over two dozen of the minor Upanishads are dated to pre-3rd century CE, many of these new texts under the title of "Upanishads" originated in the first half of the 2nd millennium CE, they are not Vedic texts, and some do not deal with themes found in the Vedic Upanishads.
The main Shakta Upanishads, for example, mostly discuss doctrinal and interpretative differences between the two principal sects of a major Tantric form of Shaktism called Shri Vidya upasana. The many extant lists of authentic Shakta Upaniṣads vary, reflecting the sect of their compilers, so that they yield no evidence of their "location" in Tantric tradition, impeding correct interpretation. The Tantra content of these texts also weaken its identity as an Upaniṣad for non-Tantrikas. Sectarian texts such as these do not enjoy status as shruti and thus the authority of the new Upanishads as scripture is not accepted in Hinduism.
Association with Vedas
All Upanishads are associated with one of the four Vedas—Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda (there are two primary versions or Samhitas of the Yajurveda: Shukla Yajurveda, Krishna Yajurveda), and Atharvaveda. During the modern era, the ancient Upanishads that were embedded texts in the Vedas, were detached from the Brahmana and Aranyaka layers of Vedic text, compiled into separate texts and these were then gathered into anthologies of Upanishads. These lists associated each Upanishad with one of the four Vedas, many such lists exist, and these lists are inconsistent across India in terms of which Upanishads are included and how the newer Upanishads are assigned to the ancient Vedas. In south India, the collected list based on Muktika Upanishad,[note 8] and published in Telugu language, became the most common by the 19th-century and this is a list of 108 Upanishads. In north India, a list of 52 Upanishads has been most common.
The Muktikā Upanishad's list of 108 Upanishads groups the first 13 as mukhya,[note 9] 21 as Sāmānya Vedānta, 20 as Sannyāsa, 14 as Vaishnava, 12 as Shaiva, 8 as Shakta, and 20 as Yoga. The 108 Upanishads as recorded in the Muktikā are shown in the table below. The mukhya Upanishads are the most important and highlighted.
The Upanishadic age was characterized by a pluralism of worldviews. While some Upanishads have been deemed 'monistic', others, including the Katha Upanishad, are dualistic. The Maitri is one of the Upanishads that inclines more toward dualism, thus grounding classical Samkhya and Yoga schools of Hinduism, in contrast to the non-dualistic Upanishads at the foundation of its Vedanta school. They contain a plurality of ideas.[note 11]
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan states that the Upanishads have dominated Indian philosophy, religion and life ever since their appearance. The Upanishads are respected not because they are considered revealed (Shruti), but because they present spiritual ideas that are inspiring. The Upanishads are treatises on Brahman-knowledge, that is knowledge of Ultimate Hidden Reality, and their presentation of philosophy presumes, "it is by a strictly personal effort that one can reach the truth". In the Upanishads, states Radhakrishnan, knowledge is a means to freedom, and philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom by a way of life.
The Upanishads include sections on philosophical theories that have been at the foundation of Indian traditions. For example, the Chandogya Upanishad includes one of the earliest known declaration of Ahimsa (non-violence) as an ethical precept. Discussion of other ethical premises such as Damah (temperance, self-restraint), Satya (truthfulness), Dāna (charity), Ārjava (non-hypocrisy), Daya (compassion) and others are found in the oldest Upanishads and many later Upanishads. Similarly, the Karma doctrine is presented in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, which is the oldest Upanishad.
Development of thought
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While the hymns of the Vedas emphasize rituals and the Brahmanas serve as a liturgical manual for those Vedic rituals, the spirit of the Upanishads is inherently opposed to ritual. The older Upanishads launch attacks of increasing intensity on the ritual. Anyone who worships a divinity other than the Self is called a domestic animal of the gods in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. The Chāndogya Upanishad parodies those who indulge in the acts of sacrifice by comparing them with a procession of dogs chanting Om! Let's eat. Om! Let's drink.
The Kaushitaki Upanishad asserts that "external rituals such as Agnihotram offered in the morning and in the evening, must be replaced with inner Agnihotram, the ritual of introspection", and that "not rituals, but knowledge should be one's pursuit". The Mundaka Upanishad declares how man has been called upon, promised benefits for, scared unto and misled into performing sacrifices, oblations and pious works. Mundaka thereafter asserts this is foolish and frail, by those who encourage it and those who follow it, because it makes no difference to man's current life and after-life, it is like blind men leading the blind, it is a mark of conceit and vain knowledge, ignorant inertia like that of children, a futile useless practice. The Maitri Upanishad states,
The performance of all the sacrifices, described in the Maitrayana-Brahmana, is to lead up in the end to a knowledge of Brahman, to prepare a man for meditation. Therefore, let such man, after he has laid those fires, meditate on the Self, to become complete and perfect.
The opposition to the ritual is not explicit in the oldest Upanishads. On occasions, the Upanishads extend the task of the Aranyakas by making the ritual allegorical and giving it a philosophical meaning. For example, the Brihadaranyaka interprets the practice of horse-sacrifice or ashvamedha allegorically. It states that the over-lordship of the earth may be acquired by sacrificing a horse. It then goes on to say that spiritual autonomy can only be achieved by renouncing the universe which is conceived in the image of a horse.
In similar fashion, Vedic gods such as the Agni, Aditya, Indra, Rudra, Visnu, Brahma and others become equated in the Upanishads to the supreme, immortal and incorporeal Brahman-Atman of the Upanishads, god becomes synonymous with Self, and is declared to be everywhere, inmost being of each human being and within every living creature. The one reality or ekam sat of the Vedas becomes the ekam eva advitiyam or "the one and only and sans a second" in the Upanishads. Brahman-Atman and Self-realization develops, in the Upanishad, as the means to moksha (liberation, freedom in this life or after-life).
According to Jayatilleke, the thinkers of Upanishadic texts can be grouped into two categories. One group, which includes Early Upanishads along with some Middle and Late Upanishads, were composed by metaphysicians who used rational arguments and empirical experience to formulate their speculations and philosophical premises. The second group includes many middle and later Upanishads, where their authors professed theories based on yoga and personal experiences. Yoga philosophy and practice, adds Jayatilleke, is "not entirely absent in the Early Upanishads". The development of thought in these Upanishadic theories contrasted with Buddhism, since the Upanishadic inquiry assumed there is a soul (Atman), while Buddhism assumed there is no soul (Anatta), states Jayatilleke.
Brahman and Atman
Two concepts that are of paramount importance in the Upanishads are Brahman and Atman. The Brahman is the ultimate reality and the Atman is individual self (soul). Brahman is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman is "the infinite source, fabric, core and destiny of all existence, both manifested and unmanifested, the formless infinite substratum and from which the universe has grown". Brahman in Hinduism, states Paul Deussen, as the "creative principle which lies realized in the whole world".
The word Atman means the inner self, the soul, the immortal spirit in an individual, and all living beings including animals and trees. Ātman is a central idea in all the Upanishads, and "Know your Ātman" their thematic focus. These texts state that the inmost core of every person is not the body, nor the mind, nor the ego, but Atman – "Soul" or "Self". Atman is the spiritual essence in all creatures, their real innermost essential being. It is eternal, it is ageless. Atman is that which one is at the deepest level of one's existence.
Atman is the predominantly discussed topic in the Upanishads, but they express two distinct, somewhat divergent themes. Some state that Brahman (Highest Reality, Universal Principle, Being-Consciousness-Bliss) is identical with Atman, while others state Atman is part of Brahman but not identical. This ancient debate flowered into various dual, non-dual theories in Hinduism. The Brahmasutra by Badarayana (~ 100 BCE) synthesized and unified these somewhat conflicting theories, stating that Atman and Brahman are different in some respects particularly during the state of ignorance, but at the deepest level and in the state of Self-realization, Atman and Brahman are identical, non-different.
Reality and Maya
Two different types of the non-dual Brahman-Atman are presented in the Upanishads, according to Mahadevan. The one in which the non-dual Brahman-Atman is the all inclusive ground of the universe and another in which empirical, changing reality is an appearance (Maya).
The Upanishads describe the universe, and the human experience, as an interplay of Purusha (the eternal, unchanging principles, consciousness) and Prakṛti (the temporary, changing material world, nature). The former manifests itself as Ātman (Soul, Self), and the latter as Māyā. The Upanishads refer to the knowledge of Atman as "true knowledge" (Vidya), and the knowledge of Maya as "not true knowledge" (Avidya, Nescience, lack of awareness, lack of true knowledge).
Hendrick Vroom explains, "the term Maya [in the Upanishads] has been translated as 'illusion,' but then it does not concern normal illusion. Here 'illusion' does not mean that the world is not real and simply a figment of the human imagination. Maya means that the world is not as it seems; the world that one experiences is misleading as far as its true nature is concerned." According to Wendy Doniger, "to say that the universe is an illusion (māyā) is not to say that it is unreal; it is to say, instead, that it is not what it seems to be, that it is something constantly being made. Māyā not only deceives people about the things they think they know; more basically, it limits their knowledge."
In the Upanishads, Māyā is the perceived changing reality and it co-exists with Brahman which is the hidden true reality. Maya, or "illusion", is an important idea in the Upanishads, because the texts assert that in the human pursuit of blissful and liberating Self-knowledge, it is Maya which obscures, confuses and distracts an individual.
Schools of Vedanta
The Upanishads form one of the three main sources for all schools of Vedanta, together with the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahmasutras. Due to the wide variety of philosophical teachings contained in the Upanishads, various interpretations could be grounded on the Upanishads. The schools of Vedānta seek to answer questions about the relation between atman and Brahman, and the relation between Brahman and the world. The schools of Vedanta are named after the relation they see between atman and Brahman:
- According to Advaita Vedanta, there is no difference.
- According to Vishishtadvaita the jīvātman is a part of Brahman, and hence is similar, but not identical.
- According to Dvaita, all individual souls (jīvātmans) and matter as eternal and mutually separate entities.
Other schools of Vedanta include Nimbarka's Dvaitadvaita, Vallabha's Suddhadvaita and Chaitanya's Acintya Bhedabheda. The philosopher Adi Sankara has provided commentaries on 11 mukhya Upanishads.
Advaita literally means non-duality, and it is a monistic system of thought. It deals with the non-dual nature of Brahman and Atman. Advaita is considered the most influential sub-school of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. Gaudapada was the first person to expound the basic principles of the Advaita philosophy in a commentary on the conflicting statements of the Upanishads. Gaudapada's Advaita ideas were further developed by Shankara (8th century CE). King states that Gaudapada's main work, Māṇḍukya Kārikā, is infused with philosophical terminology of Buddhism, and uses Buddhist arguments and analogies. King also suggests that there are clear differences between Shankara's writings and the Brahmasutra, and many ideas of Shankara are at odds with those in the Upanishads. Radhakrishnan, on the other hand, suggests that Shankara's views of Advaita were straightforward developments of the Upanishads and the Brahmasutra, and many ideas of Shankara derive from the Upanishads.
Shankara in his discussions of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy referred to the early Upanishads to explain the key difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, stating that Hinduism asserts "Atman (Soul, Self) exists", while Buddhism asserts that there is "no Soul, no Self".
The Upanishads contain four sentences, the Mahāvākyas (Great Sayings), which were used by Shankara to establish the identity of Atman and Brahman as scriptural truth:
- "Prajñānam brahma" - "Consciousness is Brahman" (Aitareya Upanishad)
- "Aham brahmāsmi" - "I am Brahman" (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)
- "Tat tvam asi" - "That Thou art" (Chandogya Upanishad)
- "Ayamātmā brahma" - "This Atman is Brahman" (Mandukya Upanishad)
Although there are a wide variety of philosophical positions propounded in the Upanishads, commentators since Adi Shankara have usually followed him in seeing idealist monism as the dominant force.[note 12]
The second school of Vedanta is the Vishishtadvaita, which was founded by Ramanuja (1017–1137 CE). Ramanuja disagreed with Adi Shankara and the Advaita school. Visistadvaita is a synthetic philosophy bridging the monistic Advaita and theistic Dvaita systems of Vedanta. Ramanuja frequently cited the Upanishads, and stated that Vishishtadvaita is grounded in the Upanishads.
Ramanuja's Vishishtadvaita interpretation of the Upanishad is a qualified monism. Ramanuja interprets the Upanishadic literature to be teaching a body-soul theory, states Jeaneane Fowler – a professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, where the Brahman is the dweller in all things, yet also distinct and beyond all things, as "the Soul, the Inner Controller, the Immortal". The Upanishads, according to the Vishishtadvaita school, teach individual souls to be of the same quality as the Brahman, but quantitatively they are distinct.
In the Vishishtadvaita school, the Upanishads are interpreted to be teaching a Ishwar (Vishnu), which is the seat of all auspicious qualities, with all of the empirically perceived world as the body of God who dwells in everything. The school recommends a devotion to godliness and constant remembrance of the beauty and love of personal god. This ultimately leads one to the oneness with abstract Brahman. The Brahman in the Upanishads is a living reality, states Fowler, and "the Atman of all things and all beings" in Ramanuja's interpretation.
The third school of Vedanta called the Dvaita school was founded by Madhvacharya (1199–1278 CE). It is regarded as a strongly theistic philosophic exposition of Upanishads. Madhvacharya, much like Adi Shankara claims for Advaita, and Ramanuja claims for Vishishtadvaita, states that his theistic Dvaita Vedanta is grounded in the Upanishads.
According to the Dvaita school, states Fowler, the "Upanishads that speak of the soul as Brahman, speak of resemblance and not identity". Madhvacharya interprets the Upanishadic teachings of the Self becoming one with Brahman, as "entering into Brahman", just like a drop enters an ocean. This to the Dvaita school implies duality and dependence, where Brahman and Atman are different realities. Brahman is a separate, independent and supreme reality in the Upanishads, Atman only resembles the Brahman in limited, inferior, dependent manner according to Madhvacharya.
Ramanuja's Vishishtadvaita school and Shankara's Advaita school are both nondualism Vedanta schools, both are premised on the assumption that all souls can hope for and achieve the state of blissful liberation; in contrast, Madhvacharya believed that some souls are eternally doomed and damned.
Similarities with Platonic thought
Several scholars have recognised parallels between the philosophy of Pythagoras and Plato and that of the Upanishads, including their ideas on sources of knowledge, concept of justice and path to salvation, and Plato's allegory of the cave. Platonic psychology with its divisions of reason, spirit and appetite, also bears resemblance to the three gunas in the Indian philosophy of Samkhya.[note 13]
Various mechanisms for such a transmission of knowledge have been conjectured including Pythagoras traveling as far as India; Indian philosophers visiting Athens and meeting Socrates; Plato encountering the ideas when in exile in Syracuse; or, intermediated through Persia.
However other scholars, such as Arthur Berriedale Keith, J. Burnet and A.R. Wadia, believe that the two systems developed independently. They note that there is no historical evidence of the philosophers of the two schools meeting, and point out significant differences in the stage of development, orientation and goals of the two philosophical systems. Wadia writes that Plato's metaphysics were rooted in this life and his primary aim was to develop an ideal state. In contrast, Upanishadic focus was the individual, the self (atman, soul), self-knowledge, and the means of an individual's moksha (freedom, liberation in this life or after-life).
The Upanishads have been translated into various languages including Persian, Italian, Urdu, French, Latin, German, English, Dutch, Polish, Japanese, Spanish and Russian. The Moghul Emperor Akbar's reign (1556–1586) saw the first translations of the Upanishads into Persian. His great-grandson, Sultan Mohammed Dara Shikoh, produced a collection called Oupanekhat in 1656, wherein 50 Upanishads were translated from Sanskrit into Persian.
Anquetil Duperron, a French Orientalist received a manuscript of the Oupanekhat and translated the Persian version into French and Latin, publishing the Latin translation in two volumes in 1801–1802 as Oupneck'hat. The French translation was never published. The Latin version was the initial introduction of Upanishadic thought to Western scholars. However, according to Deussen, the Persian translators took great liberties in translating the text and at times changed the meaning.
The first Sanskrit to English translation of the Aitareya Upanishad was made by Colebrooke, in 1805 and the first English translation of the Kena Upanishad was made by Rammohun Roy in 1816.
The first German translation appeared in 1832 and Roer's English version appeared in 1853. However, Max Mueller's 1879 and 1884 editions were the first systematic English treatment to include the 12 Principal Upanishads. Other major translations of the Upanishads have been by Robert Ernest Hume (13 Principal Upanishads), Paul Deussen (60 Upanishads), Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (18 Upanishads), and Patrick Olivelle (32 Upanishads in two books).
Reception in the West
The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer read the Latin translation and praised the Upanishads in his main work, The World as Will and Representation (1819), as well as in his Parerga and Paralipomena (1851). He found his own philosophy was in accord with the Upanishads, which taught that the individual is a manifestation of the one basis of reality. For Schopenhauer, that fundamentally real underlying unity is what we know in ourselves as "will". Schopenhauer used to keep a copy of the Latin Oupnekhet by his side and commented,
It has been the solace of my life, it will be the solace of my death.
Another German philosopher, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, praised the ideas in the Upanishads, as did others. In the United States, the group known as the Transcendentalists were influenced by the German idealists. Americans, such as Emerson and Thoreau embraced Schelling's interpretation of Kant's Transcendental idealism, as well as his celebration of the romantic, exotic, mystical aspect of the Upanishads. As a result of the influence of these writers, the Upanishads gained renown in Western countries.
The poet T. S. Eliot, inspired by his reading of the Upanishads, based the final portion of his famous poem The Waste Land (1922) upon one of its verses. According to Eknath Easwaran, the Upanishads are snapshots of towering peaks of consciousness.
Juan Mascaró, a professor at the University of Barcelona and a translator of the Upanishads, states that the Upanishads represents for the Hindu approximately what the New Testament represents for the Christian, and that the message of the Upanishads can be summarized in the words, "the kingdom of God is within you".
Paul Deussen in his review of the Upanishads, states that the texts emphasize Brahman-Atman as something that can experienced, but not defined. This view of the soul and self are similar, states Deussen, to those found in the dialogues of Plato and elsewhere. The Upanishads insisted on oneness of soul, excluded all plurality, and therefore, all proximity in space, all succession in time, all interdependence as cause and effect, and all opposition as subject and object. Max Muller, in his review of the Upanishads, summarizes the lack of systematic philosophy and the central theme in the Upanishads as follows,
There is not what could be called a philosophical system in these Upanishads. They are, in the true sense of the word, guesses at truth, frequently contradicting each other, yet all tending in one direction. The key-note of the old Upanishads is "know thyself," but with a much deeper meaning than that of the γνῶθι σεαυτόν of the Delphic Oracle. The "know thyself" of the Upanishads means, know thy true self, that which underlines thine Ego, and find it and know it in the highest, the eternal Self, the One without a second, which underlies the whole world.
- The shared concepts include rebirth, samsara, karma, meditation, renunciation and moksha.
- The Upanishadic, Buddhist and Jain renunciation traditions form parallel traditions, which share some common concepts and interests. While Kuru-Panchala, at the central Ganges Plain, formed the center of the early Upanishadic tradition, Kosala-Magadha at the central Ganges Plain formed the center of the other shramanic traditions.
- The pre-Buddhist Upanishads are: Brihadaranyaka, Chandogya, Kaushitaki, Aitareya, and Taittiriya Upanishads.
- Advaita Vedanta, summarized by Shankara (788–820), advances a non-dualistic (a-dvaita) interpretation of the Upanishads."
- "These Upanishadic ideas are developed into Advaita monism. Brahman's unity comes to be taken to mean that appearances of individualities.
- "The doctrine of advaita (non dualism) has its origin in the Upanishads."
- These are believed to pre-date Gautam Buddha (c. 500 BCE)
- The Muktika manuscript found in colonial era Calcutta is the usual default, but other recensions exist.
- Some scholars list ten as principal, while most consider twelve or thirteen as principal mukhya Upanishads.
- Parmeshwaranand classifies Maitrayani with Samaveda, most scholars with Krishna Yajurveda
- Oliville: "In this Introduction I have avoided speaking of 'the philosophy of the upanishads', a common feature of most introductions to their translations. These documents were composed over several centuries and in various regions, and it is futile to try to discover a single doctrine or philosophy in them."
- According to Collins, the breakdown of the Vedic cults is more obscured by retrospective ideology than any other period in Indian history. It is commonly assumed that the dominant philosophy now became an idealist monism, the identification of atman (self) and Brahman (Spirit), and that this mysticism was believed to provide a way to transcend rebirths on the wheel of karma. This is far from an accurate picture of what we read in the Upanishads. It has become traditional to view the Upanishads through the lens of Shankara's Advaita interpretation. This imposes the philosophical revolution of about 700 C.E. upon a very different situation 1,000 to 1,500 years earlier. Shankara picked out monist and idealist themes from a much wider philosophical lineup.
- For instances of Platonic pluralism in the early Upanishads see Randall.
- Olivelle 1998, p. xxiii.
- Olivelle 1998, pp. xx-xxiv.
- Samuel 2010.
- Patrick Olivelle 1998, pp. 3-4.
- Patrick Olivelle 1998, pp. 3-4, 10-11 with footnotes, 21, 25-27, 517.
- Max Muller, The Upanishads, Part 1, Oxford University Press, page LXXXVI footnote 1
- Mahadevan 1956, p. 59.
- PT Raju (1985), Structural Depths of Indian Thought, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0887061394, pages 35-36
- WD Strappini, The Upanishads, p. 258, at Google Books, The Month and Catholic Review, Vol. 23, Issue 42
- Wendy Doniger (1990), Textual Sources for the Study of Hinduism, 1st Edition, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0226618470, pages 2-3; Quote: "The Upanishads supply the basis of later Hindu philosophy; they alone of the Vedic corpus are widely known and quoted by most well-educated Hindus, and their central ideas have also become a part of the spiritual arsenal of rank-and-file Hindus."
- Wiman Dissanayake (1993), Self as Body in Asian Theory and Practice (Editors: Thomas P. Kasulis et al), State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791410806, page 39; Quote: "The Upanishads form the foundations of Hindu philosophical thought and the central theme of the Upanishads is the identity of Atman and Brahman, or the inner self and the cosmic self.";
Michael McDowell and Nathan Brown (2009), World Religions, Penguin, ISBN 978-1592578467, pages 208-210
- Patrick Olivelle (2014), The Early Upanisads, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195352429, page 3; Quote: "Even though theoretically the whole of vedic corpus is accepted as revealed truth [shruti], in reality it is the Upanishads that have continued to influence the life and thought of the various religious traditions that we have come to call Hindu. Upanishads are the scriptures par excellence of Hinduism".
- Stephen Phillips (2009), Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231144858, pages 25-29 and Chapter 1
- E Easwaran (2007), The Upanishads, ISBN 978-1586380212, pages 298-299
- Mahadevan 1956, p. 56.
- Patrick Olivelle (2014), The Early Upanishads, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195124354, pages 12-14
- King 1995, p. 52.
- Olivelle 1992, pp. 5, 8–9.
- Flood 1996, p. 96.
- Ranade 1926, p. 12.
- Varghese 2008, p. 101.
- Ranade 1926, p. 205.
- Cornille 1992, p. 12.
- Phillips 1995, p. 10.
- Clarke, John James (1997). Oriental enlightenment. Routledge. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-415-13376-0.
- Deussen 2010, p. 42, Quote: "Here we have to do with the Upanishads, and the world-wide historical significance of these documents cannot, in our judgement, be more clearly indicated than by showing how the deep fundamental conception of Plato and Kant was precisely that which already formed the basis of Upanishad teaching"..
- Lawrence Hatab (1982). R. Baine Harris, ed. Neoplatonism and Indian Thought. State University of New York Press. pp. 31–38. ISBN 978-0-87395-546-1.;
Paulos Gregorios (2002). Neoplatonism and Indian Philosophy. State University of New York Press. pp. 71–79, 190–192, 210–214. ISBN 978-0-7914-5274-5.
- Ben-Ami Scharfstein (1998). A Comparative History of World Philosophy: From the Upanishads to Kant. State University of New York Press. pp. 62–74. ISBN 978-0-7914-3683-7.
- Jones, Constance (2007). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 472. ISBN 0816073368.
- Monier-Williams, p. 201.
- Max Muller, Chandogya Upanishad 1.13.4, The Upanishads, Part I, Oxford University Press, page 22
- Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, page 85
- Robert Hume, Chandogya Upanishad 1.13.4, Oxford University Press, page 190
- Patrick Olivelle (2014), The Early Upanishads, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195124354, page 185
- S Radhakrishnan, The Principal Upanishads George Allen & Co., 1951, pages 22, Reprinted as ISBN 978-8172231248
- Vaman Shivaram Apte, The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary, see apauruSeya
- D Sharma, Classical Indian Philosophy: A Reader, Columbia University Press, ISBN , pages 196-197
- Jan Westerhoff (2009), Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka: A Philosophical Introduction, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195384963, page 290
- Warren Lee Todd (2013), The Ethics of Śaṅkara and Śāntideva: A Selfless Response to an Illusory World, ISBN 978-1409466819, page 128
- Hartmut Scharfe (2002), Handbook of Oriental Studies, BRILL Academic, ISBN 978-9004125568, pages 13-14
- Mahadevan 1956, pp. 59-60.
- Ellison Findly (1999), Women and the Arahant Issue in Early Pali Literature, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Vol. 15, No. 1, pages 57-76
- Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, pages 301-304
- For example, see: Kaushitaki Upanishad Robert Hume (Translator), Oxford University Press, page 306 footnote 2
- Max Muller, The Upanishads, p. PR72, at Google Books, Oxford University Press, page LXXII
- Patrick Olivelle (1998), Unfaithful Transmitters, Journal of Indian Philosophy, April 1998, Volume 26, Issue 2, pages 173-187;
Patrick Olivelle (2014), The Early Upanishads, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195124354, pages 583-640
- WD Whitney, The Upanishads and Their Latest Translation, The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 7, No. 1, pages 1-26;
F Rusza (2010), The authorlessness of the philosophical sūtras, Acta Orientalia, Volume 63, Number 4, pages 427-442
- Mark Juergensmeyer et al. (2011), Encyclopedia of Global Religion, SAGE Publications, ISBN 978-0761927297, page 1122
- Olivelle 1998, p. 12-13.
- Olivelle 1998, p. xxxvi.
- Patrick Olivelle, Upanishads, Encyclopedia Britannica
- Olivelle 1998, p. xxxvii.
- Olivelle 1998, p. xxxviii.
- Olivelle 1998, p. xxxix.
- Deussen 1908, pp. 35–36.
- Tripathy 2010, p. 84.
- Sen 1937, p. 19.
- Sharma 1985, pp. 3, 10–22, 145.
- Geoffrey Samuel (2010), Tantric Revisionings, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120827523, pages 60–61, 87–88, 351–356
- Deussen, Bedekar & Palsule (tr.) 1997, pp. 556-568.
- Olivelle 1992, pp. x-xi, 8-11.
- Ayyangar, T. R. Srinivasa (1941). The Samanya-Vedanta Upanisads. Jain Publishing (Reprint 2007). ISBN 978-0895819833. OCLC 27193914.
- Holdrege 1995, pp. 426.
- Srinivasan, Doris (1997). Many Heads, Arms, and Eyes. BRILL Academic. pp. 112–120. ISBN 978-9004107588.
- Ayyangar, TRS (1953). Saiva Upanisads. Jain Publishing Co. (Reprint 2007). pp. 194–196. ISBN 978-0895819819.
- M. Fujii, On the formation and transmission of the JUB, Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora 2, 1997
- Olivelle 1998, pp. 3–4.
- Ranade 1926, p. 61.
- Joshi 1994, pp. 90–92.
- Heehs 2002, p. 85.
- Lal 1992, p. 4090.
- Rinehart 2004, p. 17.
- Singh 2002, pp. 3–4.
- Schrader & Adyar Library 1908, p. v.
- Olivelle 1998, pp. xxxii-xxxiii.
- Paul Deussen (1966), The Philosophy of the Upanishads, Dover, ISBN 978-0486216164, pages 283-296; for an example, see Garbha Upanishad
- Patrick Olivelle (1992), The Samnyasa Upanisads, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195070453, pages 1-12, 98-100; for an example, see Bhikshuka Upanishad
- Brooks 1990, pp. 13–14.
- Parmeshwaranand 2000, pp. 404–406.
- Paul Deussen (2010 Reprint), Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 2, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814691, pages 566-568
- Peter Heehs (2002), Indian Religions, New York University Press, ISBN 978-0814736500, pages 60-88
- Robert C Neville (2000), Ultimate Realities, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0791447765, page 319
- Stephen Phillips (2009), Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231144858, pages 28-29
- Patrick Olivelle (1992), The Samnyasa Upanisads, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195070453, pages x-xi, 5
- The Yoga Upanishads TR Srinivasa Ayyangar (Translator), SS Sastri (Editor), Adyar Library
- AM Sastri, The Śākta Upaniṣads, with the commentary of Śrī Upaniṣad-Brahma-Yogin, Adyar Library, OCLC 7475481
- AM Sastri, The Vaishnava-upanishads: with the commentary of Sri Upanishad-brahma-yogin, Adyar Library, OCLC 83901261
- AM Sastri, The Śaiva-Upanishads with the commentary of Sri Upanishad-Brahma-Yogin, Adyar Library, OCLC 863321204
- Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, pages 217-219
- Prāṇāgnihotra is missing in some anthologies, included by Paul Deussen (2010 Reprint), Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 2, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814691, page 567
- Atharvasiras is missing in some anthologies, included by Paul Deussen (2010 Reprint), Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 2, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814691, page 568
- Glucklich 2008, p. 70.
- Fields 2001, p. 26.
- Olivelle 1998, p. 4.
- S Radhakrishnan, The Principal Upanishads George Allen & Co., 1951, pages 17-19, Reprinted as ISBN 978-8172231248
- Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli, The Principal Upanishads, Indus / Harper Collins India; 5th edition (1994), ISBN 978-8172231248
- S Radhakrishnan, The Principal Upanishads George Allen & Co., 1951, pages 19-20, Reprinted as ISBN 978-8172231248
- S Radhakrishnan, The Principal Upanishads George Allen & Co., 1951, page 24, Reprinted as ISBN 978-8172231248
- Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, pages 114-115 with preface and footnotes;
Robert Hume, Chandogya Upanishad 3.17, The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Oxford University Press, pages 212-213
- Henk Bodewitz (1999), Hindu Ahimsa, in Violence Denied (Editors: Jan E. M. Houben, et al), Brill, ISBN 978-9004113442, page 40
- PV Kane, Samanya Dharma, History of Dharmasastra, Vol. 2, Part 1, page 5
- Chatterjea, Tara. Knowledge and Freedom in Indian Philosophy. Oxford: Lexington Books. p. 148.
- Tull, Herman W. The Vedic Origins of Karma: Cosmos as Man in Ancient Indian Myth and Ritual. SUNY Series in Hindu Studies. P. 28
- Mahadevan 1956, p. 57.
- Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, pages 30-42;
- Max Muller (1962), Manduka Upanishad, in The Upanishads - Part II, Oxford University Press, Reprinted as ISBN 978-0486209937, pages 30-33
- Eduard Roer, Mundaka Upanishad Bibliotheca Indica, Vol. XV, No. 41 and 50, Asiatic Society of Bengal, pages 153-154
- Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, pages 331-333
- "laid those fires" is a phrase in Vedic literature that implies yajna and related ancient religious rituals; see Maitri Upanishad - Sanskrit Text with English Translation EB Cowell (Translator), Cambridge University, Bibliotheca Indica, First Prapathaka
- Max Muller, The Upanishads, Part 2, Maitrayana-Brahmana Upanishad, Oxford University Press, pages 287-288
- Hume, Robert Ernest (1921), The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Oxford University Press, pp. 412–414
- Hume, Robert Ernest (1921), The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Oxford University Press, pp. 428–429
- Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, pages 350-351
- Paul Deussen, The Philosophy of Upanishads at Google Books, University of Kiel, T&T Clark, pages 342-355, 396-412
- RC Mishra (2013), Moksha and the Hindu Worldview, Psychology & Developing Societies, Vol. 25, No. 1, pages 21-42
- Mark B. Woodhouse (1978), Consciousness and Brahman-Atman, The Monist, Vol. 61, No. 1, Conceptions of the Self: East & West (JANUARY, 1978), pages 109-124
- Jayatilleke 1963, p. 32.
- Jayatilleke 1963, pp. 36-39.
- James Lochtefeld, Brahman, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A–M, Rosen Publishing. ISBN 978-0823931798, page 122
- [a] Richard King (1995), Early Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791425138, page 64, Quote: "Atman as the innermost essence or soul of man, and Brahman as the innermost essence and support of the universe. (...) Thus we can see in the Upanishads, a tendency towards a convergence of microcosm and macrocosm, culminating in the equating of Atman with Brahman".
[b] Chad Meister (2010), The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195340136, page 63; Quote: "Even though Buddhism explicitly rejected the Hindu ideas of Atman (“soul”) and Brahman, Hinduism treats Sakyamuni Buddha as one of the ten avatars of Vishnu."
[c] David Lorenzen (2004), The Hindu World (Editors: Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby), Routledge, ISBN 0-415215277, pages 208-209, Quote: "Advaita and nirguni movements, on the other hand, stress an interior mysticism in which the devotee seeks to discover the identity of individual soul (atman) with the universal ground of being (brahman) or to find god within himself".
- PT Raju (2006), Idealistic Thought of India, Routledge, ISBN 978-1406732627, page 426 and Conclusion chapter part XII
- Mariasusai Dhavamony (2002), Hindu-Christian Dialogue: Theological Soundings and Perspectives, Rodopi Press, ISBN 978-9042015104, pages 43-44
- For dualism school of Hinduism, see: Francis X. Clooney (2010), Hindu God, Christian God: How Reason Helps Break Down the Boundaries between Religions, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199738724, pages 51-58, 111-115;
For monist school of Hinduism, see: B Martinez-Bedard (2006), Types of Causes in Aristotle and Sankara, Thesis - Department of Religious Studies (Advisors: Kathryn McClymond and Sandra Dwyer), Georgia State University, pages 18-35
- Jeffrey Brodd (2009), World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery, Saint Mary's Press, ISBN 978-0884899976, pages 43-47
- Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, page 91
- [a] Atman, Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press (2012), Quote: "1. real self of the individual; 2. a person's soul";
[b] John Bowker (2000), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0192800947, See entry for Atman;
[c] WJ Johnson (2009), A Dictionary of Hinduism, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0198610250, See entry for Atman (self).
- Soul is synonymous with Self in translations of ancient texts of Hindu philosophy
- Alice Bailey (1973), The Soul and Its Mechanism, ISBN 978-0853301158, pages 82-83
- Eknath Easwaran (2007), The Upanishads, Nilgiri Press, ISBN 978-1586380212, pages 38-39, 318-320
- John Koller (2012), Shankara, in Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion, (Editors: Chad Meister, Paul Copan), Routledge, ISBN 978-0415782944, pages 99-102
- Paul Deussen, The Philosophy of the Upanishads at Google Books, Dover Publications, pages 86-111, 182-212
- Lanman 1897, p. 790.
- Brown 1922, p. 266.
- Slater 1897, p. 32.
- Varghese 2008, p. 132.
- Mahadevan 1956, pp. 62-63.
- Paul Deussen, The Philosophy of the Upanishads, p. 161, at Google Books, pages 161, 240-254
- Ben-Ami Scharfstein (1998), A Comparative History of World Philosophy: From the Upanishads to Kant, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791436844, page 376
- H.M. Vroom (1996), No Other Gods, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, ISBN 978-0802840974, page 57
- Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty (1986), Dreams, Illusion, and Other Realities, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0226618555, page 119
- Archibald Edward Gough (2001), The Philosophy of the Upanishads and Ancient Indian Metaphysics, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415245227, pages 47-48
- Teun Goudriaan (2008), Maya: Divine And Human, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120823891, pages 1-17
- KN Aiyar (Translator, 1914), Sarvasara Upanishad, in Thirty Minor Upanishads, page 17, OCLC 6347863
- Adi Shankara, Commentary on Taittiriya Upanishad at Google Books, SS Sastri (Translator), Harvard University Archives, pages 191-198
- Radhakrishnan 1956, p. 272.
- Raju 1992, p. 176-177.
- Raju 1992, p. 177.
- Ranade 1926, pp. 179–182.
- Mahadevan 1956, p. 63.
- Encyclopædia Britannica.
- Radhakrishnan 1956, p. 273.
- King 1999, p. 221.
- Nakamura 2004, p. 31.
- King 1999, p. 219.
- Collins 2000, p. 195.
- Radhakrishnan 1956, p. 284.
- John Koller (2012), Shankara in Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion (Editors: Chad Meister, Paul Copan), Routledge, ISBN 978-0415782944, pages 99-108
- Edward Roer (Translator), Shankara's Introduction, p. 3, at Google Books to Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad at pages 3-4; Quote - "(...) Lokayatikas and Bauddhas who assert that the soul does not exist. There are four sects among the followers of Buddha: 1. Madhyamicas who maintain all is void; 2. Yogacharas, who assert except sensation and intelligence all else is void; 3. Sautranticas, who affirm actual existence of external objects no less than of internal sensations; 4. Vaibhashikas, who agree with later (Sautranticas) except that they contend for immediate apprehension of exterior objects through images or forms represented to the intellect."
- Edward Roer (Translator), Shankara's Introduction, p. 3, at Google Books to Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad at page 3, OCLC 19373677
- KN Jayatilleke (2010), Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, ISBN 978-8120806191, pages 246-249, from note 385 onwards;
Steven Collins (1994), Religion and Practical Reason (Editors: Frank Reynolds, David Tracy), State Univ of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791422175, page 64; Quote: "Central to Buddhist soteriology is the doctrine of not-self (Pali: anattā, Sanskrit: anātman, the opposed doctrine of ātman is central to Brahmanical thought). Put very briefly, this is the [Buddhist] doctrine that human beings have no soul, no self, no unchanging essence.";
Edward Roer (Translator), Shankara's Introduction, p. 2, at Google Books, pages 2-4
Katie Javanaud (2013), Is The Buddhist 'No-Self' Doctrine Compatible With Pursuing Nirvana?, Philosophy Now;
John C. Plott et al (2000), Global History of Philosophy: The Axial Age, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120801585, page 63, Quote: "The Buddhist schools reject any Ātman concept. As we have already observed, this is the basic and ineradicable distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism".
- Panikkar 2001, p. 669.
- Panikkar 2001, pp. 725–727.
- Panikkar 2001, pp. 747–750.
- Panikkar 2001, pp. 697–701.
- Olivelle 1998.
- Klostermaier 2007, pp. 361–363.
- Chari 1956, p. 305.
- Stafford Betty (2010), Dvaita, Advaita, and Viśiṣṭādvaita: Contrasting Views of Mokṣa, Asian Philosophy, Vol. 20, No. 2, pages 215-224, doi:10.1080/09552367.2010.484955
- Jeaneane D. Fowler (2002). Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 298–299, 320–321, 331 with notes. ISBN 978-1-898723-93-6.
- William M. Indich (1995). Consciousness in Advaita Vedanta. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 1–2, 97–102. ISBN 978-81-208-1251-2.
- Bruce M. Sullivan (2001). The A to Z of Hinduism. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-8108-4070-6.
- Stafford Betty (2010), Dvaita, Advaita, and Viśiṣṭādvaita: Contrasting Views of Mokṣa, Asian Philosophy: An International Journal of the Philosophical Traditions of the East, Volume 20, Issue 2, pages 215-224
- Edward Craig (2000), Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415223645, pages 517-518
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- Complete set of 108 Upanishads, Manuscripts with the commentary of Brahma-Yogin, Adyar Library
- Upanishads, Sanskrit documents in various formats
- The Upaniṣads article in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- The Theory of 'Soul' in the Upanishads, T. W. Rhys Davids (1899)
- Spinozistic Substance and Upanishadic Self: A Comparative Study, M. S. Modak (1931)
- W. B. Yeats and the Upanishads, A. Davenport (1952)
- The Concept of Self in the Upanishads: An Alternative Interpretation, D. C. Mathur (1972)
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