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Q1. Which is the most important Upanishads?


The following shloka enumerates the top ten


ईश केन कठा प्रश्न मुण्ड माण्डूक्य तैत्तिरी।ऐतरेयं छान्दोग्यं बृहदारण्यकं दशम्॥


Isha - shukla yajur veda (40th chapter of vAjasaneyi samhitA)


Kena - sAma veda (last section of talavakAra brAhmaNam)


Katha - Krishna yajur Veda (ending chapters of kathaka brahmana)


Prashna - Atharva Veda (paippalAda Samhita)


Mundaka - Atharva Veda (uncertain of shAkhA)


mANDUkya - Atharva Veda (uncertain of shAkhA)


TaittirIya - kRShNa yajur veda (chapters 7–9 of taittirIya AraNyaka)


Aitareya - Rg Veda (chapters 4–6 of aitareya AraNyaka)


chAndogya - sAma veda (AraNyakam of tANDya brAhmaNa)


bRihadAraNyaka - shukla yajur veda (AraNyakam of satapatha brAhmaNam)


Other than these, two more are considered ancient and authoritative:


kauShItaki - Rg veda (embedded in the kauShItaki brAhmaNa)


shvetAshvatara - (associated with Krishna yajur Veda )

Q2. Why Upanishads are called Vedanta?


The word Vedanta is made of two words


Veda (वेद) - refers to the four sacred Vedic texts.


Anta (अंत) - this word means "End".


The word Vedanta means the end of the Vedas and originally referred to the Upanishads. Vedanta is concerned with the jñānakāṇḍa or knowledge section of the Vedas which is called the Upanishads. The denotation of Vedanta subsequently widened to include the various philosophical traditions based on the Prasthana Traya.


The Upanishads may be regarded as the end of Vedas in different senses


1.   These were the last literary products of the Vedic period.


2.   These mark the culmination of Vedic thought.


3.   These were taught and debated last, in the Brahmacharya (student) stage.

Q3. What are 108 Upanishads?


The Upanishadic texts are part of the Shruti literature and are considered to be divine in origin.


They are associated with the names of several ancient seers.


Rigveda (10) :  Aitareya, Atmabodha, Kaushitaki, Mudgala, Nirvana, etc.


Samaveda (16) : Kena, Chandogya, Mahat, Maitrayani, Savitri,  Maitreyi,  Jabali, etc.


Yajurveda : (50): Katha, Taittiriya, Isavasya , Brihadaranyaka , Akshi, Ekakshara, Garbha Brahma,  SarasvatIrahasya, etc


Atharvaveda (32) : Prasna, Mandukya, Mundaka, Atma, Surya, Narada-Parivrajaka, Parabrahma, Paramahamsa-Parivrajakas, Pasupatha-Brahma, Mahavakya, Sandilya, Krishna, Garuda , Dattatreya Atharvasira, etc

Q4. Are 108 Upanishads available?


The names of 108 Upanishads are given in the Muktika Upanishad. The Rig Veda contains 10, Samaveda 16, Shukla Yajurveda 19, Krishna Yajurveda 31, and Atharvaveda 32 Upanishads.


Per some scholars, there are about 350 Upanishads, but only 108 of them are considered authoritative. In Rig Veda, there were 21. Visnu Purana mentions the number of Shaakaas to be 1180; another scholar says there were 1133 shakhas.


During 5000 years or more since Veda Vyasa, many Saakhaas have been lost. Out of 1180, we are in the unfortunate position of only six or seven.

Q5. What is Upanishads 9?


Verse 9- अन्धन्तमः प्रविशन्ति येऽविद्यामुपासते ततो भूय इव ते तमोय विद्यायां रताः


They who worship Avidya alone fall into blind darkness, and they who worship Vidya alone fall into even greater darkness.


The first purport of the Vedas, the acquisition of knowledge of the Brahman by renunciation of all desires has been explained in the first mantra Isavasyam, etc. This text “Andhantamah,” etc., is addressed to those who desire to live here continually performing Karma. They enter into blind darkness and follow Avidya.  Avidya is something other than Vidya or knowledge, like Karma; for Karma is opposed to knowledge. And they fall even into greater darkness.

Q6. Who wrote all Upanishads?


While the Upanishads are ascribed to the four Vedas, 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 major Upanishads in their current form seem to have originated from various ancient Vedic schools (shakhas) and teacher traditions. There is no definite answer to this question.


The various philosophical theories in the early Upanishads have been attributed to famous sages such as Yajnavalkya, Uddalaka Aruni, Svetaketu, Shandilya, Aitareya, Balaki, Pippalada, and Sanatkumara. Women, such as Maitreyi and Gargi, participate in the dialogues and are also credited in the early Upanishads.