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Thread: Which upanishads are Shruti?

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    Which upanishads are Shruti?

    Hi,

    I was wondering which of the upanishads are considered Shruti by hindus. Is it all of the 108 that are described in the Muktika upanishad or just the principle 10? Or does it differ depending on sect?

    Thanks in advance,

    Wilfred.

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    Re: Which upanishads are Shruti?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~


    namast wcrow,


    Quote Originally Posted by wcrow View Post
    Hi,

    I was wondering which of the upanishads are considered Shruti by hindus. Is it all of the 108 that are described in the Muktika upanishad or just the principle 10? Or does it differ depending on sect?

    Thanks in advance,

    Wilfred.

    Let me offer you this point of view:
    śruti is defined as hearing, listening vs. smṛti . From the vedic point of view , the veda was directly cognized, 'heard' or seen by the ṛṣi.

    We know ṛṣi has a few key terms in it - ṛṣ is to bring near by flowing and this is rooted in dṛś - to see , to see by divine intuition. Hence the ṛṣi sees the hymns of truth by bringing them near ( consciousness), by divine intuition. Some call this seeing the continuous flow (saṃhitā) that comes to the ṛṣi's consciousness.

    Now we need to revist this śruti again as it's śru component means to hear , listen but also to attend to anything , to be attentive, to learn.
    One can say the ṛṣi was attentive to the flow of the truth that s/he saw in the field of consciousness.

    Hence the veda is śruti and the upaniṣads are vedānta, the end of the veda-s. That is, they are the cream of the veda-s yet not directly heard
    as if they were the ṛg ved (saṃhitā) in a purely śruti (divine intuition - 'seen') condition. Yet it is the wise ( those with divine sight) that offer the vedānta to us. It is they that see the truth in the veda-s and then offer the wisdom for one's study and consideration.

    Hence the upaniṣad-s in their purest definition is not śruti ( directly heared) but are anchored in the veda.

    praṇām


    words/references
    • smṛti - that which is remembered, called to mind ; the whole body of sacred tradition or what is remembered by human teachers (in contrast to śruti or what is directly heard or revealed to the ṛṣi-s ; We can consider smṛti an oral tradition of passing wisdom.
    • more on the upaniṣads: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=4617
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Which upanishads are Shruti?

    Thankyou yajvan for the answer. I did not realize that they were not Shruti, I thought that they were part of the vedas and are held to be "from god" like the vedas. I re-phrase my question - which of the upanishads are considered authorititive, if not shruti?

    Thankyou,

    Wilfred.

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    Re: Which upanishads are Shruti?

    Quote Originally Posted by wcrow View Post
    I did not realize that they were not Shruti, I thought that they were part of the vedas and are held to be "from god" like the vedas. I re-phrase my question - which of the upanishads are considered authorititive, if not shruti?

    Thankyou,

    Wilfred.
    There is no need to rephrase your question. Your classification of Upanishads as shruti is correct. Upanishads are of course shruti, and together with Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas they form what is called the Vedas.

    It is only a matter of contention if all of the writings that are titled Upanishad really belong to the Vedas or if some later manuscripts are only given that high sounding name to add to their credibility.

    We have a reason for these doubts because there are some later writings, with the name of Upanishad that, judging from the style and content, clearly are not belonging to the corpus of authentic Upanishads.

    Though Vedas are said to be apaurusheya, that is not uttered by a person, it does not mean that they are uttered by a "god" but that they exist eternally and reappear in each new creation cycle at the very beginning.

    Rk, Yajus, Sama, and Atharva Vedas, consisting of Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads, are the same in the current cycle of ages, then they where in that cycle before, they come into existance in the beginning of one creation cycle, as a subtle mass of sounds, letters, words and their meaning, this cluster is non different from brahman itself, it is the creative power of brahman, his vak devi (speech goddess) or shakti (power).

    So it is true to say that this vedic speech is brahman, not that it was uttered or created by brahman much less by a "god" or "gods" . Since Vedas have no beginning in time, any sort of revealation or utterance is not possible, because then something or someone must have existed prior to the Vedas

    Therefore they can only be found and later their details explored or seen by Rishis (Seers). The written and oral transmitted Vedas that are available on earth are only a small part of the mass of Letters that constitute the complete Vedas or primal creative power of speech. (vak devi)

    There are therefore also other shastras or mantras , besides the Veda, that are considered shruti in that sense of eternal existing scripts, by other tradition than the vedantic, in the class of tantras or agamas.

    sa manasa vAchaM mithunaM saMbhavat
    with mind and speech He created all this. brhadaranyaka 1.2.4


    yajnena vAchah padavIyamAyantAmanvavindann rShiShu praviShTAM
    by means of the sacrifices they (the brahamanas) found the meaning of the speech which they found dwelling in the Rishis. Rgveda 10.71.3


    I have found a list of Upanishads that are pre-checked for some requirements of authenticity, and seems to be quite complete i cannot vouch for its full reliability, but it is nonetheless certainly of some help:

    Ancient Upanishads of the Veda

    I. Shakala Charana of Rigveda
    1. Aitreya Upanishad (2nd Aranyaka of the Aitreya Aranyaka).
    2. Asyavaamiya Sukta (Rigveda 1,164,1-64)
    3. Purusha Sukta (Rigveda X, 90)
    4. Nasadiya Sukta (Rigveda X, 129)
    5. Hiranyagarbha Sukta (Rigveda X,121,1-10)
    6. Vac Sukta (Rigveda
    7. Mudgala Upanishad of Mudgala Shakha
    8. Galava Upanishad of Galava Shakha

    II. Bashkala Charana of Rigveda
    1. Bashkalamantra Upanishad

    III. Mandukeya Charana of Rigveda
    1. Bavrucha Upanishad

    IV. Shankhayana Charana and Kaushitaki Charana of Rigveda
    1. Kaushitaki Brahamana Upanishad in the Shankhayana Aranyaka
    2. Samhita Upanishad in the Shankhayana Aranyaka

    V. Taittiriya Charana of Krishna Yajurveda
    1. Taittiriya Upanishad (Taittiriya Aranyaka prapathaka VII-IX)
    2. Yajniki or Mahanarayana Upanishad (Taittiriya Aranyaka prapathaka X)

    VI. Kathaka Charana of Krishna Yajurveda
    1. Kathakamantra or Kathaka or Katha or Kathavalli Upanishad (concluding
    chapters of Kathaka Upanishad Mantra Samhita)
    2. Kathashruti Upanishad
    3. Kanthashruti Upanishad
    4. Shivasamkalpa Brahamana (also in RV Ashwalayana Shakha and RV Mandukeya
    Shakha)
    5. Katha Shiksha Upanishad (first chapter of Kathaka Upanishad Mantra
    Samhita)

    VI. Maitrayaniya Charana of Krishna Yajurveda
    1. Maitrayaniya Upanishad or Maitrayainiya Aranyaka or Brihadaranyaka of
    Maitrayaniya Shakha (the Charaka Aranyaka manuscript is almost identical to this text)
    2. Chhagaleya Upanishad of the Chhagaleya Shakha
    3. Shvetashvatara Upanishad of the Shvetashvatara Shakha

    VII. Vajasneya Shakhas or Shukla Yajurveda Shakhas
    1. Vajasneyi Samhita Upanishad or Isha or Ishavasya Upanishad (Madhyandina and Kanva recensions).
    2. Brihadarnyaka Upanishad (Madhyandina and Kanva recensions).
    3. Agnirahasya section in book X of Shatapath Brahman
    4. Jabala Upanishad of Jabala Shakha
    5. Subala Upanishad
    6. Mandala Brahamana Upanishad
    7. Tadeva Upanishad (in Yajurveda Samhita)
    8. Rudrasukta (In Yajurveda Samhita)

    VIII. Jaiminiya or Talavakara Shakha of Samaveda
    1. Jaiminiya Brahmana Upanishad or Talavakara Aranyaka
    2. Kena Upanishad in the Talavakara Aranyaka
    3. Shatyayana Gayatri Upanishad in the Talavakara Aranyaka
    4. Pranagnihotra in the initial sections of the Jaiminiya Brahman

    IX. Kauthuma and Ranayaniya Shakhas of Samaveda
    1. Chhandogya Upanishad or Tandya Rahasya Upanishad

    X. Shaunaka Shakha of Atharvaveda
    1. Atharvana Upanishad or Mantra Upanishad of Atharvaveda or Mundaka Upanishad
    2. Pranava Upanishad ( in Gopatha Brahmana)
    3. Skambha Sukta
    4. Ucchishta Sukta
    5. Prana Sukta
    6. Gayatri Upanishad (Gopatha Brahamana I, 32-33)
    7. Brahma Sukta

    XII. Paippalada Shakha of Atharvaveda
    1. Prashna Upanishad
    2. Brahma Upanishad
    3. Garbha Upanishad
    4. Samhita Upanishad or Brahma Sukta (Paippalada Atharvaveda VIII, 9, 1-12)

    XIII. Atharva Veda Upanishads of Unknown Shakhas or not belonging to any Shakha
    1. Chulika Upanishad
    2. Mandukya Upanishad
    3. Brahmabindu Upanishad
    4. Nadabindu Upanishad
    5. Dhyanabindu Upanishad
    6. Amritabindu Upanishad
    7. Tejobindu Upanishad
    8. Atharvashiras Upanishad
    9. Atharvashikha Upanishad
    10. Kaivalya Upanishad

    XIV. Upanishads whose Vedic Shakha is not known or which do not belong to any Shakha
    1. Shaunaka Upanishad
    2. Arsheya Upanishad

    (List from Vishal Agarwal from advaita-l mailing list)
    Last edited by MahaHrada; 04 February 2010 at 08:14 PM.

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    Re: Which upanishads are Shruti?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~


    namasté wcrow,

    Quote Originally Posted by wcrow View Post
    Thankyou yajvan for the answer. I did not realize that they were not Shruti, I thought that they were part of the vedas and are held to be "from god" like the vedas. I re-phrase my question - which of the upanishads are considered authorititive, if not shruti?

    Thankyou, Wilfred.
    There is no fault in your question... Note that I wrote the following:
    Hence the veda is śruti and the upaniṣads are vedānta, the end of the veda-s.

    Upaniṣads are the end of the veda... so, part of veda, not separate.
    Make sense?

    The beauty of the notion , the end of the veda-s means one need not go further, 'end' is the final word, completeness, thoroughness of the knowledge. This why the upaniṣads are called veda+anta.
    Veda is rooted in vid or knowledge , to know + anta which is defined as end, limit. So, together vedānta is the end of knowledge, completeness , one needn't go further because it is the end-all of knowledge. See my point? hope this helps.

    praṇām
    Last edited by yajvan; 04 February 2010 at 11:08 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Which upanishads are Shruti?

    Namaste Yajvan ji,

    It is intriguing for me to hear from you that, "Vedanta" is not Shruti. If it is not, then it is not part of the Vedas. Then the Purva Mimaansa is more authoritative than the Uttar Mimaansa.

    Vedas are called without beginning and without end because (as per my understanding) it is what is revealed in the purity of mind & so this revelation is eternal. If I or you can have the purity of mind even today then the Truth reflected must match the Vedas.

    I really don't know. Can you please elaborate ?

    Regards,

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Which upanishads are Shruti?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~


    namast devotee (et.al)


    I have reviewed this knowledge in the above post... My post was and still is how the information came to the seer (ṛṣi). This remains my POV.

    Also note regarding vedānta , I mention the following:
    Veda is rooted in vid or knowledge , to know + anta which is defined as end, limit. So, together vedānta is the end of knowledge, completeness , one needn't go further because it is the end-all of knowledge. See my point? hope this helps.
    Simply said, one needn't go further for wisdom, as the upaniṣads offers all that one may need, it is the end-stop, the conclusion. It brings all the wisdom of the veda ( as it too is the same) to the individual.

    Now that said, and so this too does not cause mischief, other śāstra-s are rich and robust in the truth (sat) and knowledge (vid); an example would be the āgama-s.

    For those with a burning desire to understand the finer points of this position (seen vs. heard portions of vid) consider the difference between the kṛṣṇa yajur ved and the śukla yajur ved - one will come to recognise the difference between mantra-draṣtāraḥ and mantra-smartāraḥ.


    If for some reason this discussion on the upaniṣads causes some knot in one's comprehension then I will hold off and not pursue it... to go further even in definition and description requires more subtle discussion and this too will may add more knots in the fabric of awareness, and this I do not wish to do.

    For now I will yield to others on this discussion and will await a future date to go any deeper or wider.

    praṇām

    words
    • śukla - pure, spotless
    • kṛṣṇa - black or dark blue in color
    • yajur = yajus - is worship , sacrifice
    Last edited by yajvan; 05 February 2010 at 04:30 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Which upanishads are Shruti?

    Maha:

    thankyou for that list. Many of the 108 that I know of are not on that list, which is interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    Upaniṣads are the end of the veda... so, part of veda, not separate.
    Make sense?
    Yes, I think I understand. Not exactly "shruti" but part of the vedas.

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post

    For those with a burning desire to understand the finer points of this position (seen vs. heard portions of vid) consider the difference between the kṛṣṇa yajur ved and the śukla yajur ved - one will come to recognise the difference between mantra-draṣtāraḥ and mantra-smartāraḥ.


    If for some reason this discussion on the upaniṣads causes some knot in one's comprehension then I will hold off and not pursue it... to go further even in definition and description requires more subtle discussion and this too will may add more knots in the fabric of awareness, and this I do not wish to do.
    I for one would love for you to elaborate, as I feel this would really help my understanding.

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    Re: Which upanishads are Shruti?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~

    namasté wcrow

    I for one would love for you to elaborate, as I feel this would really help my understanding.


    Let me say this... our conversation ended with the idea of veda, rooted in vid or knowledge , to know + anta which is defined as end, limit. So, together vedānta. Yet our conversations here on HDF are not complete, they are snippets from various parts of knowlege.

    To help your understanding it would be worthy of merit to begin reading ( study or investigation - mīmāṃsā) this vedānta, the upaniṣads. Just by reading, pondering, coming to HDF and asking questions about the subject matter will fuel your comprehension. Where to begin? This posts offers a reasonable suggestion:
    http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=4617


    The ved in general can be grouped into various śākhā-s¹ (branches or limbs). Within these śākhā-s there are various sections dealing with karma kanda¹ ( action) , upāsana kanda ( worship, yajña and the like), and jñāna kanda (knowledge). As you would expect the upaniṣads fall into jñāna ( some like to write gyana) kanda. It offers the most profound knowlege for one to consider.

    Why knowledge ? Knowledge is the basis of action, action is the basis of achievment and achivement is the basis of fulfillment... so knowledge has much to do with life both mundane and spiritual.
    Kṛṣṇa tells us, na hi jñānena sadṛṣa pavitram i.e. certainly ~indeed (hi) there is nothing (na) so purifying (pavitram) or suitable (sadṛṣa) then knowledge (jñānena) - Bhāgavad gītā , chapter 4, 38th śloka.

    Yet at the end of the day it is knowledge + experience that will bring one to their goal. Knowledge gives direction, understanding and insight. Experience gives the taste, the personal touching of the Reality within and without us. It improves one's clarity of mind, comprehension and merit.

    Much can be said about both of these and it is found throughout this HDF site, within the upaniṣads and various śāstra-s. But what is the goal - why take this course of action? To experience fullness, completeness that we really are: pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaṃ - That is full (whole) this is full (whole) - īśāvāsya upaniṣad

    praṇām

    words and refererences
    • śākhā - a branch or school of the veda. Example in the caraṇa-vyūha , a work by śaunaka treating of these various schools , five śākhās are called out for the ṛg-veda, forty-two or forty-four out of eighty-six of the yajur-veda , twelve out of a thousand said to have once existed of the sāma-veda and nine of the atharva-veda
    • kanda - defined as a lump, a swelling, knot , is used to define a section of division of work one may view
      in the śāstra-s.
    • upāsana - adoration , worship
    Last edited by yajvan; 08 February 2010 at 03:41 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Which upanishads are Shruti?

    Yajvan:

    Thank you very much for your reccomendation of which upanishads to read first. Hopefully when I have read them I will have some questions and we can continue this discussion.

    thanks,

    Wilfred.

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