by Jayaram V
The exact number of the Upanishads is not clearly known. Scholars
the total number of Upanishads as well as on what constitutes an
Upanishad. Some of the Upanishads are very ancient, but some are
of recent origin.
The original Upanishads are the end portions of the four Vedas,
and there by came to be identified with "Vedanta", which literally
means the end of the Vedas. They dealt with the philosophical aspects
of the Vedas and were taught in ancient India to highly qualified
and selected individuals.
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. Some of these lived at least twenty
generations before Lord Krishna and the the probable date of the
Mahabharata war. Prominent among these sages were Yagnavalkya, Uddalaka
Aruni, Shandilya, Aitareya, Pipplapada and Sanatkumara.
Today there are estimated to be about 350 Upanishads, some well
known and some least known. The Bhagavad-Gita of Lord Krishna is
also considered to be an Upanishad because it contains the essence
of many of the Upanishads.
We have listed below 108 Upanishads as per the list contained
in the Muktikopanishad. We have arranged them in four categories
according to the particular Veda to which each of them belong. The
very important among these have been shown in bold letters. Those
Upanishads for which we have English Translations are shown prominently.