The Upanishads: Part 1 (Sacred Books of the East)

The Upanishads: Part 1 (Sacred Books of the East)

Author: Anonymous, F. Max Müller

Format: Kindle Edition

Pages: 513

Language: English

Description du Livre

The Sacred Books of the East (SBE) series, comprising fifty volumes, was issued by the Oxford University Press between 1879 and 1910. It has translations of key sacred texts of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, and Islam. The series was edited by the famous linguist and scholar of comparative religion, Max Müller. He wrote three of the volumes, and collaborated on three others. The SBE has been designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works.
The Upanishads (Sanskrit: Upaniṣad; IPA: [upəniʂəd]) are a collection of texts that contain some of the central philosophical concepts of Hinduism, some of which are shared with Buddhism and Jainism. The Upanishads are considered by Hindus to contain utterances (śruti) concerning the nature of ultimate reality (brahman) and describing the character of and path to human salvation (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, some 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 start of common era through medieval Hinduism. New Upanishads, beyond the 108 in the Muktika canon, continued to being 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.

With the translation of the Upanishads in the early 19th century they also started to attract attention from a western audience. Schopenhauer was deeply impressed by the Upanishads and called it "the production of the highest human wisdom". The 19th century transcendentalists noted the influence of the Upanishads in western philosophy.

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