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Mukhya Upanishads

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Title: Mukhya Upanishads  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Aitareya Upanishad, Indian philosophy, Chandogya Upanishad, Upanishads, Samkhya
Collection: Upanishads
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mukhya Upanishads

Part of a series on the Hindu scriptures
Bṛhadāraṇyaka · Īṣa · Taittirīya · Kaṭha
Chāndogya · Kena
Muṇḍaka · Māṇḍūkya · Praśna
Other Major Upanishads
Shvetashvatara ·Kaushitaki ·Maitrayaniya

The Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads is headed by 10 Mukhya Upanishads. These are the ten early Upanishads, known to and commented upon by the 8th[1] century scholar Shankara. The adjective mukhya means "principal", "chief", or "primary". Also known as Dashopanishads, these ten Mukhya Upanishads probably all predate the Common Era, and they are accepted as śruti by all Hindus:

  1. Īśā (IsUp), White Yajurveda
  2. Kena (KeUp), Samaveda
  3. Kaṭha (KaUp), Black Yajurveda
  4. Praṣna (PrUp), Atharvaveda
  5. Muṇḍaka (MuUp), Atharvaveda
  6. Māṇḍūkya (MaUp), Atharvaveda
  7. Taittirīya (TaiUp), Black Yajurveda
  8. Aitareya, (AiUp), Rigveda
  9. Chāndogya (ChhUp), Samaveda
  10. Bṛhadāraṇyaka (BṛUp), White Yajurveda

Linguistically, the oldest of these (Bṛhadāraṇyaka, Chāndogya) belong to the "Brahmana" period of Vedic Sanskrit, predating Panini. A middle layer (Kaṭha) belongs to the "Sutra" period of late Vedic Sanskrit, roughly contemporary with Panini, and the youngest are in early Classical Sanskrit, approximately contemporary with the Bhagavad Gita (roughly dating to the period from the 4th century BCE to the 4th century CE).

Nikhilananda (1962) also includes Shvetashvatara Upanishad (ŚvetUp) as eleventh "Principal Upanishad". Robert Hume (1921) in his translation of "Thirteen Principal Upanishads", included Shvetashvatara Upanishad, Kaushitaki Upanishad and Maitri Upanishad.

The Principal Upanishads (1953) by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan gives the text and English translation of a total of eighteen Upanishads, including the 13 listed by Hume (1921), plus Subāla, Jābāla, Paiṅgala, Kaivalya, Vajrasūcikā (Muktika nos. 30, 13, 59, 12 and 36).


  • Hume, Robert Ernest (1921), The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Oxford University Press 
  • Johnston, Charles (2014) [1920-1931], The Mukhya Upanishads, Kshetra Books,  
  • Nikhilananda, Swami (2003) [1963], The Principal Upanishads, New York: Courier Dover Publications,  
  • Radhakrishnan, Sarvapalli (1994) [1953], The Principal Upanishads, New Delhi: HarperCollins Publishers India,  

See also


  1. ^ Comans, Michael (2000). The Method of Early Advaita Vedānta: A Study of Gauḍapāda, Śaṅkara, Sureśvara, and Padmapāda. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 163. 
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