The Early Upanishads: Annotated Text and Translation (South by Patrick Olivelle

By Patrick Olivelle

This can be the total variation of the early Upanisads, the significant scriptures of Hinduism. that includes Patrick Olivelle's acclaimed new English translation (Oxford, 1996), it is usually the full Sanskrit textual content, in addition to variation readings, scholarly emendations, and reasons of Olivelle's offerings of specific readings. the amount additionally encompasses a concordance of the 2 recensions of the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad, and an in depth bibliography.

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If the latter date is accepted, which I favor, then the dates of the early Upanisads should be pushed forward a century or so (see Witzel 1989, 241-51). 12 Introduction next; all are probably pre-Buddhist and can be assigned to the sixth to fifth centuries BCE. The Kena is the oldest of the verse Upanisads and contains many of the themes, such as the search for the one god who is both the creator and the agent of liberation for humans, that recur in the four subsequent verse Upanisads. Of these, the oldest is probably the Katha, followed by Isa, Svetasvatara,22 and Mundaka.

The visible and manifest universe has proceeded from the original primal matter; the three qualities are distributed in different proportions within the various constituents of the universe. Unlike classical Samkhya, however, this early cosmology posits a single and unique god who rules over the primal matter and regulates the production of the visible universe from it. Besides primal matter and god, there are the individual souls of humans, souls that are trapped within material bodies produced by primal matter.

15. These are, of course, historical questions. Theologically, the Brahmanical tradition considers the Vedas as revelation. The mainstream view is that they are without human or divine authors; they arc self-existent knowledge (veda literally means 'knowledge') 'heard' by ancient seers (hence sruti or 'hearing' is another term for Veda). Others consider the Vedas to have been revealed by God. 10 Introduction These are difficult questions to answer, because the Upanisads have come down to us as anonymous documents and, apart from evidence internal to the texts themselves, no external evidence exists regarding their authorship or dates.

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