Mukhya Upanishads

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Part of a series on the
Upanishads
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Rigveda
Aitareya
Yajurveda
Bṛhadāraṇyaka  · Īṣa
Taittirīya  · Kaṭha
Samaveda
Chāndogya · Kena
Atharvaveda
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 oldest Upanishads, known to and commented upon by the 9th century scholar Shankara. Sanskrit mukhya means "principal", "chief", or "eminent". Also known as Dashopanishads, these ten Mukhya Upanishads probably all predate the Common Era, and they are accepted as śruti by all Hindus. They are listed with their associated Veda (ṚV, SV, ŚYV, KYV, AV):

  1. Īṣa (IsUp), ŚYV
  2. Kena (KeUp), SV
  3. Kaṭha (KaUp), YV
  4. Praṣna (PrUp), AV
  5. Muṇḍaka (MuUp), AV
  6. Māṇḍūkya (MaUp), AV
  7. Taittirīya (TaiUp), KYV
  8. Aitareya, (AiUp), RV
  9. Chāndogya (ChhUp), SV
  10. Bṛhadāraṇyaka (BṛUp), ŚYV

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". Hume (1921) listed "Thirteen Principal Upanishads", including 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).

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