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The Muktikā ("deliverance", see mukti) refers to the canon of 108 upaniṣad. The date of composition of each is unknown, with the oldest dated to be before 500 BC, and the youngest composed sometime in the medieval era. The older texts were transmitted orally, from generation to generation, in ancient India. The written form of the canon predates the 1656 CE record of the canon by Dara Shikoh.
The canon is part of a dialogue between Rama and Hanuman. Rama proposes to teach Vedanta, saying "Even by reading one verse of them [any Upanishad] with devotion, one gets the status of union with me, hard to get even by sages." Hanuman enquires about the different kinds of "liberation" (Mukti, hence the name of the Upanishad), to which Rama answers that "the only real type [of liberation] is Kaivalya".
The list of 108 Upanishads is introduced in verses 26-29,
- "But by what means is the Kaivalya kind of Moksha got? The Mandukya is enough; if knowledge is not got from it, then study the Ten Upanishads. Getting knowledge very soon, you will reach my abode. If certainty is not got even then, study the 32 Upanishads and stop. If desiring Moksha without the body, read the 108 Upanishads. Hear their order" (trans. Warrier)[full citation needed]
The "Ten Upanishads" are the mukhya or principal ones.
The list of 108 names is given in verses 30-39. They are as follows:
- Isha Upanishad
- Kena Upanishad
- Katha Upanishad
- Prashna Upanishad
- Mundaka Upanishad
- Mandukya Upanishad
- Taittiriya Upanishad
- Aitareya Upanishad
- Chandogya Upanishad
- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
- Brahma Upanishad
- Kaivalya Upanishad
- Shvetashvatara Upanishad
- Aruneya Upanishad
- Amritabindu Upanishad
- Nada Bindu Upanishad
- Atharvashikha Upanishad
- Maitrayaniya Upanishad
- Kaushitaki Upanishad
- Tejobindu Upanishad
- Brahmavidya Upanishad
- Yogatattva Upanishad
- Mahanarayana Upanishad
- Advayataraka Upanishad
- Avadhutaka Upanishad
- Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad
- Ganapati Upanishad
- Gopala Tapani Upanishad
- Krishna Upanishad
- Hayagriva Upanishad
- Dattatreya Upanishad
- Garuda Upanishad
- Kali-Santarana Upanishad
- Muktikā Upanishad (this text)
Almost all printed editions of ancient Vedas and Upanishads depend on the late manuscripts that are hardly older than 500 years, not on the still-extant and superior oral tradition. Michael Witzel explains this oral tradition as follows:
The Vedic texts were orally composed and transmitted, without the use of script, in an unbroken line of transmission from teacher to student that was formalized early on. This ensured an impeccable textual transmission superior to the classical texts of other cultures; it is, in fact, something like a tape-recording.... Not just the actual words, but even the long-lost musical (tonal) accent (as in old Greek or in Japanese) has been preserved up to the present."
In this canon,
- 10 upaniṣads are associated with the Rigveda and have the shānti beginning vaṇme-manasi.
- 16 upaniṣads are associated with the Samaveda and have the shānti beginning āpyāyantu.
- 19 upaniṣads are associated with the Shukla Yajurveda and have the shānti beginning pūrṇamada.
- 32 upaniṣads are associated with the Krishna Yajurveda and have the shānti beginning sahanāvavatu.
- 31 upaniṣads are associated with the Atharvaveda and have the shānti beginning bhadram-karṇebhiḥ.
The first 10 are grouped as mukhya ("principal"). 21 are grouped as Sāmānya Vedānta ("common Vedanta"), The remainder are categorized as "sectarian", associated with five different branches of Hinduism, 23 with Sannyāsa (asceticism), 9 with Shaktism, 14 with Vaishnavism, 14 with Shaivism and 17 with Yoga.
|Shukla Yajurveda||Krishna Yajurveda||Atharvaveda||Samaveda||Ṛgveda|
These are the Upanishads accepted by all Vedantic schools as śruti, and are not idiosyncratic to any sect.
- Patrick Olivelle (1998), Upaniṣhads. Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199540259, see Introduction
- Quotation of "... almost all printed editions depend on the late manuscripts that are hardly older than 500 years, not on the still extant and superior oral tradition" is from: Witzel, M., "Vedas and Upaniṣads", in: Flood 2003, p. 69.
- For the quotation comparing recital to a "tape-recording" see: Witzel, M., "Vedas and Upaniṣads", in: Flood 2003, pp. 68–69.
- Muktika Upanishad, Translated by Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier, Published by The Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai,[year needed]
- Flood, Gavin, ed. (2003), The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., ISBN 1-4051-3251-5
|Sanskrit Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Muktika Upanishad - Translated by: Dr. A. G. Krishna Warrier The Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai
- 108 Upanishads of the Muktika