Mukhya Upanishads

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Mukhya Upanishads, also known as Principal Upanishads, are the most ancient and widely studied Upanishads of Hinduism. Composed between 800 BCE to the start of common era, these texts are connected to the Vedic tradition.[1] While some early colonial era Indology listed 10 Upanishads as Mukhya Upanishads, most scholars now consider the Principal Upanishads to be thirteen.[2][3][4]

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

The first ten of the above Principal Upanishads were commented upon by the 8th[5] century scholar, Adi Shankara. The adjective mukhya means "principal", "chief", or "primary". The Mukhya Upanishads are accepted as śruti by all Hindus, or the most important scriptures of Hinduism.[6]

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).


  • Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684
  • Hume, Robert Ernest (1921). The Thirteen Principal Upanishads. Oxford University Press.
  • Johnston, Charles (2014) [1920-1931]. The Mukhya Upanishads. Kshetra Books. ISBN 9781495946530.
  • Radhakrishnan, Sarvapalli (1994) [1953]. The Principal Upanishads. New Delhi: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN 81-7223-124-5.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ William K. Mahony (1998). The Artful Universe: An Introduction to the Vedic Religious Imagination. State University of New York Press. p. 271. ISBN 978-0-7914-3579-3.
  2. ^ John G. Arapura (2012). Gnosis and the Question of Thought in Vedānta: Dialogue with the Foundations. Springer. p. 57. ISBN 978-94-009-4339-1.; Quote: "These are the Isha, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Aitareya, Taittiriya, Brihadaranyaka, Chandogya and Svetasvatara. To this list is usually added the Kaushitaki and Maitrayaniya or Maitri) to make the thirteen principal Upanishads, a canon which has found favor with most scholars of the present day."
  3. ^ Hume, Robert Ernest (1921), The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Oxford University Press
  4. ^ Edward Fitzpatrick Crangle (1994). The Origin and Development of Early Indian Contemplative Practices. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. pp. 8, 12. ISBN 978-3-447-03479-1.
  5. ^ Comans, Michael (2000). The Method of Early Advaita Vedānta: A Study of Gauḍapāda, Śaṅkara, Sureśvara, and Padmapāda. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 163.
  6. ^ Kim Knott (2016). Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-0-19-874554-9.