The Upanishads are writings that are part of the Aranyakas, which is part of the Veda. The ideas in the Upanishads is the basis of the Vedanta philosophy. Approximately 150 Upanishads exist, but traditionally, the number is 108. The Upanishads includes prose, poetry, and verse. Some of the writings are short; some are more than fifty pages. They may have been created between 400 BC & 200 BC.
The Upanishads is about the nature of the universal soul, Brahman. It discusses the identity the innermost soul of each individual (atman) with Brahman. Other subjects are the purpose and nature of existence, how to meditate, death, protection, and reincarnation.
The Upanishads focus on intuition, rather than the intellect, as a path to ultimate truth.
These are some of the most important writings:
1. The Isha Upanishad describes the world as being enveloped by the Supreme.
2. The Kena Upanishad is about the Goddess Uma Haimavati (in the form of Supreme Knowledge) talking about the doctrine of the Brahman.
3. The Katha Upanishad covers how Nachiketa declines his father’s gift land. He meets the God of Death, Yama and asks for the secret of immortality.
4. The Mundaka Upanishad is related to the Bhagavad-Gita. It is about the rules of life when following a futile path. Click here to download pdf
5. The Taitiriya Upanishad goes into detail about the basic doctrines.
6. The Svetasvatara Upanishad contains a summary of the main Upanisadic doctrines. It also discusses the idea of a personal God.
7. The Chandogya Upanishad says that the main doctrines of the Upanisads were first developed by the warriors (Kshatriyass) and not by the ruling class (Brahmins).
8. The Kausitaki Upanishad explains that the ruling class (Brahmins) made a thorough study of philosophy.
9. Aitareya Upanishad – Click here to download pdf
10. ISHA Upanishad – Click here to download pdf