The Upanisads: A Complete Guide, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Upanisads

A Complete Guide, 1st Edition

Edited by Signe Cohen

Routledge

440 pages

CHOICE 2018 Outstanding Academic Title Award Winner
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Hardback: 9781138795051
pub: 2017-10-02
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Description

The Upaniṣads are among the most sacred foundational scriptures in the Hindu religion. Composed from 800 BCE onwards and making up part of the larger Vedic corpus, they offer the reader "knowledge lessons" on life, death, and immortality. While they are essential to understanding Hinduism and Asian religions more generally, their complexities make them almost impenetrable to anyone but serious scholars of Sanskrit and ancient Indian culture.

This book is divided into five parts:

  • Composition, authorship, and transmission of the Upaniṣads;
  • The historical, cultural, and religious background of the Upaniṣads;
  • Religion and philosophy in the Upaniṣads;
  • The classical Upaniṣads;
  • The later Upaniṣads.

The chapters cover critical issues such as the origins of the Upaniṣads, authorship, and redaction, as well as exploring the broad religious and philosophical themes within the texts. The guide analyzes each of the Upaniṣads separately, unpacking their contextual relevance and explaining difficult terms and concepts. The Upaniṣads: A Complete Guide is a unique and valuable reference source for undergraduate religious studies, history, and philosophy students and researchers who want to learn more about these foundational sacred texts and the religious lessons in the Hindu tradition.

Reviews

"The Upanishads gives surprisingly in-depth analyses of fourteen classical Upanishads and five classes of later Upanishads. (…) One can effortlessly gain academic insight into this ancient corpus of metaphysical knowledge through this book. It can be used as a companion for studies of the Upanishads by scholars and laypeople alike. This book fills the gap of well-researched academic introductions to the Upanishads." - Swami Narasimhananda, editor of Prabuddha Bharata

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction: What is an Upaniṣad? by Signe Cohen

Chapter 2: The Date of the Upaniṣads by Signe Cohen

Chapter 3: The Authorship of the Upaniṣads by Signe Cohen

Chapter 4: The Redaction and Transmission of the Upaniṣads by Signe Cohen

Chapter 5: Ancient India: Geographical, Historical, and Cultural Background by Signe Cohen

Chapter 6: The Older Vedas and the Upaniṣads by Dermot Killingley

Chapter 7: The Religious and Ritual Background by Dermot Killingley

Chapter 8: The Upaniṣads and Early Buddhism by Signe Cohen

Chapter 9: The Social Background: Caste and Gender in the Upaniṣads by Steven Lindquist

Chapter 10: Prominent Characters in the Upaniṣads by Steven Lindquist

Chapter 11: Ātman and brahman in the Upaniṣads by Jacqueline Suthren Hirst

Chapter 12: Karma and Rebirth in the Upaniṣads by Dermot Killingley

Chapter 13: Knowledge and Liberation in the Upaniṣads by Dermot Killingley

Chapter 14: The Upaniṣadic Episteme by Jonardon Ganeri

Chapter 15: Mantras and Sacred Language by Signe Cohen

Chapter 16: The Upaniṣads and the Emergence of Theism by Dermot Killingley

Chapter 17: The Upaniṣads and Yoga by Dermot Killingley

Chapter 18: The Upaniṣads and the Mahābhārata by Brian Black

Chapter 19: The Upaniṣads and the Bhagavadgītā by Simon Brodbeck

Chapter 20: The Upaniṣads and Later Hinduism by Dermot Killingley

Chapter 21: Dara Shikoh and the First Translation of the Upaniṣads by Signe Cohen

Chapter 22: Schopenhauer and the Upaniṣads by Signe Cohen

Chapter 23: The Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad by Dermot Killingley

Chapter 24: The Chāndogya Upaniṣad by Dermot Killingley

Chapter 25: The Aitareya Upaniṣad by Signe Cohen

Chapter 26: The The Kauṣītaki Upaniṣad by Signe Cohen

Chapter 27: The Taittirīya Upaniṣad by Signe Cohen

Chapter 28: The Īśā Upaniṣad by Signe Cohen

Chapter 29: The Praśna Upaniṣad by Signe Cohen

Chapter 30: The Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad by Signe Cohen

Chapter 31: The Kaṭha Upaniṣad by Elizabeth Schiltz

Chapter 32: The Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad by Signe Cohen

Chapter 33: The Kena Upaniṣad by Signe Cohen

Chapter 34: The Maitrī Upaniṣad by Signe Cohen

Chapter 35: The Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad by Signe Cohen

Chapter 36: The Mahānārāyaṇa Upaniṣad by Signe Cohen

Chapter 37: The Vaiṣṇava Upaniṣads by Signe Cohen

Chapter 38: The Śaiva Upaniṣads by Signe Cohen

Chapter 39: The Devī Upaniṣads by Signe Cohen

Chapter 40: The Saṃnyāsa Upaniṣads by Signe Cohen

Chapter 41: The Yoga Upaniṣads by Signe Cohen

Chapter 42: Conclusion by Signe Cohen

About the Editor

Signe Cohen is Associate Professor of South Asian Religions at the University of Missouri, USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
REL000000
RELIGION / General
REL032000
RELIGION / Hinduism / General
REL032010
RELIGION / Hinduism / History