Ten Principal Upanishads

What’s the News?

US President was presented by Indian PM with a number of gifts, including a first edition print of the book The Ten Principal Upanishads from 1937.

About the Ten Principal Upanishads

  • The Ten Principal Upanishads is a version of the Upanishads translated by Irish poet W. B. Yeats and the Indian-born mendicant-teacher Shri Purohit Swami.
  • The translation process occurred between the two authors throughout the 1930s and the book was published in 1938; it is one of the final works of W. B. Yeats
  • The book is considered one of the best translations, aiming to retain the original text’s essence while being accessible to the general reader.

Categories of Hindu scriptures

1) Shruti (loosely translated as “the revealed”) – It is considered to be the (Rig, Yajur, Sama most authoritative and consists of the four Vedas and Atharva) and . These include Brahmanas (ritual accompanying textstexts), Aranyakas (“forest” or “wilderness” texts), and Upanishads (philosophical texts).

2) Smriti (“the remembered”) – It is – in many ways, less authoritative they are considered to be derived from the first – but more popularly known. These include the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata,Dharmashastras, Puranas and all other post-Vedic scriptures.

What are the Upanishads?


  • According to the World History Encyclopedia, “The Upanishads hold of significant importance as the philosophical-religious texts , also known as Sanatan Dharma, signifying the “Eternal HinduismOrder” or “Eternal Path,”
  • The name itself can be interpreted as “sitting down closely,” reflecting the attentive listening one would give to instructions from a teacher or authoritative figure.
  • They serve to explore the fundamental principles of the religion.
  • Date back to roughly 800-500 BC, are also known as the Vedanta – as they signal the end of the total Veda – speculate about the ontological connection between the atman, or the distinct, unchanging self of an individual, and the brahman, the ultimate reality in the universe.
  • There are over 200 Upanishads but the traditional number is 108.
  • Of them, only 10 are the principal Upanishads: Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashan, Mundaka, Mandukya, Tattiriya, Aitareya, Chhandogya and Brihadaranyaka.



  • The term “,” and the veda” translates to “knowledgefour Vedas are believed to embody the fundamental understanding of human existence.
  • These works, regarded as Shruti in Hinduism, meaning “what is heard,” are believed to have originated from the vibrations of the before universe and were initially transmitted orally by sages being recorded in written form between approximately 1500 and 500 BCE.
  • The Upanishads are considered the “end of the Vedas” (Vedanta) as they expand upon, elucidate, and develop the concepts found in the Vedas through narrative dialogues. In doing so, they encourage individuals to personally and spiritually engage with these concepts.
  • The Upanishads were given importance by eighth century Hindu , whose interpretations synthesised the scholar Adi ShankaraAdvaita Vedanta tradition.
  • This philosophy emphasises on the illusory nature of the and puts forth the idea that the transient phenomenal world brahman is the only and ultimate real.
  • They explore metaphysical inquiries, the nature of existence, the concept of karma, the path to liberation (moksha), and the interconnectedness of all beings.

Who was WB Yeats?

  • WB Yeats (1865-1939) was born in Ireland and is regarded as one of the most influential figures in modern English literature.
  • One of the he was a foremost figures of 20th-century literature, driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival.
  • WB Yeats’ connection to India can be seen through his friendship with Rabindranath Tagore and his earlier poems inspired by India.
  • Yeats wrote three poems that referred to India: ‘The Indian to his Love’, ‘The Indian upon God’, and ‘Anushuya and Vijaya’.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
Open chat
Any Time Doubt
Exact IAS
Any Time Doubt