Indian Philosophy: 1st study “Vedas and Upanishads”

Introduction to the Vedas and Upanishads.

The Vedas are a body of religious hymns and texts spread through oral tradition in South Asia. The texts were composed in Vedic Sanskrit and constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism.

There are four Vedas: the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda and the Atharvaveda. Each Veda has four subdivisions – the Samhita (mantras and blessings), the Aranyakas (texts on rituals, ceremonies, sacrifices and symbolic sacrifices), the Brahmanas (commentaries on rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices) and the Upanishads (texts discussing meditation, philosophy and spiritual knowledge).

Study of Philosophical Texts

Nasadiya Sukta and Purusha Sukta

The Isha Upanishad is one of the principal (mukhya) and earliest Upanishads. Its name derives from the initial words of the text, īśā vāsyam, “enveloped by the Lord”, In the eighteen verses, the metaphysical and epistemological philosophy of the Vedanta develops around the inner self (atman). It is taught in the course “Vedas and Upanishad”

Extracts from the principal Upanishads.

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