[Updated on 24-Jan-2017, added info about kaTharudra / kaThashruti / kaNThashruti upanishad]
I could not find any list of authentic Upanishads on internet. Hence I went ahead to create one. For study purpose, one can refer to any shastra or grantha if it is given by your Guru or in general it complements your own path or sect. In shastra-s, shruti is said to be supreme authority. Vedanta or Upanishads form a part of shruti and are often called as jnana kAnDa. Hence Upanishads are revered by all vedantins. However some fact finders and scholars, based on historical evidences claim that not all religious texts containing the word 'upanishad' are actually apaurusheya (unauthored). They claim that some so-called upanishads were created much later and then word upanishad was attached to them to alleviate their status and they were attached to a veda. Unlike some upanishads, not-so-old upanishads do not belong to any extant shAkhA of 5 veda-s (with Krishna and Shukla as the two). They claim that they may be created in some medieval times or even about some 300-400 years ago. Hence one should not blindly accept anything that contains the word 'Upanishad' as authentic and genuine Upanishad. Since Bhagavad Gita is the essence of Upanishads, Upanishads have to be older than the MahAbhArata period. However tracing back to MahAbhArata (often called as 'BhArata') is very difficult as our shastra-s were penned down much later in KAlI yUga.
In this context, let us understand what parameters they consider while judging the authenticity of any upanishad. Some of the factors are mentioned below. While some fact finders are genuine, some do it for not so good purpose. Anyway, we will try to understand this only for educational purpose, as it is good to understand reason behind their claims.
Authentic Upanishads are the ones which are
It should be noted that the classification is very subjective as too many parameters are involved. So it is just a guess work.
It is believed that there are about 223 extant Upanishads. Ideally there are 1180 shAkhA-s of Veda-s. Each ShakhA has at least one Upanishad. Hence, there should be at least 1180 upanishads. However only 1 % of veda-s remain extant. There are only 11 Extant shAkhA-s. ShakhA-s with Authentic chanting may be around 6-7 only. atharva vEda is almost lost. No one in south recites atharva vEda with authentic chanting says kAnchI paramAcArya. Upon intense search they found one Gujarati Brahmin well versed in one SAkhA of atharva vEda. It is said that only Saunaka SakhA is extant. So most of the upanishads belonging to atharva vEda are either lost or we do not know their SAkhA's.
To find authenticity would be after all a guess work.
muktikA upanishad is a discourse between srI hanumAna and bhagavAna rAma. Just before bhagavAna rAma was leaving this world, srI hanumAna asked srI rAma about various upanishad-s and different types of mukti-s like sAlOkya, sAyujya, sAmipya, sArUpya, which can be granted by the grace of srI rAma, but for kaivalya mutki, one needs brahmaGYAna and mANDukya upanishad is enough (it explains meaning of OM - A-U-M). (Different types of mUkti-s are also given in bhAgavat pUrANa 3.29.13)
muktikA upanishad lists names of 108 Upanishads serially and lists itself as 108th Upanishad. It categories each upanishad into one category i.e. mukhya (Main / Principle) upanishads, sAmAnya (general) upanishads, Saiva upanishads, vaishnava upanishads, Sakta upanishads and yOga upanishads. Full list can be found here.
I-i-15-17. Hanuman: Rama, sages speak differently: some say there is only one kind of liberation. Others say it can be got by worshipping your name and by the Taraka mantra at Kashi. Others speak of Sankhya-Yoga and Bhakti-Yoga, the enquiry into Vedanta-Vakyas etc.
I-i-18-23. Rama: Liberation is of four kinds: Salokya etc. But the only real type is Kaivalya. Anybody even though leading a wicked life, attains Salokya, not other worlds, by worshipping my name. Dying in the sacred Brahmanala in Kashi, he will get the Taraka-mantra and also liberation, without rebirth. On dying anywhere (else) in Kashi, Maheshvara will utter the Taraka-mantra in his right ear. He gets Sarupya with me as his sins are washed away.
The same is called Salokya and Sarupya. Persevering in good conduct, with mind fixed upon me, loving me as the Self of all, the twice-born gets nearer to me – This is called the three forms of liberation. Salokya, Sarupya and Samipya.
I-i-24-25. Meditating on my eternal form as prescribed by the Teacher, one will surely achieve identity with me like the insects changing into the bee. This alone is the liberation of identity (Sayujya) yielding the bliss of Brahman.
All these four kinds of Mukti will be got by worshipping Me.
srI rAma further says
I-i-26-29. But by what means is the Kaivalya kind of Moksha got ? The Mandukya is enough; if knowledge is not got from it, then study the 10 Upanishads. Getting knowledge very soon, you will reach my abode. If certainty is not got even then, study the 32 Upanishads and stop. If desiring Moksha without the body, read the 108 Upanishads. Hear their order.
Traditionally 108 Upanishads are believed to be authentic.
svAmI SankarAnanda of ChinmayA mission, while commenting on panchadaSI 7.100 in hindi says,
In muktikA upanishad it is said that vEda-s has 1180 SakhA-s. In that
840 SAkhA-s are related to karmakAnDa
232 SAkhA-s are related to upAsanAkAnDa and
108 SAkhA-s are related to JnAnakANDa (GYAnakANDa)
(Total is 1180)
Another explanation can also be given
21 SAkhA-s belong to rgvEda (Rig veda / Rug veda)
109 SAkhA-s belong to yajurvEda
1000 SAkhA-s belong to sAmavEda
50 SAkhA-s belong to atharvavEda
(Total is 1180)
In karmakANDa various types of karma-s are given and different vEda-s give different instructions, but in upanishads only one thing is given i.e. unity of AtmA and brahma. Hence seeing differences in various upanishads, mumukshu should not get confused . To gain aparOksha GYAna, he must listen to one or more upanishads more than one time from gUrU.
The original verse which svAmI jI is commenting can be translated as
Difference in vEdic SAkhA-s and due to multiplicity of of desires different types of karma-s are prescribed in vEda-s. But one should not doubt about brahmaGYAna given in vEdAnta and one must practice shravaNA. - PanchdaSI 7.100
As far as advaita is concerned, no matha, be it chaturamnaya maTha-s (4 main maTha traditionally belonging to Adi Sankara bhagavadpAda), kAnchI kAmakOtI maTha or gauDapadAcArya maTha or any of the Sankara maTha-s (maTha-s associated with original maTha-s like upanishad brahma yOgi's maTha) have raised official objection.
Shringeri maTha often considered as most authentic has also accepted 108 upanishad and has not raised any objections to the authenticity of muktikA upanishad.
It 'line of thinking' was started and propogated by biased and paid members of British East East Company like Max Muller, who in his translation and commentary on principle upanishads titled 'Th Upanishads - Vol 1 and 2' in intro page 83-84 attests views and opinions of another indologist where it is mentioned that Adi Sankara quoted for a late text / recent upanishad 'nArAyaNa upanishad'. Their challenging Adi Sankara is unacceptable. All consider him as an authority on spiritual matters.
Great AcArya-s have appeared to uplift paralysed vedic dharma. The purpose of writing commentaries should be
Careful study shows that there are eetain minor errors even in version of gItA commented by Adi Sankara and rAmAnuja. One verse is added in version of rAmAnuja. abhinavagupta added 16 more verses to 700 verses. This shows that AcArya-s have commented on versions available during their time. verse-by-verse commentary helps in arresting further interpolations and copying errors from old manuscript to new one.
srI vidyAraNya svAmI flourished in 13-14th century and adorned Shringeri pEtha as JagatgUrU. Before sanyAsa, he was known by the name mAdava. He along with his brother sAyanAcAya wrote commentary on all 5 vEda-s (with KraShNa and sUkla as two). Their commentary is considered as authentic by both western and eastern scholars.
He had knowledge about 16 philosophical systems which he has showcased in his popular work among scholars by the name sarva-darSana-samgrah. He along with srI bhArtI kriSNa tIrtha, his predecessor composed drig-draShya-vivEka, another popular work. Other popular works are Jivanmukti vivEka and panchdaSI, often called as manual of advaita, anUbhUti prakASa and famous commentary on sUta samhitA, a part of skanda purANa by the name tAtparya-dipikA. srI vidyAraNya svAmI has also written dipikA-s on 8 upanishads, essence on srI surESvarAcArya's vArttika-s in his vArttika-sAra and has written commentaries on many smritI-s and has written essence of upanishads commented by srI Adi Sankara bhagvadapAda.
But the most famous work is biography of Adi SankarAcAya by the name mAdhaviya-dig-vijaya, often considered as most authentic biography among extanct version of biographies written by other pUrvAcArya-s.
List of his works are as follows
Rg Veda Bhashya
Krishna Yajur Veda Bhashya
Shukla Yajur Veda Bhashya
Sama Veda Bhashya
Atharva Veda Bhashya
Vivarana Prameya Sangraha
Jaiminiya Nyayamala Vistara
Vaiyasika Nyayamala Vistara
Suta Samhita Tatparya Dipika
Sri Yoga Vasishta Ramayana Sangraha (Laghu Yoga Vasishta)
Soundarya Lahari Tika
Lalita Sahasrnama Bhashya
Charana Vyuha Bhashya
Yajna Tantra Sudhanidhi
Shi Shankara Digvijaya (Biography of Sri Adi Shankaracharya)
Bodhayana Sutra Bhashya
Since muktikA upanishad is considered of dubious authenticity (not so ancient text), and hence upanishads mentioned in it are also not considered authentic by some scholars, lets shed some light on the authenticity of this upanishad.
Ten Major Upanishads mentioned in muktikA Upanishad are also commented by 4 AcArya-s including Adi SankarAcArya.
The Great VidyAraNya svAmI in his prakaraNa granth PancadaSI has cited a verse from MuktikA upanishad 2.64
दर्शनादर्शने हित्वा स्वयं केवलरूपतः .
य आस्ते कपिशार्दूल ब्रह्म स ब्रह्मवित्स्वयम् .. (2.64 Muktika Upanishad, 4.68 PanchdaSI - dvaita viveka)
O Brahman! The one leaving both darSana (GYAna, knowledge) and adarSana (aGYAna, ignorance), abides only in Self (svarUpa), he himself is Brahman only, not just knower of Brahman.
(in other words, Knower of Brahman is Brahman itself, Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavati, Mund. Up. 3.2.9). Sri Ramana Maharshi also says the same thing. According to Swami Shankarananda of Chinmaya Mission, who has Translated PancadaSI in Hindi and have commented on it says that this verse occurs in Yog VAsisTa too.
vidyAraNya svAmI also cites that there are other yOga upanishads while explaining the importance of yOga in advaita. This incidates that he was aware of more upanishads of yOga nature, hinting about his awareness of muktikA upanishad.
Still some people do not wish to accept it as authentic, as accepting it means accepting all upanishads. sectarian SampradAya-s worshipping only one deity find it difficult ot accept all upanishads cited in Muktikopanishat
Upanishad Brahma Yogin or Upanishad Brahmendra of Kanchi Kamakoti Math has commented on all 108 Upanishads listed Muktika Upanishad. Since Upanishad Brahman Yogin, which is a cognomen of RAmachandrendra Sarasvati has commented on 108 upanishads he was honoured with this title. Hence at least Kanchi Math considers all 108 upanishads as authentic. Shringeri Math accepts all 108, but study of Principle Upanishads is emphasized. Studying other upanishads is optional and is Self Study.
Since atharva vEda was getting extinct, we see that many efforts were made by pUrvAcArya-s to preserve. SrI Sankarananda, gUrU of srI vidyAraNya svAmI, srI BhArtI tirtha and srI nArAyaNa tIrth, all advaitins wrote commentaries and explanatory notes (dipikA-s) on many upanishads. srI appayA dikshita, a Saiva-advaitin, wrote commentaries and explanatory notes of some upanishads of atharva vEda. srI bhAskararAya, a shakta-advaitin, revived atharva vEda by learning authentic chanting and passing it onto others. srI bhAskararAya also wrote commentaries on many upanishads of atharva vEda.
A list of upanishads commented (dipikA) by srI nArAyaNa tIrtha are given later. There is one more pUrvAcArya by the name of nArAyaNa bhaTTa, son of ratnAkara bhaTTa, who has commented on upanishads. We do not have information about him. srI allAdI mahAdEva SAstrI, curator, founder of Adyar Library on his commentary on Amrit Bindu and Kaivalya upanishad with reference of mANDukya kArikA has written that srI nArAyaNa tIrtha and srI SankarAnanda has written dipikA-s on many upanishads of atharva vEda. Max Muller and Ramamaya Tarkratna has attributed commentaries of 30 upanishads to nArAyaNa bhaTTa.
Other commentators include laxmidhara, author of advaita-makaranda
Vaishnava AcArya-s have also commented on many upanishads.
srI abhinava gupta of Kashmir Saivism, a very unique AcArya, has commented on bhagavad gItA.
dArA Sikoh (1615-1659), as per king akbara's orders, translated 50 upanishads from sanskrit to persian. Some they his translations and picking of upanishads were based on dipikA-s by nArAyaNa tIrtha, a advaita saint, contemporary of vidyAraNya, SankarAnanda and bhArtI tIrtha.
108 upanishads listed in muktikA upanishad, commented by upanishad brahma yOgI (upanishad brahmendra) were published by Adyar Library.
Some Upanishads of the Atharva Veda have been published. The Asiatic Society of Bengal has published 27 of the Atharvana Upanishads with commentary of Narayana, as also one page of the Garudopanishat.
The Government of Bombay has published eleven Upanishads of the Atharva Veda including the Garudopanishad with (in the case of two of them) the commentaries of Narayana and SankarAnanda. Seven have the commentary of Narayana and the rest are without any commentary.
The Anandashrama of Poona has published a volume containing 32 Upanishads some of which belong to the Atharva Veda, a number of these have commentaries both by Narayana and SankarAnanda.
The Theosophical society have published two volumes containing 40 Upanishads the first of which was edited by Dr. Schrader and the second containing Yoga Upanishads by Pandit Mahadeva Shastri together with the commentaries of Brahmachari. Some of these belong to the Atharva Veda.
Sriyukta MahEsha Chandra PAla published some Upanishads of this vEda in Bengali character with Bengali translations. The Nirnaya Sagara Press of Bombay has published a volume containing the text only of 108 Upanishads which is erroneously believed by not a few to be a complete list. Preference (it may be here observed) has been given to some Upanishads because of the authority which they gained by reason of SankarAcArya's commentaries on them. Doubtless this fact is proof of their authority but it does not necessarily follow that the Upanishads not so dealt with by him are without authority. He may neither have had the time nor considered it necessary to comment upon other vedanta SAstras as did appayya dikshita, nArAyana, SankarAnanda and others.
Upanishads with commentary by nArAyaNabhaTTa
Max Muller in his Introduction on his book, 'The Upanishads - Vol II' has mentioned list of 30 upanishads commented by nArAyaNa bhaTTa. Max Muller on page XI says, "I subjoin a list of thirty of the smaller Upanishads, published by Professor Râmamaya Tarkaratna in the Bibliotheca Indica, with the commentaries of Nârâyanabhatta"
Max Muller Identifies nArAyaNabhaTTA as son of ratnAkara bhaTTA - "There is another commentary on this Upanishad by Nârâyanabhatta, the son of Bhatta Ratnâkara 5, who is well known as the author of Dîpikâs on several Upanishads"
Credit and Source
30 Upanishads with commentary by SrI nArAyaNa bhaTTa can be found in Bibliotheca Indica Series. Books published by Bibliotheca Indica Series can be found on sanskritebooks titled Atharvana Upanishads with Commentary of Narayana – Ramamaya Tarkaratna 1872 (Direct link).
Note: There are two authors by the name 'nArAyaNa', nArAyaNa bhaTTa and nArAyaNa tIrtha. Exact dates and commentaries need to be found out.
Recently Sriram Sharma Acharya has translated all 108 Upanishads into Hindi. Sriram Sharma AcArya, though a highly respected figure is also revisionist and some of this ideas like allowing women to perform yagna-s, etc are not acceptable to orthodox Hindu-s including present SankarAcArya-s, who follow traditional way of teaching. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, his knowledge about upanishads is not questioned by anyone and many have great respect for him including Karpatri Svami of Joshi Math / Jyotir Math.
Srila Prabhupada, in his purport on Sri Chaitanya Charitramita (CC Ādi 7.108) as listed 108 upanishads as traditional. Though he has written all 108 upanishads, he has missed some upanishads like NArAyaNa Upanishad and Jaimini Upanishad of Purva Mimamsa, cited by Sri Adi Shankara, which is not a part of the list of 108 upanishads found in Muktika Upanishad. Then there are some upanishads like Param Shruti and Paingi Shruti which are cited by Sri MAdhvAcArya, but are not extant anymore. Upanishads not listed in muktikA upanishad are omitted by srIlA prabhupAda.
Nitaaiveda.com has listed about 139 upanishads. Some names repeat more than one time. If we filter the duplicates, then we may end up with some 96-98 upanishads out if which one is NArAyanA Upanishad and other is Sri Chaitanya Upanishad (not universally accepted) are not found in 108 upanishads as listed in Muktika Upanishad. MAybe they have multiple versions of one upanishads or they have commentaries by different acharya-s. It looks like Nitaaiveda has uploaded all the info about veda-s without any discretion, as it contains Mandukya Upanishad with GauDapadAcArya's kArIkA. They must have uploaded it for educational purposes or for studying texts of other sampradAya-s. This is a very good sign and I highly appreciate it.
Note: after landing on site, Nitaaiveda.com, you will have to search for the word 'upanishads' (without quotes) in the search box on Left hand side. If search box is not visible, then click on any link which will open new page. There is a link on top of page which says, 'Click here to load full tree'. Click it and search box will appear.
We would not call other Upanishads not commented by any pUrvAcArya as fake or less authentic. To be on safer side, Upanishads that are commented, cited by pUrvAcArya-s are undoubtedly authentic. Not to denigrate other Upanishads, but for convenience, I will call the 'safe Upanishads' as 'Authentic Upanishads'. I call upanishads are 'safe upanishads', as even under strict conditions, not even a verse is interpolated. In this case, ten principle upanishads are undoubtedly authentic as they are commented by many acharya-s.
Please find list of authentic Upanishads.
(Kindly note that this list is not authentic and not exhaustive. If you know any other Upanishad which is considered as authentic, or placed in wrong category, kindly drop me email at indiaspirituality [at] gmail.com)
Credit and Source for citing commentaries of nArAyaNa and viSveSvara by Max Muller
(1) Kaivalya, (2) Svetasvatara, (3) Atharvasiras, (4) Atharvasikha and (5) Kalagnirudra, are called Pancharudropanishats. It is ordained that every devotee of Isvara should recite them daily before breakfast. Source
rAmAnujA did not write bhASya-s commentaries on upanishads but covered their essence in 'Vedartha sangraham'
An unknown svAmI has commented on NrisimhapUrvatApanI−upanishad and NrisimhottaratApanI−upanishad
gaNESa Upanishad / gaNESa atharvaSirSha / gaNapatI Upanishad with TattvaprakASika by TatvavidAnanda SarasvatI published by D.K. Publications / Exotic india (needs to know more info, as Swami ji is a 21st century saint)
gaNESa atharvaSirSha is mentioned in some smriti-s like shankha smriti. Proper reference needs to be found out. gaNESa atharvaSirSha is one of the 5 atharvaSirSha-s, - gaNapatya-atharvaSirSha, deivya-atharvaSirSha (devi atharvashirsha), Sivya-atharvaSirSha, sUrya-atharvaSirSha and nArAyaNAya-atharvaSirSha
Read online: Panchdev Atharvashirsha Sangrah Gita Press Sanskrit Hindi
 SrI SankarAnanda was 14th century Advaitin, Author of Atma PurANa, contemporary of SrI VidyAraNya. Official website of Kanchi Math says he was Shankaracharya of Kanchi Math (Sri Sankaranandendra Saraswati), while some, including the author of Advaita-Vedanta website, SrI VidyaSankar Sunderesan ji says he was associated to Shringeri Math, as SrI VidyAraNya svAmI has cited him in his PanchdaSI
 Adyar Library had published rare 72 Upanishads which are not a part of Muktika's 108 Upanishads under the title of 'Unpublished Upanishads'. The Pundits of Adyar Library categorized them in similar way as done in Muktika Upanishad i.e. sAmAnya, Saiva, Sakta, vaiSnava, yOga and sanyAsa.
An exhaustive list of available upanishads (total 343) is listed here
A separate list of upanishads commented by NarAyaNa is given below. NArAyaNa and Sankarananda wrote dikpikA-s on many upanishads most of them belonging to Atharva veda. Names of BhAratI tirtha and VidyAraNya are also mentioned as combined authors of certain dipikA-s
Note: There are two advaita authors nArAyaNa tIrtha and nArAyaNa bhaTTa.
srI allAdI mahAdEva SAstrI, curator, founder of Adyar Library on his commentary on Amrit Bindu and Kaivalya upanishad with reference of mANDukya kArikA has written that SrI nArAyaNa tIrtha and SrI SankarAnanda has written dipikA-s on many upanishads of atharva vEda. SrInArAyaNa tIrtha and SrI SankarAnanda are said to be contemporaries of SrI vidyAraNya svAmI, a 13th Century AchArya.
Max Muller and Ramamaya Tarkratna has attributed commentaries of 30 upanishads to SrI nArAyaNa bhaTTa.
Please find list of upanishads commented by nArAyaNa.
Direct Link: Atharvana Upanishads with Commentary of Narayana – Ramamaya Tarkaratna 1872
 Part of Muktika's 108 Upanishads
 After the list of 30 is complete, MAx Muller also attributes to Ramamaya arkaratna - "We owe to the same editor in the earlier numbers of the Bibliotheca the following editions:
Nrisimhapûrvatâparî-upanishad, with commentary.
Nrisimhottaratâpanî-upanishad, with commentary.
Shatkakra-upanishad, with commentary by Nârâyana.
Lastly, Harakandra Vidyâbhûshana and Visvanâtha Sâstrî have published in the Bibliotheca Indica an edition of the Gopâlatâpanî-upanishad, with commentary by Visvesvara."
shaTcakra upanishad is mentioned in 3rd line after the list is
Some Info about Preceptors of Advaita
Appayya Dikshita was an advaitin by heart. He saw the decline of Shaivism due aggressive preaching by Vaishnava-s. Hence he took the side of Shaivism, threw himself open to challenges and at times endangering his life at the hands of Vaishnava-s. Later he composed hyms on NArAyaNa. He blended advaita and shaiva and the path was known as shaiva-advaita.
BhAskararAya (often called as Bhaskaracharya).
He was a Shakta-Advaitin who revived worship of Sri Yantra and defeated many scholars of Dvaita and Vallabha School. Tripurasundari used to stand on his shoulders, hence he could not be defeated in debates. The then SankarAcArya of shringerI Math blessed him and appointed him as a representative of dharma and advaita.
BhAskararAya was an adept in Sri VidyA, which was mastered by Adi Shankara and his Guru Sri GovindapAda.
BhAskararAya is different from Bhaskara - I and Bhaskara - II, great mathematicians.
BhAskararAya is different from the Vaishnava saint by same name BhAskarAcArya of bhEdabhEda (bheda-abheda) siddhanta
Lakshmidhara, the author of the Advaitamakaranda (Advaita-Makaranda), a prakarana work on Advaita Vedanta, has to his credit two other works, namely, a commentary on Srimad Bhagavata and Bhagavan-namakaumudi dealing with nama-samkirtana as a means of attainment of purusharthas and with the meaningfulness of the Puranas.
The translation is not according to the traditional way and not written in sanskrit, YogirAja Lahiri MahASaya was a siddha and a fully realized being.
Upanishads noted below are considered of doubtful authenticity. This means that there is a split opinion among scholars to accept these Upanishads as authentic i.e. ancient.
Except KAlI santaraNa Upanishad, all other upanishads listed above have been commented by pUrvAcArya. Hence they too are authentic. However, some maintain that Upanishads should be fairly ancient and should be known before at least MahAbhArata. Hence any upanishads related to Krishna must have been written lately, though 'Krishna' word is mentioned in Chandogya Upanishad 3.17.6. The issue is debatable, however, pUrvAcArya-s, who were authority during their days have already written commentaries on these upanishads. Too add to it, SrI NArAyaNa bhaTTa has written dipikA on not just Vaishnava upanishads, but on all types of Upanishads, Saiva, sanyAsa, etc
Allah Upanishad or Allopanishad
This upanishad is considered as fake upanishad by many i.e. it is a creation of man during mughal period.
Saints doubting it's authenticity are Swami Dayananda Sarasvati of Arya Samaj, Swami Vivekananda and another monk of Ramakrishna Order.
Note: There is one more upanishad by the name Shailopanishat. However, I do not have any information about it.
Note: There are several other upanishads which are not listed here. These may be very important for Self Study like annapUrNa Upanishad, AtmA Upanishad, VarAha Upanishad, etc.
Credits: This work is compiled by srI Vishal Agarwal ji to whom we are very grateful for sharing it on internet. A discussion regarding the list can be found in advaita-vedanta.org archives. srI Vishal Agarwal ji has given an explanation for adding some of the text which are not considered as upanishads like PuruSa sukta here.
Ancient Upanishads of the Veda
I. Shakala Charana of Rigveda
Aitreya Upanishad (2nd Aranyaka of the Aitreya Aranyaka).
Asyavaamiya Sukta (Rigveda 1,164,1-64)
Purusha Sukta (Rigveda X, 90)
Nasadiya Sukta (Rigveda X, 129)
Hiranyagarbha Sukta (Rigveda X,121,1-10)
Vac Sukta (Rigveda)
Mudgala Upanishad of Mudgala Shakha
Galava Upanishad of Galava Shakha
II. Bashkala Charana of Rigveda
III. Mandukeya Charana of Rigveda
IV. Shankhayana Charana and Kaushitaki Charana of Rigveda
Kaushitaki Brahamana Upanishad in the Shankhayana Aranyaka
Samhita Upanishad in the Shankhayana Aranyaka
V. Taittiriya Charana of Krishna Yajurveda
Taittiriya Upanishad (Taittiriya Aranyaka prapathaka VII-IX)
Yajniki or Mahanarayana Upanishad (Taittiriya Aranyaka prapathaka X)
VI. Kathaka Charana of Krishna Yajurveda
Kathakamantra or Kathaka or Katha Upanishad
Katha Shiksha Upanishad
VI. Maitrayaniya Charana of Krishna Yajurveda
Maitrayaniya Upanishad or Maitrayainiya Aranyaka or Brihadaranyaka of Maitrayaniya Shakha (the Charaka Aranyaka manuscript is almost identical to this text)
Chhagaleya Upanishad of the Chhagaleya Shakha
Shvetashvatara Upanishad of the Shvetashvatara Shakha
VII. Vajasneya Shakhas or Shukla Yajurveda Shakhas
Vajasneyi Samhita Upanishad or Isha or Ishavasya Upanishad (Madhyandina and Kanva recensions).
Brihadarnyaka Upanishad (Madhyandina and Kanva recensions).
Agnirahasya section in book X of Shatapath Brahman
Jabala Upanishad of Jabala Shakha
Mandala Brahamana Upanishad
Tadeva Upanishad (in Yajurveda Samhita)
Rudrasukta (In Yajurveda Samhita)
VIII. Jaiminiya or Talavakara Shakha of Samaveda
Jaiminiya Braahmana Upanishad or Talavakara Aranyaka
Kena Upanishad in the Talavakara Aranyaka
Shatyayana Gayatri Upanishad in the Talavakara Aranyaka
Pranagnihotra in the initial sections of the Jaiminiya Brahman
IX. Kauthuma and Ranayaniya Shakhas of Samaveda
Chhandogya Upanishad or Tandya Rahasya Upanishad
X. Shaunaka Shakha of Atharvaveda
Atharvana Upanishad or Mantra Upanishad of Atharvaveda or Mundaka Upanishad
Pranava Upanishad ( in Gopatha Braahmana)
Gayatri Upanishad (Gopatha Brahamana I, 32-33)
(XI - missing)
XII. Paippalada Shakha of Atharvaveda
Samhita Upanishad or Brahma Sukta (Paippalada Atharvaveda VIII, 9, 1-12)
XIII. Atharva Veda Upanishads of Unknown Shakhas or not belonging to any Shakha
Chulika Upanishad (some refer by name mantrikA, needs to be verified if both are same), as mantrikA belongs to Sukla yajUrveda)
XIV. Upanishads whose Vedic Shakha is not known or which do not belong to any Shakha
Note: It should be noted that many upanishads commented by pUrvAcArya-s do not belong to any known SAkhA-s
Some more upanishads cited in his Vishnu Sahasranam bhASya can be found here.
Whether the upanishads are a later day creation, or are ancient, many upanishads claimed to be of dubious authenticity are accepted by legendary AcArya-s and other pUrvAcArya-s who were considered as authority during their days and are still remembered today with reverential attitude. The proof is their commentaries on such upanishads. These AcArya-s were working day and night through the life selflessly for the upliftment of humanity. Their intention cannot be questioned. Even certain texts which are a creation of a great saint are studied. Examples are srI Jayadeva's Gita Govinda, Adi SankarAcArya's and his successors prakaraNa grantha-s, SrI abhivana gupta's tantralOka to name a few.
Hence instead of questioning them or certain upanishads, we should accept them. We need to study all upanishads. There is no need to so they. They all ultimately lead to the same truth.
It is only some so-called-scholars, in a quest to prove the supremacy of their chosen deity will try to attack the rival sampradAya by questioning the authenticity of certain upanishads. Not all people are like them. Let us peacefully proceed towards our goal, from where there is no return to this mortal world. For self study, we need not try to dig deep into history.
After listing authentic Upanishads, lets see which Gita-s are considered as authentic.
1. Bhagavad GItA
A part of Mahabharata. First upadEsha by Krishna bhagavAn to in beloved disciple Arjuna. Most popular and unique Gita. Commented by many
2. Uttara GItA
Second upadesha of Sri Krishna to Arjuna of Yogic-advaitic nature. Commented by Sri GauDapadAcArya.
Contains three chapters. Talks about Jiva-Brahma Aikya and some info about nAdI-s and how jIva spreds throughout the body.
3. Anu GItA
Part of MahAbhArata. Third upadesha by Sri Krishna to Arjuna.
It forms part of the Asvamedha Parvan of the Mahâbhârata, and is contained in thirty-six chapters of that Parvan. These chapters--being chapters XVI to LI--together with all the subsequent chapters of the Asvamedha Parvan, form by themselves what in some of our copies is called the Anugîtâ Parvan-a title which affords a parallel to the title Bhagavadgîtâ Parvan, which we have already referred to. The Anugîtâ is not now a work of any very great or extensive reputation. But we do find some few quotations from it in the Bhâshyas of Sankarâkârya, and one or two in the Sankhya-sâra of Vigñâna Bhikshu,
Source | Main Page
Note: Adi Shankara has also commented on Sanat SujAtIyA, a part of Mahabharat.
4. Uddhava GItA
Part of BhAgavat PurANa, Canto 11, last message of Sri Krishna to his beloved cousin and disciple Sri Uddhava.
Excellent Gita, covers many issues like Varnashram dharma, Karma, Bhakti, Jnana, Idol worship
5. Shiva Gita / Siva GItA
A Part of Padma Purana, Patala khand / Uttara Khand (depending upon version of Padma Purana). A discourse between Bhagavan Shiva and Bhagavan Rama
Unique Gita, covering many fields, like dvaita, advaita, svarUpa of Jiva, Glories of Bhagavan Shiva, his virATa svarUpa and his impersonal nature, beyond three guNa-s. explanation of panchamahAbhUta-s, equality and respect for viShNu, nirAkAra and sAkAra upAsanA, ways of worshipping Siva, transmigration of jIva, jIva gatI after death and how again jIva enters another body, etc. Contains 16 chapters. In some editions, 16th chapter is divided into 3 (16, 17 and 18). In some versions, even though Shiva Gita ends in 16th chapter, two more chapters are found
Chapter 17: brahmanirUpaNa yOga
Chapter 18: jIvanamukti svarUpa nirupaNa yOga
Commentaries on Shiva Gita:
Complete Shiva Gita (Link given only for educational purpose. Vaishnava-s may not like this blog, however, there is no intention from the author of Understanding Advaita to hurt sentiments)
Shiva Gita in Print version is available at Gita Press, translated by shri Nandlal Dashora, Published by Randhir Prakashan. translation and commentary is in Hindi Language
(Though it is published by Randhir Prakashan, it is available at Gita Press).
Another translation is done by Khemraj in Hindi. It is available at:
# 91/109, Khemraj Shrikrishnadass Marg,, 7th Khetwadi Back Road Corner,
Mumbai - 400004 (Maharashtra) India
Phone(s) : +91-22-2385 7456
Fax : +91-22- 2385 7456
Another translation in Hindi is available at
Karamsingh Amarsingh Bookstore, Bara Bazar, Haridwar
6. AshTAvakra GItA
An ancient independent text. A discourse between King Janak and AshTAvakra munI. It is based on ajAta vAda. Not recommended for all.
7. Yog VasisTa or VasisTa GItA
Yog VasisTa is considered as an important text for advaitins and is authored by Sage VAlmikI. SrI VidyAraNya svAmI has cited it many times in his pancadaSI.
There are many traditional commentaries by Kashimri and Advaita Saints indicating it's popularity and of being ancient text of high importance. through puranic like stories, but with advaita as the final goal, the messages are given in very clear cut way, even touching ajAta vAda. yOga vaisiTha boldly says this world is brama (illusion), not real (asatya) and that the whole world is pervaded by non-dual atman. It also says that Atman, brahman and paramatman are one and the same.
Various commentaries written in traditional way (in sanskrit) are extant.
vasiSTha-rAmAyaNa-candrikA by advayAraṇya (son of narahari)
tAtparya prakASa by Ananda Bodhendra SarasvatI (seems to be disciple of gangAbodhendra sarasvatI. Not much info is available with me)
bhASya by GangAdharendra
pada candrikA by mAdhava SarasvatI
laghu-yOga-vasistha-samgrah by vidyAraNya svAmI
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu prohibited reading this text, as it teaches advaita. Advaita prabhu, a disciple used to listen to it's discourses from advaitins and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was not happy about his disciple. The incident can be found in Sri Chaitanya Charitramrita, CC Adi 12.40.
Largest version of Yoga VasisTa contains 25000 verses and has equal no of verses as commentary. Shorter version, called LAghu Yoga VasisTa (Laghu means small), contains 5000 verses. Still shorter version contains 1000 verses. there is still a shorter version called as Yoga VAsisTa Sara. Swami Chinmaya has selected about 100 verses in his translation of Yoga VasisTa sAra.
Yoga VAsisTa has adopted a unique method of teachings in the form of beautiful stories full of deep meaning.
This Gita is not recommended for all.
Sri Ramanashram has published Yoga Vasista sara here. Many other version are available on internet.
There are many Gita-s found in PUrANa-s, which are considered as authentic by some but may not have universal acceptance. Some of them are listed below
8. VasisTa version of Bhagavad GItA or Bhagavad Gita as predicted by Sage VasisTa (Part of Yog VasisTa)
Recently, a commentary by Swami Ved Bharti under the title of ‘Song of The Lord (Gita in Yoga-Vasistha)’
Moving away from the traditional Mahabharata narration, Yoga-Vasistha presents a different narrative approach by the Vedic seer, Vasistha – about the Krsna-Arjun dialogue –to his pupil Rama as if it would happen eventually in the remote future.
Some also say that study of Bhagavad gita is incomplete and it has to be studied along with Vasista’s version of Bahgavad Gita
9. Ribhu Gita
Part of Shiva-Rahasya Up-PUrANa is highly revered and recommended by Sri Ramana Maharshi. Some do not consider Up-PUrANa-s as Authentic, however Adi Shankara in his Vishnu Sahasranama BhASya has cited 3 up-uparANa-s.
10. Guru Gita
Part of Skanda PurANa. Many verses from it are chanted as daily prayers to Guru. Gained Popularity in today’s age.
Extremely useful in developing Guru Bhakti.
Not known to have been cited or commented by any pUrvAcArya-s.
Guru Gita in pdf and html format (available in Hindi and English. Hindi Translation is done by Shri Nandlal Dashora and is published by Randhir Prakashan)
11. Avadhoot Gita and Jivan Mukta Gita
Both Gita-s are independent texts and are believed to be authored by Bhagavan Dattatraya. They are considered very ancient and important. They are of advaitic nature.
Not commented by any pUrvAcArya. Many AcArya-s of present age are translating this Gita including those associated with Gita Press, Gorakhpur
12. RAma GItA
Rama Gita is a part of AdhyAtma RAmAyaNa, which inturn is a part of BrahmAnDa PurANa. It consists of 62 verses. AdhyAtma RAmAyaNa is cited by SrI VidyAraNa svAmI in his PanchdaSI and by SrI SadAnanda in his VedAnta SAra. AdhyAtma RAmAyaNa portrays the story of SrI RAma from spiritual POV.
Though short in length, it is said to be 'Shruti sArA sangrah' meaning essence of all veda-s. It is of advaitic nature.
Many AcArya-s of present age are translating this Gita including those associated with Gita Press, Gorakhpur. Swami Chinmaya has translated and commented Sri Rama Gita.There are many more less popular Gita-s which are not listed here. Some of them may be important.
13. PAnDava GItA
Part of MahAbhArata (often called as BhArat) - Cited as reference by SrI VidyAraNya svAmI in PanchadaSI 7.176
14. Brahma GItA
Part of SUta SAmhitA of Skanda PurANa. SUta SamhitA is commented by SrI VidyAraNya svAmI in the name of TAtparya dipikA. SUtA SamhitA is considered as very important. In a copy of sUta samhitA kept by Sri Ramana Maharshi, the editor mentions that SrI Adi SankarAcArya ji read sUta samhitA 18 times before writing his famous sUtra bhASya (Brahma Sutra Bhashya)
15. gaNeSa GItA
gaNeSa gItA is a part of gaNeSa purANa. It has many verses similar to bhagavad gItA. Due to this reason some say that this is not an ancient gItA. However Sri nilakanThAcArya / srikAntAcArya (both are same person), a great SaivAcArya / SivAcArya has written a tikA on SrI gaNeSa gItA. Hence it is authentic.
This gItA is non-sectarian, as in chapter 1, verse 20, it describes all five devatA-s worshipped in pancayatna pUjA as confirmed by SrI nilakanTha in his tikA on sloka 1.20.
gaNeSa gItA says
Any yoga involving a fixed mind resting on Siva, Visnu, Shakti, Surya and on me (Ganesha), protector of men, is the right yoga in my opinion. 1.20
I alone, having taken various forms, create, protect and destroy the world for my own play. 1.21
I alone am Maha Visnu, I alone am Sadasiva, I alone am the great Shakti, I alone am Aryaman, dear one. 1.22
16. kapila gItA
kapila gItA is a part of bhAgavat purANa 3rd skandha. It contians 3 chapters. 3rd chapter is about the glories of kapila gItA and ends with phala shruti. kapila mentioned in this gItA is different from kapila muni of samkhya says svAmI Tejomayananda in his commentary. It teaches advaita bhakti and is unique in his own way. It also explains that jIva is destroyed and one attains oneness with the supreme state of viShNu, paramapada, which is consciousness, Brahman.