upanisat-sahita sutra kahe yei tattva
mukhya-vrttye sei artha parama mahattva
upanisat—the authorized Vedic version; sahita—along with; sutra—the Vedanta-sutra; kahe—it is said; yei—the subject matter; tattva—in truth; mukhya-vrttye—by direct understanding; sei—that truth; artha—meaning; parama—ultimate; mahattva—glory.
"The Absolute Truth is described by the Upanisads and Brahma-sutra, but one must understand the verses as they are. That is the supreme glory in understanding.
It has become fashionable since the time of Sankaracarya to explain everything regarding the sastras in an indirect way. Scholars take pride in explaining everything in their own way, and they declare that one can understand the Vedic scriptures in any way he likes. This "any way you like" method is foolishness, and it has created havoc in the Vedic culture. One cannot accept scientific knowledge in his own whimsical way. In the science of mathematics, for example, two plus two equals four, and one cannot make it equal three or five. Yet although it is not possible to alter real knowledge, people have taken to the fashion of understanding Vedic knowledge in any way they like. It is for this reason that we have presented Bhagavad-gita As It Is. We do not create meanings by concoction. Sometimes commentators say that the word kuruksetra in the first verse of the Bhagavad-gita refers to one's body, but we do not accept this. We understand that Kuruksetra is a place that still exists, and according to the Vedic version it is a dharma-ksetra, or a place of pilgrimage. People still go there to perform Vedic sacrifices. Foolish commentators, however, say that kuruksetra means the body and that panca-pandava refers to the five senses. In this way they distort the meaning, and people are misled. Here Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirms that all Vedic literature, including the Upanisads, Brahma-sutra and others, whether sruti, smrti or nyaya, must be understood according to their original statements. To describe the direct meaning of the Vedic scriptures is glorious, but to describe them in one's own way, using imperfect senses and imperfect knowledge, is a disastrous blunder. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu fully deprecated the attempt to describe the Vedas in this way.
Regarding the Upanisads, the following eleven Upanisads are considered to be the topmost: Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Chandogya, Brhad-aranyaka and Svetasvatara. However, in the Muktikopanisad, verses 30-39, there is a description of 108 Upanisads. They are as follows: (1) Isopanisad, (2) Kenopanisad, (3) Kathopanisad, (4) Prasnopanisad, (5) Mundakopanisad, (6) Mandukyopanisad, (7) Taittiriyopanisad, (8) Aitareyopanisad, (9) Chandogyopanisad, (10) Brhad-aranyakopanisad, (11) Brahmopanisad, (12) Kaivalyopanisad, (13) Jabalopanisad, (14) Svetasvataropanisad, (15) Hamsopanisad, (16) Aruneyopanisad, (17) Garbhopanisad, (18) Narayanopanisad, (19) Paramahamsopanisad, (20) Amrta-bindupanisad, (21) Nada-bindupanisad, (22) Siropanisad, (23) Atharva-sikhopanisad, (24) Maitrayany-upanisad, (25) Kausitaky-upanisad, (26) Brhaj-jabalopanisad, (27) Nrsimha-tapaniyopanisad, (28) Kalagni-rudropanisad, (29) Maitreyy-upanisad, (30) Subalopanisad, (31) Ksurikopanisad, (32) Mantrikopanisad, (33) Sarva-saropanisad, (34) Niralambopanisad, (35) Suka-rahasyopanisad, (36) Vajra-sucikopanisad, (37) Tejo-bindupanisad, (38) Nada-bindupanisad, (39) Dhyana-bindupanisad, (40) Brahma-vidyopanisad, (41) Yoga-tattvopanisad, (42), Atma-bodhopanisad, (43) Narada-parivrajakopanisad, (44) Trisikhy-upanisad, (45) Sitopanisad, (46) Yoga-cudamany-upanisad, (47) Nirvanopanisad, (48) Mandala-brahmanopanisad, (49) Daksina-murty-upanisad, (50) Sarabhopanisad, (51) Skandopanisad, (52) Mahanarayanopanisad, (53) Advaya-tarakopanisad, (54) Rama-rahasyopanisad, (55) Rama-tapany-upanisad, (56) Vasudevopanisad, (57) Mudgalopanisad, (58) Sandilyopanisad, (59) Paingalopanisad, (60) Bhiksupanisad, (61) Mahad-upanisad, (62) Sarirakopanisad, (63) Yoga-sikhopanisad, (64) Turiyatitopanisad, (65) Sannyasopanisad, (66) Paramahamsa-parivrajakopanisad, (67) Malikopanisad, (68) Avyaktopanisad, (69) Ekaksaropanisad, (70) Purnopanisad, (71) Suryopanisad, (72) Aksy-upanisad, (73) Adhyatmopanisad, (74) Kundikopanisad, (75) Savitry-upanisad, (76) Atmopanisad, (77) Pasupatopanisad, (78) Param-brahmopanisad, (79) Avadhutopanisad, (80) Tripuratapanopanisad, (81) Devy-upanisad, (82) Tripuropanisad, (83) Katha-rudropanisad, (84) Bhavanopanisad, (85) Hrdayopanisad, (86) Yoga-kundaliny-upanisad, (87) Bhasmopanisad, (88) Rudraksopanisad, (89) Ganopanisad, (90) Darsanopanisad, (91) Tara-saropanisad, (92) Maha-vakyopanisad, (93) Panca-brahmopanisad, (94) Pranagni-hotropanisad, (95) Gopala-tapany-upanisad, (96) Krsnopanisad, (97) Yajnavalkyopanisad, (98) Varahopanisad, (99) Satyayany-upanisad, (100) Hayagrivopanisad, (101) Dattatreyopanisad, (102) Garudopanisad, (103) Kaly-upanisad, (104) Jabaly-upanisad, (105) Saubhagyopanisad, (106) Sarasvati-rahasyopanisad, (107) Bahvrcopanisad and (108) Muktikopanisad. Thus there are 108 generally accepted Upanisads, of which eleven are the most important, as previously stated.
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