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As I discuss in this answer, each of the four Vedas each of the four Vedas consists of four portions: Samhitas, the core part of the Vedas which consist of mantras heard from the gods; Brahmanas, which provide instructions on the proper conducting of important rituals; Aranyakas, which provide a guide to rituals meant for forest-dwellers and hermits; and Upanishads, which consist of conversations between teachers and students which clarify the philosophical message of the Vedas. Now it's a somewhat thorny problem to decide which Upanishads are authentic.

Each Veda comes in numerous Shakhas or recensions, which I discuss here, and each Shakha has its own Upanishad. But unfortunately, most of the Vedic Shakhas are lost. Now when an Upanishad comes from one of the Shakhas that still exist, we can be sure of its authenticity. But that's pretty much limited to the Mukhya Upanishads. Most other Upanishads come from Shakhas that no longer exist, so we have to determine their authenticity by other means. As I discuss in this answer, a good rule of thumb is that if an Upanishad's Shakha is lost and it doesn't appear in the list of 108 Upanishads, it's definitely not authentic. But my question is about an unusual case, an Upanishad which isn't in the list of 108, but whose authenticity we can be sure of because it comes from a known Shakha. Let me explain.

As I discuss in this answer, the vast majority of Vaishnavas follow a set of texts called the Pancharatra Agamas, and the Pancharatra Agamas are said to based on a lost Shakha of the Shukla Yajur Veda called the Ekayana Shakha. But there's another group of Vishnu-worshippers who follow a different set of texts, the Vakhanasas. As I discuss here, Vaikhanasas trace the origins of their Agamas to a similar lost Shakha of the Krishna Yajur Veda, the Vaikhanasa Shakha. But the Vaikhanasa Shakha isn't completely lost - it still has texts like the Vaikhanasa Shrauta Sutra, the Vaikhanasa Grihya Sutras, and the Vaikhanasa Dharma Sutras.

And more importantly, it still has its Samhita, known as the Vaikhanasa Mantrasamhita or Vaikhanasa Mantraprashna. You can read it here in Sanskrit (in English script). Section 7.2 of this text constitutes the Paramatmika Upanishad, which is the subject of my question. The Paramatmika Upanishad is not in the list of 108, probably because it lost popularity after the Vaikhanasa Shakha was (partially) lost. But it's of great philosophical importance to the Vaikhanasas; Srinivasa Dikshitar's Vaikhanasa commentary on the Brahma Sutras, which I discuss in this question, apparently quotes from it extensively, and Srinivasa Dikshitar also wrote a commentary on the Upanishad.

So my question is, has the Paramatmika Upanishad ever been translated into English? One of the reasons I'm interested in it is that it's found in the Samhitas of the Vedas, just like the Isha Upanishads as I discuss here. That means it consists of Mantras heard directly from the gods, unlike other Upanishads.

If an English translation doesn't exist, I would be grateful if someone could translate it for me, but I'm not holding my breath as the Paramatmika Upanishads is about a hundred verses long. Still, if someone wants to try their hand at it, like I said it's section 7.2 here. I've also converted the Paramatmika Upanishad into Devanagari script here, if people are more comfortable reading it that way.

  • You know that last sentence... ahem ahem? – Surya Jan 22 '16 at 10:02
  • You know if it is part of the Vedas then translation would be difficult. Because Vedic Sanskrit is a different level. – Surya Jan 22 '16 at 10:04
  • @Surya Yeah, like I said I'm not really holding out much hope that someone will come and translate a 100-verse excerpt from the Vesas. In any case, hopefully a translation already exists, although it may not due to the fact that it's not one of the 108 Upanishads in the Muktika canon. So most people haven't heard of it. By the way, this isn't the only Upanishad like that; I follow the Apastamba Sutra of the Krishna Yajur Veda, and there's an Apastamba Upanishad in the Apastamba Mantrabrahmana that pretty much no one cares about due to the fact that the Apastamba Shakha was (partially) lost. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 22 '16 at 12:22
  • @Surya What Sutra text do you follow in Sandhyavandanam? I can tell you if your Shakha also has a neglected Upanishad like that. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 22 '16 at 12:23
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    @Surya Yeah, it's extremely common in South India. But the reason that the Apastamba Upanishad isn't popular is the collapse of the Apastamba Shakha. The Apastamba Shakha used to have a Samhita, a Brahmana, an Aranyaka and an Upanishad, but now all it has left is the Apastamba Mantrabrahmana and Sutra texts like the Apastamba Grihya Sutra, the Apastamba Shrauta Sutra, etc. So philosophers stopped paying attention to the Apastamba Shakha, and thus they ignored the Upanishad that's found in the Apastamba Mantrabrahmana. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 22 '16 at 13:41

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