There are many people who write commentaries on the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita etc. Whose commentaries is most followed.

Also where can I get all of those Upanishads and Vedas in English? Instead of commentaries, are there any direct translations of the Vedas and Upanishads in English? If so, where can I find them?

Are there any commentaries by one who is both Shaivite and Vaishnavite?

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    I think the main question is opinion-based. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 23 '14 at 7:05
  • Yes. But, I do want to generalize it in the sense as 'the most followed'. – user12458 Nov 23 '14 at 8:26
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    On reading one commentary of the upanishad, the thinking gets skewed to the particular philosophy. It is very beneficial to read atleast one commentary by each school of Vedanta, like non-dualism, dualism, qualified dualism and achintya bheda abheda. Only when one goes deep into its roots it will provide a grand perspective. Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa said that the elephant seems to be a giant trunk for the one who sees it from front. The elephant appears to be a giant leg for the one who sees it from the side. The one who has went around knows what the elephant looks. Let us aspire for Truth – Sai Nov 23 '14 at 19:07
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    Sayanacharya's commentary on Vedas is most followed. – Pandya Apr 21 '17 at 2:34
up vote 7 down vote accepted

As I discuss in this question, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school, which derives its tenets from the doctrines laid out in the Brahma Sutras, a work by Vyasa which summarizes and systematizes the philosophical teachings laid out in the Upanishads. It's not a verse-by-verse commentary of each Upanishad, but rather an explanation of many different Upanishads. Insofar it's the defining text of the Vedanta school, it's doctrines are followed by the vast majority of Hindus. You can read the Brahma Sutras here; it consists of concise sayings that are often hard to decipher if you're not an expert on the Upanishads, so it's usually read with the assistance of a commentary. The two most popular commentaries on the Brahma Sutras are the Brahma Sutra Bhashya of Adi Shankaracharya and the Sri Bhashya of Ramanujacharya, which you can read here and here respectively.

As far as what commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads are widely followed, there are many different philsophies within the Vedanta school. As I discuss in this answer, the key difference between these philosophies is the relationship between Jivatma, the individual soul, and Paramatma, the divine soul or supreme soul. According to Adi Shankaracharya's Advaita philosophy they're identical, according to Madhvacharya's Dvaita philosophy they're totally separate, and according to Ramanujacharya's Vishishtadvaita philosophy Jivatmas are just small parts of the greater Paramarma. Philosophers from each of these traditions have written commentaries. Out of these philosophies, Advaita Vedanta is currently the most popular due to the work of Vivekananda and others, so Adi Shankaracharya's commentaries would be the most popular. But Ramanujacharya's commentaries would be a close second. In any case, you can read the four main Vaishnava commentaries (including Ramanujacharya's) on the Bhagavad Gita here.

As far as where you can read the Vedas and Upanishads in English, as I discuss in this answer the site sacred-texts.org is a good source. Here's the Rig Veda Samhita, the Krishna Version of the Yajur Veda Samhita, the Shukla version of the Yajur Veda Samhita, the Sama Veda Samhita, the Atharvana Veda Samhita, the Shatapatha Brahmana of the Yajur Veda, some major Upanishads from various Vedas, and some minor Upanishads.

  • Does `sacred-texts.org' provide commentaries or just direct translations to english? I would like to read the 'raw form' of vedas translated as it is to english. – user12458 Nov 25 '14 at 11:43
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    @JavaTechnical All the links I provided in the last paragraph are pure translations without commentaries. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 25 '14 at 15:06
  • @NarayanaSharma I don't know of any Shaiva Siddhantins and the like who wrote Upanishad Bhashyas. Sri Shankaracharya and other early Advaitins generally declared Vishnu to be Saguna Brahman. (But they thought Nirguna Brahman was supreme.) The transition of Advaitins from Vaishnavas to Shaivites happened later on. The former Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram discusses the reasons for it here: i.stack.imgur.com/e2kAQ.jpg – Keshav Srinivasan May 25 at 17:24

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