The Vedas in their entirety are supposed to sing of Brahman. However, the main portions which directly do are the Upanishads or the Vedanta.

In this regard Puri Shankaracharya talks of the explanation given by Adi Shankaracharya for classifying those portions of the Vedas, as Upanishads.

Now I don’t remember the reason clearly, but, I think it was something related to- where devata, rishi, chhanda are not there and it speaks of Brahman, that’s called an Upanishad. It wasn’t so simple he gave a proper detailed explanation. He goes on to say that there are other verses in the Veda for Brahman or creation, like the Nasadiya Sukta, Purusha Sukta, but these are not classified as Upanishads for xyz reason.


  1. I would like to know, fairly in detail, this explanation given by Adi Shankara.

    Obviously, the Purusha Sukta is in the samhita (has rishi devata chhanda), but how does Adi Shankara’s explanation help in not classifying it as Vedanta?
  2. Do any other acharyas, like Ramanujacharya, give a similar/ different explanation?
  3. Is there any explanation given by Adi Shankara or other acharyas for classification of Brahmanas and Aranyakas too? Please illustrate.

Note: Not duplicate of this

To clarify, this question does not say Adi Shankaracharya classified the Upanishads. It’s only asking what explanation did he give for the already existing classification

  • Vyasa is the one who classified the Vedas, including the Upanishads. It was done thousands of years before Shankara. Aug 2, 2021 at 9:38
  • 3
    @SwamiVishwananda it’s not saying Adi Shankara classified. It’s saying what explanation did he give for the classifications(since time immemorial)?
    – Adiyarkku
    Aug 2, 2021 at 9:54


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .