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Although we know that there are 108 Upanishads, only 12 are popular in discourse and it is said that most of the original copies of Upanishads were lost or stolen from Hindu mutts by the Western Indologists. What are the names of the 108 Upanishads? Is the list given in this accurate? Also a 1 line description of what each of these Upanishads deal will be of great help.

P.S. It is said that the most authentic record of the Upanishads available is Darah Shikoh's translation of around 50 Upanishads. Is there a book that is a compilation of Shikoh's and all the available (Indian) translation of upanishads?

  • They were not lost or stolen by the Indologists. It is believed that there were many more than the 108 but some died out because the brahmin family died out, others were destroyed during Muslim invasions. There is no way to really ascertain how many there were originally or how they were lost. Never heard of Darah Shikoh. There are many good translations available. The best are not on the internet. – Swami Vishwananda Oct 13 '15 at 14:09
  • These 108 Upanishads on the list in the Muktika Upanishad are only those that are considered the foremost, but it has been preserved more than 230 Upanishads. Sometimes people ask: How do we know which of these Upanishads are authentic? There is only one way of how this can be reliably determined. It is said that the Upanishads are "Shruti", which means "listening". Traditionally the Upanishads have been transmitted in oral tradition (by listening from the guru), ... – brahma jijnasa Oct 13 '15 at 16:31
  • ... so if an oral tradition for some Upanishad is preserved over the centuries starting from Vyasadeva it is the only reliable evidence of its authenticity. There's no other way to accurately establish the authenticity of some Upanishad, it is really the only reliable way! Now, the problem is that for most of the Upanishads oral tradition has not survived, so there is no reliable evidence of their authenticity. But that does not mean that they do not have to be authentic, so that some Hindus accept even those Upanishads, and some Hindus are skeptical. – brahma jijnasa Oct 13 '15 at 16:31
  • @brahmajijnasa Shruti doesn't mean "that which was heard from a guru" - both Shruti and Smriti were passed down through oral tradition from guru to shishya. Shruti means "that which is heard by sages during Tapasya", and Smriti refers to humanly composed texts whose origin is remembered and passed down along a Parampara. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 17 '15 at 19:40
  • @KeshavSrinivasan In my comment I have not explained the meaning of the words Shruti and Smriti. My point was to explain that there is only one way to establish the authenticity of an Upanishad. – brahma jijnasa Nov 26 '15 at 0:54
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The traditional list of 108 Upanishads is given in the Muktika Upanishad, which you can read here:

  1. Isa
  2. Kena
  3. Katha
  4. Prasna
  5. Munda
  6. Mandukya
  7. Taittiri
  8. Aitareya
  9. Chandogya
  10. Brihadaranyaka
  11. Brahma
  12. Kaivalya
  13. Jabala
  14. Svetasva
  15. Hamsa
  16. Aruni
  17. Garbha
  18. Narayana
  19. Paramahamsa
  20. Amritabindu
  21. Amritanada
  22. Atahrvasirah
  23. Atharvasikha
  24. Maitrayini
  25. Kaushitakibrahmana
  26. Brihajjabala
  27. Nrisimhatapini
  28. Kalagnirudra
  29. Maitreya
  30. Subala
  31. Kshurika
  32. Mantrika
  33. Sarvasara
  34. Niralamba
  35. Sukarahasya
  36. Vajrasuchika
  37. Tejobindu
  38. Nadabindu
  39. Dhyanabindu
  40. Brahmavidya
  41. Yogatattva
  42. Atmabodha
  43. Naradaparivrajaka
  44. Trisikhi
  45. Sita
  46. Yogachudamani
  47. Nirvana
  48. Mandalabrahmana
  49. Dakshinamurti
  50. Sarabha
  51. Skanda
  52. Tripadvibhuti-Mahanarayana
  53. Advayataraka
  54. Ramarahasya
  55. Ramatapani
  56. Vasudeva
  57. Mudgala
  58. Sandilya
  59. Paingala
  60. Bhiksu
  61. Mahat
  62. Sariraka
  63. Yogasikha
  64. Turiyatita
  65. Sannyasa
  66. Paramahamsaparivrajaka
  67. Akshamalika
  68. Avyakta
  69. Ekakshara
  70. Annapurna
  71. Surya
  72. Akshi
  73. Adhyatma
  74. Kundika
  75. Savitri
  76. Atma
  77. Pasupata
  78. Parabrahma
  79. Avadhutaka
  80. Tripuratapini
  81. Devi
  82. Tripura
  83. Katharudra
  84. Bhavana
  85. Rudrahridaya
  86. Yoga-kundali
  87. Bhasma
  88. Rudraksha
  89. Ganapati
  90. Darsana
  91. Tarasara
  92. Mahavakya
  93. Panchabrahma
  94. Pranagnihotra
  95. Gopalatapini
  96. Krishna
  97. Yajnavalkya
  98. Varaha
  99. Satyayani
  100. Hayagriva
  101. Dattatreya
  102. Garuda
  103. Kalisamtarana
  104. Jabali
  105. Saubhagyalakshmi
  106. Sarasvatirahasya
  107. Bahvricha
  108. Muktika

The Muktika Upanishad also classifies them according to what Veda they come from and it lists what it considers the most important Upanishads.

You can read all 108 Upanishads in English in this website. And you can read them in a single PDF file here.

One note of caution: as I discuss in this answer, the Muktika Upanishads was passed down with very little rigor, in contrast to the extremely rigorous process used to pass down the Samhitas of the Vedas. So just because an Upanishad is listed in the Muktika Upanishad doesn't necessarily mean that it's authentic. On the other hand, if an Upanishad is not on the list, then it's almost guaranteed to be less than a few hundred years old. (Or at least that's when it started being considered an Upanishad as opposed to some other kind of work.)

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    Also, one way of ascertaining the validity of a Upanishad is to see which Upanishads have been upheld by Sampradayas. Though, Shankara commented on 10 Upanishads, he has mentioned elsewhere few other Upanishads as well.Advaita Acharyas have spoken about Upanishads over the centuries. Upanishad Brahmendra has commented upon all the 108 Upanishads of Muktika. Hence, irrespective of current historical/literary analysis, the traditional view is that all 108 Upanishads are valid. Otherwise, Brahmendra would not have commented upon them all. So, we need to take view of Sampradaya Acharyas as well. – Nithin Sridhar Oct 11 '15 at 5:08
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    @NithinSridhar I can certainly understand those who are in the disicipic succession of Upanishad Brahmendra accepting all 108 Upanishads. But I don't belong to the Advaita Sampradayam, so I don't accept Upanishad Brahmendra as an authority. But yeah, I agree broadly with the principle that we should see what Upanishads our Acharyas have commented on and referenced in determining authenticity. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 11 '15 at 11:18
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    Yes. I agree with you. In fact you may consult with Acharyas in your own Sampradaya and follow as they propose. – Nithin Sridhar Oct 11 '15 at 17:14
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    @NithinSridhar Yeah, that's more or less what I do - I'm a Sri Vaishnava, so I accept all the Upanishads referenced by Ramanujacharya and other Sri Vaishnava Acharyas. Plus I accept all the Upanishads referenced by Adi Shankaracharya, because he was living so early, and all the Upanishads that are associated with a Vedic Shakha that is still available. That comes to about 30 Upanishads. Beyond that, I treat the remaining Upanishads in the list of 108 with skepticism, and I determine whether to accept them or not based on their content, the style of language, etc. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 11 '15 at 22:25
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    @Naveen You're welcome. You can read the Upanishads in both Devanagari and ITRANS (English transliteration) here: sanskritdocuments.org/sanskrit/by-category/doc_upanishhat.php I don't know of any source that gives all 108 Upanishads in Sanskrit interspersed with translations, but I think the website I linked to in my answer gives verse by verse translations of all the Upanishads, just without the Sanskrit verses. But I do have the principal 10 Upanishads interspersed with Sanskrit, English, and Adi Shankaracharya's commentary if you're interested in that. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 17 '15 at 19:58

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