THE UPANISATKANDA has been divided into four parts. The first part contains a selection of texts from the pre——Upanisadic literature, which may be regarded as the fountain—head of the philosophical speculations of the Upanisads. In this part all those Vedic texts which contain material for the study of the origin and development of ideas of value and philosophic significance in the Upanisads have been collected together and, after having been classified under several captions according to the subject matter, have been embodied into a volume entitled Mantra-Brahmana-Upanisad. The second and third parts contain mostly those Upanisads passages from which have been quoted in the Bhasyas of Samkara, Ramanuja and other commentators as texts referred to by Badarayana in his Brahmasutras, together with extracts from the various commentaries on them. The following nineteen Upanisads have been selected; (1) Aitareya, (2) Kausitaki, (3) Taittiriya, (4) Chandogya, (5) Brhadaranyaka, (6) Isa, (7) Kena, (8) Katha, (9) Mundaka, (10) Prasna, (11) Mandukya, (12) Sivasamkalpa, (13) Svetasvatara, (14) Mahanarayana, (15) Jabala,(16) Maitrayani, (17) Kaivalya, (18) Atharvasiras and (19) Atharvasikha. Of this Nos. 11, 12 and 16, although they do not figure in the Brahmasutras as the subject-matter of any topic of discussion, have been selected because, rightly or wrongly, they have been looked upon as old Upanisads. The old age of Sivasamkalpa is beyond doubt, as six verses from it appear in the Yajurveda and as the whole of it, with some v.ls. Appears among the Khila Suktas of the Rgveda. The fourth Part contains an alphabetical list of the Vedic and Upanisadic passages, quoted in the first three parts. It also contains a glossary of important words with English equivalents and an alphabetical index of the principal and subsidiary topics as shown in the captions introducing the various passages.
THE VEDIC TEXTS SELECTED IN PART I, which have been entitled as the Mantrabrahmanopanisad, has been generally arranged according to the chronology of the original books from which they have been selected. The order in which they have been arranged is as follows: Rgveda, Atharvaveda, Taittiriya—Samhita, Kathaka-Samhita, Maitrayani- Samhita, Vajasaneyi-Samhita, Aitareya Brahmana, Sankhayana Brahmana, Tandya Brahmana, Taittiriya Brahmana, Jaiminiya Brahmana, Satapatha Erahmana, Gopatha Brahmana, Samavidhana Brahmana, Aitareya Aranyaka, Sankhayana Aranyaka and the Taittiriya Aranyaka. The reason for placing the Atharvaveda above the Taittiriya Samhita is that all Samhitas of the Yajurveda are found to quote their verse portions in a preponderant measure from the Rgveda or the Atharvaveda. The number of verses quoted from the Atharvaveda in the Taittiriya and other Samhitas of the Yajurveda is only slightly smaller than those from the Rgveda. It is difficult to settle the relative chronology of the Jaiminiya and the Satapatha Brahmanas. I have, generally speaking, adopted the chronology of the works in Part I as accepted by modern Vedic scholars.
THE CHIEF OBJECT OF PART I is to show the historical back- ground and the tradition of the Upanisadic philosophy. It is in the pre- Upanisadic Vedic literature that we must study the process of evolution of the basic and the highest philosophical thoughts incorporated in the Upanisadic philosophy. As a matter of fact the whole of the pre-Upanisadic literature must be regarded without exception as such a background; but I have selected and classified according to subjects all Vedic texts: those having an intimate connection with the philosophic thought of the Upanisads and those directly expressing thoughts identical with those of the Upanisads. It is an important duty of all students of philosophy to study the direct historical bearings of the precursors of the Upanisads on the Upanisadic thoughts, if the problem of their evolution has any significance and has to be regarded as a necessary part of philosophy. The historical aspect of philosophy is conducive to the further growth of philosophy. There are bound to be differences of opinion with scholars in regard to not a few of the passages so arranged; but I have been at pains to avoid all occasions for such a difference of opinion. There is the possibility of difference of opinion in regard to some of the Rks. I have not included here a good many of the hy111ns in which Syana saw a philosophical import, since from the purely philosophical point of view; there was no basis for his philosophical interpretations. I myself have revised my own opinions in regard to some of the Rgvedic passages which have been included here on account of their philosophical significance.
THE ORDER FOLLOXVED IN THE ARRANGEMENT OF THE TOPICS:—— I have given the first place to Rgvedic hymns and Rks which have a bearing on the evolution of the ideas of God, the highest self or the Brahman. In doing so I have first quoted hymns of praise offered to deities like Agni, Indra, Varuna, Visvakarman and Hiranyagarbha and then quoted passages from none—Rgvedic literature in regard to each of these deities. This procedure has also been followed in the case of other philosophical topics. All Vedic quotations on each several. Topic has been given a place together. After the subject of God or the Brahman, which leads the list of topics, was exhausted, I have taken up the topics, of cosmogony, the individual Self, eschatology, ethics, the nature of human ideals and aims and the syllable Om in due order.
THE SPECIAL FEATURE OE THE IN'I‘RODUCTION:- The study of the historical material incorporated in Part 1 has led to certain conclusions on the evolution of the fundamental philosophical ideas, which have been briefly set forth in the Introduction. It is only a few philosophical doctrines which have been selected to illustrate the process of evolution. As a matter of fact it is quite possible to make a searching and detailed study of all texts bearing on the Vedic philosophy by the historical method and hence I believe that we are collecting in the following pages very valuable material for such a research. In the following Introduction will be found an exhaustive review of the origin and development of the central conceptions in the Upanisadic philosophy, viz. the highest Purusa, the Self and the Brahman. I believe that this is the first work to take such a detailed view or to account for the causal connection between the ideas in such a complete manner.
I have benefited by the researches of Western scholars in this field and I cannot possibly forget what I owe to them. It was Eggeling, the translator of the Satapatha Brahmana in the S. B. E. Series, who was the first to give a brief but complete idea, in his introduction to part IV of his translation, of the philosophical developments of the pre—Upanisadic texts dealing mainly with the sacrifical ritual. In particular he has given his own evaluation of the cosmogonic and theosophic theories, implicit in the Agnicayana and explicitly stated in the Satapatha Brahmana. I shall give here a few extracts from his valuable introduction to part IV of the translation. "The dogmatic exposition of no other part of the sacrificial ceremonial reflects so fully and so faithfully as that of the Agnicayana those cosmogonic and theosophic theories which form a characteristic feature of the Brahmana period. " ....... "These speculations may be said to have formed the foundation on which the theory of the sacrifice, as propounded in the Brahmanas, has been reared. Prajapati, who here takes the place of the Purusa, the world-man, or all—embracing Personality, is offered up anew in every sacrifice; and inasmuch as the very dismemberment of the self the Creatures, which took place at that archetypal sacrifice, was in it- Lord of Creation of the universe, so every sacrifice is also a repetition of that first creative act. Thus the periodical sacrifice is nothing else than a microcomic representation of the ever—proceeding destruction and renewal of all cosmic life and matter. ” .... " With the introduction of the Prajapati theory into the sacrificial metaphysics, theological? Speculation takes a higher flight, developing features not unlike, in some respects, to those of the Gnostic philosophy. From a mere act of piety, and of practical, if mystic, significance to the person, or persons, immediately concerned, the sacrifice—in the esoteric view of the metaphician, at least becomes an event of cosmic significance. By offering up his own self in sacrifice, Prajapati becomes dismembered; and all those separated limbs and faculties of his come to form universe,—all that exists, from the gods and Asuras (the children of Father Prajapati) down to the worm, the blade of grass, and the smallest particle of inert matter. It requires a new, and ever new, sacrifice to build the dismembered Lord of Creatures up again, and restore him so as to enable him to offer himself up again and again, and renew the universe, and thus keep up the uninterrupted revolution of time and matter." ....... " It seems to me by no means unlikely that the Purusa- Prajapati dogma was first practically developed in connection with the ceremony of the Fire—altar, and that, along with the admission of the latter into the regular sacrificial ceremonial, it was worked into the sacrificial theory generally” (pp. XIII, XV, XVII and XVIII). The value of the contributions of Eggeling to the history of Indian philosophy will not suffer in any way because his researches have failed to take into account other matters like the Savitragnicayana in the Taittiriya Brahmana or the philosophical bearings of the Mahaduktha and the Agnicayana of the Aitareya Aranyaka and the Taittiriya Aranyaka.
The Upanisads, the Puranas and teachers like Mandanamisra and Ramanuja have insisted on the Upanisadic philosophy being a development of the old ritualistic religion, a point in support of which external evidence also is available. They have insisted also on the sacrifice being a worship of the supreme Person and a means to the knowledge of the Self. Eggeling’s study of the ritual and our own has shown that there is great truth in these old notions.
Historians of Indian philosophy of world—wide fame like Dr. Radha- krishnan, Dr. Das Gupta, Dr. Belvalkar and Prof. R. D. Ranade have treated the sacrificial system of the Brahmanas as undeserving of any consideration from the view-point of philosophy. Not being free from the prejudices natural to the modern educated man against the sacrificial sys- tem, these great scholars could not conceive the possibility of philosophy. Having emanated from the Yajurveda and the Brahmanas. In that excel• lent volume II of their History of Indian philosophy, the Creative Period, Dr. Belvalkar and Prof. Ranade have given a luminous and penetrating study of the Upanisads. But let us see what, thirty year’s after Eggeling’s great study, our two Indian scholars have to say on the subject of the Agnicayana :ii" The bricks and the process of piling them up is in fact intended to symbolise Praj5pati’s cosmic creation. Prajapati’s cosmogonic activity, the texts are never tired of telling us, is a sacrifice... The Ceremony thus opened out a wide field for the hair-splitting and mystery- mongering activities of the period which have always been so very dear to priests of all lands and religions." (P. 50). I have to contrast this ` contemptuous attitude with the insight of Eggeling as illustrated by the extracts given above. It is no wonder that the learned authors have failed to see any connection between the doctrines of the five ‘sheaths’ in the Tai. Upa. with its tail for every ‘sheath' and the Bird-Man of the Agnicayana.
THE HISTORICAL ATTITUDE:—The attitude of mind characteristic of our historians of Indian philosophy arises from an idea that the highest philosophic thought in the Upanisads was not a gradual development, but was the result of a spontaneous, miraculous and revolutionary inspiration; that it was a phenomenon which had burst itself loose from all old traditions. But this would be an unhistorical attitude. A true historian can never deny that the Atman philosophy has evolved from the worship of the several forms of Purusa that was in vogue and that the philosophic contemplation envisaged by the Upanisads has grown out of the sacrificial worship. Although it is true that the Upanisads have freed themselves from the narrow limits of the sacrificial religion, their historical connection with it cannot be ignored by a historian of philosophy. If men have not imaginative insight enough to sympathise with the sacrificial system, dear to the hearts of the ancient sages and an object of faith to a whole nation, I can only conclude that they have not the freedom from prejudice which is so essential to philosophers.
THA NKSGIVING: I now turn to the more pleasant duty of acknowledging obligations. The Government of Bombay has rendered valuable assistance to us by their publication grant of Bs. 10,000. It was mainly the love of ancient learning in our Prime Minister and Minister for Education, the Hon’hle Shri B. G. Kher, which has weighed with the Government in making this grant to us. The Dharmakosha Mandal can never forget Shri Kher’s kindness.
I have pleasure in recording our thanks to Dr. V. G. Paranjpe, whose name appears already in the list of Sub-editors of the Dharmakosha, for his help in preparing the English translation of the Introduction from a Marathi original and in making some useful suggestions for improving it, which have bee gladly accepted.
It was mainly the encouragement of Shrimati Sundarbai Thakersey which was instrumental in our undertaking this edition of the Upanisatkanda. It was due to her magnificent donation of Rs. 10000 that in these times of high costs we have been able to publish these four volumes. We have prefixed to this volume a photographic reproduction and a brief life – sketch of the noble person in whose memory she has made the donation of the religious devotion, generosity and love of learning for which she herself is distinguished there cannot be better proof than her help to us in times of distress.
In acknowledging my obligations to my colleagues, who have helped me in the compilation of the Indexes contained in, : this part of the Upanisat-Kanda, I have, in the first place, to express my inde- btedness to Dr. .G. V. Devasthali, Professor' of' Sanskrit;' Nasik. Dr. Devasthali helped me by preparing English equivalents for the index of important Sanskrit Words occurring in the original texts of Vedas and Upanisats, included in this Volume. It is, however, obvious, I may mention that Dr. Devasthali had to make extensive use 'of Sanskrit-English Dictionary- by Sir Monier Monier-Williams. My chief debt also to other colleagues is to' 'Shri -Ranganath Shastri Joshi, Shri Govinda Shastri Kelkar and Shri S. V. Lele, who have taken enough care by constantly comparing the references in the Indexes with the original texts.
I may note here that the third index namely the alphabetical index of contents is arranged according to the method of semantics, especially .where, the words haye permanent philosophical significance. The collection of sub-topics under each head is also subdivided wherever necessary ~nd the relevant matter is classified to enable the expert, to discern the unity in the conglomeration of the apparently unconnected material of sub-topics occurring in different places.