What are the 6 Upanishads of Yajurveda and brief of them ?
The Yajurveda has six primary Upanishads embedded within it.
The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is found in the White Yajurveda. It is one of the Mukhya Upanishads, and among the largest and oldest as well (~700 BCE). It is a key scripture of Hinduism that has influenced all schools of Hindu philosophy. The text is a treatise on Ātman (Soul, Self), with passages on metaphysics, ethics and a yearning for knowledge that influenced various Indian religions, ancient and medieval scholars.
The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is among the earliest extensive discussions of the Hindu concept of dharma, kama and moksha (liberation from sorrow, freedom, emancipation, self-realization). Paul Deussen calls it, "unique in its richness and warmth of presentation", with profoundness that retains its full worth in modern times. Max Muller illustrated its style as follows,
But when he [Self] fancies that he is, as it were, a god,
or that he is, as it were, a king,
or "I am this altogether," that is his highest world,
This indeed is his (true) form, free from desires, free from evil, free from fear.
Now as a man, when embraced by a beloved wife,
knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within,
thus this person, when embraced by the Prajna (conscious, aware) Self,
knows nothing that is without, nothing that is within.
This indeed is his (true) form, in which his wishes are fulfilled,
in which the Self only is his wish, in which no other wish is left,
he is free from any sorrow.
— Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Chapter 4, Brahmanam 3, Hymns 20-32, Translated by Max Muller
The Isha Upanishad is found in the White Yajurveda. It is one of the shortest Upanishads, embedded as the final chapter of the Shukla Yajurveda. A key scripture of the Vedanta sub-schools of Hinduism, its name is derived from "hidden in the Lord (Self)".
The Isha Upanishad discusses the Atman (Soul, Self) theory of Hinduism, and is referenced by both Dvaita (dualism) and Advaita (non-dualism) sub-schools of Vedanta. It is classified as a "poetic Upanishad" along with Kena, Katha, Svetasvatara and Mundaka Upanishads.
The Taittiriya Upanishad is found in the black Yajurveda. It is the seventh, eighth and ninth chapters of Taittiriya Aranyaka, which are also called, respectively, the Siksha Valli, the Ananda Valli and the Bhrigu Valli.
The Taittiriya Upanishad includes verses that are partly prayers and benedictions, partly instruction on phonetics and praxis, partly advice on ethics and morals given to graduating students from ancient Vedic gurukul (schools), partly a treatise on allegory, and partly philosophical instruction.
The text offers a view of the education system in ancient India. It also includes sections on ethics and invocation for one's personal development. Max Muller translates the text's tenth anuvaka, for example, as an affirmation of one's self as a capable, empowered blissful being. The tenth anuvaka asserts, "I am he who shakes the tree. I am glorious like the top of a mountain. I, whose pure light (of knowledge) has risen, am that which is truly immortal, as it resides in the sun. I (Soul, Self) am the treasure, wise, immortal, imperishable. This is the teaching of the Veda, by sage Trisanku."
The Katha Upanishad is found in the black Yajurveda. The Upanishad is the legendary story of a little boy, Nachiketa – the son of sage Vajasravasa, who meets Yama – the Indian deity of death. Their conversation evolves to a discussion of the nature of man, knowledge, Ātman (Soul, Self) and moksha (liberation).
The Kathaka Upanishad is an important ancient Sanskrit corpus of the Vedanta sub-schools. It asserts that "Atman (Soul, Self) exists", teaches the precept "seek Self-knowledge which is Highest Bliss", and expounds on this premise like the other primary Upanishads of Hinduism. The detailed teachings of Katha Upanishad have been variously interpreted, as Dvaita (dualistic) and as Advaita (non-dualistic).
The Katha Upanishad found in the Yajurveda is among the most widely studied Upanishads. Philosophers such as Arthur Schopenhauer praised it, Edwin Arnold rendered it in verse as "The Secret of Death", and Ralph Waldo Emerson credited Katha Upanishad for the central story at the end of his essay Immortality, as well as his poem "Brahma".
The Shvetashvatara Upanishad is found in the black Yajurveda. The text opens with metaphysical questions about the primal cause of all existence, its origin, its end, and what role if any did time, nature, necessity, chance, the spirit had as primal cause? It then develops its answer, concluding that "the Universal Soul exists in every individual, it expresses itself in every creature, everything in the world is a projection of it, and that there is Oneness, a unity of souls in one and only Self".
The Shvetashvatara Upanishad is notable for its discussion of the concept of personal god – Ishvara, and suggesting it to be a path to one's own Highest Self. The text is also notable for its multiple mentions of both Rudra and Shiva, along with other Vedic deities, and of crystallization of Shiva as a central theme.
The Maitrayaniya Upanishad, also known as the Maitri Upanishad, is found in the black Yajurveda. It consists of seven Prapathakas (lessons). The first Prapathaka is introductory, the next three are structured in a question-answer style and discuss metaphysical questions relating to Atman (Self, Soul), while the fifth to seventh Prapathaka are supplements. However, several manuscripts discovered in different parts of India contain a lesser number of Prapathakas, with a Telugu-language version showing just four.
The common kernel of the Maitri Upanishad across different recensions, states Max Muller, is a reverence for the soul, that can be summarized in a few words as, "(Man) is the Self – the immortal, the fearless, the Brahman". The Maitrayaniya Upanishad is notable for its references to theories also found in Buddhism, elements of the Samkhya and Yoga schools of Hinduism, as well as the Ashrama system.
What is the significance of Yajurveda?
The text is a useful source of information about agriculture, economic and social life during the Vedic era. The verses, for example, list the types of crops considered important in ancient India,
May my rice plants and my barley, and my beans and my sesame,
and my kidney-beans and my vetches, and my pearl millet and my proso millet,
and my sorghum and my wild rice,
and my wheat and my lentils, prosper by sacrifice.
— White Yajurveda 18.12,
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