The Upanisads from the concluding of the Vedas and are, therefore, called the Vedanta or the end of the Veda. The number of the Upanisads is not fixed. The collection of Upanisads translated by Darashikoh into Persian contained 50 Upanisads. The Muktika Upanisads gives a list of 108 Upanisads. There are about 112 Upanisads published by Nirnaya Sagar Press. But only ten Upanisads which were commented upon by Sankaracarya are taken to be genuine and most authoritative.
The Upanisads, which teach that life and death are only different forms of one and the same being and which aim at the release from mundane existence by the merging of the individual soul in the world soul through correct knowledge, have been hailed as the inspired utterances of the mystics for centuries. In them the whole of the later philosophy of the Indians is rooted.
About the Author(s)
Born 7 January 1845, at Oberdreis near Coblenz: son of Adam Deussen, pastor; educated at Schulpforta near Naumburg: studied at Bonn, Tubingen and Berlin: Sanskrit under Lassen and Gildemeister, classical philosophy, theology: Phil. Dr. at Marburg, 1869: teacher at the Gymnasiurns at Minden and Marburg, 1869-72, and tutor in Russia, 1872-80: taught philosophy (the subject to which he was chiefly devoted) and Sanskrit, as Privat-docent at the University of Geneva: and philosophy at the Polytechnical School at Aix-la-Chappelle, 1875-9. While at Geneva, his resolution was made to devote his life to the study of Indian philosophy (1873). Since his return from Russia and residence in Berlin, from 1881 to 1889, this has been his main work: taught philosophy at Berlin University, first as Privat-docent then as Professor; since 1889, Ordinary Professor of Philosophy at the University of Keil; has travelled much in various parts of the world: over the greater part of India, 1892-3. In 1904, the Order of the Red Eagle, 4th Class, was conferred upon him. Among his chief works may be mentioned: Das System des Vedanta, 1883: Die Sutras des Vedanta, 1887: On the Philosophy of the Vedanta in its relations to Occidental Metaphysics, Bombay, 1893; Sechzig Upanishads des Veda, 1897; Geschichte der Philosophie (I and II on the Vedic Hymns and Upanishads: III-VI in preparation), 1894, 1899: 'Outlines of Indian Philosophy,' in the Indian Antiquary, 1902: Erinnerungen an Indian, 1904.