Definition of Upanishad in English:



  • Each of a series of Hindu sacred treatises written in Sanskrit c.800–200 BC, expounding the Vedas in predominantly mystical and monistic terms.

    • ‘He wrote profuse commentaries on the Upanishads, Brahma Sutras and Bhagavad Gita.’
    • ‘He was well versed in the study of Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita.’
    • ‘I was seated next to a highly educated and enlightened Christian priest who was an authority on Hindu scriptures, Upanishads and Sanskrit.’
    • ‘Little or no reference is made by anyone to the Vedas as the source of Hinduism, or the Upanishads or even the Mahabharata, except for the Bhagavad Gita.’
    • ‘Every child is an ambassador in the making if only he will bear witness in deeds of daily living to the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and the Ramayana.’


From Sanskrit, literally ‘sitting near (i.e. at the feet of a master)’, from upa ‘near’ + ni-ṣad ‘sit down’.