The Khândogya-upanishad belongs to the Sâma-veda. Together with the Brihad-âranyaka, which belongs to the Yagur-veda, it has contributed the most important materials to what may be called the orthodox philosophy of India, the Vedânta i. e. the end, the purpose, the highest object of the Veda. It consists of eight adhyâyas or lectures, and formed part of a Khândogya-brâhmana, in which it was preceded by two other adhyâyas. While MSS. of the Khândogya-upanishad and its commentary are frequent, no MSS. of the whole Brâhmana has been met with in Europe. Several scholars had actually doubted its existence, but Rajendralal Mitra, in the Introduction to his translation of the Khândogya-upanishad, states that in India "MSS. of the work are easily available, though as yet he has seen no commentary attached to the Brâhmana portion of any one of them." "According to general
- Vedânta, as a technical term, did not mean originally the last portions of the Veda, or chapters placed, as it were, at the end of a volume of Vedic literature, but the end, i.e. the object, the highest purpose of the Veda. There are, of course, passages, like the one in the Taittirîya-âranyaka (ed. Rajendralal Mitra, p. 820), which have been misunderstood both by native and European scholars, and where vedânta means simply the end of the Veda:—yo vedâdau svarah prokto vedânte ka pratishtkitah, "the Om which is pronounced at the beginning of the Veda, and has its place also at the end of the Veda." Here vedânta stands simply in opposition to vedâdau, and it is impossible to translate it, as Sâyana does, by Vedânta or Upanishad. Vedânta, in the sense of philosophy, occurs in the Taittirîya-âranyaka (p. 817), in a verse of the Nârâyanîya-upanishad, repeated in the Mundaka-upanishad III, 2, 6, and elsewhere, vedântavignânasuniskitârthâh, "those who have well understood the object of the knowledge arising from the Vedânta," not "from the last books of the Veda;" and Svetâsvatara-up. VI, 22, vedânte paramam guhyam, "the highest mystery in the Vedânta." Afterwards it is used in the plural also, e. g. Kshurikopanishad, 10 (Bibl. Ind. p. 210), pundarîketi vedânteshu nigadyate, "it is called pundarîka in the Vedântas," i. e. in the Khândogya and other Upanishads, as the commentator says, but not in the last books of each Veda. A curious passage is found in the Gautama-sûtras XIX, 12, where a distinction seems to be made between Upanishad and Vedânta. Sacred Books, vol. ii, p. 272.
- Khândogya-upanishad, translated by Rajendralal Mitra, Calcutta, 1862, Introduction, p. 17.