Re: [INDOLOGY] Thieme on Īśopaniṣad

Uskokov, Aleksandar aleksandar.uskokov at
Sat Jul 25 02:02:33 UTC 2020

Dear Madhav,

the image does not show. The Isa is largely, though not exclusively, a compilation of mantras from the Brhad-Aranyaka (or perhaps the Brhad-aranyaka is a commentary on them (?)). I am under the impression that the 8th prapathaka of the Chandogya, the second part or so called prajapati-vakya, is a reply to and a rejection of Yajnavalkya's doctrine of the three states of the self in the 4th Adhyaya of the Brhad-Aranyaka. If that is right, then at least parts of the Isa would be older than parts of the Chandogya, though the details of their individual composition history might be lot more complicated.

I would imagine that Signe Cohen "Text and Authority in the Older Upanishads" (Brill 2008) is still the most recent account on the chronology of the Upanishads.

Best wishes

Aleksandar Uskokov

Lector in Sanskrit

South Asian Studies Council, Yale University

203-432-1972 | aleksandar.uskokov at

From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at> on behalf of Madhav Deshpande via INDOLOGY <indology at>
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2020 9:42 PM
To: Indology <indology at>
Subject: [INDOLOGY] Thieme on Īśopaniṣad

Dear Colleagues,

     I have been rereading Professor Paul Thieme's article on the Īśopaniṣad published in the JAOS.  In one of his discussions, he seems to claim that the Chāndogya-Upaniṣad is older than the Īśa.  Here is that passage:


What is a good modern discussion about the relative chronology of the "older" Upaniṣads?  Has anyone discussed Thieme's views?  With best regards,

Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies

[Residence: Campbell, California, USA]

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