[Advaita-l] Etymology of names of upanishad-s

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sun Mar 23 12:19:10 CDT 2008

> Namaste and dhanyavAdaH
> Very interesting information! There are some questions still because I was also looking at their meaning.
> Admittedly one can not go to the absolute root of all words since they are shrouded in obscurity because of their antiquity, still I believe following names beg answers:
> (1) kaTha or kaThaka: does it mean a story or a parable or an edge (ref: some blogs which I surfed) or some other meaning? Since it is a name of Shakha as confirmed by you, last option looks more probable. Could you shed some light?

The word is kaTha (mUrdhanya Th), not kathA (dantya th), so the meaning of story or parable does not follow from the name. The subject matter of the upanishat is of course presented through the story of naciketa and his father. 

> (3) kaushitaki: Is it related to some word kutsitaH (skeptic or sarcastic)?. I understans Shankarananda (c. 16th century) had explained its etymology in Sanskrit but was not clear to me because of my inadequate Sanskrit knowledge.

kaushItaki is also the name of a vedic SAkha. The word is derived from kushItaka, the name of a Rishi, and means son/descendant of kushItaka. In the bRhadAraNyakopanishat, kahola kaushItakeya is one of the people who questions yAjnavalkya.

If you can post the relevant excerpts from SankarAnanda's dIpikA on the kaushItaki upanishat, there are quite a few members on this list who will be able to help you with the meaning of the Sanskrit text.

Best regards,

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