(Upaniṣad): “To sit down close to [one’s teacher].” A collection of Hindu texts. The name is a reference to the mode in which esoteric knowledge was transmitted by word of mouth from guru (teacher) to shishya (disciple). The tradition speaks of 108 Upanishads but in reality, there are more than 200. They are the esoteric continuation of Vedic ritualism. The earliest of them were composed in the era prior to Buddhism, perhaps dating as far back as the middle of the second century B.C.