The word Upanisad denotes the inner or mystic teaching in its literal sense. It is derived from upa, ni, and s ad, or sitting down near, and it alludes to student groups seated close to their teacher to hear him explain the hidden truth. The Upanisad intellectuals discussed issues of the greatest importance in the peace of woodland hermitages while imparting their wisdom to the bright students seated next to them.
The word Upanisad is derived by Samkara from the root sad, which means to loosen,to reach, or to destroy, with the prefixes Upa and ni and the conclusion kvip. If this conclusion is accepted, the Upanisad refers to brahma knowledge, which is used to eliminate or loosen ignorance. The Upanisads, also known as Vedanta or the end of the Vedas, are found in the concluding sections of the Vedas.