For studying any Sanskrit text, there is a श्लोक advocating the procedure to be
पदच्छेदः पदार्थोक्तिर्विग्रहो वाक्ययोजना |
पूर्वपक्षसमाधानं व्याख्यानं पञ्चलक्षणम्।।
Another version of the second line is
आक्षेपस्य समाधानं व्याख्यानं पञ्चलक्षणम्।।
I would paraphrase this procedure as ⇒
- Separate conjoint words, i.e. do पदच्छेद-s
- Decipher the compound words identifying the component words contained therein i.e. do समासविग्रह-s. It is important to note that one need not think that a given compound word has only one specific विग्रह.
- Understand every word by all shades of its meaning, as may reveal by grammar व्याकरणम्, by etymology व्युत्पत्ति from dictionary शब्दार्थ and by different possible विग्रह-s.
- Set the words syntactically or paraphrase the overall meaning(s) अन्वयार्थ-s. In the instances, where a word has many शब्दार्थ-s i.e. many shades of meanings, this step of अन्वयार्थ would mean choosing that शब्दार्थ or those शब्दार्थ-s, which is/are appropriate to the context.
- The next step would be exploring the भावार्थ-s and गूढार्थ-s. This would also include exploring other texts, where similar भावार्थ-s and गूढार्थ-s are endorsed or challenged. The mention of पूर्वपक्षसमाधानम् or आक्षेपस्य समाधानम् in the above श्लोक is exactly what is said in other texts or commentaries. One may get to recall some related experiences. All such notes and comments make the study very interesting.
उपनिषद-s are important Sanskrit texts, which merit study, adopting this procedure. I thought it good to present their study in a distinct blog with the title as उपनिषदध्ययनम्, firstly because there are said to be 108 उपनिषद-s. One can do justice to their study in a distinct blog devoted to their study.