And when one situates it not in the order one reads it, but in the historical time period in which the work was written, it is certainly a very impressive work, setting forth many influential ideas, and especially the image of the wheel, which makes its first appearance in this work as a symbol used to represent the process of birth-death-rebirth. In this sense and in the sense that the work has many quotable poetic lines and wonderful images the idea that all nectars gathered by bees, for instance, are different, but yet combine to make one honey , it is a work of great value that should not be underestimated and this is not my intent here in the least.
But, if one has already read many works on these subjects, while there is beauty to be found in The Upanishads and while many works have probably drawn their wisdom from this classic, it is unlikely that this work will contribute any more information than one has already gained in their studies of other works in the Eastern philosophical cannon.
Jan 02, Foad rated it really liked it Shelves: I still marvel at how Prabhavananda and Manchester managed to encapsulate so much of the core content and meaning of the twelve principle Upanishads in such a slim volume. Yet they did- and it works. This translation was originally produced in for the Vedanta Society of Southern California but it still holds up as one of the best. I have reread this book more times than I can remember- and yet I still reach new realizations in the interwoven, holographic whole.
View or edit your browsing history. Theory just doesn't seem to be enough to drive knowledge home such that it transforms our motivational core, or the way that we see and feel things. Trying to take seriously the possibility of casting doubt on the foundational Platonic creed that the unity of the real can be reflected by our cognitive processes of abstraction asks us to basically re-examine the ground that we think we're walking on and to consider that maybe it is but a thin, projected veneer — a reified construct of cognitive process. In the introduction Mascaro draws similarities between Hindu concepts and expressions with those from Christian sources and notes poets and writers. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. This book will help you tap into your intuition using techniques designed to make intuition an accessible, understandable, everyday occurrence.
It isn't dogma or theology- it is the direct experience of saints and seers who have touched on divine union transcendent of time. Brahman is true, the world is false, The soul is Brahman and nothing else. This is the best translation of The Upanishads that I found, the author, like other great teachers, is experiencing the wisdom so deeply that he can translate the sacred text with the way that you can really understand and experiencing it's meaning. It contains a chapter introduction, and a notes. The Upanishads is the true treasure of India. Jun 13, K. Rose rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of the most beautiful books of religious text that reads like poetry.
The only book I rate comparable from ancient religious texts anyway, is The Song of Songs. Each individual upanishad is named for the sage who delivered its teaching, long ago; each one describes in flashes of insight how to explore your own consciousness, how to come closer to the Divine. Some of the upanishads take the form of a story: Most of the upanishads rely on classic natural i The Upanishads, translated by Eknath EaswaranThe Upanishads are a group of ancient wisdom texts. Most of the upanishads rely on classic natural images - birds, trees, water - that make the metaphors timeless and appealing even thousands of years after they were written.
It's impossible to write an unbiased book review of a cherished spiritual text - how could I possibly critique the writing style or the structure of a book like this? So this review will be a little more personal. I loved The Upanishads. They called out to me in a way other spiritual books, including the Bible, just haven't. I expect to keep The Upanishads by my bed, read them again and again, consult different translations, flip through seeking guidance.
It can be a difficult book, and I don't ever expect to understand it fully, but I loved it. While the text itself is beyond critique, the translation and the version I can comment on. Easwaran is well-versed in Sanskrit and in Hindu spirituality, and before becoming a spiritual teacher was an English professor, so he has all the tools to create both a beautiful and accurate rendition. Easwaran also writes the introduction, which I found helpful for putting The Upanishads in their historical context and setting the stage for the sort of text I was about to read since when I started I really had no idea what I was getting into.
This volume also includes a brief page introduction before each upanishad, written by Michael Nagler. These I also found informative, and it was helpful to look as I read for the points that Nagler had called out as being important, but I think I would have preferred to read the upanishad first and then read Nagler's summary of it. Nagler also writes a lengthy afterword, which I did not find very useful. The end matter includes a glossary and a section of notes, which I didn't realize were there as I was reading the upanishads, and I think I'm glad I didn't know they were there - I'm the sort of person who will flip back and forth consulting the notes, and I'm glad I was able simply to experience the upanishads on this first read rather than analyzing them academically.
There will be plenty of time to look at the notes and read other translations. The glossary might have been helpful a few times, though, and I imagine it would be very useful to someone who hasn't spent the past ten months up to her ears in yoga philosophy. Overall, I would say that if you're new to Hindu spirituality, I wouldn't recommend starting with The Upanishads - the Bhagavad Gita is a much more accessible book for most people.
For me, though, The Upanishads was more inviting, more enthralling than the Gita, and more accessible too. The first time I read the Gita I walked away thinking that it was nice and all but nothing great, and I needed the lectures and discussion of my yoga teacher training course to put the Gita's systems in context and help me understand what I was reading.
With The Upanishads, I felt like I could really hear the sages speaking directly to me: I look forward to listening again and again. A wonderful translation of what may be one of India's greatest philophical treasures. The language in Easwaran's translation is simple, clear and understandable. It manages to convey perfectly the poetic beauty of the Upanishadic texts, without adding any unnecessary confusion to some of the intense philosophical points.
As this is the first edition of the Upanishads I have read, I have no other copy to recommend or to compare it by. However, Easwaran's edition also comes with a very useful glos A wonderful translation of what may be one of India's greatest philophical treasures. However, Easwaran's edition also comes with a very useful glossary at the back of the book to fill in gaps in the knowledge of some of the Sanskrit terminology that cannot be fully justified in the English language.
The commentary at the back of the book was also an invaluable bit of help in understanding the various interpretations of some of the verses.
The prologues by Michael Nagler to start of each text wonderfully summarise each of the Upanishads, and explains their basic history, meaning and religious significance. If you are interested in finding out how Hinduism views the nature of the soul and its relation to the Supreme Reality, this book is a great place to start. Highly recommended for both the hesitant but curious newcomer, and the intrepid philosophical scholar.
The Upanishads (Penguin Classics) [Anonymous, Juan Mascaro] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Upanishads, the earliest of which . The Upanishads, the earliest of which were composed in Sanskrit between and bce Penguin Classics; Published 24th February ; Pages.
The Upanishads are a set of texts that can be read and mulled over time and time again. The Upanishads are some of the most fascinating writings in world literature. They are a record of several hundred years of experience and wisdom in one of the world's great mystical traditions.
As such, they act as a powerful witness to the universality of the desire for eternity and transcendence, for the innate humanity of the longing for God. This translation is an interesting one and may be useful for someone who is new to the Upanishads. Nearly all of the technical language is trimmed out a The Upanishads are some of the most fascinating writings in world literature. Nearly all of the technical language is trimmed out and the universal aspects are emphasized, rather than those elements that are unique to the Hindu tradition.
The great fault of this book, however, is that it seems to try too hard in many places to emphasis that universality. Rather than allowing the universality of the Upanishads to shine through on their own, the translation often seeks to imitate biblical language, more familiar to Western readers, and the commentaries focus more on making the Upanishads acceptable to a Judeo-Christian audience than on actually explaining the historical and cultural milieu of the Upanishads themselves.
If it were not for this flaw, or if I were rating just the Upanishads alone and not the translation and commentary, I would rate this volume much higher. I highly recommend this translation of the Upanishads. The translator was both a Master of English as well as Hindu himself and a religious scholar. When reading, keep in mind that every world was chosen with you in mind to convey as much as possible of the original meaning. To me, this book is full of wisdom that anybody can appreciate. It's the furthest thing from outdated or antiquated, and hints at a kind of spiritual existence and life that is 'just beyond the curtains', so to speak, and th I highly recommend this translation of the Upanishads.
It's the furthest thing from outdated or antiquated, and hints at a kind of spiritual existence and life that is 'just beyond the curtains', so to speak, and that the writers of each Upanishad could only try to describe to us through words. It's kind of like trying to convey a very surreal dream to a friend.
You can't share the experience or the exact images you saw, but you can try and describe them to the best of your ability in words to help your friend get as close as he can without having had the experience himself. To Hinduism, or at least my understanding of it, experience is always key, but snippets like that help to light the way for others to eventually experience everything themselves. Read the verses in light of each other, on their own, and ect.
There are a world of meanings to every line. This is truly a fascinating read. View all 3 comments. Just discovering these early Hindu texts. Compared to the thinking of many today's mainsteram religions, the concepts put forth here are progressive, if not outright radical. Also, a nice introduction to was what once simply my ignorance and chaotic undertanding of the complexity of Hinduism. As far as the translation goes, since this is my first reading so nothing to compare it to Mar 05, Kevin rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: I actually read the Project Gutenberg release of this classic Indian text on Hinduism.
It's a short 17, word translation by a Hindu mystic that visited Boston in Even though the translation is 90 years old it brought the message of the text to life for me, and the insightful commentary by the translator helped to get the message across of the book. I'm such a nerd. I read this during the Packer game. Book 3 in 's survey of holy shit 2 was Confucius's Analects etc. Overall this collection of disparate mystical writings by long-dead Hindus is the early frontrunner for my Most Philosophically Stimulating Sacred Text award. I almost wrote Theo sophically, but their ideas exercised my love of wisdom more than they conveyed to me any wisdom about god.
Screw you, too, Blavatsky! I disagreed with most of the metaphysical claims. I pooh-poohed a Book 3 in 's survey of holy shit 2 was Confucius's Analects etc. I pooh-poohed and tsk-tsked ad nauseam. I made snotty gibes. I might've even told the book to fuck off a couple times. Especially by the end when the nagging winds of repetition overwhelmed my ever-threadbare patience. Some readers might conclude from such an experience, "It was as if they were written explicitly with me in mind," but iMeMy don't succumb to that particular brand of solipsism: Translation suggestion Read several side-by-side if you really want to get a decent sense of what the original text might've meant.
These works were originally secrets for initiates and their sons only that were shared only in private conversations for hundreds of years before finally being written down more than years ago. Do you s'pose the odds are good that anybody nowadays can translate them with a great degree of precision? Alternately, you could learn to read Sanskrit. Next up, another Hindu treasure, the Bhagavad Gita , as translated by and commented upon by none other than Mohandas K. Gandhi i believe the K stands for Kowtipper.
If you have bothered to read this far and have an opinion on this matter, please help me. After the Hinduism, Buddhism is my next stop on the world tour of holy shit. I think i oughta read Digha Nikaya Buddha's long-winded stuff first cuz allegedly it's the sacred text most capable of catalyzing a conversion Or i could go for short and simple: Or, behind door number three, Big B's life story, Bodhicharyavatara the life of the Bodhisattva.
My biggest non-philosophical takeaway from the Upanishads is that i can't learn much of anything about the practice of Hinduism from it. Critical texts drive this point home to a certainty and convince me that all sacred texts might have the same relationship to their faiths as practiced by their devotees. We humans declare something to be holy writ, and then there's what we humans do with it, including but not limited to literally and figuratively wiping our asses.
Allow iMeMy to dig up some o' the deep shit i mentioned earlier i.
I'm limited that way. Like i'm kinda unable to think of more than zero gods. The Hindu gurus pointed out for me that there's awake, asleep-and-dreaming, and asleep-but-not-dreaming. I'm going along, existing nice and steady and aware and all, then i choose to sleep, and then at some point unknown to me and completely irrelevant to my wishes, i just don't exist anymore. And it's as if nothing exists anymore, not me, not you, not any thing at all. By the way, iMeMy frequently succumb to this kind of solipsism. Uh, perhaps, but maybe that's what little kids fight so strenuously when they're too young to be capable of expressing such thoughts?
Another good bleepin question. We don't make it happen. And if you tell me that it's simple brain chemistry, then are you tellin me that i'm actually just a biomachine? I hope not, cuz them's fightin words. I mean, i know there are all kinds of things that my body does without me willing them, but this is my consciousness and lack thereof we're talkin about.
Even though "Absence of proof does not mean proof of absence," i can't think of any other consciousness-related actions that happen unwittingly. And what about creatures to whom we attribute lower consciousnesses? Do bears lose consciousness during long periods of hibernation? They can't be actively dreaming the whole time. Is it harder to bring the bear Self back from that long sleep? And what about worms? Thanks to last night's torrential rains, this morning i saw my first sidewalk-languishing worms of the neoSpringtime.
Assuming they're underground all Winter and assuming they're not dancing around down there in the frozen earth, what happens to their already limited consciousnesses during the longdarkfreezetime? And then there's Brahman. Brahman is to the Universe what atman is to each of you. So, the Universe has a soul. Except Brahman actually is the Universe. Including our "individual" atmans. And everything yearns to become part of Brahman. The yearning one feels, that's awareness separateness and awareness of the inadequacy of separateness. Unity is what everyone seeks.
I'm not totally in love with this idea, but it does get me thinking. And i definitely do not dig the orthodox Hindu view that the absolute absorption of the individual Self into Brahman is the ultimate bliss Consciousness Is The Universe, that is. That's where everything came from.
It blows my mind. I promise i'm not high. Maybe that would make it even mindblowier; i really wouldn't know, but iMeMy can't help but consider the possibilities of hallucinogenics and psychotropics. I've always wondered what makes me conscious and what the hell is consciousness?
How can anything be conscious and how is it different from something like a rock which i presume has no consciousness? Start by picturing Harold's simple drawings or the simple things that most of us are capable of drawing with an Etch A Sketch. Imagine a simple line drawing of a house, like what you would've done at 5 years old.
Now, draw that picture in one continuous line. And now do it in one continuous line that never crosses itself. And now the same restraints plus it must have 3-dimensional perspective. Can you imagine being able to draw a truly 3-dimensional house this way?
How about a 3-dimensional house that persists in time for 5 minutes and accounts for i. Now add the following inward and outward quantum leaps: That one continuous never-doubling back, never-intersecting line is the Oneness of the interconnectedness of everything. Delving deeper into matter only reveals the hyperintricacy of Brahman's line-drawing. And that beautifully simple English preposition works in both directions: The guru has just walked up to me to say for the umpteenth time, " Neti, neti [not that, not that]," so i shall finally stop trying to explain capture the infinite.
Come to think of it, you don't gotta read the Upanishads, you only gotta read what i have wroten here, you lazy luckouts. The Ups prolly ain't gonna do it for you. Especially if the stuff i already writed gets you excited. I don't know, whatever, read the Ups or don't read the Ups. Read about pieces parts all. I thought it was pretty cool stuff in the abstract, but ultimately i wouldn't dedicate 12 years of my life to studying under a guru in the hopes of holding the winner in this particular universal lottery.
As usual, i've told you nothing very little? They do not explain or develop a line of argument. They sought principles that would unify and explain the world within the mind. If the observer observes through the medium of consiousness and the world too is observed in consciousness, should not the same laws apply to both? What do they [the Ups] report? They tell us, first, that whatever we are, whatever we may have done, there is in each of us an inalienable Self that is divine They call us to the discovery of a realm deep within ourselves which is our native state They place us at home in a compassionate universe, where nothing is "other" than ourselves--and they urge us to treat that universe with reverence, for there is nothing in the world but God Last, most significantly, the Upanishads tell us that our native state is a realm where death cannot reach, which can be attained here in this life by those willing to devote their lives to the necessary purification of consciousness In this compassionate view life becomes a kind of school in which the individual self is constantly evolving, growing life after life toward a fully human stature.
The goal is realization of one's true nature: First, the Upanishads offer a noble, exalted vision of human nature Second, while [they] are wrapped in a good bit of mythology and ritual, that wrapping comes off pretty easily. What we are left with is pure mysticism: Third, [they] are scientific [errrm They don't say, "Believe this"; they say, "This we have seen One is sarvam idam brahma, "All is Brahman" These three essential conditions of man's salvation—God, immortality, and freedom—are conceivable only if the universe is mere appearance and not reality [to use the Hindu word for it] mere maya and not the atman , and they break down irretrievably should this empirical reality, wherein we live, be found to constitute the true essence of things.
Why I Am Not a Hindu whose author has much more quotidian quibbles agin this religion. A fascinating, sometimes haunting, sometimes baffling read. Of course, these sacred scriptures don't give a full picture of Hinduism by themselves - for that I'd need greater familiarity with the numerous ceremonies, chants, rituals and stories that go with them.
Nevertheless, the Upanishads provide a mesmerising window onto what is for me a very foreign world. I hesitate to attempt much analysis of such a venerable text - especially after just a first read-through. But I will offer this: It spells out a web of intricate symbolism whereby everything stands for something else and everything is connected to everything else.
Everything grasps and is grasped. But on another level, the symbolism is a means of transcending the world. Here, of course, I'm thinking of Brahman: As the Upanishads progress this notion of Brahman increasingly takes centre-stage. Consequently I found the mystical message became increasingly familiar: I'm not criticising this, but I did find the earlier books the Brhadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanishads intriguing precisely because they are more ambiguous or elusive on the issue.
The Oxford World's Classics edition has a helpful introduction and detailed end-notes. Finally, one of the many verses that caught my eye: I do not think that I know it well; But I know not that I do not know. Who of us knows that, he does know that; But he knows not, that he does not know. It's envisioned by one who envisions it not; but one who envisions it knows it not. And those who perceive it perceive it not; but it's perceived by those who perceive it not.
Kena Upanishad, Chapter Dec 05, Julian Meynell rated it really liked it Shelves: I read the version translated by Juan Mascaro and I want to talk about his treatment before moving onto the work. I found Mascaro's introduction to be a bit flaky. Mascaro is fundamentally a mystic who tries to see all religions and most great figures in literature and philosophy as reflecting the same one mystical reality. While of course there is some merit in that view, it hides more than it reveals. In the translation, this gave me some concerns where Mascaro is using Christian language and I read the version translated by Juan Mascaro and I want to talk about his treatment before moving onto the work.
In the translation, this gave me some concerns where Mascaro is using Christian language and I was not sure if it was accurate translation or a reflection of Mascaro's philosophical agenda. Also, apparently the entirety of the Upanishads is about equal in size to the Bible and its hard to tell then how reflective this sample is of the whole. Having said all that, Mascaro's translation is good and has a lot of literary power in its plain language use. It seemed to me a well worth reading selection, but I was left with the intent to read the whole of the Upanishad's at some point in the future.
The Upanishad's themselves are good. The selections in this book are very much the core religious doctrines, but their expression is beautiful and they were a pleasure to read. In many ways I preferred them to the Bhagavad Gita which is really my only relevant point of comparison. I do think that they are more interesting and insightful than most other religious texts, although I am at heart a Spinozist and I was often struck by how close they were to the doctrines of Spinoza.
Probably every person who was to be literate and understand the major ideas of the world religions should read them. They are also very pretty. However, the Bible could be made to look a lot more pretty than it really is, if a selection this small was made of it. Anyway, you should probably read this book, and I should probably read the whole thing at some point in the future. The Upanishads is an amazing book about spirituality in India. It takes you on a jorney of the self and allows you to realize and understand that the mind is what dominates the life for example what you desire is what you basically get.
The Unipanishads as a book is sometimes hard to grasp but well worth persevereing with just as its sister book the Bhagavadgita. Books can be attributed to "Anonymous" for several reasons: See All Goodreads Deals…. Sponsored Products are advertisements for products sold by merchants on Amazon. When you click on a Sponsored Product ad, you will be taken to an Amazon detail page where you can learn more about the product and purchase it. To learn more about Amazon Sponsored Products, click here.
Valerie Roebuck is a Buddhist, practicing and teaching meditation in the Samatha tradition. She is an honorary research fellow of the University of Manchester and author of The Circle of Stars: An Introduction to Indian Astrology. Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App.
Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? A brilliant introduction to the essence of living Hinduism the thirteen principal Upanisads, Sanskrit texts in the religious traditions of the Vedas, lie at the heart of Hinduism. Devoted to understanding the inner meaning of the religion, they explicate its crucial doctrines—rebirth, the law of karma, the means of conquering death and of achieving detachment, equilibrium and spiritual bliss.
They emphasize the perennial search for true knowledge—especially that of the connection between the self and the transcendental Absolute. In this translation, marked by empathy and erudition, Valerie Roebuck approaches the Upanisads as belonging to the tradition of 'sruti', literature which is heard, as distinct from 'smriti', which is remembered. Seeking to reveal the intent of the authors, she attempts to represent what, in fact, constitutes the original text. Care is taken to exclude later accretions of commentaries.
The invocations included underline the traditional recitation of these texts, and the literary devices—repetitions, dialogue and word combat riddles, paradoxes and word play—used by the sages to express their teachings. This accurate and exceptional rendering, while making accessible to the modern reader something of the beauty and variety of the original language, reaffirms the place of the Upanishads as one of the most profound works of world literature. This authentic and nuanced rendering makes accessible to the modern reader something of the beauty and variety of these ancient and rich texts of Hinduism.
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