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The Upanishads: Translations from the Sanskrit

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  11,150 ratings  ·  339 reviews
The Upanishads, the earliest of which were composed in Sanskrit between 800 and 400 bce by sages and poets, form part of the Vedas - the sacred and ancient scriptures that are the basis of the Hindu religion. Each Upanishad, or lesson, takes up a theme ranging from the attainment of spiritual bliss to karma and rebirth, and collectively they are meditations on life, death ...more
Paperback, 143 pages
Published 2005 by Penguin (first published -500)
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Drew For me its by Eknath Easwaran. simple, concise and as accurate as possible. though the nature of sanskrit still makes me want to learn that language…moreFor me its by Eknath Easwaran. simple, concise and as accurate as possible. though the nature of sanskrit still makes me want to learn that language and read them in the original. stunning works.(less)

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4.23  · 
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 ·  11,150 ratings  ·  339 reviews


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Roy Lotz
I find it interesting how pervasive is the mystic idea of unity. From transcendentalists to scientists to Buddhists to Christians to Hindus, I hear this same thing emphasized repeatedly—everything is one. Physicists wax poetic about how our bodies are made of star-dust. Biologists and naturalists wonder at the unity of life on earth. Christians celebrate the infinite simplicity of God. Spinoza's philosophy proclaims the oneness of all reality. Walt Whitman had this to say:
And I know that the han
...more
Adrian Anderson
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
This book first exposed me to the deep, Deep, DEEP wellspring of spirituality that is to be found in the Indian tradition. The concept of Atman and Brahman and the interchangeability was so in keeping with my person beliefs that the first reading left me shaken.

I am from the Bible belt where our preachers call Indians (and others) idolaters, polytheists, blasphemers and fuel for hellfire. But on reading the Upanishads one realizes that they are closer to monotheism than is Christianity with it's
...more
Elena Holmgren
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A remarkable collection of writings that somehow manages to sketch out the lineaments of the perspective of our highest realization. The uncanny thing is that these scattered linguistic sketches, left behind by diverse personalities separated by vast gulfs of historical change, nonetheless somehow manage to come together into a unified picture of what it'd be like, experientially, to grasp the unity of the real through the fully realized unity of the self. These luminous fragments express an und ...more
Girish Kohli
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Upanishad' means 'sit down near me'. That is its true meaning. Isnt it so simple?
Doesnt the meaning of Upanishad remind you of your grandfather or grandmother telling you a story.
That is exactly what the Upanishad is.

The Upanishad is one of the oldest Hindu scriptures (after the vedas) but that doesnt mean only Hindus can read it. The beauty of the Upanishads is that it never talks about Hinduism.

It is a work that explores the metaphysical truths of Human existence. If you read carefully,
you w
...more
Vegan Viajo
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing


Right up there w the Bible and Quran, but if I had to choose I'd say Hindu text I've read thus far is my favorite. There's so much love and drama in the text it always leaves me wanting more and I feel more accurately describes reasons our world is so unpredictably crazy
MihaElla
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What is spirituality? And what is enlightenment? These are not authentic questions, as a matter of fact. The first thing I should ask (myself) is "Who am I? "What is this consciousness inside me?". But it is always easier to transform an existential inquiry into a philosophical question. Thus, the existential is forgotten and the philosophical becomes very significant.
On a funny note, what is this all non-sense about. Spirituality cannot be defined. It's something one has to explore alone and by
...more
Trenton Judson
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a magic to this text that comes alive inside those warm places in the bottom of your stomach as you read it. The connectivity and the power of the self that this book teaches are invaluable to any person of any ethical, moral, or theological background. I first had a strong desire to read this book after reading Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge" and found myself going back and back to the quote on the first page from The Upanishad's that reads: "The sharp edge of a razor is difficul ...more
Dennis Littrell
Easwaran, Eknath. The Upanishads (1987) *****
Important volume on one of humanity's greatest religious works

In the Upanishads there are two selves. They are symbolized by two birds sitting on a tree branch. The one bird, the self with a small "s" eats. The other bird, the Self with a capital "S" observes. The first self is the self that is part of this world. The second Self is merely an observer that doesn't take part and is in fact beyond the pairs of opposites such as pleasure and pain that do
...more
Richard
I thought this would be another primary source to understand the history of Hindu thought, and while it did that, it was so much more. It was a fundamental tool in changing the way I look at God, the world, and my place in it. One of the most important reads I've ever had.
Ben
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
At an earlier point in my studies of Eastern religion and philosophy, I would easily have awarded this work 5 stars and would likely have placed it on my "favorites" shelf. When I first began my journey into Eastern religion with the Bhagavad Gita many years ago I was mesmerized by the ideas and was drawn in by the oneness with the universe that such works promoted. Since then and before reading The Upanishads, my understanding of Eastern religions and ideas has been influenced by the likes of ( ...more
Roxanne
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality, yoga
The Upanishads, translated by Eknath EaswaranThe Upanishads are a group of ancient wisdom texts. 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: a student (or a wife, or even a king) implores a great sage (or even Death itself) to share holy secrets. Most of the upanishads rely on classic natural i ...more
Erin
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oakshaman
Jun 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The essence of the twelve principle Upanishads

_If you have ever been intimidated by the multi-volume scholarly translations of the Upanishads, then this book is for you. 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 1948 for the Vedanta Society of Southern California but it still holds up as one of
...more
David Withun
Jun 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
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
...more
Daniel Prasetyo
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
K.D. Rose
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Elizabeth
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 ...more
Philip
May 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

An expansive god-view/understanding is presented that is accessible. 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...but it's certainly understandable and as acces
...more
Kevin
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I actually read the Project Gutenberg release of this classic Indian text on Hinduism. It's a short 17,000 word translation by a Hindu mystic that visited Boston in 1909. 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.
Sue
Jan 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm such a nerd. I read this during the Packer game.
Jeff
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book #3 in 2012'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 Theosophically, but their ideas exercised my love of wisdom more than they conveyed to me any wisdom about god. (Screw you, too, Blavatsky! i know you're listening.)

I disagreed with most of the metaphysical claims. I quibbled frequently. I pooh-poohed a
...more
Philip Cartwright
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: on on
...more
Julian Meynell
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Julie Kelly
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-ve-read
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
Ajay
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most beautiful read i have come across. This book consists of 11 major Upanishads and 4 minor Upanishads. Very good commentary and in simple language.
Alex
Mar 28, 2010 rated it liked it
There is some truth in the Upanishads, a word in Sanskrit which means, "a sitting, an instruction, the sitting at the feet of a master," but there is so much which is fluff and simply not true.

Truths:
"the wise man chooses the path of joy; the fool takes the path of pleasure." p. 58
"What lies beyond life shines not to those who are childish, or careless, or deluded by wealth." p. 58
"the foolish run after outward pleasures and fall into the snares." p. 62
"There is the path of wisdom and the path
...more
Erik Akre
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How could I ever "rate" this book? I do so by observing the influence it has had on my own thought, or the mirroring I saw of that thought in its words. A masterwork: so ancient as not to be evaluated as you would contemporary books on philosophy or "spirituality." They are petty and tediously long-winded in comparison. I have taken from these poems a sense of nourishment that comes from somewhere deep down. As I read them, I felt something welling up to quench a thirst that I only barely knew I ...more
Jimmy
Jul 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
While often referred to as Hindu scripture that constitute the core teachings of Vedanta, The Upanishads is really more of a collection of meditations. It is not a theology. They are the kind of meditations that are relevant in any age: what is the nature of love, of the spirit, of the unseen but always felt forces in our universe. But they are not "thoughts" about these things. If you are looking for philosophy, go elsewhere.

One does see the glimmer of the Buddhism that Hindu inspires. The onen
...more
Kevin
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-books, favorites
"Om. Poornamatha Poornamitham Poornatpoornamudachyathe
Poornasya Poornamathaya Poornamevavasishyathe
Om Shaanthi! Shaanthi! Shaanthihi!"
-(The peace chant from Brahadaranyaka)

Translated by Sankaracharya as:-
"Om. That (Brahman) is infinite, and this (Universe) is infinite. The infinite proceeds from the infinite.
(Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe), it remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone."

The author's translation:-
"All this is full, all that is full.
From fullness, fullness com
...more
Jesse
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The realization that one is not separate from this world and that beyond this world there is no consciousness is difficult to understand as a religious insight to the Westerner. The Upanishads make this a simple process by the inclusion of that ponderous method called faith. Of course, one does not need faith to realize this, but I am, according to this book, on a lower plane of consciousness for thinking so, and, as a result, I have no wisdom and therefore no right to tell you this. However, I ...more
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The Upanishads and Modern Science 7 146 Oct 13, 2018 05:55AM  
Goodreads Librari...: wrong author (he's the translator) 2 14 Aug 06, 2017 12:26PM  

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Books can be attributed to "Anonymous" for several reasons:

* They are officially published under that name
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* They are religious texts not generally attributed to a specific author

Books whose authorship is merely uncertain should be attributed to Unknown.
“The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe.
The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightening and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not.”
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“You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny. [ Brihadaranyaka IV.4.5 ]” 48 likes
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