THE PRINCIPAL UPANISADS: (Volume-I and II) (Sanskrit Text, Transliteration and English Translation with Notes)
Look Inside

THE PRINCIPAL UPANISADS: (Volume-I and II) (Sanskrit Text, Transliteration and English Translation with Notes)

FREE Delivery
Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: IDG216
Author: F. Max MullerTranslated by Board of Oriental Scholars
Publisher: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan
Language: Sanskrit Text, Transliteration and English Translation with Notes
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 8170843354
Pages: 1181
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
23 years in business
23 years in business
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
Fair trade
Fair trade
Fully insured
Fully insured
Introduction (volume-1)

The ancient Vedic literature, the foundation of the whole literature of India, which has been handed down in that country in an unbroken succession from the earliest times within the recollection of man to the present day, became known for the first time beyond the frontiers of India through the Upanisads. The Upanisads were translated from Sanskrit into Persian by, or, it may be, for Dara Shukoh, the eldest son of Shah jahan, an enlightened prince, who openly professed the liberal religious tenets of the great Emperor Akbar, and even wrote a book intended to reconcile the religious doctrines of Hindus and Mohammedans. He seems first to have heard of the Upanisads during his stay in Kashmir in 1640. He afterwards invited several Pandits from Benares to Delhi, who were to assist him in the work of translation. The translation was finished in 1657. Three years after the accomplishment of this work, in 1659, the prince was put to death by his brother Aurangzeb.' in reality, no doubt, because he was the eldest son and legitimate successor of Shah jahan, but under the pretext that he was an infidel, and dangerous to the established religion of the empire.

When the Upanisads had once been translated from Sanskrit into Persian, at that time the most widely read language of the East and understood likewise by many European scholars, they became generally accessible to all who took an interest in the religious literature of India. It is true that under Akbar's reign (1556-1586) similar translations had been prepared,but neither those nor the translations of Dara Shukoh attracted the attention of European scholars till the year 1775. In that year Anquetil Duperron, the famous traveller and discoverer of the Zend- avesta, received one MS. of the Persian translation of the Upanisads, sent to him by M. Gentil, the French resident at the court of Shuja-ud-daula, and brought to France by M. Bernier. After receiving another MS., Anquetil Duperron collated the two, and translated the Persian translation! into French (not published), and into Latin. That Latin translation was published in 1801 and 1802, under the title of 'Oupnek'hat, id est, Secretum tegendum: opus ipsa in India rarissimum continens antiquam et arcanam, seu theologicam et philosophicam doctrinam, e quatuor sacris Indorum libris Rak baid, Djedjer baid, Sam baid, Athrban baid excerptam; ad verbum, e Persico idiomate, Samkreticis vocabulis intermixto, in Latinum conversum : Dissertationibus et Annotationibus difficiliora explanantibus, illustratum: studio et opera Anquetil Duperron, Indicopleustae. Argentorati, typis et impensis fratrum Levrault, vol. i, 1801; vol. ii, 1802.2,

This translation, though it attracted considerable interest among scholars, was written in so utterly unintelligible a style, that it required the lynxlike perspicacity of an intrepid philosopher, such as Schopenhauer, to discover a thread through such a labyrinth. Schopenhauer, however, not only found and followed such a thread, but he had the courage to proclaim to an incredulous age the vast treasures of thought which were lying buried beneath that fearful jargon.

As Anquetil Duperron's volumes have become scarce, I shall here give a short specimen of his translation, which corresponds to the first sentences of my translation of the Chandogya-upanisad (p. 1) :-'Oum hoc verbum (esse) adkit ut sciveris, sic to maschghouli fac (de eo meditare), quod ipsum hoc verbum aodkit est; propter illud quod hoc (verbum) oum, in Sam Beid, cum voce alta, cum harmonia pronunciatum fiat.

'Adkiteh porro cremor (optimum, selectissimum) est: quemadmodum ex (prae) omni quieto (non moto), et moto, pulvis (terra) cremor (optimum) est; et e (prae) terra aqua cremor est; et ex aqua, comedendum (v ictus) cremor est; (et) e comedendo, comedens crermor est; et e comedente, loquela (id quod dicitur) cremor est; et e loquela, aiet tov Beid, et ex aiet to siam, id est, cum harmonia (pronunciatum); et e Sam, to adkit, cremor est; id est, oum, voce alta, cum harmonia pronunciare. aokit, cremor cremorum (optimum optimorum) est. Major, ex (prae) adkit, cremor alter non est.'

Schopenhauer not only read this translation carefully, but he makes no secret of it, that his own philosophy is powerfully impregnated by the fundamental doctrines of the Upanisads. He dwells on it again and again, and it seems both fair to Schopenhauer's memory and highly important for a true appreciation of the philosophical value of the Upanisads. to put together what that vigorous thinker has written on those ancient rhapsodies of truth.

In his 'Welt als Wille und Vorstellung,' he writes, in the preface to the first edition, p. xiii:

'If the reader has also received the benefit of the Vedas, the access to which by means of the Upanisads is in my eyes the greatest privilege which this still young century (1818) may claim before all previous centuries, (for I anticipate that the influence of Sanskrit literature will not be less profound than the revival of Greek in the fourteenth century,)-if then the reader, T say, has received his initiation in primeval Indian wisdom, and received it with an open heart, he will be prepared in the very best way for hearing what I have to tell him. It will not sound to him strange, as to many others, much less disagreeable; for I might, if it did not sound conceited, contend that every one of the detached statements which constitute the Upanisads, may be deduced as a necessary result from the fundamental thoughts which I have to enunciate, though those deductions themselves are by no means to be found there.' And again1 :

'If I consider how difficult it is, even with the assistance of the best and carefully educated teachers, and with all the excellent philological appliances collected in the course of this century, to arrive at a really correct, accurate, and living understanding of Greek and Roman authors, whose language was after all the language of our own predecessors in Europe, and the mother of our own, while Sanskrit, on the contrary, was spoken thousands of years ago in distant India, and can be learnt only with appliances which are as yet very imperfect;- if I add to this the impression which the translations of Sanskrit works by European scholars, with very few exceptions, produce on my mind, I cannot resist a certain suspicion that our Sanskrit scholars do not understand their texts much better than the higher class of schoolboys their Greek. Of course, as they are not boys, but men of knowledge and understanding, they put together, out of what they do understand, something like what the general meaning may have been, but much probably creeps in ex ingenio. It is still worse with the Chinese of our European Sinologues.

'If then I consider, on the other hand, that Sultan Mohammed Dara Shukoh, the brother of Aurangzeb, was born and bred in India, was a learned, thoughtful, and enquiring man, and therefore probably understood his Sanskrit about as well as we our Latin, that moreover he was assisted by a number of the most learned Pandits, all this together gives me at once a very high opinion of his translation of the Vedic Upanisads into Perisan. If, besides this, I see with what profound and quite appropriate reverence Anquetil Duperron has treated that Persian translation, rendering it in Latin word by word, retaining, in spite of Latin grammar, the Persian syntax, and all the Sanskrit words which the Sultan himself had left untranslated, though explaining them in a glossary, I feel the most perfect confidence in reading that translation, and that confidence soon receives its most perfect justification. For how entirely does the Oupnekhat breathe throughout the holy spirit of the Vedas! How is everyone who by a diligent study of its Persian Latin has become familiar with that incompatable book, stirred by that spirit to the very depth of his soul! How does every line display its firm, definite, and throughout harmonious meaning! From every sentence deep, original, and sublime thoughts arise, and the whole is pervaded by a high and holy and earnest spirit. Indian air surrounds us, and original thoughts of kindred spirits. And oh, how thoroughly is the mind here washed clean of all early engrafted Jewish superstitions, and of all philosophy that cringes before those superstitions! In the whole world there is no study, except that of the originals, so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Oupnekhat. It has been the solace of my life, it will be the solace of my death!

'Though I feel the highest regard for the religious and philosophical works of Sanskrit literature, I have not been able to derive much pleasure from their poetical composi-tions. Nay, they seem to me sometimes as tasteless and monstrous as the scupture of India.

'In2 most of the pagan philosophical writers of the first Christian centuries we see the Jewish theism, which, as Christianity, was soon to become the faith of the people, shining through, much as at present we may perceive shining through in the writings of the learned, the native pantheism of India, which is destined sooner or later to become the faith of the people. Ex oriente lux.'

This may seem strong language, and, in some respects, too strong. But I thought it right to quote it here, because, whatever may be urged agasnt Schopenhauer, he was a thoroughly honest thinker and honest speaker, and no one would suspect him of any predilection for what has been so readily called Indian mysticism. That Schelling and his school should use rapturous language about the Upanisads, might carry little weight with that large class of philosophers by whom everything beyond the clouds of their own horizon is labelled mysticism. But that Schopenhauer should have spoken of the Upanisads as 'products of the highest wisdom' (Ausgeburt der hochsten Weisheit),1 that he should have place the pantheism there taught heigh above the pantheism of Bruno, Malebranche, Spinoza, and Scotus Erigena, as brought to light again at Oxford . in 1681, may perhaps secure a more considerate reception for these relics of ancient wisdom than anything that I could say in their favour.

Introduction (volume-2)

This second volume completes the translation of the principal Upanisads to which Sankara appeals in his great commentary on the Vedanta-Siitras,' viz. :

1. Chandogya-upanisad,
2. Talavakara or Kena-upanisad,
3. Aitareya-upanisad,
4. Kausitaki-upanisad,
5. Vajasaneyi or Isa-upani$ad,
6. Katha-upanisad,
7. Mundaka-upanisad,
8. Taittiriyaka-upanisad,
9. Brhadaranyaka-upanisad,
10. Svetasvatara-upanisad.
11. Prasna-upanisad

These eleven have somtimes been called the old and genuine Upanisads, though I should be satisfied to call them the eleven classical Upanisads, or the fundamental Upanisads of the Vedanta philosophy.

Vidyaranya,:' in his 'Elucidation of the meaning of all the Upanisads, Sarvopanisadarthan ubh uti-prakasa, confines himself likewise to those treatises, dropping, however, the Isa, and adding the Maitrayana-upanisad, of which I have given a translation in this volume, and the Nrsimhottara-tapaniya- upanisad, the translation of which had to be reserved for the next volume.

It is more difficult to determine which of the Upanisads were chosen by Sankara or deserving the honour of a special commentary. We possess his commentaries on the eleven Upanisads mentioned before.' with the exception of the Kausitaki-upanisad. We likewise possess his commentary on the Mand ukya-upanisad, but we do not know for certain whether he left commentaries on any of the other Upanisads. Some more or less authoritative statements have been made that he wrote commentaries on some of the minor Upanisads, such as the Atharvasiras, Atharva-sikha, and the Nrsirmha- tapani.' But as, besides Sankaracarya, the disciple of C•ovinda, there is Sankarananda, the disciple of Anandatman, another writer of commentaries on the Upanisads, it is possible that the two names may have been confounded by less careful copyists. 4

. With regard to the Nrsimhatapani all uncertainty might seem to be removed, after Professor Ramarmaya Tarkaratna has actually published its text with the commentary of Sankaracarya in the Bibliotheca Indica, Calcutta, 1871. But some uncertainty still remains. While at the end of each Khanda of the Nrsimha- purvatapani we read that the Bhasya was the work of the Paramahamsa-parivrajakacarya Sri-Sankara , the pupil of Govinda, we have no such information for the Nrsimha- uttaratapani, but are told on the contrary that the words Sri- Covindabhagavat etc. have been added at the end by the editor, because he thought fit to do so. This is, to say the least, very suspicious, and we must wait for further confirmation. There is another commentary on this Upanisad by Narayanabhatta, the son of Bhatta Ratnakara.' who is well known as the author of Dipikas on several Upanisads.



Volume One
Introduction ix-xxxviii
1. The Chandogya-Upanisad 1-251
2. Keno-Upanisad 253-270
3. Aitareya-Upanisad 271-480
4. The Kausitaki-Brahmana-Upanisad 481-540
5. Isavasya-Upanisad 541-558
Volume Two
Introduction vii-xix
1. The Katha-Upanisad 559-605
2. The Mundaka-Upanisad 607-634
3. The Taittiriyaka-Upanisad 635-681
4. The Brhadaranyaka-Upanisad 683-942
5. The Svetasvatara-Upanisad 943-1009
6. The Prasna-Upanisad 1011-1039
7. The Maitrayaniya-Upanisad 1041-1145
Sample Pages

Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy