Among the oldest of India’s spiritual texts, the Upanishads are records of intensive question-and-answer sessions given by illumined sages to their students – in ashrams, at family gatherings, in a royal court, and in the kingdom of Death. The sages share flashes of insight, extraordinary visions, the results of their investigation into consciousness itself.
The Upanishads have puzzled and inspired wisdom seekers from Yeats to Schopenhauer. In this best-selling translation, Eknath Easwaran makes these challenging texts more accessible by selecting the passages most relevant to readers seeking timeless truths today. This book includes an overview of the cultural and historical setting, with chapter introductions, notes, and a Sanskrit glossary. But it is Easwaran’s understanding of the wisdom of the Upanishads that makes this edition truly outstanding.
Each sage, each Upanishad, appeals in a different way to the reader’s head and heart. For Easwaran, the Upanishads are part of India’s precious legacy, not just to Hinduism but to humanity, and in that spirit they are offered here.
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Formerly a professor of Victorian literature, Eknath Easwaran discovered the treasures of wisdom in his own native India and began to pursue them with a passion. He has since studied them, practiced them, and moved to America to share them with the Western world. In his translation of The Upanishads, the font of Indian spirituality, Easwaran delights us with a readable rendition of one of the most difficult texts of all religious traditions. Each Upanishad is a lyrical statement about the deeper truths of mysticism, from the different levels of awareness to cultivations of love for God. There's one twist, though, for ultimately a devoted meditator realizes that God and the world are not separate from oneself. Then the ultimate goal becomes to reunite with the universal Self, achieving the infinite joy that accompanies such union. Easwaran recruited Michael Nagler to contribute notes to the translation and a lengthy afterword, which together with introductions to each Upanishad, guide us expertly through this strange and fruitful landscape. --Brian BruyaFrom the Publisher:
The Upanishads are the wellspring of India's loftiest philosophies and faith. Some three thousand years old, they are the earliest living records of the Perennial Philosophy: the conviction, stamped with personal experience, that there is a spark of the godhead in every creature, and that to realize this divinity is life's highest goal. This edition contains not only the eight principal Upanishads but four yoga Upanishads not often found in other editions. Careful introductions to each highlight themes and clarify difficult ideas.
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