The Upanishads - A New Translation (4 Vol Set))

The Upanishads - A New Translation (4 Vol Set))

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Author: Swami Nikhilananda
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Swami Nikhilananda
Publisher: Advaita Ashram
Year: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 1507
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81750530/1/2X/38/46


The Upanishads form the concluding portion and contain the essence of the Hindu faith. They record the direct and immediate spiritual experience of the rishis, the seers of truth, and have been passed down orally through a succession of illumined teachers. They treat of the origin and destiny of the soul, the nature of the universe, and the nature of ultimate reality. The divinity of the soul, the oneness of humanity, and the indivisibility of the Godhead are discussed not as articles of faith, but as the truths of spiritual experiences. Schopenhauer once said: ‘The Upanishads are the most rewarding and elevating reading possible in the world: they have been the solace of my life and will be that of my death’.

This new translation is both literal and graceful. It has the dignity and flavor of the original. Swami Nikhilananda has based his notes and explanations on the commentaries of Sankaracharya, the great eight-century philosopher mystic.

Volume I contains the Katha, Isa, Kena and Mundaka Upanishads. With two introductory chapters dealing with the historical background, the metaphysics and the psychology of the Upanishads.
Of this volume the Contemporary Review wrote: ‘‘Swami Nikhilananda has rendered us an unforgettable service. The scholar and the student will certainly find himself fully repaid by a study of this remarkable edition.’’

Volume II contains the Svetasvatara, Prasna and Mandukya Upanishads, three of the source books of Hinduism. To this volume Swami Nikhilananda has made an especial contribution in the form of a noteworthy essay on Hindu ethics.

"Swami Nikhilananda's two volumes of the Upanishads are valuable contributions to the study of the Upanishads and can be confidently recommended to those who want to acquaint themselves with these treasures of Indo-Aryan wisdom…they often shed new light on old concepts and bring out their significance in the perspective of modern Western thought."
- Philosophy East and West

Volume III contains the Aitareya and Brihadaranyaka Upanishads, with a detailed introduction dealing with the value of rituals and symbols for the contemplation of Brahman.

‘‘In the third volume of his translations of The Upanishads, Swami Nikhilananda maintains the high standard set in the first two volume … in comparison with many other translations the rendering is clear, straight for- ward, and readable. I have no doubt that it communicates to modern readers of English the essential spiritual insights of these great documents.’’
- E A Burtt

Volume IV contains the Taittiriya and Chhandogya Upanishads with an introduction discussing rituals and contemplative worship as steps leading to the knowledge of Brahman.

‘‘The special value of this translation lies in the infusion of the author’s dual quality-that of a practised mystic and religious scholar … The use of Sankara’s commentaries makes as it were for another dimension-as of a vastly competent Thomas Aquinas winnowing the scriptural chaff from the kernel of Realigy.’’
- J G Hitrec



Publisher’s Note to the Indian Edition
List of Abbreviations
Note on Pronunciation
General Introduction
Discussion of Brahman in the Upanishads
Katha Upanishad
Isa Upanishad
Kena Upanishad
Mundaka Upanishad
Svetasvatara Upanishad
Prasna Upanishad
Mandukya Upanishad
Aitareya Upanishad
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
Taittiriya Upanishad
Chhandogya Upanishad


Publisher’s Note to the Indian Edition
List of Abbreviations
Note on Pronunciation
Hindu Ethics
Final Salutation by Sri Sankaracharya

Volume III
Publisher’s Note to the Indian Edition
List of Abbreviations
Note on Pronunciation
Sri Sankaracharya’s Introduction
Part One
1. The Creation of Virat
2. Cosmic Powers in the Human Body
3. The Embodiment of the Supreme Self
Part Two
1. The Three Births of the Self
Part Three
1. Concerning the Self
Sri Sankaracharya’s Introduction
Part One
1. Meditation on the Horse-sacrifice
2. The Process of Creation
3. The Prana: Its Glories and Redeeming Power
4. The Creation and Its Cause
5. Manifestations of Prajapati
6. The Three Aspects of the Universe
Part Two
1. Relative Aspects of Brahman
2. Description of the Prana
3. The Two Forms of Brahman
4. Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi (I)
5. The Interdependence of Created Objects
6. The Line of Teachers
Part Three
1. Yajnavalkya and Asvala
2. Yajnavalkya and Artabhaga
3. Yajnavalkya and Bhujyu
4. Yajnavalkya and Ushasta
5. Yajnavalkya and Kahola
6. Yajnavalkya and Gargi (I)
7. Yajnavalkya and Vidaghdha
Part Four
1. Partial Definitions of Brahman
2. Concerning the Self
3. Investigation of the Three States
4. Death and the Hereafter
5. Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi (II)
6. The Line of Teachers
Part Five
1. The Infinity of Brahman
2. The Three Great Disciplines
3. Brahman as the Heart
4. Meditation on Satya Brahman
5. In Praise of Satya Brahman
6. Meditation on Brahman as the Mind
7. Meditation on Brahman as Lighting
8. Meditation on the Vedas as a Cow
9. Meditation on the Vaisvanara Fire
10. The Path of the Departing Soul
11. The Supreme Austerities
12. Meditation on Food and the Vital Breath as Brahman
13. Meditation on the Vital Breath
14. The Sacred Gayatri
15. The Prayer of a Dying Person
Part Six
1. The Supremacy of the Prana
2. The Process of Rebirth
3. Rites for the Attainment of Wealth
4. Conception and Birth as Religious Rites
5. The Line of Teachers

Volume Four
1. Publisher’s Note to the Indian Edition
2. Preface
3. List of Abberviations
4. Note on Pronunciation
Sri Sankaracharya’s Introduction
Part One
On Siksha or Pronunciation
1. Invocation
2. Lesson on Pronunciation
3. Meditation on the Combinations
4. Prayer for Wisdom and Fortune
5. Four Mystical Utterances
6. Meditation on Saguna Brahman
7. Meditation on the Fivefold Nature and Individual
8. Meditation on Om
9. Disciplines
10. A Mantra for Daily Meditation
11. Exhortation to the Departing Student
12. The Peace Chant
Part Two
On Brahmananda or the Bliss of Brahman
1. The Sheath of Food
2. The Sheath of the Vital Breath
3. The Sheath of the Mind
4. The Sheath of the Intellect
5. The Sheath of Bliss
6. Brahman the Source of All:
7. Brahman as Fearlessness
8. The Supreme Bliss of Brahman
9. The Merging of Good and Evil in Brahman
Part Three
Regarding Varuna and Bhrigu
1. Definition of Brahman
2. The Body as Brahman
3. The Prana as Brahman
4. The Mind as Brahman
5. The Intellect as Brahman
6. Bliss as Brahman
7. The Importance of Food (I)
8. The Importance of Food (II)
9. The Importance of Food (III)
10. Meditation on Brahman
Sri Sankaracharya’s Introduction
Part One
1. Meditation on Om
2. Meditation on Om as the Prana
3. Meditation on the Udgitha as the Sun and the Vyana
4. Meditation on Om as Fearlessness and Immortality
5. Meditation on Om as the Sun and the Prana
6. The Luminous Person in the Solar Orb
7. The Person in the Eye
8. The Story of Pravahana (I)
9. The Story of Pravahana (II)
10. The Story of Ushasti (I)
11. The Story of Ushasti (II)
12. The Udgitha of the Dogs
13. The Mystical Meaning of the Stobha Syllables
Part Two
1. Meditation on the Fivefold Saman (I)
2. Meditation on the Fivefold Saman (II)
3. Meditation on the Fivefold Saman as Rain
4. Meditation on the Fivefold Saman as Water
5. Meditation on the Fivefold Saman as the Seasons
6. Meditation on the Fivefold Saman in Animals
7. Meditation on the Fivefold Saman as the Senses
8. Meditation on the Sevenfold Saman in Speech
9. Meditation on the Sevenfold Saman as the Sun
10. Meditation on the Sevenfold Saman through the Number of Syllables
11. Meditation on the Gayatra Saman
12. Meditation on the Rathantara Saman
13. Meditation on the Vamadevya Saman
14. Meditation on the Brihat Saman
15. Meditation on the Vairupa Saman
16. Meditation on the Vairaja Saman
17. Meditation on the Revati Saman
18. Meditation on the Saman as Interwoven in Everything
19. The Different Notes Employed in the Chanting of the Saman
20. Praise of Om Unassociated with any Ritual
21. The Different Places Attained by the Sacrificer
Part Three
1. The Honey-doctrine (Rig-Veda)
2. The Honey-doctrine (Yajur-Veda)
3. The Honey-doctrine (Sama-Veda)
4. The Honey-doctrine (Atharva-Veda)
5. The Honey-doctrine (continued)
6. Meditation on the Vasus
7. Meditation on the Rudras
8. Meditation on the Adityas
9. Meditation on the Maruts
10. Meditation on the Sadhyas
11. The Result of the Meditation on the Honey
12. Meditation on the Gayatri
13. Meditation on the Door-keepers
14. The Sadilya Doctrine
15. Meditation on the Universe as a Chest
16. Man as a Sacrifice (I)
17. Man as a Sacrifice (II)
18. The Mind and the Akasa as Symbols of Brahman
19. Meditation on the Sun as Brahman
Part Four
1. The Story of Janasruti and Raikva
2. Dialogue of Raikva and Janasruti (I)
3. Dialogue of Raikva and Janasruti (II)
4. The Story of Satyakama
5. Instruction by the Bull
6. Instruction by Fire
7. Instruction by the Swan
8. Instruction by the Diver-bird
9. Instruction by the Teacher
10. The Story of Upakosala
11. Instruction by the Household Fire
12. Instruction by the Southren Fire
13. Instruction by the Ahavaniya Fire
14. Dialogue between the teacher and the Pupil
15. Instruction by the Teacher
16. The Silence of the Brahma Priest
17. Penances for Mistakes in the Sacrifice
Part Five
1. The Supremacy of the Prana
2. The Mantha Rite
3. The Story of Svetaketu and Pravahana
4. The Five Fires (I)
5. The Five Fires (II)
6. The Five Fires (III)
7. The Five Fires (IV)
8. The Five Fires (V)
9. Birth and Death
10. The Various Paths Followed after Death
11. Concerning the Universal Self
12. The Head of the Vaisvanara Self
13. The Eye of the Vaisvanara Self
14. The Prana of the Vaisvanara Self
15. The Trunk of the Vaisvanara Self
16. The Bladder of the Vaisvanara Self
17. The Feet of the Vaisvanara Self
18. The Vaisvanara Self as the Whole
19. Performance of the Agnihotra in Oneself
20. The Vyana
21. The Apana
22. The Samana
23. The Udana
24. The Glory of the Agnihotra Sacrifice
Part Six
1. The Non-duality of the Self
2. Brahman: the Cause of the Universe
3. The Threefold Development
4. The Threefold Development Further Explained
5. The Tripartite Nature of Food
6. The Physical Nature of the Mind, the Prana and Speech
7. How the Mind Consists of Food
8. Concerning Sleep, Hunger, Thirst, and Death
9. The Absence of Individuality in Deep Sleep
10. The Absence of Particularized Consciousness in Deep Sleep
11. The Indestructibility of the Jiva
12. The Birth of the Gross from the Subtle
13. The Indivisibility of an Existent Object
14. The Means of Self-Knowledge
15. Ultimate Liberation
16. Liberation for the Knower of Brahman
Part Seven
1. Dialogue between Narada and Sanatkumara
2. Speech as Brahman
3. Mind as Brahman
4. Will as Brahman
5. Consideration as Brahman
6. Meditation as Brahman
7. Understanding as Brahman
8. Strength as Brahman
9. Food as Brahman
10. Water as Brahman
11. Fire as Brahman
12. The Akasa as Brahman
13. Memory as Brahman
14. Hope as Brahman
15. The Prana as Brahman
16. The Knowledge of the Truth
17. Truth Depends upon Understanding
18. Understanding Depends upon Reflection
19. Reflection Depends Upon Faith
20. Faith Depends upon Single-mindedness
21. Single –mindedness Depends upon Concentration
22. Concentration Depends upon Bliss
23. The Infinite is Bliss
24. The Infinite and the Finite
25. Instruction about the Infinite
26. Self-Knowledge
Part Eight
1. Brahman in the Heart
2. The Fulfilment of Desires through Self-Knowledge
3. The Serene Self and Satya Brahman
4. Brahman as a Dam
5. Continence
6. The Course after Death for the Illumined
7. The Person in the Eye
8. The Doctrine of the Demons
9. The Shadow Self is Perishable
10. The Dream Self
11. The Self in Dreamless Sleep
12. The Incorporeal Self
13. A Mantra for Meditation and Repetition
14. The Prayer of a Seeker of Eternal Life
15. The Attainment of Brahman