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The Upanishads: Breath from the Eternal Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0451528483 ISBN-10: 0451528484 Edition: Reissue

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics; Reissue edition (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451528484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451528483
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Captures the sense, beauty and spirit of the original. --Books for Inner Development --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Swami Prabhavananda was the founder of the Vedanta Society of Southern California and is best known for his many translations of the Hindu/Vedanta classics including:How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali,The Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God, Shankara's Crest Jewel of Discrimination, and Narada's Way of Divine Love: The Bhakti Sutras --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Swami Prabhavananda was one of the pioneer swamis sent to America by the direct disciples of Ramakrishna to build on the work started by Swami Vivekananda at the turn of the century.

The swami was born in India on December 26, 1893. In 1914, after graduating from Calcutta University, he joined the Ramakrishna Order of India and was initiated by Swami Brahmananda, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna.

In 1923, Swami Prabhavananda came to the United States. After two years as assistant minister of the Vedanta Society of San Francisco, he established the Vedanta Society of Portland. In December 1929, he came to Los Angeles where he founded the Vedanta Society of Southern California the following year.

Under the able care of the swami, the Society grew into one of the largest Vedanta Societies in the West, with monasteries in Hollywood and Trabuco Canyon and convents in Hollywood and Santa Barbara.

Swami Prabhavananda was a man of letters as well as a man of God. He wrote and translated a number of books with the object of making the spiritual classics of India available and understandable to Western readers. He was assisted on several of the projects by Christopher Isherwood or Frederick Manchester. His comprehensive knowledge of philosophy and religion attracted such disciples as Aldous Huxley and Gerald Heard. His publications, which include the Bhagavad-Gita, The Upanishads, Breath of the Eternal, How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Pantanjali, The Eternal Companion, and The Sermon on the Mount According to Vedanta, continue to this day to capture interest and draw people to the Vedanta philosophy.

Swami Prabhavananda passed away on the bicentennial of America's independence, July 4th 1976, fitting for one who gave so much of his life to this country.

Customer Reviews

A long, long time ago I lost this book, an older edition, during a trip.
Johnny Ceccoto
_If you have ever been intimidated by the multi-volume scholarly translations of the Upanishads, then this book is for you.
OAKSHAMAN
I would highly recommend this to anyone that is a 'seeker' of spiritual knowledge and awakening.
Mitchell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

142 of 143 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Years ago I picked up a translation of the Upanishads because I wanted to understand Vedanta. I read that translation and struggled through it. It wasn't particularly interesting and was often confusing. The commentaries were long, painful and boring. I felt disappointed. I thought the Upanishads and the Great Vedanta would be more powerful than this. I pursued other teachings.
A few months ago I saw this little book and picked it up out of curiosity for some reason. I don't know why. I already had another copy of the Upanishads and didn't really care for it. But this little book hit me with much greater force. It was so significant. Yes the self, of course, yes..the self is one...The reading was so clear and powerful. I bought it immediately, brought it home, and compared it with the other translation. It's the translation that was the difference. It wasn't that I had suddenly matured and was now ready to hear this teaching because the other translation is still confusing to me. Not all translations are the same. What had been confusing to understand before, now became clear. Even if you don't agree with me that this translation is a good one, seek out various translations of the Upanishads and see which one is the clearest for you. Now, I truly believe the Upanishads are one of the most significant teachings this "World" has ever known. This translation has no commentary. It is so clear you don't need a commentary. It's also cheap and handy. With sacred texts from the past it pays to check out various translations and even formats for ease of reading and understanding.
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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on December 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
_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 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. It isn't dogma or theology- it is the direct experience of saints and seers who have touched on divine union transcendent of time.

_Of course if you truly understand these oldest of mystical scriptures then you could condense them down still further to:

Brahman is true, the world is false,

The soul is Brahman and nothing else.

_Or if that is a bit wordy for you, then you can sum up the Upanishads, and all the Vedas, with: "Tat tvam asi" (Thou art that.)

_Most people need to work up to the true understanding of these statements with a bit more commentary, however....
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Matthew P. Arsenault on April 24, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The term Upanishad has been translated in many ways, "sitting near devotedly", "secret teachings", and the more elaborate, "knowledge of God." It is the knowledge of God that truly captures the essence of the Upanishads.
The 7th century scholar, Shankara, describes the Upanishads as "the knowledge of Brahman, the knowledge that destroys the bond of ignorance and leads to the supreme goal of freedom." Each Upanishad illustrates the path towards discovering this inner knowledge, thus achieving escape from samsara, or this world of suffering.
This translation contains the twelve standard Upanishads, including one of the most famous, the Brihad-aranyaka, which is the oldest and largest of these ancient scriptures.
This work embodies the mystical and esoteric aspects of ancient Hindu philosophy, and serves as an interesting and enlightening guide to knowledge of Self.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Pete Russell on January 28, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was talking to my brother-in-law's father about favorite spiritual books. He's been a dedicated meditator for decades.

I carry a copy of this Upanishads translation in my shoulder bag always. I pulled it out and asked, "Do you read these ?"

He chuckled with bright eyes and said, "Oh, I can't read those. They just make me meditate." He went on to explain that after only a page or two he spontaneously slips into meditation.

My experience is quite similar. It's as if this volume speaks directly to my Spirit, navigating its way through my critical mind to the essence of my inner Divine. It brings me peace, it fills me with faith, it melts my fears. I meditate easily after just a few sentences sometimes.

To me the Spirit is so profoundly expressed in here that I have no trouble with dogma or rhetoric, with symbolism or mythology. To me this translation serves as an invitation from the ancient mystics to join them. I can feel the Spirit welcome me.

This is less a review and more a personal experience. That's what this book is all about, though ~ a guidebook to direct personal experience of Spirit.

It's a frantic world we live in, fast and busy and complex. I find that this wonderful translation can help lead me to a stillness within, to a unity with all that is, to a feeling and understanding and connection with the magic of life.

What brought you here to this page ? Perhaps you seek a deeper spiritual connection with your inner Divine. I can only tell you my own story. I don't read this for scholarly theology. I read this as a guide for my journey within. This book brings me to my home, to my heart. I can't remember when I bought it, but the price on the cover says $2.95. It has held up wonderfully, and is the best three bucks I ever spent, hands down. I'm buying several extras to give and lend to those I love.

Welcome.
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