- Paperback: 960 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (20 Mar. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8172231245
- ISBN-13: 978-8172231248
- Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 14 x 22.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 656,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Principal Upanishads Paperback – 20 Mar 2006
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"Dr. Radhakrishnan is undoubtedly the greatest exponent of Hindu philosophy in the English language, and we should therefore be grateful for this edition of the Upanisads, authoritative and readable." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Prof. S. Radhakrishnan
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Top Customer Reviews
There's only one real gripe - Humanity Books edition is quite poor. It falls apart immediately after opening it. Treasure like this MUST be updated, it deserves proper Everyman's-style hardback edition, so if anyone having power to do this is reading this - PLEASE, Brahman within compels you!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
All of this would be acceptable; however, the binding came apart after the first day, and I WAS NOT ROUGH ON IT. So you may consider that before buying. I wish someone would make a nice edition of this outstanding, world-class book. PLEASE.
Look at the Nilgiri Press editions of Eknath Easwaran's classics, The Dhammapada, The Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita. They are beautiful. Why not make two books (volumes) out of Dr. Radhakrishnan's book? And they would deserve to be as nice at the Nilgiri Press books. Or make a nice hardback edition if we have to have it all in one volume. Just a thought. I wish I were rich. I'd buy the rights to the book and make an edition something like the Everyman collection for this.
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (1888-1975), Indian philosopher and statesman, was the first Vice-President of India (1952-1962) and its second President (1962-1967). Coming as he did from a country wise enough to choose highly intelligent and accomplished men for its leaders, it's no surprise to find him treating the traditional wisdom of his country with artistry, insight, and an impressive and scholarly thoroughness, and giving us a book that still remains the best edition of the Upanishads ever published for English readers.
After a 130-page Introduction, we are then given the complete texts of eighteen Upanishads, verse-by-verse, in Romanized Sanskrit and an English translation that reads very well indeed and in which one detects the author's desire to capture something of the poetic beauty of these texts.
Many of the verses are followed by further explanations of the Sanskrit terms along with an abundance of extremely interesting and useful notes which throw light on the text from various angles and which are based mainly upon, and often quote passages in Sanskrit from, the commentarial literature (especially Shankara). The book is rounded out with a Bibliography and a General Index.
Perhaps enough has been said to indicate that Radhakrishnan's 'The Principal Upanishads' is an edition for the serious student. Newcomers to the Upanishads who have no previous exposure to Sanskrit would probably be better off starting with a simpler treatment such as Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester The Upanishads: Breath of the Eternal. This too, in its own way, is an excellent edition and I think they would find it much more approachable. Another excellent edition that would require less of a commitment is Swami Nikhilananda's abridged translation The Principal Upanishads. For other translations see my Listmania list on the Upanishads.
Sadly, although Radhakrishnan's is the finest English edition of the Upanishads ever to appear, and the only one, so far as I know, that also gives us the Romanized Sanskrit of these extremely important texts, recent Indian reprints have generally been of very inferior quality. Apart from their obscenely inflated price, they are poorly printed on cheap paper with wretched glued spines that crack when opened and seem almost to have been deliberately designed to self-destruct after minimal use.
The only solution to this problem is, of course, not to buy them but to search instead for a used copy of an earlier UK printing, perhaps at Amazon UK. These were well-printed on good quality paper, had stitched bindings that opened flat, and even as mere paperbacks were in sturdy enough paper covers to last, as mine has, for over forty years.
I wish you luck in your search.