The Upanishads

While I don’t generally talk about books I have not seen yet, I wanted to share about an upcoming book. In my last post I spoke of the 3 primary books of Vedanta: The Brahma Sutra, The Bhagavad Gita, and the Upanishads. And how Maharishi has done translations and commentary on two of them, some yet to be published.

It turns out Dr. Vernon Katz, along with Sanskrit scholar Dr. Thomas Egenes, has covered the third post. They’re publishing a new book in June called The Upanishads: A New Translation by Vernon Katz and Thomas Egenes. It’s available for presale on Amazon. I was very pleased to see this.

If it’s anything like their prior books, it will become a new reference book for me and an addition to my Books recommendations. (tab above)

The last article spoke of Dr. Katz’s excellent Conversations with Maharishi, Volumes 1 and 2. He also worked closely with Maharishi on the Gita translation I’ve used as a reference for years. Even studied it in grad school and read the original in Sanskrit.

Dr Egenes wrote the primary textbooks for learning Sanskrit used in the English language. And he was my Sanskrit professor. He also wrote the excellent translation of the Yoga Sutra I recommend. And he was one of the authors of the book All Love Flows to the Self, a gorgeous compilation of some stories from the Upanishads.

I also unknowingly played a tiny part in this new books preparation.

Amazon doesn’t indicate which Upanishads are included but I would guess the 12-15 primary ones.

I look forward to the read.
Davidya

Update: Just got my copy. Looking forward to the read. A quick skim of the opening Isha Upanishad is good – one word I disagree with. It does not have the accompanying Sanskrit like my fav Yoga Sutra translation by Egenes though. And curiously, it includes just 9 Upanishads. But still, I’m very happy for the work.

Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Upanishads

  1. Davidya says:

    See the Update – the book is available now.

  2. Davidya says:

    btw – the Sanskrit is very easy to come by so easy enough to compare.

  3. Davidya says:

    A footnote clarifies that this edition is the 9 shorter Upanishad. They plan a later edition for 3 longer ones, resulting in the 12 “primary” or earlier ones.

    There are extensive endnotes, some of which i would have preferred as footnotes.

  4. Davidya says:

    The breakdown:
    This edition:
    1. Īshā Upanishad
    2. Kena Upanishad
    3. Katha Upanishad
    4. Prashna Upanishad
    5. Muṇdaka Upanishad
    6. Māṇdūkya Upanishad
    7. Aitareya Upanishad
    8. Taittirīya Upanishad
    9. Shwetāshwatara Upanishad

    The second edition:
    10. Chhāndogya Upanishad
    11. Bṛihadāraṇyaka Upanishad
    12. Kaushitaki-brāhmaṇa Upanishad

    (the book sequence varies slightly from this)

  5. G says:

    Hi David,

    Would you recommend this book, The Upanishads: A New Translation by Vernon Katz and Thomas Egenes? I notice it’s not included in your recommended books section.

    Thank you

    • Davidya says:

      Hi G
      It is a point I’ve debated. It is one of the clearer translations. But the key with the Egenes Yoga Sutra is that it’s based on Maharishi’s references. Ditto with the Brahma Sutra translations in the mentioned Conversations books.

      This is one is more academically-based rather than based on experience. You can see the difference in the discussions in the Conversations.

      A good example is in the mentioned Isha Upanishad. In their translation, they have “The face of truth is covered by a disc of gold.” That doesn’t make a lot of sense. A magic disc? A mask? The translation I have at the bottom of this web site is: “The face of truth is hidden by a covering of gold.” Gold in this case is sattva, the colour of the highest guna. Until you see beyond the 3 gunas, you remain in appearances.

      Still, they have Maharishi’s influence on their work so it is one of the cleaner translations. Maybe I’m being fussy. It’s better than the recommended Yog Vasishtha. 🙂

      • G says:

        Ok thanks, perhaps I’ll start with Conversations with Maharishi by Vernon Katz. I am guessing that is one you would recommend? 🙂

        • Davidya says:

          Hi G
          Yes, Conversations is excellent – especially the first one. It’s basically excerpts from recorded discussions on points coming out of the Brahma Sutra translation. By the time of the second book, Maharishi’s schedule is much heavier, so the conversations are more broken up. But a lot of good points in there.

          If you want a good translation of the Upanishads though, the Katz/ Egenes translation is decent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *