Download The Ten Principal Upanishads Book Pdf for Free - A Classic Translation by Shree Purohit Swami and W.B. Yeats
The Ten Principal Upanishads Book Pdf: A Guide to the Ancient Wisdom of India
If you are interested in exploring the spiritual and philosophical heritage of India, you may have heard of the Upanishads. These are ancient texts that contain the essence of Vedanta, the non-dualistic school of Hinduism that teaches the unity of all existence. The Upanishads are considered to be the highest authority in Hindu scriptures, and they have influenced many thinkers and seekers throughout history.
The Ten Principal Upanishads Book Pdf
But what exactly are the Upanishads? Why are they important? What are their main themes and teachings? And how can you read and study them effectively? In this article, we will answer these questions and provide you with a guide to the ten principal Upanishads book pdf, a classic translation by Shri Purohit Swami and W.B. Yeats that is available for free online.
What are the Upanishads?
The word Upanishad means "to sit down near" or "to approach". It refers to the ancient tradition of students sitting at the feet of their teachers and receiving oral instruction on the nature of reality. The Upanishads are the records of these teachings, which were composed between 800 and 200 BCE by various sages and seers.
The Upanishads are part of the Vedas, the oldest and most sacred scriptures of Hinduism. The Vedas consist of four collections of hymns, rituals, and mantras: the Rig Veda, the Sama Veda, the Yajur Veda, and the Atharva Veda. Each Veda has four sections: the Samhitas (the hymns), the Brahmanas (the rituals), the Aranyakas (the forest texts), and the Upanishads (the secret teachings).
The Upanishads are also known as Vedanta, which means "the end of the Vedas". This implies that they contain the final and most profound teachings of the Vedas, which reveal the ultimate truth behind all appearances. The Upanishads are not dogmatic or sectarian, but rather universal and experiential. They invite us to question our assumptions and discover our true nature through direct inquiry and meditation.
Why are they important?
The Upanishads are important for several reasons. First, they are the source of many of the core concepts and doctrines of Hinduism, such as Brahman (the supreme reality), Atman (the individual self), Karma (the law of cause and effect), Samsara (the cycle of birth and death), Moksha (the liberation from samsara), and Dharma (the ethical duty).
Second, they are the inspiration for many of the major schools and movements of Hindu philosophy, such as Advaita Vedanta (the non-dualistic interpretation of Vedanta), Yoga (the discipline of physical and mental control), Bhakti (the path of devotion and love), and Tantra (the esoteric and ritualistic practice).
Third, they are the influence for many of the spiritual and intellectual giants of India and beyond, such as Shankara (the founder of Advaita Vedanta), Ramanuja (the founder of Vishishtadvaita Vedanta), Madhva (the founder of Dvaita Vedanta), Ramakrishna (the saint and mystic), Vivekananda (the reformer and missionary), Gandhi (the leader and activist), Aurobindo (the philosopher and yogi), Radhakrishnan (the scholar and president), Tagore (the poet and Nobel laureate), and many others.
What are the main themes and teachings of the Upanishads?
The Upanishads cover a wide range of topics, such as cosmology, psychology, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, ontology, theology, mysticism, and more. However, there are some common themes and teachings that run through them. Here are some of them:
The Upanishads teach that there is one supreme reality called Brahman, which is the source, sustainer, and essence of everything. Brahman is infinite, eternal, unchanging, blissful, and beyond all attributes and distinctions. Brahman is not a personal god or a creator, but rather the pure existence-consciousness-bliss that pervades all beings and phenomena.
The Upanishads teach that there is an individual self called Atman, which is the innermost essence of every living being. Atman is not the body, mind, senses, or ego, but rather the witness and experiencer of them. Atman is also infinite, eternal, unchanging, blissful, and beyond all attributes and distinctions. Atman is not a separate entity or a soul, but rather the pure existence-consciousness-bliss that is identical to Brahman.
The Upanishads teach that the apparent diversity and multiplicity of the world is an illusion caused by Maya, which is the power of Brahman to project names and forms onto itself. Maya is not a separate force or a substance, but rather a mode of perception that obscures the true nature of reality. Maya creates ignorance (Avidya) in the minds of beings, which makes them identify with their bodies, minds, senses, and egos, and forget their true nature as Brahman.
The Upanishads teach that the ignorance caused by Maya leads to bondage (Bandha) in the cycle of birth and death (Samsara). Samsara is the result of Karma, which is the law of cause and effect that governs all actions and their consequences. Karma creates a chain of actions and reactions that binds beings to their bodies, minds, senses, and egos, and makes them suffer from pain, pleasure, attachment, aversion, delusion, fear, anger, greed, etc.
The Upanishads teach that the liberation from ignorance and bondage is possible through knowledge (Jnana) of one's true nature as Brahman. Jnana is not a mere intellectual understanding or a belief system, but rather a direct realization or an intuitive insight that transcends all thoughts and concepts. Jnana is attained through inquiry (Vichara) into one's own self using methods such as logic (Tarka), analysis (Anvaya-Vyatireka), negation (Neti-Neti), meditation (Dhyana), etc.
The Upanishads teach that the knowledge of one's true nature as Brahman leads to bliss (Ananda) which is the natural state of being. Ananda is not a temporary or conditional happiness that depends on external factors or circumstances, but rather a permanent and unconditional joy that arises from within. Ananda is not an emotion or a sensation, but rather a pure existence-consciousness-bliss that is identical to Brahman.
The Ten Principal Upanishads
There are over 200 Upanishads in existence, but only a few are considered to be authentic and authoritative by most scholars and traditions. Among them, Article with HTML formatting (continued): that are regarded as the most important and influential. They are called the principal Upanishads or the Mukhya Upanishads. They are:
Shukla Yajur Veda
Krishna Yajur Veda
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Krishna Yajur Veda
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Shukla Yajur Veda
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These ten Upanishads have been translated and commented upon by many scholars and teachers from various perspectives and traditions. One of the most popular and accessible translations is the one by Shri Purohit Swami and W.B. Yeats, which was first published in 1937. This translation captures the poetic and mystical spirit of the original texts, while also providing some explanatory notes and introductions. You can download the ten principal Upanishads book pdf for free from this link: https://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Ten-Principal-Upanishads.pdf
In the following sections, we will briefly summarize the main content and message of each of these ten Upanishads, and also quote some of their key verses.
The Ten Principal Upanishads
The Isha Upanishad is one of the shortest Upanishads, consisting of only 18 verses. It is also one of the most comprehensive Upanishads, as it covers both the theoretical and practical aspects of Vedanta. It teaches the identity of Brahman and Atman, the nature of Maya and ignorance, the way of renunciation and detachment, the path of action and knowledge, and the goal of liberation and bliss.
Verse 1: "All thiswhatever exists in this changing universeshould be covered by the Lord. Protect the Self by renunciation. Lust not after any man's wealth."
Verse 6: "He who sees all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings, he never turns away from it."
Verse 8: "He who knows that all beings are his very Self, what delusion or sorrow can there be for him who sees unity in diversity?"
Verse 11: "He who worships ignorance enters into blind darkness; he who worships knowledge enters into greater darkness."
Verse 15: "The face of Truth is hidden by a golden disc. O Sun! Remove it so that I who love the Truth may see it."
The Kena Upanishad is also a short Upanishad, consisting of four chapters with a total of 35 verses. It is also known as the Talavakara Upanishad, as it belongs to the Talavakara branch of the Sama Veda. It deals with the question of Kena or "by whom?" It asks by whom or what is everything in this world created, sustained, and destroyed? By whom or what are our senses and mind activated? By whom or what do we attain liberation? The answer is Brahman, which is beyond all names and forms, beyond all senses and mind, beyond all words and concepts.
Chapter 1 Verse 2: "That which makes one hear what cannot be heard, makes one perceive what cannot be perceived, makes one speak what cannot be spoken, makes one know what cannot be knownthat indeed is Brahman."
Chapter 2 Verse 1: "If you think 'I know Brahman well', then surely you know but little of its form; you know only its condition as a human being. Therefore Brahman even now exists for you as something to be inquired into."
Chapter 2 Verse 5: "It is different from what is known; it is also above what is unknown. Thus we have heard from those who taught us this."
Chapter 3 Verse 12: "That which speech does not illumine but which illumines speechknow that alone to be Brahman; not this which people worship here."
Chapter 4 Verse 6: "He who knows this supreme Brahman becomes Brahman indeed. In his family no one is born ignorant of Brahman. He overcomes grief; he overcomes evil; free from the fetters of karma he becomes immortal."
The Katha Upanishad is one of the most popular and widely studied Upanishads, as it contains many stories and dialogues that illustrate the teachings of Vedanta. It consists of six chapters with a total of 119 verses. It is also known as the Kathopanishad or the Death as Teacher Upanishad, as it is based on a conversation between a young boy named Nachiketa and Yama, the god of death. Nachiketa asks Yama three questions: the first about the fire sacrifice, the second about the afterlife, and the third about the nature of the Self. Yama answers the first two questions easily, but hesitates to answer the third one, as it is the secret of all secrets. He tries to dissuade Nachiketa from pursuing this question by offering him various worldly pleasures and powers, but Nachiketa remains firm and insists on knowing the truth. Yama then reveals to him the knowledge of Brahman and Atman, the nature of Maya and ignorance, the way of discrimination and detachment, the path of meditation and devotion, and the goal of liberation and bliss.
Chapter 1 Verse 3: "The good is one thing; the pleasant another. Both these, having different objects, chain a man. It is well with him who clings to the good; he who chooses the pleasant misses his end."
Chapter 2 Verse 20: "The Self is not born nor does it die; it did not spring from anything nor did anything spring from it. It is unborn, eternal, everlasting, and ancient; though the body is slain, it is not."
Chapter 2 Verse 23: "The Self cannot be attained by instruction, nor by intellectual power, nor even through much hearing. He is to be attained only by the one whom he chooses. To such a one he reveals his own form."
Chapter 3 Verse 14: "When all desires that dwell in his heart are cast away, then mortal becomes immortal and attains Brahman here."
Chapter 6 Verse 9: "He who has not turned away from evil conduct, whose senses are not subdued, whose mind is not concentrated, whose mind is not pacified, can never attain this Self by knowledge."
The Prashna Upanishad is another Upanishad that consists of stories and dialogues that convey the teachings of Vedanta. It consists of six chapters with a total of 67 verses. It is also known as the Prashnopanishad or the Questions Upanishad, as it is based on six questions asked by six students to their teacher Pippalada. The questions are: (1) What is the origin of all beings? (2) What are the powers that sustain life? (3) What is the nature of Prana or vital force? (4) What are the states of consciousness? (5) How does meditation lead to liberation? (6) What are the secrets of Om or AUM? Pippalada answers each question in detail and explains how everything in this world is ultimately derived from Brahman, how Prana is the manifestation of Brahman in living beings, how consciousness varies according to different levels of awareness, how meditation on Om leads to the realization of Brahman, and how Om represents all aspects of reality.
Chapter 1 Verse 7: "From him (Brahman) indeed are born these beings; by him they live when born; into him they enter at their death. Therefore seek to know him."
Chapter 2 Verse 13: "As long as Prana dwells in this body so long there is life; for indeed Prana is life."
Chapter 3 Verse 7: "He who knows Prana knows Vedas; for Prana indeed is Vedas."
Chapter 4 Verse 10: "Just as a spider moves along its thread or as small sparks fly forth from fire, so from this Self emanate all breaths, all worlds, all gods, all beings."
Chapter 5 Verse 5: "He who knows Om as such becomes meditative; he becomes a knower of Brahman."
Chapter 6 Verse 8: "This Om is indeed Brahman. This Om is indeed all this. He who knows Om as such attains all this."
Article with HTML formatting (continued): . It consists of three chapters with a total of 64 verses. It is also known as the Mundakopanishad or the Shaven Head Upanishad, as it belongs to the Mundaka branch of the Atharva Veda. It is based on a dialogue between a teacher named Angiras and a student named Shaunaka. Shaunaka asks Angiras about the nature of Brahman and the means to attain it. Angiras answers by distinguishing between two types of knowledge: the lower knowledge and the higher knowledge. The lower knowledge is the knowledge of the scriptures, rituals, sciences, arts, and other worldly subjects. The higher knowledge is the knowledge of Brahman, which is beyond all words and thoughts. Angiras explains how Brahman is the source and substratum of everything, how ignorance and attachment lead to bondage and suffering, how discrimination and detachment lead to liberation and bliss, and how meditation and devotion are the means to realize Brahman.
Chapter 1 Verse 4: "Brahman is that from which these beings are born; that by which they live when born; that into which they enter at their death; that explore through self-inquiry."
Chapter 1 Verse 5: "That which is not seen nor heard nor grasped nor has any mark; that which is unthinkable, unmanifest, unchanging, indescribable; that which is the essence of one's own self; that should be known as Brahman."
Chapter 2 Verse 2: "As from a blazing fire sparks fly forth by the thousands that are similar in form to the fire, so from this imperishable being manifold beings come forth and return to it."
Chapter 2 Verse 10: "As rivers flowing into the ocean lose their name and form, so a wise man freed from name and form attains Brahman who is greater than the great."
Chapter 3 Verse 2: "As a spider spins and withdraws its web; as plants sprout on earth; as hair grows on a living person; so from this eternal source everything comes forth."
Chapter 3 Verse 9: "He who knows this supreme abode becomes immortal; there is no other path to go."
The Mandukya Upanishad is the shortest Upanishad, consisting of only 12 verses. It is also one of the most profound Upanishads, as it contains the essence of Vedanta in a nutshell. It belongs to the Atharva Veda and it is also known as the Mandukyopanishad or the Frog Upanishad. It deals with the nature and significance of Om or AUM, which is considered to be the most sacred syllable in Hinduism. It explains how Om represents all aspects of reality: waking, dreaming, deep sleep, and transcendental consciousness. It also explains how Om corresponds to all levels of existence: gross, subtle, causal, and absolute. It further explains how Om leads to the realization of one's true nature as Brahman.
Verse 1: "Om! This syllable is this whole world. Its further explanation is: The past, the present, and the futureeverything is just Om. And whatever else that transcends threefold timethat too is just Om."
Verse 2: "All this is certainly Brahman. This Self is Brahman. This Self has four quarters."
Article with HTML formatting (continued): the external world nor conscious of both the worlds. It is a mass of consciousness and bliss. It is the Self that is free from fear. It is the supreme lord. It is the supreme Self."
Verse 8: "This AUM is the Self indeed. He who knows this with his mind attains this Self."
Verse 9: "He who knows this AUM as such becomes meditative; he becomes a knower of all; he becomes all."
Verse 12: "The Self whose mode is the fourth is indivisible, non-dual, calm, benign, and non-dual. This is the Self; this is to be known."
The Aitareya Upanishad is one of the oldest Upanishads, belonging to the Rig Veda. It consists of three chapters with a total of 33 verses. It is also known as the Aitareyopanishad or the Mahidasa Upanishad, as it was composed by a sage named Mahidasa Aitareya. It deals with the creation of the universe and the evolution of life from Brahman, the nature and functions of the mind and the senses, and the identity of Brahman and Atman.
Chapter 1 Verse 1: "In the beginning this was only Brahman; it knew only itself as 'I am Brahman'. Therefore it became all."
Chapter 1 Verse 3: "He thought: 'Let me create worlds.' He created these worlds: water, light, mortal beings, and heaven."
Chapter 2 Verse 4: "He thought: 'Here are these worlds; let me create guardians for them.' He gathered up a lump of matter and created a person."
Chapter 3 Verse 1: "This person is composed of sixteen parts. For fifteen days he lives on food; on the sixteenth day he lives on water."<