The Upanishads

                   Translated and Commentated


                       Swami Paramananda

                From the Original Sanskrit Text

Skip to NEXT page                             

This volume is reverently dedicated to all seekers of truth and

lovers of wisdom


The translator’s idea of rendering the Upanishads into clear

simple English, accessible to Occidental readers, had its origin

in a visit paid to a Boston friend in 1909. The gentleman, then

battling with a fatal malady, took from his library shelf a

translation of the Upanishads and, opening it, expressed deep

regret that the obscure and unfamiliar form shut from him what he

felt to be profound and vital teaching.

The desire to unlock the closed doors of this ancient treasure

house, awakened at that time, led to a series of classes on the

Upanishads at The Vedanta Centre of Boston during its early days

in St. Botolph Street. The translation and commentary then given

were transcribed and, after studious revision, were published in

the Centre’s monthly magazine, “The Message of the East,” in 1913

and 1914.. Still further revision has brought it to its present


So far as was consistent with a faithful rendering of the

Sanskrit text, the Swami throughout his translation has sought to

eliminate all that might seem obscure and confusing to the modern

mind. While retaining in remarkable measure the rhythm and

archaic force of the lines, he has tried not to sacrifice

directness and simplicity of style. Where he has been obliged to

use the Sanskrit term for lack of an exact English equivalent, he

has invariably interpreted it by a familiar English word in

brackets; and everything has been done to remove the sense of

strangeness in order that the Occidental reader may not feel

himself an alien in the new regions of thought opened to him.

Even more has the Swami striven to keep the letter subordinate to

the spirit. Any Scripture is only secondarily an historical

document. To treat it as an object of mere intellectual curiosity

is to cheat the world of its deeper message. If mankind is to

derive the highest benefit from a study of it, its appeal must be

primarily to the spiritual consciousness; and one of the salient

merits of the present translation lies in this, that the

translator approaches his task not only with the grave concern of

the careful scholar, but also with the profound reverence and

fervor of the true devotee.


Boston, March, 1919

NEXT page

The Upanishads translated by Swami Paramananda

Text from: Project Gutenberg


The Upanishads

Hindu Poets

The Bhagavad Gita