COMMENTARIES ON “PRINCIPAL UPANISAD” BY DR. BALDEO SAHAI
All reviewed by W. H. Swami Nirliptananda (Former IAS) of Swami Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh – A comprehensive book was written on these Upanishads in Hindi with a Foreword by Mahamandateshwar Swami. Asangananda, MA, Head of Paramarith Niketan, Rishikesh.
After superannuation from the Indian Information Service in 1976, the scribe had published 29 books, 30th is in preparation. He is 99.
Earlier, his grandfather, Shri Gopal Sahai, former Dewan of the Balrampur State had taught Shrimad Bhagwad Gita at the age of 10-12 years.
He formed an Upanisad Society in 1996 and got it Registered. Shri Triloki Nath Chatuvedi, Governor of Karnataka – later of Kerala – along with to became the Patron of the Society. Over the years, the Patron got him two Awards.
Commentaries were written in simple English, On all the 11 Principal Upanisads viz., Ishavasya Upanisad, Ishopansad for short, Kenopanisad, Kathopaisad, Manadukyopanisad, Mundakopanisad, Prashnopanisad, Aitaraya Upanisad, Taittriya Upanisad, Chhandogya Upanisad, Brahadharanyaka Upanisad, and Shwetashwatopanisad.
All these Upanisads have a total of 1564 mantras. The longest is Chhhandogya comprising 620 mantras and the shortest Mundaka having only 12.
A website – www.upanisadsociety.com was floated by the Society. M.P. and President of India on Council of Cultural Relations, Dr. Karan Singh within hours is sent his cheque for Life Membership. Next morning Shri Rakesh Mittal (IAS) called upon him fom Lucknow and became a Life Member others followed.
The Upanisads from the fourth and the last chain of vedic literature, explaining its philosophy. Dr. Karan Singh while releasing the pocket book of commentaries to the public on 26.12.2006, pointed out that ‘as yes’ he has not come across any society dedicated to the Upanisads which form the head of our wisdom and congratulated the team engaged in this noble cause.
The Moghul Prince
The Moghul Prince Mohammed Dara Shikoh went through some Upanisads when posted as Governor of Banaras (Varanasi). He was deeply impressed by philosophy. He felt though wrongly that the Hindus wanted to keep it a secret from others. For the benefit of his Muslim Brethren, he set about translating words for word of 52 Upanisads into Persian in the year 1657.
After about 100 years, the well known discoverer of Zond Avesta, Anquetil Duperron, translated 50 Upanisads into French and Latin. The French version is untraceable; the Latin one was published in Paris on 1801. When the German philosopher ‘Schopenhauer head Outpnek’ hat as it was called – he exclaimed ‘There cannot be a book better then this; it has been the solace of my life and will be the solace of my death?
Raja Ram Mohan Roy was the first to translate some upanisads in 1816-19 into English. Translation followed into many languages and the upanisads were on the literary map of the world.
Let us begin with the Commentary of the First Upanisad.
Dr Baldeo Sahai
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