An “Upanisad” is a teaching session with a guru, and the thirteen texts of the “Principal Upanisads”—which comprise this volume—form a series of philosophical discourses between teacher and student that question the inner meaning of the world. Composed beginning around the eighth century BCE, the Upanisads have been central to the development of Hinduism, exploring its central doctrines: rebirth, karma, overcoming death, and achieving detachment, equilibrium, and spiritual bliss. Speaking to the reader in direct, unadorned prose or lucid verse, the Upanisads collected here embody humanity’s perennial search for truth and knowledge.
Valerie Roebuck’s powerful new translation blends accuracy with readability and retains the oral style of these stirring and profound philosophical explorations. This volume includes an introduction to the text, information on Sanskrit pronunciation, suggestions for further reading, explanatory notes, and a glossary.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
Valerie Roebuck is a Buddhist, practicing and teaching meditation in the Samatha tradition. She is an honorary research fellow of the University of Manchester and author of The Circle of Stars: An Introduction to Indian Astrology.