A Taste for Honey
Monika Verma
UPANISADS: THE SELECTIONS FROM 108 UPANIASDS by T.M.P. Mahadevan Arnold Heinemann, , pp., 35.00
THE BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD: TRANSCREATED FROM SANSKRITby P. Lal Writers Workshop, Calcutta, Limited Handbound edition, , 60 pp., 15.00
Jan-Feb 1977, volume 2, No 1/2

Dr. Mahadevan’s translation and selection is a most useful reference work and reading the excerpts from the Minor Upanisads is fascinating. He has given short explanations with certain passages from nearly all the 108 Upanisads but, though the front-cover blurb claims these are ‘easy-to-read translations’, it is difficult to agree.
It is very difficult to make sense of a passage that reads: ‘These ten subtle elements of being alone there are with reference of intelligence’. (Kausitaki Upanisad. Sec. 3, 8) However, to my way of thinking, the awful question comes up—what is the purpose of reading an Upanisad without understanding the underlying and hidden meanings? These can be understood only by reading the commentaries. Capsulated Upanisads lose both impact and charm.

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