Sacred Hindu texts (Vedas, etc.)

#1 Jan 31st, 2007, 17:07
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  • Acey is offline
Can anyone suggest where I might find the complete translations to English of the original Veda or the four which it was broken down into? If not, perhaps a really well done condensed translation?

Also, can anyone suggest where I might well done translations of the complete Upanishads, the Purana, etc.?

I am having much trouble differentiating between several of these texts as they seem to be part of one another in some aspect. Not asking for clarification, but if you feel capable that would wonderful.

Finally, if anyone can suggest other important texts such as the Tirumantiram, or those particular ones which relate to Shaivism, again, that would be wonderful!

By the way, I've just finished both the Ramayana and Mahabharata volumes I & II by Ramesh Menon which I thought were very well written.
#2 Jan 31st, 2007, 19:15
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they claim the online translations are complete.
This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#3 Jan 31st, 2007, 19:23
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in my humble opinion, the best translations of the Upanishads, the Gita, etc. are by Eknath Easwaran. can be found easily at Borders or Barnes & Noble.
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#4 Jan 31st, 2007, 20:33
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The major problem with ANY translation is that you CAN only understand what the translator understands. Most translators are scholars not mystics, and the texts you want to study are mystical ones. You are reading the MahaBharata. Within it is the Holy Gita. The Gita is written on at least seven levels. Paramahansa Yogananda has a very nice translation and commentary on the Gita that gives you the flavor of some of the mysticism. Swami Rama also. The Upanishads are very philosophical texts. People spend a lifetime trying to understand them. You may be better served contacting a Pandit at a local Hindu Temple and reading the text with him. They are generally very helpful to students with a sincere desire to learn. Or a class at a local university. Or Hindu University of America in Florida which offers internet classes.
#5 Jan 31st, 2007, 20:38
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Ok, this is one of those things I cannot seem to get my head around.

Why would anyone want to read only the Bhagavad Gita and not the entire Mahabharata aside from doing a specific study of any section of any religious text.

This sort of thing makes it difficult to be sure whether I am actually obtaining the same text twice when it comes to Upanishads, Purana, etc. I'm lost.

Thanks Captain, YogaGal, and Johny for the replies .. they've shedded some light .. keep 'em coming?
#6 Jan 31st, 2007, 22:00
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E. Easwaran

click the link in case you want to see Easwaran's qualifications as a translator. he's no lightweight. I only use books by certain translators for my classes.
#7 Jan 31st, 2007, 22:04
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thank you for sharing that site. He seems not only highly reputable, but also contemporary.
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#8 Jan 31st, 2007, 23:16
Veda Chanting & Mantra Yoga teacher
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Exclamation Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita : A Walkthrough for Westerners by Jack Hawley.

This is the ONLY book I read in English ALONE at times. Normally I read the original side by side alongwith some "trustworthy" translations. Jack Hawley's book is quite good "on its own"

The translation by Yogananda is of course very good, but most of us are not at his level of understanding.

Eknath Easwaran is highly recommended as well.


Westerners have "translated" all the four vedas... they suffer from horrible mis-translations in many places. All of them have taken saayaNaacharya's commentary as the basis. He himself has written that his view is purely "ritualistic". Mystic and Yogic scholars say that these are very gross translations at their best. The westerners have mis-translated these "so-so" versions and arrived at hilarious sentences.

I can give you actual examples.... but this is a travel forum. I teach veda chanting in its original pure tradition. Have also done some verses' [0.0001 %] interpretative translation in sanskrit.

Some of the acceptable translators, imho, are

1. Shri Aurobindo
2. R L Kashyap
3. S K Ramachandra Rao
4. Kapali Shastry [only in sanskrit]
5. Swami Dayanand Saraswati [only in Gujaraatii]
6. Devi Chand

There are many other translators. They have ALL translated saayaNaacharya's commentary rather than the vedic verses in the original.

Some western translators are:
1. Rigveda by Ralph T H Griffith
2. KrShNa yajurveda [taittiriiya branch] by Arthur Berreidale Keith
3. Shukla yajurveda [vaajasaneyii branch] by Ralph T H Griffith
4. saama veda by Ralph T H Griffith
5. atharva veda by Maurice Bloomfield

There are a few German translastions as well. They are supposed to be better than the English ones. I don't know German... so cannot say anything.
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#9 Jan 31st, 2007, 23:29
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thanks for that link, Avid!

I just ordered The End of Sorrow: The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living, Volume 1,
along with his books Meditation and Words to Live By

AAARGH! I have enough books to read on yoga, Buddhism, and spirituality to last me until the end of this life and into the next!

Easwaran also has a translation of the Upanishads, available thru his website or amazon.
#10 Jan 31st, 2007, 23:35
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Hey YogaGal,
I love the whole Bhagavad Gita for daily living series. And the meditation book- seems like when I read Easwaran he is speaking directly to me without dogma or judgement.
Peace! And happy reading
#11 Feb 1st, 2007, 09:46
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Originally Posted by Acey Ok, this is one of those things I cannot seem to get my head around. Why would anyone want to read only the Bhagavad Gita and not the entire Mahabharata aside from doing a specific study of any section of any religious text.
The Gita is a concentrated gem of wisdom, while the Mahabharata is basically just the larger epic/context in which it is interwoven. One certainly needs to understand the context in which the teachings of the Gita are placed, but it also makes perfect (if not more) sense if read (and especially chanted) on its own; its meanings of course go well beyond the context of the mahabharata and that is why it has been extracted from the epic, which in a way dilutes/constrains its meanings. This is also the case with several other stand-alone excerpts from religious texts.
#12 Feb 1st, 2007, 11:15
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For English readers (i.e. people preferring English as the first language), I'll recommend translations of BhagavadGita and the major 18 Upanishads by Late Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, former President of India and a renowned educationist.
Last edited by just_an_old_boy; Feb 1st, 2007 at 22:07..

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