Twelve Essential Upanishads (Two Volumes): Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Chandogya, Brihadaranyaka, Svetasvatara and Gopalatapani Upanishads with Original Sanskrit Text, Transliteration, Translation and Purport
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Sri Chaitanya Research Institute
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After the Krurkshetra- battle when Sri Yudhistira alongwith his brothers and Sri Krishna went to Sri Bhishma to get his guidance and advice Sri Bhishma said: "I deem that all your miseries are Providential. How strange that danger befall even where king Yudhistira, the son of Dharma is the ruler ; where are present Bhima armed with the mace and Arjuna holding the invincible Gandiva and above all where the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna Himself is the Friend and Well-wisher ! None, indeed, can know the purpose of the Mission of Sri Krishna for which He takes His devotees as instruments; even great seers get bewildered in their seeking to find it out". So, for a self-surrendered aspirant, it is certain, that all that happens is brought by Providence.
My Divine Master Nityaleelapravista Sri Srima Bhakti Vilas Tirtha Goswami Maharaj, was the dearest disciple (Guru-prestha) of Om Vishnupad Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj, the illustrious Founder of Sri Chaitanya Math and its branches Sri Gaudiya Maths. They both are eternally related in relation to their servitor-ship in that plane of transcendence as Vimalamanjari and Nayanamanimanjari respectively in their roles of service to the Two Moiety-Counter-Wholes Sri Radha Krishna. I am the most unworthy disciple of my Guru Maharaj, but his grace and affection towards me was abounding. I could not realise earlier why he used to say ofter, 'burn always in labyrinth of fire of sufferings which brings the clue for perennial happiness'. But after his demise which took place in September 1976 when as it is usual in such cases viz after the demise of the Mahapurushas a section of the so-called followers become blinded to their self-enjoying propensities and aggrandisement like asuras with their power-mongering sordidness; the same history repeated itself at which the mighty mission of my Guru Maharaj faced the greatest of dangers and the ship of my life was tossing in the hurricane on the bed of high seas. As good luck could have it, I have the guiding principle of my life in the very benediction of my Divine Master:- 'My advice to you, even though if there is crash of thunderbolt on your head or the Pralaya of the whole world takes place before your eyes yet knowing all these as the Will of Sri Krishna be calm and unperturbed'.
At such a condition of my life I envisaged a Divine Hand. The way how I got the inspiration for translating the Upanishads is a Divine Mystery which I first felt not proper from my part to disclose as it might be bringing spiritual conceit but subsequently I realise that it would be an act of impeity to my Divine Master which might stand as an obstacle on the path of my spiritual progress and therefore without any sense of shame I record the fact: While I was at Sridham Mayapur, one day, my Divine Master in a daydream appeared before me and instructed me: 'this is the time for you to penitrate upon the sophisticated philosophy of the Upanishads and get all the essential Upanishads translated into English in accordance with the Achintya-bheda-abheda-Philosophy of Bhagavan Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and you will be marvelled to get light at times, from Srimad Bhagavatam so that the book will be read with great interest and delight by the loving devotees of the Lord'; further he guided me by giving a wonderful explanation of the first Shloka of the Isha Upanishad and also instructed me how I have to explain them.
Thereupon under the benediction of my Divine Master, this most humble self started the work during the Urjjva Vrata corresponding to Oct.-Nov.'77.
As per the chronological order that I recorded in the very beginning of my work that 'Isha' is the first and 'Brihadaranyaka' is the last among the eleven essential Upanishads and accordingly therefore, I followed my order of translating in that chronological way starting from 'Isha' and ending with 'Brihadaranyaka' Upanishad. I felt extremely delighted while I was translating Isha, Kena, Katha, Shvetavatara, Mundaka, Itariya etc. and when I touched 'Chandogya' I felt much strain. As I was proceeding, my brain was terribly affected even I has to go for some Aurvedic treatment, But when I passed over the profane and reached to the Transcendent, particularly when I could have a vision of Sri Krishna's Esoteric Pastimes blossomed forth in it, it carried me to the greatest delight. Finally when I took up 'Brihadaranyaka' I was put in the midst of the ocean and I was almost puzzled and practically became half-mad, yet my tenacity didn't permit me to stop. Above all it was the God's Providence that I have to complete the work so, soon here too I could have a wonderful flash or Divine light within which (Jyotir-abhyantare rupam atulam shyamasundaram) the merrily dancing Honey-moon Sports of Rasaraja with Mahabhava, the Two Moiety-Wholes, Sri Radha and Sri Krishna I could notice. Particularly the most synonymous mantras such as Ch. Up. I. 6.5-7; III. 17. 6-7; VII. 25.2; and Brih. Up. II. 3.6; IV. 2. 2-3; and Tail. Up. II. 4-5 and such many others- where I was puzzled to get synthitical reconciliation but finally I could be enlightened with their most esoteric meanings by the direct inspiration and guidance from my Divine Master which was the Supreme gain of My delight.
I thought that with this Brihadaranyaka I would be completing my task on Upanishads but the concluding chapter of the 'Brihadaranyaka' Upanishad is so profane that I felt a void in my heart on completing the work with this ! I was mentally perturbed feeling like a fish out of water, when in a dream my Divine Master consoled me behesting : 'How do you think that with this your Upanishadic task is completed ? There is a purpose of creating this void in your mind-see, generally the scholars in the chronological order take up 'Brihadaranyaka' Upanishad as the first in the order whereas in your order you maintain the 'Brihad-aranyaka as the eleventh and last in the order which is also recognised by all the great Acharyas. But how could you stop your task with this? The void is created to look forward to the fully bloossomed aspect of (Leela Svayamvara Rasam labhate jayasrih) that Transcendental Dalliance of Sri Krishna(Rasaraja) with Sri Radha (Mahabhava) 'Chandogya's atmarati-atmacrida-atmamithuna-atam-nanda' statement is most honoured in the glorious Gopalatapani Upanishad. As among all the Shastras Sirmad Bhagavatam is the most delightful one to the Paramabhagavata devotees so also among the all Upanishads Sri Gopalatapani is the most favourite one to the Vaishnavas and to the Gaudiya-Vaishnavas in particular. Therefore you should soon look upto that and make the completion of your present task with that. Your unquenching thirst will soon be fully saturated with the drink of that Divine Nectarine Bliss'. Further instruction he gave, 'although you have translated the 'Brihadaranyaka' as teh tenth in order'.
So forthwith, by his behest I took up the 'Gopalatapani' Upanishad and now I feel my cup is full with abounding Bliss.
A dwarf makes a high jump to catch the moon, so it may be impracticable for a poor soul as am I, but as it were, whose grace makes a dumb converted into a bard, a lame duck to climb a high mountain-at the lotus feet of that my Divine Master I find my sole solace. During those days of turmoil when my life was at a peril I found, above all, the merciful hands of my Divine Master, who ever guides me in my walk of life.
I had practically very little hope that the entire work could be published in book form as it required a large amount which was not possible at present, to spend by our mission, so we started to get that printed serially in 'The Gaudiya', our English monthly organ. Sri Chapalakanta Bhattacharjee, the former Editor of the 'Anandabazar Patrika' (the most renowned daily of Bengal) and also was former Member of Parliament as well as a Member of Sanskrit Board of Govt. of India, appreciating the work gave a recommandation letter to the Sanskrit Dept., Govt. of India for a substantial financial grant. Govt. of India (Sanskrit Dept.) anyhow gave a grant of Rs. 8,000/- only, besides we got the paper at concessional rate that is generally provided for the printing of religious books. It is once again the Providence of God that T.T.D. (Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam) has kindly agreed to give a grant of Rs. 5,000/- for each volume for bringing out all the twelve essential Upanishads into a book form in four volumes. Apart from this my god-brothers such as Tridandiswami Sri B. P. Sadhu Maharaj and Sripad Nityananda Brahmachari encouraged me in all respects, but for whom even the benediction that I received from my Gurudeva would not be flowing so aboundingly upto me. It is they too who equally share the joy. My another god- brother Sripad Narasimha Brahmachari took great pains to go through the proofs. And Sriman Lalita Krishna Brahmachari most enthusiastically typed the entire matter which spread over a thousand a pages.
How adequately can I express my heartfelt thanks to Porf. Dr. R. N. Sampath, Head of the Dept. of Sanskrit, Madras Presidency College, who took such a pain to go through the entire manuscripts and made the necessary corrections of my English Language. I should be also thankful to the management of the Rathnam Press for their kind co-operation in getting this book printed. I should be thankful to 'Gopi' who gives the cover page designs for all our books.
I have got no literary competency nor have I any good disposition. It is the Grace and Grace alone which worked in me to render this service. This is the task undertaken for the sole delight of my Divine Master and for the Vaishnavas who are Gunagrahis as well as Saragrahis. Therefore my omissions and commissions they would be over-looking.
First in the Year We published the Twelve Essential Upanishads in two Volumes. But this time we are bringing all the Twelve Essential Upanishads in two Volumes instead of four Volumes. The first Volume which contained Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya and Chandogya Upanishads was published in the year 2000. But due to financial difficulties it was delayed to bring out this 2nd Volume which containes Taiteriya, Aiteriya, Brihadaranyaka, Svetasvatara, and Gopaltapani Upanishads. In the mean time while we could get published in English the Vedanta Sutra Bhasya of Sri Baladev, Vidyabhusan where we found that a few shlokas of Chandogya Upanishad as well as of Brihadaranyaka were not explained in consonant with our Achintya Vedaveda Tatwa. Therefore it requited in this edition to make accordingly some change in the purports of those particular shlokas which are carried in this Edition.
For composing this entire Volume in our Math computer Sri Bhakti Swarup Sannyasi Maharaj gave his great labour and Dr. Debaprasad Mukopadhyay, the Head Master of our Thakur Bhakti Vinode Institute very carefully went through the proofs. Therefore they will be the recipient of God's Blessings.
In the introduction of the 1st Vol. of this edition in Page 2. line 6 after Sri Ramanuja Sri Madhvacharya will be added.
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