Upanishads: Breath of the Eternal

(4 reviews)
  • Upanishads: Breateh of the Eternal
translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester

Our favorite translation of the Upanishads that brings out in good English the spirit of the original scripture.

  • xxiv plus 197 pages, US paperback 0-87481-040-X
  • xxiv plus 197 pages, US hardback 0-87481-659-9
    *148 pages, U.S. Mass Market Edition 978-0-451-52848-3

The Upanishads reflect pure Vedanta, the highest aspect of spiritual truth. There are no personal Gods, no Christ, Rama, Krishna, or Ramakrishna. The teachings are very ancient, back from before the written word.

The Rishis, whose insights they embody remain wholly in the background, impersonal as the truth they stood for, their individual lives lost forever, with even their names lost in the dark backward and abysm of time.

The twelve major Upanishads are listed in mostly traditional order: Katha, Isha, Kena, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitaeya, Chandogya, Brihadaranyaka, Swetasvatara, Kaivalya.

From the preface:
"Our aim in this translation has not been to achieve a literal translation but convey the teachings in clear and simple English."

"Captures the sense, beauty, and spirit of the original." - Books for Inner Development

 For the complete set of Vedanta Spiritual Classics please click here.

Note that the new edition with new cover was completely reset for easier reading and cleaner type.

Global Rating: 5.00 from 4 reviews Add your review of this product
Review By Charles Genello

Love this version

I have been reading the Upanishads for over 10 years. This is the best, most clearly written version I have found. If I only owned 1 book in the world, it would be this one.

Review By Mark Johnson

The Upanishads

Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester have done quite an excellent job of translating these principle Upanishads. The good swami obviously has a deep knowledge of the subject, both from the standpoint of learning and scholarship as well as personal experience of the truths contained in these works. There is also included an interesting preface which gives some details of the swami's life and spiritual journey. the introduction is short but quite valuable to set the Upanishads in a historical and spiritual context, as well as to illuminate the main points of the teachings. Recommended.

Review By Mark Johnson


Anyone wishing the attainment of Brahmavidya, or direct seeing of reality, will appreciate this book. The translation of this important upanishad by Swami Sarvananda is a good one and his notes are rich with detailed explanation for those wishing to dive deeper into the subtleties of the text. The text is in both original Sanskrit and English translation but lacks English transliteration of the Sanskrit words. For those who are attempting to read the Sanskrit but are not yet adept at reading the Devanagari script, this leaves a bit of a gap, but for those primarily interested in the English translation, this is not a problem. The Swami has also included a very excellent introduction to this upanishad which sets it in its historical and spiritual context as well as giving a chapter by chapter summary of the main teachings. Recommended.

Review By M J Callahan

Upanishads: Breath of the Eternal

I found the English easy to read. It is a great opportunity for someone who doesn't understand Sanskrit to learn essential beliefs. I see its influence on the Bhagavad Gita.