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  • Published: 29 January 2004
  • ISBN: 9780141938011
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 592

The Upanishads



'The Upanisads' is the Hindu equivalent of the Christian New Testament. It is a collection of spiritual treatises written in Sanskrit between 800 and 400 BCE. Typically an Upanisad recounts one or more sessions of teaching, often setting each within the story of how it came to be taught. These thirteen texts, the principal Upanisads, are devoted to understanding the inner meaning of the religion: they explicate its crucial doctrines - rebirth, the law of karma, the means of conquering death, and of achieving detachment, equilibrium and spiritual bliss. They emphasise the perennial search for true knowledge.%%%An 'Upanisad' is a teaching session with a guru, and these thirteen texts, the 'Principal Upanisads', form a series of philosophical discourses between teacher and student that question the inner meaning of the world. Composed from around the eighth century BCE, the Upanisads have been central to the development of Hinduism, and explore the central doctrines of rebirth, karma, overcoming death, and achieving detachment, equilibrium and spiritual bliss. Speaking to the reader in direct, unadorned prose or lucid verse, they embody humanity's perennial search for truth and knowledge.

  • Published: 29 January 2004
  • ISBN: 9780141938011
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 592

About the authors

Alistair Shearer

Alistair Shearer did postgraduate work in Sanskrit at the University of Lancaster after studying literature at Cambridge. He has practiced and taught meditation for many years. He currently divides his time between lecturing and writing on the sacred art of Hinduism and Buddhism, teaching meditation courses and leading cultural tours to the Indian sub-continent. His latest publications include The Spirit of Asia and Buddha: The Intelligent Heart.

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