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THE IMMORTAL UPANISHADS

by BHABANI SHANKAR ACHARYA

Why Upanishads ?
Between say 5000 to 3000 thousand years ago, a lineage of Indians settled in the cool confines of the jungles surrounded by rivers, mountains, animals, birds and trees, developed a language called Sanskrit and carried the same to its pinnacle.
They shifted their thoughts from study of matter as expounded in the Vedas to study of something imperceptibly beyond matter and began writing the Upanishads.
These were a study of â??beyond what we perceive now and here’.
And every important person that had mattered or who had shaped our thoughts in the history of mankind, studied them, wrote commentaries to simplify them and sourced their own thoughts from them.
No one including the agnostic Jewish scientist of the modern world ever ignored them. Subsequent literatures drew heavily from them and helped create our own modern, moral mind.
An astonishing fact is that the brilliant authors of these texts never bothered to leave their names for us to remember and celebrate their birthdays!
Can we go without looking at them? Without looking at what they really wrote? Ignoring the wealth they stored for us to shape our own lives?
Let us read for ourselves what they wrote, in our own simple language.
Here we cover nine Upanishads namely Ishavasya, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Aitareya, Taitareya and Swetaswatara.
The book contains only the English translation of the stanzas. The book intends to offer easy reading to its readers, to help them assess the range of thoughts contemplated by the authors.
I translated it from a Hindi book written by Sri Harikrushnadas Goyandka. He had covered all the stanzas in original along with its forensic meaning.
I am no match to write an authentic book on the Upanishads. I just wrote the way it appealed to me.
I hope I can write the translations of the other two important Upanishads, Brihadaranyaka and Chhandogya, at a future date.



Considerations on Representative Government

by John Stuart Mill

All speculations concerning forms of government bear the impress, more or less exclusive, of two conflicting theories respecting political institutions; or, to speak more properly, conflicting conceptions of what political institutions are.
By some minds, government is conceived as strictly a practical art, giving rise to no questions but those of means and an end. Forms of government are assimilated to any other expedients for the attainment of human objects. They are regarded as wholly an affair of invention and contrivance. Being made by man, it is assumed that man has the choice either to make them or not, and how or on what pattern they shall be made. Government, according to this conception, is a problem, to be worked like any other question of business. The first step is to define the purposes which governments are required to promote. The next, is to inquire what form of government is best fitted to fulfill those purposes. Having satisfied ourselves on these two points, and ascertained the form of government which combines the greatest amount of good with the least of evil, what further remains is to obtain the concurrence of our countrymen, or those for whom the institutions are intended, in the opinion which we have privately arrived at. To find the best form of government; to persuade others that it is the best; and, having done so, to stir them up to insist on having it, is the order of ideas in the minds of those who adopt this view of political philosophy. They look upon a constitution in the same light (difference of scale being allowed for) as they would upon a steam plow, or a threshing machine….

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[Halls of Wisdom]
 
From Buddha to Confucius to Plato and down the spiral of time to Kant, Nietzsche and Russell, the Halls of Wisdom are filled to overflowing, yet barely full. Explore the cavernous teachings of the masters, get lost in the art of wonder, and fall in love with wisdom.
The only thing you can lose are your chains.



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