This two-volume set contains the famous Max Müller translation of the classical upanisads that first appeared as Volumes I and XV of the "Sacred Books of the East." It contains the full text, translated into English and annotated, of the following upanisads: Chandogya, Kena, Aitareya, Kaushitaki, Isa, Katha, Mundaka, Taittiriyaka, Brhadaranyaka, Svetasvatara, Prasna, and Maitriyana. These are the most important upanisads, the classical basic documents that have been accepted as authoritative by practically all Indian religious and philosophic traditions.
These remarkable mystical and philosophical treatises have not only created the later wisdom of India, they have also played an important part in Western thought. While one many be doubtful of their claimed influence upon the Neoplatonists and the medieval Christian mystics, they still have greatly influenced later developments in Western philosophy, from the time of Schlegel, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Schelling. Probably written by various authors over several centuries before 500 B.C., they exhibit a remarkable uniformity of purpose: they strive — through parable, proverb, simile, and metaphor, and through a method similar to Socratic dialogue — to arrive at truth without erecting a formal system.
Although there have been other translations of the upanisads, this edition of Max Müller has long enjoyed the reputation of being the most scholarly. Not only does the translation contain the mature reflections of the greatest Indologist and Sanskritologist of the nineteenth century (who was also a profound philosopher in his own right), it also contains his long introductions of more than 250 pages, discussing the position of the upanisads and their value for the modern world.
These profound writings are necessary reading for all Indologists, philosophers, and historians of religion. They are also most valuable experiences for the modern reader who is interested in learning about a great field of thought with deep mystical and existential implications.