Saturday, November 11, 2023

Grokking the Katha


let's talk upanishads.

this autumn, i'm grokking (aka sravana) on the mantropanisads.

these are the verse upanishads. i'm currently grokking the katha.

where nachiketa talks to yama the lord of death. 

using nikhilananda, chinmayanada, and gambhirananda for trans and comms.


let's talk translators. i basically trust:

nikhilananda and gambhirananda from the ramakrishna-vivekananda school.

chinmayananda and tejomayananda from the tapovan & sivananda merger.

and their prodigal son, dayananda*


let's talk dayananda*

nobody does deep diving in the sanskrit than this guru.

but there are two dayanandas:

those works published before his mahasamadhi and those after*.

those published before are sublime edits. those published after are faithful transcripts of his lectures.

(dayananda's kena and mundaka are commentarial masterpieces deserving of a 20th century shankara. but based on my experience with drg drsya viveka, i'm not intending on grokking the taitiriya and mundakya soon.)


to recap. i always want gambhirananda for his translation of shankara's commentaries. period.

i always want nikhilananda for his succinct footnotes and spare lightning-like commentary. he doesn't say a lot but what he says is earth-shattering.

dayananda for the kena and mundaka. triangulating with chinmayananda for the remainder he did and my intent is using tejomayananda for the svetasvatara which he didn't.

(i should also mention the sandeepany series which are free as pdf downloads. these are always worthwhile, and often contain useful charts and tables. they also are good for their emphasis on the sanskrit.)


btw the mantropanisads are isa, kena, mundaka, katha, svetasvatara, and sometimes gaudapada's karika on the mandukya counts.

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