Why did Shah Jahans son translate Upanishads?

upanishads_isa_katha_kena_spanish_ihh009
Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Research article No.1478; Dated 11th December 2014.

Shah Jahan became the most famous Mogul emperor after he built the Taj Mahal monument. His son and Muslim prince Dara shikoh was very much interested in the Upanishads. He brought Pandits from Kasi (Varanasi) to Delhi in 1656 and arranged the translation of fifty Upanishads into Persian. Upanishads are in Sanskrit language. Then Anquetil Duperron translated them from Persian into Latin. Thus it reached Europe.
The teachings of the Upanishadic sages, for long recorded and passed on by memory, provide some of the greatest treasures that India offers to Mankind.

When do you study the Upanishads?
Manu in his book The Laws of Manu, says,

“When a householder sees his skin wrinkled and his hair white, and sees the birth of his grandsons, then he may resort to the forest …. either committing his wife to his sons or accompanied by her”
In those days all the Upanishads were composed and taught in the forests. Nowadays we can retire to old age homes or a place far away from one’s relatives and study the Upanishads.
Big Ashrams around India offer special courses in the Upanishads.

German philosopher Schopenhauer read the Latin translation and said, “It has been the most rewarding and the most elevating reading which there can be possibly in the world. It has been the solace of my life and will be of my death”.

Many scholars including Prof. Max Muller and Prof. Paul Deussen also translated them.

Shah_Jahan_with_his_son_Dara_Shikoh,ca._1620
Shah Jahan and his son Dara Shikoh

116 Upanishads in Japanese Language!
“It is very interesting to find that a complete translation of 116 Upanishads in Japanese language appeared in nine volumes translated by a band of 27 persons, adding also a translation of the ten Upanishads from Duperon’s version”.

“One of the excellent translations of the major Upanishads (in fact, of thirteen Upanishads including Kausitaki and Maitri, besides the usual elevens) is of Robert Ernest Hume, first published in English in 1921, revised in 1931. Prof. S Radhakrishnan’s translation of the Major Upanishads is also a valuable addition to this literature, particularly his notes and annotations. Swami Chinmayananda’s critical commentary on the Upanishads would be an asset to his admirers”.

kena

“The Upanishad like Mandukya is cryptical and concise;
The Isa Upanishad, the fundamental and concise;
and the Chandogya and Brahadaranyaka are elaborate and highly illuminating and potential.
Where logic fails to express, it is poetry that comes to help.”

–Swami Satya Prakash Saraswati, Parables and Dialogues from the Upanishads

The parables in the Buddhist literature and the New Testament of the Bible, dialogues in Socrates’ teaching are all echoes of the Upanishads.
swami_48@yahoo.com

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