Prof. V. Karthikeyan Nair, Director, State Institute of Languages,

Sri Abdul Samad Samadani, Ex.MP,

Swamy Muni Narayana Prasad, President, Narayana Gurukulam,

Shri S. Radhakrishnan, A.D.P., Prasarbharathi,

Dr. B. Sugeetha, Research Officer, State Institute of Languages,

Dr. Shibu Sridhar, Ass. Director, State Institute of Languages,

Friends in the Media,

Priyappetta Sahodaree Sahodaranmare,

Ellaavarkkum Ente Namaskaaram,


It gives me great joy to release the set of eight volumes of the Upanishads, published by the State Institute of Languages, the leading academic publisher under the Government.  It adds to my joy that these books have been enriched by the scholarly commentaries in Malayalam by Swamy Muni Narayana Prasad, Guru and Head of Narayana Gurukula.

       I am informed that these eight books are part of the ten volume collection of Upanishads published by the Institute, which is now celebrating its Golden Jubilee. This premier institute has been facilitating  the all round development of the Malayalam language by bringing out scholarly books on a variety of topics like language, culture, science, modern technology and so on.

       The decision of the Institute to bring the Upanishads closer to the readers of Malayalam is a very laudable step for which the Director Prof. V. Karthikeyan Nair and his team deserve our wholehearted appreciation.

       As we all know, the Upanishads are treasures of spirituality which teach the science of the Absolute. They try to reveal through words, the Universal Truth or Supreme Wisdom, which is not fully describable. Every Upanishad is appended to a Veda and thus they came to be known as Vedantas or end of the Vedas.  Some regard them as Forest Books or Aaranyakas.

       Swamy Vivekananda who hailed Upanishads as the greatest philosophy and its literature as the most wonderful painting of sublimity, believed that its theme was to find the ultimate unity of things.  To him, knowledge was nothing but finding unity in the midst of diversity. 


       Later, our former philosopher President, the Late Dr. Sarveppalli Radhakrishnan found in the Upanishads, the acts of faith on which our civilization is based. He believed that our failures were due to our infidelity to the teachings of the Upanishads. To him, it was essential for every generation to grasp the significance of the Upanishads and to understand their relevance to the world's problems.

       Here arises the question of understanding the Upanishads which were written in archaic Sanskrit.  While discussing the difficulties in understanding these texts, Swamy Vivekananda had once said that a discussion of Upanishads could be carried on for ages in regard to the meaning of one word, due to the intricacies of the ancient Sanskrit. Besides, even the exact number of the Upanishads is disputed. Some believe it to be 108, but other scholars put it at 1008. The   exact content of the entire Upanishads taken together is still a mystery and it is also impossible to understand the Upanishads in one span of human life.

       It is here that we seek the services of scholars like Swamy Muni Naryana Prasad to provide clarity and direction to those who seek the truths hidden in the Upanishads. As a sanyasin who imbibed inspiration from Sree Narayana Guru, he has taken pains to interpret the 10 major Upanishads.

       The interpretation of ancient wisdom is relevant at all times due to several reasons. Going back to the past is a way of knowing oneself and one's culture in a deeper way. It is on the strong footing of such knowledge that we move to the future. Let us not forget that our Upanishads attribute all misery to our ignorance. It is this ignorance which makes people hate each other and pitch nations against nations, religions against religions. Thus, we need scholarly interpretations not only for our enlightenment, but also to counter the currents of misinterpretation of texts which have occurred over centuries.

       In his interpretation of Kena Upanishad, Swamy Muni Narayana Prasad emphasizes the role of Knowledge as the only saving force.  It has to begin with self-knowledge or an understanding of the Reality. The Upanishads also warn against illusory knowledge and the dangers of being self-conceited in our knowledge. These profound truths have been analyzed in detail by thinkers like Sree Narayana Guru who considered knowledge as God.  The message of the Upanishads find relevance as we move into a knowledge society with full faith in the power of knowledge as the strongest liberating force.

       By imparting the knowledge of the Upanishads, gained over the years, Swami Muni Narayana Prasad has done to our society a great service. Right from his days as a teenager, when he   recited the texts of the Upanishads guided by Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati, he had the desire to delve deeper into the philosophical vision of those texts. Today, he has passed on that vision to the readers of Malayalam.

I sincerely hope that the State Institute of Languages would make all efforts to see that these books reach as many readers as possible. It is good that the Institute has brought out over 4500 books in the last fifty years, but I hope that your desire to have more books in Malayalam on scientific topics is fulfilled soon. Though the Malayalam book industry is flourishing, we are yet to satisfy people's demand for informative, legal and scientific books in Malayalam. I hope the Institute could attract more scholars to serve as resource persons for producing such books.

Once again, I congratulate the Institute on its achievements in the last fifty years and compliment the leadership for conducting this function in a befitting manner.


Ellavarkkum Ente Aashamsakal


Jai Hind