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The Holy Vedas [Hardcover]

Pandit Vidyalankar

List Price: CDN$ 45.92
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Book Description

March 15 2004
The four Vedas contain the divine, infallible knowledge revealed to those primal men whose soul was specially illuminated to by the grace of god to receive and impart humanity the words of almighty god. The Vedas are the sacred heritage not only of India but of all mankind. In this book an attempt has been made to bring together representative hymns which encompass all the aspects enshrined in the Vedas. The author has tried to retain the spirit of the original Sanskrit mantras in English renderings and to impart some of the holy ambience of these sacred texts which are the fountainhead of Hindu philosophy and culture.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (March 15 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8185120544
  • ISBN-13: 978-8185120546
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 640 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #419,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for intro, bad for scholar Feb. 13 2001
By Beth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is an absolutely fabulous book if you want a "taste of the Vedas". It's wonderfully organized to give you an overview of concepts, without bogging you down in the language. The language chosen for this book is beautiful and poetic and a spiritual experience to read.
That said, this is *not* a book to get if you are trying to actually study the Vedas. It is not organized by Veda::chapter::verse, nor are any of the verses complete enough to let you get into the nitty gritty. I suppose one could learn Sanskrit for that, but there are other English translations that are much better for this purpose, especially if you are native English speaker.
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Jan. 1 2006
By Illinois Mark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
These other reviews are very misleading. No one disputes that the Vedas themselves deserve a five star rating, but the review is for this volume. First of all, for those expecting the complete Vedas translated in sort of a "Holy Bible" format, this is very far from the case. There are only some selected portions of the hymns and not very many at that. The book is mainly pages of pictures (just general pictures like the sky or landscape) and a verse. There are some pages with text only, but the text is in reasonably large print and arranged chaotically. It's very difficult to make any order out of this volume. Ironically, a large section of the book seems to lay out the verses, text only and in order, but it's in Sanskrit!

Aside from the poor layout of the book, the physical construction of the book is also very poor. The book is technically hardcover, but the covers are flimsy and the gold to fill in the characters is splotchy. The binding is also very bad. It seems to be bound with some type of string and looks as though great care should be taken to keep it from falling apart. Strangely, thick paper is used for the pages, maybe for the purpose of making the book look thicker than it is. If this book was normally bound, it would be thin and require a much cheaper price. That said, this volume is way overpriced. I know it looks good in the picture, but it's not really that nice looking. It is definitely not worth the price they want. If I would compare this book to the price of comparable books, I would price it at about $17 or $18.

As a final note, I would really suggest saving your money and buy the Penguin copy of the Rig Veda. No, that is also not the complete text, but at least it has a little better format and it's about $12. This "Holy Vedas" volume under review has a few good things about it, but for the price it just isn't worth it. I kind of think the marketing could be more forthright and portray it as more for what it is.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A collection of hymns, not stories. March 14 2002
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is not a collection of stories. No, not at all. It does not contain any love stories or epic poems. It is a selection of hymns from Vedas.
The four Vedas--Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva--are the holiest books for all Hindus. The first among them, the Rigveda, is considered the oldest book ever composed.
The four Vedas consist of 20416 verses. An English translation of all original Sanskrit verses along with commentaries on them is available in twenty-three volumes at a cost of several hundred dollars. I think that is good for academics. For others, there is this book, a golden treasury of "The Holy Vedas," selected and translated by one of the authorities on Sanskrit and Hinduism.
In this book, selected Vedic hymns have been classified into six sections consisting of the hymns on Creation, Devotion, Revelation, Action, Splendour, and Positive Sciences. You can read the book from cover to cover, but please don't rush. You can also select a section in any order you want. Or you can randomly open a page and enjoy. And don't forget to keep sticky notes with you because you would want to mark pages and verses, so that you could come back and read them again and again.
I love this book and recommend it to all Hindus and non-Hindus, who want an introduction to Vedas.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply Awesome April 18 2005
By invictus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a devotional style book with short quotes from selected passages in the Vedas accentuated with photos from nature. I can't understand why the Vedas are not more widely translated into English. They are probably one of the oldest religious texts known to man, they are extremely interesting and they are very readable, unlike some more widely known ancient books like the Egyptian Book of the Dead. They remind me a lot of the Hebrew Psalms, only with that characteristic Indian exoticness. The only reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars is the typically bad print-quality common with Indian publishers.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars IT'S ONE OF THE GREATEST BOOKS OF ALL TIME June 15 2000
By Sasha Merced - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a very long book, but you won't get tired of reading it. It's a collection of stories written in a poetic prose, from different authors. It's hard to review a book with such variety of stories. They range from love stories to epic poems. Even though people who live in the occident dont pay much attention to this book, surely, this book will please almost any kind of reader. It can be compared to Greek Literature, only that this book's content is richer.

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