The Holy Vedas Hardcover – Mar 15 2004
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
If you are looking for a complete translation of all four Vedas this is not it. As far as I know the Rigveda is the only one that has been adequately translated into English. The name of this book should have been "Excerpts of the Holy Vedas," as that would have been much more accurate. Students of Hinduism and Eastern religion should also avoid this book, as it has been white-washed with too much western Judeo-Christian terminology to be of much use for the study of Hinduism and Indian spirituality.