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Isa Upanishad

April 24, 2012

Back sometime in my early teens, I bought the Penguin Classic paperback edition of The Upanishads, Translated and Selected by Juan Mascaró. I had previously enjoyed Mascaró’s translation of The Bhagavad Gita; in particular his introduction. I found he framed the Gita in terms familiar to someone like myself; with a Christian upbringing and raised entirely in the West. His introduction to the Upanishads did likewise. The first Upanishad presented is the Isa Upanishad, which resonated with exactly how I felt at that time, way back in the 1970s when I first read it. In fact, although I couldn’t have expressed it so eloquently, it is an expression of what I have believed for as long as I can remember. For me, it remains the essential core of spirituality; the relationship of the manifest with the Divine.

Isa Upanishad

Behold the universe in the glory of God: and all that lives and moves on earth. Leaving the transient, find joy in the Eternal: set not your heart on another’s possession.

Working thus, a man may wish for a life of a hundred years. Only actions done in God bind not the soul of man.

There are demon-haunted worlds, regions of utter darkness. Whoever in life denies the Spirit falls into that darkness of death.

The Spirit, without moving, is swifter than the mind; the senses cannot reach him: He is ever beyond them. Standing still, he overtakes those who run. To the ocean of his being, the spirit of life leads the streams of action.

He moves, and he moves not. He is far, and he is near. He is within all, and he is outside all.

Who sees all beings in his own Self, and his own Self in all beings, loses all fear.

When a sage sees this great Unity and his Self has become all beings, what delusion and what sorrow can ever be near him?

The Spirit filled all with his radiance. He is incorporeal and invulnerable, pure and untouched by evil. He is the supreme seer and thinker, immanent and transcendent. He placed all things in the path of Eternity.

Into deep darkness fall those who follow action. Into deeper darkness fall those who follow the transcendent. One is the outcome of the transcendent, and another is the outcome of the immanent. Thus have we heard from the ancient sages who explained this truth to us. He who knows both the transcendent and the immanent, with the immanent overcomes death and with the transcendent reaches immortality.

The face of truth remains hidden behind a circle of gold. Unveil it, O god of light, that I who love the true may see!

O life-giving sun, off-spring of the Lord of creation, solitary seer of heaven! Spread thy light and withdraw thy blinding splendour that I may behold thy radiant form: that spirit far away within thee is my own inmost Sprit.

May life go to immortal life, and the body go to ashes. OM. O my soul, remember past strivings, remember! O my soul, remember past strivings, remember!

By the path of good lead us to final bliss, O fire divine thou god who knowest all ways. Deliver us from wandering evil. Prayers and adoration we offer unto thee.

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From → Yoga

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