Isopanishad – Translation and Analysis

Isa Upanishad

iSa Upanishad also called iSAvAsya Upanishad has 18 verses. It is part of Shukla Yajur Veda. It talks about ‘iSa’ the one that resides in all matter and beings, whatever that is born and moving in all the worlds. It does not abhor/hate anything. iSa is ‘love’, ‘priyam’(2).

This iSa is nothing but a manifestation of Atma in all matter and beings with the ‘purpose’ of making them to desire to live for 100’s of years.

Let’s see more about this ‘iSa’.

Sloka 1 to 18

Īśa āvāsyam idaṃ sarvaṃ yat kin͂ca jagatyāṃ jagat

iSa inhabits/dwells (AvAsyam) in everything here (idam sarvam) whichever (yat) born and moving (ja-ga-tyam) in the worlds.

tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā gṛdhaḥ kasyasvid dhanam

By Him (tena) by giving up/by abandoning (tyaktena) he enjoys (bhunjita) not (mA) coveting/desiring (grdhah) whose indeed/someone else (kasya svid) property (dhanam)

Meaning

iSa inhabits/dwells in everything here, whichever born and moving in the worlds. That iSa enjoys by giving up, not coveting some other’s property.

kurvann eva iha karmāṇi jijīviṣet śataṃ samāḥ

Doing (kurvan) this (iha) activities (karmani) desirous for life (jijiviset) for 100 (zatam) of time/years (samAh)

evaṃ tvayi na anyatheto asti na karma lipyate nare

Thus unto you nothing else exists; no action smears/taints the nara

Meaning

iSa inhabits in everything here whichever born and moving in the worlds, performs activities desirous of life for 100’s of time/years, thus unto you, nothing else exists; no action smears the nara.

asuryā nāma te lokā andhena tamasā vṛtāḥ

Those worlds of ‘asura’ are covered with andha tamas

tāṃs te pretya abhigacchanti ye ke ca atmahano janāḥ

They (te) after the life (having died) (pretya) enter into (abhigacchanti) those worlds (of asura) (tAn), those (ye) who (ke) and jana (ca jana) given up by Atma (atma hana).

Meaning

The world of asura is one of the worlds given up by Isa. This world of asura, though given up by Isa, is covered with andha tamas. This is world entered by the dead, those who have given up their Atma/self, the world of particles/jana.

anejat ekaṃ manaso javīyo na enat devā āpnuvan pūrvam arṣat

Non moving (anejat) the One (Isa) (ekam), swifter than manas (manaso javiyo) none this deva can reach (apnuvan) the beginining/first/in front/ahead (pUrvam) quickly (arsat)

tad dhāvato anyānn atyeti tiṣṭhat tasminn āpo mātariśvā dadhāti

That (that) flows (dhavata) other (anyann) crosses over (atyeti) situated (tishthat) in that (tasminn) Apa mAtriSva supplies/gives (dadhati)

Meaning

The non-moving One (Isa), swifter than manas, which none of the devas (energy and matter forms) can reach ahead quickly, flows crossing over others that are situated/stand in the Apa that mAtarisva gives.

mAtraisva (mother arrow) is that which retrieves usable/transferable energy (agni) and gives it to matter. They are the ‘real’ photons that travel as light and causes Apah, the electromagnetic interaction with matter.

All the devas (energy and matter) stand on this Apa, the EM interaction of matter, which itself is given by mAtariSva, the photons.

Atma is non-moving. But it flows across, crosses over all the devas.

How can something that is non-moving be swifter than manas and all devas..?

When something is moving around us super-fast, it appears stationary. That’s how that ONE is moving so fast that it appears stationary.

tad ejati tan na ijati tad dūre tad u antike

That moves (has motion), that not moves, that is far off, that is near.

tad antarasya sarvasya tad u sarvasya asya bāhyataḥ

That is inside of all; that is outside of all

Meaning

That moves, not moves, far off, near, inside all and outside all

yah tu sarvāṇi bhūtāny ātmany eva anupaśyati

But who all matter atman observes/sees

sarvabhūteṣu cātmānaṃ tato na vijugupsate

Isa of all matter and Atma thereby not abhor/dislike/reject

Meaning

Atman is but who sees/observes in all matter, isa of all matter, the Atman that not abhor/rejects/hates

Who is iSa..? iSa is the Atman that sees/observes in all matter forms which does not abhor/reject/hates. iSa is the ‘love’.

Yasmin sarvāṇi bhūtānany ātma iva abhūt vijānataḥ

In which (yasmin) all matter (sarvani bhutani), atma becomes (abhut) the knower (vijanatah). In which all matter, atma becomes the knower

tatra ko mohaḥ kaḥ śoka ekatvam anupaśyataḥ

There (tatra) what mohah (ko mohah), what sokah (kah soka), the oneness (ekatvam) (is) one who sees (anupasyatah)

Meaning

In which all matter, atma becomes the knower, oneness is the one that sees, there what mohah, what zoka..?

saH paryagāt chukram akāyam avraṇam-asnāviraṃ śuddham apāpaviddham

That cannot be gone around (paryagAt), zukram, without body (akAyam), without wounds- without veins, clean, without pApa (reduction)

kavir manīṣī paribhūḥ svayambhūr yāthātathyato ‘rthān vyadadhāc chāśvatībhyaḥ samābhyaḥ

Wise (kavir), Thoughtful (maniSa), surrounding manifestations (paribhuh), born on its own (svayambhu), in that manner/degree (one by one/gradually) (yathatathyato) purpose (arthan) is performed (vyadadhAt) eternally (sAsvatibhyah), for years(samAbhyah)

Meaning

That which cannot be gone around/cannot be estimated, zukram, without body, without wounds, without veins, clean, without pApa, wise, having thoughts, surrounding everywhere, self-born, whose purpose/meaning is performed, in that manner/gradually, eternally over time.

andhaṃ tamaḥ praviśanti ye avidyām upāsate

They enter andham tamah who serve/worship avidya.

tato bhūya iva te tamo ya u vidyāyāṃ ratāḥ

Same way abounds, those tamah who delight in vidya

Meaning

They enter andam tamah who serve/worship/practice avidya. Same way tamah abouds/manifests for those who delight in Vidya.

anyat eva āhur vidyayā anyat āhur avidyayā

Some called/invoked by Vidya, Some called/invoked by Avidya

iti śuśruma dhīrāṇāṃ ye nah tad vicacakṣire

Thus heard those steadfast who to us that made clear/visible

Meaning

Some invoked by Vidya. Some invoked by avidya. Thus I heard those steadfast that are made visible/clear to us.

Those steadfast that are made visible to us are thus heard to be invoked by Vidya or Avidya.

vidyāṃ cāvidyāṃ ca yastadvedobhayam saha

Vidya and avidya which/who that knows both together

avidyayā mṛtyuṃ tīrtvā vidyayāmṛtamaśnute

The death by avidya crosses over experiences amrtam/nectar by Vidya

Meaning

Which that knows Vidya and Avidya together crosses the death by avidya and experiences nectar by learning.

andhaṃ tamaḥ praviśanti ye’ asambhūtim upāsate

They enter andham tama who serve/worship/practice asambhutim

tato bhūya iva te tamo ya u sambhūtyām ratāḥ

Same way abounds/manifests those tama who delight in sambhutya

Meaning

They enter andham tama those practicing matter destruction. Same way manifests tama in who delight in matter production.

anyat eva āhuḥ sambhavāt anyad āhur asambhavāt

Some called/invoked by production of matter, Some called/invoked by destruction of matter

iti śuśruma dhīrāṇāṃ yenastadvicacakṣire

Thus heard those steadfast who to us that made clear/visible

Meaning

Some invoked by production of matter. Some invoked by destruction of matter. Thus I heard those steadfast that made visible/clear to us.

Those that are made visible to us are thus heard to be invoked by production or destruction of matter.

sambhūtiñ ca vināśañ ca yah tad veda ubhayaṃ saha

Sambhuti (production) and Vinasan (destruction) which/who that knows both together

vināśena mṛtyuṃ tīrtvā sambhūtyā’mṛtamaśnute

The death by destruction crosses over experiences nectar by production

Meaning

Which that knows production and destruction together crosses the death by destruction and experiences nectar by production

hiraṇmayena pātreṇa satyasya apihitaṃ mukham

By the Hiranmaya, by the pAtra, the satya’s face is covered/hidden

tattvaṃ pūṣann apāvṛṇu satyadharmāya dṛṣṭaye

that-ness of pusann (principle of pusann) uncovers the laws of the satya to be seen

Meaning

By the hiranmaya pAtra, the face of Satya is covered. The principle of pusan uncovers the laws of satya to be seen.

I had translated Pusann as QCD binding energy in the twelve Adityas. Adityas are energies that create. Daityas are energies that destroy. In the twelve Adityas, Pusan is the QCD binding energy that makes the first hadrons visible.

Hadronization is the process that uncovers the laws of Universe as we see it now, as hadrons are the first formed matter in the Classical theormodynamics Universe. Before hadronization, it was Quark-Gluon-Plasma, which was in the ‘middle’ world or the madhyama.

Pūṣann ekarṣe yama sūrya prājāpatya vyūha raśmīn samūha tejaḥ

Pusan, eka Rsi, yama, Surya, descendants of prajapati, order/arrangement, their rays/radiations assemble the teja/fire/brilliance

The order/arrangement of Pusan (which uncovers the laws), eka Rsi, Yama, Surya, descendants of Prajapati, assembles the teja of their individual rays.

Pusan uncovers the laws to be seen. From pusan, eka Rsi, Yama, Surya, descendants of prajapati, build up/evolve on one another, in that order. Hence their individual rays/reins assemble into the overall tejas/brilliance.

Yat te rūpaṃ kalyāṇatamaṃ tat te paśyāmi yah asau asau puruṣaḥ sah aham asmi

Which those form are most auspicious that those are seen. As I am with ‘ahahm’, Other of their one is Purusha.

Meaning

The order/arrangement of Pusan (which uncovers the laws), eka Rsi, Yama, Surya, descendants of Prajapati, assembles the teja of their individual rays. Most auspicious of these forms are thus seen. As I am with ‘aham/self’, their other one is the Purusha (which i translated as dark part of matter in this specific case).

Vāyur anilam amṛtam atha idaṃ bhasmāntaṃ śarīram

vAyu (ensemble of particles, gases/fluids), anila (charged fluids/plasma), amrtam (massive) and then here the bodies that end up in ashes

oṃ krato smara kṛtaṃ smara krato smara kṛtaṃ smara

Aum performance of sacrifices (kratu) excite (smara); excitations (smara) create/produce (krtam); Performance of sacrifices excite; excitations create/produce.

Meaning

Smara are excitations. Lust is excitation. Bringing up memory is excitation. Hence Smara is both lust and bringing up old memory.

Kratu is performance of a sacrifice/yajna.

Matter are the information/knowledge of the Atman. Yajna is the sacrifice of matter in which evolution or expansion of matter forms occur. This evolution/expansion of matter forms is the Brahman. Brahman/Evolution is the only reality to be seen in this Universe.

If matter is information/knowledge of Atman, if Yajna is the sacrifice that evolves more information/knowledge (expands it), then the performance of this sacrifice is the ‘intelligence’ of the Atman.

Hence kratu is also known as ‘intelligence’ of Atman as well as performance of Sacrifice.

vAyu (ensemble of particles, gases/fluids), anila (charged fluids/plasma), amrtam (massive) and then here the bodies that end up in ashes. This is how the performance of sacrifice proceeds.

Performance of Sacrifice proceeds as ensemble of particles getting charged up, becoming massive by binding with each other and then burning up in ashes. Thus performance of sacrifices excite (the existing matter forms); The excitation creates ( new matter forms); Performance of sacrifices excite (these new matter forms); The excitation creates (still newer matter forms).

agne naya supathā rāye asmān viśvāni deva vayunāni vidvān

Agni leads the path of wealth (of matter forms) expert/knowledgeable of our Universe’s matter and energy actions

Yuyodhi asmat juhurāṇam ena bhūyiṣṭhāṃ te namauktim vidhema

Moving swiftly excessively our invoker (Agni) those desiring manifestations/numerous those offer salutations/submit their speech/expression (to Agni)

Meaning

Agni (the usable/transferable energy in matter) leads the path of numerous matter forms, learned of all the Universe’s energy and matter, moving swiftly excessively is our priest. That desires manifestations/wealth, they offer salutations/submit their speech/expressions to Agni.

Summary of iSAvAsAya Upanishad

iSa  rules the born and moving

iSa inhabits/dwells in everything here, whichever born and moving in the worlds. That iSa enjoys by giving up, not coveting some other’s property.

It is that iSa (in matter and beings) that performs activities, making them to desire to live for 100’s of years. No action smears/attaches to  the ‘nara’. All of them are caused by the ‘iSa’ in ‘nara’.

The world of asura is one of the worlds given up by Isa. This world of asura, though given up by Isa, is covered with andha tamas. This is world entered by the dead, those who have given up their Atma/self, the world of particles/jana.

The non-moving One (Atma), swifter than manas, which none of the devas (energy and matter forms) can reach ahead quickly, flows crossing over others that are situated/stand in the Apa that mAtarisva gives.

mAtarisva, Agni and Apa

mAtraisva (which means roughly mother arrow) is that which retrieves usable/transferable energy (agni) and gives it to matter. Hence mAtarisvan is praised as the one who gave Agni to Humans/manuSya.

Agni is usable/transferable energy. It is the energy that creates the matter, destroys the matter and present inside the matter evolving it. It is the energy that gets transferred between matter and helps produce new matter forms.

Who gives Agni, the usabe/transferable energy to us, humans..?

Agni is given to us by Photons, in the form of light from the sun. The light from the sun or the ‘real’ photons are the mother arrows, the mAtar-iSva.

Apa is Electromagnetic Interaction. Refer (1) on how Apa, Soma, madhu, the interactions are ‘modelled’ as fluids that are drunk.

All the energy and matter (collectively called devas) in the current Universe, stand on this Apa, the EM interaction of matter. Apa is caused by mAtraisVa the photons.

Stationary is Super-fast

The sloka says the One (iSa) is non-moving, but flows across, crossing over, swiftly all the devas. All the energy and matter move less swiftly than iSa, which is non-moving.

How can something that is non-moving be swifter than manas and all devas..?

When something is moving around us super-fast, it appears stationary. That’s how that ONE is moving so fast that it appears stationary.

That (ONE) moves, not moves, far off, near, inside all and outside all

iSa and Atman

iSa is the Atman that sees/observes in all matter forms which does not abhor/reject/hates.

iSa is the Atman, the knower, the oneness that sees, that manifests as ‘love’/’priyam’, that does not hate, in matter and beings. iSa is the Atman with a ‘purpose’ / ‘artha’.

In which all matter, atma becomes the knower, oneness is the one that sees, there what mohah, what zoka..?

In all the matter, that which cannot be gone around/cannot be estimated, zukram, without body, without wounds, without veins, clean, without pApa, wise, having thoughts, surrounding everywhere, self-born, whose purpose/meaning is performed, in that manner/gradually, eternally over time.

iSa is the Atman that manifests in all the matter, as that which performs its purpose gradually, eternally over time, has thoughts, is the knower, is the one who sees, is self-born, clean, pure, without defects (wounds), without parts (veins), without hate.

Vidya and Avidya

Vid is ‘to know’. Vidya is the process of knowing, which is ‘learning’. avidya is the process of un-learning. Learning, the process of knowing acquires information.

Un-learning gives up information. It leads to tamas, which is lack/reduction of information.

When only information is given out (only avidya), it leads to andham tama, which is bereft of any information.

They enter ‘andham tamah’ (totally bereft of information) who practice avidya/unlearning. This is totally understandable. When information is lost, a state of bereft of any information is reached.

Same way tamas abouds/manifests for those who delight in Vidya/learning only. This means those that learn only (acquire information only), they also reach the state which is bereft of any information.

How..?

Some matter forms are invoked by Vidya/learning/acquiring information. Some are invoked by Avidya/unlearning/losing information. Those steadfast/steady matter that are made visible to us are thus heard to be invoked by Vidya/learning and Avidya/unlearning.

Both learning/acquiring of information and un-learning/losing of information invoke the steady-state matter forms.

Thus only those that practice learning/vidya/gaining information and un-learning/avidya/losing information crosses the death by unlearning/avidya and experience the nectar by learning. Only those are sustainable in the long run of evolution.

Production and Destruction

Similar to Vidya and Avidya is sambhuti (production) and asambhuti (destruction).

They enter ‘andham tama’ those practicing matter destruction. This is obvious as destruction removes information.

Same way manifests tama in who delight in matter production. This means when only production of matter is done (generating new information), even then the state of andham tama, being bereft of any information is reached.

How..?

Some matter is invoked by production. Some matter is invoked in the destruction. All those steadfast/steady state matter are invoked by both production and destruction.

Hence those matter forms that ‘knows’ production and destruction together crosses the death by destruction and experiences nectar by production. In other words those matter forms that practice destruction as well as production sustain.

Learning/Production and Unlearning/Destruction

These matter forms are the information/knowledge of Atman. Atman is external to everything.

But it is also inside of all matter forms as ‘iSa’ that does not hate, as ‘love’.

Learning of new information by Atman is the production of new matter forms. Un-learning of information by Atman is the destruction of matter forms. Thus learning of information (production) leads to un-learning of information (destruction) which again leads to learning of newer information (production).

Pusan – That uncovers the dharma

By the hiranmaya pAtra, the face of Satya/existence is covered. The principle of pusan uncovers the existential laws to be seen.

I had translated Pusann as ‘QCD binding energy’ in the twelve Adityas. Adityas are energies that create. Daityas are energies that destroy. In the twelve Adityas, Pusan is the QCD binding energy that makes the first hadrons visible, triggering the process of hadronization. Refer (1).

Hadronization is the process that uncovers the laws of Universe as we see it now, as hadrons are the first formed matter in the Classical thermodynamics Universe. Before hadronization, it was Quark-Gluon-Plasma, which was in the ‘middle’ world or the madhyama.

This Quark-Gluon-Plasma is the ‘Hiranmaya pAtra’ (the golden vessel) that had covered the existential laws and Pusan, the QCD binding energy uncovers it.

Evolution from Pusan

From Pusan which uncovers the laws of existence, eka Rsi, Yama, Surya, descendants of Prajapati etc assembles their individual lustre one over the other assembling a brilliance.

Most auspicious of these forms are thus seen.

As I am with ‘aham/self’, the other one of these forms is the Purusha (which i translated as dark matter part of matter). Like I have the ‘self’, these matter forms have the dark matter in them.

vAyu (ensemble of particles, gases/fluids), anila (charged fluids/plasma), amrtam (particles that have mass) evolve and from there evolves solid matter forms that end up in ashes.

Kratu – The intelligence of Atman

Kratu is performance of a sacrifice/yajna.

Matter are the information/knowledge of the Atman. Yajna is the sacrifice of matter/information, in which evolution of new matter forms/information occur. This evolution/expansion of matter forms/information is the Brahman.

This Brahman/Evolution, which is the evolution of matter forms/information/knowledge is the only reality to be seen in this Universe.

If matter is information/knowledge of Atman, if Yajna is the sacrifice that evolves more information/knowledge (expands it), then the performance of this sacrifice is the ‘intelligence’ of the Atman.

Hence kratu is also known as ‘intelligence’ of Atman as well as performance of Sacrifice.

Kratu Smara – Krtam Smara – Kratu Smara – Krtam Smara

Smara are excitations. Lust is excitation. Bringing up memory is excitation. Hence Smara is both lust and bringing up old memory.

Performance of Sacrifice proceeds as ensemble of particles getting charged up, becoming massive by binding with each other and then burning up in ashes.

Thus performance of sacrifices excite/smara (the existing matter forms); The excitation/smara creates/krtam ( new matter forms); Performance of sacrifices/kratu excite/smara (these new matter forms); The excitation/smara creates/krtam (still newer matter forms).

This cycle of performance of sacrifice (kratu) leading to excitations (smara), excitations (smara) leading to newer matter generation (krtam), which in turn lead to newer performance of sacrifices (kratu) leading to newer excitations (smara) and those excitations (smara) leading to yet newer matter forms (krtam) is mentioned as ‘kratu smara krtam smara kratu smara krtam smara’.

But matter forms of Universe is also the information/knowledge of Atman. Kratu, the performance of sacrifice is the ‘intelligence’ of the Atman, as we saw before.

Hence this cycle can also be seen as ‘Intelligence lead to new information, which in turn leads to greater intelligence leading to yet newer information.

Agni – Our Purohita

In terms of matter, Agni (the usable/transferable energy in matter) leads the path of numerous matter forms. It is the ‘vidvan’, that knows all the Universe’s energy and matter. Since leads the path, it is said to be the ‘Puro-hita’, one who is placed in the front, leading.

This transfer of energy/Agni between matter invokes the production of numerous matter forms. Hence Agni is called ‘juhurAna’, the invoker, the sacrificing priest.

Those that desire manifestations/wealth of matter, offer salutations/submit their speech/expression to Agni. Only those matter forms that submit to Agni/ offer salutations to Agni, allow agni (energy) in them as the ‘invoker’ as the ‘purohita’ produce more matter forms.

2. http://vedabhasya.blogspot.com/2018/08/brhadharanyaka-upanishad-sloka-148.html

-TBT

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