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Essence of the Isavasya Upanishad

by Swami Sivananda

The whole is all That. The whole is all this. The whole was born of the whole. Taking the whole from the whole, what remains is the whole.

Om Peace! Peace!! Peace!!!

Glory of The Upanishads

1. Salutations to all Brahma-Vidya Gurus or the preceptors of the knowledge of Brahman.

2. Prostrations to Satchidananda Para Brahman, who is the prop, basis and source for everything.

3. The acme of wisdom of the sages is to be found in the Upanishads.

4. The Upanishads teach the philosophy of absolute unity.

5. The knowledge of the Upanishads destroys ignorance, the seed of Samsara.

6. Behind the names and forms, there dwells the Eternal, Infinite Satchidananda Brahman.

7. This world is indwelt by Para-Brahman or the Absolute.

8. Renounce all desires. Renounce egoism, selfishness and identification of self with the body (Deha-Adhyasa). Then alone will you attain Moksha or release.

9. Desire for liberation will destroy all earthly desires.

10. Perform religious rites and daily duties without expectation of fruits.

11. Do constant selfless service to humanity with Atma-Bhava, you will get purification of heart. Then alone will Atma-Jnana dawn in your heart.

12. Works will not bind you if you perform them without egoism and expectation of fruits.

Nature of The Atman

13. This Atman is motionless, but swifter than the mind; because it is all-pervading and all-full.

14. Before the mind reaches a plane, the Atman is already there, as it is all-pervading and infinite.

15. The Atman is distant and it is near. It is within all this, and also outside all this.

16. It is distant for the ignorant. It is very far for those who are immersed in worldliness. It is very near for the enquirer, for him who is equipped with purity of mind and the four means of salvation.

17. The Atman is very subtle. It is Antaratma, the inner self of all beings. It fills and covers everything. It is all-full. Hence it is within and without.

18. The Atman is the substratum or support (Adhishthana) of all beings.

19. The sage sees all beings in the Atman and the Atman in all beings.

20. He who sees the Atman as pervading everything, and everything in the Atman, does not wish to guard himself, because he has no fear from anyone.

21. A sage who has realised the Atman beholds that all objects and all beings are not distant from his own Self and that his Atman is the Atman of all.

22. The Atman is the common consciousness in all beings.

23. The Atman is the same in the king and the peasant, the saint and the sinner, the cobbler and the barber, the ant and the elephant, the tree and the stone.

24. How can that freed soul who rests in his own Atman and who has an exalted cosmic consciousness shrink from any being or object with a feeling of repulsion? How can he dislike anything? How can he hate anything?

25. Mere intellectual assent that the one Self abides in all beings will not do. Actual Self-realisation or direct perception, Aparoksha-Anubhava is indispensably requisite.

26. The knower of Brahman becomes fearless. The knower of Brahman transcends delusion and sorrow.

27. The three knots of the heart (Hridaya-granthi),Avidya (ignorance), Kama (desire) and Karma (action) are torn asunder by the knowledge of Brahman. The knower becomes absolutely free.

28. A knower always rejoices in the bliss of the Atman. Even the heaviest sorrow cannot shake him a bit.

29. This Atman is all-pervading, bright bodiless, pure, untouched by sin or evil actions, omniscient, transcendent, self-sprung or self-existent. It is scatheless and without muscles.

30. This Atman is without the physical body, astral body and causal body.

31. The Atman is independent. It never depends on another.

32. The Atman is beyond the reach of the senses and the mind.

33. The Atman is the Mind of the mind, Ear of the ear.

34. Behind the breath, the senses and the mind, there is the supreme Brahman or the Absolute.

35. By the light of Brahman alone do the mind, the Prana and the senses function.

Bases of Brahma-Jnana

36. When Karma is done without expectation of fruits, it purifies the mind and generates in the aspirant a strong desire for the final emancipation.

37. The desire to know Brahman and attain freedom from births and deaths can arise only in the person who is endowed with a pure and calm mind, who is desireless and who is disgusted with the sensual objects of this illusory world.

38. Brahman cannot be attained by mere logical discussion.

39. The Srutis say: In order to know Brahman, let the aspirant approach, with sacrificial sticks (Samit) in hand, a preceptor who is well-versed in the Vedas and who is centred in Brahman.

40. The Srutis say: He knows, who has studied under a preceptor.

41. Only that knowledge which is acquired by studying under a preceptor does good.

42. When one attains knowledge of Brahman, Avidya or ignorance which is the seat of bondage and the cause of Karma performed for the attainment of objects of desire, is totally destroyed.

43. The Srutis say: There is neither sorrow nor delusion for the knower of the Self, who beholds the one Atman everywhere. He who knows the Atman goes beyond sorrow.

44. Moksha cannot be attained by Karma or knowledge combined with Karma. Jnana alone can confer Moksha. Karma purifies the mind and helps the aspirant to attain knowledge.

45. The performance of Karma will take one to the world of manes (Pitriloka); but it cannot make one immortal.

46. Brahman, the only real entity, cannot be attained by any other means than the removal of ignorance through knowledge of the Self.

47. When one attains the supreme Brahman which is unborn, unchangeable, birthless, undecaying, immortal, fearless, eternal, self-luminous, all-blissful, and all-pervading, one is freed from births and deaths.

48. Para-Brahman or the Absolute controls and guides the mind, life (Prana) and the senses.

49. Brahman is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the tongue of the tongue, the speech of speech, the life of life, and the eye of the eye.

50. Having abandoned the sense of I-ness in these, and rising above sense-life, the wise becomes immortal.


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