Magazine Web Edition > April/May/June 2017 > From the Upanishads: It Is Both Manifest and Unmanifest

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FROM THE UPANISHADS

It Is Both Manifest & Unmanifest

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On the unity of God, soul & world

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The following is a translation of the Isha Upanishad from The Principle Upanishads by S. Radhakrishnan. This Upanishad, also known as the Ishavasya, belongs to the Vajasaneyi school of the Yajur Veda and consists of forty chapters, of which the Isha is the last. The Isha is not concerned with the Absolute, Parabrahman, but with Parameshvara, the Supreme Soul. It teaches that life in the world and life in the divine spirit are not incompatible.

1 Know that all this, whatever moves in this moving world, is enveloped by God. Therefore find your enjoyment in renunciation; do not covet what belongs to others.

2 Always performing works here, one should wish to live a hundred years. If you live thus as a man, there is no way other than this by which karma does not adhere to you.

3 Demonic, verily, are those worlds, enveloped in blinding darkness, and to them go after death, those people who are slayers of the self.

4 The spirit is unmoving, one, swifter than the mind. The senses do not reach It, as It is ever ahead of them. Though Itself standing still, it outstrips those who run. In It the all-pervading air supports the activities of beings.

5 It moves and It moves not; It is far and It is near; It is within all this and It is also outside all this.

6 And he who sees all beings in his own self and his own self in all beings, he does not feel any revulsion by reason of such a view.

7 When, to one who knows, all beings have verily become one with his own self, then what delusion and what sorrow can be to him who has seen the oneness?

8 He has filled all; He is radiant, bodiless, invulnerable, devoid of sinews, pure, untouched by evil. He—the seer, thinker, all-pervading, self-existent—has duly distributed through endless years the objects according to their natures.

9 Into blinding darkness enter those who worship ignorance; and those who delight in knowledge enter into still greater darkness, as it were.

10 Distinct, indeed, they say, is the result of knowledge, and distinct, they say, is the result of ignorance. Thus have we heard from those wise who have explained to us these.

11 Knowledge and ignorance, he who knows the two together crosses death through ignorance and attains life eternal through knowledge.

12 Into blinding darkness enter those who worship the unmanifest and into still greater darkness, as it were, those who delight in the manifest.

13 Distinct, indeed, they say, is what results from the manifest, and distinct, they say, is what results from the unmanifest. Thus have we heard from those wise who have explained to us these.

14 He who understands the manifest and the unmanifest, both together, crosses death through the unmanifest and attains life eternal through the manifest.

15 The face of truth is covered with a golden disc. Unveil it, O Pusan, so that I who love the truth may see it.

16 O Pusan, the Sole Seer, O controller, O Sun, offspring of Prajapati, spread forth your rays and gather up your radiant light that I may behold you of loveliest form. Whosoever is that person, that also am I.

17 May this life enter into the immortal breath; then may this body end in ashes. O Intelligence, remember, remember what has been done. Remember, O Intelligence, what has been done, remember.

18 O Agni, lead us along the auspicious path to prosperity, O God who knowest all our deeds. Take away from us deceitful sins. We shall offer many prayers unto thee.

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PIETER WELTEVREDE

Worshiping within and without:The devotee ardently seeks to know his true self by worshiping the Sivalingam

SARVAPELLI RADAKRISHNAN was an Indian philosopher and statesman, India’s first Vice President (1952–1962) and second President (1962–1967).


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