April, 2007








This Upanishad belongs to the Vajasaneyi School of the Yajur Veda – White Yajur Veda. The Vajasaneya Samhita consists of forty chapters and Isa Upanishad is the last of it. Unlike the other Upanishads, it is directly included in the Samhita itself as its final chapter, rather than as a separate section. White Yajurveda has two branches: vajasaneyi madhyandina (VSM), vajasaneyi kanva (VSK) and the Isa Upanishad appear in both with some variation.

The earlier 39 chapters refer to liturgies and procedures associated with rituals in detail. These are the contents of the forty chapters:
1-2: New and Full Moon sacrifices

3: Agnihotra (Fire Sacrifice)
4-8: Somayajna (Drink Sacrifice)
9-10: Vajapeya and Rajasuya, two modifications of the Soma sacrifice
11-18: Details regarding construction of altars and hearths, especially the Agnicayana
19.-21.: Sautramani, a ritual originally counteracting the effects of excessive Soma-drinking
22.-25.: Ashvamedha (horse sacrifice)
26.-29.: supplementary formulas for various rituals
30.-31.: Purushamedha (Sacrifice of Person Prajapathi – The Lord of Hosts)
32.-34.: Sarvamedha (All Sacrifice)
35.: Pitriyajna (Sacrifice to honor those who are dead)
36.-39.: Pravargya (Sacrifice associated with the restoration of the head of Prajapathi after he being beheaded by Rudra – The resurrection )

40.: Isha Upanishad

The Purushamedha described in the Yajurveda (VS 30–31) is of particular interest. These verses describes people from all classes and of all descriptions tied to a wooden stake (cross) and offered to Prajapati. Prajapati literally means Lord of Hosts. This re-enacts the creation of a new class of people dedicated to Prajapati. The Purusha Sukta describes the process of creation of man from the cosmic Purusha (Person of Isa) who is described as a human. The Purusha Medha is an enactment of the sacrifice of (Isa) Purusha that leads to creation and recreation. The ceremony evokes the mythical sacrifice of Purusha, the "Cosmic Man", and the officiating Brahman recites the Purusha sukta (RV 10.90 = AVS 5.19.6 = VS 31.1–16) indicating the continuous process of recreation of man in Isa.

The sacrifice of the creator himself in order to give life to the people and his resurrection are symbolized in most of these Levitical type rituals. It is at the end of these we have the Isa Upanishad!

It is written in poetry form indicating that it was supposed to be taught and memorized through generations. Scholars agree that this Upanishad mark the beginning of Monotheism in the Upanishads - hence its importance in the History of Indian Religions.

The Samhitâ of the White Yajur-veda is generally acknowledged to be of later origin than the Rig Veda and is written in Sanskrit. Since Sanskrit as a language came into existence only in the second century AD, the Upanishad itself must be placed after that period. It is important to note also that all scholars agree that Isa is one of the earliest Upanishads. Upanishads came into existence only after the ministry of Apostle Thomas in India. Thomas, the disciple of Jesus, came to India in A.D. 52 and had a twenty year old ministry all through India until his martyrdom in Mylapore, Madras, Tamil Nadu, India in A.D.72. His ministry extended from Taxila in the North to the Malabar Coast in the southern tip of India covering the entire subcontinent of India. Considering the impact of the ministry of other Apostles in Africa, Middle East and Europe, we cannot doubt the tremendous impact that the Ministry of Apostle Thomas Dydymus had in the Indian continent. The basic impact of Thomas in India was the radical change in the concept of God. The Three major religions of India at that time were Vedic (who were nature worshippers), Buddhist and Jain (who were atheists). However with the coming of Thomas, the concept of God changed radically – the concept of a Supreme God. This Upanishad expresses the concept of Isa as Paran (Lord; Yesu Paran = Jesus is Lord = Iswaran). The impact of this mission was that the name Isa and Iswaran came to be equivalent to God all through later Indian scriptures. From then on, the entire history of Indian Religions changed radically. Gnosticism which lost its ground in the rest of the west followed Christianity into India and eventually supplanted it to give rise to what we today call Hinduism through syncretism and myths and legends typical of Gnostic religions.

Isa Upanishad is evidently influenced by Christian concepts as acknowledged by all those who have come across it and introduces Isa as immanent in the cosmos as well as transcendent to it – a concept never found in the earlier Vedas. It also brought in the concept of Sin, Judgment, and Hell which are clearly expressed in this Upanishad. It continually repeats the phrase "Thus have we heard from the wise who taught us this" indicating that the message and teaching as something new and something heard and taught as opposed to the religious teachings current in India at the time and taught by the religious leaders of the period. Thus Isa Upanishad is a clear indication of the wide existence of "Christianity" throughout India soon after the ministry of Thomas. Gnostics who were the major opponents in the Europe for Christianity came to India in the second and third centuries. Isa was probably written when this conflict between the Way and the Gnostics were in their height and the major thrust of the Upanishad is the exposition of the fallacy of Vidyayam (Gnostic knowledge).

My contention here is that Isa Upanishad was one of the earliest Christian doctrinal treatises of India defending Christian Way against the on slought of Gnosticism of the second century.

The text itself must have undergone changes and redactions and additions. Since Yajur Veda itself is a collection of useful ritual liturgies and procedures, this is not surprising. This can to some extent traced when we compare the two known versions. The order of the Mantras differs in the Shukla Yajur Veda’s two sakhas. White Yajurveda has two branches: vajasaneyi madhyandina (VSM) (popular in North India, Gujarat, Maharashtra -north of Nasik) and northern parts of Orissa,), vajasaneyi kanva (VSK)( popular in Maharashtra -south of Nasik, Orissa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.). Here is the order of the mantras.







































As the comparison of the two branches indicates, mantras 17 and 18 are certainly later additions. Mantra 18 is a copy of Rig Veda verse so it was probably never really the part of the Isa Upanishad. It is omitted in Madhyandina version. Verses 15 – 18 were most probably added later than the earlier portions and are really used during the rituals of death and burial. Since we have no means of determining the time of writing or the sequence or modification made later we can be assured of the integrity of the first fourteen verses alone as really the part of the original Isa. The remaining verses may actually refer to lower gods indicating a redaction. But can be reinterpreted to the theme.

Isa as the manifest form of God appears only in one more Upanishad -this time in the The Svetasvatara Upanishad belonging to the Taittiriya school of the Yajur Veda. (Black Yajur-Veda). The emphasis is not on Brahman the Absolute, whose complete perfection does not admit of any change or evolution and cannot have any character or properties, but on the personal form of God as Isa, omniscient and omnipotent who is the manifested form of that indefinable. Svetasvatara Upanishad is of much later period and is essentially a Saivite Upanishad.

Svetasvatara Upanishad I:8     The Lord, Isa, supports all this which has been joined together—the perishable and the imperishable, the manifest, the effect and the unmanifest, the cause.
The same Lord, the Supreme Self, devoid of Lordship, becomes bound because of assuming the attitude of the enjoyer. The jiva again realizes the Supreme Self and is freed from all fetters.

sayuktam etat karam akara ca   vyaktāvyakta bʰarate viśvam īśa /
 anīśaś cātmā bad
ʰyate bʰoktr̥bʰāvāj   jñātvā deva mucyate sarvapāśai //

The interesting aspect of this particular verse is that it speaks of Isa, laying aside his Lordship and binding himself to the form of a man and it is this that leads to freedom from bondage. There are other variations of translations on the basis of Advaita which tries to avoid this interpretation.

Phil 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.


Svetasvatara Upanishad 3. 8
I know that mighty Person, sun-coloured beyond the darkness:
By knowing Him indeed a man surpasses Death;
No other path is there to go.

Isa in the Puranas

Puranas came into existence only much later. The dates of the various Puranas will give some idea of the time scale.

Vishnu Purana (4 C)

Brahmanda Purana (4 C)

Vayu Purana (5 C)

Bhagavata Purana (6/7 C)

Kurma Purana (7 C)

Agni Purana (8 C)

Narada Purana (10 C)

Brajma Purna (10 C)

Garuda Purana (10 C)

Skanda Purana (11/12 C)

Padma Purana (12/15 C)

Later than 15 C

Vishnu Dharmottara Purana

Narasimha Purana

Vahni Purana

Shiva Maha Purana

Devi Bhagvata Mahapurana


In some temples Siva is shown with five faces: Panchanana Siva. Each of the faces has a name and represents a specific aspect. These five faces are Isana, Tatpurusa, Aghora, Vamadeva and Sadyojata. Isana faces south east and represents Iswara aspect of Siva known as Sadasiva, or the Eternal Siva.

Panca-vaktra Siva (five forms of Siva with five faces) are Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusa, and Isana. (SB 8.7.29, Garuda Purana 1.21)

"Sleeping or awake, Siva is constantly absorbed in meditation on Krsna. As is Krsna, so is Sambhu; there is no difference between Madhava and Isa." (Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Prakriti Khanda 2.56.61)

As time went on Isa was degraded in the Puranas, from the Supreme Lord who pervades everything to a minor god.

By the time of Puranas Isa became a dikpala, a guardian of northeastern quarter, and an ekadasarudra, one of eleven rudras - as an aspect of Shiva - Eshana Rudra. He rides a goat or bull. His color is white, and attributes are five arrows, ax, drum, fruit, hatchet, hook, lute noose, rosary, and staff. He is three-eyed. This degradation went hand in hand with the intense fight between the Saivites and the Vaishnavites. The 11 Rudras are as follows:

1. Mahadeva, 2. Shiva , 3. Maha Rudra, 4. Shankara, 5. Neelalohita, 6. Eshana Rudra, 7. Vijaya Rudra, 8. Bheema Rudra, 9. Devadeva, 10. Bhavodbhava and 11. Adityatmaka Srirudra.

Worship is offered to Indra and Dikpalas (guardians of directions, Indra, Agni, Yama, Yaksa, Varuna, Vayu, Kubera, Isana, Brahma and Ananta who carry weapons: Vajra, (thunderbolt); Sakti, (energy); Danda (staff); Khadga (sword); Pasa, (noose); Ankusa (hooked goad) ; Gada, (mace); Sula (trident); Padma (lotus flower); and Chakra (discus).

Isana, Astadikpalas, Bhubanesvara

Holds mala (prayer beads), trisula (trident)
ca. 1000 CE, 975 CE - 1025 CE

Dikpalas Ishana Parshvanatha Temple Jain complex, Khajuraho His name means, simply, "the Lord." He holds a trident and bowl.

Isa in Buddhist Literature

The changes are reflected also in the Buddhist literature as Buddhism got syncretized with the Hindu Puranic gods. By the time of Buddhaghosa (5th century Indian Theravadin Buddhist) Isa is given a seat near Sakka (spoken of as "devánam indo,") chief (or king) of the devas. Sakka is king of both worlds, but lives in Távatimsa. Originally it was the abode of the Asuras; but when Mágha was born as Sakka and dwelt with his companions in Távatimsa he disliked the idea of sharing his realm with the Asuras, and, having made them intoxicated, he hurled them down to the foot of Sineru, where the Asurabhavana was later established. (KS.i.281, n.4).The story probably is telling history which is to be deciphered yet.

In the Tevijja Sutta (D.i.244) he is mentioned with Indra, Soma, Varuna, Pajápati and Brahmá, as being invoked by the Brahmins

Bhuridatta Jataka of the 13th C. A.D uses the word “issaro”  as Pali for Creator. (Thanks to Dr. A.P.Stone who helped in research in this area)

Isa in Tantric Literature

Tantra refers to sacred literature which appeared from the 5th century onward and focused mainly on Shiva, as the supreme Godhead. Later the emphasis was on the worship of Sakthi – The Goddess of Power or Cosmic energy. After the Gupta age ended in the 6th century the Tantric tradition heavily influenced Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. (MSN Encarta encyclopaedia)

In Tantra Sastra Shiva is the Supreme God. The Nirguna aspect of shiva is called Purusha and saguna aspects belong to Prakriti. Prakriti is called Sakthi. From Sakthi 'Nada' (Word - Vibration - Sound) comes, out of which Nada Bindu (Point source of energy) comes into existence. This has three components-Bindu, Nanda and Biju. Bindu originated Raudri and from Nada comes Jyesta. From Bija 'Vama' and Vishnu were emanated. They are called Jnana, Icha and Kriya - wisdom, will and action. When Bindu divides there arises a sound in an unmanifested form.

Sadasiva ->Isa ->Rudra ->Vishnu ->Brahman is the order of germination.

Shiva is one with Kala (Eternal Time).From Sadasiva the all pervading witness of the Universe came. From Sadasiva Isa; From Isa Rudra; From Rudra Vishnu and from Vishnu Brahma came. Thus in Tantra Saiva cult, Isa is the first manifest form of Sadasiva – the Father God

In the later Tantric literature, there are five Sivas: Sadasiva, Isa, Rudra, Vishnu, and Brahma; all of them are described as "Five Great corpses" because they are all inert without Sakti. Siva is Sava; hence, Sakti is portrayed as standing on Sava-Siva. The Five Great Corpses (pancha-maha-preta) become inanimate objects upon which Devi sits, reclines, presides, and merges as Consciousness. Siva is the couch; Sadasiva is the mattress; Isa is the pillow; Isa, Rudra, Hari (Vishnu), and Brahma are the four legs of the couch.

Thus by the Sixth century Isa became just a leg of the couch.

Here is the text as given in Sanskrit.

॥ अथ ईशोपनिषत् ॥

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते ।

पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥

ॐ शांतिः शांतिः शांतिः ॥

1. ॐ ईशा वास्यमिदँ सर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत् ।

तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्यस्विद्धनम् ॥१॥

2. कुर्वन्नेवेह कर्माणि जिजीविषेच्छतँ समाः ।

एवं त्वयि नान्यथेतोऽस्ति न कर्म लिप्यते नरे ॥२॥

3. असुर्या नाम ते लोका अन्धेन तमसाऽऽवृताः ।

ताँस्ते प्रेत्याभिगच्छन्ति ये के चात्महनो जनाः ॥३॥

4. अनेजदेकं मनसो जवीयो नैनद्देवा आप्नुवन्पूर्वमर्षत् ।

तद्धावतोऽन्यानत्येति तिष्ठत्तस्मिन्नपो मातरिश्वा दधाति ॥४॥

5. तदेजति तन्नैजति तद्दूरे तद्वन्तिके ।

तदन्तरस्य सर्वस्य तदु सर्वस्यास्य बाह्यतः ॥५॥

6. यस्तु सर्वाणि भूतान्यात्मन्येवानुपश्यति ।

सर्वभूतेषु चात्मानं ततो न विजुगुप्सते ॥६॥

7.यस्मिन्सर्वाणि भूतान्यात्मैवाभूद्विजानतः ।

तत्र को मोहः कः शोक एकत्वमनुपश्यतः ॥७॥

8. स पर्यगाच्छुक्रमकायमव्रण-मस्नाविरँ शुद्धमपापविद्धम् ।

कविर्मनीषी परिभूः स्वयम्भू-र्याथातथ्यतोऽर्थान्

व्यदधाच्छाश्वतीभ्यः समाभ्यः॥८॥

9. अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति येऽविद्यामुपासते ।

ततो भूय इव ते तमो य उ विद्यायाँ रताः ॥९॥

10. अन्यदेवाहुर्विद्ययाऽन्यदाहुरविद्यया ।

इति शुश्रुम धीराणां ये नस्तद्विचचक्षिरे ॥१०॥

11. विद्यां चाविद्यां च यस्तद्वेदोभयँ सह ।

अविद्यया मृत्युं तीर्त्वा विद्ययाऽमृतमश्नुते ॥११॥

12. अन्धं तमः प्रविशन्ति येऽसम्भूतिमुपासते ।

ततो भूय इव ते तमो य उ सम्भूत्याँ रताः ॥१२॥

13. अन्यदेवाहुः सम्भवादन्यदाहुरसम्भवात् ।

इति शुश्रुम धीराणां ये नस्तद्विचचक्षिरे ॥१३॥

14. सम्भूतिं च विनाशं च यस्तद्वेदोभयँ सह ।

विनाशेन मृत्युं तीर्त्वा सम्भूत्याऽमृतमश्नुते ॥१४॥

15. हिरण्मयेन पात्रेण सत्यस्यापिहितं मुखम् ।

तत्त्वं पूषन्नपावृणु सत्यधर्माय दृष्टये ॥१५॥

16. पूषन्नेकर्षे यम सूर्य प्राजापत्य व्यूह रश्मीन् समूह तेजः ।

यत्ते रूपं कल्याणतमं तत्ते पश्यामि

योऽसावसौ पुरुषः सोऽहमस्मि ॥१६॥

17. वायुरनिलममृतमथेदं भस्मांतँ शरीरम् ।

ॐ क्रतो स्मर कृतँ स्मर क्रतो स्मर कृतँ स्मर ॥१७॥

18. अग्ने नय सुपथा राये अस्मान् विश्वानि देव वयुनानि विद्वान् ।

युयोध्यस्मज्जुहुराणमेनो भूयिष्ठां ते नमउक्तिं विधेम ॥१८॥

॥ इति ईशोपनिषत् ॥

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते ।

पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥

ॐ शांतिः शांतिः शांतिः ॥


Om purnamadah purnamidam purnat purnamudacyate
purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavasisyate
Om santih santih santih

Isavasyamidam sarvam yatkiñca jagatyam jagat |
tena tyaktena bhuñjitha ma grdhah kasyasvid dhanam || 1 ||

kurvanneveha karmani jijivisecchatam samah |
evam tvayi nanyatheto'sti na karma lipyate nare ||2||

asurya nama te loka andhena tamasa'vrtah |
tamste pretyabhigacchanti ye ke catmahano janah || 3 ||

anejadekam manaso javiyo nainaddeva apnuvanpurvamarsat |
taddhavato'nyanatyeti tisthattasminnapo matarisva dadhati || 4 ||

tadejati tannaijati taddure tadvantike |
tadantarasya sarvasya tadu sarvasya bahyatah || 5 ||

yastu sarvani bhutanyatmanyevanupasyati |
sarvabhutesu catmanam tato na vijugupsate || 6 ||

yasminsarvani bhutanyatmaivabhudvijanatah |
tatra ko mohah kah soka ekatvamanupasyatah ||7 ||

sa paryagacchukramakayamavranamasnaviram suddhamapapaviddham
kavirmanisi paribhuh svayambhuryathatathyato'rthan

vyadadhacchasvatibhyah samabhyah || 8 ||

andham tamah pravisanti ye'vidyamupasate |
tato bhuya iva te tamo ya u vidyayam ratah || 9 ||

anyadevahurvidyaya'nyadahuravidyaya |
iti susruma dhiranam ye nastadvicacaksire || 10 ||

vidyam cavidyam ca yastadvedobhayam saha |
avidyaya mrtyum tirtva vidyaya'mrtamasnute ||11 ||

andham tamah pravisanti ye'sambhutimupasate |
tato bhuya iva te tamo ya u sambhutyam ratah || 12 ||

anyadevahuh sambhavadanyadahurasambhavat |
iti susruma dhiranam ye nastadvicacaksire || 13 ||

sambhutim ca vinasam ca yastadvedobhayam saha |
vinasena mrtyum tirtva sambhutya'mrtamasnute || 14 ||

hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham |
tat tvam pusannapavrnu satyadharmaya drstaye || 15 ||

pusannekarse yama surya prajapatya vyuha rasmin |
samuha tejah yat te rupam kalyanatamam tat te pasyami ||16||

vayur anilam amrtam athedam bhasmantam sariram

om krato smara krtam smara krato smara krtam smara ||17||

agne naya supatha raye asman visvani deva vayunani vidvan

yuyodhy asmaj juhuranam eno bhuyistham te nama uktim vidhema ||18||


Translation and Commentary



Om purnamadah purnamidam purnat purnamudacyate
purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavasisyate
Om santih santih santih

The Word which is complete is complete in itself.
From it was produced this complete creation.
Yet the complete still remains complete.

Om—Word, Logos;
pürnam— complete;
idam—this phenomenal world;
pürnät— from the perfect;
udacyate—is produced;

pürnasya—of the Complete Whole is;
ädäya— having been taken away;
pürnam—the complete

avasisyate—remainder, what is left

Om ! That is full; this is full, (for) from the full the full (indeed) arises. When the full is taken from the full, what remains is full indeed. Om ! Peace ! Peace ! Peace ! (Panoli)

The official explanation in the Upanishad for AUM is that it consists of three sounds representing the three persons within the Godhead, but forming one united sound that creates – the concept of One in Three Persons. It also introduces the fullness or the substance of God as represented by the silence that follows or the totality of the syllable. The Word was the first expression of God through which the whole cosmos – living and the nonliving – visible and the invisible – were all created.

The study of the sacred sound Om indicates that it is the representation of the Logos concept. In fact John 1:1 is replicated in exact form in the later Indian scriptures. The earliest direct references are found in the later Upanishads Prashna Upanishad and Mandukya. On the other hand Om is inscribed in all Kerala Christian Churches of antiquity at the entrance.

Joh 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.

It is the Word that creates from exnihilo. Hence both that creates and that is created are complete without within the complete. Isa did not create anything from within so that some thing was lost by the Word.

Gen 1:3 And God said, "Let there be" ……. and there was…….And God saw that it was good.

If one looks even deeper, the whole of Kabala and the threefold tree reaching into the unknown darkness encased in the ineffable name of YHVH can be seen in the Upanishadic teachings. It goes far deeper than the simple logos of the Greek.

In contrast, the later Hindu trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara of today) with its intricate mythologies are based on the dialectics of good and evil and their interaction, a feature borrowed from the Gnosticism - after the coming of Manichaean the Persian Gnostic. This was the basic conflict on which Manicheans were declared heretics by the early churches everywhere in the world. The AUM on the other hand is the Christian "Word", and represents the Trinity based on Love and not on conflict.

The symbol and mantra AUM emerged in Indian scene soon after the mission of St.Thomas the Apostle and were seen only after that time. All early churches in Kerala had used this as the Christian symbol and they appear at the entrance of the seven original churches established by Thomas.

The Bible makes a clear distinction between the Creator and created beings, yet as the invocation affirms Isa never cease to be God, nor can the created be God though it is perfect and complete within itself. Isa did not depend on any preexisting entity separate from himself—no preexisting stuff, no autonomous principles, no other gods. There were no two eternals – Purusha and Prakriti. (God and Nature). God is the source of all being, and non-being. Nothing exists self-sufficiently apart from this God.

The creation by Word – Om as the creative principle implies two realities:

(1) God is a personal being and not a principle.

(2) The world exists by a personal act, namely, an effected word spoken by God.

In all Indian Vedic, Buddhist and Jain religions, gods were just a class within the cosmos and were governed and controlled by the eternal science of the cosmos. These laws were essentially the cycle of birth, decay, death, and rebirth. In a sense it makes Prakriti – the Physical Universe with all its Laws – as the God of gods and man. It is here Isa Upanishad comes in sharp contrast with the previous religions of India. God is absolutely free, and the world, is an absolutely free act by this absolutely free God. God is beyond any cosmic principles which he imposed on it. He is still capable of transforming and recreating it and is in fact doing it. Since the Perfect God created the world, He created it perfect too. If there is decay or death it has to be explained in terms of the God who controls the cosmos. They are there not without a purpose.


Mantra One

Isavasyamidam sarvam yatkiñca jagatyam jagat |
tena tyaktena bhuñjitha ma grdhah kasyasvid dhanam || 1 ||

Jesus is immanent in this entire universe –
whatever in this universe, animate or inanimate.
By Him is given sacrificially what is given for your enjoyment.
Therefore do not try to gain some one else’s wealth.

Isa—Jesus ;
äväsyam—immanent, pervaded ;
or Isa vasyam = Jesus lives
idam—in this;
yat kina—whatever; whatsoever
jagatyäm—within the universe or cosmos
jagat— the world (both animate and inanimate)
tena—by Him;
tyaktena— sacrificially; willingly ; granted;
bhunjithä— what is given accept or enjoy;
mä—do not;
gådhaù—try to gain, crave for, seek;
kasya svit—someone else’s;

"The world is swaddled in the glory of the Lord.

Renounce it and enjoy it. Do not covet anyone's wealth." (trans. P. Lal)

"Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong." (trans. Prabhupada)

All this, whatsoever moves on earth, is to be hidden in the Lord. When thou hast surrendered all this, then thou mayest enjoy. Do not covet the wealth of any man. (trans. Max Muller)

All this should be covered by the Lord, whatsoever moves on the earth. By such a renunciation protect (thyself). Covet not the wealth of others. Panoli

The name of God as Isa stands in sharp contrast to the Devas of the Pre-Christian Period. It is a personal name as opposed to a generic name for god. The name appears only in the post Christian Upanishads written in Sanskrit. The concept of Parameshwara originally comes from the concept of El Elyon which is translated as The Most High God as in Gen 14:18 where Melchiz’edek king of Salem was called the priest of God Most High, maker of heaven and earth. He blessed Abraham in the name of the God Most High and then onwards Abraham himself swore in that name in Gen 14:22.

Regarding the starting word “Isavasya” this is what the Sanskrit Scholar Dr. A. Stone states:  “It is clear that the first word, ii;saa, could theoretically be a proper noun in compound with the second word (which might begin aa- or with no vowel), OR the instrumental singular of either ii;s or ii;sa or ii;saa.“  If this is true then this upanishad specifically is naming Jesus as God.

The Hebrew name of the person whom we refer as Jesus was

  Yehoshuav which is rendered in English as Joshua . A shortened form of the name is Yeshua from which we get the Dravidian translation through St. Thomas as Yesu, Easow, Isa, Iswara

In contrast, the name given in Greco-Roman culture is derived from their context as follows: When the good news of the gospel was translated into to the Greco- Roman culture by Paul and his group it was rendered in Greek as Iesous , pronounced as Yesous. Y in some languages is pronounced as J (ya as ja) rendering it as JESUS. While we have no hesitation to accept the name Jesus, even though it is only a Greco-Roman version of the real name, we should have no problem in seeing the name Isa, Maheswara, Parameshwara as equivalent to Jesus. Evidently this was brought into Indian scenario by Thomas who arrived in India by 52 AD and traveled all around into for twenty years and was finally martyred in 72 AD in Madras, Tamil Nadu.

In fact there is no Isa in Hinduism. However as the Gnostic infiltration took away the historical Jesus, Isa was replaced with any favorite deity name according to which religious sect quoted it. Thus Vaishnavite equate Isa with Hari or Krishna, and Saivite with Siva. It is not difficult for any reader to see what was happening.

The first part is a clear statement of the doctrine of immanence of God. That God is specified as Isa. It also implies that everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled by Jesus. Since the creation came out of God through the Word it is still within Godhead. This doctrine is the doctrine of immanence of God. It is this necessary logic that is enunciated in the first Mantra of Isa Upanishad. Immanence is a difficult concept as long as we think if the space- time four dimensional terms. But cosmos consists of many dimensions and hence allows for a meaningful possible understanding of immanence. But God is immanent.  He is inside all that He has made as well as outside.  He is the Sustainer and Preserver. He is the source of all power and all beauty.  Nothing could continue to exist for a moment if He were not continually keeping it in being.

This unity of the cosmos in God implies certain responsibilities to all sentient beings. That is to share the cosmos with each other in Love.

Gal 5:13 -15 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another.


Mantra Two

kurvanneveha karmani jijivisecchatam samah |
evam tvayi nanyatheto'sti na karma lipyate nare ||2||

If a man wishes to live a full life on this world,
he should live doing his duties.
There is no other way for man
than to do the work as is given to him.

kurvan = doing;
eva = only, even, thus;
iha = here, in this world, while a human being;
karman.i = (prescribed) actions, duties, works;
jijıvis.et = jıvitum.icchet = desire to live;
satam.samah.= a hundred (years) equivalent, a full life;
evam.= thus, in this way;
tvayi = for you;
na =not;
anyatha = otherwise, different;
itah.= from this;
asti = there is;
karma = work
lipyate = stains,taints, bound, given;
nare = to man.

Though a man may wish to live a hundred years, performing works, it will be thus with him; but not in any other way: work will thus not cling to a man (Trans. Max Muller)

By performing karma in this world (as enjoined by the scriptures) should one yearn to live a hundred years. Thus action does not bind thee, the doer. There is no other way than this. (Panoli)

Obeying the commandments of God, and living a life in consonance with it, is the only way to live a long life on this earth. Going against the rules of the cosmos will only hurt those who violate it. But living in consonance with the laws, one can enjoy it and live a fulfilled life.

Deu 4:25-26 "When you beget children and children's children, and have grown old in the land, if you act corruptly by making a graven image in the form of anything, and by doing what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, so as to provoke him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you will soon utterly perish from the land which you are going over the Jordan to possess; you will not live long upon it, but will be utterly destroyed.

Deu 11:8-9 "You shall therefore keep all the commandment which I command you this day, that you may be strong, and go in and take possession of the land which you are going over to possess, and that you may live long in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.


Mantra Three

asurya nama te loka andhena tamasa'vrtah |
tamste pretyabhigacchanti ye ke catmahano janah || 3 ||

People who harm the soul
will go into the dark worlds
which is covered in blind darkness after death.

asuryäh—sunless ;
nämate— by the name;
andhena—blinding ;
ävrtäh— covered, enveloped;
pretyabhi —after death;
gacchanti—goes into, are trapped into, fall into;
ye ke—those who;
ätma—hanaù—harm the soul;

There are the worlds of the Asuras covered with blind darkness. Those who have destroyed their self (who perform works, without having arrived at a knowledge of the true Self), go after death to those worlds. (trans. Max Muller)

Here Muller equates Asurya (sunless) with Asura which has no connection at all. Asura in the Hindu thought are those who were born of the breath of the Lord as Blavinsky points out.

Mat 8:11-12 I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth."

In the Bible the hell is described as outer darkness as given in Isa Upanishad.

Says Swami Vivekananda: "In the Vedas, there is no mention of hell. But our Puranas, the later works of our scriptures, thought that no religion could be complete, unless hells are attached to it, and so they invented all sorts of hells" (Complete Works 1:400).

"The concept of heaven and hell evolved at a later stage when we find such amendments in the Veda as "Go thou to the heaven or to the earth, according to thy merit…"

(http://hinduism.about.com/library/weekly /aa051401a.htm).

In fact Hell and Heaven are interposed between incarnations to make space in the Hindu system. The concept of Hell is alien to pre-Christian Indian thought. It has no place in the reincarnation cycle. This is because if Heaven and Hell are rewards or Punishments for the Karma, then Karma Phala is paid for and further incarnations become redundant. For Vedics and Buddhists and Jains, this living. in a decaying world was the hell.

In contrast Isa Upanishad proposes a Hell in direct consonance with the early Christian concept of Hell – a place of punishment for the sins of this age.

Especially of interest is the Vayu Purana which describes hell graphically. Since this was written during the medieval era, it is certain that it is borrowed from Christianity. The four-square city of Yama, the God of Death, simulates pearly city of heavenly Jerusalem in Revelation.


Vayu Purana

CHAPTERS I to VII deal with Hells.
CHAPTER XIV deals with Heaven

CHAPTER III. An Account of the Torments of Yama

34. There is one big tree there, glowing like a blazing fire. It covers five yojanas and is one yojana in height.

35. Having bound them on the tree by chains, head downwards, they beat them. They, for whom there is no rescuer, cry, burning there.

36. Many sinful ones are hung on that silk-cotton tree, exhausted by hunger and thirst, and beaten by the messengers of Yama. 49. Some of the sinful are cut with saws, like firewood, and others thrown flat on the ground, are chopped into pieces with axes.

50. Some, their bodies half-buried in a pit, are pierced in the head with arrows. Others, fixed in the middle of a machine, are squeezed like sugar-cane.

An Account of the City of the King of Justice.

In the middle of the city, is the very resplendent mansion of the king of justice. It is shining with jewels, and splendid like lightning, flame and the sun.

It is certainly two hundred yojanas in extent, and measures fifty yojanas in height.

It is supported by thousands of pillars, decorated with emeralds, ornamented with gold, and is full of palaces and mansions,

Pleasing to the mind with cupolas of the splendour of the autumnal sky; with beautiful crystal stairways and walls beautified with diamonds,




Mantra Four

anejadekam manaso javiyo nainaddeva apnuvanpurvamarsat |
taddhavato'nyanatyeti tisthattasminnapo matarisva dadhati || 4 ||

Although fixed in His abode,
the one who has no beginning
is swifter than the mind and can overcome all others running.
The powerful gods cannot approach Him.
Although in one place,
He supplies even the (rain and wind) life giving spirit to all living.

anejad— not trembling, free of all fear, fixed;
manaso—with the mind;
inad—this one;
devä—gods ;
äpnuvan—can approach; comprehend, know fully
pürvam—in front; from before, since beginningless time;
arsat—moving quickly; knowing (freely and from His own nature);
dhävato—those who are running;
atyeti—surpasses overtake;
tisthat—remaining in one place;
tasmin—in Him;
mätarisvä—the god of wind and rain; Mukhya Pran, Life giving Spirit

That one (the Self), though never stirring, is swifter than thought. The Devas (senses) never reached it, it walked before them. Though standing still, it overtakes the others who are running. Matarisvan (the wind, the moving spirit) bestows powers on it. (trans. Max Muller)

Unmoving, It is one, faster than the mind. The senses cannot reach It, for It proceeds ahead. Remaining static It overtakes others that run. On account of Its presence, Matarsiva (the wind) conducts the activities of beings. (Panoli)

This verse is the statement of Omnipotence of Isa. Omnipotence is power with no limits. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence only to God. In the philosophy of most Western monotheistic religions, omnipotence is listed as one of God's characteristics among many, including omniscience, omnipresence, and benevolence.Isa Upanishad defines Isa with exactly these four characteristics.

Act 17:27-29 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.'

Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent.


Mantra 5

tadejati tannaijati taddure tadvantike |
tadantarasya sarvasya tadu sarvasya bahyatah || 5 ||

He moves but does not move;
He is far away, yet He is very near;
He is everywhere of this and even outside of this.

tat—From Him;
na ejati— moves not
düre—far away;
antike—very near, by the side;
antaù—within, inside;
asya—of this;
sarvasya—of all, in all;
sarvasya—of all;
asya—of this;

It stirs and it stirs not; it is far, and likewise near. It is inside of all this, and it is outside of all this. (trans, Max Muller)

The Transcendence and Immanence of Isa are a pair of necessary truths, which must be held together.

To emphasize either side and neglect the other is to fall into serious error.  To believe in God's transcendence and to neglect His immanence is to fall into Deism.  To believe in His immanence and to neglect His transcendence is to fall into Pantheism.

The word transcendence comes from tran-ascend is thus to surpass or excel or move beyond something. The Christian doctrine of God, divine transcendence refers to God being beyond anything that is other than God. In Christian theology what’s other than God is, by definition, the creation.

Immanence denotes the ongoing presence and activity of God in creation.

God both transcends creation and is immanent in it. As immanent in creation, God sustains and preserves the creation, down to the smallest details. It is not a mechanical world which is wound and then goes by itself.

This verse is an emphasis on the balance of the notion of immanence and transcendence. Because of the immanence he does not have to move or change. He is already everywhere at the same time he is beyond this cosmos itself. On the personal level you cannot hide from Him. Thus this verse defines the Omnipresence of Isa.

"He is near and also very far" (yadduure yadvantike);

"He is within and without" (tadantarasya sarvasya tadu sarvasya baahyatah.);

"He moves and yet does not move" (taddhaavato’nyaanatyeti tis.t.hat)


Mantra Six

yastu sarvani bhutanyatmanyevanupasyati |
sarvabhutesu catmanam tato na vijugupsate || 6 ||

He who perceives the spirit of God in all beings ,
and perceives the immanence of God in everything ,
does not entertain any hatred and does not hide it.

yah—he who;
tu- but;
sarvani—in all;
bhütäni—beings, creatures, objects, sentient beings;
ätmani—the Spirit ;
anupasyati—perceives; excellently beholds, clearly understands;
sarva-bhüteñu—in every living being;
ätmänam—the ruler of the soul;
vijugupsate— wish to hide or seek concealment.

And he who beholds all beings in the Self, and the Self in all beings, he never turns away from it. (trans, Max Muller)

Max Muller seems to identify the Spirit with Self all through his translation possibly because of the influence of Advaita, though it is not warranted anywhere as such.

One who sees all animate and inanimate nature from the point of view of Isa (for He exists outside them and is their support), and also sees the Spirit of Isa in all of them (for He exists in them, and is their controller from within), has no reason to hate anything or anyone. Everyperson is created by Isa and guides them. What is enunciated here is not the identity of God in persons – not the"I am God" concept, but the presence of the spirit of God in the creation especially in the sentient beings.

In Christianity it is the presented as the concept of the "Children of God" – people in whom the Spirit of God resides. In that sense all living has the Spirit of God, because it is the Spirit that gives life. In the genealogy of Jesus Luke ends up as (Luk 3:38) Adam, the son of God. Theosis, (also called divinization, deification, or transforming union) was one of the most important of early Christian doctrines which was probably brought into India by Thomas. When united with Jesus willingly every person transforms himself into the image of the Son of God.

"In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself." —Ephesians 4:13

This is the basic Eastern Theology of Theosis – that all creation is within God, and all sentient beings are the Children of God with potentiality to be like Christ himself as we grow in Him. C.S. Lewis got the spirit of it in the following statements.

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship. . ." —C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

"God said that we were "gods" and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him-for we can prevent Him if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for."—C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 174-5

"Morality is indispensable: but the Divine Life, which gives itself to us and which calls us to be gods, intends for us something in which morality will be swallowed up. We are to be remade. . . . we shall find underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy." —C. S. Lewis, The Grand Miracle, p.

The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons... From the beginning until now, the entire creation has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. —Rom. 8:19, 22-23

May they all be one, Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me, and I am in you, so that the world may believe that it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory which you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one that the world will realise that it was you who sent me, and that I have loved them as much as you loved me. —John 17:21-23


Mantra Seven

yasminsarvani bhutanyatmaivabhudvijanatah |
tatra ko mohah kah soka ekatvamanupasyatah ||7 ||

One who has known that the spirit of God is present in everything,
he will realize that sorrow and pain are transient.

yasmin—in the situation;
bhütäni—living entities;
ätmä— spirit within
abhüt—present, exist within;
vijänataù—of one who knows; who understands
tatra—that person;
mohaù—illusion, delusion, transient;
anupaçyataù—perceives well

"One who always sees all living entities as spiritual sparks, in quality one with the Lord, becomes a true knower of things. What, then, can be illusion or anxiety for him?" (trans. Prabhupada)

It is the nature of the present world of this age to have pain and sorrow. Since God is the creator and upholder of this world, the perceiver should know that it is only transient and is here for a purpose.



Mantra Eight

sa paryagacchukramakayamavranamasnaviram
suddhamapapaviddham kavirmanisi paribhuh
vyadadhacchasvatibhyah samabhyah || 8 ||

It is He who pervades all—
He, who is bright and bodiless, without sinews, pure and untouched by evil;
who is omniscient, transcendent and uncreated, self existent,
He has duly allotted respective purposes from ages to ages.

saù—that person; he;
paryagät—having attained;
chukram—the omnipotent; free from sorrow
akäyam—unembodied; lacking a subtle body;
avranam—complete, not suffering from limitations of time, space or capacity
asnäviram—without veins;
suddham—pure, holy
apäpa-viddham—without sin;
manéñé—one who controls the minds;
paribhüù—the greatest of all;
yäthätathyataù— as is
arthän—desirables; entities, objects
vyadadhät—awards; created, ordained or determined purpose
çhasvatibhyac—immemorial; eternal
samäbhyaù—time, years, ages.

"Far-sighted, wise, encompassing, he self-existent hath prescribed aims, as propriety demands, unto the everlasting Years" (trans. Griffith)

He (the Self) encircled all, bright, incorporeal, scatheless, without muscles, pure, untouched by evil ; a seer, wise, omnipresent, self-existent, he disposed all things rightly for eternal years. (trans, Max Muller)

"Such a person must factually know [paryagat] the greatest of all, the Personality of Godhead [shukram], who is unembodied, omniscient, beyond reproach, without veins, pure and uncontaminated, the self-sufficient philosopher who has been fulfilling everyone's desire since time immemorial." (trans. Prabhupada)

Col 1:15 - 17 He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

This God who loves the creation works out the purposes of this age as well as the purposes of the ages to come to fulfill his ultimate purpose of bringing the creation unto himself.

Behold I make ALL things new.


Mantra Nine

andham tamah pravisanti ye'vidyamupasate |
tato bhuya iva te tamo ya u vidyayam ratah || 9 ||

Into a blind darkness they enter who are devoted to ignorance;
but into a greater darkness they enter who engage in Gnosis.

andham tamaù— blinding darkness;
praviçanti—enter into; obtain
ye—those who;
avidyäm— out of ignorance
tataù—than that; and then
bhüyaù—still more; greater
ye—those who;
vidyäyäm—with knowledge; Gnosis

All who worship what is not real knowledge (good works), enter into blind darkness : those who delight in real knowledge, enter, as it were, into greater darkness. (trans. Max Muller)

Those who worship avidya (karma born of ignorance) go to pitch darkness, but to a greater darkness than this go those who are devoted to Vidya (knowledge of the Devatas). (Vidyavachaspati V. Panoli)

Salvation does not come with works or knowledge. So those who follow karmic path goes into darkness, those who follow intellectual inquiry goes into greater darkness. You cannot know God through your actions nor through your intellect because even though he is present in the world he is also beyond it.

Sankaracharya could not explain this passage since both the avidyam and the vidyayam both go into darkness. Rituals cannot save man, nor can good deeds, nor knowledge. Knowledge is usually associated with the Gnosticism. Gnosticism (the Congress of Messina) distinguished between "gnosis" in general as "knowledge of the divine mysteries reserved for an elite" and "Gnosticism" proper which is characterized by the notion that a divine spark has fallen into our world, is entrapped in the soul of man, and must be awakened by a divine aspect or counterpart of the self so that it can be raised and reintegrated with the divine sphere. This group was a second century development which entered into India. India later became the center of Gnosticism. What we know today as Hinduism is nothing but Gnosticism of India. It is this Gnosticism that is referred to here as Vidya.

The name is derived from the Greek word "gnosis" which literally means "knowledge."  However, the English words "Insight" and "enlightenment" capture more of the meaning of "gnosis."  Knowledge (gnosos) is not achieved through a purely cognitive procedure. Yoga, Tapas, dialectic, and reflection are the means to enter into the divine realm to which it is cosubstantial. The mantra categorically rejects that idea of salvation through Karma (work) as well as through Jnana (Knowledge).

Tit 3:5-7 he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.



Mantra Ten

anyadevahurvidyaya'nyadahuravidyaya |
iti susruma dhiranam ye nastadvicacaksire || 10 ||

One thing, they say, is obtained through intellectual knowledge;
another, they say, from work.
Thus we have heard from the wise who have taught us this.

anyat—different; the other
ähuù—they said;
vidyayä— knowledge;
avidyayä— non-knowledge;
çuçruma—we have heard;
dhéräëäm—from the persons of sound understanding;
naù—to us;

One thing, they say, is obtained from real knowledge; another, they say, from what is not knowledge. Thus we have heard from the wise who taught us this. ( Max Muller)

Some people including Sankara interprets Avidya as Rituals and Vidya as Knowledge. Gnostic teachers taught that there were a vast number of lesser gods or divine emanations that emanated from the One true God. Hence we have here the association of Vidya with lesser gods. Both Rituals and Knowledge leads to destruction. The rewards for following work and following the lower gods of nature are different, Both do not lead to salvation. They can provide temporary gains. Each act has its own reward.


Mantra Eleven

vidyam cavidyam ca yastadvedobhayam saha |
avidyaya mrtyum tirtva vidyaya'mrtamasnute ||11 ||

He who is aware that both
knowledge and the truth beyond knowledge should be pursued together,
overcomes death through non- knowledge
and obtains immortality through knowledge.

vidyäm—intellectual knowledge
avidyäm—non-knowledge; rituals, works;
yaù—a person who;
avidyayä—through non-knowledge; trans-knowledge
tértvä—transcending; overcome
vidyayä— knowledge;
amrtam—deathlessness, immortality;
açnute—enjoys, obtains

He who knows at the same time both knowledge and non-knowledge, overcomes death through non-knowledge, and obtains immortality through knowledge (trans. Max Muller)

It has two statements:

- Through Knowledge or Vidyaya you obtain immortality
- Through Non-Knowledge or avidyaya you overcome death.

You cannot overcome death by yourself however learned you are. For that you need to go back to Isa who alone overcame death in his own body. But knowing him and submitting yourself to him you will be able to live a righteous life leading to immortality. In this sense you need both together to be redeemed. Just having one will only lead to death.

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit;

1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.

Col 1:21-23 And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven,

Col 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.


Mantra Twelve

andham tamah pravisanti ye'sambhutimupasate |
tato bhuya iva te tamo ya u sambhutyam ratah || 12 ||

All who worship
what is not god, enter into blind darkness:
those who delight in the gods, enter, into greater darkness.

andham tamaù—pitch darkness;
praviçanti—enter into, obtain
ye—those who;
asambhütim— not true God
upäsate—worship, meditate;
tataù—than that;
bhüyaù—still more, greater;
iva— undoubtedly;
sambhütyäm—the god;

All who worship what is not the true cause, enter into blind darkness: those who delight in the true cause, enter, as it were, into greater darkness.(trans. Max Muller)

Those who follow work without concern for God enter into blind darkness. But those who worship other gods will go into still more deeper darkness.


Mantra Thirteen

anyadevahuh sambhavadanyadahurasambhavat |
iti susruma dhiranam ye nastadvicacaksire || 13 ||

One thing, they say,
is obtained from the worship of Isa;
another, they say, from the worship of the not-Isa.
Thus we have heard from the wise who taught us this.

anyat—different, the other;
ähuù—it is said;
sambhavät—by worshiping the true God who is the cause of all causes;
ähuù—it is said;
asambhavät—by worshiping what is not the true God
çuçruma—I heard it;
dhéräëäm—from the wise
naù—unto us;
tat—about that vicacakñire—perfectly explained.


One thing, they say, is obtained from (knowledge of) the cause; another, they say, from (knowledge of) what is not the cause. Thus we have heard from the wise who taught us this.(trans. Max Muller)

There are all sorts of beings in the cosmos with varying degrees of freedom and power. If one worships these beings, they do confer what they can. If you worship wealth (Lakshmi) you get wealth, if you worship Knowledge (Saraswathi) you get knowledge. But none of those will lead to redemption from decay and death – moksha. That comes only through the worship of Isa. Worship of devas (demigods) is condemned in favour of worship of Isa only, for worship of anything other than the Isa brings about different results. The reward for correct worship is given as a future life of eternity, bliss and knowledge.



Mantra Fourteen

sambhutim ca vinasam ca yastadvedobhayam saha |
vinasena mrtyum tirtva sambhutya'mrtamasnute || 14 ||

He who knows at the same time
both Isa and the reason for the destruction of our body,
obtains the eternal Kingdom of God and will enjoy it after death.

sambhütim— The knowledge of true God
vinäçam— Destruction
yas—one who;
veda— scripture;
ubhayam— both;
saha—along with;
vinäçena—to destruction ;
sam—bhütyä—in the eternal kingdom of God;

He who knows at the same time both the cause and the destruction (the perishable body), overcomes death by destruction (the perishable body), and obtains immortality through (knowledge of ) the true cause.(trans. Max Muller)

What is implied here is the temporal law of decay and death. the cause of pain and suffering has a reason. That reason lie in the knowledge of Isa itself and the redemption also lie in Isa. The shocking revelation here is that decay and death are not the normal order of Isa’s creation. Decay and death was imposed on creation caused by promulgating Self as the Supreme, bringing harm to the rest of the beings. In Christian terms it is called Sin – Selfishness – I am separate from the rest of the cosmos.

Rom 8:20-24 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.


Isa Upanishad verses 15-18 are recited at the time of death, even today by Hindus, in their funeral rites. We are required to remember our past deeds follow the departing soul and they determine the nature of the future life. 


Mantra Fifteen

hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham |
tat tvam pusannapavrnu satyadharmaya drstaye || 15 ||

The Truth is concealed with a golden cover.
Unveil it, O sustainer,
so that the true worshippers may behold the Truth.

hiraëmayena—by a golden effulgence;
satyasya—of the truth;
apihitam—covered, concealed;
mukham—the face;
tat—that ;
püsaan—O sustainer;
apävrnu—kindly remove;
dharmäya—unto the devotee;

The door of the True is covered with a golden disk. Open that, O Pushan, that we may see the nature of the True.(trans. Max Muller)

The Gnostics cover the truth with great many words of apparent wisdom and logic. Once those golden cover is removed, we will be able to see the truth. Truth is for everyone and for the select few or initiated. You can however hinder the truth from being seen with golden cover as is done by the gnosis people.

Col 2:21-23 Why do you submit to regulations, "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch" (referring to things which all perish as they are used), according to human precepts and doctrines? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor of devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh.



Mantra Sixteen

pusannekarse yama surya prajapatya vyuha rasmin |
samuha tejah yat te rupam kalyanatamam tat te pasyami ||16||

O nourisher,
the logos of the beginning,
controller of death and life,
judge of man,
born of Prajapati,
cast away thy rays,
gather them up and give up thy radiating brilliance,
so that I may see the radiant person of Isa who is immanent within me.

püsann—O Nourisher;
eka-rse—the logos of the begining;
yama—the Controller of all, represented by Yama (god of death); judge of man
sürya—the sun
präjäpatya—through Prajapathi – the God Man;
raçmin—the rays;
samüha— society;
yat—so that;
kalyäna-tamam—most auspicious;
paçyämi—I may see;
yaù—one who is;
asau—like the sun;
purusah—Person of God;
saù aham asmi—I am that is in me.

O Pushan, only seer, Yama (judge), Surya (sun), son of Pragapati, spread thy rays and gather them! The light which is thy fairest form, I see it. I am what He is (viz. the person in the sun).(trans. Max Muller)


Mantra Seventeen

vayur anilam amrtam
athedam bhasmantam sariram
om krato smara krtam smara
krato smara krtam smara

Let my breath now attain the immortal;
then let this body be reduced to ashes.
O Lord, remember – remember that which has been done,
O Lord, remember – remember that which has been done for you.

väyur—air of life;
anilam—of air;
bhasmäntam—after being turned to ashes;
om—O the Word;
krato—Power, might , sacrifice;
smara—please remember;
krto—all that has been done by me;
smara—please remember;
krato— Power, might , sacrifice;
smara—please remember;
krtam—all that I have done for You;
smara—please remember.

Breath to air, and to the immortal! Then this my body ends in ashes. Om! Mind, remember! Remember thy deeds! Mind, remember! Remember thy deeds! (trans. Max Muller)


Mantra Eighteen

agne naya supatha raye asman
visvani deva vayunani vidvan
yuyodhy asmaj juhuranam eno
bhuyistham te nama uktim vidhema


Lord of all creations,
lead us through the fire by the right path.
You know, O God, all our deeds.
Destroy our sin of deceit.
Liberate us from our deceitful sins.
We offer thee our praise.

agne— through the fire
naya—kindly lead;
supathä—by the right path;
räye—for reaching You;
visväni deva—the Lord of cosmos
vidvän—the knower;
yuyodhi—kindly remove;
asmat—from us;
juhuräëam—all hindrances on the path;
enaù—all vices;
bhüyiñöhäm—most numerous;
te—unto You;
namaù uktim—words of obeisance;
vidhema—I do.

Agni, lead us on to wealth (beatitude) by a good path, thou, O God, who knowest all things! Keep far from us crooked evil, and we shall offer thee the fullest praise! (Rv. 1, 189, I












There is one God,
 the Father,
from whom are all things and
for whom we exist,
and one Lord,

through whom are all things and

through whom we exist.





purnamadah purnamidam purnat purnamudacyate
purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavasisyate ||
Isavasyamidam sarvam ||


santi, santih santihi ||