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Encyclopedia > Isha Upanishad
Part of a series on
Hindu scriptures
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Rigveda · Yajurveda
Samaveda · Atharvaveda
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Samhita · Brahmana
Aranyaka  · Upanishad
Aitareya  · Bṛhadāraṇyaka
Īṣa  · Taittirīya · Chāndogya
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Māṇḍūkya  ·Praśna
Śikshā · Chandas
Vyakarana · Nirukta
Jyotisha · Kalpa
Mahabharata · Ramayana
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Bhagavad Gita · Sutra
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Kumara Vyasa Bharata · Stotra
Hanuman Chalisa · Ramacharitamanas
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The Isha Upanishad (īśa upaniṣad) or Ishopanishad (īśopaniṣad), also known as the Ishavasya Upanishad (īśāvāsya upaniṣad), is a Sanskrit poem (or sequence of mantras) from the Upanishads and is considered Śruti by followers of a number of diverse traditions within Hinduism. It is one of the smaller texts of the Upanishads (18 verses in total) but also one of the most often quoted. Hindu scripture is overwhelmingly written in Sanskrit. ... Image File history File links Aum. ... The Vedas (Sanskrit: वेद) are the main scriptural texts of Hinduism, also known as the Sanatana Dharma, and are a large corpus of texts originating in Ancient India. ... The Rigveda (Sanskrit: , a tatpurusha compound of praise, verse and knowledge) is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns dedicated to the gods. ... The Yajurveda (Sanskrit , a tatpurusha compound of sacrifice + veda knowledge) is one of the four Hindu Vedas. ... The Samaveda (Sanskrit: सामवेद, sāmaveda, a tatpurusha compound of ritual chant + knowledge ), is third in the usual order of enumeration of the four Vedas, the ancient core Hindu scriptures. ... The Atharvaveda (Sanskrit: अथर्ववेद, , a tatpurusha compound of , a type of priest, and meaning knowledge) is a sacred text of Hinduism, and one of the four Vedas, often called the fourth Veda. According to tradition, the Atharvaveda was mainly composed by two groups of rishis known as the Bhrigus and the... The Samhita (Sanskrit: joined or collected) is the basic text of each of the Vedas, comprising collections of hymns and ritual texts. ... The Brahmana (Sanskrit ब्राह्मण) are part of the Hindu Shruti; They are composed in Vedic Sanskrit, and the period of their composition is sometimes referred to as the Brahmanic period or age (approximately between 900 BC and 500 BC). ... The Aranyakas (Sanskrit आरण्यक, Forest Books, Forest Treatises) are part of the Hindu Shruti; these religious scriptures are sometimes argued to be part of either the Brahmanas or Upanishads. ... The Upanishads (Devanagari: उपनिषद्, ; also known as and ) are part of the Vedas and form the Hindu scriptures which primarily discuss philosophy, meditation and nature of God; they form the core spiritual thought of Vedantic Hinduism. ... The Aitareya Upanishad is one of the older, primary Upanishads commented upon by Shankara. ... The Upanishad is one of the older, primary (mukhya) Upanishads commented upon by Shankara. ... The Taittiriya Upanishad is one of the Upanishads associated to the taittiriya samhita of the Black Yajurveda. ... The Chandogya Upanishad is one of the main ten Upanishads of Hinduism. ... The Kena Upanishad (), is one of the older, primary Upanishads commented upon by Shankara. ... Mundaka Upanishad is an Upanishad of the Atharva Veda. ... MāndÅ«kya Upanishad is one of the shortest Upanishads, that form the speculative metaphysical parts of the Hindu texts, the Vedas. ... Prashna Upanishad (IAST ) is one of the older, primary Upanishads commented upon by Shankara. ... The Shvetashvatara Upanishad is one of the 33 Upanishads of Krishna Yajurveda or Black Yajurveda . ... The Vedanga (IAST , member of the Veda) are six auxiliary disciplines for the understanding and tradition of the Vedas. ... Shiksha (IAST ) is one of the six Vedangas, treating the traditional Hindu science of phonetics and phonology of Sanskrit. ... The verses of the Vedas have a variety of different meters. ... The Sanskrit grammatical tradition of , is one of the six Vedanga disciplines. ... Nirukta is Vedic glossary of difficult words. ... Jyotisha (, in Hindi and English usage Jyotish) is the Hindu system of astrology, one of the six disciplines of Vedanga, and regarded as one of the oldest schools of ancient astrology to have had an independent origin, affecting all other schools in and around India. ... Kalpa is one of the six disciplines of Vedanga, treating ritual. ... Itihasa (Sanskrit: इतिहास - itihāsa in IAST notation, literally meaning that which happened) is the word for History. ... Manuscript illustration of the Battle of Kurukshetra The (Devanagari: ), is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the . ... The (DevanāgarÄ«: ) is an ancient Sanskrit epic attributed to the poet Valmiki and is an important part of the Hindu canon (smá¹›ti). ... Smriti (Sanskrit स्मॄति, that which is remembered) refers to a specific canon of Hindu religious scripture. ... Purana (Sanskrit पुराण, purāṇa, meaning ancient or old) is the name of a genre (or a group of related genres) of Indian written literature (as distinct from oral literature). ... Bhagavad Gīta भगवद्गीता, composed ca the fifth - second centuries BC, is part of the epic poem Mahabharata, located in the Bhisma-Parva chapters 23–40. ... SÅ«tra (sex) (Sanskrit) or Sutta (Pāli) literally means a rope or thread that holds things together, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual. ... Pañcaratra is an pre-Puranic form of Hinduism, which equated Narayana with Vishnu. ... The Tantra (Looms or Weavings), refer to numerous and varied scriptures pertaining to any of several esoteric traditions rooted in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. ... Kumara Vyasa is one of the most famous poets in the Kannada language, spoken in the state of Karnataka, India. ... Stotras are Hindu prayers that praise aspects of God, such as Devi, Siva, or Vishnu. ... Hanuman Chalisa (Forty chaupais on Hanuman) is Tulsidas most famous and read piece of literature apart from the Ramacharitamanasa, a poem primarily praising Hanuman. ... ÅšrÄ« Rāmcaritmānas (Hindi: रामचरितमानस) is an epic poem composed by the great 16th-century Indian poet, Goswami Tulsidas (c. ... The Shikshapatri is a text of two hundred and twelve verses, and was written by Shree Swaminarayan, a reforming Hindu from the Vaishnava tradition, who lived in Gujarat from 1781-1830 and who was recognised by his followers as a deity during his lifetime. ... The Vachanamrut The Vachanamrut or the nectarine discourses of Bhagwan Swaminarayan is the most sacred and foundational scripture of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. ... Hindu mythology is a term used by modern scholarship for a large body of Indian literature that details the lives and times of legendary personalities, deities and divine incarnations on earth interspersed with often large sections of philosophical and ethical discourse. ... Sanskrit ( , ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion. ... The Upanishads (उपनिषद्, Upanişad) are part of the Hindu Shruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy and are seen as religious instructions by most schools of Hinduism. ... The Å›ruti (Sanskrit thing heard, sound) is the smallest interval of the tuning system of Indian classical music. ... Hinduism (Sanskrit: eternal law; in several modern Indian languages[1] also known as ), is a religion that originated on the Indian subcontinent. ...


Background and content

The Isha Upanishad is contained in the final adhyāya (chapter) of the White Yajurveda (VS). It consists of either 17 or 18 two-line verses covering a wide spectrum of philosophy, religion, ritualism and metaphysics in a concise manner. The name of the Upanishad derives from its incipit, Iśāvāsyam idam sarvam, "This universe is enveloped by the Lord". According to one Western scholar, it belongs to an advanced stage of monist speculation, assuming a Lord (ish) of the universe (Weber 1878:103). One view has it that this is one of the later mukhya Upanishads, dating approximately to Mauryan times. According to Mahidhara's commentary, it is a polemic against the Bauddhas (the predecessors of the later Samkhya doctrines). ... Socrates (central bare-chested figure) about to drink hemlock as mandated by the court. ... In general, the term, Ritualism can be used to describe an outlook which places a great (or even exaggerated) emphasis on ritual. ... Ishvara (ईश्वर in devanagari script, pronunciation Ä«:shvÉ™rÉ™), also variously transliterated (romanized) as Īshvara, Īshwara, Īshwar, Īśvara, etc. ... The Muktika canon of 108 Upanishads is headed by 10 Mukhya Upanishads. ... The Mauryan empire (321 to 185 BCE), at its largest extent around 230 BCE. The Mauryan empire was Indias first great unified empire. ... Samkhya, also Sankhya, (Sanskrit: सांख्य, IAST: Sāṃkhya - Enumeration) is one of the schools of Indian philosophy. ...

Mahatma Gandhi used to say, even if every other scripture of Hinduism vanished and this alone survived, Hinduism will survive. [citation needed] Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Gujarati: , Hindi: , IAST: mohandās karamcand gāndhī, IPA: ) (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948) was a major political and spiritual leader of the Indian Independence Movement. ...


In the two shakhas of the White Yajurveda, VSM and VSK, the order of verses 1-8 is the same. VSK verses 9–14 correspond to VSM verses 12, 13, 14, 9, 10, 11. VSM 17 is a variation of VSK 15, VSK 16 is lacking in VSM, and VSK 17–18 correspond to VSM 15–16. Verse numbers in this article refer to VSK: Shakha (IAST ), literally branch or limb, is the Sanskrit term for a recension or version of Vedic texts according to a particular school. ...

VSK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
VSM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 12 13 14 9 10 11 (17) - 15 16
Verse 1
īśāvāsyam idam sarvaḿ yat kiñca jagatyāḿ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam

Transliteration: idam sarvam = all this (this entire universe); Isavasyam = Isasya avasyam = Isasya avasayogyam = pervaded by Isa, the Lord Hari; yat kiñcha = also whatsoever, and whatever there may be; jagatyam = prakrtyam = in the primordial nature; jagat = the world; tena = by Him (the Lord Hari); tyaktena = dattena vittena = wealth granted, allotted, given; bhuñjitha = bhogam kuryah = do experience, enjoy; ma grdhah = ma kanksethah = do not crave for, do not seek; kasyasvid = any one else's; dhanam = wealth. [1]

"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)
"The world is swaddled in the glory of the Lord.
Renounce it and enjoy it. Do not covet anyone's wealth." (trans. P. Lal)
Verse 7
"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)
Verse 8
sa paryagāc chukram akāyam avraṇam asnāviram śuddham apāpa-viddham
kavir manīṣī paribhūḥ svayambhūr yāthātathyato 'rthān vyadadhāc chāśvatībhyaḥ samābhyaḥ
"He hath attained [paryagāt] unto the Bright [shukram], Bodiless, Woundless, Sinewless, the Pure which evil hath not pierced."
"Far-sighted, wise, encompassing, he self-existent hath prescribed aims, as propriety demands, unto the everlasting Years" (trans. Griffith)
"Such a person must factually know [paryagāt] 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)

According to Shankara and Mahidhara, the neuter adjectives shukram etc. relate to Atman (sas "He") rather than to Brahma or Highest Essence. Depending on the interpretation of the first line, "Far-sighted" etc. refers either to the man who knows, or to Atman itself. Purusottama Lal, born 1929 in the state of Punjab in India, is a poet, essayist, translator, professor and publisher. ... Shankara can refer to: Shiva, the Hindu god Adi Shankara, Hindu philosopher of around 800 CE Also written, Sankara This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Brahma (written Brahmā in IAST) (Devanagari ब्रह्मा, pronounced as ) is the Hindu god (deva) of creation, and one of the Hindu Trinity - Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. ...

Verse 18
"O my Lord, as powerful as fire, O omnipotent one, now I offer You all obeisances, falling on the ground at Your feet. O my Lord, please lead me on the right path to reach You, and since You know all that I have done in the past, please free me from the reactions to my past sins so that there will be no hindrance to my progress." trans. Prabhupada

The Supreme

The Isha Upanishad is significant amongst the Upanishads for its description of the nature of the Supreme Person as the controller (Ish) behind our universe. 'He who is unembodied, omniscient, beyond reproach, without veins, pure and uncontaminated' (verse 8). (As stated above, commentators differ as to whether the referent here is Ish, Atman, or he who has recognized Atman.) He who 'walks and does not walk', who is 'far away, but very near as well', who 'although fixed in His abode is swifter than the mind' (from verses 4 & 5). In this way the Upanishad gives a number of seemingly paradoxical descriptions of the Supreme. Ishvara (ईश्वर in devanagari script, pronunciation ī:shvərə), also variously transliterated (romanized) as Īshvara, Īshwara, Īshwar, Īśvara, etc. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything, or at least everything that can be known. ...

The later verses take the form of a series of prayers requesting that the speaker be able to see past the supreme light or effulgence in order to understand the true nature of the Supreme Lord Himself and be freed of the sins of past misdeeds


The text also discusses the nature of karma for the living entities, and it promotes a way of life of simple living, 'accepting only those things set aside for oneself' (text 1) and a culture of knowledge over ignorance (text 10). The text also mentions negative reactions for one who kills another living being, and it advises seeing all living entities in connection with the Supreme Person and thus being equipoised towards them (verses 6 & 7). For other uses of the word, see karma (disambiguation). ...

Worship of devas (demigods) is condemned in favour of worship of the Supreme God only, for worship of anything other than the Supreme brings about different results. The reward for correct worship is given as a future life of eternity, bliss and knowledge. Deva (देव in Devanagari script, pronounced as dévə) is the Sanskrit word for god, deity. It can be variously interpreted as a spirit, demi-god, celestial being, angel, deity or any supernatural being of high excellence. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...

Varying interpretations

Image File history File links Wiki_letter_w. ...


  1. ^ Dvaita.org


A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (September 1, 1896–November 14, 1977) was born Abhay Charan De, in Kolkata, West Bengal. ... Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) was founded by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder-acharya of ISKCON, in March 1972 in India and in May in USA with the mission to publish all his books in all languages of the world, and, if it is not contrary with this primary goal... Sri Aurobindo (Bangla: শ্রী অরবিন্দ Sri Ôrobindo, Sanskrit: श्री अरविन्द Srī Aravinda) (August 15, 1872–December 5, 1950) was an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, scholar, poet, mystic, evolutionary philosopher, yogi and guru [1]. His followers further believe that he was an avatar, an incarnation of the Absolute. ... The Delhi campus of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram The Sri Aurobindo Ashram was founded by Sri Aurobindo on the 24 November 1926 (Siddhi Day). ... Map of Pondicherry Region, Union Territory of Pondicherry, India Pondicherry (Tamil:புதுவை,Hindi: पॉण्डिचेरी) is a Union Territory of India. ... Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (September 5, 1888 - April 17, 1975) is best known as the man who introduced the thinking of western idealist philosophers into Indian thought. ... Sri Adi Sankara Adi Shankaracharya or Adi Shankara (the first Shankara in his lineage), reverentially called Bhagavatpada Acharya (the teacher at the feet of Lord), Shankara (approximately 509- 477 BC (though some claim 788-820 CE)) was the most famous Advaita philosopher who had a profound influence on the growth... Albrecht Weber (born 17 February 1825 in Breslau; died 30 November 1901) was a German indologist and historian. ...

See also

The Bhagavata Purana (sometimes rendered as Bhagavatha Purana), also known as the Srimad Bhagavatam, written c. ... Manuscript illustration of the Battle of Kurukshetra The (Devanagari: ), is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the . ... Bhagavad Gīta भगवद्गीता, composed ca the fifth - second centuries BC, is part of the epic poem Mahabharata, located in the Bhisma-Parva chapters 23–40. ...

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