Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad

Covered in Īśā, covered in God

Anonymous

thatthis

0.
That's perfect            Creator
This' perfect              Creation        From perfection can only come perfection

That minus this
Perfect!

1.
In all this
God is

In all this
God lives

Whatever's alive in life

                                                 It's all God's

By letting go
proprietorship                        Enjoy it

Don't be greedy for
what is others'
what isn't yours                      It's all yours

2.
Carry on working – do your duty –
Carry on living

This way –
  and there's no other way –
Work won't get you down

What else is there here eh
Say all this is yours, Mani Rao, happy as you may be about that, you can't be idle for ever, and it won't hurt to work

Besides:
3.
Those who deny themselves
go to dark places   visionless   sunless
when they die

or
Those who deny God go
to demonic places
thick darkness

A warning for the lazy or suicidal? An argument against lack of faith?
Back to that which is perfect: Īśā

4.
Doesn't move and yet
Faster than thought
     Not even the devās  senses  get it
     devāh  gods  often interpreted as senses because gods illuminate senses

Way ahead of the curve
It stays put
Outruns everything else

In it
Wind supports activity
Because breath

5.
It moves
Doesn't move

Far away
Within

In everything
Outside everything

6.
The good news:
He who sees all beings in himself
And himself in all beings
Does not hate/hide

7.
When he knows all beings are himself
When he who sees unity

Where's the excitement the grief?
Nowhere

Switchback:
8, 9.
Omnipresent

Radiant

Bodiless – no sinews – unhurtably so

Pure  Unflawed

Poet  Omniscient Above-all

Self-born  happened on his own

Runs things  as they should be

10.
Is there a choice?
Those who lack knowledge enter darkness  visionless
Those who relish knowledge all the more so

11.
Although
We heard from the wise
who spoke to us:
Knowledge is one thing
Lack of knowledge another

12.
But there's also
He who has both
How can you have both? Does not one cancel the other?
Because of the lack of knowledge crosses mṛtyu  death
Because of knowledge reaches amṛtam  deathlessness
Just what is aṃṛtaṃ? Deathlessness? Immortality? Fame? Ambrosia?
Does crossing mean to go through, or to go past? To die, or to overcome death?

13.
Sambhūti, asambhūti.
What do the terms mean?
What did the terms mean?
Creationism, Nature
Creationism, Evolutionism
Manifest, Unmanifest
Materialism, Idealism
Idealism, Materialism
Theism, Existentialism
Believer, Philosopher
Occurrence, Inertia
Belief, Disbelief

Perhaps:

Mere philosophers enter darkness  visionless
Mere believers even more so

14.
Although
We heard from the wise
who spoke to us:
Philosophy is one thing
Faith another

15.
But there's also
He who knows both
Creation and Destruction

Because of Destruction crosses death
Because of Creation reaches deathlessness
Sounds like a win-win, but what does it mean?
Maybe one day the meaning will be clear, even obvious. As the next verse hopes:

16.
A golden lid covers the mouth of truth
Remove it O Sun
So it may be seen by the truthful and righteous
The Sun is the door to truth. Only the righteous go through.

17.
O' Pūṣān/Sun
One and only
Sage
O' Yama /God of Death & Dharma
O' Sūrya/Sun
O' Prajāpati/Creator

Remove these dazzling rays around you
Show your milder form – That – That Person –
Oh That I Am!
That's who I am!

18.
At the end
Breath to deathless air
Body to ash
Oḿ   – Mind, remember what's been done – Mind, remember what's been done

19.
O Agni/Fire-God
You who know all the world's deeds

Take us to riches by an easy path
Take gnarly sins away

We say
Namaste

translated from the Sanskrit by Mani Rao



Read the original in Sanskrit

Read translator’s note

Anonymous

Mani Rao is the author of eight books of poetry and a translation of the Bhagavad Gita. Her website has links to her publications.


Thanks Laurie Patton for dialog, Sarasvati Mohan and Elliott McCarter for coaching, Amber Matthews for this-that and the other.


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