Ishopanishad

पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते
पूर्ण्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते
Poorṇamadah poorṇamidam poorṇaat poorṇamudachyate.
Poorṇasya poorṇamaadaaya poorṇamevaava-shiṣhyate.

God is perfect and his creations are perfect. Out of the perfect comes perfection. Any negative (thought or feeling) being experienced by us comes as a result of a misunderstanding of the laws of perfection.

Note: This verse is the peace/invocation/introduction verse of the Ishopanishad. It also is present in the Braahman Grantha, Brihadaranyak Upanishad, Isha Upanishad, Paingala Upanishad. The substantive mantras of the Ishopanishad (hereunder) form the core of the 40th Chapter of the Yajur Veda.

ईशावास्यमिदꣳ र्वत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत् ।
ते त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः क्यस्विद्धनम् ॥ १॥
Eeshaa-vaasyam-idaṁ sarvaṁ yatkiñca jagatyaaṁ jagat.
Tena tyaktena bhuñjeethaa maa gṛidhaḥ kasya-sviddhanam.

One Supreme God rules the entire creation and the earth on which we live. He is the Creator of the world in which we live as well as all that exists in the world; all animate and inanimate. Enjoy His Creation with detachment and surrender, that is, knowing that it is all by His Grace. Never covet whatever is with anyone else.

ईश the ruler, Lord Supreme वास्यम् for living, for habitation इदम् this र्वम् all, every, in entirety त् कीम् whatever, whatsoever जगत्याम् of the world, the living and moving beings in the world जगत् the world (upon/in which the beings live, reside) ते by that त्यक्तेन renounced, surrendered भुञ्जीथा you can enjoy मा not गृधः lust, covet, own, possess क्य ्विद् anyone’s, of whom धनम्स्वि wealth, property, possessions.

कुर्व्नेवेह कर्माणि जिजीविषेच्छतꣳ माः ।
एवत्वि ान्यथेतोऽस्ति कर्म लिप्यते े ॥ २॥
Kurvan-ne-veha karmaaṇi jijeeviṣhe-chhataṁ samaaḥ.
Evaṁ tvayi na-anyathe-to’sti na karma lipyate nare

Endeavor to live a fully meaningful and enjoyable life by performing such actions that would not destroy the purity of your own soul. Do not let yourself be smeared or impacted negatively by your own actions.

कुर्व् doing, acting, performing इह here, in this world एव truly, indeed कर्माणि actions, works जिजीविषेत् one may wish to live शतम् hundred माः years एवम् thus, in such a manner त्वि in you, on you not अन्यथा otherwise अस्ति it is not कर्म actions (from actions) लिप्यते attached to, smeared by, impacted by े on a person.

असुर्या ाम ते लोका अन्धेन तमसाऽऽवृताः ।
ताꣳस्ते प्रेत्याभिग्छन्ति े के ात्महनो जनाः ॥ ३॥
Asuryaa naama te lokaa andhena tamasaavṛitaaḥ.
Taaṁste pretyaa-bhigacchanti ye ke caatmahano janaaḥ

Those who, by their own actions, destroy their souls can only achieve the darkness of ignorance and sin (as the outcome of selfishness and greed). Our re-birth is accorded to our own actions; thus self-destructive habits will yield blindness to light, ignorance and further negativity. 

Note: Verse 1 (eesha-avaasyam) advises us to enjoy the creations of God without attachment/ownership and to ensure we are not destroyed by covetousness and possessiveness. Verse 2 (kurvanne veha) teaches us to live a full lifespan by being free from negative thoughts and actions. This verse (asurya naam) gives the outcome if we do not adhere to the teaching of the first two verses. This verse practically says what we sow, we shall reap. If we destroy our own light, then we will become blind to wisdom.

असुर्याः sunless (absence of light/wisdom), demonic ाम indeed those named ते they, those लोक worlds अन्धेन blindness तमसा ignorance, darkness अवृताः enveloped in, hidden तान् them ते they प्रेत्य having died, in their death अभिगछति resort to, go near, approach े के any person whatsoever त्महनः destroyer of own soul, self-slayers  (त्म soul/self हनः killer, destroyer) जनाः people

अनेजदेकं मनसो जवीयो ैनद्देवा प्नुव्पूर्वमर्षत् ।
तद्धावतोऽन्यानत्येति तिष्ठत्तस्मिन्नपो मातरिश्वा दधाति ॥ ४॥
Anejadekaṁ manaso javeeyo nainad-devaa aapnuvan poorvamarṣhat
Taddhaavato’nyaanatyeti tiṣṭhat tasminnapo maatariśhvaa dadhaati

He is unmoving and immovable, yet is swifter than the mind, flowing faster than anything made by God, yet firmly still and motionless. He is here and beyond, in front of all, yet within and beyond all. That Master of Life establishes everything.

अनेजत् unmoving, immovable एकम् one मनसः from the mind, of the mind जवीयः quicker, swifter not एवत् this, it देवः (made by) God प्नुव् reach, met up with, overtook पूर्वम् in front, preceding अर्षत् progress, moving smoothly तत् that धावतः flowing. running अन्यान् others अत्येति passes by, passes beyond, moving on तिष्ठत् standing firmly, remaining still/firm तस्मिन् in that अपः work, action, also water मातरिश्वा the Master of life दधाति establishes, places, puts.

तदेजति तन्नैजति तद्दूरे तद्व्तिके ।
तदन्तर्य र्व्य तदु र्व्यास्य बाह्यतः ॥ ५॥
Tadejati tannaijati tad doore tadvantike.
Tadantarasya sarvasya tadu sarvasyaasya baahyataḥ

He is non-moving, yet moves all and is the motion within everything. He is everything that is far and yet everything that is close to us. He is everything within us and everything outside of us.

तत् that एजति moves तत् that not एजति moves तत् that दूरे is far तत् that उ also अन्तिके is near तत् that अन्तः within अस्य of this र्व्य all this तत् that उ also र्व्य all of everything अस्य of this वाह्यतः outside, external

्तु र्वाणि भूता्यात्मन्येवानुपश्यति ।
र्वभूतेषु ात्मानं ततो विजुगुप्सते ॥ ६॥
Yastu sarvaaṇi bhootaani aatmanyevaanupaśhyati.
Sarvabhooteṣhu chaatmaanaṁ tato na vijugupsate

That person who can realise that the Supreme One is within every one and every creation – and also recognizes that every being is within the Supreme, such a person shall prosper.

ः he who तु indeed, but र्वाणि all, every, wholly भूताि (all) existences, beings त्मनि in the self एव surely, indeed अनुपश्यति beholds, see र्व all, everything भूतेषु within all beings, in all existence and त्मा the self ततः from Him, of the One, thereafter from it not विजुगुप्सते shrinks, conceals, hide, disappear

्मिन्र्वाणि भूता्यात्मैवाभूद्विजानतः ।
तत् को मोहः कः शोकः एकत्वमनुपश्यतः ॥ ७॥
Yasmin sarvaaṇi bhootaani aatmaiva-abhood-vijaanataḥ
Tatra ko mohaḥ kaḥ śhokah ekatvam-anupaśhyataḥ

That person who realises and understands that everything, all beings, all creation is therein in the Almighty and that the All-Seeing One is in all beings, then there is no grief, confusion, bewilderment or sorrow.

्मिन् in whom र्वाणि all, everything, भूताि beings त्मा the Self एव indeed, truly, so अभूत् has become, was विजानतः understanding, knowing, discerning तत् there, therein कः whom, which (how) मोहः delusion, bewilderment, non-consciousness कः who, which शोकः grief, affliction, sorrow, flame, heat एकत्वम् oneness अनुपश्यतः from the all-seeing One.

पर्यगाच्छुक्रमकायमव्रणमस्नाविरꣳ शुद्धमपापविद्धम् ।
कविर्मनीषी परिभूः ्वम्भूर्याथातथ्यतोऽर्थान्
व्यदधाच्छाश्वतीभ्यः माभ्यः ॥ ८॥
Sa paryagaach-chhukram-akaayam-avraṇam-ashnaaviraṁ śhuddham-apaapaviddham.
Kavirmaneeṣee paribhooḥ svayambhoor-yaathaatathyato’rthaan
vyadadhaachh-śhaaśhvateebhyaḥ samaabhyaḥ.

That Almighty is all around, all-existent, all-pervading and eternal. He is the light of all objects and the objects themselves. He is unblemished, formless and pure. He is here, there and everywhere, the truth of everything, the motive and aim for which all exists. He places everything in place and orderly, purposive place for eternity. He changes all and is Himself Changeless. He is perceived by the intellect of the wise and thoughtful ones. 

ः He, it is He पर्यगात् has gone all around, permeate, approach near शुक्रम् bright, glowing अकायम् bodiless अव्रणम्  unblemished, without scar/mark of imperfection अस्नाविरम् without sinews शुद्धम् pure, bright and clean अपापविद्धम्  not evil, untouched by evil, unpierced by evil कविः intelligent one, the Seer, knower, prophet मनीषी the Thinker, thoughtful one परिभुः the pervading force, One who is everywhere ्वम्भुः Self-existing, independent ाथातथ्यतः perfectly true, from the truth अर्थान् objects, purposive, aim, motive व्यदधात् placed apart, in orderly fashion शाश्वतीभ्यः from all eternity, eternal माभ्यः from years without change, everlasting and unchanging

अन्धं तमः प्रविश्ति ेऽविद्यामुपासते ।
ततो भूय इव ते तमो विद्यााꣳ रताः ॥ ९॥
Andhaṁ tamaḥ praviśhanti ye’vidyaamupaasate
Tato bhooya iva te tamo ya u vidyaayaaṁ rataaḥ

Those who glorify ignorance, who promote the lack of training and education are bound to be surrounded and swallowed by ignorance. Those who promote and embrace wisdom and who follow the path of the wise will get the delight of wisdom.

अन्धम् blind, cannot see or perceive तमः darkness, gloom, misery प्रविश्ति enter, get to, reach े they who अविद्याम् ignorance, lack of wisdom, lack of reason उपासते (they) follow, (they) sit near तत: from that भूयः into a greater degree इव like, as if ते they तम: darkness, gloom े they who उ on the other hand, (as emphasis) विद्यााम् in the knowledge. in wisdom, perceiving रताः have attachment/devotion/delight.

अन्यदेवहुर्विद्ययाऽन्यदाहुरविद्यया ।
इति शुश्रुम धीराणां ्तद्विचचक्षिरे ॥ १०॥
Anyadevaahur-vidyayaa’nyadaahur-avidyayaa
Iti śhuśhruma dheeraaṇaaṁ ye nastadvi-chachakṣhire.

(In life) that which is derived from wisdom, knowledge and skill is quite different from what is derived from lack of knowledge and skills. The wise ones always teach us to differentiate between wisdom and illusion.

अन्यत् other, different from एव verily, indeed हुः it is said, (they said, they spoke) विद्यया by the Knowledge, in philosophy अविद्यया by ignorance, lack of wisdom इति thus शुश्रुम having heard, hearing धीराणाम् (from) the wise ones, the skilled/trained े those who to us तत् That विचचक्षिरे revealed (to understanding), shone, perceived.

विद्यााविद्यां ्तद्वेदोभ
अविद्यया मृत्युं तीर्त्वा विद्ययाऽमृतमश्नुते ॥ ११॥
Vidyaam-cha-avidyaam-cha yastad-vedobhayaṁ saha
Avidyayaa mṛityuṁ teertvaa vidyayaa’mṛitamaśhnute

That person who knows and understands and can differentiate between knowledge and illusion will overcome the fear (ignorance) of death and will enjoy the true meaning of immortality.

विद्याम् Knowledge, wisdom, deep philosophy and अविद्याम् Ignorance, non-perception ः who तत् that (person) उभम् as both in one, along with, together वेद knows, perceives अविद्यया by Ignorance, with ignorance, with lack of knowledge मृर्युम् death तीर्त्वा cross over, cross beyond विद्यया with/by the Knowledge अमृतम् Immortality अश्नुते arrives, enjoys.

अन्धं तमः प्रविश्ति ेऽसम्भूतिमुपासते ।
ततो भूय इव ते तमो म्भूत्याꣳ रताः ॥ १२॥
Andhaṁ tamaḥ praviśhanti yesam-bhootim-upaasate.
Tato bhooya iva te tamo ya u sambhootyaaṁ rataaḥ.

Those who embrace solely the concept of a manifest world, (that is one who only focuses only on the concept that the world is created or born ) can be said to embrace ignorance. of greater ignorance would be those who embrace the completely opposite concept that the world is unmanifest or un-born.

अन्धम् blind तमः darkness, gloom प्रविश्ति enter, attain े who असम्भूतिम् non-existence, non-birth, destruction उपासते follow, worship, sit near ततः than that भूयः becoming, than that, in greater degree इव as if ते they तमः gloomy, darkness who, that, which उ on the other hand (emphasis) म्भूत्या in birth alone रताः are engrossed, take delight.

This verse teaches us that one ought not to become engrossed in the mysteries of whether the world is created or not, whether it is destroyed or not. Instead focus on the concept of living in the world, enjoying the things of the world without becoming attached to them.

म्भूतिं विनाशं ्तद्वेदोभ
विनाशेन मृत्युं तीर्त्वा म्भूत्याऽमृतमश्नुते ॥ १४॥
Sambhootim-cha vinaaśham-cha yastad-vedobhayaṁ saha.
Vinaaśhena mṛityuṁ teertvaa sambhootyaa’mṛitamaśhnute.

That person who views birth and death alike, who is neither overcome by creation or dissolution of the world, who is neither overwhelmed by birth nor consumed by the thought of death – that person obtains immortality.

म्भूतिम् – the birth, the origin – ca – and विनाशम् the annihilation, dissolution and ः he who तत् that वेद knows, perceives उभम् both in one, as one, same, together विनाशेन by the dissolution/removal, annihilation मृत्युम् death तीर्त्वा having crossed beyond/over म्भुत्या by birth, with being together अमृतम् immortality अश्नुते enjoys, obtains

हिरण्मयेन पात्रेण त्य्यापिहितं मुखम्
तत्त्वं पूषन्नपावृणु त्यधर्मा दृष्टये ॥ १५॥
Hiraṇmayena paatreṇa satyasyaapihitaṁ mukham.
Tat tvaṁ pooṣhann-apaavṛiṇu satyadharmaaya dṛiṣhṭaye.

The real truth, pure and golden is kept within and is usually concealed and undiscovered. Such truth is unveiled for us to behold and experience when we are prepared to become a guardian of righteousness. 

Like a shepherd maintaining his flock, we can maintain and control our senses and interactions in the world; to not stray and become lost and to accept the truth (as explained in previous verses). This makes us part of the golden, pure truth that is God.

हिरण्मयेन with/by golden (purest/shining/precious) पात्रेण vessel, lid utensil त्य्य of truth, of reality अपिहितम् covered, concealed, hidden मुखम् the face, the mouth (speech) तत् that त्वम् – you पूषन् O guardian (like a guardian of livestock, shepherd), also, the sun, or the power that makes the sun move अपावृणु remove, uncover, unveil त्यधर्मा for the law of the Truth, the truth of righteousness दृष्टये for seeing, beholding 

पूषन्नेकर्षे ूर्य प्राजापत्य व्यूह रश्मीन् मूह तेजः
त्ते रूपं कल्याणतमं तत्ते पश्यामि
ोऽसावपुरुषः ोऽहमस्मि ॥ १६॥
Pooṣhanne-karṣhe yama soorya praajaapatya vyooha raśhmeen samooha tejah.
Yatte roopaṁ kalyaaṇatamaṁ tatte paśhyaami

yo’saavasau puruṣhaḥ so’hamasmi.

O Most Powerful One, You are the force behind all creation, the guardian and caretaker of the world; You are the One without favourites, the Solitary One, the fount of Wisdom, the One who controls our life-time and the time of death, You are the illuminated Father of all, You are the force that repels and the force that attracts; You are the Source of Light and the Brilliance of the Light, You are the most blissful and illustrious force in every shape and every creature. O Most Beautiful and Blessed Prime Cause of everything, you are all of that I see and all that I realize. You are That, and That I am.

पूषन्  (the one who is the force behind the Sun, the One who is the guardian of his flock (like a Shepherd), One who is hermit/one who gave up attachment एकर्षे (एक ऋषि) the Solitary One, the Wise One, the Sage म Controller of life-span, Yama – god of death, Charioteer ूर्य Sun, Illuminated One प्राजापत्य The power that is the Father of All व्युह move Apart, push off रश्मीन् ray of light, beam मूह move together तेजः the brilliance of light. the splendour त् who, which what, that ते (for) you, thy रूपम् form, shApe, figure कल्याणतमम् most blessed, most beautiful, illustrious तत् that ते in You पश्यामि I behold, I see, I realise ः who असौ there/that पुरुषः Purusha, Prime Cause of the world ः He अहम् अस्मि I am

वाुरिलममृतमथेदं भ्मांतꣳ शरीरम् ।
क्रतो ्मर कृतꣳ ्मर क्रतो ्मर कृतꣳ ्मर ॥ १७॥

अग्ने नय सुपथा राये अस्मा
विश्वानि देवुनानि विद्वान् ।
युयोध्यस्मज्जुहुराणमेनो
भूयिष्ठां ते ौक्तिं विधेम ॥ १८॥