Isha Upanishad

   The Isha Upanishad appears in the White Yajur VEDA; it constitutes the Veda’s last chapter (unlike most Upanishads, which are found within the BRAHMANAS of the Veda). Isha literally means “lord” or “ruler,” and the Upanishad clearly has theistic overtones. It is a short Upanishad of only 18 stanzas.
   The Isha opens with a stanza describing the world as “indwelt by the Lord” (ishavasya). Stanza 5, frequently quoted, describes the BRAH-MAN or ultimate reality: “It moves. It moves not. It is far and it is near. It is within all this; it is outside all this.” This attempts to show the incomprehensible infinitude of the ultimate. Also quoted often is verse 11, which states that the path of ritual and the path of knowledge of brahman are complementary. The cryptic verses 9, 12, 13, and 14, which speak of the relation-ship between higher knowledge and ignorance, have been frequently explicated by the classical commentators.
   Further reading: Sri Aurobindo, Isha Upanishad (Pon-dicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1965); S. Radhakrish-nan, ed. and trans., The Principal Upanishads (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1992).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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